This is a Butterick "making history" pattern, and I think it is supposed to be an antebellum-style southern belle dress. Of course, it is not at all what a dress from that time would actually look like because women no longer wear corsets, and I didn't use any boning or anything. I would probably not have chosen this now because of issues with romanticizing that time period, but at the time I was kind of into "Gone with the Wind," and of course I thought the big billows of fabric were beautiful and elegant. It was a big challenge, which appealed to me. I think I made it during winter break that year, and it was a lot of fun. It is a heavy red satin. I still have the pattern envelope, and I don't remember whether this was 45" or 60" fabric, but it took somewhere between 7 1/2 and 10 yards of fabric and 15 3/4 yards of ivory lace. The bodice is fully self-lined, which is nice because the low neckline doesn't allow much in the way of undergarments.
The dress is so heavy that it does have a problem with kind of slipping down a little. I think if I were to make it again, I might investigate a waist stay, and I might make it tighter around the waist so it wouldn't have any room to start inching its way down. There was never any danger of a wardrobe malfunction, but I did have to adjust the bodice occasionally, and I don't enjoy fussing with my clothes.
This is me modeling it in 2009, when I was going through a closet at my parents' house and decided to see if it still fit. I thought for sure it would be far too small, but I think it looks even better now. I know it's silly, but I am a bit proud that I am still able to fit in my prom dress and that it looks so good on me, if I do say so myself. Maybe I'm just more confident in my body than I was in high school. That's a good thing, for sure!
I was invited to a costume party for German Carnivale (Fasching?), and I decided to haul it out again. For some reason it had never occurred to me as a Halloween costume. I still had the gloves I wore at prom, so I added those and did my hair in a complicated braid, which might not be historically accurate but seemed old-fashioned and easier than doing a bunch of curls. If I ever get pictures from the hostess, I will add them to this post. The ones on my camera don't really capture the look. It was fun, but wearing a hoop skirt is a bit cumbersome, especially if you want to move around and talk to different people or go get yourself a beer or anything. I was definitely glad to get home and put on normal clothes again.