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Friday, May 4, 2012

Titanic Dinner & Dress: Sink or Swim

This is the continuation of my 1912 dress saga. Having finished the basic dress, I now had to figure out what I wanted to do with it.

Inspired by two dresses featured in Nancy Bradford's "Costume in Detail," I created a lace "caplet" embroidered with sequins and caviar beads which draped over the shoulders and was secured in the back by an embroidered lace rosette. The lace was secured to the neckline and front of the dress with a rolled hem and the ends were tucked into the waistband.

 I also created rosettes for the waistband and the fronts of my shoes with the leftover lace and sequins--not that there were that many sequins left: 
Mary Page took it upon herself to get into my bead/sequin stash and use it in her play kitchen. Rob and I looked over and found to our horror that there were caviar beads and black sequins EVERYWHERE in her corner of the family room! We are going to be vacuuming those little guys up for years!

Anyway, despite ample planning ahead, I, of course, sewed on the dress up until the absolute last minute before it was time to get dressed. Rob wore tails and carried his 1890s beaver top hat. He also decided to wear his Hospitaller Order of Saint John. I chose to accessorize with long black gloves and a tiara, of course!

We arrived early enough at the Austin Club to get photographs of us in our ensemble as well as the dining room and table. Oh my, everything was a feast for the eye as well as the body. The food was delicious and I did not do a very good job of pacing myself. By the time we got to the Punch Romaine, I had had enough, but still had to at least try to taste everything.

The wines, as suggested by both the Austin Wine and Food Society as well as Chef Mike Maples were superb accompaniments to the incredible dishes.

We later took photographs of me in the dress at the 1911 farmhouse at Chatfield. You can see more of the details of the dress including the fateful sequins and beadwork! The hat is also of my own creation. Rob took great pictures--maybe he should be the one carrying the camera all the time!

Visit my photo albums for more pictures of the event and dress!


KimM said...

Wow, the dress and hat are most impressive! I cannot believe you HAND SEWED the dress! Amazing. And the picture of the tiny beads that the little 'un found made me cringe -and relate! Well, at least she is out of the sticking things in mouth stage.

Esther Sparhawk said...

I stumbled across this page while searching for little factoids for the historical fiction novel I'm writing.

I found your journal of the Titanic re-creation dress most interesting for two reasons:

1.) I am the descendant of Benjamin Howard who died aboard the Titanic and

2.) I have been re-creating historical costumes for Barbie dolls for more than twenty years.

This chronicle of your sewing project is wonderful!

Incidentally, I also sewed my medieval-style wedding dress by hand, including the hand-stitched embroidery on the bodice and sleeves. People look at me funny when I sew by hand, but I find it relaxing.

If you have a moment, I have a question for you. I can be reached at esthersparhawk (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks.