Saturday’s Gaskell was great! I missed the previous ball, so I was extra excited to get dressed up and dance.

As expected, I spent most of Saturday morning finishing up the last minute sewing. I’d already sewn both sleeves on, so the next big item was the bertha.

Michelle suggested a bertha in the same swag style as the overskirt, and I loved the idea but sadly didn’t have enough fabric. The only material I had left was a long, narrow strip and it just looked a little weird when I’d pull it up. Instead, I went with my next choice – a knife pleated, trimmed bertha heavily inspired by the Truly Victorian one.

*All* the pleats??

A quick test of whether I’d even have enough fabric left. I was a little concerned that it would take away from the stripe matching on the bodice, but it seems to work out.

Two seams down the pleats.

Next, I had to figure out which side of the fabric to go with and which orientation to use. I decided to put the thicker orange stripe on the outside to match the overskirt pleats and had a ague idea of framing the top stripe in some sort of trim. Luckily, the boyfriend has a good eye for adorable trims hidden away in the corner of Joann ribbon aisles.

Strip one!

I was very relieved to have bought two spools of the stuff because I had only inches to spare at the end of the first strip.

Strip two!

Of course, the ribbons are slightly different shades of brown. Also my framing the orange strip may be a little questionable in some places. But if you’re looking so closely that you can really tell the differences, then you’re in kicking range.

I hand sewed the bertha on in the car ride to Christina’s (machine sewing would have run over the boning in the front and been a real bitch with the gathered shoulder straps) and then sewed my skirt hooks on when I got there.

I was done! Except that I completely failed to make a modesty panel for the back of my bodice. Bah, details. We made due with a quick scrap of fabric and, so I’m told, there was only a small gap in the back.

Even though the dress is done, I’ll wait until I have some pictures of the full dress to make a finished post. It’s been too long since I was this excited about a finished dress and I think it may be my favorite ball gown (not difficult as I only have two).

Pictures soon (hopefully)!