Annabelle, adorned with flowers

Over the summer I built Annabelle, a white flounced 1860 ball gown, in order to have an alternative to my dark blue 1860 ball gown. My intention was to adorn Annabelle with flowers, as in my inspiration fashion plate from Godey’s Lady’s Book (Annabelle is based off of the gown on the far right); however, I did not have time over the summer to add the flowers.

September 1860 "Dressed for a party" (Fitting title, don't you think?)

I decided to wear a be-flowered Annabelle to the Commonwealth Vintage Dancer’s German Cotillion last week. My original plan was to hand make the flowers from hand painted pink silk organza. I started on that endeavor, but the process was time consuming and so I have only made perhaps 100 flowers (first: cut 5 rounded point shapes, second: fray check the edge all around, third: gather the center of each flower). Each flower is about 1 1/2″ across. When I went to sew the flowers on the dress I realized two things that made me change my mind about using them: the flowers were too small for the scale of the dress and I would need so many more hundreds to make the look work. In the end I used purple millinery flowers, from the fantastic stash I mentioned in the post about my 1860 hair crescent, to adorn the dress. I actually really enjoy the purple flowers and the scale is far better for the overall look as well.

Annabelle with flowers!

I used matching flowers plus a few others in the pink family to create a wreath for my hair to match the dress.

Annabelle back
Matching hair wreath

If you would like to see what Annabelle looked like without the flowers, you can visit the following posts and see pictures: Of Flounces and Dance Cards: Part I and Ochre Court 1860s Ball 2011. And, to finish off this post, here are a few pictures of Annabelle in action at the German!

Playing dance games at the German Cotillion
Playing dance games at the German Cotillion

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