Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on October 9, 2012
I was very excited to find out about a film memorabilia auction – one that included three dresses worn by Sound of Music actresses! So you can be sure I raced to the company’s website just as fast as I could to figure out which dresses they were!
All three of these dresses have presumably been in the hands of anonymous private collectors for many decades, though one of them is a “duplicate” costume – one of at least two identical dresses used in the movie. Since I have studied the Sound of Music costumes intensively for the last six years, you can only imagine how elated I was to see how these costumes are looking today!
Liesl’s Pink Dress
Here is the very costume that inspired me to design the sewing pattern for Liesl’s Dancing Dress! It has faded quite a bit since being used in the film, but one could hardly expect any differently after nearly 50 years in storage! Please note that this is not the one Liesl actually wore for dancing – it was one of at least two made for the film, and all the evidence I’ve found shows that this was the costume Liesl only wore for climbing through the window into Maria’s bedroom. I’ll give you all the details on that below, but first let’s look at some pictures!
As you can see, the back has those familiar “dirt stains” which we saw on Liesl’s dress after she climbed through the window into Maria’s bedroom. One would have to get awfully dirty climbing up the side of a house, even if you were a pro at scaling those walls to pull pranks on your governess, right? The listing for this dress reads, “labeled in pen on interior ‘Liesl Dress #2′.” This makes total sense to me! You see, that shot in the film where Liesl comes dripping water into Maria’s bedroom was shot at the very beginning of production! In fact, it was the very first scene that Charmian Carr ever appeared in! (For confirmation of this, you can watch “The Sound of Music – Fact to Phenomena” which is an exceptional documentary included on many Sound of Music dvds.) And the “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” sequence was actually the very last scene shot for the entire film! (Again, you can refer to the documentary I listed above for proof of this.)
Do you see where I’m going with this? If the dress shot at the beginning of the movie was dirty and still is to this day, and if the dress used in the dancing shot (filmed at the end of the movie’s production) was totally clean in that scene, then the only logical conclusion is that this dress for sale today was only ever used in that opening shot in Maria’s bedroom! This makes complete sense that the dress for sale is labeled “Liesl dress # 2“, since if there was a “#2” there had to have been a “#1” costume as well! I know that it is common practice for costume designers to sew more than one of an important dress, just in case something happens to one or if technical difficulties arise during one take which would require another identical costume. So I was awfully excited to figure this out! Somewhere out there is at least one more identical Liesl dress, and my intense study of this costume for the last six years actually leads me to believe that there might be two more Liesl dresses out there somewhere! This costume is for sale at Julien’s Auctions, and is expected to go for around $10,000. However, I learned from the owner of Maria’s carriage dress that not one Sound of Music dress has ever sold for under $20,000 in years!
Maria’s Chiffon Dress
This lovely heirloom dress with the honeycomb smocking is probably my second favorite Sound of Music costume! If you’ve been following my blog for long you will definitely remember when I was researching and designing a pattern inspired by this film costume, which you can see over on the Maria’s Gazebo Dress page.
Does anyone besides me notice what is glaringly wrong with this picture? The belt is upside down!! That lovely lower panel of honeycomb smocking is nearly hidden by the curved edge of the belt, when it is supposed to the straight edge of the belt that lines the waist seam! So disappointing. (For the record, I did email Julien’s Auctions to inform them that they should probably re-shoot the photo, but only time will tell if they decide to change it.)
Nevertheless, I feel that this costume is in much better condition than the Liesl dress, and the listing for this film costume reads, “A Julie Andrews dress worn in The Sound of Music (20th Century, 1965). Green dress with floral pattern, with butterfly sleeves and full skirt. Smocked at neck and waist, lined in light green silk, hook and eye and snap closure at back. 20th Century Fox label attached at waist. The dress was worn by Andrews in various scenes, including during the puppet show performance in the film while singing “The Lonely Goatherd,” in the gazebo with Christopher Plummer while singing “Something Good,” and while Plummer sings “Edelweiss.”
Note that the sellers of this costume refer to it as a “green dress”, whereas the movie most definitely portrayed is as blue! Depending on what version of the dvd or video you own, this costume could look like it was powder blue, periwinkle blue, or sky blue, but the lasting effect it had on Sound of Music fans was that it was “Maria’s Blue Dress“. You can see the listing over at Julien’s Auctions here. Estimated prices are up to $40,000, but it would not surprise me if it sold for much more than that!
Liesl’s Carriage Dress
Finally, there’s Liesl’s Carriage Dress which was only worn for a brief shot during the “Do-Re-Mi” sequence. Unless you are a die-hard Sound of Music costume fan, you might not have ever noticed this outfit before. It is the only “dirndl” style costume that Charmian Carr ever sported in the movie, and since her other dresses were so much prettier I think it’s just as well that Dorothy Jeakins avoided giving her that “peasant” look too often. In the movie, this costume appeared to have white puffed sleeves, a gingham bodice, and a wide band of solid cotton at the neck which was split down the center. You can hardly even see the skirt in the movie, so this costume may come as a surpise. : )
“A dress worn in the motion picture The Sound of Music (20th Century, 1965) by actress Charmian Carr in her role as Liesl von Trapp. The dress can be seen as the children sing “Do-Re-Mi” while riding in a horse-drawn carriage. The dress is comprised of a pink bodice with decorative buttons, square coral collar, puff three-quarter sleeves, cuffed of elastic and a gathered skirt in floral pattern. Western Costume Company label attached at seam with faded and illegible writing. Additionally marked at collar “SoM.” Accompanied by a copy of the film.” You can see this listing here.
And speaking of dresses worn by the Von Trapp actresses for this Do-Re-Mi carriage scene, you might want to check out my post on Maria’s Carriage Dress! I got to see this dress in person last year, and I was really amazed at how expertly the stripes were used.
Make A Sound of Music Costume for Yourself
So that’s the excitement for today! And if you love the Sound of Music costumes but don’t want to spend a small fortune to acquire one, you might consider purchasing one of the Edelweiss Patterns designs which were inspired by the Sound of Music. While none of these are exact movie costume replicas and are not sold under the Sound of Music label, they are strikingly close to what Liesl or Maria wore on screen, and so much cheaper to make! (You can usually sew one of these dresses for under $70, and that’s a whole lot cheaper than $30,000.) : )