Diary of a Titanic Dress: Part Seven–The Big Reveal!

By Jennie Chancey

The Titanic Centenary Memorial dinner we attended on April 12 was a fantastic success. The event raised over $6000 for a community-based conservation effort on Kenya’s coast, and we ate an incredible meal reproduced from the last first-class dinner served on board the ship. Many of those in attendance dressed in retro fashions (including guys in tuxes), which made it all the more special. It has taken me a long time to photograph the finished gown on my mannequin, as we officially entered the “long rains” on April 1st, and we’ve had rain, rain, and more rain, so I never could manage to take pictures outside (where the light is best). Today I just made my best effort inside, and here are the pictures of my finished dress!

Our favorite local restaurant, which hosted the dinner, really did a fabulous job of setting the scene. The entryway featured roped stanchions and a gangplank with the White Star Line logo painted on it (alas, the photos turned out too dark to share this!). The tables were set with the full array of cutlery for each of the courses:

Here’s the menu, reproduced from an original that actually survived the sinking in a passenger’s pocket:

The superb chef combined a couple of the original ten courses to make eight courses (serving asparagus with the salmon rather than on its own, for instance). The final results were a culinary education and delight! Here we are, enjoying a wonderful evening of history and good fellowship:

My handsome husband, who served as emcee, and I, seated at our table. (Yes, the water bottle rather spoils the picture!)

Two of my dearest friends here attended with their husbands. We sure had fun! In this photo, you can see that I have the train looped over my left hand.

With my eldest son, who was thrilled to enjoy two hours of eating (teenage boy heaven!).

Visiting with other attendees.

I wish I could share a photo of my husband and me waltzing together, but we bowed out early. I’m sure I’ll be wearing this gown again, though, and it’s begging for a waltz! Thank you so much for all your help and feedback while I was putting it together. It was much more fun to share and hear your ideas than to go it alone!

 

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33 Comments on Diary of a Titanic Dress: Part Seven–The Big Reveal!

  1. Becca
    April 28, 2012 at 6:16 am (3 years ago)

    Love your dress and your friend in the red dress. Hers is lovely as well!

    Reply
  2. Sarah E
    April 28, 2012 at 6:42 am (3 years ago)

    Oh, Jennie, the dress is gorgeous! And it is simply stunning on you! Bravo for such a super job!!!

    Reply
  3. Suzi
    April 28, 2012 at 6:53 am (3 years ago)

    Beautiful job Jennie – and I love the tassels – well done!

    Reply
  4. Jess
    April 28, 2012 at 6:55 am (3 years ago)

    What a fun evening! Your dress turned out perfectly.

    Reply
  5. Norma
    April 28, 2012 at 7:08 am (3 years ago)

    You did a fantastic job on this dress-it fits you perfectly and the colors are gorgeous- where did you find the sash parts? I always wished the children took longer to grow up-your son will be as handsome as his father when he gets older-

    Reply
    • Jennie Chancey
      April 28, 2012 at 7:10 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much for the kind comments, Norma! I made the sash from the leftover underskirt fabric, and the “paisley” sequin overlay came from the same shop where I purchased the saree. When I asked the owner if she had any trimming that would complement the saree, she walked over to a table and pulled it right out — it was perfect!

      And, yes, they DO grow up too fast! I can’t believe my “baby” will be 15 this year! He is such a delight to us and such a fantastic older brother. :)

      Reply
  6. Christine
    April 28, 2012 at 7:23 am (3 years ago)

    How beautiful! Wish I could have been there. Great dress, great family you have (I think a teenager enjoying such a fancy dinner should be commended, some might find it a bore). I always enjoy your posts, here and on facebook!

    Reply
  7. Amy @ Heritage Homemaker
    April 28, 2012 at 7:56 am (3 years ago)

    Oh my goodness! That dress is stunning. Looks like it is right out of that time. Gorgeous!

    Reply
  8. Cara G
    April 28, 2012 at 8:08 am (3 years ago)

    Your dress is beautiful, and you and your family look lovely! :-)

    Reply
  9. TreasureSeeker
    April 28, 2012 at 8:24 am (3 years ago)

    Yay! It’s beautiful! It looks like you all had a blast! Thank you so much for posting the results!

    Reply
  10. Kelly Albrecht
    April 28, 2012 at 8:44 am (3 years ago)

    That turned out great. My oldest daughter loves those colors and just asked me to make her another Titanic dress recently. she wants this pattern this time in these colors it looks like. To add it to my long list of things to sew now.

    Reply
  11. Lauren Christine
    April 28, 2012 at 8:50 am (3 years ago)

    It is such a beautiful dress! What a fun evening :)

    Reply
  12. Krista
    April 28, 2012 at 8:55 am (3 years ago)

    Wonderful, Jennie! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful evening with us. Your project was an inspiration and an encouragement to try it ourselves and approach projects creatively:).

    Krista

    Reply
  13. Emily Lenz
    April 28, 2012 at 11:00 am (3 years ago)

    What a charming ensemble! What did you use for looping the train? My sister and I were inspired by your work to create some gowns for a Titanic dinner our family hosted…and at the last minute (week). :)
    It was fun being creative with the general style…the lines of the period are so artistic and flowing and lend themselves to such distinctive looks. Thank you for the wonderful posting! It made our last minute decisions that much easier. :)

    Reply
    • Jennie Chancey
      April 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Emily! I hope you’ll share your dresses, too! I made the train loop from the same embroidery floss used to create the tassels. I did the “chain” method, taking three strands of DMC, knotting the ends together and taking a couple of stitches into the underside of the train, then stitching again to make a small loop. You then reach two fingers though the loop and grab the thread hanging from the needle. Pull this through enough to create another loop. Reach through that loop, pull the thread through to make another loop, and just keep going until your “chain” is long enough to create a loop for your hand to fit through. Knot the final small loop and stitch the end next to the initial stiches, and that makes the full chain loop. Hope that makes sense!

