Author: The Dreamstress

The Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #9: Historicism

The Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #9 is Historicism: Make a historical garment that was itself inspired by the fashions of another historical period. Up until the early 19th century, to the best of my knowledge (caveat: my pre 1660 fashion history is pretty weak, so I’m happy to be corrected here!) historicism in fashionable dress was predominantly focused on emulating and borrowing from ancient Greek and Rome.  I say fashionable dress, because regional styles in certain areas often used elements that went out of fashion in the main centres decades, if not centuries, before.  This isn’t historicism in its truest sense, because its a case of styles stagnating, rather than intentionally borrowing from the past. Depending on how you look at historicism, one exception to the reliance on ‘the ancients’ as an inspiration from the past is the robe de coer.  The robe de coer, based on Louis the Sun King’s favourite elements of female dress in his youth in the 1660s and 70s, was implemented as the required court dress in France in the late …

Rate the Dress: Emerald green in 1914

Last week I showed you an early 1870s dress in pink and white stripes, with butterfly patterned lace trim, and black bows.  While not everything about the dress tickled my fancy, I thought the half & half black and pink bows were a brilliant touch, but many of you did NOT agree.  In the same way, opinions differed greatly on whether the front to back skirt wrap was brilliant, or tablecloth-y.  In fact, the ratings were all over the range for the dress, bringing it in at a 7.4 out of 10. This evening dress in deep green silk didn’t come with more of a date range than 1910-15, but the  fullness at the lower hips and tapering hem, paired with the skirt drapery, place it firmly in 1914, give or take a year.  The mix of textures is typical of the 1910s, giving complexity to an otherwise simple design. What do you think?   Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10


Etiquette for costumers: how to behave when out and about

There has been a bit of a brou-ha-ha in costuming and re-enacting circles over the last week over how to behaving in public while dressed up, and how much we should expect from the public to accommodate our particular needs due to our lifestyle choice. I don’t want to get involved in the specific drama that has triggered this, but I thought that a bit of a guideline of the things that I keep in mind, and the things that I warn models and friends dressing up with me to be aware of, when dressed in costumes of period attire, might be helpful. These are rules of etiquette I stick to when I’m out and about in costume or historical dress, whether it’s just having fun wearing a costume for a day, being in a public space for a photoshoot (formal or informal), stopping at the supermarket on my way home for a talk, or living as much as possible in the past for the Fortnight in 1916. My goal is always to be as courteous as possible to the …