To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3

Friday, July 22, 2016

1898 Wedding Dress Bodice Update and Inspiration Photos!

You know that little voice in your head?  That little nagging voice that tells you to do something, like "Order more silk chiffon because you don't have anywhere near enough to accomplish what you want to do."  That little insistent voice that begins to scream quite loudly that "Time is running out and getting anything from China or Hong Kong in any semblance of a timely manner is a fairy tale!!!!!!"  You know that voice?  I do.  I have one.  A very good one in fact, so why I didn't take heed of my little voice in my head, (I think I will call her Harriet after the most annoying Harriet Olsen of Little House on the Prairie fame, as she is soooooooooo annoying!) is quite beyond my scope of understanding.  If you have one of these little voices, I STRONGLY suggest you listen to it!!! 

Harriet started out whispering quite lovingly to get more silk.  I blithely ignored her, going about my business, confident in my oh-so-haughty manner that "I have enough!  You just watch and see if I don't!"  The whisperings of Harriet became a constant poking at my shoulder, like that of a young child wanting the attention of his mother who is concentrating on something other than himself.  Again, I smugly smiled and cocked my shoulder as if to say, "Harriet, will you lay off the sauce?  I've got this under control, you silly voice!"  

Well, this morning I had to admit something.  Harriet was right.  She was oh so sadly, irritatingly, gloatingly, victoriously right.  I admitted through clenched teeth, "I need more silk."  Harriet cackled with superior glee.

  As you will see in the below images of the extant wedding dress, I need a WHOLE LOT MORE SILK!!!  Fine!!  Harriet, you were right ok?  Now stop gloating and go back into the recesses of my subconscious until the next time I decide to ignore your constant prattling!!!

So, if you wouldn't mind awfully, please say a little prayer that my silk from Hong Kong gets here in time, or I will have to do some fast cobbling together of the silk I have!!

Ok!  Now on to what I have been wanting to share with you for quite some time!  Way back in another month...March I believe...I discovered the dress that I wanted to make for my "Dressing the Victorian Bride" program.  I shared it on my Facebook "House of Whyte" page, but since then, the images have been taken down.  AAAAAAGH!!!!!  Happily, I was able to save all the views of the dress...there were 47 of my computer.  The site allows copying of their photos if it is for private use and if you want to use them in any other way, you need permission.  Well, after writing back and forth, traversing the language barrier, I just this morning was graciously given permission to post the images of this incredible dress here!!  I won't post all 47 images, but there are quite a few!!!

Antique Gown is the faaaaaaaaabulous website where I discovered this luscious dress.  Talk about your beyond-belief-eye-candy!!  This website is a must see source of Victorian and Edwardian clothing and accessories!  I have had to cover my keyboard with waterproofing plastic when I visit this site as there is drool inducing images galore!  So, visit at your own peril!

The Inspiration

When I first saw this divine dress, I was gob smacked.  It literally took my breath away.  My dress that I am making will never hold a candle to this stunner, but it is fun to pretend!!

Isn't it GLORIOUS!!!!!!!!!

Look at all that fluffy goodness!!!!  See all that silk chiffon ruffliness?  Yaaaaaaa...that is why Harriet was yelling at me so loudly!  I currently have enough to do maybe half of that.

I ordered the Wisconsin Historical Society Wedding Gown pattern specifically for the sleeves.  I also used the skirt pattern as it is quite lovely.

Today and this weekend, I will be working on the double ruching (that's not what it's called, but my mind won't cooperate with me this morning, so ruching is what it will be called today...) treatment.  Hopefully I will come out on the other end with my brain in tact.  I need to do some math to get this to work, so I don't hold out much hope!!!

My train isn't this long, but that's ok.  The silk wasn't wide enough and it is dupioni so has a definite grain line that I needed to follow.

I made the faux waxed orange blossom corsage a while ago and it has been hanging around just waiting to be sewn onto the bodice!

My bodice fan effect was a little different.  I have a feeling that this bodice had a little more of a pouter pigeon thing going on and the "fan" shape is the consequence of the dress being stored away these many years.  But you never know!

The back closure even looks awesome!  I had an interesting time making the twisted effect on my dress.

I love everything about this dress!!

Sweet bias cut, pinked dust ruffle.

My Bodice So Far

So, not an exact replica, but I am very pleased with it thus far!!

Playing around with the chiffon not happy with myself for not heeding Harriet's advice and pestering!!!

Well, now all that is left to do is the ruching bits, the sleeve hemming and to wait and pray that the chiffon gets here in time!!  If not, I will make do until it does get here and then do what I want to do!!

Oh!!  Here is an image of the pattern I used for the skirt and sleeves....

Have a wonderfully blessed weekend my friends!!



  1. Wow, wow, wow!!!!!!! That dress has me drooling too, but your replica of it has me doing so even more!!! You are one immensely talented seamstress, Gina!! You never cease to amaze me with your ability to create such perfectly gorgeous and elegant historical (well, any kind, for that matter!) garments and such! What a gorgeous job you are doing on this dress!!! I just can't wait to see it on you! And I will certainly pray for your silk to get here in a timely fashion! Haha, the "Harriet" story was just too funny! You are quite the narrator as well.

    Have a lovely rest of your week, and hope you're having a wonderful, blessed summer!
    <3 Esther

    1. Thank you so much Esther! I fell in love with this dress the instant I clamped eyes on it! It is utterly and completely GORGEOUS!!! I covet the real one and secretly dream that I'm the one who purchased it! hahahahaha!!! And thank you so much for your wonderful compliments! I am blushing!! Yes, please pray that the silk gets here in a timely fashion for the show that I need the dress for! I totally appreciate it! I do love to spin a's fun!
      g have a great rest of your week!

  2. This is going to be glorious! What a beautiful dress!

    1. Thank you so very much Vivien!

  3. Hahaha, Gina, I love your little voice paragraph and the name you decided to give her! My voice has been prompting me to buy lots of fabric recently... and yarn! I want to knit so many sweaters!!! Anyway... What a train! Mmm. Lots of work to clean it after the wedding, I'm sure! And the back closure twisty business is interesting and different. I like it!


    1. hahahaha! So you liked Harriet huh? You better listen to your little voice....Yes, about the train. I am going to look into using some sort of protective spray on it or go to whatever event I am booked at and mop and spit shine the floors!!!
      ps...that back twisty thing was an exercise in thinking outside the box!