Distraction From Historical Sewing…

I mentioned a few weeks ago, in my post about my new silk pockets, that I had spent the Nemo blizzard weekend working on the replacement of my failed berry ballroom dancing dress. I haven’t picked it up since that weekend, but I don’t need it for another few weeks, and I got far enough along to take pictures to show that I actually made progress!

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The new “grape” dress!

This dress has been in the works since September, to replace the failed dress that was started about a year ago. My original vision for this dress was rather different than how it turned out. The skirt didn’t change much, but the bodice did. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that the changes are for the better and I like how this turned out!

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Bodice close up.

Originally, I bought gold rhinestones to put on this dress, but since buying them I have decided to use them for a future ballroom dress, incorporating some new knowledge I gained that I couldn’t put into use on this dress. That left me stuck without rhinestones for this dress and not wanting to spend more money. What to do? Years ago I had spent a pretty significant amount of money and time rhinestoning a lace overlay for a dress that was eventually ditched as my knowledge improved, but I kept the lace with all those rhinestones. It was time to finally put that lace to use!

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Back bodice.

The skirt of the dress is charmeuse, as are the bodice drapes. The rest of the bodice is the recycled rhinestoned lace, and under that is polyester stretch. It’s shaped to my body with darts in addition to being stretchy. The skirt is triple layer, with the two under layers being organza. All three skirt layers have nylon horsehair around them to add some weight and movement as well as poof.

The great thing is that I didn’t have to glue rhinestones on this dress! The down side was that I had to hand sew the already rhinestoned lace to the spandex by hand, with a fair amount of piecing to make it fit the shape of the new bodice. Not hard, but time consuming. In the end, you can’t tell the lace is pieced at all! And, you can’t see my invisible zipper up the back, yay!

I’ve got a few more things to sew on the back of the bodice, and I need to sew some bra cups in. Then the only other thing remaining is to make floats: the chiffon pieces that hang off of my arms. I’ve got the fabric (also left over from the berry ballroom dress), so I just need to make them. That’s totally do-able by the end of March, even with my 1864 ball gown happening that month as well.

Ballroom dresses have their own style, so if you want to see my inspirations and lots of other lovely dresses to get a feel for what the style is, you can visit my pinterest page: New Standard Dress… Eek!

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4 responses to “Distraction From Historical Sewing…

  1. Oh my goodness! What incredible beadwork! I’m really impressed. How neat that you do competitive dancing, too! Will we ever get to see some videos of your dances?

  2. This looks fantastic. Love to see more post about your ballroom dresses and dancing.

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