Monday, December 3, 2018

The 1865 Pink and Lace Ball Gown - Finished!

I mentioned it in my last blog post, but just in case you missed it - It's done!!

My 1865 Pink and Lace ball gown, the project I've been dreaming about for years, and working on for over a month, is now actually, truly, really, done!

You know, it's a strange feeling when a project this big is finally, actually done. There's a feeling of excitement, yes, but also a bit of a feeling of let down.

After spending hours upon hours working on a project, it's suddenly done. Complete. Finished. The fun of making it is over. And you don't know what to do with yourself anymore. The ball gown no longer needs to be worked on. Weird feeling.

Ok, so actually I do know what I should be doing now - working on Christmas presents - but still, having completed this ball gown, having it done, is a very strange feeling!

And isn't the finished gown beautiful!! It turned out just as I'd hoped - and my sister more than does it justice!

Here's a painting of the original ball gown, worn by the original owner - Countess Wilhelmina Von Hallwyl.

I showed this picture to my sister when she was trying to decide what jewelry she would wear with the dress for the play (less than a week away now!). She took note of the jewelry Wilhelmina wore, then she and my mom went off to Hobby Lobby and found a similar brooch and necklace to compliment the gown.

A little bit of bling - the perfect finishing touch!

A day or two after the dress was finished and the jewelry was acquired, it snowed. A thick, beautiful, white, covers-everything-in-sight, snow. My sister and I decided it was the perfect backdrop for a few quick photos of the dress.

So, my sister dressed up and we trooped outside to freeze and snap some pictures. It was worth it. Despite the cold.

This dress spins beautifully! I love the way the lace flares straight out when spinning!

I can't wait to see my sister dance in it on stage this weekend!

The lines are all memorized, the costumes are all done (barring any last minute alterations), and A Christmas Carol is ready to be performed!

Just like this dress, it's been fun for me to see the play come together bit by bit over the last few months.

And I know, that just like with this dress, once it's all over Saturday night, there will be a lot of excitement, and a bit of let down. What next?

What next?

Now,  just in case you've missed any of my previous posts about this dress and have any questions on how it came to be:

You can find my introduction to the project here.

Discover how I tracked down the original ball gown here.

Read about the bodice construction here.

Learn about the bertha here.

And see the skirt come together here.


  1. Absolutely wonderful and amazing!

  2. I love this gown. You have done a wonderful job. It looks so beautiful.
    All the best for the play. I am sure you will soon find another dream project to sew!

    1. Thank you! Oh yes, I have more projects in mind than I have time to make - not I've just gotta figure out which one to start next, therein lies the problem!

  3. Sigh, I can both share in your excitement and sympathize with your "let down". That is exactly how I have felt before, only adding that that the project was for a customer and I would have to turn it over and probably never feel it again...
    I also find a great sense of accomplishment in finishing large projects, that does not drive me to begin something else at once. It is a strange psychological area.
    Enough on that. The gown is stunning, your sister is lovely, and I adore the twirl effect!!! Best wishes on future projects.

    1. Thank you! The psychology associated with accomplishment and projects is strange, isn't it?

  4. Could you re-link to the Bertha post? It's broken, and the Bertha is the one part that I haven't read yet. Thanks!

    1. It should be fixed now! Thanks for letting me know about that!

  5. Wow, I am so impressed!! You look stunning in it and what a gown! Well done!

    1. Thank you! My younger sister is actually modeling it for these pictures (We're more or less sharing the gown), and I agree, she's stunning :)

  6. Stunningly beautiful & its own reward.

  7. Wow. My mind is a little blown. It is beautiful!

  8. I totally understand how you feel, like when you get to the end of a great book, you feel a bit lost. ahhaah It turned out AMAZING!!!! I'm blown away.

    1. Thank you! Yes, t's just like getting to the end of a great book!