A Little Chat on the Historical Designing Process

“Aimee, how did you make that?”

“Did you just follow instructions?”

“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. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aprons to Wear in the Garden!

As you may have noticed, my blog has undergone a few cosmetic changes.  Nothing to worry about….just trying to streamline and revamp the overall look with the aim of expanding topics and tutorials!  I am slowly starting to get back into the blogging swing of things and have planned a few fun posts and videos to come out over the summer – as long as nap times stay consistent (you know #MOMLIFE!)  More details and such will make their way over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy today’s post.

It is half way through June and I finally feel that summer is officially here!  My gardens are overall doing well…although I have certainly fretted and fussed over my kitchen garden sprouts.  While I may not be able to spend hour upon hour in the garden, I can definitely squeeze in a solid twenty minutes after my daughter goes to bed.  And nothing feels more therapeutic then slipping into garden shoes and my garden apron.  Although based on my neighbors reactions and gentle ribbing, it feels as though I am the only person in the world who wears an apron to garden.  I suppose I may be the minority, but it sure beats having to change into “work” clothes which can mean a loss of precious gardening minutes.  So I proudly don my apron, step into my small yet efficiently designed garden, and weed away!

Are you looking for a garden apron?  I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites!

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Spring Projects of 2019

 

Hello Friends!!

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.

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Creating a 1750’s Gown…For Me!

 

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:

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Historical Patterns I’m Excited to Try!

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!!

1740-1820 Women and Girls Caps from Amazon Dry Goods

I am sure anyone wearing this amazingly beautiful, pleated mantle would feel elegant and very summery!  The only thing I’m not sure of is what fabric I would use…..

1863 Summer Mantle from Amazon Dry Goods

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!

1873 Dress Pattern from Patterns of Time

One should have just as pretty undergarments as outwear, and this pattern has a wonderful range of options!!!

1912 Women’s Linen Collection from Patterns of Time

The front draping on this 1930’s dress is amazing!  I’m pretty sure I will have to redo it several times until it hangs just right, but its all in a day’s work! 🙂

1930’s Dress pattern from Pattern Treasury

Have you found any new historical patterns that you just adore?  

I would love to hear from you! 


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!

 

 


Historical Fashion Shoot at The Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village

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!!

Enjoy!!

 

A big thank you to Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village for opening up their doors!  We all had a great time and I think the buildings did too! 🙂

 

Many of these gowns are available for purchase on my Etsy Shop!

 

Have you joined my Facebook Group Inside Aimee’s Armoire?  Join now to connect with other historical fashion enthusiasts!

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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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