This is a rough sketch of the design for Arilyn's frock. I cannot draw to save my life, and this is very curdely done, but it at least gives an idea of what I am trying to achieve. The collar extends just beyond the edge of her shoulders, and the lace will extend three inches beyond that. The sleeve pouf will end just below her elbow, and is very full. There will be a band of three rows of lace insertion stitched together and then gathered edging attached with entredeux. This will yield a 3/4 length sleeve on her. The skirt will actually be a bit longer than I have drawn, as Miss A wishes it to be dragging the floor. We compromised and it will be mid calf with the edging of the petticoat extending below that point for about 2 inches.
These are our fabric choices with the laces laying over them so we can go in the room and look at it several times a day until we decide which linen to use. The laces are about 20 years old, being leftover from when I had my heirloom sewing business. Hard to believe so much time has passed...
This is just a general idea of how the bows will look, but of course they will be stitched down on both edges of the lace. The fabric will be cut away from behind the lace, leaving the lace bow intact, which will be very pretty. She will have on a white linen petticoat beneath that will extend from her shoulders to the hem of the frock, and will have a skirt that is similar to the one on the frock itself.
This is the shadow work embroidery design for the ultra fine zula linen collar. I based the letters on some 19th century alphabet designs from the Martha Pullen book, "Antique Clothing, French Sewing by Machine." I spent two days fiddling with the drawing, interweaving them first with the A in front, then with the M in front, and finally decided to split the difference and have the A in front on the left and the M in front on the right. The violet design is one that I drew several years ago to go on a wedding hanky for a friend. Arilyn has always loved that design, so when she asked for violets to go on this frock collar I dug it out and transposed it for this purpose.
This is one of the antique purse frames that I bought last month on e-bay. I am considering using it for a purse to go with my navy ball gown, but I may just make a simple clutch instead, or perhaps a small pill box type of purse. The silk is a cross weave of black and navy blue, and it is gorgeous. I purchased it last summer specifically for this ball and I am very excited to get started on it. I have another simple dress to make before Oct. 3, will post photos as soon as I decide what I am doing.
This is a close-up of the lace over the silk, along with some of the diesel iridescent beads I am thinking of using to bead the purse with. I may get all silly and put some of the gilt gold Spangles that Mister Bill made up for me on it as well. The seed beads look cute perched on top of the spangles.
This is the lace that I found in Truro fabrics yesterday. I am still all tickled about it. I was originally looking for a black lace to do the 3/4 length sleeves in, never knowing I would find this magnificent blue. It is perfect with the silk. It is a French double scalloped Chantilly lace. I think that the sleeves are going to make the gown sublime.
This is a close up of the lace over a piece of my corset coutil. I laid it on top of the coutil so that the lace could be seen better, and this is about how it will look on my arm. The scalloped edge will be the lower edge of the sleeves.
Sigh. The beautiful azure shot with charcoal silk that I ordered almost two weeks ago will not arrive in time for me to build my Battle of Britain ball gown. So. I am faced with having to use what I have on hand, and the only piece large enough to even consider is this tangerine shot with raspberry. The gown is below mid-calf and will have the bottom ruffle of the petticoat showing beneath the edge of the hem. The total length will be 56", which puts it just above my ankle. Pattern is Vogue 2903, but the actual length is considerably longer than the drawing portrays. I originally bought this fabric to make a Venetian courtesan gown and never got around to it while I was Stateside, and I really do not have the ability to be active in the SCA here, so I am thinking I should use the fabric for something, particularly since I have this pressing need. Battle of Britain ball is next Friday, September 12.
The tangerine has a very changeable quality to it, so you definitely catch glimpses of that raspberry when the light plays on the fabric.
This is a close-up of the glitter speckled black tulle that will be peeping out beneath the hem.
Am I crazy, or can I pull this off?
I am not worried about completing the gown, but I have been warned off from this colour by some well intentioned friends. Personally, I love it. I know it is not what I usually wear, but I think it would be great.
This is a close-up of the linens that I am using to make a little frock with. It is made with the Butterick 3289 pattern, but is very long out of print. I had initially purchased the red linen to use for my petticoat for Kentwell, but it is very lightweight and not suitable for that use. I love the colour and crisp hand, so I have saved it for just this purpose. The fabric content for both linens is 100% linen, and the 1" buttons are mother of pearl.
