Author: The Dreamstress

HSF/M ’15: Challenge #6: Out of Your Comfort Zone

The June challenge for the Historical Sew Monthly 2015 is Out of Your Comfort Zone: Create a garment from a time period you haven’t done before, or that uses a new skill or technique that you’ve never tried before. Of all the challenges this year, it’s probably the one I’m most excited about, both as a sewer, and as an organiser.  (I know, I say I’m most excited about all of them, and I AM always super excited when they start coming up, but I’m definitely most excited about this one overall!) The first impetus of the HSF/M was to give the motivation to sew, but it’s also always been intended to really push our sewing boundaries, and to encourage interactions. What better way to push our boundaries than with a challenge that is all about that?  And what better way to encourage collaborations and interactions than to make us try a new skill or time-period, which is inevitably going to involve asking the other members for advice, and looking at the research and creations of other sewers for reference? For those …

Taking tea with the WSB thedreamstress.com6

Taking tea with the Wellington Sewing Bloggers

The afternoon tea* craze is well established in Wellington, with at least one dedicated afternoon tea shop, and various restaurants doing their own afternoon teas.  And a new afternoon tea shop has just opened in Kilbirnie (a suburb/village on the eastern side of Wellington, near Weta Workshops), and I’ve been meaning to try it. You know who else likes afternoon tea?  The Wellington Sewing Bloggers. We also like fabric shopping, and meeting non-Wellington Sewing Bloggers. So when Penny from Dresses and Me (OK, only kind-of a sewing blogger, but close enough!) let us know she was coming to Wellington, of course we had to meet her, and take her fabric shopping, and to afternoon tea.  And of course I suggested the new tea place so we could try it out.** But first, to work up an appetite, we went fabric shopping: (many thanks to Silly Billy Sewing for all the photos in this post that include me) I completely blew my fabric budget at The Fabric Warehouse, buying silk-merino blend jersey (I’m actually wearing a shirt made …

Rate the Dress: mid-1870s puffs and ruffles

Last week I showed you a red velvet and gold lace and peacock feathers dress, ca 1900.  Ca 1900, red velvet, gold lace, and peacock feather embroidery are all generally considered to be good things when it comes to Rate the Dress, so, not surprisingly, many of you approved of the dress, even if it did come with a side order of wonky bow, awkward bust embellishment, embroidery wrinkles, potential itch factor, and overly puffy sleeves.  In fact, despite all these things, the power of red and gold propelled the dress to an 8 out of 10. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art calls this summery bustled evening dress a ‘Polonaise’ gown, reflecting the 1870s interest in the 18th century, and the revival of 18th century dress terms. The name may be 18th century inspired, and there may be the barest nod at the idea of a Georgian fichu in the guimpe/dickey which gives the dress the option of moving between different types of evening events, but the overall look is classic 1870s. There …