1910 Pink Evening Gown with Black Lace and Cream Sash and Gloves based on The Intrusion of Jimmy by P.G. Wodehouse

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I just finished listening to The Intrusion of Jimmy by P.G. Wodehouse. I’ve mentioned it before on this blog, but I love listening to Wodehouse, because his stories are light and simple enough that I can miss parts if I get distracted by housework or chatter, but engaging enough that they keep my mind from dwelling on the dullness of dishwashing. Anyways, I’m always up for a story where boy meets girl, everything that can possibly cause boy maximum humiliation and trouble happens, but all comes right in the end.

The thing I liked best about this book was Jimmy’s character, because although a lot of Wodehouse’s heroes are rather more like Jimmy’s friend, Lord Dreever – the kind of laid-back fellow who pre-empts criticism by describing himself as “a bit of an ass” – Jimmy himself was curious, capable and generous. Now, the first two of those are rare enough, but he also seemed to have a darker side than any of the other Wodehouse heroes I can recall. At the beginning of the book, Jimmy makes a bet that he can break into someone’s house, and later that night a burglar happens to break into his own apartment; Jimmy disarms him, convinces him that he’s an infamous European jewel thief and gets the man to take him along on a burglary, all without turning a hair. It’s not like he views it as a lark; rather, he takes the whole thing quite seriously, breaking into someone else’s house almost as much out of curiosity as he did from the desire to win the bet. I guess his background as a reporter made his ability to keep so calm plausible, but still, that’s all pretty cold-blooded. Things like that made me feel that, as much as I liked him for his curiosity and wit, there was something about him that wasn’t quite right, and even though he never expressed the desire to steal so much as a rhinestone brooch, there was something about him that gave me the feeling that he very well could go in for a life of crime if it was interesting enough. It turns out that in the original story that the book was based on, Jimmy really had been a jewel thief! I somehow feel like he makes more sense to me now, although I can’t really hold his past incarnation against him.

Jimmy falls for a lovely girl named Molly, and taking the standard meet-cute love-at-first-sight Wodehouse pattern to new heights, he doesn’t ever actually talk to her during this process, but just admires her over the course of a five-day trans-Atlantic trip. I always figure that the Wodehouse heroines have the most marvelous, flattering, feminine clothes possibly available to humans, because eligible young men are always falling instantly in love with them, so it’s a disappointment for me that Wodehouse seldom describes dresses in detail. The book is from 1910, so here we have a 1910-style gown, with black lace over a pink dress. I do like the dresses I’ve seen from this year – the shape seems like a nice balance between the Edwardian shape and the straight-up-and-down lines that are coming.

By the way, I’ve never thought to look up what P.G. stood for; it turns out to be “Pelham Grenville.” Might have to swipe that one for our firstborn.

Prismacolors used: Kelp Green, Pale Sage, White, French Grey 10%, 20%, 50%, 70%, Light Umber, Dark Umber, Tuscan Red, Black, Cream, Pink Rose, Clay Rose

15 thoughts on “1910 Pink Evening Gown with Black Lace and Cream Sash and Gloves based on The Intrusion of Jimmy by P.G. Wodehouse

  1. Ohmigosh. This is so beautiful. I absolutely adore the dresses from the early 1900s (before the 1920s at least). I think this adoration stemmed from the stunning costumes in Titanic (as cheesy as that sounds). I am in love with the lace pattern! Liana, you’re so amazing <3

  2. I must confess a certain soft spot for PG Wodehouse (and for your lace work as always), but have never tried them as audio books- just as airplane reads. They strike the right balance between fluff and interest to keep one entertained on a long plane ride.

  3. I LOVE THIS DRESS! I love how the black looks like lace. and having a rose at the belt completely makes this dress! It looks like something from Titanic. =D great job, Liana!

  4. I love it! The black lace, with the pink makes it look perfect! If I lived in the 1900s I would so wear that! Liana you amaze me with your talent. And what are some good christmas colors for a princess ball gown? I’m writing a story and I can’t find a REALLY good combination. Please help me! Your my only hope! (wonderful job on the dress, I am so printing it out!)

  5. Thanks, everyone! :)

    Abigail, as for Christmas-y princess gown colors… that’s a fun question ^^ The classic fallback colors would be various shades of green and red, perhaps backed up with white or cream as a neutral. (Black – maybe? It could work.) I would almost add yellow to that list – yellow and white alone with a well-chosen design and trimmings could suggest a sort of light-filled, angelic feeling. There are also the cooler colors: blue (or, perhaps, rich greys) can suggest winter, and I think purple just barely squeaks in there as a contender because of its association with royalty. Whatever color/colors you choose for the base, you can really pile on the silver or gold (or – perhaps – both!), or even make one (or again, both, although now we are possibly floating out to the realm of tacky) of those colors the primary focus themselves. I think it’d be harder to work with colors like orange, pink or teal, but it could be done if you really wanted a challenge. Somehow, this morning, I love the idea of a sapphire blue velvet gown with patterned white contrast fabric and lots of warm gold accents. I’ve often thought it would be fun to take a page from the Mattel playbook and do a holiday gown each year, but… I don’t think I’ve ever gotten around to it ^^;; Since it would be a one-shot thing it would be less ambitious than my other failed holiday projects…
    Here’s a Christmas paperdoll I made that I quite like: http://www.joechip.net/liana/2008/12/14/aelinora-the-elvish-princess-from-christmas-2004/
    Here’s a bunch of the holiday Barbies: http://www.fashion-doll-guide.com/Holiday-Barbie-Dolls.html
    I never had any of these as far as I remember, but I sure looked at them, as a kid ^^;; You can draw a direct line from late-80s-early-90s Barbies to my drawing style, I’m afraid ^^;;

    Alexandra, there’s not much to it, although I will add that to my list of things I want to do at some point. For this dress, I drew the pink part first, and was more careful than usual that none of the paper was still exposed – I went over the lighter parts with the white colored pencil, and over the whole thing with the blender. That’s because the next step was drawing the pattern with black, and if there’s an area that isn’t covered with the wax, the black will seize on it and that spot will be darker than the surrounding areas. As for drawing the pattern, a repeating pattern like this one or a random one like scrolls will do… all you really need at that point is time and patience. Lots of both, actually ^^;; I’ll try to do a tutorial of it sometime…

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