The caption from the back of the envelope: "Misses Dress, semi- fitted, slightly tapered, dress, below midcalf, has contrast collar, extended shoulders, shoulder pads, welt, assymetrical closing and above elbow sleeves with contrast cuffs." The Dress will be the red, and the white will be the collar and cuffs. I last used this pattern when Joseph was in 6th grade, because there is a photo floating around of me wearing this same gown in pink and white to his 6th grade graduation ceremony. I had purchased another copy of it on e-bay a couple of years ago, and then found the original during a move. The original is still in pristine condition and I am looking forward to getting to the cutting table with it.
This was the best I could do with the images Brian took of the two of us. Shevaun is wearing a Veronique Originals dress (I think Emma has the same dress in black), and I am wearing a brocade gown with re-embroidered French lace bodice overlay and sleeves. I took the knee length black satin skirt off of a dress that I had made last year for another function, and added this oriental brocade skirt. The stole I am carrying is made of a piece of antique black French lace and black dupioni. The little handbag is of black satin and the same lace as the gown. The top opens by flipping up the round lid and then the gate-leg frame opens up by gently extending the frame into a circle large enough to slip your hand into. The little purses are always my favourite part of any outfit.
Shevaun and I before the formal dinner at the Combined Mess, August 15, 2008.
Before the ball. All of the ones of me before the ball were out of focus, but they are good enough for now. You cannot see the lace covered godet that is on the right side of the photo, my left side, but it goes from hip to floor and was really cool. I used the black lace that was leftover from Emma's ball gown that I made her in 2002. It is funny because I re-homed so much of my fabric before we moved, and I only kept my favourite of favourite pieces, and that lace was something I simply could not part with. I am glad I kept it. The gown is made of a cherry red and black cross weave silk dupioni that I ordered from www.fabric.com. I love the depth of colour that a cross woven fabric has. The stole is of black dupioni with a piece of almost 100 year old black silk French lace gathered around three of the sides. The lace was a gift from a friend that I have had in my stash for many years.
Again, this photo was out of focus, so I used a blur vignette filter around the edges and sharpened the center of the image as much as I could. I used Vogue 2842, which is a wedding gown pattern. I was very happy with how the gown turned out and am glad that I made the stole to go with it.
Finished gown, May 30, 2008. It is on Emma's dummy, so the dummy shoulders are a bit broader than Shevaun's, as is the back.
There is a little wrinkling going on here but that is only because the dummy is a bit large for the top width.
Brian is quite scandalized over how short it turned out to be. Shevaun likes it, and that is all that matters. It is in no way indecently short.
Yeah, so I have a thing for this purse pattern and I just love it. This is the third or fourth time I have made it and somehow I never grow tired of it. I interlined the handbag with some heavy cotton canvas so that it would have a little body. I always say that the handbag is my favourite part of every outfit that I make, and this is no exception.
I have the mannequin stuffed with plastic grocery bags to try to fill out the chest area. The judicious use of my pressing ham has given the front a very nice curved shape along the curved seams.
This photo is about the closest to the actual colour of the silk duchesse satin and the lovely Italian lace. All fabrics for this gown were purchased at Truro Fabrics.
I made this outfit for the St. Piran's celebration at JMF St. Mawgan. St. Piran is the patron saint of Cornwall, and everyone was requested to wear black and white in honor of the occasion. My shirt is out of handkerchief linen with antique and modern English laces. The skirt is floor length and made of black dupion. I will get some better photos when I have time to take a break from Kentwell sewing and get all gussied up again.
I am so excited! My cherry red with black cross weave silk arrived today and it is gorgeoud! Of course I am unable to get the colour right for the silk, but it is a deep true red with a dark undertone due to the black crossweave. It is just as gorgeous as the fuchsia silk that I am so crazy about. I can't wait to get started on this gown for the Combined Mess Summer Ball. I have to get our Kentwell clothes finished first. Great incentive!
The lace is leftover from when I made Emma's gown for prom back in 2002. I have plenty left because we changed designs at the last minute and had already bought a lot for the other gown that I was going to make. Her gown was a dusty rose silk with this lace in an overlay and she looked stunning in it. When we moved I got rid of 99% of my fabric. What is left fit into a large trunk. I was thrilled to find this black lace in the trunk and specifically chose the gown design to be able to make use of the lace. I am making Vogue 2842 view A. I still could not get the colour right in this picture. The red is truly gorgeous and the lace is exquisite. I already have my handbag pattern picked out too!