Last week I posted a 1910s frock by Mrs Dunstan, and while a few of you found points to quibble about, in general the consensus was a gasp of admiration and a chorus of ‘Stunnings!’, with a staggering 24 out of 45 10/10 ratings. Still, courtesy of the non-lovers, the overall rating was only 8.9 out of 10.
I know it’s winter, and coming up towards Christmas, but it doesn’t feel like it here in NZ. Asparagus is just winding up, cherries and berries are just starting, and the weather has been warm and muggy. Still, I feel I should post something a bit winter-y, holiday-y, and chocolate and plaid seem to fit the bill perfectly.
You’re going to have to use just a wee bit of imagination in rating this dress, as I only have two images of it: a rather uninspiring view of the dress on display in the ‘Our New Old Clothes’ exhibition from the Shippensburg University Fashion Archives, and a gorgeous detailed image of the bodice of the dress.
Let’s start with the detailed image:
And now, the dress in its entirety on display:
And a little closer:
Between the two you can see the rich chocolate brown silk, enlivened by bias cut tartan trim, ‘prairie points’ around the bodice hem and sleeves, and shiny black buttons. The buttons go all the way down the skirt as well, and are fully functional. Shippensburg have indicated that the dress may have been re-made from an earlier garment, perhaps a wrapper.
The whole thing rather reminds me of a chocolate box tied up with a plaid ribbon, though that could be either a very good thing, or a very bad thing. What do you think? Lovely late-1860s winter warmth? Or too twee?
Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.
Couturier Cat, 1927, by Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita (French-Japanese, 1886-1968)
I know that expression. Kitty is deciding which toy to play with first. The cunning roll-y spool of thread? The swishing, spiraling tape measure? The clinking, rattling thimble which spins across the floor so enthrallingly? The wound thread, which unwinds into such delicious knots and tangles? Or the temping, but oh-so-dangerous kitty pick-up-stick pins?
Felicity gives my notions that exact same look!
At least she’s learned to avoid the needles and pins…
For some reason, I always seem to know huge amounts of people with birthdays in November. My life is a whirl of parties for dear friends, and preparation for the holiday season.
I have an interesting attitude towards presents. When I find something that I just know is perfect for a particular person, or when I have an idea of something to make that I know they will love, I buy it and make it and give it.
I really try not to buy a thing for the sake of giving a gift: in Western society we all own so much that more stuff, if it’s not the right stuff, is just a burden. And sewing when I am not sure that the other person will like it is heartbreaking.
This birthday season I had an idea for a present that would be perfect for the recipient in every possible way. She loves vintage, she dances, we geek out together about vintage things and dancing things, and vintage dancing things, like tap pants. She also sews, but she’s even busier than I am (if that is possible) so doesn’t have much time for it.
So I made her her own pair of reproduction ’30s tap pants, using vintage fabric and lace.
I also gave her the leftover fabric and lace, in case she wants to make a matching bra. Giving a friend tap pants tap pants is sweet. Giving a friend a bra is…weird. ;-)
I’m really pleased with the tap pants, and, with under a metre of fabric, they count for the HSF Challenge #25.
I’ve been making gifts for people, but people have also been giving me gifts.
Shona of In the Heyday messaged me out of the blue – she was in an op-shop in England and saw a pair of vintage wedding shoes that she thought I could use for 18th century costuming. What was my size and would I like them?
You know you know amazing people when they send you shoes from England to NZ just because! Aren’t they adorable?
I think they could be adapted to be something early 18th century a bit like these, but I kinda love them just as they are!
Especially with jeans
And Madame O gave me a fabulous fringed shawl (fringing is not only OK in shawls, it is approved of!) that she found in an antique store.
She was told it was late Victorian, but it has me perplexed. It’s definitely silk, but quite small – about 75cm square, and with quite an abstract, modern pattern on it.
It’s a present and a mystery! The best kind! What do you think? Have you seen a shawl of this size and pattern?