Good Sunday evening to you all! I hope this week was a fabulous one for you! For me, I finally got around to feeling like tackling my next project...a half mourning, late 1860s, elliptical gown! I am almost done with the petticoat so Huzzah!
Today's post is about the last of the wedding dresses I made for the Dressing The Historical Bride program. And it ties with my favorite for first place. I don't know why this one makes me so happy, it just does! The fringe would have put it in dead last just last year, but I think since I made the fringe out of the fabric itself, it didn't look so "fake". Don't know what that means, but there ya go.
The dress was made out of 70/30 cotton poly and is a beautiful moire!! I adore moire and think it's interesting that both of my first 1850s gowns happen to made out of moire (MET Moire Mourning Dress). I know that I should have used a lighter weighing fabric, but when Mama made her 50th Wedding Anniversary Party Dress there was a ton left over. She let me have it and there was almost enough to make this dress! I do not what we were thinking, buying so much. Like I have said before, math is not my strong suit and so it is the norm for me to buy too much fabric, but this was ridiculous! Anyway, the skirt of this dress alone weighed 8 pounds! So note to self, when next making a flounced 1850s dress, use a sheer fabric! hahahahahahaha!!
I just loved how this dress turned out and now I am wanting to make a ball gown in the future! Out of lighter weight fabric...
A word to the wise...if you plan on making a flounced dress, please decide that you want fringe BEFORE you sew the flounces to the underskirt! I decided AFTER I sewed all the flounces on that the skirt would look better with fringe. Grrrrrrrrrrrr...
The pattern called for a pointed back bodice, but I had so much trouble with it laying flat, that I decided to do a straight across the waist back.
I love the long point on this dress and the way the seams work together to give the illusion of a super long "V". I borrowed Mom's faux wax orange blossom corsage for the decoration on the dress. I though it looked fantastic!
Hand fringed self fabric fringe actually makes me happy. I think the world is going to end tomorrow. hahahahaha! Just kidding!
I spent a long while searching for an 1850s wedding dress to use as inspiration. The one below from the V&A Museum totally made my heart happy and was going to make the whole outfit similar to the original dress. However, I had never used the pattern I purchased to make the bodice and so was really stressing out over it, even though I intended on making a mock up. Perhaps one day I will make a bodice similar to it!
1857 Wedding Dress. Source: V&A Museum
After I decided against making a long sleeved bodice, I had to go on the hunt to find a short sleeved bodice. Happily I came across this fabulous example from Kerry Taylor Auctions (Sold December 3rd, 2013. Lot #45) Thank you Kate for permission to share the image of this fabulous dress!
You can see more images of the dress Here.
Wanting to make sure that short sleeved bodices were used in weddings in the 1850s, I also searched for photographs from the era and found many. Below are a couple. Such beautiful brides!!
"Martha Pickman Rogers in her wedding gown"
Source: mfa Boston
Source: Skinner Auctions
One of the most time consuming parts of this project was the making of the fringe. Below you can see how I did it. I laid the fabric on the floor, put heavy books down on it to hold it down and started pulling the weft threads, sometimes two at a time! And yes, it was also a messy business!
Each strip, and I had to make 10 strips of over 5 yards, took over an hour to "pull". I spent a lot of time on the floor!
Other tools used were a seam ripper to start the threads to be pulled and a comb to comb the fringe when it got knotted up.
A short video on how simple it is to make your own fringe!
All the fringe rolled up on a fabric tube.
Bertha before being trimmed with ruffles and fringe
This pattern was a fabulous one to use. I will most certainly be using it again!!
Well, I'm off to bed! I hope that you all have a most wonderful week!