Last week, we talked all about my process of creating and designing historical gowns. But that led many to ask:
“How do I get into historical sewing?”
“What if I’m new to sewing? Can I still start?”
And the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES! Join me as I chat about what exactly historical sewing is, some easy beginning patterns and pattern brands to try out, along with tools you will need! ***Hint – you probably already have everything you need! 😉
“Wish I could figure out how to design a gown like that!”
Well, I’ve been listening and have decided to share the process I go through when I design a historical gown. From original inspiration to my next steps, you will learn about what books and patterns I go to first for help along the way!
Let’s get going!
Have another topic you would like me to chat about? Dying to know some of my construction or designing secrets?
Leave a comment below! 🙂
PS: The book I was referring to is Fashion: The Collection from the Kyoto Fashion Institute. 🙂
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:
This blouse is such a quick and easy way to take an extra yard of fabric and turn it into something special! Add some pizzaz with different fabrics, contrasting colors, and trims!! The possibilities are endless!
What you will need:
1 yard of fabric*
12″ of 1/2″ wide elastic
* To create a larger size, simply create a larger square – 40″ x 40″, 42″ x 42″, etc
This pattern can be created by simply measuring and cutting the actual fabric, however the pictures below are shown on a large piece of craft paper.
Fold a 36″ by 36″ piece of fabric (or paper) into a triangle.
Mark the neck between the two end points.
Measure 13-15″ from center of neck towards one point. Mark this point. The length will be the sleeve, so make it as long or as short as you would like. Then cut off the triangle. Repeat with the other side.
Allow 8-10″ for armhole then stitch (right sides together) 4-5″ down from this point. This line is shown as the dotted line on the paper pattern below.
Take the cut off triangle pieces and attach them to the bottom of the triangle so the fold edge forms a side seam. Stitch to the bottom of the blouse, right sides together.
Measure 4 1/2″ on each side of center neck point and gently cut out a scoop neckline.
Make a 4″ slit in the center back of the neckline.
Sew a 6″ piece of elastic, while it is stretched out, on each side of the waist line to create a shirred peplum.
Hem all raw edges and add shoulder pads, if desired.
OPTIONAL – Add a snap or hook to the center back neckline to close.
And that’s it!! Enjoy your new vintage inspired blouse!!!
I think I have drained my current pool of patterns. I mean, I love many of them and will always use them…but, I’m am definitely feeling a little bored. Especially with my due date coming closer and closer, I am trying to stay occupied with sewing…it’s sort of working! 🙂
So yesterday, with the warm sun on my face, I spent a little time looking up some new and different patterns to try.
Here are a few of my favorites!!!
Links to the patterns are below each image!
I love the unique and various caps in this particular pattern. Especially the Round Eared Cap with double ruffle!!
With a yardage requirement of 16 yards, this gown would definitely be a commitment, but I love all the ruffles and draping! I would also want to use a polka dot fabric just like the sample photo below!
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.
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:
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.
Piping can also be used to add details to sleeves…
notice the sleeve of this Regency jacket. The piping adds interest.
The same can be said for this 1860’s sleeve where the bands have piped edges.
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:
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!!
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!
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!!
Well, we have made it to the end of 2016 and, boy, what a year! Many highs, a few lows, and one big life change would sum up my past 12 months. While I haven’t been able to post as much as I would like over the past few weeks, I plan on getting right back on track for the new year!
One of my most favorite posts to do at this time of year is the review of my favorite sewing projects. I love looking back and seeing all the various creations I have made, and hopefully I will be able to notice a few improvements on my technique as well!
So let’s take a look at a few of my favorite projects from this year!!
I loved creating this 1943 ruffled blouse! Click this link to see how to make one of your own!
This 1930’s beach wrap was created from scrap fabric which I got for $1 a yard!! Love those kinds of savings!
One major accomplishment this year was the publication of my very own vintage sewing pattern book! Click HERE for more information!
I designed this 1940’s salmon pink suit by taking inspiration from three separate designs!
I returned to my roots, and began sewing Regency era gowns again and had great fun photographing them out in nature!
…and in lovely historic settings.
Now that my life has return to a more normal status, I can’t wait to get back into my sewing room and starting whipping up more creations! My 2017 plans include some 1700’s clothing, 1910’s, and everything in between! 🙂
I wish you all a very happy and healthy end to 2016 and beginning of 2017!
Oh and that big life change I mentioned earlier???….it will be making it’s sweet debut June 2017!! 🙂