Hello dears. Don’t you think it is high time I shared the glittering details of our Church’s Yuletide Ball? Good, I’m glad you agree! *chuckle* In amidst all of our final singing performances and Christmas preparations last year, the one thing that was on all of our minds was what we were going to wear to the Ball. We were not going to be unfashionable and wear what we wore the year before. And the glorious notion of stitching up 40’s gowns was impossible, what with our meager budget, the lack of 40’s ball gown patterns (We need 40’s ball gowns? Oh, well yes, I guess we ought to add that to our ever growing stash of patterns… good idea!), and limited time. Instead we each landed in-between the 50’s and 60’s eras to match our dear sister B who just so happened to have a 60’s gown ready and waiting. Lottie and I frantically skittered and scurried for a week or two (a bit exaggerated, but it sounded comical) to figure out what we were going to do. One of us ended up buying yards of new fabric, the other piecing pretty garments into a delightful ensemble. As I said Brigi remained the exception this year as you shall soon see. Anyhow, we all came out quite well I do believe… but I’ll leave that for you to judge.
What Brigid Wore
Dress: Vintage 1960’s Gown // Wrap: Charlotte’s Scarf // Purse: Vintage Find // Gloves: Vintage Find // Necklace: From Grandma // Earrings: From Grandma // Shoes: Payless Shoe Source
Now here is a fun story: During the Summer months Brigi was messaged by Becca and Bethany–the two sisters behind the blog, Clever Bunnies–asking if she would like a particular 1960’s ball gown they had, but could not wear. Brigi quickly replied in the affirmative, and soon it arrived in the mail. As you can see, the dress fit her like a dream! It has a light satin lining, overlaid with velvet dotted organza. In the light, with every movement she makes the little turquoise dots shine and shimmer. Paired with the darling elbow-length gloves, it was truly a striking gown, not to mention it was perfectly modest for our standards. The evening of the Ball was clear, but bitterly cold, and so she asked for the use of Charlotte’s warm shawl/scarf.
For weeks B had been nagging me to do SOMETHING with her very short, pretty hair; I obliged her at last by sitting her down one evening to do a test run. I told her that the best thing to do would be to backcomb the top into a soft, 60’s bouffant. She agreed, so I began to work my magic. It took only a little backcombing and hair spray before we got the desired affect. She loved it very much, and so that is what we chose to do for her for the grand occasion. I think she looks just dazzling, don’t you?
What Charlotte Wore
Kelly Green 50’s Dress: Made by Brigid // Purse: Vintage Find // Shoes: ThredUP // Necklace: Antique // Earrings: Origami Owl
As I said, Charlotte was quite happy to pull together a few pretty items from her closet for the Ball, but Brigi had other ideas. What seemed like all of the month of December, B hoarded the use of the basement serger, and other sewing related things. Charlotte and I were not permitted down there, which drove us nuts! Sure we didn’t need to go down every time when she was in the basement, but Brigi was so irksome and mysterious, it just got on our nerves a bit. Finally she was through, and just in time for Christmas… Hmm?… Placed on her dress form, Brigi revealed to our amazed eyes the gift she had been working on for her dear sister Charlotte. It was Kelly Green, and oh so very Charlotte. The delighted girl spoke volumes with her wide eyes and gaping mouth, and she immediately decided that she was going to give the 1950’s knit dress a debut at the Yuletide Ball. Brigi beamed at this, and confirming Charlotte’s declaration, said that that was exactly what she wanted her to do! And, oh my, how adorable she looked dancing through the night in that eye catching green!
Since we all decided to be smart and wear flats to the Ball, this gave Charlotte a good excuse to don her gold snakeskin flats from ThredUP. Lastly, the only thing left to finish the look was a very charming vintage choker, and her brand new earrings from Origami Owl! Oh what a fifties teen she really seemed to be that night!
What Jessica Wore
1950’s Party Dress: Made by Me // Shoes: DSW // Gloves: Vintage Find // Earrings: ModCloth // Hair Accessories: ModCloth
Wonder of all wonders, I decided to make my very own glamorous ball gown for the Yuletide Ball! Since this would be my very first attempt at sewing a garment so grand and lovely, I wanted to use the simplest pattern I could to achieve a 1950’s look. There was no better pattern on hand than Mrs. Chancey’s Ladies 1958 Party Dress! (Truly her patterns are a work of art in and of themselves! And for those of you who have never tried them out, do consider giving her your business next time! You will be rewarded with easy instructions to follow, resulting in a gorgeous item of clothing!) Now, there happened to be a very pretty dress hanging up in my closet that Brigi had made to “match” her 16th Birthday dress, and the fabric she used for it was of a silken Indian Sari! I wanted very much to use such a lush fabric, so I inquired if this would be a good choice for a beginner to use. She said it was easy enough to work with, which suited me just fine. I looked for several hours on this Etsy shop to find the perfect Sari. It seemed like I would never get down to a selected few, there were so many beauties, but in the end I don’t think I could have thought up a better combination of silk, colors or design than what I got in my Sari! It had Jessica written in every thread!
Though I had to tweak a few things in the pattern to make it just how I wanted, the finished product was everything I dreamed it would be. Mom helped me by making a long tiered slip, under which I wore a very stiff sort of petticoat. But was dancing in tissue thin silk a good idea? I had my worries. It was a good idea in the end. Oddly enough the silk just slipped over my arms as I moved them, giving me plenty of ease and comfort. My hair was done up in pin curls (all over my head this time) the night before, making it a cinch to pull them out, loosen them just a tad before combing them back to pin into a vintage upsweep. I stuck B’s flower clips in the side to finish the look. Like Brigi, I too had a pair of elbow-length opera gloves, and in keeping with the rule, I wore my ruffled-toe pink flats–the best choice for a long night of dancing.
Our evening out proved to be a merry one. I don’t think I could tell you all the names of the dances, but the Virginia Reel was on the list, as it usually is with such gatherings. We danced the night through until the clock struck midnight. Thankfully, there were no Cinderellas who fled at the end of it, but many happy faces, and many promises of dances to come in the future.
What are your favorite fabrics for a Ball gown?
Which of our Gowns fits your taste?
Have you ever been to a Ball before?
Love and blessings to you all, my friends!
Jessica, the eldest sister & singer