Another example of gown envy…..this time with a stunning light blue mid-1860’s gown with train. It is a “two-fer” so to speak, as the gown features two separate bodices for day or evening. Absolutely beautiful! I especially love the sheer flowers that are sewed into the front of the skirt.
Fit for a Queen…
I discovered these three pictures of a gown that was given as a gift to Queen Victoria around 1850, and is currently in the process of being prepped for display!
In addition to the delicious sheerness, I love the embroidery along the front and bottom of the skirt. I am surprised that there isn’t a matching design on the bodice, but that’s just me! Notice the clean, simple lines and the extravagance of the lace along the neckline and the sleeves. Drooling!! I also like that you get a real sense of the height and size of Queen Victoria compared to the other women who are adjusting and fixing the gown. Barely standing at 5′, Queen Victoria was very petite, and I’m sure, quite stunning in this gown!
The 1840’s Dress Cont…
So here is a little update on the corally-peach 1840’s pleated gown!
I added piping along the bottom edge of the bodice:
And then began working on the skirt. Due to the point in the front, it is important to adjust the skirt panels to accommodate the dip without messing up the hem:
I only had enough time to put in one row of gathering stitches. Hopefully I can complete the other row this week!
Have a great day everyone!!
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:
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!
Pleats: An Easy Way to Make Something Special
I am all about subtle details that add beauty and elegance to a gown. In my sewing, and in my modern dressing, I love to let the fabric and soft alterations of the fabric be the focus of what I am making/wearing. This is why I love pleats. Pleats, in my opinion, can range from soft gathers that are pressed, to perfectly measured and spaced out folds. Pleats, whether sewn in or draped on top, are the simplest and quickest way to make what would be a simple gown into something elegant and feminine. All you need is fabric!
Let’s take a look at some examples:
Here the pleats are around the hem of this 1850’s gown and softly gathered into the yoke of the wide neckline on the bodice.
A shawl by any name…
Whether you call it a mantilla, a coverlet, a shawl, a drape, or wrap, women have been finding delicate things to sling across their shoulders for the duel purpose or warmth (sometimes) and beauty. I personally love wraps and capes and wear them all throughout the winter for the same duel purpose as our foremothers centuries ago. I recently acquired 5 yards of beautiful black lace with the intention of creating a shawl of some sort. While researching I came across these examples from an 1855 Goodey’s Lady’s Book, August edition I believe, and just fell in love. Now clearly these drawings are very detailed and have materials that I may have trouble getting a hold of, yet they are provide a great base. After I complete the current gown I’m working on (which hopefully will be today), I plan on starting to draft up a pattern for one of these shawls, or wraps, or what ever you like to call it! 🙂
“Gore-ing” does not equal Boring!
I spent yesterday afternoon working on creating the skirt panels for my 1865 Green Gown. When I was planning the gown, I wanted to create something different and really use the fabric effectively in the design, so I decided to do a gored skirt. Not hard, just not something I don’t do often. The main problem I have with gored skirts is getting the ratio of fullness and tightness just right. I want to make sure the skirt goes easily around the undergarments without looking tight or pulled, yet I don’t want so much fabric that is loses that smooth finish. I started off with six panels, but wasn’t happy so I went to eight and I am quite pleased with how it is turning out. I just pinned it on so I could get a sense of the lay of the skirt. Hopefully I can spend the next few days attaching it to the bodice, and working out the hem. I want a slight train on the skirt, so getting it to flow evenly on a gored skirt just takes a little time.
As to my upcoming list of projects, here is what I have compiled so far (in no particular order):
– 1850’s Day Gown
– Lace Mantle
– 1860’s Sheer Gown
– 1858 Trimmed Jacket with matching skirt
– 1860 Two-tone Gown with overskirt
Will keep you up to date with all these projects as I go!