For this I used dark blue and light blue taffeta for the gown and lined the bodice with muslin for support. The bodice is machine and hand sewn. For the seams and attaching the taffeta to the lining, it was all machine sewn. For the boning casings, the lace and pearl trim, and the holes for the lacing up the back, this was all hand sewn. It is time consuming, but well worth the extra time taken to hand sew, plus it is a real sense of accomplishment when you are finished. The holes for the lacing were punched with an awl and used a buttonhole stitch for each hole, then used a crochet hook to pull the ribbon through each hole, lacing as you would a shoe or sneaker. The pattern does use a few hook-and-eye closures at the top and bottom for extra support and better fit. There are approximately 4-6 at the back between the shoulders.and 2-4 at the bottom for a secure fit. The skirt pattern is basically a one size fits all. The petals are attached to the skirt and then begin gathering the skirt to fit the waist. Then add the waistband and sew 2 heavy hook & eyes to fit the wearers waist. This did take a while to complete, but it was well worth the effort!
1863 Ball Gown Bodice - Past Patterns #704 fits sizes 8-26 B, C & D cups.
Truly Victorian – #TV246 1851 Petal Ballgown Skirt - This pattern is one size fits all.