All posts tagged: 1860’s

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. Now I know, that like so many colors, what one person may think is coral may not be what another person would describe it as.  So if you are sitting at home thinking that none of the gowns in this post are coral…that’s okay!  Agree to disagree! 🙂  Regardless, something about this happy color just sent me on a coral-hunting mission, and while there are not very many historical examples out there in coral, there are a few! Lets start with this lovely painting called La Jeune Musicienne created …

Creating an 1850’s Bloomer Gown

A few weeks ago, The New York State Museum reached out to me to acquire a Bloomer Gown I had created to display in their upcoming exhibit Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial which runs from November 4, 2017- May 13, 2018 in Albany, New York. I was thrilled and honored to be apart of such a wonderful exhibit and celebration that I thought I would share a some details of not only the gown I made, but also the women who made the outfit popular. To start with the Bloomer gown, as we know it, was not first worn by Amelia Bloomer but actually by Elizabeth Smith Miller of Geneva, New York.  Elizabeth Miller, who advocated for dress reform using the Turkish style of pants, quickly caught the attention and support of Bloomer.  With her newspaper, The Lily, which focused on women’s issues, Amelia popularized the look to the point where her name became associated with the gown. The outfit itself is composed of a gown with a short skirt which hits around the …

Piping – Is it Needed?

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 …

Getting Attached to “Detachable” Items

If you are interested in getting a different look for your outfit, accessories can make a huge difference!  Today, we mostly turn to scarves and jewelry to spice up or alter our clothes.  However, these go-tos were not always the first choice in decades past.  Many women used what we can think of as “detachable” items that were either pinned, buttoned, or basted onto their clothes. This allowed for everyday clothes to be given a little pick-me-up for a very affordable price.  Simply remove for cleaning and then use on any garment that could use a little something extra. Collars were the most common form of the “detachable” items, although under sleeves, as seen during the Regency era or during the 1850’s-1860’s, were also quite common.  Mostly made of stark white cotton, linen, or lace, these little beauties came in various sizes, shapes, and textures. This 1860’s lace capelet/collar is fascinating as it appears to be covering up an evening gown…perhaps making it more appropriate for daywear! This woman wears both a detachable collar as well …

A Timeline of Fashion’s Influence

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the British men’s clothing company T.M. Lewin.  While I never have personally purchased clothing from them, I was very aware of the name and longevity. Established in 1898, they have spent the past one hundred years providing high quality men’s clothing and are well-known for the introduction of the button down shirt.  So what, may you ask, is a men’s clothing store doing reaching out to me, a women’s historical clothing blog?  Well, the company wished to celebrate 300 years of British influence on men’s fashion and wondered if I would be interested in participating.  At first, I wasn’t sure what I could do.  I mean, I enjoy men’s clothing, but enough to write about it?  I just wasn’t sure.  So I thought and spent some time studying the fabulous timeline graphic they sent me, and realized the large connection between men and women’s clothing. I thoroughly enjoyed my time researching and loved finding examples of women’s fashion that directly corresponded with men’s. So, with all that said, …

November Favorites

There just so many things that have been inspiring me lately.  From baking, to art, to fashion and sewing, I just can’t get enough!  I really had to work hard to trim down this month’s selection as I could have kept adding gown after gown and photo after photo.  However, I stayed focused and am very excited to share with you the five images and ideas that get my creative and fashion juices flowing! First off let’s start with this absolutely fabulous late 1850’s gown.  I mean talk about a colorful, vibrant gown that is perfect for any holiday dinner or tea.  I can’t imagine the amount of patience needed to attach all the trim to the skirt! My next monthly favorite comes in the form of baking.  With Thanksgiving just around the corner, everyone is busy creating the perfect fall pie!  And wouldn’t it be fun to try some different decorations for the pie crust?  I certainly think so!  Martha Stewart has some fabulous options: Decorative Pie Crusts from Martha Stewart This painting is absolutely captivating.  The …

The Many Looks of Miss Elizabeth Bennet

A little while ago, I watched the six hour 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice.  I know I have mentioned it on this blog before as one of my favorite movies…and it truly is.  No matter how many times I have watched it, I still find it as wonderfully fulfilling as the first time.  Of course, drooling over all those amazing gowns doesn’t hurt either! 🙂 Yet, there have been many adaptations of this beloved story, and each with their own gowns and styles.  I thought it would be rather fun to take a look at the four most famous versions of the novel focusing on the looks of the title character (and my favorite)  – Miss Elizabeth Bennet. 1940 – Starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier While, not my favorite version, it is still considered a classic with many wonderful parts in it. However, I can’t say that the gowns worn are all that accurate.  A bit of 1860 meets 1830 with a brief stop in 1810.  With that said, here are a few of …

The June Bride

One of my favorite songs from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (which also happens to be one of my favorite movies) is the song “June Bride.”  It is extremely catchy and can pop into my head at random times…even when I haven’t watched the movie  in months!  If you haven’t seen/heard of this musical before, than close out this post and go find yourself a copy!!!  You won’t regret it! 🙂 In the meantime, feel free to click the link below to watch the song! June Bride And while getting married in June is not as common today (as I am a May bride), I still thought it would be fun to take a little look back at the do’s and don’ts of bridal wear! One of my good friends is getting married, and watching her go through the fun of finding a wedding dress makes me feel just as excited as if it were for my own wedding (well, almost!)  She finally found a dress through Alfred Angelo after much debate and what seemed like …