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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnightly: Pretty Pretty Princess

I made an 1891 shell pink ball gown inspired by some of Worth's early 1890s dresses, some portraits, and an antique Parisien pair of opera glasses in the same color scheme. I didn't base it on a single person though I was inspired by Consuelo Vanderbilt ex Duchess of Marlborough after reading her autobiography. I decided to enter this inter the challenge because when I was at the photo shoot two little girls asked me if I was a princess and took photos with me!

The Challenge: Pretty Pretty Princess

Fabric: pink polyester heavy satin, I'm not exactly sure if that's the best way to describe it or how much I used because I just had it in my stash and got it last year from Jomar. Cotton and duck for the bodice lining. Ivory linen for the skirt lining. Pink silk chiffon for the neckline trim.

Pattern: Truly Victorian TV490 and TV298

Year: 1891-2

Notions: Gutermann and Coats & Clark thread, silk flowers, hooks and eyes, and 6 inches of ribbon to make a train loop for my skirt

How historically accurate is it? The patterns are accurate and the design is based off of extent garments and portraits. The fabric, thread, and flowers were all synthetic unfortunately.

Hours to complete: The first day I spent 11 hours and finished all the main construction. Then I paused and did little bits on weekends until it was finished. So upwards of 15 hours I'm guessing, I'm not very fast.

First worn: June 8th for the photo shoot at Longwood Gardens

Total cost: $28.50 for the patterns, everything else came from my stash.

I promise I had no idea that I was mimicking this portrait!




  1. Simply gorgeous! You look like a dream in it too.

    1. Thank you! Your creations are lovely, I work towards having the kind of skill you do!