Winterhalter Eugenie Gardums!

One upon a time, my mother and I went on a lace-and-trim trawl at Gardams. Gardums is a lovely upscale fabric store in Brisbane – it deals mostly with high-end fabrics and believes in getting good money for the value of its stuff – the fabrics are beautiful, but the prices are heartbreaking. There are no bargains here – not even in the remnant bin – you’ll be charged as close to market value for that 20 cm scrap of lace or 40cm of sun-faded silk taffeta as the market will bear!

But – the fabrics ARE exquisite, the laces and trims are the real thing, and once in a while, there’s a lovely fabric on sale.

A piece of floral fabric lies on the carpet

I bought four meters of this to make myself a dress – Vogue 1102 – one of my favorites. I’m hemming a version of it in black and white linen right now.I bought yards of gorgeous lace at AG doll scale!!!!  I can stop hoarding my slender supply – at home I have very little and consequently never use it – I’m always save for the next thing!

And in the remnant bin I found a lovely stretch of silk chiffon and some gorgeous apricot-y silk charmeuse and on the trim shelf I found a fabulous ribbon-flower trim –

A pile of pink trims and laces lie on the carpet

And naturally one thinks of this painting – Empress Eugenie surrounded by Ladies by Winterhalter:

Empress Eugénie Surrounded by her Ladies in Waiting  by Winterhalter
Empress Eugénie Surrounded by her Ladies in Waiting via Wikimedia Commons


Introducing: The Gardums Remnant Ballgown!

The flowered trim will be a wrap – of course – something like this, lined with matching silk satin so that it drapes…

A flowered trim is draped over a small doll mannequin

As for the dress – there’s enough apricot satin for a skirt and a bodice. An over skirt of chiffon, looped up with ribbons and roses, and a chiffon bertha – pleated or draped -I’m thinking very classical – something you could have worn from the 1840s until the very end of the 60s – suitable for passing down through a row of children.

Vintage Victorian has a fabulous page with lots of 1860s fashion plates of evening dress.

I have a few ideas:

Chiffon and lace are draped on a doll mannequin

The sleeves will have to evolve a bit, I think. My original idea called for puff sleeves in the satin layered with tubes of chiffon, but this will be completely lost under the bertha, I think. Longer and larger puffs?

lace and chiffon are draped on a doll mannequin to create a bertha

Layered with lace, possibly.Reckon I’ll start by hand-hemming the skirt layers and see what bubbles up.

a doll mannequin draped with roses stands next to a pile of silk fabric and lace trim






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