In the interests of retaining a modicum of sanity I decided to take a few hours off from the dress construction. With time ticking though, I didn't want to abandon the project completely so I made a start on my dance slippers. A few hours relaxing embroidery and I am ready again to tackle the skirts on the silk dress.
During the 1840s, the most common form of women's footwear for dancing and evening wear was a silk or leather slipper. These little shoes are very similar to what we would identify today as a ballet pump.
|Shoes worn by Queen Victoria for her wedding - Northampton Museum|
Shoes were decorated with ribbons, rosettes and pompoms as well as with intricate embroidery. Women would often embroider shoes as gifts for friends and relatives. However, a dance slipper did not always last a long time. According to some accounts, the fine leather soles could be so thin that a particularly enthusiastic dancer could wear out her shoes by the end of one ball!
|Ladies Mid-Nineteenth Century Embroidered Shoe (found here - a brilliant source for a whole range of Victorian footwear styles)|
|The shoes - BEFORE|
Other foot to follow very soon!