Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
13 Comments - 28701 Views
The Marguerite Blakeney Gown
Submitted By margery on 10/10/06
A Maiden's Musings, margery, Documents, Historical Costume Inspiration Festival, Fashion, Sewing, Marguerite Blakeney, Millinery, Pattern Drafting, Curtains,  

 
I am very pleased to present my second entry for the fabulous Historical Costume Inspiration Festival!
 
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The Introduction
 
It all started back in Janruary.
 
I was planning a "Literary Tea" for my eighteenth birthday.  The girls and mothers were all to come dressed as their favorite literary or historical charater, keeping their alias a profound secret - only to be revealed during a game of charades before tea.
 
 
I knew I must go as Margurite Blakeney, a heroine I greatly admire (to put it lightly).
However, Margurite was not only known as "the cleverest women in Europe", but was quite a fashion plate, being the wife of London's greatest dandy, Sir Percy Blakney, Bart.  
Not having time, money, or materials to work with (or so I thought), I was quite in a quandrary as to how I would create a costume worthy of so lovely and elegant a charecter.  
 
Nevertheless, human nature asserted itself all the more in the face of adversity, and I decided to go ahead.
So began one of the most enjoyable sewing experiences I have ever yet been blessed to work on.
 
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The Inspiration
 
I began ransacking my stash, looking for something suitable in the way of material.  Nothing.  Not yet despairing, I started researching various resources online, hoping perhaps to find a gown or two to spark my imagination.  Long story short, I did.
 
I found this.
 
 
Oh, yes, I was quite inspired, by this time!  I started to make various sketches of my gown based on this one, carefully breaking down the garment in my mind's eye, deciding just how I was going to re-create this bit of loveliness, not having a pattern.  Still, no fabric was forthcoming.
 
I showed the picture to my Mother.  "You know," she said.  "That material reminds me of curtains. . . "
Now I knew.  My aunt had very recently sent us a box of misc. things, including a wild jumble of some old, dark green curtain/upholstery fabric - and a luscious gold brocade.  
 
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The Costume
 
 
I could not have finished this project without my Mother - a very accomplished seamstress, by the way!  She used me as a dress form to get the general shape of the jacket.  We then transferred the shape to newspaper, drafted the sleeves, and the gown started to take shape. 
 
Of course, I must have a hat with such a dress.
When I had cut out all of the pieces for the gown, I found that I had exactly enough material left to cover my 18th c. low crown straw hat.  A few roses gathered from the remains of the skirt trim material, a bit of white lace, and a handful of peacock plumes graciously bestowed by a kind neighbor completed the millinery.  I sewed two grosgrain ribbons to the inside of the crown, to be tied on under the wearer's hair, to secure the hat.  That, combined with a hat pin in the front, served to hold it put quite nicely. . . most of the time!
 
I plan to post a tutorial in the (near) future, showing just how I covered the hat.
 
 
 
"Is my hat alright?"
 
 
Blue skies, dreamy gowns, and a photo shoot with a very dear friend - Bliss
 
 
 
I just adore shadow pictures=)

 
Aussi longtemps, mes chéris!

Let us not say goodbye, but as the French say it, "Au Reviore!"
 
Yours truly,
~The Lady Marguerite Blakeney~
 
 
{P.S. A heartfelt thank you to Alex and Aubrey for devoting your time and expertise to help create such a wonderful photoshoot!}
 
 
 

» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
1 hour - 153v
Posted 2010/10/06 - 4:40 GMT
These are wonderful! Your dresses are so beauitful, and the pictures are lovely.
 
Much love,
Sereina
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 weeks - 22,159v
Posted 2010/10/07 - 2:41 GMT
Thank you, Sereina!  Nice to have you stop by!
 
Lovingly,
~Kellie~
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2010/10/07 - 3:27 GMT
*sigh* I love your Lady Blakeney outfit, Kellie.  It's so unique and beautiful.  You and your mom are so clever:) 
I absolutely adore my dress, but, you have to admit, it isn't very original;)
 
That was such a lovely afternoon the other day.  I'll have to come over again sometime soon, only next time we'll do some dancing=)
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 weeks - 22,159v
Posted 2010/10/07 - 17:34 GMT
Oh, my dear, you're simply too sweet=)  
 
Yes, indeed.  As soon as all of this rain clears up again. . . ;)
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
1 hour - 135v
Posted 2010/10/07 - 16:23 GMT
This is SUCH A LOVELY GOWN!!!!  I love that you used curtains -- just the kind of thing I am inclined to.  It turned out simply gorgeous and I would never have guessed where you got the fabric.  
 
 
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 weeks - 22,159v
Posted 2010/10/07 - 17:56 GMT
Thank you!  
It is fun to know my gown was created from curtains. . . makes me feel very artsy and economical=)
 
I found your lovely blog and paid it a visit - I follow now:)
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
1 hour - 135v
Posted 2010/10/07 - 18:29 GMT
Thank You, Kellie.  I'll definitely be keeping an eye on your blog as well. I've enjoyed what I've seen of it and I'm glad you entered the Historical Costume Inspiration Festival -- as it allowed me to find it. :D
 
Yep. . . and using curtains gave you tremendous results without stretching the pocketbook.  Fabric is expensive, one thing that keeps me from creating some outfits.  Sheets are great too, if they're not the kind that wrinkle easily -- they dye well too. 
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 weeks - 22,159v
Posted 2010/10/08 - 16:21 GMT
My pleasure!
If you like, I installed Google Friend Connect (just like on Blogger) on my home page to help readers keep updated...=)  
I'm so glad I entered the Historical Costume Inspiration Festival, as well! :D
 
I use sheets quite a bit, too - very good quality ones can be gotten from the thrift store, and hardly even disturb the pocketbook, at that!  I have yet to try dying them, though. . . thanks for the hint!
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Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
41 minutes - 29v
Posted 2010/10/07 - 20:43 GMT
How elegant! And what lovely photos!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 weeks - 22,159v
Posted 2010/10/08 - 3:14 GMT
Thank you, Atlanta! :)
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
41 minutes - 29v
Posted 2010/10/07 - 20:45 GMT
Great photos and beautiful dresses!!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 hours - 225v
Posted 2011/03/19 - 2:58 GMT
Absolutely Beautiful!!! :D
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 weeks - 22,159v
Posted 2011/03/20 - 1:17 GMT
Hi, Rebecca!  I'm so glad to have you stop by!
 
I've been thinking of you all quite a bit, and praying that you will be able to come for a visit this summer.  I'll be heartbroken if you don't. . . :)  How are you doing these days?  I'd love to have a chat with you - feel free to email me!
 
Tell everyone hello and send them our love!
~Kellie~


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