All Things Baby…and a Gender Reveal

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It has been a very busy two weeks.

I have been sewing up a storm and working very hard at this tricky little thing called online marketing.  And since my brain has been swimming with all the things that need to get done, I thought I would take a little mental break.  And what more perfect way to take my mind off all the craziness than to focus on my happy little bundle that is due in less than four months!

Four months!! Eeeek!!! 🙂

The past few weeks have also been a bit of a roller coaster when it came to finding out the gender of our baby.  Since I am a planner, and sewer, it was important to me that I find out the gender in advance so I could plan and get as much done as I could before the baby comes.  So when our doctor told us at our 12 week sonogram that she was 85% sure she knew what the gender was, of course, we couldn’t wait to hear!  Imagine our joy when she said it was a boy!  My husband and I were both over the moon and began planning the nursery, choosing names, and getting just plain excited.

Well, we knew we had to go back for the second sonogram so we decided that we would wait to start buying things until we were sure, but we had definitely everything picked out.  So the day of the second sonogram came and we excitedly went to the doctor, eager to see our son again.  As we enjoyed watching our little one on the computer, the technician asked if we were ready to know the gender…which, of course, we were.  I mean, we were ready for a confirmation of what we already knew.  So as the two of us waited to hear the words “It’s a boy” emerge from her lips, when she said very matter of factly, “It’s a girl!”

Wait, what?  

We both just about fell out of our chairs (or the medical bed in my case.)

A girl???  

As we scraped our jaws up from off the floor, my husband mentioned that last time we came they thought it was a boy.  “Well, that does happens sometimes, although it is rare.” was her response.  Oh.  Good to know.

Sooooooooo after going through shock, a complete mind shift, and a new name search, we are happy to announce we are having a girl!!!!

 And with all this exciting news, I decided it was time to dedicate a post to all things maternity and baby!

 

Let’s begin with this 1860’s photograph and a mother and child. Both of whom, I may add, are impeccably dressed!

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These 1910 maternity dresses are perfect for both pre and post baby!

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These two moms to be from the 1940’s look absolutely adorable in their maternity dresses!!!

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While I can’t say the super tight skirt looks all that comfortable, I adore the loose fitting top from this 1960’s sewing pattern.

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This entire 1940-1950 collection for a baby is just fantastic!  What a wide variety offered in this pattern!!

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And for when they get a little older, these little girl dresses from the 1910’s-early 1920’s  are absolutely perfect!

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And for some modern takes on vintage dresses, this ADORABLE dress tutorial by Craftiness is Optional is perfect in every sense of the word!  Link is under the image.

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Craftiness is Optional

And who wouldn’t want a few bonnets to match those precious little dresses.  This tutorial from Simple Simon and Company is as easy as it is sweet!  Link under image.

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Simple Simon and Company

 

So if someone ever says to you there is an 85% chance…..be highly doubtful!! 😉

Happy Friday everyone!!!

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A Timeline of Fashion’s Influence

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A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the British men’s clothing company T.M. Lewin.  While I never have personally purchased clothing from them, I was very aware of the name and longevity. Established in 1898, they have spent the past one hundred years providing high quality men’s clothing and are well-known for the introduction of the button down shirt.  So what, may you ask, is a men’s clothing store doing reaching out to me, a women’s historical clothing blog?  Well, the company wished to celebrate 300 years of British influence on men’s fashion and wondered if I would be interested in participating.  At first, I wasn’t sure what I could do.  I mean, I enjoy men’s clothing, but enough to write about it?  I just wasn’t sure.  So I thought and spent some time studying the fabulous timeline graphic they sent me, and realized the large connection between men and women’s clothing. I thoroughly enjoyed my time researching and loved finding examples of women’s fashion that directly corresponded with men’s.

So, with all that said, I decided to participate in their celebration…but with my own twist.  Below you will find sections of their timeline along with examples of women’s fashion which bears influence and connection….although with a bit more grace and femininity!

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The 1700’s

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I choose to highlight the floral impact on fashion for this particular century.  While today, most individuals equate floral prints exclusively as women’s clothing, that was not always the case.  Notice the embroidery on the men’s suit, along with the influence on the floral print of the women’s gown below!  Both are absolutely stunning!

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1770’s Floral Gown from the Digitalt Museum

The 1800’s

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I have a slight obsession with anything Regency.  I just do.  So clearly, out of this century, I had to pick something from the 1810’s.  And what better choice than showing examples of the riding coat!

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1815 Men’s and Women’s Riding Outfits, Kyoto Costume Institute 

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My second choice to highlight from this century is the Sack Coat from the years 1850-1860.  A loose fitting outwear garment that was worn by both men and women.  Similar in shape, color and decorations were the two only real ways that this coat differed.

