Warning: picture heavy post! I got a little carried away while getting dressed for the Masquerade… (well, okay, perhaps a lot…!)
I think that I had been so busy in the lead up to Bastille Day working on my dress I didn’t have time to get excited about the Bastille Day Masquerade until the day actually dawned. It wasn’t until I was armed with my curling iron, ready to ‘do something’ with my hair that I actually started to feel excited and looking forward to the whole process of transforming myself from a 21st Century woman into an 18th Century lady.
Because I hadn’t had a chance before the day to have a photo shoot of my gown or my undergarments I decided to get ready early and take some photos while doing so, which also served as a great way to show all the various layers and parts of the outfit.
To start, my shift, first petticoat (borrowed from my 1890s wardrobe – shhhh, don’t tell anyone!), and my Pretty Pink Stays:
Then I added my Pretty Pink Panniers and the pockets that I made (and had embroidered during a few lunch breaks at work):
I added the under petticoat:
After that, it was time for the petticoat and the choker I made from the same fabric following the instructions in the American Duchess book:
The Robe was next…
And then it was time to have some fun with accessories!
I ended up being fully ready to leave very much ahead of time so spent some time on Skype with my sister and her daughters. At first, my nieces wanted to know why I looked funny but it didn’t take long before they decided that I looked like a princess and seemed very impressed that I was going to a ball.
When it was time to leave, I headed out to wait for Liane to pick me up. A few neighbours drove by while I waited but it was too dark by then to see their reactions to a strangely dressed time traveller. The dogs across the street barked at me several times down the end of their driveway, clearly unimpressed with me standing around for so long.
We were a little fashionably late (emphasis on the fashionable?) but there were still some people milling about and we were able to buy a drink from the bar and chat with a few people before heading in for dinner. We took our seats and said hello to our table mates for the evening and lovely company.
Isabel welcomed everyone to the dinner, thanking us all for coming, thanking Erna Ferry for singing for us, and the Hotel Coachman for hosting us. She then asked Liane and I to stand up and told everyone that we had made our dresses and thanked us for making the effort. We were rewarded with applause before taking our seats again.
To start the evening off some dancers from a local dance school performed for us, including the Can Can. Unfortunately, there were some technical issues with the sound system so half of the performances were put on hold and our entrées were served while the issues were sorted out.
Between the courses Liane and I joined others up on the dance floor, dancing about to a mixture of Jazz and 70s music. It was fun, but it was rather odd dancing around in an 18th century gown to 20th century songs. Any time one song ended we decided to sit down and take a break until the next song started and we decided to keep dancing.
Heading back to our table in time for dessert to be served was definitely the right decision, however, as we were treated to Baked Alaska. As far as the food served that evening, this was indeed the highlight.
After dessert, it appeared that the evening was starting to wind down. Some attendees slipped out between the dessert and the calling of the raffle numbers. Unlike the previous year where we got back up dancing until the very last minutes after the raffle prizes were handed out, everyone started saying their farewells and making tracks.
But it was such a lovely evening overall. We definitely felt welcomed and it was so lovely to be complimented by so many kind people. Hopefully next year we might win some more people to our side and have some more company from the 18th Century.