“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.
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 can’t believe we are already at Thanksgiving! While I feel that the summer went by at a normal pace, this fall has simply flew!!
I have been very busy sewing these past days, not only getting ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday on my shop (click HERE to see all the deals), but also with some fun projects just for the heck of it! One such project, was this 1810’s day gown in such a fun shade of coral-ly pink.
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!
I decided to bring back an old post favorite which I haven’t done in a while: On My Inspiration Board! For this post, I choose either a color, pattern, shape, or type of gown and collect my favorites to share from the years 1800-1950. For today’s version, I decided to choose gowns made out a of patterned fabric. Whether geometric, floral, or striped, these gowns are wonderful examples of fabric design and gown creation!
In my daily wardrobe, I don’t really wear a whole lot of patterns. Yet when it comes to my sewing, I adore using patterns. Any type of pattern using any type of colors. I simply love it. And based on all my research, I am not alone! From morning gowns, to tea gowns, to evening gowns, patterns have been a favorite for decades.
This particular painting shows how embroidery create a lovely pattern on this elegant 1810’s court dress. Perhaps not a gown to be worn by the average woman, bust still stunning!
Duchess Talleyrand-Périgord, Princess Dorothea by Joseph Chabord
This gown from the late 1800’s is a wonderful example of the striking impact a good pattern can create! Not only does the cut of the gown highlight the pattern, but the black and white stripe is absolutely eye catching!
While there are so many options out there, I did my best to select a variety of gowns from a variety of time periods. So, without further ado, here is this month’s Inspiration Board!
Even though I am still rocking maternity clothes, I thought this jacket from Modcloth would still be a wonderful addition to both my maternity and regular wardrobe. Pair it with skinny jeans and a pair of flats…and maybe a mocha latte! Perfect!!