So I finally finished my historical mash up gown, and if I’m going to be honest with myself it no longer qualifies as such. It’s just a fun fantasy piece – and there’s nothing wrong with that!
The long break was ideal for determining what trims and how much to use (the answer, as may be obvious from the image to the left, is “not much”). Sad as it was to skip the fichu, less is more.
I ultimately decided to reuse the beads from my 1920s necklace as a decorative touch along the neckline, plus a bracelet (and supporting hook and eye) for the center front closure. I hand-embroidered the sleeve hems with a complementary dark blue chain stitch (and a lighter blue on the back side of one sleeve, and a couple of french knots, when I ran out of thread. Twice). I got out the 18″ (I assume) embroidery hoop for that task, and it was encouraging to see how I was able to pick up the pace once I got the orientation right. Although as a lefty, I ended up working from left to right instead of vice versa! I was able to make the stitch do double duty, too, actually creating the sleeve hem, too.
I went back to the machine to add ribbon along the neckline and front hem of the underdress, though. It came out a bit sloppy, but after a couple of hours (admittedly, I’d put a movie on) with the chain stitch, I was ready to rush. The hem of the overdress was a bit of an adventure, too – I got out a grey thread that I thought coordinated well, but it turned out to be much too thick for the machine. I was lucky to get the thread out of both fabric and machine without too much trouble! I ended up folding right sides of lining and final fabric together (leap frogging the body of the dress) and stitching about 2/3rds of it by machine, before turning it right side out and hand finishing. All in all, a job well done!