Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A New Elizabethan Gown!

I'm starting off the year right, with a gigantic, shiny new gown. This gown was absolutely a last minute decision. The Lord of Lace told me about The Feast of St. Voloc, an Elizabethan soiree that benefited the Scottish Rite Hospital, fittingly hosted by the Scottish Court of Scarborough Faire. Of course, he told me about it just two weeks before the actual event (he had only just learned about it himself, so I can't truly blame him for the short notice). I decided to dress to match my friend, but since he had chosen burgundy as his color, I was left in a pinch, since I didn't have single burgundy gown to my name.

I had to start right away. And, since I was feeling ambitious, I was going to do LOTS of beading. And hand-sew the entire thing. Eep!

I took the new body block I drafted at the beginning of the year and created a new bodice from it.

Then I set to beading it immediately.

The beads were 3mm bugles in a zig-zag pattern, with three seed beads at every corner.

Once the beading was finished, I put the bodice together, entirely hand-sewing the thing. It actually went much faster than I anticipated. I'll definitely be less afraid to do more hand sewing in the future, but I'm also glad my next project is from the 1880s and I can use my sewing machine! My fingertips are feeling rather abused after this project!

Once the bodice was put together, I decided to take the plunge and draft a sleeve pattern. I'd never done that before, but the end result turned out really well.

By the time I got to the skirts, I was running out of time. I also had to break down and do the entire underskirt on the machine, and to hem the overskirt on the machine, as well. But, aside from the hem, the entire overskirt is hand-sewn, as well, which makes me happy. 

I added a line of beading to the skirt opening to match the bodice. It wasn't as elaborate as I wanted because of the time crunch, but I intend to go back and finish it like I want before the opening of Scarborough Faire.

The last bummer was that I didn't have time to do hand-bound eyelets. I had to set in some metal grommets the morning of the Feast, and a good number of them ended up popping out at the end of the night when I went to unlace my bodice. But, this is also something I intend to fix, and by Scarborough, I'll have my hand-bound eyelets. Also, looking at the photos from the evening, the boning at the front of the bodice buckled (that's what I get for using plastic), so I need to replace that with steel to get a smoother line.

The Feast itself was absolutely fantastic. The venue was beautiful, all 170 attendees were in garb, and there was wonderful food and drink. There were so many exquisite gowns that it really felt like an evening at court! Unfortunately, I don't have any photos from the evening, but I do have these two pics from one of the photographers that was there this evening. Please check out Dennis Hevia Photography for more pics from the evening. ^^