Author: The Dreamstress

Rate the Dress: Trompe L’oeil Summer Whites, ca 1866

Last week there were Arguments Over an Apron.  Did it’s fabulousness make the ensemble?  Or was it fabulous, but didn’t actually fit with the rest of the outfit?  Or, in its flimsiness, was it an insult to people who actually had to wear aprons to keep from really soiling their clothes?  If you were the first, you gave it an average of 9.5 out of 10, the second or the third, only a 7.  But the first far outweighted the second, bringing out lady in green and gold, complete with embroidered apron, in at a fabulous 9 out of 10. It’s actually, finally, getting properly warm down here in NZ, and I am looking forward to summer frocks.  This week’s Rate the Dress pick celebrates the warmer weather: This two piece ensemble is classic mid 1860s, and uses the typical flat braid or embroidery embellishment of the period in a particularly interesting way: to create two layers of trompe l’oeil overskirt, completed with turned back revers. What do you think?  Do you like the crisp black …

Fashion Notes from Paris, the Girls Own Annual, 1928,

Fashion Notes from Paris, 1928

I collect Girls Own Annuals, and recently added a delicious 1928 edition to my collection. It came complete with monthly fashion notes – wherein the latest from Paris is described and adapted for daily wear, and little tips on re-making and using bits and bobs are given. This one in particular caught my eye, first, for the fascinating description of hairpieces, and second, for a great example of 1920s historicism: ‘A Poke Bonnet lined with a lace cap, a la the 18th century’.  The Historicism challenge for the Historical Sew Monthly is gone, but I still love historicism! The ideas for using ribbon remnants and bits of fur are a great illustration of how those without Parisian budgets could stay in the mode. I can’t decide if I want the bonnet, the evening frock with fabulous hip drapery, or the amazing pieced blouse most!  Which is your favourite?

Baby bibs

Baby bib bonanza

2016 has been the year of babies (amongst other things, but let’s not go into that…). All my friends are having them.  5 so far, with 4 more due in December or early Jan! As baby gifts, I’ve been making bibs – experienced mothers tell me you can never have to many of them, and they are fun to make. Useful AND fun is about as good as it gets for baby stuff – plus, quick to make, and great for using up fabrics scraps. So for the last three months, a corner of the sewing room has had a stack of fabric scraps and cut-out bibs, and whenever I need a quick sewing fix I make one up, and accumulate a pile of finished ones.  Every few weeks there is another baby shower, or time comes due to send a package off, and my pile of done ones dwindles. This is 1/4 of the bibs I’ve made so far: I’ve made reversible ones: And ones lined in moisture-proof fabric: Ones with appliqué: And patchwork ones: I’ve …