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Creating a 1750’s Gown…For Me! Part One

There comes a time when all business sewing needs to take a pause, and personal sewing needs to take over.

You see, I don’t often sew for myself.

I think the last time I created a gown just for me was at least a year ago.  Most of the time, whenever I sew it is either for a client or to sell on my shop.  But with a little more free time on my hands (thanks to longer naps by my little one), I wanted to try something new and different. …something for me! 🙂

After thinking about what I wished to create, I decided on an outfit to wear at next year’s French and Indian War Reenactment…in July.  The tricky part about making a gown to wear in the summer while it is still winter is the fear that I am going to sweat like crazy!  More about that later!

So, as always, whenever I begin a brand new decade or project apart from the norm, I begin with an inspiration board.  This is where I gather images of actual gowns, paintings, or pieces of a gown I want to try and incorporate.  The problem with this particular gown is I wanted to include WAAAAY to many aspects and techniques, so I had to really cut down.

Here is the inspiration board of this particular project:

I decided on a short – ish jacket (around upper thigh length), a petticoat (with a hole to include a side pocket), and a slew of trims and details…of which only a few I think will make it to the gown.

I took pattern inspiration from Janet Arnold’s Pattern of Fashion book and began mocking up the bodice of the jacket.  Notice the sharp line of the neckline of the bodice over the soon to be stomacher.

Side view showing the bum roll I plan to also wear.

Once I was happy with the basic look, I cut out the lining and main fabric pieces.

Then, I stitched felt to the lining along the”skirt” portion of the jacket and along the front.

This is the part that makes me nervous.  Sure the felt creates a very crisp, stiff look…but will I be sweating up a storm?  Only time will tell!

 

I then stitch all the jacket pieces together, lined it, put in the sleeves, and began trying to figure out how I was going to close the thing!

I decided it would be different to lace it up the front with buttons…so I covered some metal shank buttons I had on hand and stitched them to the bottom portion of the jacket at the waist.

 

And this was where things began to go terribly wrong.  

The buttons are just not strong enough to hold the lacing tight and secure.  The lacing just pops right off.  If any of you have any ideas of what I am doing wrong, please let me know!  Otherwise I may just have to stick with pinning it to the stomacher….

So here is where Part One ends.  I hope to put out Part Two next week, as I continue working on the petticoat, stomacher, and the trim of the jacket.  Overall this has been such a fun project and challenge!!!
Have a wonderful day everyone!!

 

 

On My Inspiration Board: Coral Gowns

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone!!  

I can’t believe we are already at Thanksgiving!  While I feel that the summer went by at a normal pace, this fall has simply flew!!

I have been very busy sewing these past days, not only getting ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday on my shop (click HERE to see all the deals), but also with some fun projects just for the heck of it!  One such project, was this 1810’s day gown in such a fun shade of coral-ly pink.

Now I know, that like so many colors, what one person may think is coral may not be what another person would describe it as.  So if you are sitting at home thinking that none of the gowns in this post are coral…that’s okay!  Agree to disagree! 🙂  Regardless, something about this happy color just sent me on a coral-hunting mission, and while there are not very many historical examples out there in coral, there are a few!

Lets start with this lovely painting called La Jeune Musicienne created in 1788 by Michel Garner.  I mean the color, the gown, the gauze-y overalay, the flowered hair piece….drool!!

 

 

 

Could you call that color apricot?  Sure.  Could you call it coral, or pink?  Of course….remember, color is often in the eye of the beholder.  But no matter what color you call it , I think we can all agree it is stunning!

So that takes us to this edition of On My Inspiration Board, where I put my absolute favorites into one delightful collage!!  From 1810-1950, there is something here for everyone!

To see more coral gowns, feel free to hop over to my Pinterest Page!

So no matter what name you give it, these gowns are worth more than a passing glance to appreciate the fine design and craftsmanship that went into creating them!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!!

 

 

 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales and Promotions

Hi Everyone!  

I looked at the calendar and couldn’t believe that next week is Thanksgiving!! WHAT?!?!  Despite the apparent shock I felt that it was coming so soon, I got equally excited as I just love Thanksgiving!  

I also am a fan of Black Friday Shopping…within reason! 😉  So this year, I am offering some wonderful sales on my shop that will run all of Thanksgiving weekend, beginning on Friday, 11/24/17 at midnight.  With special deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this once a year sale is not to be missed!  

Here is the rundown!  



Thanksgiving Weekend Long Sale

Save 15% on orders of all Ready Made items and SELECT Custom Orders from November 24, 2017 – Monday 27, 2017!

