Thursday, December 15, 2016

Put a Bird On It

Last Saturday was Fezziwig's, and the first wearing of my 1830s dress! I was so pleased with the way this came out, from my petticoats to my hair. Best of all, while my hair definitely started to get heavy late in the evening, my dress was super comfy all night. That doesn't happen very often, usually something isn't sitting right, or pulls, or slides off...but not this time! It was a great feeling!

I've previously posted about the inspiration and construction of this dress, so all that's left to say is that I was quite pleased with my decision to use tulle as the sheer over-layer. It had an airy, invisible quality that made me feel like a Christmas tree topper.

basically the only picture that shows the vertical pleating on the bodice
the belt buckle I polished was a perfect touch!
My truly fluffy 1830s silhouette is thanks to a "carrot" bustle pad (like these originals) and a very not historical stiff net a-line wedding crinoline I bought on ebay for super cheap. When I first tried it on the net started about two thirds down my hip (because modern styles call for that), so I took it up with safety pins just before the ball to bring the fluff right up to the waist, where I wanted it. I threw a thin cotton petticoat over the top to smooth things out (I have a couple "all purpose" pettis that are wide enough enough for 1860s hoops but hemmed for wear without as needed), and that was that!

And then of course there was my hair, which was the bird on top of the tree. (maybe? no? not as good as icing on the cake, fine.)

The braid wreath is made of jewelry wire with fake hair hot-glued to it, then decorated with gold and red holly berries from the Christmas clearance bin at JoAnn's. It's pinned in and surrounded by my actual hair, which is curly so it's easy to blend. My plan had been to have a vertical loop in addition to the braid, like this fashion plate. After a collapse into a gluey, plastic-hair mess, the plan had to change. But I think the addition of the decorations make up for it, and maybe I'll try loops again for next time!

The side curls are bangs that I curled based on the Laced Angel's Romantic hair. They worked really well, because they saved my hair for anchoring the giant braid. The bird was a last-minute addition after a friend decided she didn't need it. It was the perfect touch!

I'd love to wear this again for a photo shoot, because I was so busy running around setting up/hosting the ball that I manage to look a bit rumpled in every picture...not to mention all my photos came out weirdly noisy. Harumph. But I was so happy wearing this dress, it doesn't much matter. I look forward to styling this dress in new and different ways (a tartan sash must happen, of course!) in the future.

Oh--and Mom's dress came out great too! She looked awesome.

I don't remember what was said but there isn't a single picture in which I'm not laughing...


  1. I simply love EVERYTHING about this! Lovely dress, perfect hair, and a bird? AWESOME.

    1. Thank you!! Your blog posts were very inspirational as I was planning my hair :D

  2. Wow! Amazing work, and that hair piece is crazy good.

    1. Thank you so much!! I had a great time shopping in the clearance bin at JoAnn's for holly :)