My first major sewing projects

In 2005 I made my very first major costume: a green satin colonial dress. It was very much a costume, but I did a lace overlay on the front and managed to put in the zip. I used Simplicity 5041, view D, with lace added to the sleeves. I remember I wanted more flouncy-ness than the sleeves of view C and I wanted them longer in the back than the front. I also remember having trouble getting the point at the front of the waist to show up. Mine turned out much more curved than pointy. But overall, a successful endeavor.

In 2006, I made my first Renaissance faire outfit, but that’s another story.

Fast forward a few years to 2011. I’m back home after completing my undergraduate degree, and I decide to make another major dress: an 1860s ball gown for the Viennese ball in San Diego. I used a modern pattern, Simplicity 4269, view A, with the neckline of view B. I altered the neckline section to be more bertha-like and I also altered the back to be laced instead of using a zip.

The plain blue is silk dupioni and the patterned fabric is a polyester home dec. The beige lace is flexi-lace hem tape and I added cording along the bottom edge of the bodice to give the illusion of a separate bodice and skirt. I believe this dress was my first time using boning, and it also has a huge amount of net in a built-in petticoat. I originally wanted blue trim instead of beige, but could not find lace or ribbon in the right blue. Even the ribbon in my hair is not quite right! I looked again in 2016, but gave up and made a new dress instead… but that is also another story.

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Colonial 2005
2005, Colonial

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Ball gown1 2011
2011, Viennese Ball in San Diego

Ball gown2 2011

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Miles and miles of net petticoat.
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Teazer helping…
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