Thursday, December 4, 2014

Brown floral print gown at the Ehrensvärd museum

I don't know if you still remember but earlier I mentioned an outfit that I couldn't finish on time for the Isokyrö event in August. Well, now it's done, but I only finished it a couple of days ago - so it was more than three months late for the original deadline. The dress would propably still be unfinished by now if I hadn't set a new deadline for it for this year's Christmas ball. Originally I had planned to wear the same dress as last year and make the naval riding habit for a parade preceding the ball but obviously it didn't happen as I'm behind on pretty much everything regarding to sewing (and blogging, too...). Alright, on to the new dress! 


I've always loved the white floral print gowns from the 1770s/1780s but they are so very common so wanted something a bit different for myself. After discovering some floral gowns in darker fabrics through museums collections I knew I had to have one like them some day. It took a couple of years but then earlier this year I managed to find a Moda print fabric through Herzwerk-Freiburg that was even more lovely than I had hoped for. The fabric was nearly out of print everywhere so I ended up ordering from three different sources to have enough of it.


For the bodice and sleeves I used a robe à l'Anglaise pattern from The Cut of Women's Clothes by Norah Waugh (see diagram XXII). Working the same way as I always do, I enlarged the scale pattern on the computer and printed it out. However, this pattern turned not to work easily for me and the fact that I had to make quite a few mock-ups with so many alterations delayed the completion of this gown. Also, it didn't help that the fabric stretched a bit more than I had imagined and the stretch of the mock-up fabric was also different... I swear I've never had so much trouble fitting sleeves as with this dress (I guess I only now truly understand the meaning of sleevils ;) ). Not having made sleeves like this earlier I wasn't even sure how they were supposed fit/look but I think they turned out to be alright in the end.  


To upgrade the look of a brown day gown into a dress suitable for a ball I added some red accessories, using the same ear rings as last year and the belt that I have worn with pretty much every fitted back gown that I have.


 I also intended to make a matching petticoat from the same fabric for this dress but decided to use a sheer white petticoat this time to further enhance the evening gown look and leave the self fabric petticoat for day wear occasions. I'm probably going to wear this dress at the 18th century fair of Isokyrö next year so the brown color of the matching petticoat should be much better for outdoors than the delicate white. The skirt of the dress will also be draped up to avoid the slight train from dragging in ground.


The dress has a tight fitting quarter back but the floral pattern of the fabric conceals the seamlines so you can't see much of them here. I'm actually really happy with the fit of the back since the back of this gown fits more smoothly than the back of my earlier quarter back gown that had wrinkles all over it. There's also a slight train but I made a cutting mistake and it ended up being shorter than I had intented. Looking at the photos, I notice that the train isn't even either - it is longer at the sides of the center back than in the very center. But right now I don't care. Especially because I want to make a divided bum pad like Aubry of A Fractured Fairytale did or at least a bum pad with a dip at the center back, which should fix that problem. 



My hairdo was created by Mia, a new friend who traveled with me to the ball for her first time. I feel so lucky that I now have a friend who understands sewing and lives permanently in my hometown! Meeting her has been one of the best things in the past few months and the fact that I met her through my blog helped me to get over my blogging anxieties that have partly kept me away from posting for a while. It reminded me again that there are quite a few lovely people that I might have never met if I didn't have this blog...


All of these photos are also taken by Mia, at the Ehrensvärd museum that you might have already recognized from last year's Christmas ball posts. For some reason (read: because we were too busy doing last minute sewing) we forgot to check the museum opening hours and the museum was just closing as we arrived there. But the museum guide was kind enough to let us take a few photos before leaving. :)


Here's Augustin Ehrensvärd himself up in the middle with Noora and I posing next to him. 


And last but certainly not least, Mia wearing Noora's floral robe à l'Anglaise.


36 comments:

  1. I love your new dress, it suits you very well! Love your hair too :)

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    1. Thank you very much! I loved my hair as well - Mia worked miracles on it! I think my hair-do has never been this perfect before...

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  2. love the dress! and the fabric! and your hair do!
    very good job! :)

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    1. Thank you! :) The fabric really is more lovely than I could hope for!

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  3. The fitting is amazing, you did such a great job! A great color on you, as well!

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    1. Thank you! And I'm relieved to hear you think the color looks good on me because I was a bit afraid I might look dull in brown! :) It's a color I never normally wear.

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  4. Perfection! Not a wrinkle on that bodice. I'm always so impressed with your work.