Sale begins midnight (eastern standard time) 11/24/17 and runs until 12:00 pm 11/27/17

Black Friday Deals ONLY –

Deals begin at 12:00 am (eastern standard time) on 11/24/17 and end at 12:00 pm (eastern standard time) 11/24/17

Save 15% on all orders of Ready Made Items and SELECT Custom Orders

+

Buy any Ready Made Regency Gown and receive a FREE Bum Roll – $25 Value

+

First three customers who order $150 or more receive a FREE apron! – $45 Value

Cyber Monday Deals ONLY

Deals begin at 12:00 am (eastern standard time) on 11/27/17 and end at 12:00 pm (eastern standard time) 11/27/17

Save 15% on all orders of Ready Made Items and SELECT Custom Orders

+

Several surprise Ready Made gowns will be marked down 50%

Look for these gowns to be featured on the Home Page of my Online Shop

on Monday, November 27, 2017



READY TO SHOP????? Click HERE to start!!

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!!

New blog post on Coral Historical gowns will be coming out later this week! 🙂

Until then, 

Creating an 1850’s Bloomer Gown

A few weeks ago, The New York State Museum reached out to me to acquire a Bloomer Gown I had created to display in their upcoming exhibit Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial which runs from November 4, 2017- May 13, 2018 in Albany, New York.

I was thrilled and honored to be apart of such a wonderful exhibit and celebration that I thought I would share a some details of not only the gown I made, but also the women who made the outfit popular.

To start with the Bloomer gown, as we know it, was not first worn by Amelia Bloomer but actually by Elizabeth Smith Miller of Geneva, New York.  Elizabeth Miller, who advocated for dress reform using the Turkish style of pants, quickly caught the attention and support of Bloomer.  With her newspaper, The Lily, which focused on women’s issues, Amelia popularized the look to the point where her name became associated with the gown.

The outfit itself is composed of a gown with a short skirt which hits around the upper shin, and a pair of long, poofy pants.  A bishop or pagoda sleeve is commonly used with either a blouse or under sleeves used to provide the needed modesty.  The bloomers themselves are gathered in to a cuff that hooks around the ankle and, like the majority of bloomers at this time, are crotchless.

Here are a few examples of various takes on the Bloomer Gown.

I love how the drawings show such elaborate takes on the gown while the photographs have a more muted look.  Ahhhh fashion versus reality! 🙂

So now for my look.

 I used the pattern #811 by Past Patterns which includes instructions for both the Bloomer gown and an 1850’s gown..which is pretty much the same thing with just a longer skirt. Instead of using under sleeves, I put a Garibaldi blouse in white underneath and also included a sash.

 Here is the original gown the Past Patterns company based their design off of:

It is a green silk gown with ruching along the bodice, sleeves, and the cuffs of the “pants.”

 For my gown, I opted not to do the rushing as the cotton I used just wasn’t working quite right.  The gown hooks in the front with hook and eye closures, has sewn in boning, and also features a skirt apron of sorts which consists of a mini waistband that is free of the bodice, covers the center front, and hooks to the side bodice.  ***see picture below***  The skirt itself is cartridge pleated and hand stitched to the bodice.  The bloomers are held main fabric and half lining fabric, gather into a waistband and hook in the front.

 

**** Free hanging waistband***

This outfit was such a fun and different project!  I am so glad that it will get some great use at the exhibit and will help educate others on the heroism and fashion sense of some wonderful historical women!

In case you missed my previous post, I am currently looking for historical seamstresses and tailors to create ready-made and custom historical clothing for both men and women!  If interested, please click HERE.

A Quick Update

Hello my dear friends!!

I know it has been so long since I published my last post that I wanted to reach out and let you all know I am still alive! 🙂

I have been very, very busy with my sewing including a fun piece for the New York State Musueam Exhibit  – more details about that later!!! 

I am also looking to expand the Shop portion of my business to include both men and women’s historical clothing.   So if you know someone, or are interested yourself, please check out the Employment page on my blog for more details!

I have many fun posts planned for the upcoming holiday season that I can’t wait to share with all of you!

Thank you all so much for your patience and support!!

Happy Sunday and Happy Sewing! 

Aimee

  

Invitation Designing with Basic Invite!!!

I think that sending out invitations, announcements, and actual holiday cards are such a wonderful way to share good news and good wishes in this digital day and age!  I mean, when you think about it, receiving a thick, beautifully designed card in the mail is just as exciting as receiving a gift…at least in my book! It is a way to send a lovely thought to someone special whether they live just a few doors down or across the country.  I have even taken to shopping thrift stores and flea markets for vintage cards as they are lovely to display!

