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Unread 01-04-2010, 04:03 PM   #1
-Milk-
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How to make a large ball gown

Hi I am looking to make a large ball gown similar to this
http://memorableweddingideas.com/wp-...eth-period.jpg
How would I go about the skirt area? Thank you
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Unread 01-04-2010, 04:14 PM   #2
Mangochutney
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That's a serious undertaking and I'm not sure what experience you have, but here's the basics:

1. Find or make a pattern for a ballgown with a skirt as big around as you want. Several pattern companies have formal or historical gown patterns that would be a good place to start.

2. Lengthen the pieces making the back of the skirt by several feet. Make the bottom hems two or three times as wide as the pattern calls for, while making no change to the length of the waist seam. Adjust the shape of the side pieces to match the edges of the back pieces smoothly.

3. Buy or make a large hoopskirt. The dress in your photo has a very unusual support that divides in the front; did you want to duplicate that?
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Last edited by Mangochutney : 01-04-2010 at 04:18 PM.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 04:16 PM   #3
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Sorry, double post.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 04:31 PM   #4
Kelley
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Guh, I think I've actually seen information on that exact dress, but I can't remember where. ._.


It really depends on the specific effect you want, for what you put under the skirt.

I believe that dress petticoats, not a hoop-skirt - however, you might be better-served by a hoop-skirt, depending on the look you would like to achieve - it also might be easier and less expensive !



If you have a reference picture of what you want to make, specifically, that would be a big help !
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Unread 01-05-2010, 04:52 AM   #5
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http://www.metmuseum.org/Works_of_Ar...collID=8&dd1=8

I suspect the metal mentioned is some boning in the bodice but it may also be part of the support of the skirt. the wool probably is as well.
If you look at the other images you will see the skirt is gored to shape, which will be important.

For this type of gown from the 20thC a mix of materials and techniques is vital. I know I have seen a cut away diagram of a gown like this but for the life of me I can't find it.

Hoops, padding and heavy netting or non woven fabric are probably all employed in this.
http://www.vintageconnection.net/NewLook.htm
I wish I could offer specific help but I just do not have the notes I thought I did for the big skirts seen in high fashion from the 1950s.
I would probably start with a hooped foundation (with ties to shape it into flared paniers) then layer over that layers of net and tulle on a shaped skirt of net/tulle and finally lay over that a shaped skirt to smooth the shape for the gown to sit over.
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