A Regency Era Photoshoot


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”


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!!




How to Create a Skirt Placket

Knowing how to create a skirt placket is a very easy, yet very vital skill when it comes to sewing.  Whether you sew historical pieces, vintage or modern, a properly sewn placket adds a crisp and tailored look!

But what is a placket, you ask?  Great question!  It is actually something I learned years into historical sewing.  A placket is a small strip of fabric attached to a slit in back or front panel of the skirt.  It is carefully constructed that when you skirt is closed, no gaps or glimpses of your petticoat will be seen!  Handy, right?

Begin by taking a 3-4 inch wide piece of fabric and cut it as as long as you need. I usually cut my plackets 4″ x 10″, but it is up to you – let your waist measurement be the guide.  The wider the waist, the longer the placket needed.

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Brown Fabric Samples 1800-1960

brown fabric

The best way to see the change in fashion, tone, and patterns over the past two centuries is often through looking at the fabric.  Black and white photographs can only help so much, so having the ability to see color fabric samples is a huge help to my sewing.   This is also true when I go shopping in modern fabric stores.   Being able to have a go-to guide on patterns, prints, and colors makes the search much easier!

Stemming off of this month’s color inspiration of brown, I wanted to share a few pages from one of my fabric dating books by Eileen Jahnke Trestain.  This encyclopedia of fabric samples gives overviews and colored pictures in a variety of tones from 1800-1960.



Pre-1830's Brown


1830-1860's Brown


1860-1880's Brown


1880-1910's Brown


1910-1930's Brown


1930-1960's Brown

I hope these help inspire you for your next sewing project! 🙂


Source: Dating Fabrics: A Color Guide 1800-1960 by Eileen Jahnke Trestain, 1998

An 1850’s Guide to Dressmaking: The Skirt

Thinking about creating your own 19th century skirt?  Use these period tips to help guide you!

The petticoat or skirt, underwent a construction change during it’s brief disappearance during the Regency years.  Georgian era petticoats consisted of a large circle with two ties on the front which tie around the back and vice versa…

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Homely Advice and Things Worth Knowing

As I come to the end of an exhausting and yet refreshing month of spring cleaning, I find myself ready to be done and yet still unconsciously smiling as I see the changes that I have made to my little home. Though on one occasion I threw a mini tantrum at the thought of cleaning out one more closet….just ask my husband…he was there…not one of my finest moments. Still, as Madonna once sang, “I made it through the wilderness…”

I am currently knee-deep in plans for next month and am enjoying every minute of it. Especially since I have completed the reorganization of my sewing studio and am ready to get in and start creating. But it isn’t May yet, so I will save all this for a later date. 🙂

To end this month’s theme and wrap up a very successful April, I thought I would share with you some “Homely Advice” and some “Things Worth Knowing” from the August 1885, Good Housekeeping.

Let’s start with the advice:

“Let your home be a hospitable one; always take your friends into your own home life…As a child I remember the family motto; ‘Welcome the coming, and speed the parting guest is true hospitality’ – and in my home was always carried out. My own experience has taught me that a real welcome puts one much more at ease than any amount of fine cooking.”

– Mrs. Ellen Bliss Hooker

Amen to the last line….sometimes my dinner doesn’t always turn out! 🙂

And now for some “Things Worth Knowing”

– That one today is worth two tomorrows.
-That there is no blessing equal to the possession of a stout heart.
-That the future destiny of the child is always the work of the parent.
-That anticipating trouble often harbors terror and anguish to no purpose.
-That he is rich who is satisfied with what he hath – whether it be little or much.
-That the best way to keep good acts in memory is to refresh them with new ones.

I will try to work on the last one…what a beautiful piece of advice.

Enjoy the last few days of April my friends, and I will see you all in May!
– Aimee


Tidying Up Your Sewing Space

I am in the last push of spring cleaning.  It hasn’t been easy but it has been quite successful. The only remaining space that I have left to tackle is my sewing studio.  I spent the weekend putting up new lights around my light box as well as some new lights above my cutting table.  While I am still in the process of putting the organized chaos back together I thought I would share several pictures that I have used as either guidelines or inspiration to further organize and personalize my creative space.

1.  Create a pegboard to hold all rulers, tools, and scissors.  I want to put one next to my cutting table .


2. Create a caddy from tin cans to hold notions on sewing table.



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On My Inspiration Board: Lovely Green Gowns

Growing up green was (and still is) my favorite color!  Rich, deep emerald and hunter greens being my absolute favorite tones.  I remember when I turned 12 and was getting ready to start junior high school.  My eyes, up that point, had been blue…sort of a deep, rather muddy blue.  I always dreamed of having green eyes…but had resigned myself to a noncommittal blue that nature seem to have bestowed upon me.  But then…it happened.  My eyes changed to green!  Many thought I had lost my mind.  “How do eyes change?” they said.  But nonetheless, they did and I took it as a good omen for the beginning of my 7th grade year.

Green in its various shades can ooze an aura of calm, of control, of earthiness, or of richness.  As well loved as the color blue, but not as often worn.  In fact those wearing green may find their daily quota of compliments delightfully increase!

The same can be true for women of past centuries who paid a pretty penny for numerous yards of the richly dyed fabric.  Seen mostly in evening wear, green gowns of various hues have been gracing ballrooms and tea rooms for decades.

So in honor of March, St. Patrick’s Day and the Emerald Isle, I hope you enjoy a few of my favorite green gowns!


 -To see gowns that didn’t make the final cut, check out my Pinterest Board.

March green inspiration

HSM: Foundations – Dimity Bustle

I have begun working on the January challenge of Foundations  for the Historical Sew Monthly.  It took me almost a week to actually decide on what I wanted to do, as I was going back and forth between a corset, or a caged crinoline, or a farthingale…..the list goes on.  I knew that one of the challenges I wanted to create this year was going to be a late 1870’s natural form, princess gown, so with that in mind, I decided to create a dimity bustle.  I did some research and found a workable example with which I could create my pattern.  I really wanted to create the entire look myself, so I was hesitant to see other people’s versions and patterns.  I have found it a very fun project so far and, if time allows, will hope to complete a petticoat as well before the February challenge begins.

Here is what I have so accomplished so far:

The inspiration photograph



Here is a very rough diagram and sketch of the pattern I created….I know it’s a little hard to see.   The inside of the bustle can be seen in the upper left hand corner of the page on the right side.


I created my 3 panel pieces and began stitching my boning channels with twill tape.  Each piece, the outer as well as the two inner pieces (I will explain those pieces in my next post), were doubled in thickness to add some weight to the white muslin.



I did decide to go ahead and just directly attach the ruffles to the bottom of the bustle, even though the picture shows them as removable.



I am hoping that I can complete the project this weekend without too many distractions…all though even now I am rushing to complete this post before friends come over for dinner! 🙂

Enjoy your weekend and have a Happy MLK Day!

 – Aimee