Author: The Dreamstress

Rate the Dress: Frances Adeline in mauve

Last week I showed you an 1880s Worth gown in red, with elements borrowed from a number of 18th c decades.  Many of you loved the dress, but weren’t quite sure about the skirt trim (in most amusing ways), bringing the dress down to an 8.8 out of 10 – very good, but not the best Worth has done by far. This week I present Frances Adeline ‘Fanny’ Seward in an early 1860s ensemble that consists of a what appears to be a skirt and swiss waist in mauve silk satin, and a sheer blouse with puffed mamaluke sleeves.  The sheer blouse gives us an interesting, and fairly unusual, contemporary depiction of a visible corset cover or chemise. Fanny was the youngest child of United States Secretary of State William H. Seward.  She is most famous for her detailed diary documenting her life during the Civil War.  She’s also known for helping to save the life of her father, brother, and three other men when one of John Wilkes Booth’s co-conspirators attempted to assassinate him by …

Slugfest 2016 (or, the grossest post I’ll ever write)

(obviously, if you’re squeamish about slugs you should avoid this post) It rained last night, and we woke up to overcast skies and the occasional light drizzle. Rain or no rain, a farm still has to run, and it was fruit harvesting day, so after breakfast Mum put me on to picking limes. The lime trees sit on the edge of the farm, on the rough slope where the flat bed of the valley rises steeply up into rocky valley walls. Picking the limes involves scrambling amongst the rocks, peering up into the tree and using a grab-and-twist picker to bring down the ripest fruit. Last year the limes got pruned, and some of the cut branches were left sitting under the trees, a tangle of delicate stems and sharp thorns. Climbing up amongst the rocks towards the lime tree, I discovered what happens to dead lime branches on moist*, damp days. They get covered in slugs. Covered. Like over-decorated Christmas trees, only with brown, slimey garlands, instead of lovely silver tinsel. Slugs, it seems, …

A circular cardigan with a geek twist

In my last post I showed off my 1950s inspired circular cardigan, which manages to look far more glam than a cardigan ought to. When I was finishing the cardigan I discovered that it isn’t just limited to looking glam.  It’s also great for… …pretending to be a Jedi knight! While I’m only showing you the cardigan now, I actually finished it back in December, just when A New Hope was in the theatres.  I tried on the mostly-finished cardigan for a friend, and she ‘ooohed’ over the flipped down collar and the swishy hem, and then I flipped up the collar to show it could also be a hood, and she practically fell over laughing, saying I looked like I should be in Star Wars. Obviously, with a comment like that, I had to do a Star Wars photoshoot.  I put out a call for a lightsaber, and the amazing Nina came through with not only a lightsaber, but also a half-scale Stormtrooper and a Darth Vader for me to have an epic battle with. I seriously …