Jenny La Fleur
1911 evening gown plans - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
1911 evening gown plans

*drumroll* My 1911 evening gown plans. *Ta da!* :>

Can you tell I have been having way too much fun with the costume already? *grins sheepishly* It's funny how circumstances, supplies and inspiration can suddenly and perfectly come together for a frock. I was bitten by the 19-teens bug last month when I started work on my kimono. I think it was re-reading all my Titanic books. And I have some very cool Titianic books too. :> When Bridget and I came up with the idea of doing "Opera" as our theme for Twelfth Night 2006, I knew I wanted to wear a teens dress.

I also knew I wanted to use this dramatically orange ribbed silk. Okay, so it's not actually silk but it looks like it. Lovely stuff really. My fate was sealed when I pulled out this cream and orange silk chiffon. The chiffon is actually silk and it matches the ribbed "whatever" almost perfectly. I've all three pieces of fabric for years now but never thought to put them together before! *duh*

Originally my concept was for more of a teens era fancy dress costume but as I started to narrow down my design ideas, I moved more toward a simple evening gown. Those fabrics just don't need much to "pop".

I was heavily inspired by this c1911 gown (I *think* it's from Karen Augusta but I collected the image so long ago I'm not sure) and this 1912 fashion plate from elegant_musings's collection. My sketch isn't great I know but it gives you an idea of where I'm going. The colored version is a very rough idea for sure. I definitely went a little heavy on the blue there.

I'm not entirerly sure how I'm going to mix in all the fabrics at the top. I think this is one of those costumes that is going to evolve as I work on it. I really want to showcase my lovely fabrics/colors and that will require hands on draping and allowing them speak for themselves as I work. Should be a fun challenge.

I really like the idea of having one large piece of beading and leaving the rest simple though. I haven't decided what the motif will be exactly but I'm thinking a stylized butterfly or poppies would be fun. I also like the idea of adding some blue/turquoise to the color scheme. It would set off the orange so beautifully. If I go with poppies I may add some red and/or amber as well in the beading. We'll see.

So what do you think? :> Any ideas for a name for it - "my circa 1911 evening dress" is so boring.

Now I really should work on my day dress design so I can make that up first… this project just seems more fun at the moment for some reason…*grin*


19 comments | comment?
From: misscrabtree Date: January 18th, 2005 03:13 pm (UTC) (link)
"Sarah Bernhardt Goes to the Opera" or "Norma Talmadge Sings" Just thoughts. The concept is interesting, love the fabric combo. 1911 costumes are usually complex, how did you manage to not make this entire design difficult?

I have a ton of amber beads if you want some, let me know! If I did this correctly you may be able to just see the beads near the cuff.

title or description
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 19th, 2005 08:45 am (UTC) (link)
I'm glad you like it. *grin*

Yeah, Edwardian clothing as a rule is complicated, even the stuff that looks simple. I prefer simple designs and shapes on the body, also my skills are not up to "complicated" so those simple elements were the I was naturally attracted to I think.

I arrived at my design by looking through lots of period fashion plates and vintage pieces online. I collected the images together and picked out my favorites, then went through them again to pick out what it was about each frock that I liked. All my design ideas really clicked when I found that black & white gown. It had so many of the elements I was already in love with but in a very simple combination.

In reality my design is probably a little plain for the period but that is due to my modern sensibilities. I should have some lace or more beading and perhaps a drape of some kind in the skirt. I may add some of that but I want to see all the fabrics together first.

That is one of the fun things about this period, it's all transitional from the "overdone" Victorian to the sleek Jazz age. Fashion was changing so fast too. I called it 1911, because of the basic shape of the gown but the decoration and color is may be more 1912-1913. Ack, it's in there somewhere! *hee hee hee*

Thanks much for the bead offer. They are hard to see in the pic, what size/kind are they? (seeds, rocailles)
From: misscrabtree Date: January 19th, 2005 12:02 pm (UTC) (link)
I sent you an email with photos of the beads :)
idlewild_grey From: idlewild_grey Date: January 18th, 2005 08:08 pm (UTC) (link)
It's such a fabulous idea! Oh, I wish it was done already so I could see it....yet another reason to be glued to LJ! I'm no good at names myself, but the first thing I thought of was that it should have the word "opera" in the title. Not very helpful I'm afraid......
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 19th, 2005 08:16 am (UTC) (link)
Thanks! :> I can't wait to see it finished either but I'm also really looking forward to the process of making it. It should be a fun (and hopefully rewarding) challenge. Oh, I want to get started now!
padawansguide From: padawansguide Date: January 18th, 2005 09:20 pm (UTC) (link)
Ooh - I bet amber would be really pretty with it! I can't wait to see how it turns out! I so want to have my Jump dress done by then too - but not sure that will happen!!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 19th, 2005 08:13 am (UTC) (link)
Yeah, I'm definitely liking the amber idea. Ooh, that would be cool if you got your Jump done for the party... that would make three of us in teens wear.

