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More Balls


Pah! Who needs a Fairy Godmother anyway. Mind you, I could have done with one yesterday after much manic sewing to finish outfits for the Spectacular Spectacular Masquerade Ball. It was a close run thing, but I made it to the Ball…in a (sort of) finished dress. One wave of a Fairy Godmother’s wand and it would have all been ready in a trice, without all the blood, sweat and tears (and glue). Maybe, we’d even have been in time to get some food before all the selfish, greedy bastards very hungry guests who went back for seconds and thirds before some of us had even had firsts (and then left their plates piled with their uneaten food). That aside, it was fun (though being plied with wine on an empty stomach undoubtedly aided in relieving the stress).

If you are wondering why the stress and the last minute finishing when I knew months in advance that I needed a frock for the ball. Well, it’s a matter of priority, not to mention the bus-like nature of my work (nothing for ages, then three come at once). I had to juggle other jobs and had other outfits to make for the ball and, as always, these took precedence over my own, hence the mad last minute rush. I was still sewing hooks onto DH’s jacket in the car on the way there and, despite allowing a whole day for making my skirt and petticoat and another day for the bodice, (yes, my tongue is in my cheek), getting finished was a bit of a panic involving using the hotel room floor for some last minute trimming and a good proportion of fabric glue to shortcut some finishing. I’ll re-do it all properly when I get time 😉

So, here we are in our finery…


My dress is based on an 1894 House of Worth dress and Dh is wearing a Hussar uniform broadly based on the Black Brunswickers. You can’t see them but I’m wearing my wedding shoes (last worn almost 19 years previously). See, what would have happened if I hadn’t hoarded saved those?

And here are the other costumes I made (you may have seen the odd WIP pic on my Facebook page) – a late 18th century gown and a 13th Hussar uniform…

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and a detail of the Hussar uniform buttons…which I also made….

…and the funky skull buttons on the other Black Hussar jacket, which I didn’t make. I had to pressgang DH to finish sewing some of those on so I could get my own outfit done.







In truth, I couldn’t have done my costume without him…I also had him sticking pins in me (not in a Voodoo way, you understand), so I could get the bodice of my dress fitted properly and the hem of the skirt the right length. He stoically bore my snappy, stressy cries of frustration as the gorgeous-to-look-at fabric curled and frayed into indistinguishable cigar shapes when cut, plied me with tea and kept the children from entering the kill zone. (In fact, I’m surprised he wasn’t sticking pins into effigies of me :/) If he ever decides to give up the day job, he can be my slave  unpaid helper  assistant, any time. One of these days, I will  may hope to start my outfit more than one day before I have to wear it. Sadly, there was no time to make the butterfly train that should have gone with the dress, but judging by the frequency with which trains were being trodden on at the Ball, this is possibly no bad thing.

So, there you have it, no fairy godmother required…just a lot of work, a helpful DH and a hotel that served freshly made pizza at 2am. Bring on the next one 🙂


A close up of my dress. It looks orange in the pics but is in fact red and gold.

30 April 2013

4 Comments to “More Balls”

  1. Your DH was your good fairy, methinks! Outfits look amazing – so talented! Show us your shoes!

    Imagine everyone eating all the grub – some people!!!!

    When is the next ball?

    Ali x

    • Weeeell, I’ve just found out that there’s a masked ball in 3 weeks, but I haven’t got a thing to wear…. :/

      I don’t think my DH will appreciate being called a fairy!

  2. Ooh, your dress is extremely gorgeous! The material looks beautiful, and the colour suits you very well indeed 🙂 If I ever get invited to a ball again (not looking likely at the mo) I will know who to call! 🙂

  3. I had forgotten about the Brunswickers skulls 🙂 Your work, as ever, looks absolutely beautiful 🙂

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