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    1. Aww, thank you, Lauren! :) I'm afraid it's not perfect but luckily the fit issues are hidden under the arms so who cares! :D

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  5. This dress is beyond beautiful! I just love the colors and the rusty red accessories set the whole look off wonderfully. Everything about this set of photos is so inspiring; I wish I had lovely museums nearby to go take photos!

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    1. Thank you very much! I thought I was really boring since I have worn the belt so many times before but it matches nicely with the flowers of the fabric so I simply had to wear it again :) Plus, with the "bling" of the buckle, it helps with the evening gown look as well.

      And actually I don't have museums like this nearby either! I live very far from this place and only have the chance to go there once a year while attending an event near to the museum.

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  6. Stunning! I love the color of the gown and the red accessories make the whole thing pop. Your hair looks great, too! You just have the right look for this period of clothing. :)

    Best,
    Quinn

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    1. Thank you! I'm really fond of these accessories - red accessories seem to help make any outfit a bit more fancy. :)

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  7. Your dress is so charming and is very becoming on you! I love it!!

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    1. Thank you very much, Lily! It means a lot to hear that coming from you. :)

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  8. It looks beautiful. I intend to make a similar gown if I can just pluck up the courage to cut into my lovely fabric. May I ask is the front pinned closed or hook n eye? And how did you make the belt?

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    1. Thank you! :) The front closes with hooks and eyes and the belt is actually just velvet ribbon. I can totally relate to your cutting fear since cutting this fabric was a bit scary for me as well. You don't want to waste any of the fabric you've been looking for so long! ;) But I actually had to cut the front panels twice so I ended up wasting the first front panels because they didn't work... And I thought I had been careful enough to avoid that after three bodice mock-ups! Oh well, luckily I had enough fabric so that it didn't really matter in the end.

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  9. Lovely lovely lovely! You could have stepped out of the MetMuseum with one of their dresses! :) That little red belt/bow does just the trick! Glad to have been of help and lots of regard from good old Germany! Kris

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    1. Thank you so much! :) I don't think I would have found a fabric this perfect without your blog! :)

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  10. The silhouette is flawless! And the wrinkle-less bodice - wow! I love how the red belt matches the fabric.

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    1. Thanks! :) The bodice actually started wrinkling during the evening. :/ These photos were taken earlier when I had not danced and moved around so much yet! ;) I blame the wrinkling on the shape my 1780s stays - I should have added two more bones to the front of the bodice to avoid it but I had not worn these stays under any of my gowns before so I didn't know...

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    2. Sure it's better to try it before hand, but you never know what kind of movement/situation would make the look change. I guess it's really hard to maintain the silhouette while having fun and dancing :D I always struggle with my hair, they tend to go crazy after the first dance...

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  11. Replies
    1. Thank you! So did you, as always! :)

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  12. Such gorgeous work! I really love the choice of brown print and the fit is impeccable! I cant wait to see how it looks over the divided rum. Such a fun and dramatic look!

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    1. Thank you! :) I can't wait to try out the divided bumroll either! Yours looked really good! ;)

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  13. Such beautiful work! I love period clothing as well and made my wedding dress from a combination of patterns. I have yet to post it. Your photos give me new inspiration! Thank you for sharing!

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  14. All these dresses are SO perfect. I have no words! :D

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  15. Hi there, I stumbled upon your blog via Google Image Search, and I must say, this dress is stunning! I love this era and hope to find a reason to make a gown like this someday. Now I'm going to go back to the beginning and read through your blog, you've got a new fan in Michigan, USA!

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    1. Oh hi there! Thank you! :) It's so nice to hear from new readers! I hope you will be able make a gown of your own at some point!

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  16. Hello from a newbie too (and another Finn here, *waves*). I have been reading your blog earlier though, and admired your gowns and sewing skills so much... but never commented before. I found my way here again because I am planning to make a late 18th century gown, and I am divided between light and dark colours. Argh, too hard to decide. I have to say I LOVE your dress, it is really stunning! Love the colour. I had almost decided to go with light colour, but seeing this again, now it is harder to decide. Oh dear.

