Altering and Drafting Historical Patterns Instructional Video

The next installment in my historical sewing video series is here!…and long over due!

Today it is all about pattern drafting.  Join me as I show you how to take a simple grid pattern or pre-made paper pattern and alter it to fit your desired shape and look.

 

Close up of pattern grid used:

Images of my 1870’s Plaid and Brown Day gown which the bodice pattern was used….and altered! ūüėČ

 

Sources used:

Janet Arnold’s Pattern of Fashion 2

 

Until next time my friends!

 

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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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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!!


A Tribute to the Gibson Girl

With her¬†wasp-waist, highly piled hair, perfectly pressed shirtwaist, and look of complete confidence, the Gibson Girl of the early 1900’s was truly a fashion icon. ¬†So much so that she still inspires fashion today from lace details to loosely curled hair. ¬†Named after the artist who made the look famous, the Gibson Girl is as much an ideal as she¬†was a real person. ¬†Therefore today’s post is all about the Gibson Girl and ways to channel her into your historical fashion wardrobe! ūüôā

Links to featured items are in bold and below each image.

Let’s begin with the most famous Gibson Girl of all – Camille Clifford. ¬†She was the European¬†actress who won the Gibson Girl contest, and its not hard to see why!

Camille Clifford РThe winner of the Gibson Girl Contest.  Learn more about her and see many lovely images by visiting the National Portrait Gallery.

Every proper Gibson Girl needs the proper shoe!  And these lovelies from the American Duchess are perfect!

“Gibson” Edwardian Shoes from American Duchess

The perfectly tailored and perfectly “blouse-y” shirtwaist was the hallmark of a Gibson Girl. ¬†I mean, just take a look at these fabulous examples!

Wish to make a few of your own? ¬†Here is a wonderful pattern –¬†

Edwardian Tucked Blouse from Past Patterns

Need nothing but pure visual inspiration?  I love this book which features a collection of all the Gibson Girl drawings done by Charles Dana Gibson.

The Gibson Girl and Her America: The Best Drawings of Charles Dana Gibson by Charles Dana Gibson – Available on Amazon

And once you have your outfit complete, top it all off with the perfect Gibson top knot! ¬†The Seamstress of Avalon shows you how in this step by step tutorial –¬†

Gibson Girl Hair Tutorial by The Seamstress of Avalon

I hope you enjoyed this tribute to all things Gibson Girl!

 

 


Historical Fashion Shoot at The Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village

Last Saturday, I had the extreme privilege of being allowed special access to photograph my gowns in and around the historic buildings belonging to the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village.    This museum not only features many wonderful exhibits for both young and old, but they also have twelve historical buildings that have been painstakingly and lovingly returned to historical accuracy.  A truly wonderful place for the whole family where you can take a step back in time!

Here are a few outside pictures of the buildings apart of this wonderful village!

Aren’t they stunning!? ¬†Sigh….

Anyways!  This past Saturday, I loaded up a a variety of gowns, two great friends, and spent a fabulous afternoon enjoying the warm sunshine and all things historical!!

Enjoy!!

 

A big thank you to Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village for opening up their doors! ¬†We all had a great time and I think the¬†buildings did too! ūüôā

 

Many of these gowns are available for purchase on my Etsy Shop!

 

Have you joined my Facebook Group Inside Aimee’s Armoire? ¬†Join now to connect with other historical fashion enthusiasts!

Click image to join!

 


A Fashion Excerpt from Good Housekeeping, 1922

I love fashion spreads in magazines. I love seeing the looks, colors, styles, and accessories that are currently (or have been) in trend…no matter what the decade. ¬†And today’s spread is no exception!

Another¬†thing that I absolutely adore¬†about these early women’s magazines are how varied and detailed the topics are compared to today’s. ¬†You especially get that vibe when you read the descriptions of each outfit and accessory. ¬†It isn’t simply a list of the maker and price. ¬†Instead it is a lovely little blurb highlighting the main points of each item along with a¬†wonderful¬†description of color. ¬†

I hope you enjoy taking a little look back at not only fashion from the 1920’s, but also into the setup and work that went in to creating these wonderful magazine pieces! ūüôā

Fashions Edited by Helen Kous

Good Housekeeping, April, 1922 Volume 74, Number 4

Have you joined my new Facebook Group Inside Aimee’s Armoire????? ¬†

No???  

Well hop on over and join now!  

It’s all about sharing love and support for projects revolving around historical fashion in whatever medium you love!!

Click image above to join now!

 


A Touch of the 1920’s

Today’s post is all about appreciating the various aspects of life during the 1920’s. ¬†From recipes to fashion and a bit in between, I hope you enjoy these reflections of the past. ¬†And of course, I hope you will try one of the delicious recipes provided below…I know I will! ūüôā

Spring weddings are the perfect time to choose something bright and cheerful!  I love the cut of the green dress!

Finding the perfect wave and bob is such an eternal struggle.  Maybe these images will help spark some ideas!

Upcoming rainy days mean bringing out the old reliable rain coat!  This stylish lady has both a matching hat and jacket in a happy shade of blue!

This lady is not only impeccably dressed, she is also in a stunning location!

Host a spring tea party and make a few of these little treats to serve!

I adore house plans, and this little bungalow is equal parts quaint and charming!

Happy 1920’s my friends!


Piping – Is it Needed?

piping

It’s confession time.

I have not always used nor understood the point of piping. ¬†I didn’t get it. ¬†I didn’t know when to use it, and I was pretty sure it was a waste of my time.

And then, I got a bit better at my sewing. ¬†So I stopped using excuses as to why I didn’t pipe and¬†finally acknowledged that it was because I didn’t know how to use it at all.

Piping, in this context, refers to a 1 1/2″-2″ wide strip of fabric, cut on the bias, which has then been folded in half with a piece of cording place in between. ¬†A tight stitch along the side of the cording creates a smooth finish. ¬†This piping is then used in various places on bodices, and occasionally skirts, to add strength, texture, and contrast. ¬†The tricky part is you have to keep your stitches tight. I mean tight. ¬†You just want to see the cording peeping through in a neat and tidy fashion. ¬†And this is where I would become frustrated and give up…I just couldn’t seem to make my stitches tight enough.

So piping was left on the back burner for several years, until one day when I decided to try it again.

I took a deep breath, stitched as close as as could to the cording and would you believe it!!! – It came out perfectly!! ¬†In fact, it looked so great, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been using this technique all along. ¬†So now I’m back on the piping train and loving it! ¬†And I thought nothing would do but to create a post celebrating this wonderful little technique.

My return to piping on a 1860’s Garibaldi blouse.

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Piping is most commonly found around the armsyce, or armhole, of bodices from the early 20th century and back. ¬†Here is an example of an 1840’s gown from the Tasha Tudor collection:

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Notice the cord like piece between the sleeve gathers and the shoulder? ¬†That’s piping! ¬†While most commonly used in the same fabric as the gown itself, one can sometimes use coordinating fabric to add a bit of pop!

Piping can also be used in between bodice seams. Notice the very small piping along the back seams of this 1860’s bodice as well as the 1810’s Pelisse.

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Piping can also be used to add details to sleeves…

notice the sleeve of this Regency jacket.  The piping adds interest.

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The same can be said for this 1860’s sleeve where the bands have piped edges.

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And let’s not forget the rather advanced skill of putting piping around the edges of bodices to keep a smooth and clean finish!

This 1840’s gold gown has some wonderful examples:

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If you have never tried piping, or haven’t in a long time, I highly recommend bringing back this very fun and relatively easy technique!!

 

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