Project Journal: 1822-1824 Ensemble Part IV: Partial Completion For The Ball (Fezziwig’s Ball 2012)

Yikes, that is a long title… but I do like my titles to be descriptive sometimes…

As is suggested by the title of this post, though I did have new, wearable 1820s clothes (with closures, yay!) for Fezziwig’s Ball this past weekend, not all of the garments were entirely completed. I had set out with a rather rigorous plan for the month of December and I will admit that “my eyes were bigger than my stomach” and I wasn’t able to fully complete all of the projects I wanted to. That being said, however, I was very pleased with how things looked. (I will also admit that I spent the week before the ball furiously sewing every night… in fact, I was still sewing appliqués on the afternoon of the ball!)

Caroling before the ball! We stopped at the super huge town Christmas tree to take pictures. I was perfectly warm in my new clothes!
After caroling we paused outside the hall to take some more pictures… As you can see, the muff and tippet did get done! Entirely! Yay!
Back of the new walking dress. I only just noticed that someone is in the window… That’s sort of creepy looking!
Friends outside the hall.
Staging a “gossiping” photo before the ball officially began.
Waiting for the dance, Sir Roger De Coverley, to begin.
Dancing Sir Roger. It is similar to the Virginia Reel.

I had a wonderful time during the ball. It was crowded, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying myself. Perhaps because I knew more people than I have in any year past, the entire evening felt full of friendship and fun. Also, it’s super new and exciting to dance the same dances as other balls, but to the tune of Christmas music! And there were lots of beautiful dresses and fashionable gentlemen to keep one’s eyes occupied.

After the ball I imposed on my friends to take pictures (in better lighting) of my new clothes, so I could document them here on my blog. I, in turn, took pictures of them so they would have pictures as well! That’s only fair, really.

I am the photographer in this one.
Here it is! Clear, full length picture of my new gown! I finished the hem appliqués! Whew! But it is missing it’s sleeve appliqués and the center front appliqués.
I was having trouble making my hair look the way I wanted to, so I settled for a tiara (it’s actually the same one I wore to the 1890s Soiree during Newport Vintage Dance Week). In the end, I really liked how it looked!
A closeup of the finished appliqué motif around the hem.
For this event I took the opportunity to wear my blue American Duchess clocked stockings. I liked them! The only annoying thing is that one got brown puddle stains on it during caroling. I’ll have to see if I can scrub it out. I think I can.
Here we are, a picture of the walking dress with better lighting! You can actually see the dark raspberry color of the wool. It’s pretty scrumptious. It’s soft on it’s own, but also lined with soft cotton, so really it’s quite cozy.
This is how we all felt after the ball.
Proof that the sleeve appliqués were partially complete! I didn’t have the time to finish the raw edges, make the centers, or sew them on…

Pictures of the petticoat will be in an upcoming post. It was almost finished for the ball. I’m looking forward to adding trim to the walking dress and the front and sleeves of the ball gown, as well as finishing the bonnet. All of these things were started (the pieces cut out and even sewn in some cases), but as you can see in the pictures, they didn’t make it in time for the ball. Oh well!


16 thoughts on “Project Journal: 1822-1824 Ensemble Part IV: Partial Completion For The Ball (Fezziwig’s Ball 2012)

  1. You look charming in your walking dress! The gorgeous deep berry color contrasting with the snowy white tippet and muff makes such a stricking picture. And your ball gown is lovely, even if you never take another stitch.

  2. What a lovely ball…and your dress looks beautiful!!! The decoration on the hem is so pretty – can’t wait to see the bodice and sleeve puffs’ decoration being finished. I was really looking forward to see how you’d work the flowers on the hem, as it was difficult to figure out on the plate – gorgeous solotion!
    Period fashion plates and extant garments are just the best teachers, aren’t they?! The more closely you follow, the more period the look!
    I hope you’ll wear this beautiful garment often as it suits you so well 🙂


  3. Quinn, another drool inducing post from you. The garments you shown here are beautiful, even if not 100% completed (accorrding to you). I thought your December sewing schedule was pretty ambitious, but you managed most of it. And no doubt, will be finished before the end of December. (You really had only half of December before the Ball.)

    How do you store all of these fabulous garments? The few I have kept from my period sewing projects take up a good deal of room, and my house wouldn’t begin to hold all the period garments I am inspired to make.

    1. Yes, you bring up a good point, Helen (that I didn’t really have the whole month to work on these things). I didn’t even think of that!

      I store my historic clothes in a variety of ways. Dresses that I wear often are stored in my closet at the end of the hanging space beyond my modern clothes. I have boxes that fit under my bed for undergarments (chemises, corsets, petticoats, etc.), shoes (those I only wear for historic things), accessories (muffs, gloves, fans, etc.), and projects in progress. I have another two boxes that I store my hats in that live in my closet. I store my jewelry and stockings in the oversized jewelry cabinet my grandfather made for me. Garments that were made to fit someone drastically different than me and things that I hardly ever wear are stored flat in garment bags in climate controlled storage. I have to drive to get to those things, so it’s really things that I hardly ever use.

      It took me awhile to work out the system, but now I’ve got it pretty well set up. It’s easy to pack for events because I know where everything is. That makes all the difference!

  4. I just love how your new outfits came out! The hem of your ball gown is gorgeous, but I think my favorite is your new walking dress. It looks so warm and cozy!

  5. I am always blown away by your stunning outfits & the effort you go to. I wish there were more opportunities for reenactment dressing in Australia. Btw I have some lovely new laces to put in the Empireroom Etsy shop. They are new, but very gorgeous antique vintage styles & good quality.

    1. Thanks, Jayne! I do really, truly enjoy the making and the wearing. Maybe there’s an opportunity to find like-minded people and start things in Australia? Daunting, certainly, but not impossible. (Though I seem to remember that you have lots of things going in life, and may not have time to start new things… I can relate to that!) You’ll have to stay tuned, because soon I’ll have a post about the petticoat that goes with these 1820s things, and I used some of the broderie anglaise I bought from you to trim the petticoat! Neat! Thanks for the heads up about more lace. 🙂

  6. Dear Quinn,
    Goodness, what a handsome turnout. Think this might be my favorite of the ensembles you’ve made recently. Love how you remember to fully accessorize: it changes the result from costume to clothes. And what clothes…

    Very best,


    1. How kind, Natalie! And what a wonderfully descriptive way to express how a historic outfit can become clothes versus a costume. I’ll have to remember that, because I really do like it. 🙂

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