A lady is only dressed when she is properly accessorized! The final steps of being ready for the ball were to make Chihiro’s reticule (purse), find gloves and shoes, style her wig and select jewelry. I’ll begin this by saying “find gloves” because my original intent of making them did not go as planned. At no fault of the fabric, my chosen pattern and patience were not up to the task. So instead, I found a lovely pair of sheer elbow length gloves with pearls that suited the outfit. Sometimes you just need to accept that your efforts are better placed elsewhere.
Chihiro’s reticule was inspired by a classic regency drawstring design and made to look like a steamed bun. I began by measuring how wide I wanted its base to be (wide enough to fit my phone) then calculated its circumference for the length of fabric needed for the sides. The DuroLast Microfiber Suede Upholstery Fabric in Beige had enough body that I did not need to interface it. I added 2 inches to the desired height plus 1.5 inches for seam allowance and drawstring channels. The “bite” in the side was made by removing a 1.5 inch half moon shape from the bottom and side, then adding in an oval of fabric. The inside was lined with Solid Poly Spandex Satin Fabric in Ivory. After everything was sewn and finished, I painted on the red bean filling and covered it with dark red rhinestones. The drawstrings were adorned with green beads from my stash.
I searched high and low for shoes that were a bright enough yellow and in the style I wanted. I ended up finding a pair of beige lace ups that I painted yellow with jacquard’s leather paints. I also replaced the beige laces with yellow ribbons. The shoes were finished by adding tiny rhinestones to the toe tips.
Chihiro’s wig was a challenge. I wanted it to mimic her ponytail with fringe bangs but still look elegant and formal. Luckily, one of the most popular regency styles was an updo with curly fringe and loose pinned curls at the back of the head. I began by separating the hair around the face and at the back of the neck from the center hair which would make up the majority of the ponytail. I then put the wig on my head and gathered the ponytail to the proper tightness. Then it was just a matter of curling and pinning everything! The loose curls at the base of the neck helped to hide the bottom of the wig.
The hairstyle was finished with a pink and clear rhinestone tiara that was borrowed from a close friend. My instagram internet sleuths helped me track down the perfect apple green rhinestone necklace and earrings set that mimicked Chihiro’s shirt collar (thanks guys!). The make up was kept simple and natural with a good amount of blush to match her rosy cheeks! Now, I was ready for the ball!
We began the evening by arriving at the location of The Queen’s Ball and were placed in a waiting chamber filled with flower decor and dramatic lighting. Everyone looked amazing and it was so much fun talking to others about their inspirations! We then moved through the tunnel of flowers into the portrait room where they had multiple photo opportunities. There was a lovely gazebo filled with white flowers with curtains of crystals hanging down. We took some individual portraits and silly group shots.
The next photo opportunity was a “painted” portrait stage surrounded by easels. Once your photo was taken, you were guided to one of the easels where you could edit your photo and send it to yourself.
There were two bars where you could purchase libations inspired by characters in the show. My favorite was the Lady Bridgerton, a sweet and floral concoction. One bar was in the portrait room, the other was in the Queen’s greeting room. I lined up right away and had the opportunity to bow to the Queen. She even granted me her favor by giving me one of her “potential diamond” cards!! The rest of the evening was spent dancing, watching the exquisite performances and seeing who would be selected as “The Diamond”. I was not selected but was thrilled to see that a very talented sewist I had talked to earlier was!
After the event, our group made our way over to the hotel that Dragoncon’s unofficial “Welcome home” party was being held in. There were already SO many people in town and it was fantastic to see so many friends. The final wearing of Chihiro was Sunday morning for a shoot with a photographer I admire and then the Bridgerton meetup. There were about 25 of us, some cannon outfits as well as some Disney inspired! It was so great to chat with them and share our love of Bridgerton as well as regency fashion. I hope to find another excuse to wear her again soon!