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!

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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 Roaring 20’s….1820’s that is!

I have been trying lately to expand my focus and appreciation for all 19th century gowns.  While I used to not thoroughly enjoy the large mutton sleeve of the 1820’s, I was surprised at how the simplicity of the gowns began to appeal to me.  While it may not be my favorite decade, the uniqueness of the large sleeve paired with the shorter skirt can’t be denied.  I found a few of my favorite styles…and since the Regency Era was just ending, I love seeing the transition occur with these gowns!

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The Metropolitan Museum

I thought I would show you another book title on my “Must Get Soon” list, this time from the Metropolitan Museum.

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With beautiful photographs and paintings of not only jewelry but also close up of gowns, this book is perfect for learning and examining details.  Here is the link to the shop:

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The Victoria and Albert Museum

I am in the process of researching new books on historical fashion and dress making, with the idea that I will begin to invest in as many as financially possible.  I have completely exhausted the books I have now, and am looking forward to finding new sources of inspiration and knowledge.  I was browsing through the V&A museum and found their book shop with a slew of various types of books on fashion, textiles, and jewelry.  But here were the top two books I put on my list:

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Based on the book covers, you get an idea of what is inside.  X-rays of the foundations, the shapes, and the stitching lines of beautiful 17th century gowns… I am in love and very excited!  While I have only made a few gowns from this time period, I am still extremely interested and can’t wait to place my order!  Here is the link to the museum where you can also visit the book shop:

http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/f/fashion/

The  online exhibits have beautiful photographs of many different gowns from a variety of eras.  But to show many of the gowns to you in a fun little way, I found this video!

 Hope you enjoy!

 


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.


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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.

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

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


An 1840’s Pleated Gown

Okay…so I had every intention of beginning to recreate the 1850’s Day Gown I made earlier in the year.  See post HERE.  So I took my little self down to the fabric store I use and bought beautiful terra cotta color fabric.  I just fell in love with it and quickly scooped up 9 yards again, with every intention of starting it.  However, the fabric just didn’t seem to want to be an 1850’s gown.  People think I’m crazy, but usually when I shop for fabric, I never go in with what I want to make, I just find fabric I like and it tells me what it wants to be.   And for the most part, it turns out!  I find when I stray from that method, I end up making a hot mess.

Anyway…so this fabric just did not want to be an 1850’s or even 1860’s gown…it wanted to be an 1840’s gown.  I apologize to a faithful reader who has been patiently waiting for me to recreate the 1850’s gown…I promise it will happen!!! 🙂

I took a few pictures of what I have accomplished so far:

The bodice has a deeper point in the front than an 1850’s gown –

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How to Make a Hair Rat: The Modern Way!

I was asked a few weeks ago how to create this hairstyle with shoulder length hair: Post on how to create this look HERE

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Now women in the 19th century would use hair rats, which are little rolls of their hair that either fell out or was brushed out.  Of course going that route is still an option, but I did a little research and found a great way to create a hair rat for your 19th century hairstyles the 21st century way!  All you need is a sock bun and a pair of scissors!

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