The dress I have decided on making is very much inspired by Swedish court dresses. The court dresses was introduced by King Gustav III in 1778. The history about how it got introduced is a bit complicated, so I won’t go into that. The dress has looked pretty much the same all the time it was in use, only the silhouette changing with the fashion. This is how it looked when it was first introduced (the lady to the right):
And as worn by Crown Princess Desideria in the 1810’s:
Crown Princess Josefina in 1825:
Three generations of noblewomen in 1944 (the two girls about to be presented at court):
and since they’ve not be in use for more than 30 years, I think I can get away with wearing a dress much like it.
The dress was always black, full length, and very simple. Pretty much any black dress could be made a court dress by adding the lattice sleeves. Even though the dress was simple, it was very desirable to be allowed to wear one. Only the royal ladies, and ladies presented at court was allowed that privilege. The last time the court dress was used officially (to my knowledge) was in 1974 (when it looked like this),
My dress will be made out of dark blue velvet (old curtains really), and the sleeves will be in thin, white satin with soft white tulle over it (both fabrics are leftover scraps from other projects), and the lattice in some semi-shiny, blue, polyester fabric, cut from an old dress. The zipper will be salvaged from that dress as well, so I won’t spend anything at all on this gown.
So far I’ve all but finished the bodice, and am now working on the sleeves. I’m too tired to take pictures of it now, so you have to be patient. I have always liked the look of these dresses, and think it’ll be very pretty. Not sure what other people will think, though my brother sort of liked it.