A Tribute to the Gibson Girl

With her wasp-waist, highly piled hair, perfectly pressed shirtwaist, and look of complete confidence, the Gibson Girl of the early 1900’s was truly a fashion icon.  So much so that she still inspires fashion today from lace details to loosely curled hair.  Named after the artist who made the look famous, the Gibson Girl is as much an ideal as she was a real person.  Therefore today’s post is all about the Gibson Girl and ways to channel her into your historical fashion wardrobe! 🙂

Links to featured items are in bold and below each image.

Let’s begin with the most famous Gibson Girl of all – Camille Clifford.  She was the European actress who won the Gibson Girl contest, and its not hard to see why!

Camille Clifford – The winner of the Gibson Girl Contest.  Learn more about her and see many lovely images by visiting the National Portrait Gallery.

Every proper Gibson Girl needs the proper shoe!  And these lovelies from the American Duchess are perfect!

“Gibson” Edwardian Shoes from American Duchess

The perfectly tailored and perfectly “blouse-y” shirtwaist was the hallmark of a Gibson Girl.  I mean, just take a look at these fabulous examples!

Wish to make a few of your own?  Here is a wonderful pattern – 

Edwardian Tucked Blouse from Past Patterns

Need nothing but pure visual inspiration?  I love this book which features a collection of all the Gibson Girl drawings done by Charles Dana Gibson.

The Gibson Girl and Her America: The Best Drawings of Charles Dana Gibson by Charles Dana Gibson – Available on Amazon

And once you have your outfit complete, top it all off with the perfect Gibson top knot!  The Seamstress of Avalon shows you how in this step by step tutorial – 

Gibson Girl Hair Tutorial by The Seamstress of Avalon

I hope you enjoyed this tribute to all things Gibson Girl!

 

 


A Fashion Excerpt from Good Housekeeping, 1922

I love fashion spreads in magazines. I love seeing the looks, colors, styles, and accessories that are currently (or have been) in trend…no matter what the decade.  And today’s spread is no exception!

Another thing that I absolutely adore about these early women’s magazines are how varied and detailed the topics are compared to today’s.  You especially get that vibe when you read the descriptions of each outfit and accessory.  It isn’t simply a list of the maker and price.  Instead it is a lovely little blurb highlighting the main points of each item along with a wonderful description of color.  

I hope you enjoy taking a little look back at not only fashion from the 1920’s, but also into the setup and work that went in to creating these wonderful magazine pieces! 🙂

Fashions Edited by Helen Kous

Good Housekeeping, April, 1922 Volume 74, Number 4

Have you joined my new Facebook Group Inside Aimee’s Armoire?????  

No???  

Well hop on over and join now!  

It’s all about sharing love and support for projects revolving around historical fashion in whatever medium you love!!

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From My Sewing Table: October

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Yesterday I put out the last, finishing detail of my fall decorations: pumpkins!  Pumpkins have to be one of the most diverse vegetables out there.  They come in different colors, shape, sizes, textures, and looks.  And the more various types pumpkins you display, the more colorful and decorated your house appears.  I am especially excited about the pumpkins I purchased this year, and hope that we are still a few weeks away from frost so I can enjoy them!

Now that football season is upon us, I have been looking for a sewing project that I can work on while sitting on the couch.  As many of you may know, when you do garment sewing, you are tied to your sewing machine.  And if your sewing machine is in another room, or on a another floor, it becomes tricky (and inconvenient) to move it about.  So, after some thinking, I decided to work on a quilted jacket.  A simply, mindless project that allows me to sit comfortably on the couch with everyone, yet still feel like I’m not wasting a day that could be spent sewing! 🙂  Here are a few examples of some quilted pieces that one can do:

A late 1700’s quilted petticoat

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A Regency Era Redingote

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A 1930’s quilted Lame Jacket

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I decided to create a 1810’s quilted Spencer jacket.  So the past few weekends have been spent quilting each individual pattern piece.  Working on this jacket has been great fun and I am excited to see how the finished product turns out!

October is one of my favorite months as the cooler weather brings with it a renewed sense of energy and excitement.  It is a time to enjoy a warm cup of apple cider while watching the leaves change to the brightest shades of gold, red, and orange.
Enjoy my friends!

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September Favorites

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Last night was the first time in months where I woke up freezing.  In fact, around 3am I stumbled to the living room to grab another throw blanket to keep me warm until it was time to roll out of bed.  Even at 7am the chill was enough to send my searching for slippers.  In January, I would never let the house get so cold, but in September….I’m savoring every chilly bit of it!

Today’s post is all about favorites.  Some new, some old, but all 100% drool worthy!  To start with, I am in love with this magazine cover from Good Housekeeping.  I have several print outs of from this publication that hang up in my sewing studio…and I may just have to add this one to the mix!

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A few weeks ago, my husband and I went on a little vacation and found a place with an amazing collection of fiestaware!  With these cheery dishes still on my mind, I came across this vintage ad where you can get a table setting for 8 for a very reasonable price!  I wish they still sold dishes this way!

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This next favorite is a two for one.  I adore not only the finished garment, but I love seeing the pattern pieces used to construction this 1950’s gem!  Although, walking really wouldn’t be an option in that dress….

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This fun teapot from Wayfair would make any chilly evening a little warmer!  Click HERE to purchase.

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And who wouldn’t love to wear an amazing apron like this 1870’s one while working in the kitchen! 😉

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So as I pull my fleece up a little tighter, I plan on making the most of this chilly day…and I hope you will join me!
Happy Monday!

