1860’s Balgown – photos

I finished the ballgown bodice for my black velvet 1860’s dress quite a while back. I’d hoped to wear it to an event back in April, but it was rainy and too cold, so that didn’t happen. Luckily, I had another event last weekend and this time the weather was perfect! So I finally have some photo’s of the new bodice on me, together with the new hoop and petticoat I made.

The whole outfit:

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A close-up

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And some better pictures of the bodice!

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Hoop skirt finished

It’s done! My new elliptical 1860’s hoop skirt. Some info:

Pattern: Truly Victorian 103

Fabric: White cotton

Notions: Loads of bias-tape for the bone casing, white tapes for the vertical support, 11mm steel hoop boning, 8 end-caps for the half-circle hoops and heat shrink to clasp the bones together.

The hoop is not entirely even, but close enough that it doesn’t matter with a petticoat over it. It is also similar enough to my previous hoop skirt to still fit with the petticoat and skirt I made before. It feels a lot sturdier than my previous hoop, and I’m very happy with it. I’m making my previous elliptical hoop into a 1850’s round hoop, but progress on that will follow later.

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The side view. Here it’s still knotted together at the waist, but by this point I’ve a clasp in place to reduce the bulk a bit. The tapes holding the half-hoops together behind the bum and legs also don’t work quite as well on the mannequin as on me, as it doesn’t have legs. The ‘gap’ between hoop four and five isn’t as obvious when I’m wearing it.

 

 

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A close-up of the half-wiring at the back.

 

 

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Another perspective.

 

 

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And the back view.

 

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With petticoat and skirt. The skirt is slightly long on the sides, but I’m confident that will be less when I wear it, as the mannequin was rather low and the hoop stands out a bit more towards the back on me.

 

 

 

Hoop skirt

This december I started on a new eliptical crinoline cage. My older one was made mostly out of plastic piping and ducttape, and while the piping was sturdy enough, it kept falling apart. As result, I’ve only worn in twice and was constantly worrying how it would keep. Not very pleasant, so I decided to make a new one, do it properly and with steel boning. So I ordered the pattern from Truly Victorian, the boning and loads of ribbon. Here some progress pictures. Good quality will follow when it’s done!

 

Making the bag:

 

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I couldn’t find proper bone-casing, so I chose to use 3 cm bias tape and folded it in half and stitched it together. This worked fine, although it was narrow for the 11 mm boning. Took a lot of stitching though, as it was 14 meters.

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I started with pinning everything together to check the length and even-ness. This is what it looked like before boning. A bit sad still.

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That’s better! With all the bones inserted and everything pined together.

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And with the ribbons between the half-circle hoops. This is what makes it stand out. Starting to look like a proper cage skirt.

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At this point, it looked finished, but everything was still just pinned in place. I shifted some of the hoops slightly, and then started hand-sewing all the ribbons to the hoops. Suffice, to say, this took some time.

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To attach the hoops in the front together, I was advised to use heat shrink with glue. I’d never heard of this, but it’s shrinkable plastic piping generally used to attach electric wiring together. It worked quite well, and is very sturdy! This is what it looked like before closing the bias tape over it.

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Almost done! So when it’s finished I’ll make some proper pictures to show.