Planning a Historical Mashup Gown

Back to costumes! Immediately after I finished my holiday dress, I wrestled my old powder blue floral prom dress onto the dress form. I’d been wanting to use it as the base for a historical gown for ages, and I’d just retrieved it from my mom’s house in the great stuff shuffle of 2016. Then I went to my costume textbook for reference information. I really wanted to split the overgown down the front, and display the prom dress as a fancy “petticoat”. That design inspiration meant I had two major choices: Elizabethan or Baroque.

A portrait of Elizabeth I as a princess that was printed in my costume textbook; here, of course, simply lifted from elsewhere on the internet.
A portrait of Rubens’ wife, also printed in my costume textbook and again lifted from the internet. There was another I preferred in the book, but didn’t find quickly online.









Then I realized the prom dress was A-line, which means whatever I end up with is going to be some kind of fantastical mashup. And whenever I get around to really making dresses from those eras, period undergarments are going to be a must.

Still, I dug around in my fabric stash to see what would suit. Most of the cool colors were so dark they washed out the powder blue, but ultimately I found some shiny darker blue I like quite a lot. I got it draped around the dress form (inside out!) and found I was terrified to start cutting. So it looked like I would have to finally go through the extra steps so often recommended of building a mockup.