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The Appeal of Floral Accessories

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The last few weeks of August are upon us and natures is in full bloom.  Flowers are large, bright, and overflowing.  The grass is full and green.  And every tree is leafed out in all its glory.  With sights such as these, it is easy to see how a person would want to carry a little bit of nature around with them.  And what better place than on one’s clothing!

Today’s post is all about the use of floral details which designers have been using to brighten up dresses for decades.  Whether placed at the neckline, the waist, or along the hem of a skirt, these lovely replicas of nature’s beauty certainly are worthy of admiration!

Here are a few of my favorites!

These two lovely 1850’s ball gowns have some lovely floral accents!

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This stunning 1870’s salmon pink gown has amazing pleated ruffles and embroidered rose detailing.

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I adore this gown!!  Such unique placement of the flowers!

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The 1920’s definitely knew the appeal of using flowers!

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I love Billie Holiday’s gown with the petal bodice!!

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This soft yellow 1950’s evening gown definitely evokes a warm summer evening!

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With so many colors, shapes, and textures to choose from, using these lovely decorations can truly add glamour to your next creation!

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Edwardian Hairstyles

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Some hairstyles in history are complicated.  Some hairstyles in history make you very happy that you didn’t live during that time period (i.e.1830’s).  Some seem so impossible to recreate that the hair must be fake, while others will continue to find rebirths in modern decades.  But one particular look, it seems no matter who you ask, tends to be an all time favorite.  Which look am I talking about?  The Edwardian look of the 1900-1920’s.  From the Gibson Girl pouf, to the delicate waves of low buns, Edwardian women knew how to make their hair work for them.  And while curling irons were just becoming more commonly used, many relied on tried and true techniques of their mothers to complete these heavenly creations.

I have gathered a wonderful sampling of these looks to drool over…and maybe recreate for yourself! 🙂

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I simply adore these looks, and it was one of the reasons I decided to go with an Edwardian image for my blog logo.  Grecian in style, with a sprinkling of Regency, and a dash of something completely unique, the hairstyles of the early 1900’s will forever, at least in my opinion, be some of the most romantic ever created!

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The Many Looks of Miss Elizabeth Bennet

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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

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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 my favorite gowns from this film:

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Everett Collection / Rex USA ( 605209FK ) PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier, Maureen O'Sullivan, Bruce Lester Various - 1940s

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1980 – Starring Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul

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Another sweet version with clothing MUCH more appropriate for the time period!  I especially love the various chemisettes that Elizabeth Bennet wears!

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1995 – Starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth

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This one is the best.  Period.  Done.  I love absolutely everything about it from the scenery, to the acting, to, of course, the gowns!  If you want to be truly inspired and taken away…this is the one to see!  Here are a few of my favorite looks Lizzie wears:

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2005 -Starring Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen

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While this one takes the prize on music, I still find it a bit more Hollywood-esque than the previous versions.  However, Kiera Knightly’s Lizzie is just as spunky as the rest of them!  Here are my favorite looks from the film:

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While the gowns I have chosen from each film may not be the most glamorous, they are still captivating in their own way!  Looking at all these delicious outfits has me most definitely in the sewing mood!  I’m off to my sewing machine! 🙂

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Buttons, Buttonholes, and lots of Stress

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There are (and probably always will be) two sewing skills that I will struggle with for my entire sewing career.  I may have become much better at executing this skills, however, I don’t think I will ever get over the stress associated with them.  What are these most painful parts of my sewing? Well, they are zippers and buttonholes.  I don’t like them.  I don’t enjoy them.  And they most definitely are something that I wish I could avoid.  However, I can’t and I have come to a tentative peace agreement with them, and am working hard to gain more confidence.  So in a step to get over my fear, I have decided to create a whole post on one of these areas….the buttonhole.

Despite my personal feelings about them, buttonholes have longed been used to add interest to gowns in addition to their more practical use of closing up the garment.  When I first began sewing, and began my struggle with buttonholes on the machine, I thought it would be easier to learn to hand sew them.  While it was a bit less stressful, it was a painfully long process and only looked appropriate on gowns that were pre-sewing machine (1850’s and back.)  So when I upgraded to my current machine, I was delighted to find that it came with a button foot that mechanically inserted the buttonhole.  While I was no longer left to keep an eye on the length and width of the stitch, I still found it tricky to keep the foot from not bunching up the fabric or going sideways.  Practice and time has solved most of these issues, and I am happier with the finished product…mostly! 🙂

Last year, I put my newly found confidence to work when I created an 1880’s blue gown which featured velvet buttons down the front.  I think I sweated through that process for a good 40 minutes!

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Despite my short comings, I still love the look of buttons in different shapes and sizes!

 Here are some of my favorite examples!

I love the graduated size of the buttons down the front of this 1860’s gown.

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I can’t imagine the time that went in to creating this front panel with all the buttons.  I can’t quite tell if the buttons are just sewn on, or there they are poking out through buttonholes.  Either way, this 1870’s gown is awesome!

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Another example of various button sizes on the bottom half of this 1880’s gown.

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I adore the brown gown with the buttons that go all the way down one side.

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While not as daunting as the above example, I love the bling these buttons add this this evening gown from the 1900’s.

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This pattern for a 1930’s dress, shows the appeal of buttons and angles.

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I love every single thing about this 1950’s dress!! Every single piece!!!

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This 1950’s wrap gets an extra helping of fun from the unique placement of buttons!

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So whether you are a buttonhole master, or, like me, working your way to apprenticeship, I hope you appreciate the appeal they can offer!

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