Historical Sew Monthly #11: Silver Screen - Daniel Deronda Green Ballgown

The dress before I added the sleeves
I'm  finally breaking my long silence!

Sorry about that. From October through December is a super busy time for us as a family with lots of birthdays and school events and I find I just don't blog as much during this time.

 But I have been sewing!

Some friends invited me to a Victorian Grand Ball to be held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving so I decided at the last minute to make something I'd wanted to make for a while - a Daniel Deronda inspired Ballgown.

There aren't a whole lot of photos of this gown Gwendolyn wears in the BBC Daniel Deronda miniseries, this one below is maybe the most easily found one:

I had a ton of black green changable silk taffeta in the stash for forever and figured this was the perfect opportunity to use it.  I think I had 10 yards and after adding all the ruffles I ended up with about 2 yards left.  Although I do have another green/black silk taffeta in almost the same color so I figure I can use that if I want to make more pieces to mix and match with this outfit.

I wanted it to resemble the gown but not be exactly the same, the neckline trim seems very girlish to me and as a 40-mumble women it seemed a bit much.  So I just trimmed the edge with a narrow black beaded trim and flounces of self fabric on the underskirt and apron.

What the item is: 1870s Ballgown

The Challenge: Silver Screen

What's your onscreen inspiration?: Gwendolyn's green ballgown from the miniseries Daniel Deronda

Fabric: Green/ black changable silk taffeta

Pattern: All Truly Victorian -TV202, TV305 and TV416

Year: 1870s

Notions: thread, glass buttons

How historically accurate is it? Medium

Hours to complete:  I donno, working off and on on it all month.

First worn: to the Grand Victorian Ball yesterday

Total cost: I don't know, this was another project using stash fabric


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  2. That is beautiful! Would you mind if we saw some close-ups? What was dancing in a train like?

    1. I'm sorry, I don't really have any pics with close ups! That 3/4 shot above is about the closest. There was a professional photographer there taking pics, once his of me go up on his website I'll post a link. Was there a particular part of the gown you were interested in?

      The train REALLY needed one of those leash things. It was fine with my partner, not so much with the people dancing behind me.

  3. You look so great in it! And the lush green colour totally reminds me of Christmas! ;)

    1. Thank you! I thought so too. I should have decorated my hairdo with holly, lol!

  4. Oh... beautiful! I love green gowns :)


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