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Blue Barely Mentioned Gown
Outline the story …
I've recently come across Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn and fell in love with the story. On the first book, there are a couple of ball scenes. While there are no detailed descriptions of the clothes worn, Sanderson has said that the general silhouette for the clothing that the aristocracy of the book wears is Victorian, which is not as helpful as he might think, but it gives a lot of freedom to conjecture which silhouette of the Victorian era it could be. I've only started experimenting with historical fashion this past year and I'm particularly interested in the late Victorian period, specifically the last decade of the 19th century.
The gown I chose is from the last ball featured on the first book, where the main character Vin, not only is dismissed by her romantic interest, she also finds out a plot to murder him and has to stop it. The gown is only mentioned as a "blue mess" in the following chapter, as she had to shed it to fight against the assassins. With that in mind, I had to think of a ballgown that looked presentable, but that she could remove alone while running.
I took a lot of inspiration for fashion plates of the time, both for ballgowns and streetwear for the silhouette.
Outline the construction…
I've used about 5,5 meters of a blue taffeta, an equal amount of black light, tightly woven cotton for the lining. Most of the construction seams were done by machine, while most of the finishing was accomplished by hand.
The two main challenges I had to overcome were time and the bodice. I had to order the fabric online since it would be more affordable to me, but it took a good amount of time to arrive. And the bodice construction was a bit complicated. The initial pattern I was using for it was quite complicated to fit on my body and I ended up drafting an entirely new one. I used the Keystone Jacket and Dress Cutter: An 1895 Guide to Women's Tailoring book and tweaked them both to make the costume.