On My Inspiration Board: Lavender Gowns

lavender cover

Everyone at some point in their lives goes through a lavender phase.  I remember mine was in jr. high and into high school where most of my clothes, and my room, was covered in various tones of lavender.  It is such an easy color to love and looks great on a variety of skin tones.  While researching and choosing gowns to feature in this post, I was delighted to see so many examples from a variety of time periods.  It seems woman through out the past two hundred years have also seen the appeal that lavender has to offer.

I also found some absolutely wonderful paintings featuring lavender hued gowns!  Here are a few of my favorites:

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While two of the three are trimmed in darker purple tones, they are overall wonderful examples of lavender gowns. With so many beautiful examples, it was (as usual) hard to choose ones to highlight, so as always, make sure to hop over to my Pinterest Page to see more gowns.

lavender gowns

Looking for a modern lavender gown to wear now?  My favorite right now is this long maxi dress from ModCloth.  Absolutely gorgeous!!

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Maxi Dress from ModCloth

Have a wonderful day!!

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Pearls, pearls, pearls….

pearls

Classy, elegant, and if purchasing fresh water, quite affordable.  Pearls have long been used as jewelry for the upper classes, but gradually became a part of the average woman’s wardrobe thanks to the ever glamorous Coco Chanel.  While I am personally a single strand wearer, there are so many different types with multiple layers in multiple lengths, that the easiest thing is to purchase one of each kind! 🙂

In preparation for this post, I have scoured and found several photographs that range from the 1860’s to the 1950’s featuring a wide variety of pearl necklaces.

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What I love about pearls, in comparison with other fine pieces of jewelry, is that they can be worn just as easily with casual outfits as with elegant ones.

Here are a few of my favorite modern pieces of pearl jewelry in a variety of affordable prices.

Modern Pearl Necklace from Amanda Deer – Starts at $36

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Back Drop Pearl Necklace from Jam Jewels 1  – Starts at $68

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Multi-Strand Pearl Necklace from Lola and Madison – $95

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So drape on a few strands of pearls and enjoy the day!

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On My Inspiration Board: Polka Dots

polka dots cover

Polka dots.  The fashion world’s happiest fabric.  Who would have thought that by placing circles on a piece of cloth, one would instantly be able to brighten up a mood or even a room!   Just like many types of fabric patterns, polka dots had limited appeal in the early 19th century, gradually becoming more common as each decade past.  The wonderful thing about polk dots is it’s ability to transform from casual wear to evening wear, by letting the size of the dot, the lay of the fabric, and the design of the gown dictate it’s level of formality.

Even artists have seen the marvelous appeal of the polka dot.  In my opinion, the most famous painting of a polka dot dress is Albert Bartholomé’s Dans la Serre (1881), a stunning piece of work featuring the artist’s wife.

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The dress itself, has been saved and put on display, not only for it’s artistic value but it’s fashion design as well.

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Over the past 100 years, the appeal of the polka dot has not diminished and graces the clothing of both child and adult.  My favorite modern polka dot piece right now is this sleeveless tunic from ModCloth.  Perfect for spring!

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In finding pictures for this month’s inspiration board, I was delighted to discover so many wonderful versions!!  As always, pop over to my Pinterest Page, to see more gowns bearing the adorable polka dot!

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So no matter your age, or size, there is a dotted piece of clothing out there waiting for you!

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On My Inspiration Board: Scarlet Red Gowns

red gown cover

In planning out February’s post, I was debating over what color to feature for the month’s Inspiration Board.  I debated between various hues of colors, one of them being red.  But I thought to myself, “isn’t red a little too cliche for February?”  “Doesn’t every one do something with red?”  Well, of course they do.  But then I realized that I don’t.  In fact, I don’t believe I have ever sewed anything that was red.  A shocking discovery that I hope to remedy in the future, and has confirmed in the mind the absolute necessity of featuring red for this month!

I was delighted to find so many wonderful examples of gowns in that bright hue of  scarlet that it was difficult to choose ones to feature here.  I was also excited to find so many beautiful portraits of women wearing this bold color.  Here is one from the Regency Era…

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1815 Adèle Romany – Portrait of Aglaé-Constance.

…and another from the 1840’s…

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Louise d’Orléans, Queen of Belgium (1812-1850), painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter in ca. 1841

Red was also a top choice for Hollywood directors to place on their sirens.  This glittering example was worn by Joan Crawford in 1937’s The Bride Wore Red.

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So with these wonderful examples and without much further ado, I present this month’s unique (for me) board of Scarlet Red Gowns….

