Regency Ballgown Details
April 24, 2012 by Melissa Virag
PHOTOS OF THE GOWN DETAILS
Bodice neckline embroidery detail.
Side shot of the gown laid out.
Side shot of the back of the gown. Due to time limitations, the closure was quickly done. I used hooks and eyes, and an attached sash. In the future, I will probably take these out and handwork some lacing holes.
Detail of the sleeve embroidery. This is a great shot of my stitching too, which was an exercise in precision and very time consuming! The results were gorgeous.
I cut very carefully around the embroidered panels, cutting as close to the embroidery as possible without cutting the stitching. Below the panels I attached a gathered sash made from the gown fabric.
This shot shows the spacing of the panels. The sash was gathered and sewn at points. It was basted between the gathers. This is a very period treatment for the hem.
Close up of a warm-colored embroidery panel and the gathered hem sash. There were six panels in total. I alternated between the color schemes. They reminded me so much of the tile patterns of Istanbul. The embroidery is beautiful, and is hand done (though not by me!).
Close up of a cool-toned panel (there were 3 of each color scheme).
Shot of the hem as it would hang.
Cutting the embroidered panels was a test of the nerves. There’s not a single straight line on them, and a millimeter in the wrong direction would result in catastrophe. Stitching them on by hand was very precise work. The stitching needed to be close not only to attach the panels but also to prevent future fraying. Some of the photos show the hand stitching, and I am remarkably proud of that work.
The hem sash was easy enough, and it looks pretty and highly authentic. It was a quick way both to cover the stitches used to hold the hem (so I did not bother to make them inconspicuous. One must pick one’s battles!) and keep the beautiful embroidery off the ground. I decided to treat the sleeves with the gathers so as to echo the pointed arch of the embroidery. In keeping with the gathering theme, I attached the gathered sash. Should the hem become soiled in the future (should I wear the gown again!), I can always add more trim. It means a lot to me to have it function as though it were a “real” dress even if I don’t wear it more than once. I like knowing that the gown will function as a piece of clothing, and not just as a costume.
I’ll post some photos of it being worn in a bit.