Just look at this sweet one:

And of course the same can be said of cards and invitations today!

Well, a few weeks ago a lovely invitation business called Basic Invite reached out to me to share their wonderful designs with all of you!  Having just had a baby and wishing to share the news with EVERYONE, I had stationary on my mind so was thrilled to learn all about this company!!  From designing your own party invitations whether for a boy or your daughter’s elegant sweet 16, this company has you covered!  Talking to one of their lovely associates Kaytee, I learned all about what makes Basic Invite different….in all the good ways of course! 😉

Almost Unlimited Colors 

Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. I personally love this option as many companies only give you options of what “they” think would look good…and sometimes I have other ideas!

How sweet is this first birthday invitation?!?!

Custom Samples 

Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order.  Who wouldn’t LOVE this?!?!?  Sometimes a digital image just doesn’t cut it and when it comes to something as special as a wedding invitation or announcement….you want to make sure your vision translates well on paper!

I love when you can combine a family photo and a greeting card all in one!!

Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes 

Basic Invite is just as colorful with their envelopes as they are with their invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. All of their envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed.  This last part really appealed to me as I have spent way too many hours licking envelopes and…well…that glue certainly doesn’t taste all that great!

Having the option for both an invitation and matching thank you card I think is such great idea!!

Free Address Collection Service 

Use their free address collection service to request your addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing.

Say what?!?!?  Sign me up for that!

Where I can read my own handwriting…sometimes…a beautifully printed one just looks better!

This sweet invitation is a great choice for a baby shower where the gender is a surprise!

 

So while I am still a few months off from sending out my daughter’s first birthday invitations, I have already picked out the most perfect one to use from Basic Invite! 🙂  I’m thinking something like this…

I just love the happy colors!!

If you are anything like me, invitations and cards are special keepsakes that should be cherished and treasured for years to come!  These beautiful bits of paper truly are tributes to wonderful memories  and times made and shared with all your loved ones!

Happy Party Planning Everyone!!

Simply click below to access Basic Invite’s website and social media:

Basic Invite Website

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September Favorites

FALL IS HERE!!!!  I am so excited and can’t wait to embark on all my favorite autumnal activities!  From apple picking to watching football, I plan to enjoy each and every deliciously cool day!

And with the start of a new season and a new month, it is time for another favorites post…and boy, do I love what I have to share today!

 So lets not wait another minute and get right into it!

Scarlet Red 1865 Day Gown

Stunning, vibrant, and delicately trimmed, everything about this gown is stunning!  I especially love the ribbon and medallion on the skirt.

The Wardrobe Shop 

A week ago, I was contacted by the Wardrobe Shop.  They are a lovely online shop and blog that specializes in vintage clothing from the early 20th century!  Definitely worth a look.  One of my favorite pieces is the pearl handbag!!  Very elegant!!

 Click links below to check them out!

Wardrobe Shop 

 

Vintage Inspired Pearl Handbag

Cardigans from Loft

I am obsessed with cardigans this season!  One of my favorites is this wrapped version from Loft.    Not only do I love the color, but I love how it closes in such an elegant way!

Loft Wrap Cardigan

 

Two Weeks in Love

So I know I have mentioned this movie before, but it has become one of my favorites!  A sweet coming of age story that is only made better by a young and feisty Debbie Reynolds!

 

Essie Nail Polish

I love all things green right now and this nail polish fits the bill!  Not only is it a fabulous color for your nails, but I love the name!!!  Click link below image to purchase.

Essie Nail Polish in Color Sew Psyched

Enjoy everything the wonderful chilly season has to offer…I know I will!

1930’s Textures, Patterns, and Trim

I spent yesterday afternoon watching Follow the Fleet.  A wonderful 1930’s musical starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  While watching it, I was just in awe over Ginger Rogers’ wardrobe.  I mean…just look at this outfit!  

Not only do I love the cut and style, I also adore the bold check!

Well, this led me to spend a good hour just gawking at other stunning 1930’s ensembles.  I love the lines, the cut, and the fabric of dresses from this decade.  So much so that I had to share a few of them with all of you!

This first one not only has a lovely two piece look, but the added floral panels give such interest.
Between the long lean lines of the skirt and the added floral pockets and cuffs, I am head over heels!

This one not only has an amazing bow at the neck, the pattern is fun and flirty!

I love the two separate patterns of this dress.  Unique, yet still goes great together!

There is something so feminine and elegant about looks from the 1930’s.  And when you add in fabulous fabrics and touches….well, my heart just goes bonkers!!