A Busy December

With a plethora of events this December, I found myself without anything to wear, quite literally, since the majority of my 19th-century wardrobe is on display in another state.  Despite the fact that wearing only a corset and chemise would cover as much as many modern party dresses, it did seem a bit outre.

Having determined that wearing real clothing, to the Hartford Holiday Ball and also to Fezziwig's Ball in Salem, was my best option, it was time for a dress.

After some delays, I was left with a week to get everything done, for Hartford I had it mostly wearable.  Continuing with the theme of full body coverage, as many accessories as seemed reasonable were worn, and then the unreasonable ones were put on top of that.

An 1830s dress...

With a silk taffeta bodice with velvet stripes...

 For Salem, the next week, I was able to finish the outfit fully, adding lace around the neck, drawstrings at the sleeves and finishing the satin under skirt.  And had a lovely time at the ball, so lovely that it is almost completely undocumented. But I do have pictures of...

A silk organza skirt and ruffle trimmed/bound with silk taffeta...and pretending to play the piano

Vintage lace and pattern matching..and the giant comb

Happy curls...and looking demure by the Christmas tree

The Challenge: Special Occasion 
Material: Silk taffeta for bodice, lined with cotton, silk organza, cotton satin, silk taffeta trim
Pattern: TV 1830s bodice with heavy redrafting, none for skirt and ruffle
Year: 1832-35
Notions: boning, vintage lace 
How historically accurate is it? 70%
Hours to complete: 40?
First worn: Hartford Holiday Ball, Fezziwig's Ball
Total cost: $50, probably
This past weekend we dropped by the Gibson House in Back Bay for their open house.  For which I wore a fantastically loud dress from the HSBM exhibit, also redecorated a hat with some teal velvet ribbon and gray moire. It also has streamers.

Merry Christmas,


  1. Merry Christmas, Ruby Grace! Both outfits are fabulous. You definitely know how to work stripes into elegant concoctions. It was such fun seeing you at Fezziwig's :)

  2. I'm so glad you had a good time in December! Thank for sharing what you were up to! It was lovely to see you (more than once, even)!

    Happy new year!


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