The Amazing Gravity-Defying Hairstyle!

Well, Halloween is just a few days away, and I have been spending my extra sewing time putting the last few touches on my costume.  I am very excited about this year…but needless to say, it is not a historical costume….I know, I know.  But it has still been a fun challenge!

However, as I have been practicing creating the appropriate hairstyle, I began to realize that there tends to be a lot more of “behind the scenes” apparatus to help create unique and well-coifed hairdos.  And when I think of unique historical hairstyles…I think 1830’s.  The way the hair twists and braids and sticks up is amazing and I’m sure, has many tricks of the trade.  But I do have to say that I am glad these hairstyles have not come back…I am very confident I would not look good in them.  But perhaps you do, and would like to try a look out for yourself!



How would they fit those hats over these hairdos?  


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Fashion Plates Galore…

When I reach a designing block, I often take to the internet to scour through the vast resources it has to offer.  I have learned that the internet is a marvelous tool for the historical costume designer, with large amounts of free scanned in collections!

Here is a link that has dozens of color fashion plates from the 19th century!  Simply scroll through to find the desired fashion plate, click on the image and it will take you to a screen where you can view the image in amazing detail and focus.  Enjoy!!


Perfect Sleepwear

I love robes!  I have several different ones in various colors and textures.  Nothing feels more cozy after a morning shower than a deliciously soft robe, fuzzy slippers and a hot cup of coffee.  Whether you call them wrappers, robes, dressing gowns, or moo moos, I hope you all have one to snuggle up with on those chilly mornings or cozy evenings.

Here are two drawings from the 1850’s of a beautiful women’s robe and suggested slipper designs!




For more information on wrappers check out this post:


When you have nothing to wear….

How many times have we looked into our closet searching for the right outfit to wear and finding nothing that will work?  Too many times?  Of course, I am sure that we all have more than enough clothes, however there comes a time in all our lives when we honestly do feel that our closet has reached it’s current full potential and is in desperate need of an overhaul, or at least a little refresher.  So we scour magazines for new ideas, browse store ads for the best deals, and navigate the often dangerous zone of dressing rooms with three-way mirrors.  Our reward?  A hopefully perfect new ensemble that will, or so we think, go with everything in our already full closets, and we won’t need to buy anything for quite a while…maybe.  😉

And for those ladies in the days before ready-made clothing, I am sure the process was very similar, if not a bit more spread out.  The same search through fashion books for new ideas, working out a deal for the perfect yardage of fabric, and praying that your eyes won’t get too cross-eyed as you work tirelessly to complete your new gown!

And for any of you modern-day ladies who are looking for your next perfect reenactment ensemble, may I offer you these beautiful 1840’s fashion plate examples!




Happy Monday!


Here Comes the Bride….

Finding the right wedding gown has been a journey for women since the evolution of wearing your best dress to an all white one.  I found these beautiful and unique examples online and thought, given the right neckline they could even work today!

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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!!

1840’s Pleated Dress Cont…

So I have been slowly but surely working on the corally-pink pleated gown.  After I basted the pleats onto the shoulder, I hand stitched them at certain points to make sure they stayed in place, as well as stitched the ends of the pleats so they would lay flat.


This part was very time consuming and I stuck myself four times with the result of my fingers becoming clumsy from all of the bandaids…the life of a sewer!

Than I made three oval pieces to put over the edges of the front pleats and to go over the shoulder seams.  The front piece I edged in piping.


I did a simple running stitch along the outer edges of the three pieces.


The next step is to attach the sleeves.  Stay-tuned!!