FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Granny Weatherwax Goes to the Opera
Outline the story …
Project Inspired by "Maskerade" by Terry Pratchett. The Lancre witches Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg have travelled to Ahnk-Morpork to check up on young Agnes, who has gone to the city to pursue a career on the opera stage. In true operatic fashion, mayhem is imminent, including a phantom. To access opera high society, a disguise is needed...
“My friend here wants a new dress,” said the dumpier of the two. ‘One of the nobby ones with a train and a padded bum.’
“In black,” said the thin one.
“And we wants all the trimmings,” said the dumpy one. “Little handbag onna string, pair of glasses onna stick, the whole thing.”
Madame Dawning [said] “This is rather a select dress shop.”
“That’s why we’re here. We don’t want rubbish. My name’s Nanny Ogg and this here is … Lady Esmerelda Weatherwax.”
The dress was black. At least, in theory it was black. It was black in the same way that a starling’s wing is black. It was black silk, with jet beads and sequins. It was black on holiday.
“It looks about my size. We’ll take it […] And now we’ll go back into the shop and have a poke around for the other stuff,” said Lady Esmerelda. “I fancy ostrich feathers myself […].”
“Why don’t we get some great big diamonds while we’re about it?” said Nanny Ogg sharply.
Outline the construction…
I generally imagine Diskworld fashion to be Victorian-esque, and an early 1880s evening gown could be convincingly described as a “nobby” dress with a “padded bum and a train”.
One goal was to use my stash as much as possible, and shop my trims box. Along the way I learned to bead, and improved some construction skills (read: setting sleeves).
The underskirt was scaled from Complete Guide to Ladies Garment Cutting, 1883 (Grimble, 2004a, pp. 150–151). The hem is supported with horsehair, then faced to the knee with lawn and bound at the lower edge.
The bodice and overskirt are based on an evening gown in an 1882 Harpers Bazaar (Grimble, 2004b, pp. 86–89) merged with a previously drafted bodice sloper. The bodice is of moiré silk-cotton faille (the only fabric purchase), embellished with 2mm glass beads, 4mm sequins, and de-stash lace. It is flatlined, boned, and contour padded.
The overskirt’s pleated flounces, gauged panel, and draped train are of silk taffeta, mounted directly onto the underskirt. The train is supported with net. Pleating, gauging, and puffs are hand worked and mounted.
The balayeuse is drafted from the underskirt pattern, made from cotton remnants, and trimmed with de-stash lace.
The silhouette is achieved by using my existing corset, bustle pad, and petticoats.
Grimble, F. (Ed.), 2004a. Fashions of the Gilded Age, Volume 1. Lavolta Press, San Francisco, CA.
Grimble, F. (Ed.), 2004b. Fashions of the Gilded Age, Volume 2. Lavolta Press, San Francisco, CA.