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Sunday, July 21, 2013

1920s London debutante dress - Historic Sew Fortnightly

All done. All photographed. Wow I'm not used to both! I finished my 1920s "deb" dress without a problem and through it on with a make shift slip yesterday afternoon. I pinned my hair up and didn't even put make up on except for the lipstick at the end. So excuse any blemishes, this was a spontaneous photo shoot.

First things first, I used this past patterns pattern from 1926 for the skirt. The first time I made the pattern I sized down the bodice because it is MUCH too big, but since then I managed to loose the front of my new pattern. So I drafted a new bodice pattern based off of a dress I'd made with the old pattern.

It's a great pattern, I love it.
I have already showed you my inspiration photos, but I'll throw them in for posterity's sake. (-;

1920s silk and lace gown

1920s silk and lace gown

1920s English Debutante

The Challenge: White

Fabric: White silk chiffon, antique cotton lace

Pattern: Past Patterns #1965

Year: the pattern is from 1926 but I was not faithful to it, so maybe a bit earlier 1923-1926

Notions: Mettler cotton thread with silk finish in ivory, four white metal hooks and eyes

How historically accurate is it? All the materials are period,  I used an original pattern, and I think original techniques, so pretty darn historical!

Hours to complete: I didn't really count, but I made it in about a day

First worn:  July 20th for the photo shoot

Total cost: It was $18 for the pattern three years ago, $20 for the antique lace one year ago, and the silk was a gift. So in total $38

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Shiny Pretty Things

While I was on vacation I picked up some shiny pretty things that I will work into my projects soon. I apologize for the bad phone picture quality, but I'm really much too lazy to charge my camera let alone find it.

Aren't these stunning? Art deco shoe buckles.

Shiny rhinestone broaches; I think the first one is art deco, the little one seems really old because of the clasp, and the flower one is just fun

Tilt your head to the left... I didn't rotate the image. This is such a huge chunk of sparkly, I can totally see it on a late Victorian ball gown!

Two hair combs that are perfect for my 1910s dresses. The black one is modern made of jet in the Czech Republic. The honey colored one is made of bakelite and dates from the 1910s.

Cute Vintage pearl bow pendant

Elbow length kid gloves that actually fit!

My busy unscheduled week

I have only two full weeks of unscheduled bliss this summer, that is one of them. I have filled my days with sewing, listening to Opera music, watching BBC and ITV programs, and working out. I'm not a huge fan of the summer, (the heat? Ewe!) but I love having free time! During the school year I have practically no free time so I have to make the most of it now! I've been sewing a lot. I made most of a Poiret inspired dress (as usual I stopped before closures and sewing on the sash).
Ignore me in this picture. It will have a grey/green silk velvet sash.
 Then I started another 1910s dress inspired by these fashion drawings.

My dress is completely synthetic because that's what I had in my stash, but I quite like it anywaay. Here's the progress:
The top of the under dress is covered by three tiers of lace. The red bodice and the straps of the red bodice will be embroidered with little red beads. I see the finished product styled with a psyche's knot or something romantic like that.

Then I stopped working on that to start (and almost finish) a little white 1920s dress. I was inspired by a couple of dresses I had seen recently on ebay and etsy. 

I had some beautiful white silk chiffon and some antique lace that I was jut itching to put together. I was inspired by the idea of the English debutante of the 1920s so that is the theme of my dress. After I do all the finishing I plan to do a themed photo shoot for it with a grand staircase and some feathers and pearls! I will also post better pictures of it for the Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge "white" because it is white.
This is a really bad picture, it's much more elegant in real life!

A detail of the lace which is really beautiful.
Lastly I was watching Sense and Sensibility from 2008 and I started making an 1790s-1800s open robe in powder blue linen. I re-cut the pattern based off of the Sense and Sensibility one... haha ironic. It went together really smoothly except for the sleeves which fit terribly. Don't laugh, but it's possible that they are on backwards.... that's the way they fit. )-: Hmmm well the sleeves still needs some work and the robe needs closures but that will wait for the robes and robbing challenge for the Historic Sew Fortnightly.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Adventures in the Cottswolds

Some people don't go for cold, wet, old fashioned, and relative isolation, but if that's how you're going to describe a cottage in Oxfordshire during a chilly English summer I will call it heaven! The whole time I kept talking about being a senior citizen and living there, but that is still a ways off (-:. Here are some pictures of a slice of heaven.

There was a field of sheep in our backyard.

I love sheep.

My hair looked pretty crazy but it was wet and I was cold!

My oxfords were the most comfortable walking shoes I've had before and very snazzy!

The neighbor's dog and I got along quite well!

I didn't want to go to too touristy of a place, but Bibury was just down the road.

I really just can't resist Antiques stores.

I loved our house so much I was ready to stay!

Upcoming Projects (realistic and unrealistic)

I am an ambitious planner and often will organize all the details for a project without ever doing it. Here are the projects I'd like to do in the near future. Let's see how many I actually begin let alone finish! 

  1. A 1910s corset; white, ivory, or pale pink with lots of lace and ribbons. I'll need to find some garter hooks and garters as well as make a lacy frothy pair of combinations. 

  2. Six 1910s evening gowns (I know it sounds both ambitious and unnecessary but I need to outfit about half of a party!) They will all be made to my size and unfortunately most I will not be able to fit over a corset because I will probably be the only one wearing one. Sometimes accuracy must be compromised for practicality. So I have tried to design several so as not to necessarily need a corset. I'm making a harem pant outfit like Sybil's, a few drapey gowns, and one late teens one with lots of silk taffeta ruffles. 

  3. I would like to make a robe รก l'Anglaise in a blue and ivory stripe lined in pale pink worn with a cream petticoat. I was first inspired by a picture I saw at the Villa Ephrussi of a woman in a lovely purple taffeta jacket with oyster colored ribbons and petticoat (which I also want). On her chair is presumably a dress in blue and white stripes that appears to be lined in pale pink. It is so sweet and whimsical and appealing that I got inspired immediately. I was also reminded of the beautiful dress worn by Ducreux in her self portrait with a harp and the blue dress from the beginning of The Duchess that has a surprise lining as well.

    4. With my fascination with Oxford and my interest in women's educational History, I was very inspired by the book Bluestockings by Jane Robinson. Therefor I decided I wanted to make an outfit or two of an early female undergraduate at Oxford. Since I've worked so much with the 1920s I wanted to go earlier and I (clearly) have a lot of 1910s on my plate so (though I may still make some 1910s day wear) I decided to try a scholarly outfit from about 1900. A skirt and blouse with a bolero...

    That's it for now but who knows what my sewing schedule will actually turn out to be!