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! 😉
“Wish I could figure out how to design a gown like that!”
Well, I’ve been listening and have decided to share the process I go through when I design a historical gown. From original inspiration to my next steps, you will learn about what books and patterns I go to first for help along the way!
Let’s get going!
Have another topic you would like me to chat about? Dying to know some of my construction or designing secrets?
Leave a comment below! 🙂
PS: The book I was referring to is Fashion: The Collection from the Kyoto Fashion Institute. 🙂
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.
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.
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!!
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!
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!!
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.
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:
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.
Piping can also be used to add details to sleeves…
notice the sleeve of this Regency jacket. The piping adds interest.
The same can be said for this 1860’s sleeve where the bands have piped edges.
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:
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!!
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!!!
Oh and one last picture of Cassandra discovering the most perfect fall leaf of all….lovingly named “Leif Erikson”