There has been a bit of interest regarding the gowns that I am making. Because of this, you will see more posts (I like to call them stories) about the gowns I make and their process. Recently, I finished a green and gold gown and can’t be happier with the results.
I used Margo Anderson’s Elizabethan Tailored Bodice and Lady’s Sleeves patterns as a guide as well as skirt patterns of my own design. All elements were altered to fit my own body.
Fabric, trim and embellishments
I was inspired specifically by the printed fleur de lis fabric that acts as a focal point of this gown. With this as my guide, I began to research other items that could be incorporated into the gown. The image below shows some of the elements I brought together. Not all of them made it to the final product, but you can see how each relates.
I fell in love with the double strung bead elements. The opalescence green and gold swirls were perfect for this dress. The brown/green filigree trim didn’t make the cut, instead I opted for a gold ribbon to overlay with the green. Other elements also found their way into this gown as time went on including gemstones to adhere to the green fleur fabric and strings of beads for trim.
Trim and beading
The process of overlaying the trim was time-consuming but not without it’s rewards.
Unfortunately, the beads in the sleeve treatment above were not ideal, they tended to pop out of their light metal frame. I ended up affixing them with glue.
After the trim was in place, the work of adding beading to the over skirt began – over 3,000 beads in total. *Note, the white on the image above is not a smudge, it is chalk from the marks for the grommets that would be placed on the bodice and sleeves.
You may notice that there are actually two versions of the Girdle Belt. The one above was just not substantial enough to be noticed with the green background fabric, so I made version 2 below.
Below is the finished product at Scarborough Renaissance Faire. I say “finished product” loosely as I am actually working on another bodice version as we speak and would like to also make a jacket. Luckily, when I find fabric I like, I buy a lot of it just in case!
You will also notice that I created a matching hat and bag to finish the overall look.
So, what’s next on my list.. well below is a little sneak preview: