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Sunday, 28 August 2016

1817 Velvet Ballgown

With another Regency Ball looming I started considering my wardrobe for appropriate attire.  I have multiple gowns, true, but with the completion of my 1806 Hortense gown I feel the need to further my skills and create another gown.  I've settled on this portrait:

1817, by Antoine-Jean Gros

I love everything about this!  The colour, the floof, and the jewels!  In trying to dissect the gown, particularly the white trim piece, I reached out to several costuming groups online for insight into how to start my reproduction.  I did a little more digging on the Duchess, and noticed her predilection for a particular gown style.  





Favourite style much?  It certainly makes it easy for me to recreate the bodice with all the different views and angles.  The gown is fairly straightforward (famous last words!).  The sleeves will require a bit of testing, and beading, but they are a repeating design so I think doable.

The trouble is the hem.  Because it's not shown I have quite a bit of artistic license.  Based on the way that the trim hangs away from the body at the shoulders it's likely a separate train worn over the gown, like 1816 portrait above.  


The plan as it is today is to make a velvet gown with the floofy, pearled sleeves and lacy hems.  Including of course the gathered satin across the bust line.  I can't wait to add crystals to the waistband!  Pearls!  Crystals!  Floof!  YASSSS!


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