All posts filed under: Historical Fashion

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 …

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 …

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! 🙂 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 – The 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 …

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! 🙂   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 …

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! 🙂 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 …

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! 🙂 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?

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 …

Getting Attached to “Detachable” Items

If you are interested in getting a different look for your outfit, accessories can make a huge difference!  Today, we mostly turn to scarves and jewelry to spice up or alter our clothes.  However, these go-tos were not always the first choice in decades past.  Many women used what we can think of as “detachable” items that were either pinned, buttoned, or basted onto their clothes. This allowed for everyday clothes to be given a little pick-me-up for a very affordable price.  Simply remove for cleaning and then use on any garment that could use a little something extra. Collars were the most common form of the “detachable” items, although under sleeves, as seen during the Regency era or during the 1850’s-1860’s, were also quite common.  Mostly made of stark white cotton, linen, or lace, these little beauties came in various sizes, shapes, and textures. This 1860’s lace capelet/collar is fascinating as it appears to be covering up an evening gown…perhaps making it more appropriate for daywear! This woman wears both a detachable collar as well …