Project Journal: 1863 Apricot Evening Gown Part VI: Second Thoughts

As I hinted at in my last post, the Orange Monster recently reached a point where I became rather concerned that I wouldn’t like it. First, I was worried that I might not like the pleats facing the back of the skirt (as opposed to the front, as I’ve done before). But then, as a much bigger problem, I was worried about the lace trim.

Here’s the dress in a partially trimmed state… but still with two more rows of lace to add to the skirt and more planned for the bodice as well!

I was nervous the dress would be too twee and sweet for my personality. And after all the hours of work I’ve put in… I’ve enjoyed the process, but I would really like to have a dress that I like and that fits my personality in the end!

I think one of the problems was also that I didn’t like my mockup bow. The proportions were off. So I changed it a bit, shrinking the scale of the loops and also the width of the hanging bits.

And then, despite my worries, I forged ahead.

I cut out all the red velvet bow pieces from my ½ yard of fabric. Assembled them. Had a complete ‘Oh no!’ moment when I thought I was done sewing bows and realized that I’d only cut out and made two bows instead of four… and then needed to figure out how to get two more bows out of my very small scraps! Ahhh!

I just had to cross my fingers and hope that the red velvet trim would give this dress the edge to make it suit my personality. I’m not sure what that edge is in words… drama? excitement? unexpected-ness?

Here’s the state that the bertha is in now. Much better! The velvet is an elegant addition, I think!

So whatever that descriptive word is that I can’t find, I am feeling better about the dress now that I have all four red velvet bows and the other velvet trim sewn. (Taking apart the one of the bows to create the extras even made enough bits to create a hair bow!)

I can finally see the whole dress picture coming together. Four days to go until this dress gets worn!

8 thoughts on “Project Journal: 1863 Apricot Evening Gown Part VI: Second Thoughts

  1. Your project is so fascinating – it’s funny how some things come together right away, and others take a while to get right. I love the red velvet trim and am looking forward to seeing everything all finished!

  2. Yes, I think the red velvet is the touch you were looking for. It adds that unexpectedness, with a touch of pizzazz. (It’s comforting to know my role model also has those moments of “Oh no! and still get the project done.) I can’t wait to see you in the finished gown.

    1. Hi Helen,

      Thanks for your comment! I think it’s important to share that we all have ‘on no!’ moments! None of us are perfect. And it is very kind that you consider me a role model!

      Ooo, pizzazz is good! 😉 I agree, I think it added the right touch.

      I was very pleased with the gown when I wore it last night! YAY! (And so glad to be done–though of course there were little things that will need to be fixed… but not today!) Photos coming. We took them with a real camera, so it takes a bit longer to edit and receive them compared to phone photos. 🙂

  3. Dear Quinn,
    Don’t those times when you worry that your design won’t suit make you a bit dizzy? Have had plenty of them.

    Adding the velvet works so well to calm the lace and create a point of connection between it and the silk. Plus, you’re using one of the more unusual trends of the time. Those bow tails will swirl so nicely when you dance!

    Very best,

    1. Hi Natalie,

      Thank you for the encouragement! It is interesting how adding a completely different color and fabric ties the whole thing together. I like how you expressed it–calming the lace.

      It was quite frustrating to feel like the design wouldn’t make me happy. And yet I’m stubborn enough that I just couldn’t let it go. I appreciate the empathy! It’s nice to know we’re not alone in our struggles!

      I can report that I’m very pleased with how the dress turned out… yay!!! I haven’t seen photos yet, but I am absolutely going to share them once I get them!

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