Of course anything you end up wearing will be amazing, all your costumes are so cool. That's one of things B and I really liked about doing "opera" - there are so many ways you can interpret that theme.
padawansguide From: padawansguide Date: January 19th, 2005 08:23 am (UTC) (link)
I will have to try - it would be very cool to all be in teens costumes! :-)

After I get my costumes done for CIII, I will have to do some planning! The Jump dress is a priority though! I need advice on what to do for a teens corset though.

Thanks for the compliments on my costumes! I think yours are great too! :-)

sweetpeapink From: sweetpeapink Date: January 19th, 2005 12:03 am (UTC) (link)
The Persimmon Gown.

jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 19th, 2005 08:07 am (UTC) (link)
Ummm... that has a nice ring to it, especially if I add red beads too...
dormous From: dormous Date: January 19th, 2005 06:01 am (UTC) (link)

Evening Dress Title

The answer is obvious, you must call it A NIGHT AT THE OPERA!

Is this dress any help in patterning it?. There's a chemisette further up the page to wear underneath to make it into a day or formal afternoon dress. I didn't know they had that in the teens before. And this pattern might help draping the tunic.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 19th, 2005 08:06 am (UTC) (link)

Re: Evening Dress Title

Ooooh... I love it! I'm so not good at the obvious. *hee hee* Thanks much!

Thanks also for the links. The ladies treasury diagram should prove to be quite helpful. It's much simpler than the ones I'm seeing in Arnold etc.

Love the chemise too. *files away in back of mind*
elegant_musings From: elegant_musings Date: January 19th, 2005 06:19 am (UTC) (link)
Ack! You beat me to announcing a 1910s project! ;) lol.

I think your design is lovely; and both our gowns are radically different (though it seems we've switched places: you're doing the understated one and I'm going for an all out POW! effect ;) lol!), and that is amazing considering we both started with basically the exact same idea. ;) I love how our minds work. ;) I can't wait to see the progress!!

I like "Night at the Opera" too; very appropriate. ;)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 19th, 2005 08:02 am (UTC) (link)
I beat you, seems to me your post came first?

*whew* I'm glad you like the design. *wink* Told you they would be different! :> I still can't think of that orange as understated though. Less embellished; yes, understated; not really. It least it will be hard to be depressed with that color around all the time. :>

I can't wait to see the progress either, but first things first... underwear and daywear. *mreh*
elegant_musings From: elegant_musings Date: January 19th, 2005 11:12 am (UTC) (link)
Well, I guess the difference is your post is public and mine was highly restricted (for critique only! ;). :D

Well, the orange isn't understanted, but it isn't as highly embellished as we had been scheming about. ;)

Yeah, underwear and day dresses. :p B-O-R-I-N-G!! :D *winks*
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 19th, 2005 03:40 pm (UTC) (link)
Oh yeah, it was locked huh? You secretive thing you. :>

Yeah, well... I started looking at my 2005 sewing schedule and knew I won't get some of our more outrageous schemes even started let alone finished. Besides I like this particular fabric as is.

Someday maybe I'll go all out though... :>
cracked_code From: cracked_code Date: January 19th, 2005 08:40 am (UTC) (link)

Me too!

I like "Opera Spice" myself, although the colors remind me of numerous desserts like "creamsicle" and "floating island", or you could play off of Twelfth night and Opera and call it "First Night" or "Opening Night." If you go with the butterfly theme I don't see how you can pass up "Mlle Butterfly" though. ;-)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: January 19th, 2005 08:53 am (UTC) (link)

Re: Me too!

Floating island and creamsicle??? We are not even going there! :>

I like "Opening Night" too ... it's nice and short. But I really love "Mlle Butterfly". That would be really hard to pass up if I do a butterfly, even though the dress is not a very "asian" design.

cracked_code From: cracked_code Date: January 19th, 2005 08:59 am (UTC) (link)

Re: Me too!

Well, maybe I shouldn't have replied around lunch time. Glad you like the suggestions - I love making a difference in the world.
19 comments | comment?