Creating a 1750’s Gown…For Me!

 

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:

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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.

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Regency Chemisette Video Tutorial

chemisette

I am so excited about today’s post as it has been a long time in coming! 

Using inspiration from a variety of sources, I have created a video tutorial and pattern on how to create a Regency Era Chemisette custom designed to fit you!  Simply open up the PDF pattern, follow the guidelines on how to create the pattern pieces, then watch the videos below to  learn how to create your very own chemisette.  

Tutorial will help you create a chemisette with one or two ruffles (as pictured in images below.)

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(Image from Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion I)

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(Painting of 1800 Empress Elizabeth Alexeievna, artist unknown)

REGENCY CHEMISETTE VIDEO TUTORIAL

Click the underlined link below to open up PDF pattern.

regency-chemisette-pattern

***Videos show how to create a two ruffle chemisette.  If desired, simply cut out two ruffles using measurements presented in pattern****

Part One

In this video section, I will show you how to construct the frame of the chemisette and create the neckline darts.

Part Two

In this section we will stitch darts, sew cording/ribbon channels, and begin to work on the ruffle.

Part Three

This portion will show you how to pleat the ruffle.  

Part Four

Now that the ruffle is pleated, this part will show you how to create the ruffled neckline in order to attach it to the chemisette.

Part Five

This last video details attaching the ruffle to the neckline and completing all the finishing touches.

And that’s it!  

Feel free to play around and create various styles and necklines of chemisettes!  

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And as always, feel free to share a picture of your own creation on social media!  

  Simply post on my Facebook page or use the tag #aimeevictorian on Instagram.  Links to both platforms are on the sidebar of my blog!

Happy Sewing!

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Cover Painting

By Pierre Louis Bouvier GENEVA 1766 – 1836

Sources Used:

Janet Arnold Patterns of Fashion 1

Various of paintings from 1805-1015


A 1940’s Navy Suit

I adore 1940’s fashion, especially the suits.  While I don’t think I could personally ever get used to such full shoulder pads, I nonetheless appreciate the clean, simple lines which were such a trademark of the decade.  The particular version I created is a conglomeration of two separate looks…a typical straight seamed skirt with a blazer jacket that gathers at the waist.  I took inspiration from a variety of sources, and since I couldn’t decided on one particular look, I created a style of my own.

My Inspiration

1940's suit inspiration

What also makes this outfit unique and feminine, is the ruffled blouse underneath.  Simple in construction, this blouse gives a little extra flair from the detailed neckline to the tapered sleeves.

I hope you enjoy my version of a 1940’s fashion staple!

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If you have a 1940’s suit you’ve made, please feel free to share!  I would love to see it!  You can share the link in the comments below, or post a picture to my Facebook Page.

~Aimee


A Little Dress with a Big Bow

I absolutely love clothes that have a subtle or slight decoration.  These are the additions that can take a dress, a blouse, or  a jacket to the next level.  Now granted, this little number has a bow that many would not call subtle, but that is all that it has…and I love the simplicity.

This shift dress is a classic example of “I thought it out one way, and it came out a different way.”  If any of you are seamstresses, you will understand what I mean.  🙂 The good thing is that I like this version much better!

I based this creation off of a picture I found in one of my 1950’s Simplicity sewing magazines.  Between the size of the cream bow and the contrast it creates against the muted tones of the brown and gray print, this little dress is certainly not to be overlooked.

Nothing is particularly special about the creation of this below the knee length dress (I have attached the pattern that I have created below) except that two very large buttonholes were made in which the bow (kept stiff with interfacing) was inserted.  A lot of darts helped create the shape and a 22″ zipper closes up the back.

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Dress with Bow Pattern

1 square =1/2 inch

Would any of you be brave enough to pull of this look?  I would do it in a heartbeat, but then I would of course worry about spilling coffee on myself! 🙂

Have a fabulous Friday everyone!

~Aimee

Part of the Free Vintage-Inspired Patterns Collection

Vintage patterns


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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1700’s Caraco Jacket and Skirt Complete!

It has been quite a while since I have been able to plan, start, and finish an outfit!  And, let me tell you, it feels great!  Here are the finished pictures of the gown which has also been added to my Etsy shop!

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Breaking the Mold!

I came across this photograph of a young girl from the mid 1850’s….and am so surprised at her outfit!  Just goes to show that there are always exceptions to the rules!  Wonder what she thought of her “surprised look” after she picked this photo up from the studio? 🙂

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