Monday, June 17, 2013

HSF#12: Pretty Pretty Princess

It's Historical Sew Fortnightly time again! This challenge was pretty pretty princess! "Channel your inner princess and her royal wardrobe. Pick a princess, queen, empress, arch-duchess, or a de-facto queen as inspiration for a fabulously royal frock (or other garment). The occasional prince is also most welcome."

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Tada!  I took a bit of a different approach to this challenge. I love historical masquerade and fancy dress costumes so this is my 19-teens does Elizabethan fancy dress.

I was inspired by dresses such as these:

 See this pinterest board for sources.

 I ultimately decided to focus my design on the bottom left dress from 1916.

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Fabric: 5 yds red home dec ($45), 2.25 yds sheer embroidered leaves ($16), 2 1/3 yd white crepe ($10)
Pattern: VPLL Ladies Dinner Dress c. 1918, Simplicity 3782 (and some drafting)
Year: 1916-1918
Notions: 150 glass pearls (mostly stash $3), snaps ($3), hook and eye ($1)

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How historically accurate is it? Ok, so it's made completely from polyester so no good on the fabric. I tried to pick colors and styles that I thought would be a bit of Edwardian and a bit of Elizabethan (and a dash of whatever I felt like). The construction is a bit of each period too. The skirt and sleeves are from a period pattern but the top is a modern Elizabethan costume pattern. Mostly I was just going for the look.

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Hours to complete: 30 (hand sewing pearls......)
First worn: June 2013
Total cost: ~$80

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I'm pretty happy with this dress. The fit of the sleeves is a bit off, but not so much that I can't wear it. The neckline was a bit wonky in this shoot but I've fixed it. I really like the way the bustles/poofs look on the skirt.

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I also whipped up this hat and used the feathers from my Blonde Swan Elizabethan hat. Why? Because feathers are awesome.

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Yay, yay gala dress!!!


  1. Oh my goodness this is so great! So much hardwork!

  2. This is amazing, and such a surprise! I love it!

  3. Oh Stephanie! This is simply gorgeous! Well done!

  4. That is beautiful!! So envious of your sewing skills! : )

  5. Holy cow! What a stunning piece!

  6. It took you only 30 hours?!? Wow!

    The dreass is great, well done!

    1. It's mostly machine sewn so that helped a lot. And I got really good at sewing on pearls.

  7. WOW! That is drop dead amazing!! And I'm with Anthea on this, 30 hours!? That's it!?!? Stunning!


  8. You're sure to stand out at the gala! I don't think I'd ever have the patience. It would definitely have taken me around thirty years, not hours to finish this.

  9. Wow! It is simply beautiful. I didn't know there was an Elizabethan revival in the 19-teens. I shall have to research more! :)

  10. Utterly, jaw-droppingly incredible work. I'm doffing my hat to no end over here in your direction, honey. Really, really amazing job on this truly timeless gem of a gala ensemble.

    ♥ Jessica

  11. Wow! This is so impressive. If this were me, I'd be devoting a week of blog posting everyday to this outfit! Congratulations on such a beauty! I think this would have taken me a year to create.

  12. The most incredible dress I've ever seen. Yes. indeed.

  13. I adore this, it is such a great interpretation of the image from 1916, excellent work!