    I have made some costumey historical themed gowns earlier, but this time I will go more authentically, and start from the underpinnings, and from scratch. So in the mean time dithering with the fabric, I have to make stays, which will be quite a challenge. I have materials and a pattern, but that's about all I have made so far for them. I have modified OTR corsets for myself and my daughter for bustle dresses, but thats all experience I have in corset-making. I am glad there are so much instructions in the internet... and yours are really awesome! I just have to bite the bullet, and start measuring and adapting the pattern to fit me perfectly. Wish me luck. :)

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    1. Oh hi! How wonderful to hear from another Finn - I'm glad you commented! First off, thank you for the compliments! :) Second, I can totally understand you struggle with picking a color since I always have difficulties making color choices. And, even though I'm drawn towards darker colors in my everyday clothing, I love light pastel colors for this era. Pastel colors always make me think of the film Marie Antoinette (2006) and dark ones of The Duchess - how could you possibly pick which one of the two is more fabulous? I don't know if you're planning on ever making more than one 18th century gown but my solution is to make several! ;)

      Good luck with your first stays! I think it can only be a little difficult to get the fit right the first time making them but the rest shouldn't be a problem with all the sources available these days! :) I'm curious about your pattern though. Which one are you going to use?

      All the best,
      Sanna

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    2. Oh yes, I've been bitten by the bug, so... I think I will make more dresses in the future. At least if I have somewhere to wear them. :D All the events that I have found (it is difficult to find information by the way!) seem to be in the southern or the western parts of Finland, and I'm here between Kuopio and Jyväskylä. Everything is far away, boo. I am not sure how brave I am to take part anyway, because I don't know anyone. You all are such experts and have made costumes for years.

      The stays pattern is Butterick B4254. I read good about it, and I bought one right after when found a good deal in eBay... And then I read that it isn't so good after all, the sizing is a bit off for one. But I am going to measure well and make a mockup of course. I hope I will get a decent stays. I happen to have a big coil of thin round reed in my stash, so I'm going to use that for boning. Heavy linen (I don't know what it is actually called, but it is meant for loom aprons... canvas?) for interfacing, thinner dark teal linen for outer layer, and thin white cotton for lining. I've got lots of narrow herringbone trim in natural linen colour, so I think I will use that as binding, and sew the bone channels with the same colour thread. But I don't think I have patience enough to sew by hand...

      I think I will make blogposts about my staymaking as soon as I get something done... you are most welcome to come there and make comments and give advices. :)

      Oh btw, I just watched Marie Antoinette two days ago. :) I should find the Duchess and watch that again too.

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    3. Well, maybe you shouldn't stress about the color then! :)

      Actually, living in Oulu myself, I also live far from where events usually take place. I can definitely understand how finding about events can be difficult for someone not yet in the hobby. To find about what's happening, I recommend following at least these Facebook groups/pages: L'Amusette (based in Tampere), Helsingin Wanha Waruswäci ia Caupungin Hywät Asuckat, 1700-luvun markkinat and Loviisan Kaupungin Hywät Asukkaat. There aren't that many events (outside of military) and each group hosts maybe one or two major events a year. Sometimes there are occasional events that pop up here or there that are organized by others and you usually learn about them through Facebook. But it can be a bit frustrating, for me as well, as there is no one place to find about these events, especially when not living close to any of them so you need time to prepare and plan your trip! This year, for example, I've randomly stumbled upon two or three events that I didn't even know about. But if you can, I warmly recommend you to attend something. There are always new people and I also went to my first event all alone and not knowing anyone and everybody was really nice to me even though I was so much younger than anyone at the time. If you're interested, there's possibly the highlight event of the year (at least for me) left this year and that is the Christmas ball. (Although I realize it's probably too soon for you, it takes place on the 26th of November in Suomenlinna.)

      I don't know if you have already stumbled on this bit on reviews already but the only big issue that I know about (and that can be easily altered!) about the Butterick stays pattern is the back, which is too high. Otherwise it should be fine. :) Are you part of the Historical pattern review group on Facebook? It could be of some help. Now that I searched for other's reviews about the pattern, a couple of people have also mentioned that the pattern runs large so you might want to use a size smaller than you think. In my experience it's more common to make your stays too big than too small anyway!

      I'm looking forward to hear about your progress on the stays and will definitely keep an eye on your blog! :)

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    4. Oh yes Oulu is far away too... Thank you for the FB-information! I already knew of L'Amusette, and in fact their event in next April is the one I consider attending first... I hope I can make my gown in time. No way I could make it to Suomenlinna in time though. I do have an old "rococo-gown", that was my vanhojentanssipuku, but it is like a theatre costume; red velvet, poly satin and lace cut from curtains... so it might be a bit hideous next to the other great gowns... so that is a no-no. I could alter it a bit to make it more historically accurate, but... no.

      I am also very interested in 19th century styles, and I am going to see Kumu exhibition "Poetry and Spleen", costumes and accessories from Alexandre Vassiliev's collection in Tallinn in two weeks, I am so excited and can't wait!

      Yep, I was going to use smaller size in my stays. I still haven't started, I have had so much stuff to do. Sigh.

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