torstai 7. joulukuuta 2017

1917 Independence Day dinner - The 1910s evening gown

This year is the centennary of independence in Finland, so we got together with a group of costumer friends and history enthusiasts and dined in grand style yesterday, the Independence Day, in a beautiful turn of the century era restaurant in Tampere. I'm waiting to get photos of the event, but in the meantime I can finally share some pictures of the dress I made.

I love it, it's the sparkliest dress I've ever had and it turned out just the way I wanted!

My main inspiration came from a 1913 evening dress detailed in Nancy Bradfield's Costume in Detail. The drawings of that dress really helped me to work out the construction and the materials that I'd need for the dress. I also used this evening dress by Lucile as a source. I used one vintage sari, taffeta, lace fabric and a bit of silk taffeta for the belt piece. I added a lot of bigger sequins and beads on the lace fabric to embellish the embroidery.

I drafted the dress pattern myself and even though it looks complicated the pieces themselves are fairly simple. Basically, the dress has three layers, the base layer made of taffeta (the bodice) and the unembroidered bits of the saree (the base hem), the lace fabric layer with the right sleeve covers the base bodice and hem, and the third layer is the embroidered sari which is the shorter top hem, the left sleeve and the train. Then on top of everything there's the sash. They are all attached to each other but the fastenings of the dress go through all the layers as the pictures below show.

I took these photos a couple of days before the event just to make sure that everything was in place.

I cut a flower motif out of the leftover lace fabric and appliqued it on the sash with beads and sequins. The hanging bead chains are attached under it.

The sash attaches with snap buttons on the left side.

The loose front end of the left sleeve attaches with snap buttons on the bodice under the sash.

The lace layer of the bodice is loose from centre front to left side seam and attaches on the base bodice with snap buttons.

The base bodice closes at the centre front with hooks and thread loops.
These are photos from the event last evening, I only noticed today that I had a bit of a dress malfunction there, the front end of the left sleeve piece has crept out from under the sash and is hanging weirdly. I only hope the rest of the photos don't have that, because I did notice and fix it later but can't be sure if it was before or after the second photo shoot.

I'm happy with my hair and accessories. I did the hair myself and it turned out nicely. I also made that diadem and it fits well in the overall blinginess of the dress.

All the photos on the staircase were taken by Sonja From

A couple of photos of the underwear. Here are my petticoat and corset cover, and under them I'm wearing my 1910s long underbust corset, with a chemise and stockings. I think I need to make a new corset as this one turned out to be rather uncomfortable in long-time wear.

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