Under Construction…

It’s full speed ahead here at the Atelier as we finish up some client orders and complete work on my ballgown for the Prior Attire Ball in Bath. We’re only a week off before we had out and the pressure is on…. ๐Ÿ™‚ At this point, you’re probably wondering what will be this year’s creation…well, you’ll have to wait for the big reveal BUT we can give a few details.ย  The theme this year is mid to late 1880s so that’s driving the basic design- this dress will be circa 1883-1885. In contrast to the earlier, Mid Bustle style, the train on this dress will not be as long since we now have a fuller bustle in play. Here’s the train under construction:

The train balayeuse may look long here but bear in mind that this is without the bustle picking up some of the length. Also, for convenience, the train will be detachable. Theย  balayeuse (literally translated, balayeuse means street sweeper in French, an apt description) itself consists of tree layers of knife pleated silk organza along with the train base fabric of silk faille with a scalloped edge.

Here’s a view of the construction from the underside. The arrangement of the balayeuse layers consists of three layers of silk organza trimmed with lace along with one layer of silk faille with scalloped edges which makes up the base fabric.

The source of inspiration for the balayeuse? Charles Worth, of course. Here’s the are some pictures of the balayeuse from a Worth ballgown in our collection:

Note that the under-hem can easily be detached from the hem if necessary.

Here’s a close-up of the knife-pleating along with lace remnants on the edge.

And of course, the label… ๐Ÿ™‚

Dyeing…The Saga Continues

And the saga continues as I work on my ball gown for the upcoming trip to Bath. Constructing a ball gown is not always an easy, straight-forward process as the following post reveals.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚


Dyeing and color theory is a crazy science, of course I want dyed to match silk satin ribbon to edge flounces with, and the gown’s main fabric is a changeable duchess silk satin…which means ribbon dyeing has to be done in pale rinses, each shade at a time, with lots of time checks, and it still might not work. FUN ๐Ÿคช

Check out the pretty coral pink pile of ribbon in the sink..too dark, I was too aggressive with the orange, It can’t be color stripped, so some lucky future client will get loads of silk ribbon work! The blush pink (in the sink, looks tan) is dead on perfect and I hesitate to add…that was just good luck!

Trying to match that piece of silk in my hand, third batch (in the sink) is a charm…the other pink ribbon is now too dark, so that has to wait for another project. No loss…just not for this dress.

Hallelujah!! That was harder than it looks, that blush rose silk has a lot of green undertones…but I did it!

Finally, the same for the narrow ribbon. That wasn’t an easy match. *WHEW*