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Belle of the ball

November 21, 2009

“And our last outfit this evening, ladies and gentlemen, is this beautiful strapless evening gown…”

Eileen glided forward, a dreamy expression on her face. At the end of the runway she posed gracefully, her smile serene over the heads of the crowd. Yes, the window in the Ladies’ room should be just wide enough for her and the dress to fit through, and before they even noticed it was missing she’d be halfway up the coast. You shall go to the ball, Eileen, she told herself…

I love the winged tip to the bodice here, and must admit a sneaking partiality for the enormous rose at the waistline!

Ballgown patterns have a kind of fatal fascination for me (and I suspect I’m not alone). They’re among my favourite patterns to gaze at and acquire. Maybe because there’s so much potential romance in the illustrations- you too could look this elegant sweeping through a ballroom, they seem to insinuate seductively. But ballgowns are unfortunately among the styles I’m least likely to make up, not really having that ballgown kind of lifestyle and all. Isn’t it a little sad that formalwear has become a lot less formal over the years? At most parties wearing a dress like this would be way too much (especially with elegant gloves and corsage). Mind you, the shorter length option might be another matter…

This pattern and a few others are now up in the store. (I couldn’t find a date on this particular pattern, and then came across it in my Simplicity store catalogue for 1949. Which was an oddly exciting discovery; as if something mythical in a magazine or a book had suddenly become real and tangible…)

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