      Reply
      • Emily Lenz
        April 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm (3 years ago)

        Yes that makes sense…thank you! I will try sharing a few pictures of the gowns we made soon. :)

        Reply
  14. Katrina - Edelweiss Patterns
    April 28, 2012 at 12:02 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh my goodness! You were just gorgeous! Not that that’s any surprise, of course, but it is so neat to see more pictures of you in it. : ) And you and Matt must have been the classiest couple on the dance floor. : )

    Happy sewing,

    Katrina

    Reply
  15. Gertrude
    April 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm (3 years ago)

    You look stunning!… like you just stepped off the Titanic! You and your husband look wonderful together, and your son looks quite noble (and adorable)! : )

    Reply
  16. Maril Roll aka Mrs. Mari
    April 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm (3 years ago)

    I love your dress. Geneece made me my Titanic dress to wear to the luncheon here in Seattle. Now I need one with this pattern. You look so beautiful.

    Reply
  17. Carol
    April 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm (3 years ago)

    Lovely, Jennie! Nicely executed. Thank you for sharing your project with us and allowing us the fun to share in your project with you.

    Reply
  18. Sheri
    April 30, 2012 at 8:59 am (3 years ago)

    Absolutely stunning, Jennie! Truly a lovely dress and spectacular colors! It looks like you had a very enjoyable evening. I’ll admit, I’m just a teeny bit envious. ;)

    Reply
  19. Jillian
    April 30, 2012 at 9:56 am (3 years ago)

    You look so lovely, Jennie! Your dress is nothing short of perfect. It’s nice to hear how much money the event was able to raise for a great cause as well!

    Reply
  20. Theresa
    April 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm (3 years ago)

    Your dress turned out absolutely exquisitely! You are so talented, and a woman after my own heart. I would love to learn how to sew such beautiful dresses…if I had my way, I think I would dress this way every day! :)

    Reply
    • Jennie Chancey
      April 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm (3 years ago)

      Awww…! Thanks, Theresa! I have to say I’ve met more kindred spirits through this site than I ever dreamed lived on the planet! And don’t be shy about sewing–jump in! I even have a class for this dress that you can take online at your own pace! ;)

      Reply
  21. Lynn
    April 30, 2012 at 3:56 pm (3 years ago)

    Jennie it is gorgeous! And in all the years I’ve been hanging around your site, I don’t think I have ever seen a picture of your handsome husband! And how grown up your son is!

    Looks like you all had a lovely time. Thanks for sharing the dress journey with us!

    Reply
  22. Geneece
    April 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm (3 years ago)

    That is absolutely gorgeous! I’ve been eagerly waiting the final photos …. and am awed by how it all came together. Such beautiful fabrics. You look stunning in the gown!

    Reply
  23. ~Mrs. R
    May 1, 2012 at 11:24 am (3 years ago)

    Oh this dress is stunning and I love the tassels!! I did not attend any Titanic function, but I did make a Titanic era outfit for my “business persona”! I will be having photos taken at a period mansion soon, but still need to make my apron with the pattern I got from you!

    One question, my outfit is cream & black and grey (not what I would have chosen but these items were in my closet and “fit” the period with some minor alterations). Since my jacket & hat wouldn’t be worn indoors, should I make my apron white or is cream alright to go with my blouse?

    Here is a direct link to photos of what I made: http://honeyfromflintyrocks.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/my-titanic-era-outfit/

    Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated!!

    Reply
    • Jennie Chancey
      May 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm (3 years ago)

      You did a fantastic job, Mrs. R.! The apron would definitely be white rather than cream, and it will go fine with your ensemble. Have fun sewing!

      Reply
  24. DaughterofCatholiscism
    May 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm (3 years ago)

    With this pattern, do you think you could show how to make alterations so that the back isn’t showing? I have bad acne on my back, and I don’t think this would look very elegant!

    Reply
    • Jennie Chancey
      May 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm (3 years ago)

      Hello! Yes, there are two ways to do it. One is to remove the back “V” by simply cutting the center back higher (experimenting in muslin is key here). The other is to fill in the “V” and the front neckline with chantilly lace or netting and have it go up to form a high-neck collar. I show how to do this in the 1910s Tea Gown Class as well. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  25. Samuel Friedrich
    May 9, 2012 at 8:45 pm (3 years ago)

    You did a fantastic job Mrs. Chancey! Thank you and your husband, for doing such good work for Persecution Project in Kenya! Your family is showing great selflessness!

    Reply
    • Jennie Chancey
      May 10, 2012 at 5:40 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks for the kind remarks, Samuel! We have been so privileged to be a part of a lot of great endeavors here. This dinner raised over $6000 for a community-based conservation group on the coast that works with indigenous fishermen to provide an income stream even as fish stocks are rebuilt through conservation. It’s exciting!

      Reply
  26. RetroJetGirl
    June 12, 2012 at 11:42 am (3 years ago)

    Goodness, I remember joining this site in high school & I think at the time you were experimenting with maternity patterns as you were expecting a baby. How the time flies! Great dress

    Reply

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