Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Hot Pink. Fur Trimmed, Edwardian Evening Gown in all its Glory

 After over 10 months of planning, work, and procrastination, the first order of business on New Year's Day, was to photograph the 1901 evening gown I'd finished the night before. 

We'd had freezing rain the night before so much of the outdoors was covered in a thin layer of ice. Not as picturesque as snow would have been, but I thought it made a suitable back drop for my fur-trimmed gown.

My wonderful boyfriend volunteered to be my photographer, so I put on the dress, put up my hair, handed him the camera, and out into the cold, wet, new 2021 world we trooped.

The icy wet ground made me thankful for the hem facing and lace hem protector I'd added to the skirt, as it kept the silk of my skirt from harm.

After dragging across the ground, the hem facing my have had a bit of dirt and a few wet spots here and there, but the silk was spot free - just the way I want to keep it!

Oh goodness was it a pleasure to wear this gown after working on it for so long! All that hot pink silk I impulsively bought in the fall of 2019 had actually become something wearable and wouldn't be lurking in my stash for years and years to come!

I'm not saying I have lengths of silk in my stash that I haven't yet used after several years, but I'm not saying I don't either. . .

Enough said there. Now, back to this gown!

I'd say I did my inspiration gown justice.

My fabric doesn't have quite the same drape as the original, and it's a darker shade of pink, and I could always embellish my collar more - but when it comes down to it? I'm happy!

I had no experience with Edwardian era clothing, and there were no commercial patterns, or even gridded patterns, available for exactly what I wanted to make, and I still managed to make a pretty decent recreation I think. 

I might be a little proud of myself here. The Edwardian era, with it's fancy S-curve silhouette and complicated bodice closures intimidated me when I started this project, and while I was working on it!

Thankfully, I wasn't alone in my endeavor! Throughout the 10 months I worked on this gown, I came across multiple other costumers working on Edwardian and late 1890's gowns. Watching their videos, reading their Instagram and blog posts, helped me to A) figure out how I wanted to go about constructing my gown, and B) stay motivated to eventually finish this thing. It's nice to know you're not alone as you're floundering in a new era.

I particularly appreciated Dixie DIY's series on making an Alice Roosevelt gown, which she started sharing back in March while I was still in the beginning stages of making my gown. 

Morgan Donner's live video about mocking up the lining for an 1890's ball gown bodice also came out in March, right as I was about ready to do that step on my own gown.

Thanks to the pandemic and what not, I then somewhat abandoned my gown for a bit, but it was Bernadette Banner's late 1890's bodice video in July that encouraged me to pick back up my bodice lining, finish it, and make the sleeves of my gown.   

As I was loosing steam again, In September Sewstine shared her Art Nouveau Edwardian bodice

Around the same time Dames a la Mode did a video on an Edwardian bodice she was making.

And finally, well before I even started, or considered this project, I watched Enchanted Rose Costuming's 1890's ball gown videos, and I found myself referring back to those as I sorted out how my bodice should close and what layers it ought to have. 

Seeing how other people approached similar projects certainly encouraged me to get on with making my own!

So, since it was the scariest part of this whole project, how exactly does my bodice fasten?

First, the lining hooks up the center front.

Then the floofy chiffon part that fills in the bust area gets pulled across.

And hooks on the left side.

The left side of the bodice gets pulled across.

And hooks on the right side.

Finally, the right side of the bodice is lapped over.

And hooked at the left side seam.

Since all the fastenings are more or less on the front, help is not required to put on this gown - always a nice thing!

And That, ladies and gentlemen, is my Edwardian evening gown.

Hot pink.

Fur Trimmed.

Lace Embellished.

Did I mention very pink?

With a complicated bodice?

Floof and a few ruffles?

It's done!


And all ready to wear to the next Edwardian dinner party I happen across!

Surly there will be one of those in my future!


If you happened to miss any parts of this series. . .

You can find my inspiration post here 

The post about making the correct corset for the era here

The post about making the hip padding here

The post about drafting the skirt pattern here

The post about actually making the skirt here

The post about making the princess petticoat/corset cover here

The post about making the sleeves here

The post about the bodice pattern here

And the post about putting the bodice together here


  1. What a journey! It looks simply luscious, one of a kind and an amazing testament to your craftswomanship (is that a word?)
    Well done you!

  2. I am adoring your collar!!! This has been such an amazing project to follow along and I am so thrilled for you to have pulled it off so well. I think your gown does indeed give full justice to the inspiration.

  3. I love the hidden parts and the background of your photographs. :-) This dress is beautiful.