I plead guilty to being one of those costumers who, in the rush to complete a project for an event, doesn’t quite get everything done, then forgets to go back later and finish it up. This is biting me in the butt in a minor way while trying to get ready for a ball.
One of the local Civil War reenactment groups is having a ball at the end of this month that is open to the public. This delights me to no end, as I have been hoping to have an excuse to make a ball own at some point. I only found out about it 3 weeks in advance, though, which was not enough time to get appropriate fabric and make a ball gown for it. So now I am trying to make my best day dress as suitable as possible for evening wear. It is a raisin colored wool dress with trim in violet silk velvet – very elegant, if I may say so myself. It’ still a little staid for evening wear, even with the flowered headdress I am making for it, but the historic fashion police will probably understand that folks who aren’t heavy into reenacting probably don’t just happen to have proper ball gown or evening dress lying around. It getting it prepped for the ball, I realized that I never did get around to making a belt for it. At the time I originally made it, I was having trouble finding a historically correct belt buckle for it. The dress is acceptable without a belt, except for the fact that it strains a little at the bottom of the bodice, showing the hooks and eyes. I have since found a decent buckle at an antiques fair, so that’s on my to-do list for the weekend. It’s not a huge deal, but I wish that I had gone ahead and made the belt when I wasn’t under any time pressure.
A bigger issue is that I did not use horsehair braid on the hem, and the hem is starting to wear. That’s not a huge problem, as the hem could stand to be slightly shorter, anyway. I just am not looking forward to al the work involved in ripping the current hem open, sewing on the horsehair braid, and re-hemming the whole thing. This will have to wait until after the ball.
Another thing I have to plead guilty to is using a purchased bridal quality hoop skirt for the dress, again, due to time constraint from the event I made it for originally. It has an elastic waist which has suddenly lost all of its elasticity, a fact that became sadly apparent to me when I was docenting this weekend. Ideally, I will be cutting it apart, reusing the hoops and combining them with a couple more for a sturdier item, and making a new cage crinoline. Again, this will have to wait until after the ball. On the plus side, the smaller hoop skirt that I had made for another dress needs some parts to hold the hoops together better. I didn’t need any other supplies at the time I realized this, and couldn’t place an order for just $2.50 worth of parts. This gives me a reason to place an order for more supplies, so I can kill 2 birds with one stone.
And my final oops was the realization that when I made my mourning gown, I ran short of time and hadn’t made a collar for it. I borrowed the collar from my plum dress, which became an issue when I realized that 1 hour before I was supposed to leave for my docenting shift over the weekend. Thank heavens for little safety pins. The collar is interchangeable, but it would be nice not to have to worry about shifting it back and forth between the dresses. One more thing for the to-do list.