“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.
My goodness but it has been quite a while since I have posted anything here on my blog! It has been for good reason, and I’ll explain that a little later on, but boy, is it wonderful to be back!!! Not to mention that the warmer weather is finally, and I mean FINALLY, starting to show up! I don’t know if any of you have been suffering for want of warmth like us in the northeast, but it has been a most painfully long, cold spring so far. I have found that the older I get the more the drab, rainy, and cloudy spring days get to me…but I guess I’ll worry about that depressing future another day!
So where have I been? I looked the other day and saw that I haven’t posted since December! Yikes!?!? I by no means intended to take such a long break from blogging…it just sort of happened. I, like many of us, got caught up in the busyness of the holidays and the start of the new year. A wonderful influx of custom orders with limited sewing time compounded the issue. And then there was the fact that I had a little baby girl who struggled sleeping at night. Between night feedings, midnight crying sessions, and one whopper of a cold for the whole family, I spent my days just trying to function. There were times when I tried to sit down in front of the computer and write, but the words just got stuck. I realized that I had to be relaxed and rested to write otherwise I was just staring at the computer screen watching the precious minutes of a nap tick away with nothing to show for it. So I just let the block stay as it wanted and focused on enjoying mommy-hood and sewing for my daughter as well as my business. Two things that really kept me sane and provided a much needed creative outlet.
Well, as of a week ago we have successfully weened off of night feeds (a little late for many babies, but right and proper for my now ten month old little nugget) and a full night sleep has been added back into my day. I’m still enjoying the novelty of not having to get up every three hours…its wonderful! 🙂 And as a result I have found the rest greatly increased my desire to write and create blog posts again.
So I’m back with a goal of trying to post four times a month. A goal mind you. 🙂 I have found that with many creative aspects of my life, to just relax and embrace the dry times as much as I do the days when creativity oozes out of my fingertips!
So thank you for your patience and your continued support and readership!
There comes a time when all business sewing needs to take a pause, and personal sewing needs to take over.
You see, I don’t often sew for myself.
I think the last time I created a gown just for me was at least a year ago. Most of the time, whenever I sew it is either for a client or to sell on my shop. But with a little more free time on my hands (thanks to longer naps by my little one), I wanted to try something new and different. …something for me! 🙂
After thinking about what I wished to create, I decided on an outfit to wear at next year’s French and Indian War Reenactment…in July. The tricky part about making a gown to wear in the summer while it is still winter is the fear that I am going to sweat like crazy! More about that later!
So, as always, whenever I begin a brand new decade or project apart from the norm, I begin with an inspiration board. This is where I gather images of actual gowns, paintings, or pieces of a gown I want to try and incorporate. The problem with this particular gown is I wanted to include WAAAAY to many aspects and techniques, so I had to really cut down.
Here is the inspiration board of this particular project:
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.
FALL IS HERE!!!! I am so excited and can’t wait to embark on all my favorite autumnal activities! From apple picking to watching football, I plan to enjoy each and every deliciously cool day!
And with the start of a new season and a new month, it is time for another favorites post…and boy, do I love what I have to share today!
So lets not wait another minute and get right into it!
Scarlet Red 1865 Day Gown
Stunning, vibrant, and delicately trimmed, everything about this gown is stunning! I especially love the ribbon and medallion on the skirt.
The Wardrobe Shop
A week ago, I was contacted by the Wardrobe Shop. They are a lovely online shop and blog that specializes in vintage clothing from the early 20th century! Definitely worth a look. One of my favorite pieces is the pearl handbag!! Very elegant!!
This blouse is such a quick and easy way to take an extra yard of fabric and turn it into something special! Add some pizzaz with different fabrics, contrasting colors, and trims!! The possibilities are endless!
What you will need:
1 yard of fabric*
12″ of 1/2″ wide elastic
* To create a larger size, simply create a larger square – 40″ x 40″, 42″ x 42″, etc
This pattern can be created by simply measuring and cutting the actual fabric, however the pictures below are shown on a large piece of craft paper.
Fold a 36″ by 36″ piece of fabric (or paper) into a triangle.
Mark the neck between the two end points.
Measure 13-15″ from center of neck towards one point. Mark this point. The length will be the sleeve, so make it as long or as short as you would like. Then cut off the triangle. Repeat with the other side.
Allow 8-10″ for armhole then stitch (right sides together) 4-5″ down from this point. This line is shown as the dotted line on the paper pattern below.
Take the cut off triangle pieces and attach them to the bottom of the triangle so the fold edge forms a side seam. Stitch to the bottom of the blouse, right sides together.
Measure 4 1/2″ on each side of center neck point and gently cut out a scoop neckline.
Make a 4″ slit in the center back of the neckline.
Sew a 6″ piece of elastic, while it is stretched out, on each side of the waist line to create a shirred peplum.
Hem all raw edges and add shoulder pads, if desired.
OPTIONAL – Add a snap or hook to the center back neckline to close.
And that’s it!! Enjoy your new vintage inspired blouse!!!
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!