As mentioned in my 1830’s dress post, I wore it to the new-year’s ball in Ghent. The theme was 1830-1860 this year, and it was the perfect excuse to finally make this dress.
The ball is held in the opera of Ghent, in a beautiful baroque style room. This year, there was a dance workshop in the afternoon, which we went to as well.
After the workshop, it was time to eat, and then prep for the evening! I started on my hair, as I’d never done 1830’s hair before. I tried to photograph the process, maybe it’s helpful!
As I don’t have any hair shorter than hip length, I used fake hair for the side curls. This is such a typical thing for the era, I didn’t want to do without. These are real-hair extensions which I modified, and I’d curled them with rollers (wet-set) before.
My other piece of fake hair was a very long weft. I used this to supplement the braid. Although my hair is very long, it’s not very thick, so I can usually use a little extra volume.
Firs step was making the typical v-shaped parting. I then put everything up in a very high ponytail.
Next was clipping in the front extensions. I then took two pieces from my ponytail and made two small rope braids, which go over the line of the extensions to hide them. (A quick note: this took a lot of fiddling and even more pins, I really want to find a quicker way to do this…)
The front done, I pinned the weft into my ponytail and braided the whole lot. I then wrapped it into a bun, taking care to wrap the second time on top of the existing braid to create height. I then hid the ends and elastic inside the bun.
And done! To finish it, I clipped in two huge flowers to the side of the bun. For another tutorial (including the famous loops), my friend Nikki has a wonderful tutorial on her youtube channel here.
The ball itself was really nice. There was a lot of dancing, and swooping crinolines. I quite liked my corded petticoat, it was definitely easier to dance in than a hoop!
In-between dancing there was social time with friends, taking pictures, and just looking at all the other lovely people. Some pictures!
The golden girls, with Josselin (my partner in crime for the weekend) and Corina. Gold was quite a popular color in this era! I love how we’re slightly chronological, early 1840’s, midway 1830’s and early 1830’s. (It shows beautifully in the hem length!)
We did a 1830’s group picture at the end. It took a while to get us in order, but eventually we managed to behave.
Some more pictures of my finished dress