A Cheery Yellow!

Although my personal coloring would never be able to hold up to this yellow, I still find the color to create a charming and captivating statement gown!  I am sure that any woman who could hold her own in this gown would have been admired indeed!



And so it begins….

I have started working on an 18th century gown which will consist of two pieces: a caraco jacket and a pleated petticoat.  I took my inspiration for the fabric and the pattern of the jacket from the following pictures:



I found these two fabrics that I think are going to work great….



The jacket will be in the patterned cotton with the petticoat consisting of the beautifully textured pink fabric.  I have already begun working on the skirt focusing on trying to create deep pleats along the waist band.  I like the idea of creating a skirt which will have a little unique style to it and will be a nice balance to the jacket.

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Time for a New Century….

I have been struggling with a pretty severe sewing block….I went with it and allowed it to stay as long as necessary.  And after a long hiatus, I am ready to start getting back in to my studio and try something new.  As most of you already know, I mainly stick with 19th century gowns, however, I have begun researching and exploring earlier centuries.  Therefore, I have decided to start with the 1700’s.  I have done some work in this period before and feel comfortable starting there.  My goal is to try some items from the 1600’s, but I need to complete further research…so we will see.

I would like to thank all of you for continuing to check my site as I know I have been woefully absent these past few weeks.  I am hoping that as I begin to start sewing again, the flow of creativity will start to show itself again.  Here are a few pictures I have found inspirational:

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The Metropolitan Museum

I thought I would show you another book title on my “Must Get Soon” list, this time from the Metropolitan Museum.



With beautiful photographs and paintings of not only jewelry but also close up of gowns, this book is perfect for learning and examining details.  Here is the link to the shop:

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The Victoria and Albert Museum

I am in the process of researching new books on historical fashion and dress making, with the idea that I will begin to invest in as many as financially possible.  I have completely exhausted the books I have now, and am looking forward to finding new sources of inspiration and knowledge.  I was browsing through the V&A museum and found their book shop with a slew of various types of books on fashion, textiles, and jewelry.  But here were the top two books I put on my list:


Based on the book covers, you get an idea of what is inside.  X-rays of the foundations, the shapes, and the stitching lines of beautiful 17th century gowns… I am in love and very excited!  While I have only made a few gowns from this time period, I am still extremely interested and can’t wait to place my order!  Here is the link to the museum where you can also visit the book shop:


The  online exhibits have beautiful photographs of many different gowns from a variety of eras.  But to show many of the gowns to you in a fun little way, I found this video!

 Hope you enjoy!


Old Fort Niagara: The French and Indian War

Well, this weekend was the huge reenactment at Fort Niagara focusing on the tension during the French and Indian War of the 1750’s (a.k.a. The Seven Year’s War.)  The fort is unique and very beautiful as it sits on the side of the Niagara River on the border of New York and Canada.  I spent the day there yesterday and was surprised at the large amount of re-enactors (Native, French, and American) who participated.  While the majority of those reenacting looked amazing…I did notice a few people who, well, just looked plain sloppy and tried to hide the tops of their Nike socks by turning them down….not a good look in any century.

There were many sutlers there and live music which made the whole place a giant flashback to 1750!  Although in spite of all my wanderings through the shops, I didn’t buy anything.  There were two reasons why…one legit, and one personal.  First the legit reason:  I focus on 1860’s fashion and I found myself wandering through thinking “too old-fashioned” or “no longer in use…something else has been invented” or “while beautiful, this is something an 1860’s women’s grandmother would wear…soooo nope!”  Don’t get me wrong, the fabric and trims were beautiful, but just not my era.

The other reason I didn’t buy anything was that I was completely and utterly ignored by the majority of sutlers.  It seems that if you aren’t dressed in period clothing than you are invisible.   Literally.  Not ONE shop owner even acknowledge me.  Am I so special that I have to have to world stop? No, but it is good business practice to greet each customer…especially one who (if found the right fabric) was ready to plunk down hundreds of dollars to stock up on accurate fabric.  I know I have ranted about this before, but between getting snubbed at small quilt shops by older women who think I’m an idiot, to sutlers who do not see me, I am getting very disappointed in the reenacting/sewing community.  We need to be welcoming so more people WANT to get involved!

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The appeal of a wrapper…

I know that if I lived in the 1800’s I would have many of these made up for those mornings when I wouldn’t feel like getting all dressed up but still needed to look presentable.  Sort of today’s yoga pants look. I was so interested in this look and how so many women just do not wear these often at reenactments (partly because they are “indoor’s” looks), that I wanted make one of my own!  After a lot of research (and some hard evidence) I found a variety of styles and photographs of women in the 1800’s wearing wrappers in public.  Here is a sampling:


And here is my version:


DSC00668 I really like the styles that had a different front panel, and very much like today’s color block dresses, it is a very flattering style.

Have a great Sunday evening!