Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Velvet Hussar: Nearly Complete!

I'm proud to say that as of tonight (or tomorrow evening), my reproduction of Empress Elisabeth's velvet and fur winter ensemble will be done!
Saturday will be its debut as I will be presented to HRH Queen Victoria, at Dickens Fair for Royals Day.
Of course I have no real photos of anything yet since I've been so busy finishing it up, but here is a photo of the matching hat I finished this afternoon during my lunch hour (sorry for the poor image quality):

In the original photograph of 'Sisi' wearing this outfit, her hat was a similar shape and style, with what looks like a little mink fur decoration at one side (away from the camera). Hers had more of an upturned close brim. Frustratingly, I didn't have the time or ability to replicate her hat this year, but was able to make one in the same vein. Instead of at the side, I put a looped velvet bow tipped with little mink pom poms at the center back. The rest of the hat is black sinmay covered with the same black velveteen as the gown in a softly gathered toque style with a little Hungarian flair.

Below is one of the 8 appliques I hand beaded to go on the front of the coat. These are a base for the covered toggles that the cord loops across the front attach to.

From the original set of photographs. You can see the little sprout of fur to the right on her hat:

'Sisi' with Shadow.
The lace collar on the blouse I wore last year will work perfectly for underneath, and I've added some lace frill to the cuffs as well.

In this image, it's easier to make out the daisy-shaped & beaded motifs under the toggles on her bodice.

 My skirt will not be trained long in back. You have no idea how much I wish it could be. But I needed to make it shorter because well, it's the Cow Palace/Dickens Fair. While the ground isn't atrociously dirty with mud etc. (but still pretty heinous) the risk of having my hem accidentally stepped on by patrons and players alike is too risky.

Oh and by the way; I went so far as to *DYE MY HAIR* for this.
Maybe not just for this Sisi project alone, but for fun too. I had to bite the bullet and did it on Tuesday evening before I allowed myself to chicken out. My own blonde locks will be in hiding, gradually making their way back out over the next few months, as I slowly and gently get the darker semi-permanent shade of chestnut out.
Check it!:


  1. I cannot WAIT to see photos of your finished gown!

    1. ;-) I can't wait until the dang-durn thing is DONE. But yes, I'm excited to get photos of it. Hopefully some good ones away from the odd Dickens Fair lighting.

  2. So excited! It's going to look great! You paid such close attention to the detail in those photos. Not very easy to see those daisies.

    1. Thanks! Yes, it can be hard with antique images!
      I literally went off of whatever shape those 'daisies' resembled, just based on the reflection on them from the light source hitting them in the photo. Whatever it is, it has to be some kind of circular flower shape, with three beaded dangles hanging from a few of the lower 'petals'.


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