After the last ball I went to, at Gadsby's, I was super bummed I didn't know any of the dances, or really how to dance at all. So, this last month, I was motivated to go to a few English Country Dance classes. So fun!
Last night was the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies ball. Mom and I donned our dancing shoes (and fake blood) and had a blast. We dressed turn of the 19th century, inspired by some great fashion plates.
The pictures aren't amazing, but it was pretty dim.
I haven't spent very much time researching early 1800's dress construction, so for the pattern, I took my basic 18th century bodice pattern and hacked it up a bit. I constructed the dress using 18th century techniques, as seemed logical to me, making allowances for a bib front, more period appropriate back seams and the sheer fabric.
I was on a major time constraint with this outfit, so I took a lot of shortcuts, machine stitching as much as I could, like the long seams and even the gathers. I also made a pair of short stays and a petticoat with straps.
I forgot to take a picture of the short stays (from the Sense and Sensibility pattern), but those I hand sewed. I figured it would be wise to do them properly so I could use them again. Here are a couple in progress shots, from when I was cording them.
Oh! And one from when I had been fitting the dress. And the shift, I picked that up at the Road to Regency Symposium. It was purchased from the Silly Sisters. In hindsight, I probably wore the wrong shift for the dress, because it cuts off halfway down my arm. Oops.
Accessorizing was fun with this outfit. I noticed this side-slung necklace thing going on in a few period fashion plates, like this one. It's so weird. I love it. I added buff-colored, kid skin gloves, a teensy reticule and gladiator-esque flats (beige ghillies).
Special thanks to Jen at Festive Attyre for her great post about easy shawls. I stitched two shawls together to get that decadent length. Speaking of length, the train was not even an issue with the dancing. I pinned the train up during the dancing and it worked out great.
The knit reticule is my submission for the Trystan's Costume Closet October Accessories Challenge. Post on that to come! It's kind of inspired by this extant reticule.
For mom, I took my old Chemise a la Reine and changed the sleeves. I never added a drawstring to the waist, because I was lazy, but that worked out perfect for this. We raised the waistline with silk ribbon, wrapped in imitation of this fashion plate, and this one. I love it! And it kind of has a spider web aesthetic, too. Very appropriate.
The dancing is such fun. I think we will continue to keep up with the classes. Jane Austen Ball in the future perhaps...
Hope everyone had a fun Halloween!