costumes · sarah vs. the 18th century

Projects for 2014 – Lady in white, 1776

I’ve attempted to plan my costuming for the year in the last couple of years and then completely did not stick to the plan. At this point I’ve almost decided not to jinx myself by talking about a project I want to do… But then again, if I don’t talk about these things, what’s the point in having a blog?

Anyway, I’m totally enamored of this portrait right now, and looking at Merja’s photos from the Christmas Ball she attended where everyone was in white really has made it hard for me not to want this even more:

Lady in White,  Lié Louis-Périn Salbreux, 1776
Lady in White, Lié Louis-Périn Salbreux, 1776

While down in SoCal last week for a Disneyland escapade, we popped into the L.A. garment district and one of my missions was to find a white-on-white sheer/satin 2″ stripe organza for this dress. Which, of course, meant that I found no such thing. Apparently if I go down to the garment district with an actual idea of what I want to buy, I will not find it there. I was even willing to go for a synthetic if it had the right stripe, but nope. Ebay & Etsy, too, proved fruitless in the search. As did basically every other online fabric store I could think of. I pretty much resigned myself to putting this dress into the “probably will never happen” category.

Then, randomly, while looking for something else entirely, I found the right sort of fabric, for less than an arm & a leg! The stripes are a tad wider than in the portrait, but who cares? I’ll take it.

Beggars can’t be choosers.

I already have several yards of white silk shantung that could work for the base gown, but I’m kind of liking the idea of finding a good, warm-toned white silk taffeta, similar to what I used as the base for my Eugenie gown. Something that would give it a nice glow in natural light, but also makes a stunning candlelit effect.

Does anyone else love white? What are your favorite white gowns?

11 thoughts on “Projects for 2014 – Lady in white, 1776

  1. love the fabric and love the Whites………not only in gowns although white 18th century gowns are notthat easy to find………….and the transparancy is gorgeous as well………..loveto see the end result……… will look amazing!!!!!…what a great find!!!

  2. Hah! There that fabric is.

    I’ve always liked the concept of a white gown more than the actual thing (didn’t even wear white at my wedding). But I finally did make that 1590s in white, & now I’ve got it out of my system 🙂

    1. You rocked that white frock. I just had a weird thought, though… This would make one hell of a wedding dress. I’m going to make it this year, but I don’t anticipate we’ll actually be tying the knot for a few more years… But still. It’s making me think wedding thoughts now.

    1. I love Renaissance Fabrics (Diana is a friend of mine, so I try to buy from her whenever I can), but that particular striped organza is too narrow at 1/2″ stripes. I needed 2″ stripes. Otherwise, it would have been perfect!

  3. I LOVE this dress!

    I’m not so drawn to all white, altho the fluffy/sheer late 18th c white thing does grab me. For me it’s black & white, enough so that I have to consciously avoid it, or my entire costume wardrobe would be b&w!

  4. What an amazingly beautiful dress. It’s so fitting of you. (no pun intended) I vaguely remember you writing abut this fabric, on LJ perhaps. The sash around her neck really adds something special for the dress.

  5. 2014 is the year of the white gown for me! I’m building a white silk satin francaise right now, and my court gown for CoCo will be ivory. Plus I’m going to squeeze in other white/ivory projects as I’m able to. I figure I’ll make a handful of wedding dresses before the year’s out!

    That inspiration portrait is gorgeous. So glad you found the right fabric. You’ll be stunning!

  6. I love white dresses but they never suit me making me more ghostly looking that I usually am! Same goes for Black. And yellow – well that makes me look as if I have a liver complaint!

    That painting is gorgeous though and I am sure it would suit you very well.

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