Warning, pic spam ahead!
The Ball was amazing. There's something about dressing up in a silly costume and dancing the night away that puts everyone in high spirits. I had a really great time, and met some wonderful people, as well as reacquainting myself with a few faces from last year.
The final week before the Ball was a mad rush to finish in time (one day I'll work out that time management thing!). I left London on Friday afternoon so I could spend the night at Becky's in Bristol. Pretty much everything was finished. The trimming and sleeves were only pinned onto Becky's bodice, but I could do that at hers. Of course, it was at this point that I decided that what the outfit really needed, was about 8m more of the bodice trim on the skirt, to bring the whole thing together. So with less than an hour to go before I needed to leave, I made a last minute dash for the haberdashery, and then was on my way to the coach station.
Luckily, all the hand sewing was done by about midday on Saturday, so all that was left was to do our hair and get dressed. As Becky lives so close to Bath, it seemed wasteful to book a hotel room, but that left us with nowhere to get changed, hence why we turned up to the 3pm dance class in costume, and stayed that way until after midnight, when we were safely back home. It just so happened that that weekend was the hottest weekend of the year so far, so lets just say those chemises definitely needed washing afterwards. But we both braved the heat, even poor Becky in her velvet bodice, and I don't think it affected our enjoyment at all - nor did it stop us from joining in with the vast majority of the dances.
|My green silk 1890s dress. I tried to do the 1890s top knot thing with my hair, and was impressed that it stayed in the whole night, even if the "artfully messy" tendrils appeared within minutes. I don't do tidy hairstyles...|
|We both had a train this year. Mine was just about small enough to dance in and only trip up on a handful of times, but we quickly conceded that Becky's would need safety pinning up for unencumbered dancing. Luckily I'd brought a sewing kit.|
|I kind of love how different our two gowns are. And I was really pleased that they both seemed to get an equal number of compliments from other ball-goers.|
And here are some of the other beautiful costumes and people from the night. Photography kindly shared by Lucas Pitcher, Izabela's other half and co-organiser:
|Izabela, our hostess, in he beautiful 1860s gown.|
|This was Becky's favourite gown of the evening, it's gorgeous|
|And the lovely Peryn in my favourite.|
|Yumi and her husband (whose name escapes me) were both lovely, and eager to come back next year.|
|These two looked so great together, and she kept her headdress on all evening - that takes commitment!|
|The pre-crinoline crowd.|
|Our fabulous caller, Diana, and the wonderful musicians.|
|Action shot! You can see me in green on the far right.|
|The whole group. Becky's standing in the front row about 5th in from the right, you can just see my head bobbing up beside her.|
So yes, good times were had by all! I even had a couple of people express interest in getting their gowns commissioned for next year, which would be lovely.
And a final photo for good measure:
|My underpinnings, taken at the end of the night (look at that hairdo still going strong!) while I was getting undressed. I love that petticoat, it definitely needs more flaunting.|