Gone with the Wind Scarlett’s Portrait Gown

This dress is from a portrait of Scarlett in the scene where Rhett throws a wine glass at the picture in anger. The screen-used portrait is on permanent display at the Margret Mitchell House in Atlanta, GA. As seen here:


The blue velvet fabric for the dress was a Christmas present from my parents in 2010 and I got around to making this dress in 2013. The most challenging part was the undergarments. To create the same proportions from the portrait, the skirt needed to be almost 200 inches in circumference (as with most of her lavish costumes). Luckily I found a hoop skirt maker from Germany  (via ebay) who custom made me a large hoop (495cm or 195 inches) complete with 10 steel rings to hold up the very heavy velvet

hoop trial

The bodice was loosely based on the Butterick 6195 pattern and altered to have the gathered bust line and 8 tiny velvet covered buttons (which unfortunately do not show up in pictures). The white shawl was made by my grandmother who crocheted a hundred small flowers over the winter months. The huge skirt was meticulously pleated using period correct cartilage technique found here: http://www.elizabethancostume.net/cartpleat/

photo 1

This was worn to the 2013 Blue and Gray ball in Burns, TN. Sadly it was too large to dance in 🙁 No way Scarlett could dance in this dress!


It’s also very difficult to get into modern transportation:


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