Author: The Dreamstress

1350s-80s medieval gown thedreamstress.com10

A medieval moment in my 1350s-80s gown

At long last, after lots of research, lots of work, some triumphs, and a few setbacks, I’ve finished my first proper medieval garment. I got it completely ready to wear, except for sewing four buttons on the cuffs, for a historical dinner on Saturday.  I wore it for the dinner with cuffs unbuttoned, and then I finished the buttons on Monday. On Thursday the weather was beautiful (if cold) and the gorgeous Elizabeth of Ills Winter and I spent the late afternoon hanging out at the Sir Truby King gardens, taking pictures and generally having fun. I only ended up putting 11 buttons on the sleeves, because of buttonhole issues (more about that in a later post), but I could add more later if I wished. I’m reasonably happy with the finished result.  The neckline is a little too scooped, the sleeves a little too long, my buttonholes more than a little rubbish, but as a learning piece, it’s not bad at all!  The next one will be much better! I definitely feel I’ve got the right silhouette …

Easy lace edging tutorial thedreamstress.com

Tutorial: quick, easy, and tidy lace edgings (for period undergarments and everything else)

Someone asked about the finish of the lace edging on my Wearing History 1910s camisoles/corset covers, and I thought you might enjoy a tutorial. I like this method because it is quick, easy, and provides a strong, neat, and tidy finish to necklines, armholes and hems.  And I’ve seen it used on at least one 1910s camisole, so it’s period accurate, even if it wasn’t the most commonly used finish. For the tutorial you will need: Cotton beading lace (for a neckline) or broderie anglaise hem lace (for a hem).  You can use this method with any lace with enough coverage to hide the raw edges (I’ve also used it for the tiny bobble lace around the armholes of the camisole above), but it’s easiest to start with a cotton lace.  It doesn’t work well with beading lace where the holes extend almost all the way to the edges of the lace. A garment that needs its hem, armholes or neck finished with lace. In this tutorial I am sewing beading lace around the neckline of the …

Rate the Dress: Damask and lace for dinner, ca. 1886

Last week I showed you an evening gown worn my Marjorie Merriweather Post, in muted shades of blue and green.  Ratings were divided into those of you who thought it was the epitome of muted elegance, those of you who thought it pretty, but not a stand-out dress, and those of you who found all the soft half-tones too dull and drab, and gave it very poor ratings indeed (and one vote that I disqualified for not rating on a scale of 1 to 10, because that’s cheating 😉 ) . I’m halfway through tallying the ratings, but it’s bedtime, so I’ll finish those up first thing tomorrow! UPDATE: MMP’s 1910ish evening dress came out at 8.1 out of 10, which seems like the perfect rating for restrained rather than sensational elegance. This dinner dress from the Metropolitan Museum of Art features a design feature that has always been slightly problematic for you raters: a laced front bodice. While you can choose to dislike the feature in and of itself, I am 99.8% sure that the …