Men’s Version

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Women’s Version

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The 1900’s

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From this century, the first item that stood out to me is the trench coat.  A item that is just as popular today as it was a hundred years ago.  Similar in color and shape, women tweaked this item to create a coat known as a duster.  A handy little item used to protect one’s gown from those dusty automobile rides!

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Of course, post on 20th century fashion would not be complete without a little 1940’s love.  With the suit a well established staple for men, women, especially during the second world war, followed suit…no pun intended! 🙂  Similar in pattern and shape, both genders embraced the structured look the suit of the 1940’s offered.

Men’s Version

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Women’s Version

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This reciprocal exchange of fashion influence will continue to shape fashion for decades, and I daresay, centuries to come.  But with tweaks here  and there, each gender can appreciate and enjoy something unique!

Many thanks to T.M. Lewin for inspiring this post!!

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Fashion Plate Fun

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Today I thought it would be fun to browse through a variety of fashion plates!  I mean, who doesn’t love a little gown envy?!  

I decided to share a few of my favorites starting around 1830 and going up to 1940.  Ranging from daywear to evening wear, these fashion plates are just the thing to get your fashion juices flowing!  

Let’s get started!

This 1830’s evening gown is in the most amazing color of blue I have ever seen!

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These 1850’s gowns are perfect examples of visiting or afternoon gowns.

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While it is a toss up between the two, I am in love with the yellow 1860’s ballgown with red floral accents.

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While I am sure walking was very difficult in this particular creation, I still love the color and pattern combinations of this 1880’s gown.

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A lovely array of turn of the century shirtwaists.  

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Sigh….I adore every single one of these 1910’s outfits.  

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Perfect for summer vacations, these 1920’s outfits are just made for an ocean resort.

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This soft blue 1930’s gown looks wonderful with or without the jacket!

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The pleated floral dress on this 1940’s fashion plate is adorable!

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So whether you love 19th or 20th century fashion, are a seamstress or costume designer, or simply appreciate the look of the past, I hope these fashion plates offer inspirations and a few day dreams!

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Winter Outfits: 1870-1940

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Another cold snap has hit and brought with it a foot of snow!  I can’t really complain as I love the snow, but it certainly does require quite a bit of bundling up.  On days like this, I pull out my faithful down coat and matching snow boots, suit up, and then head out to brace the winter wind. Of course, I promise myself if I can complete all my errands without too much resentment towards the bitter cold, then I can have a nice hot cup of cocoa when I come home…its a great compromise!

So despite the chill outside, today’s post is all about warm and stylish winter clothing!  To start with, I found this fascinating timeline on gdfalksen.com.  I absolutely love the purple tones and enjoy seeing the change of fashion.

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Image by gdfalksen.com

And out of all these lovely looks, I found some extras that I just had to include!

Here are two 1880’s ensemble, with one featuring a lovely face veil.

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This 1918 look has a lovely matching fur collar and muff…and those pleat/skirt drapings are to die for!

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Another lovely collection of 1910’s winter wear…the brown coat ensemble in the foreground is my favorite.

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Stylish and sporty describe this 1930’s winter look!  I love how, despite the activity,  her hat is perfectly perched on her well coifed hair.

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This adorable duo, also from the 1930’s, are displaying to very different, yet very attractive winter coats!

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A true hallmark of the 1940’s period, this winter look is clean, simple, and adorably functional!

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Bundle up everyone!  It’s going to be a cold one today! 🙂

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A 1770’s Fashion Shoot

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What better way to start off the new year than with a historical fashion shoot!  This particular shoot highlighted two new 1770’s gown I created last month.  Which was a miracle I was able to get any sewing done, since I spent quite a few weeks hugging the toilet….I’m four months pregnant just in case you missed last week’s post! 🙂

Anyways!!!  I am so happy to be feeling better and what better way to celebrate than with a wonderful snowy day and some wonderful photographs. So with a big thank you to my model Cassandra, here are a few of my favorite images from this fun photo adventure!

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Both gown are currently for sale on my Etsy Shop along with many new Regency custom order listings!  

Well, now I’m going to grab a snack and go work on a 1916 skirt….fingers crossed!! 

Have a fabulous Wednesday everyone!

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An Excerpt from The Magic of Dress, 1911

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With the upcoming holidays, many of us will be attending many festive parties!  With that in mind, here is an excerpt from The Magic of Dress by Grace Margaret Gould written in 1911!

“With the evening comes more elaborate dress.  The fashionable woman needs dinner gowns, theater and opera gowns and ball costumes.  The more cultivated she is, the more she make the art of the dress the study it should be, the finer and more appropriate are the distinctions between these attires.  