Red gowns

To see many, many more, please visit my Pinterest Page!

Happy Friday!

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Cover Photo: Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg: Porträt von Louise Christiane Fugl, 1825


On My Inspiration Board: Historical Outerwear

historical outerwear cover

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love coats.  I mean LOVE coats.  I have a variety that I have purchased or received as gifts over the years, and I adore each and every one of them.  Coats are, in many ways, the ultimate accessory.  They can complete a look, add shape and detail, and during the cold winter months, can be a total outfit unto themselves.  Coats are also one of the three areas of fashion where I believe one should invest… the other two being handbags and shoes.

 If properly chosen, a well-made and designed coat can last for years and may never go out of style.  Just take a look at many of the choices below…I would wear any number of them today and still fit right in!

Notice the similar look between these two coats?  Adjust the collar on each and they are very reminiscent of each other!  

                  Modern    

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1940’s

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Here is another example….

                                Modern    

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1950’s

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With so many wonderful coats, wraps, shawls, and capes to choose from, one board just wasn’t enough.  So I created to for each century.

I hope you enjoy the few I have selected and I hope it inspires you to find that perfect winter garment!


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To see many more, visit my Pinterest page: Historical Outerwear.

~Aimee


On My Inspiration Board: Silver Gowns

Silver is one of those colors that can come in a range of hues and descriptions.  Icy tones, glowing metal, and can even merge into those wonderful shades of grey with that magic hint of glitter.  Silver gowns are a luxury and therefore make the perfect party dress…no matter the century.  The weight of the fabric and the details in which you put on it, all add to the uniqueness of each dress.

Check out this 1920’s silver dress…perfect for a party!

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I chose to use silver as this month’s color choice for the simple reason that it is not as often used doing the month of December.  Gold, warms hues of red, and hunter greens dominate the scene, yet silver is and should be as much of a color of the holidays as the previous three.  I find that combining all the colors throughout one’s house decorations, outfits, and table settings, can reap a rich lushness.

Silver isn’t just a cold metal, it, like the icicles forming in the winter air, is all colors blinking and shining together.  Just place some silver in the sunlight and you will see what I mean! 😉

Silver Gowns

~Aimee

To see more, please visit my Pinterest Page.


Brown Fabric Samples 1800-1960

brown fabric

The best way to see the change in fashion, tone, and patterns over the past two centuries is often through looking at the fabric.  Black and white photographs can only help so much, so having the ability to see color fabric samples is a huge help to my sewing.   This is also true when I go shopping in modern fabric stores.   Being able to have a go-to guide on patterns, prints, and colors makes the search much easier!

Stemming off of this month’s color inspiration of brown, I wanted to share a few pages from one of my fabric dating books by Eileen Jahnke Trestain.  This encyclopedia of fabric samples gives overviews and colored pictures in a variety of tones from 1800-1960.

Enjoy!

1800-1830

Pre-1830's Brown

1830-1860

1830-1860's Brown

1860-1880

1860-1880's Brown

1880-1910

1880-1910's Brown

1910-1935

1910-1930's Brown

1935-1960

1930-1960's Brown

I hope these help inspire you for your next sewing project! 🙂

~Aimee

Source: Dating Fabrics: A Color Guide 1800-1960 by Eileen Jahnke Trestain, 1998


On My Inspiration Board: Brown Gowns

Simple, natural, and eternally chic, brown is a color in which the name does not do it justice.  While you can describe it in its various tones of chestnut, sienna, or even walnut, the color brown encompasses a wide array of flattering hues.

A very common color in both house and walking/day dresses, seamstresses of various decades created outfits which let the skill and design of the gown shine.  I often notice the lines of a dress more when it isn’t competing with a bold pattern or bright color.

Brown is earthy and grounding.  Synonymous with all things Autumn and harvest.  It is one of those neutrals that can instantly warm the face and evoke a mood much more uplifting than black.

Take a look at this magazine cover…you notice the brown but you also notice the face…a delightful combination.
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And for a more old fashioned take on the homey, albeit domestic, appeal of a brown dress, here is an excerpt from a poem entitled “My Apple Tree Neighbors”

“In her modest brown gown she flits quickly about, 

to make the home neat while her husband it out – 

Providing the dinner which she must prepare

They have fruit every day, and their meat they like rare.”

Now for this month’s collection of historical brown gowns:

Brown Gowns

To see more, please visit my Pinterest Page.

Best Wishes, 

~Aimee

Source: Poem by Abbie Folsom Taber, 1889