Monday, November 4, 2013

Historical Fortnightly 22: Masquerade

The Challenge: Masquerade
Fabric: Polyester, Acetate, silk organza, silk charmeuse (the lil rose on the front of the dress)
Pattern:  None really. It's my two old bridesmaids gowns torn apart and thrown together to make a nice purple fairy gown.
Year:  Since this challenge allowed "fantasy", I ran with that. Still, the idea of a Fairy Queen is well known through out modern history.
Notions: A small amount of trim.
How historically accurate is it? I suppose it might work for Edwardian fancy dress but really, it's all about being the Fairy Queen.
Hours to complete: Maybe four?
First worn: Hopefully to the Fairy Fest in May!
Total cost: I honestly don't recall. One dress I wore way back in 2003 and another in 2007. This had been in the UFO pile for a while.

Additional Details:

So, for this challenge, it was more free for all than previous ones. Originally, I wanted to do a lovely pre-raphelite dress only to discover I didn't have quite as much fabric as I thought I did. Doh! So, I dug this out of the UFO pile instead. Here is what the dresses looked like originally:

First Gown 008
First Gown 007

I took both of them pretty much completely apart. I yanked out zippers and took the shoulder straps off the dark purple bodice only to put them on the lilac dress so I could have sleeves. I added trim to the front of the lilac bodice from a project so terribly long ago I have no clue what happened to the dress the rest of the trim went on.

The sleeves are purple silk organza and are basically very large rectangles. I did add a bit of a sleeve cap so they would fit correctly but they really are just about a yard each of material and little more.

The back of the dress now laces up and has a nice "tail"/train cover for the lacing since I am not a size 6 anymore. I didn't get good pictures of the back of the dress due to lighting issues. Hopefully tomorrow.

For the front, I took the shawl that came with the lilac dress, cut it in half, and added it to the front opening I cut into the dress. I took out the lining of the lilac dress and added the dark skirt that really always rode up to high to begin with. (The bride laughed at be when she saw how high the skirt came originally). Amazingly, the skirt of the dark purple fitted *perfectly* with the waistline of the lilac dress.
Below the bodice, I added a small silk rosette I made out of some scraps.  The scraps were from my first "Poe" gown.  The color matched the trim on the bodice perfectly.

The wings are a pair of fairy wings I bought years ago from a lady who stopped making them a month or two after I bought them.  They are fabulous. 

I think this would probably be most acceptable at an 1900's/1910's fancy ball.  The Fairy Queen was pretty much always fair game from the 16th Century (the poem was written in 1590 but there is plenty of English folklore before that) on up.  However, in the 1900's/1910's - with the rise of the new medium called "film", costuming took on a very different direction.  In 1917, we have the faux photos of fairies but even before that, we have some pre-raphelite influenced early Art Deco works.  This photo is from 1905. 
Art Noveau Fairy Queen

To sum up, the dress really is two bridesmaids gowns thrown together with some silk organza so I'd actually wear 'em again. :-)


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