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In planning them she must first have a definite idea of the prevailing mode as to fabric and outline.  Then, if she is wise, she will modify the present style to her own type; and whether she is planning one gown or a dozen gowns, let each be distinctive and each suit the occasion on which it is to be worn.  

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It is well to bear in mind that the trimming of a gown may give a distinctive touch to it, and that in a measure it acts as an index to the dress, putting the gown in its own class.  Never use the same type of trimming on your evening gowns.  If the dancing frock is trimmed with artificial flowers of chiffon and satin, have the ball gown trimmed with fur, or gold or silver embroideries. A woman with one trimming is a woman of one-dress idea, and not much of an idea at that.

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It goes without saying that a little good trimming is better than a lot of inferior trimming.  When economy must be given at least a passing thought, a good quality of velvet or brocade is a better investment than some prevailing fad in silks or even some exquisite shade of chiffon.  There is always the next year to bear in mind.”

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November Favorites

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There just so many things that have been inspiring me lately.  From baking, to art, to fashion and sewing, I just can’t get enough!  I really had to work hard to trim down this month’s selection as I could have kept adding gown after gown and photo after photo.  However, I stayed focused and am very excited to share with you the five images and ideas that get my creative and fashion juices flowing!

First off let’s start with this absolutely fabulous late 1850’s gown.  I mean talk about a colorful, vibrant gown that is perfect for any holiday dinner or tea.  I can’t imagine the amount of patience needed to attach all the trim to the skirt!

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My next monthly favorite comes in the form of baking.  With Thanksgiving just around the corner, everyone is busy creating the perfect fall pie!  And wouldn’t it be fun to try some different decorations for the pie crust?  I certainly think so!  Martha Stewart has some fabulous options:

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Decorative Pie Crusts from Martha Stewart

This painting is absolutely captivating.  The deep purple of the velvet gown with matching hat and trim gives my little heart palpitations!  I need that gown!!!

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The Godmother’s Garden by Marie-Françoise Firmin-Girard 1875

This 1885 Swedish fashion plate is awesome for several reasons.  One, the gowns are perfect for a crisp fall day, but second, just look at the chilly, gothic location where these well dressed ladies are placed!  I get goosebumps just thinking about it.   Just look at that spooky manor in the background!

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My last November favorite comes in the form of this 1950’s sweater ensemble.  I love how long, cozy, yet very stylish it is.  I swear I saw this same sweater in a window at the mall not too long ago.  I love when fashion repeats itself!

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Between baking, vibrant colors, rich velvets, and warm knits, I am having a fabulous November so far!!

All the best!

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Happy Veterans Day!  A big thank you to all who have served!!

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Completing the look…..one glove at a time

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I know this should probably be a post about Halloween.  I mean, today is Halloween.  However, I have a more pressing matter at hand.  A lost glove.

It has been so chilly  and crisp in the mornings.  Chilly enough for me to remember to wear a coat…but not to grab my gloves.  Having had cold fingers a little too often this week, I was determined not to forget them again.  After an hour searching and pulling out just about the entire coat closet,  I only found my super heavy pair of mittens.  I knew I had a lighter weight pair that would be perfect for the current weather but had no idea where they ended up.  So I took a deep breath and tried again.  This time I turned up one glove, but not it’s buddy.  Sigh… I really liked that pair.  So, I will try one more time to find the lost glove, and if no luck, than I will have to pick up another pair.

Now, on the few occasions when I do pick up gloves or any winter accessories, I really try to make sure everything matches.  Once the really cold weather hits, it doesn’t matter what one wears underneath…all you see is the outerwear, especially when you are running errands.  So I want to make sure my winter gear looks polished and put together.

Take a look at these pattern collections from the 1930’s.  I mean, this is what coordinated and polished looks like!

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47aaeef515ece7179cceea2e4f3b17b0Finding these many pieces today that all blend and go together is nearly impossible…at least at the same store.  However, I did find these stunning gloves that come in both oxblood and black.  I feel like the addition of the three little buttons really takes these gloves to the next level!  A perfect replacement to my potentially lost gloves.

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Gloves from Lord and Taylor

Of course, what about something for a more casual winter look?  I don’t really have anything, and, well, just take a look at this crocheted collar!  It looks so warm and cozy, yet adds such personality to any outfit.  I could even wear it without a coat and just a nice long sleeved tee underneath.  Hmmmmmm…. 😉

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Crochet Collar from Victorian Trading Co

Well, I’m off to give it one last go at finding my missing glove…and if it can’t be found…oh well! 😉

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Oh and since it is Halloween….here a post from last Halloween with links to other fabulous articles on the art of the Fancy Dress!