The Buttercup Ball and the 1895 evening gown

 

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A long overdue post on a rather splendid ball we attended in London, in December.

The Buttercup Ball was organized by Stuart Marsden ( the dance master for our  Victorian ball  last year – and this year’s edition too!) and was held in a lovely location of Normansfield Theatre.

The theme was Gilbert and Sullivan – so a lot of suitably theatrical attires were in evidence,  from very elaborate to very simple.

The night before a workshop was held where we practised  our steps, and had the first  glimpse of the location.

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For this occasion I wore my 1883 grape dress –  and let me tell you, it wasn’t an easy thing! Since we arrived late at the hotel, we had a very limited time to eat before the workshop. Pizza Hut time.. A mistake – especially if one has to wear a corset  straight after. Here is my corset on just after the meal, and 10 minutes later photo:

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Necessity is the mother of invention – and so I discovered it is much faster to button up your bodice using the button hook usually reserved for the boots!

 

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Still, the energetic dancing dealt with the heavy feeling after the pizza swiftly, and the workshop went very well.

 

For the ball itself, I settled on a circa 1895 evening gown. I had been hoarding that particular silk for quite some time, and the pattern seemed just right. Plus, it looked simple.

Well, at least the skirt was – I used the Ripple skirt pattern I used for my wool skirt the year before , and it worked a treat.

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construction techniques…

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adding a tape to the hem to reinforce it.

The bodice  looked simple – but it wasn’t. I paired the silk  damask with a gray silk velvet, loosely basing the bodice on this existing gown from the MET

ce943b1f94f4df77dd36447a51b0d77b  The front has a few layers that have to work together – but to cut a long story short, the bodice fastens in front with hooks and eyes, as well as a buckle.  Am very pleased with the final result, although some bad language occurred while hand stitching the slippery velvet…

And so, the gown was all I wanted it to be – light, comfortable, and perfect to dance in.  The skirts don’t have a train to tread and stumble over, the bodice is hugging closely but breathes well, and the big sleeves mean I have a full range of movement –  ideal for dancing!

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And dance we did – it was a super evening full of mirth and excellent music:-)

A few more photos from the event – no doubt you will recognize a few faces from our own ball 🙂

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as you can see lots of fun was had….

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And I was sorry to take off my 1895 finery – I even got to wear the winter coat i made the previous year:-)

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Needless to say, I am insanely excited about our own Victorian ball this May – just a few weeks away. With a crinoline sub-theme, it will no doubt mean there will be some big skirts around! I will report on who wore what after the event…. 🙂

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7 thoughts on “The Buttercup Ball and the 1895 evening gown

  1. I can only say……….Oh MY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    On Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 10:41 AM, A Damsel in This Dress wrote:

    > A damsel in this dress posted: ” A long overdue post on a rather splendid > ball we attended in London, in December. The Buttercup Ball was organized > by Stuart Marsden ( the dance master for our Victorian ball last year – > and this year’s edition too!) and was held in a lovely ” >

  2. What a lovely gown! I love to read of your adventures & see what you’re doing.
    I read you had experienced some marines on another of yr blogs, but I’m amazed you manage to take a breath, let alone listen to naysayers!
    You’re doing an incredible job! Jennifer Hill

    • hello there -and thank you! I am however puzzled by your remark – i have no other blog save this one, and have not experienced any’marines’ or any problems whatsoever? could you please specify as to what you are referring to?

  3. Every time I reread this blog post I enjoy it again.
    I was wondering two things, Izabela: 1) what fabric did you use for underlining/flatlining the brocade, and 2) how many petticoats, made of what, did you wear?
    I’m looking forward to my own first sashay into the world of Victorian balls, in my own 1890s dress, and I’m already enjoying the learning process!
    Thanks,

    Anna

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