Observe her desire to return to the Old South!!
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Teri Lynn discusses her ballgown:
My ‘Scarlett O’Hara’ Dream Dress Ensemble
When I first saw ‘Gone With The Wind,’ I envied every woman in the dance scene. Their wonderful dresses laid over generous petticoats and hoop slips had me very jealous. I wanted a dress like that for my very own. I imagined myself whirling around the dance floor too.
It took many decades to achieve my dream but now it is real.
It began about two years
ago when I met a very talented seamstress in Arkansas. She specialized in
creating beautiful Victorian gowns. We kept in touch and in November 2005 I
asked her if she could make a Civil War Ball gown for me.
I knew it would likely take a year and I could spread her fees and the cost of all the material and notions over the year, making it affordable.
The dress pattern is a
Simplicity No.4510; the petticoat and hoop slip pattern is simplicity
9764. I bought 15 yards of Burgundy Windsor Satin for the dress. The cost
was a mere $75. Ribbon, lace, and other trim were additional. The
In June of 2006, I drove to my seamstress’ home for a final fitting. Even though the hoop slip wasn’t complete, I tried on the bodice and skirt of the dress before they were sewn together. I was in heaven.
Finally, in September, everything was ready. I donned my previously made pantaloons, then very carefully slipped the yards and yards of dress over my head, slowly wiggling my arms through
the draped sleeves and through the lace inserts. It felt incredible. Then, I stepped into the huge petticoat, which was made from 5 yards of 60 inch wide Pima cotton and a 14 inch wide eyelet lace flounce at the hem. I drew it to my waist and tied it.
Finally, it was time to put
on the hoop slip. This garment was also made from 5 yards of Pima cotton. The
the petticoat and the hoop slip were about $100 each. The steel boning was another $36.
The hoops were made from 96
inches of double wire steel encased in a double layer of white cotton. The
slip has 11 hoops, ranging from about 14 inches in diameter at the hips to the
two at the hem, a full four feet across! It weighs
in at 2.5 pounds alone. Each hoop is threaded through a casing in the Pima cotton and hooked together when one end reached the other. It is a big challenge and required major effort to thread that boning.
I slowly brought the waist of the slip to my waist and hooked it in place. I draped and adjusted the skirt of the dress over the support undergarments and smiled. I looked beautiful! I felt so feminine, and suddenly I was transported back to 1865.
On October 7, it was time
for my debut in this outfit at a local Harvest Moon Ball. With help from a
friend, I got into the ensemble once more and, this time, moved slowly from
the dressing area to the hotel dance floor. The skirt over
the hoop slip gently swayed from side to side like a bell. I carefully held several hoops up to allow walking gracefully.
I received many compliments from ladies and gents alike. In no time at all I moved across the floor and sat, using the practiced technique of lifting the back hoops a bit, moving backward until the back of my legs touched the front of the chair, then sitting down slowly and allowing the hoops to rest behind me. I was very lady like and at no time did I ever embarrass myself.
I hated to remove the garments when I returned home after a fantastic evening. I felt like Scarlett and the feeling overtakes me every time I look at the dress on its hanger.
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