Author: The Dreamstress

Rate the Dress: (almost) Wartime Paisley

Last week I showed you a natural form gown with an almost unnatural amount of ornamentation and trim.  You admired the skill of the dressmaker, which is hugely responsible for the 7 out of 10 the dress managed. This week’s Rate the Dress is a frock I’ve been meaning to feature for quite some time, partly because I’ve never decided exactly how I feel about it.  And I’m not going to figure that out tonight, because I’ve got acute coryza (because calling it nasopharyngitis just sounds affected ) + the aftereffects of spending the weekend up a scaffold paint stripping our house. In other words, I’m dumb, and I hurt.  Everywhere. So be brilliant for me.  Point out all the interesting (good or not) things about this gown.  The Museum Rotterdam dates it to 1913-17, but I’d put it at the very early end of that range.  Other than that, it’s up to you. What do you think? Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

HSF/M ’15: Challenge #5: Practicality

For the fifth Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge of 2015 (due by May 31st), we’re getting down and dirty and making something that is about getting work done: building up, cleaning up, fixing up, and generally being practical. Fancy party frocks are all very well, but everyone, even princesses, sometimes needs a practical garment that you can DO things in.  In this challenge we’re creating the jeans-and-T-Shirt-get-the-house-clean-and-garden-sorted outfit of your chosen period. This challenge is particularly interesting, because the get-work-done outfits are the ones that are least likely to survive.  People keep their special occasion garments: their wedding outfits, party frocks, and delicate pieces, and museums are full of these, but who has a paint-spattered, slightly ripped, well worn T-shirt and their gardening jeans carefully preserved for posterity?  It’s a bit ironic, as we’ll spend more time in these type of garments than in our posh togs. So, let’s focus on work aprons, wash frocks, slat bonnets, shorter skirts, basic blouses, short gowns, and other working garments: the unsung wardrobe heroes of the past. For many periods in the past, …

Having an Anne moment

Like many girls, and particularly girls who were avid readers, and even more particularly girls who grew up to like historical clothing,  I love Anne of Green Gables and L.M. Montgomery. I either owned or had the Anne books on constant loan from the library, and I read, and re-read them, until I knew every detail of Anne’s life, and that of her children. Then I availed myself of Hawaii’s wonderful state public library system, which allowed you to order books from any library in the state, and moved on to Anne’s other heroines. I got to know Pat (whose devotion to cats I shared, but whose devotion to a house seemed a tiny bit excessive), Jane (who I admired for her kind heart), Marigold (too young, but loads of fun), Emily (who, to be perfectly honest, I thought needed a good slap, and who I still have trouble reading about without rolling my eyes and thinking “seriously girl, just get over yourself”, but who is probably responsible for my tendency to over-use italics), the …