My Ode to the Ballet Russes in Paper Lace

by Jade on January 7, 2013 · 3 comments

in Vintage Sewing

It's all paper!!!!

I was recently invited to submit a piece for the New Orleans Creative Alliance’s annual Bal Des Artistes. This event is comprised of a runway show of local designers and artists and a masked ball. The theme this year was “1920′s French Quarter Bohemian”. Now, I jumped on this train rather late. Just three weeks before the event and in the middle of the Christmas holidays. So on a budget and a short deadline I had to get creative. I wanted to pay homage to what I think were some of the greatest costumers of the time period: The Russian Ballet. I found that paper lent itself very well to the Deco look I was trying to achieve. The headdress is modeled after the traditional Russian Kokoshnik which was still a popular motif with the ballet in the 1920′s. I am quite pleased with how the whole thing turned out!

Jazzy looking fabulous and me stoked to get to finally drag out Grandma's fur.

Needless to say there was a lot of folding a ironing here.  Not to mention paper punching to get the lacy edges.  The bodice is wheat pasted to achieve the form of my model.  The headdress I made by making a buckram and wire base and wheat pasted the paper fans and doilies to it.  The paper doilies on the skirt, bodice, and headdress are from my secret stash (yes I have a doilie  stash) and some are from the very secret vintage 1950′s collection.  Never mind they put the skirt on sideways.  She looked just grand.  I know this is a bit of an unusual entry but I just had to share,

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– who has written 6 posts on

I am a professional seamstress and costumer living in New Orleans. I have a serious pattern collecting problem. I love to sew just about anything. But, if left to my own devices, I would prefer to sew anything that was worn between the years 1870 and 1970.

Jade's posts / Jade's website

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Erika January 8, 2013 at 2:38 am

Very cool and unusual!


Claire January 8, 2013 at 8:56 am

So cool! You both look fabulous. That headdress is really a work of art.


Valerie January 9, 2013 at 12:52 am

Wow, what an amazing work of art (and love)! It is just gorgeous and hello, paper! This dress is so inventive; the folding and paper punching are a lovely combination of texture and pattern.


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