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! 🙂

 

 

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Spring Projects of 2019

 

Hello Friends!!

My goodness but it has been a long time since I’ve last posted.  Please know that this is no indication that I am planning on closing or shutting down my blog….not at all!  It is simply a reflection of going with the flow of life and my creative juices.  But here on this slightly rainy and grey Saturday, I felt like writing and sharing a little of what I am into and planning this spring!

So lets start with some sewing…my favorite thing to talk about! 🙂  I have discovered a secret love of bustle gowns and completed my first just a few months ago!  I most definitely feel a little late to the 1880’s party, but oh boy am I here to stay!!  I relied heavily on Prior Attire’s Victorian Dressmaking book (link HERE) and have to say I am very pleased with my first attempt.

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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.

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Historical Fashion Shoot at The Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village

Last Saturday, I had the extreme privilege of being allowed special access to photograph my gowns in and around the historic buildings belonging to the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village.    This museum not only features many wonderful exhibits for both young and old, but they also have twelve historical buildings that have been painstakingly and lovingly returned to historical accuracy.  A truly wonderful place for the whole family where you can take a step back in time!

Here are a few outside pictures of the buildings apart of this wonderful village!

Aren’t they stunning!?  Sigh….

Anyways!  This past Saturday, I loaded up a a variety of gowns, two great friends, and spent a fabulous afternoon enjoying the warm sunshine and all things historical!!

Enjoy!!

 

A big thank you to Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village for opening up their doors!  We all had a great time and I think the buildings did too! 🙂

 

Many of these gowns are available for purchase on my Etsy Shop!

 

Have you joined my Facebook Group Inside Aimee’s Armoire?  Join now to connect with other historical fashion enthusiasts!

Click image to join!

 


General Rules of Fashion: Part 2

rules of fashion 2

Today we will complete the general rules of fashion and advice that are truly timeless for women of any century.

 Hope you enjoy!

Style and form of dress

Be always careful when making up the various parts of your wardrobe, that each article fits you accurately. Not in the outside garments alone must this rule be followed, an ill-fitting pair of corsets, or wrinkles in any other article of the under-clothes, will make a dress set badly, even if it has been itself fitted with the utmost accuracy. A stocking which is too large, will make the boot uncomfortably tight, and too small will compress the foot, making the shoe loose and untidy. In a dress, no outlay upon the material will compensate for a badly fitting garment. A cheap calico made to fit the form accurately and easily, will give the wearer a more lady-like air than the richest silk which either wrinkles or is too tightly strained over the figure. Collars or sleeves, pinned over or tightly strained to meet, will entirely mar the effect of the prettiest dress.

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Economy

And by economy I do not mean mere cheapness. To buy a poor, flimsy fabric merely because the price is low, is extravagance, not economy; still worse if you buy articles because they are offered cheap, when you have no use for them. In purchasing goods for the wardrobe, let each material be the best of its kind. The same amount of sewing that is put into a good material, must be put into a poor one, and, as the latter will very soon wash or wear out, there must be another one to supply its place, purchased and made up, when, by buying a good article at first, this time and labor might have been saved. A good, strong material will be found cheapest in the end, though the actual expenditure of money may be larger at first.

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Comfort

Many ladies have to trace months of severe suffering to an improper disregard of comfort, in preparing their wardrobe, or in exposure after they are dressed. The most exquisite ball costume will never compensate for the injury done by tight lacing, the prettiest foot is dearly paid for by the pain a tight boot entails, and the most graceful effects will not prevent suffering from exposure to cold. A light ball dress and exquisite arrangement of the hair, too often make the wearer dare the inclemency of the coldest night, by wearing a light shawl or hood, to prevent crushing delicate lace or flowers. Make it a fixed rule to have the head, feet, and chest well protected when going to a party, even at the risk of a crushed flower or a stray curl. Many a fair head has been laid in a coffin, a victim to consumption, from rashly venturing out of a heated ball room, flushed and excited, with only a light protection against keen night air. The excitement of the occasion may prevent immediate discomfort in such cases, but it adds to the subsequent danger.

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Details

Be careful always that the details of your dress are perfectly finished in every point. The small articles of a wardrobe require constant care to keep in perfect order, yet they will wofully revenge themselves if neglected. Let the collar, handkerchief, boots, gloves, and belts be always whole, neat, and adapted to the dress. A lace collar will look as badly over a chintz dress, as a linen one would with velvet, though each may be perfect of its kind. Attention to these minor points are sure tests of taste in a lady’s dress. A shabby or ill fitting boot or glove will ruin the most elaborate walking dress, while one of much plainer make and coarser fabric will be becoming and lady-like, if all the details are accurately fitted, clean, and well put on. In arranging a dress for every occasion, be careful that there is no missing string, hook, or button, that the folds hang well, and that every part is even and properly adjusted. Let the skirts hang smoothly, the outside ones being always about an inch longer than the under ones; let the dress set smoothly, carefully hooked or buttoned; let the collar fit neatly, and be fastened firmly and smoothly at the throat; let shoes and stockings be whole, clean, and fit nicely; let the hair be smooth and glossy, the skin pure, and the colors and fabric of your dress harmonize and be suitable for the occasion, and you will always appear both lady-like and well-dressed.

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Click to see PART ONE.

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Source:

Hartley, Florence. The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness. 1860. G.W. Cottrell Publisher. Boston



Sheer and Pleated…

This is such a stunning gown!  Probably created in the late 1850’s, I love the V-shaped pleating and the full airiness of the skirt.  Include a shawl and it is perfect!  I wish it was easier to find fabric that was patterned like this skirt though.  Hmmmm……

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