Author: The Dreamstress

Bayeux Tapestry skirt thedreamstress.com11

The ultimate textile historian skirt

I think it’s no secret that I love op-shopping.  I love op-shopping as much as I hate regular shopping (ugh.  crowds.  people.  poorly made stuff that doesn’t fit right). The major exception to hating regular shopping is fabric, because I love fabric stores.  But I also love fabric shopping at op shops, because I find some amazing things. Like this fabric: Can you see what it is? It’s the Bayeux tapestry! (or at least selected parts of it) I teach the Bayeux tapestry as an example of politics in textiles, and the use of textiles in propaganda, so when I found this fabric I* * translation: I let out a tiny squeak and sat down with a thump. The fabric is a screenprint by an Australian textile designer.  It’s on a viscose/rayon and probably dates to the ’70s or ’80s. There wasn’t a lot of it, and it’s a very busy print, and not in the best colours for me, so I wanted to make something that really took advantage of the print with …

Rate the Dress: Anna of Austria by Anthonis Mor

Last week I showed you a rather plain 1890s dress with enormous puffed sleeves.  Thanks to some rather fabulous fabric and some very clever stripe-work, the dress was very popular. Right up until my Mum showed up and pointed out that it looks like an elephant.  Thanks Mum! Still, 1890s sexy librarian or elephant, it came in at a VERY impressive 9.2 out of 10. Since I’m on a 1570s kick, this week’s Rate the Dress is on-theme.   Rather than staying with English Elizabethan styles, we’re travelling to continental Europe to discuss the fashion choices of the 21 year old Anna of Austria, Queen of Spain: In typical late 16th century Spanish style, Anna’s clothes are quite severe, with large expanses of expensive black fabric.  Equally typically, the black is livened with copious amounts of precious metals and stones: her bonnet is circled with gold braid and jewelled ornaments, there are more jewelled pins in her hair, she wears an elaborate gold necklace with an enormous double-headed bird pendant, each head holding a ruby in …

Never tell Stella a secret…*

Priscilla has a secret, and she told it to Stella: Oh my!  How deliciously juicy! Did Stella keep it a secret? Oh no! The very first opportunity she had, she turned around and told it to me: Naughty Stella!  I’m never telling you a secret!   * This is all, of course, terrible slander on the part of poor Stella’s character, as she’s actually the soul of discretion and I’d trust her with any secret.  But I do think the photos are hilarious!