A little dose of Cranberry…

Well, I completed my 1930’s day dress, which consists of a skirt, blouse, and belt.  The block pattern that I created worked out very well, for the most part, and I think I like it!  I have, however, learned several things during the project that I would now like to share with you!

Things I learned while sewing a 1930’s outfit:

1. It is amazing how fast one can complete a 20th century outfit when one is so used to a 19th century outfit which literally takes ten times longer.

2.After three hours and the project is done, it is not uncommon for one to  sit and stare puzzled thinking “Did I miss a step?”

3.  When the book tells you there is very little extra width in the skirt pattern…they really mean it.  (Again, not a thought when you are used to five yards per skirt.)

4.  I need better practice at putting in zippers…

So the question begs to be asked…will I try another one?  Yes!  But hopefully with a much better zipper!

Here are the pictures!



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Some New Additions…

I recently purchased two new fashion design books to add to my library.  I bought both of these books off of Amazon for a total of $50!

1. The Voice of Fashion


This is a phenomenal book that features 79 patterns and drawings of the Turn of the Century Women’s Fashion.  From day dresses, to evening gowns and capes, this book has it all.  The potential challenge?… all the patterns are in the Diamond Measuring System which is going to take quite a bit of time to decipher…but isn’t that what cold, snowy days are for! 🙂

2. Dress Cutting: 1930’s





A new edition from the original printed in 1932, this little book is a gold mine!  It uses a mathematic method to explain pattern drafting through creating a block pattern which every article of clothing in the book uses as a base.  Once you get over the AA2 and 1/4 of the bust minus 2 ” jargon, it is fantastic!  I have begun the process of measuring and will begin drafting the block pattern soon.



I am also in the process of re-photographing all my gowns for sale.  Now that I have created a new backdrop, it is time to change everything over from black to white!

 Enjoy your Tuesday!



1880’s Twisted Hairstyle

To create an easy 1880’s inspired hairstyle, begin with curly hair and lots of bobby pins:


Take a few front pieces and keep them to the side, then start the process by making one loose bun around your crown.  Try to keep it puffy in the front.

Continue until you have several curly buns.


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1880’s Hat Tutorial

Well I have fully completed my 1880’s outfit with the addition of a hat!  It was my first real go at hat making…and I think, for my first time, it turned out pretty well.


1 yard buckram

1 yard milliner’s wire

Hot Glue or Fabric Glue

1 yd fabric

Various trims   ( I used left over fabric from my gown as well as feathers and ribbon)

The Process:

Cut out all the pieces.  One of the buckram and two of the fashion fabric.



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What Is Currently On My Inspiration Board: 1780’s Round Gowns

I have developed quite a love for this style of gown and am contemplating giving it a try.  I have made several gowns around this era but not in this exact style!  I love the fit of the bodice and the way the fabric hangs down in a very firm yet graceful line.  Hmmmmm…..



This next one is my favorite:




In the meantime, I have been working on going through my fabric stash with the intention of cleaning it out and getting a feel for what I have.  In addition, I have almost completed the 1880’s hat tutorial and hair style.  Once I finished the photo shoots for both, I will get them up soon!


HSM: Color Challenge Blue

I have plowed through and completed the February challenge of Blue!  I did so to allow for a little more time to complete a few other projects and to make sure that the challenge got done.  Stemming off of January’s challenge, I created an 1880 Princess seam gown of navy cotton and velvet.  I had every intention of photographing the process, however as alteration after alteration had to be made, I gave up and just focused on getting it finished.  I am overall quite pleased with the look, however, my original plan and the finished outcome turned out to be different.  I originally planned on not having a velvet panel in the front, but in order to have the dress hang right and close properly, one need to be added.  I also had a different plan for the edging of the gown, but felt that the box pleat looked the nicest and fit the style of the gown.  Underneath the gown, on the back portion of the hem, I added in a sheer beige trim to add a little extra umph to the gown.  Lace was purchased, but not used, extra buttons were added here and there, and fingers were burned on the yards of pleating….but I finished it!  I hope you enjoy the pictures!

The Challenge: #2 Color Challenge  -Blue

Fabric: 8 yds Navy Cotton and 1 yd Royal Blue velvet

Pattern: Based on two different styles of dress – heavy reliance on Janet Arnold

Year: 1880

Notions: 6 yards navy braided trim, 13 navy covered buttons, 1 yd sheer fabric for under-pleat, boning

How Historically Accurate is it?: Very – I worked hard to get the right fit and style.

Hours to Complete: 20 Hours

First Worn: Planning on having a photo shoot soon!

Total Cost: $75




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I just don’t know even where to start…

I am in the midst of finishing up an 1880’s Princess seam dress which has proven to be a bit more challenging than I originally thought.  I have achieved a clean fit all over except the left lower portion of the gown…it just won’t hang nicely.  Ugh!  I am hoping that I can fix that soon and show pictures in my new light box I created! 🙂

But while I was researching for this particular gown, I came across this stunner.  And looking at it…I wouldn’t even know where to start on it’s creation!

Dress, French, ca. 1880s. Princess-line, one piece.


Just gorgeous!!!!!