Scarborough Faire and the Gown of 10,000 Pearls

April 09, 2011

Yesterday was a day of marathon sewing leading up to Scarborough Faire's Opening day. I had a few things to do to actually finish the gown, which were simple things like sew the skirt onto the waistband, add the grommets, etc.
But, I was feeling ambitious. And, I have wanted a lattice smocked stomacher ever since I thought I saw one in an episode of The Tudors. (It wasn't actually one in that episode, however, to my disappointment.)
I dug a piece of gold silk essence out of the fabric stash and started smocking. I was really pleased with how quickly the work went, especially considering that I hadn't done any smocking whatsoever in a couple of years. I was a little scared at first that I had underestimated the amount of fabric I would need, but my little square of fabric turned out to be just enough. Two hours after starting, I had myself a lovely little square of smocked fabric. But...it seemed to be missing something.
I know...PEARLS! This gown doesn't have enough pearls, after all.
There, that's better. I put large pearls in the recessed spaces while watching a marathon of Dr. Who. For some reason, all I could think about while pearling the stomacher was the movie Labyrinth. The pearls hiding in the fluffy smocked fabric made me think of David Bowie. Don't ask me why.

The stomacher was the most exciting part of the day. The rest of it was spent making tabs for the waistline, stitching the skirt onto the waistband, and doing finishing work. By the time 3AM rolled around, I was dead on my feet, halfway through a Dr. Who marathon, and had yet to set the grommets. So, I went out to the garage and hammered grommets while the Daleks attacked New York.

Now, the dress is not entirely complete. I still want to add beading to the front skirt opening, and while I was searching smocking references on Google, I came across a lattice smocked cap from the '50s that made me want a matching lattice smocked caul for this gown. But, it's wearable, and I received many, many compliments on it during opening day at Scarborough, so I'm pleased with it! Hehe. Below are some pics of myself parading around in the finished gown.

Scarborough Faire itself it kind of my 'home faire'. My friends and I have gone on opening weekend every year for at least the past 5 years, and I've visited every year at least once, even when not on opening weekend. I'm sad to say that the prices keep getting raised every year by at least $1, and the food is outrageously expensive, so it's not as enjoyable as it used to be. But, they had some amazing renovations to some of the stages this year, and it's looking quite spruce.
It was 92 degrees, and I was wearing some very hot layers, and with water at nearly $3/bottle, I was quite thirsty, so when we made it back to the car, I stripped down to my stays and kirtle and drove home in my undies. No pics of that, though.

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