It needed it. Something. A little “bling” as it were.
As many of you know, Sir Harry of Essex and I are historical costumers and belong to Somewhere in Time, Unlimited (SITU).
A few years ago, SITU held a Winter Event called “Titanic – The Survivor’s Ball”. There was a 13-piece orchestra, 7-course Edwardian dinner, the lady guests came in beautiful Titanc inspired gowns, while the gentlemen arrived wearing swallow tail tuxes. It was very elegant indeed.
In time for this event, I had designed and put together the same navy blue velvet top that Kate Winslet had worn in the “Flying” scene. Mine is very pretty with the heavy lace center piece, but the collar looked rather naked. I think I’ve solved that problem.
Top of collar with lace flower vine.
The Butterick pattern calls for this contrasting lapel area to be beautifully set apart from all the velvet.
I found some interesting vine patterned stitching which was attached to net backing. Probably intended for a VERY expensive gown (the product was $60 per yard), I chose instead to stitch the vine carefully by hand onto the lapels, removing the the netting as I worked.
In this photo, you can see the lapel top area, as well as the dupioni white silk which I had over laid with heavy bridal lace which I found at JoAnne fabrics. The vine lace, which BTW matching perfectly in tone with the outfit, I found at Nancy’s Sewing Basket (a specialty store for the discriminating seamstress), located on the top of Queen Anne hill in Seattle.
- Lapel area at bottom with lace vine.
Why did I want several years before I attached the lace? Well, in the beginning I didn’t have time to get the lace onto the garment in time for the event. I just kept the lace handy so I could put it on later.
Well, “later” finally showed up. Sir Harry and I were invited to a swanky cocktail hour with the French-American Chamber of Commerce. They were holding a Belle Epoque event at the Arctic Hotel in downtown Seattle.
The organizer, Madamoiselle Casey, had seen Sir Harry and I at a Port of Seattle Centennial Celebration, where we appeared in 1910 attire. There, Sir Harry wore a frock coat and Banker’s hat, while I wore a custom designed and made 1910 day attire.
The large blue hat I wore, I personally replicated from an historical photo I had found some time ago. Each of the ivory fabric roses on the hat were hand crafted and sewn into place. There are a few Swarovski crystals which have also been selectively sewn into place on the roses in order to reflect some sunlight when worn in a parade.
These are the same outfits we wore in a documentary movie directed by Vaun Raymond for the Port of Seattle.
I digress. Back to the French event -
Sir Harry and I were requested to arrive “fashionably late” at 7 pm. We did so. Upon our arrival, we stepped off the elevator and were “announced” to the massive crowd who had gathered for the evening’s entertainment.
At the event, we also spotted our local friends, the Baron and Baroness Von Kleinschmidt. We chatted briefly and then began circulating about the room greeting people. Several members of the French Chamber expressed how delighted they were in our appearance at their event, stating how we lent such color and classy flavor. Several of the gentlemen had arrived in tuxedos. The Baron and Sir Harry were both wearing swallow tail tuxes and white tie, along with the obligatory top hat! Very classy event put on by the Chamber!
Here are a couple of photos of my finished “Flying Dress” work-over, an image of Sir Harry, and then one snapped indoors on an iPhone by an attendee of the event. If you’d like to learn more about Lady Victoria and Sir Harry of Essex or Somewhere in Time, Unlimited, please visit the website. We look forward to having you “come dress up with us” soon!!!