Gold Brocade Gown, back in the works

April 12, 2011

It has been one busy day!
I was looking back at my costume portfolio to see what I needed to update, and I realized that I had pretty much just abandoned the gold brocade gown. I had worked so hard on the beading, so I didn't want to just leave it to languish, unfinished and unworn, in the costume racks. So, I got it back out today.
First thing I discovered is that it is HUGE now. This is always a good thing to find! But, it means that I'll have to open up the back seam to adjust it. I'm just glad I hadn't put in any grommets yet, because that would have been a nightmare.
Second off, the skirt is way too narrow. I'm going to remedy this by heading to the fabric warehouses in a few days to buy another couple of yards to fill it out and make the sleeves.
I have two ideas for sleeves on this gown.
My first idea is to stick with the inspiration gown out of Elizabeth:The Golden Age, which would mean more beading. As you can see from the photo to the right, there are three lines of beading down the inside of each sleeve, of the same type as that on the bodice. With memories of how my fingers suffered the last time I worked on that particular beading pattern, I'm not particularly keen to take on more of it. Still, it would end up looking totally smashing, especially against the gold of the gown, and paired with a charcoal coloured forepart.

The second idea is to pair the gown with a pair of black or charcoal coloured latticed smocked sleeves. I still want a pair of sleeves in that style anyway, so why not pair them with this gown?

I haven't decided yet. I'm leaning toward the beaded sleeves, with the lattice smocked sleeves to come later as an option for when I want to swap them out.

Anyway, I did get some work done on the gown today, other than staring at the shiny, shiny beading like a magpie.
First off, I'm pretty unhappy with the beading down the front. It's not straight at all, and it's too narrow. I'm loathe to undo it all, but I'm also loathe to wear it because I feel that it's too badly done. My poor fingers are screaming at the idea of undoing all the beading that they suffered so much doing the first time, but really, at this point, I would just end up finishing the gown and throwing it in the closet. So, I have to work up the courage to rip off the front beading and start afresh. ~sigh~ Not looking forward to that. I did take off the centre line of beading already. It was just a single line of bugle beads, and it looked a little anemic next to all the 'fuzzy' beading, so I didn't feel bad undoing it.
You can also see how huge the gown is in that picture. It's pinned onto the mannequin (she's been padded with fibrefill and corseted down to my measurements with my effigy stays) with a three inche overlap in the back, and it's still huge! Definitely needs allot of adjusting.
I did manage to do something productive, as well. I beaded one of the sleeve treatments. Yup, that's it. It's a single line of bugle beads on the edges of each tab. It's nice, though, and ties the treatments more with the rest of the gown.
I'm debating on whether or not to finish the eyelets on the sleeve treatments. I think I was originally going to have lace-on sleeves, because the other sleeve treatment has really nice hand-bound eyelets for lacing. But, considering that I have no idea what my original intent was with the sleeves, I'm thinking of foregoing the extra work and just whip-stitching the sleeves on once they're finished.
So, there it is, the revival of the Gold Brocade gown. I'm aiming to have it finished for Middlefaire in October, since that seems to be the time when I'm finally finished with my gowns enough to debut them.
More updates to come!

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