So You Want to Try Historical Sewing?

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! 😉

 

Helpful Links to Get You Started:

Videos on various types of patterns available:

Intro to Patterns from Books

Intro to PDF Patterns

Intro to Paper Patterns 

 

After a little research, looks like the Dating Fabric book is back in stock!  Click HERE.

 

Favorite Blogs to Follow for Advice and Inspiration:

American Duchess

The Dreamstress

Before the Automobile

Wearing History

Historical Sewing

 

There are of course many, many other wonderful blogs and costumers out there, but these are my number one go-tos!

Join me next time for a chat all about vintage sewing! 🙂

 

 

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A Little Chat on the Historical Designing Process

“Aimee, how did you make that?”

“Did you just follow instructions?”

“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. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 


Creating a 1750’s Gown…For Me!

 

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:

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1940’s Blouse Pattern and Tutorial

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
  • Thread

* 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.  

The Process

  1. Fold a 36″ by 36″ piece of fabric (or paper) into a triangle.
  2. Mark the neck between the two end points.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Measure 4 1/2″ on each side of center neck point and gently cut out a scoop neckline.
  7. Make a 4″ slit in the center back of the neckline.
  8. Sew a 6″ piece of elastic, while it is stretched out, on each side of the waist line to create a shirred peplum.
  9. Hem all raw edges and add shoulder pads, if desired.
  10. OPTIONAL – Add a snap or hook to the center back neckline to close.

And that’s it!! Enjoy your new vintage inspired blouse!!!

 


Historical Patterns I’m Excited to Try!

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!!

1740-1820 Women and Girls Caps from Amazon Dry Goods

I am sure anyone wearing this amazingly beautiful, pleated mantle would feel elegant and very summery!  The only thing I’m not sure of is what fabric I would use…..

1863 Summer Mantle from Amazon Dry Goods

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!

1873 Dress Pattern from Patterns of Time

One should have just as pretty undergarments as outwear, and this pattern has a wonderful range of options!!!

1912 Women’s Linen Collection from Patterns of Time

The front draping on this 1930’s dress is amazing!  I’m pretty sure I will have to redo it several times until it hangs just right, but its all in a day’s work! 🙂

1930’s Dress pattern from Pattern Treasury

Have you found any new historical patterns that you just adore?  

I would love to hear from you! 


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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Regency Chemisette Video Tutorial

chemisette

I am so excited about today’s post as it has been a long time in coming! 

Using inspiration from a variety of sources, I have created a video tutorial and pattern on how to create a Regency Era Chemisette custom designed to fit you!  Simply open up the PDF pattern, follow the guidelines on how to create the pattern pieces, then watch the videos below to  learn how to create your very own chemisette.  

Tutorial will help you create a chemisette with one or two ruffles (as pictured in images below.)

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(Image from Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion I)

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(Painting of 1800 Empress Elizabeth Alexeievna, artist unknown)

REGENCY CHEMISETTE VIDEO TUTORIAL

Click the underlined link below to open up PDF pattern.

regency-chemisette-pattern

***Videos show how to create a two ruffle chemisette.  If desired, simply cut out two ruffles using measurements presented in pattern****

Part One

In this video section, I will show you how to construct the frame of the chemisette and create the neckline darts.

Part Two

In this section we will stitch darts, sew cording/ribbon channels, and begin to work on the ruffle.

Part Three

This portion will show you how to pleat the ruffle.  

Part Four

Now that the ruffle is pleated, this part will show you how to create the ruffled neckline in order to attach it to the chemisette.

Part Five

This last video details attaching the ruffle to the neckline and completing all the finishing touches.

And that’s it!  

Feel free to play around and create various styles and necklines of chemisettes!  

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And as always, feel free to share a picture of your own creation on social media!  

  Simply post on my Facebook page or use the tag #aimeevictorian on Instagram.  Links to both platforms are on the sidebar of my blog!

Happy Sewing!

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Cover Painting

By Pierre Louis Bouvier GENEVA 1766 – 1836

Sources Used:

Janet Arnold Patterns of Fashion 1

Various of paintings from 1805-1015


A 1770’s Fashion Shoot

1770s

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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