Altering and Drafting Historical Patterns Instructional Video

The next installment in my historical sewing video series is here!…and long over due!

Today it is all about pattern drafting.  Join me as I show you how to take a simple grid pattern or pre-made paper pattern and alter it to fit your desired shape and look.

 

Close up of pattern grid used:

Images of my 1870’s Plaid and Brown Day gown which the bodice pattern was used….and altered! 😉

 

Sources used:

Janet Arnold’s Pattern of Fashion 2

 

Until next time my friends!

 

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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! 🙂

 

 


On My Inspiration Board: Coral Gowns

 

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone!!  

I can’t believe we are already at Thanksgiving!  While I feel that the summer went by at a normal pace, this fall has simply flew!!

I have been very busy sewing these past days, not only getting ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday on my shop (click HERE to see all the deals), but also with some fun projects just for the heck of it!  One such project, was this 1810’s day gown in such a fun shade of coral-ly pink.

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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! 


On My Inspiration Board: Patterned Gowns

I decided to bring back an old post favorite which I haven’t done in a while: On My Inspiration Board!  For this post, I choose either a color, pattern, shape, or type of gown and collect my favorites to share from the years 1800-1950.  For today’s version, I decided to choose gowns made out a of patterned fabric.  Whether geometric, floral, or striped, these gowns are wonderful examples of fabric design and gown creation!

In my daily wardrobe, I don’t really wear a whole lot of patterns.  Yet when it comes to my sewing, I adore using patterns.  Any type of pattern using any type of colors.  I simply love it.  And based on all my research, I am not alone!  From morning gowns, to tea gowns, to evening gowns, patterns have been a favorite for decades.

This particular painting shows how embroidery create a lovely pattern on this elegant 1810’s court dress.  Perhaps not a gown to be worn by the average woman, bust still stunning!

Duchess Talleyrand-Périgord, Princess Dorothea by Joseph Chabord

This gown from the late 1800’s is a wonderful example of the striking impact a good pattern can create!  Not only does the cut of the gown highlight the pattern, but the black and white stripe is absolutely eye catching!

While there are so many options out there, I did my best to select a variety of gowns from a variety of time periods.  So, without further ado, here is this month’s Inspiration Board!

To see more gowns, feel free to visit my Pinterest Board!

Happy Tuesday!


Piping – Is it Needed?

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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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Fashion Plate Fun

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Today I thought it would be fun to browse through a variety of fashion plates!  I mean, who doesn’t love a little gown envy?!  

I decided to share a few of my favorites starting around 1830 and going up to 1940.  Ranging from daywear to evening wear, these fashion plates are just the thing to get your fashion juices flowing!  

Let’s get started!

This 1830’s evening gown is in the most amazing color of blue I have ever seen!

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These 1850’s gowns are perfect examples of visiting or afternoon gowns.

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While it is a toss up between the two, I am in love with the yellow 1860’s ballgown with red floral accents.

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While I am sure walking was very difficult in this particular creation, I still love the color and pattern combinations of this 1880’s gown.

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A lovely array of turn of the century shirtwaists.  

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Sigh….I adore every single one of these 1910’s outfits.  

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Perfect for summer vacations, these 1920’s outfits are just made for an ocean resort.

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This soft blue 1930’s gown looks wonderful with or without the jacket!

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The pleated floral dress on this 1940’s fashion plate is adorable!

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So whether you love 19th or 20th century fashion, are a seamstress or costume designer, or simply appreciate the look of the past, I hope these fashion plates offer inspirations and a few day dreams!

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A Regency Era Photoshoot

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What do you get when you take two friends, a plethora of historical gowns, and two large Pumpkin Spice Lattes?  A wonderfully fun time with some fabulous pictures to prove it!

 A few weeks ago I decided that I wanted to photograph a large portion of my historical gown stock using real life models.  So armed with a fully charged camera, my friend Cassandra and I braved the rainy and slightly chilly elements over the past two weekends to photograph some really stunning images!  And since there are so many pictures to see, I will just get right to it!!  

I hope you enjoy!!!

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Oh and one last picture of Cassandra discovering the most perfect fall leaf of all….lovingly named “Leif Erikson”

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All of these gowns are available on my Etsy Shop!

I hope you enjoyed these photos as they were an absolute delight to take!

Have a fabulous Monday!!

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