Saturday, January 19, 2019

My Dream Belle Ballgown

Back at Costume College 2017, I bought a length of yellow silk from a friend of mine with the intention of making a historical Belle gown to wear to the Gala at Costume College 2018. I even posted about it. Well folks, I'm here to tell you that...

Costume College 2018

I DID IT!!

Anyone who knows me will recognize how big an accomplishment that is.

Now, in the original post, I mentioned that I intended to make a new cage crinoline. That didn't happen, but the corset made from a Redthreaded pattern did.

Belle Prep
It still doesn't have binding. Shhhh...

I started the gown on July 14, 2018 and I wore it to the Gala on July 28, 2018. And actually, I'm very proud of its construction. Let's dive in.

Belle Prep Belle Prep

I started by creating a Pinterest board for the project and then narrowing it down to these two fashion plates as my main inspiration.

Since I was still futzing around with a corset, I started with the skirt. It's three widths of yellow silk taffeta that I ended up cartridge pleating to the waistband. I originally planned to box pleat it and do the yellow taffeta swags, but I had a length of semi-sheer china silk that I really loved as an overlay. I ended up pleating the taffeta and china silk together.

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Oh, and quilter's tape is the actual best when it comes to cartridge pleating. Perfect spacing every time!

Belle Prep

The bodice came next and I used my trusty ballgown bodice pattern, last seen in the Huge Pink Ballgown. This made fitting super easy and I almost hated to cover it up.

Belle Prep

The sleeves are two layers: a yellow silk rectangle and a slightly larger china silk rectangle. Both are gathered to a band at the bottom, then gathered into the armscye. Easy, fast, and pretty!

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I dithered a lot with the bertha and finally decided on pleated yellow silk accented with flowers and ribbons. That was finished at Costume College so no in-progress pictures.

Belle Prep

The gown laces closed at the back and I crowd sourced the eyelets so they're my favorite part really. The bodice and the skirt are sewn together so there are no gaps and voila: The Belle Gown of my dreams! 10 year old me is crying with joy.

Costume College 2018 Costume College 2018

Oh, and last but not least, I wore the gown again for Salt Lake FanX (formerly Salt Lake Comic Con) this year and since the convention center is right next to a mall, I had to make a quick side trip.

Belle goes home

So there you have it. From non-existent to fabulous in two weeks!

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