Author: The Dreamstress

Regency dresses thedreamstress.com

HSM ’15 Challenge #1: Foundations

I usually try to write Historical Sew Fortnightly/Monthly inspiration posts wells in advance of the challenge, but I’m running quite late this year, so am writing this post only a few days before the challenge is over. Challenge #1 for the Historical Sew Monthly 2015 was Foundations.  I deliberately left the challenge quite vague: “make something that is the foundation of an outfit (however you interpret that)” So what is a foundation?  According to dictionary.com: [foun-dey-shuh n] noun 1. the basis or groundwork of anything: Lots of scope there! Interestingly, being able to write this post most of the way through the challenge, with a whole folder full of entries on FB, it turns out that most people have chosen a much more specific meaning: foundation garment noun 1. an undergarment, as a girdle or corset, worn by women to support or give shape to the contours of the body. Only you’ve extended that meaning to include any undergarment.  Fascinating.  One HSM-er mentioned that she thought foundations were anything that created structure – rather like the Shape …

Rate the Dress: an end-of-the-crinoline era wrap gown

Last week we didn’t have a Rate the Dress, because of the blog makeover.  I’ll be getting to the Rate-the-Dress scores from the week before in a couple of hours, but for now I am dealing with the effects of a 28 degree day in Wellington (I am basically cold-blooded.  I can handle 14-25 degrees, and on either side of that my body freaks out) and have to limit my computer time or trigger a migraine. I keep going back or forth on whether I think this is a very elaborate wrapper/dressing gown, or a perfectly proper outdoors coat-dress. The bows on the shoulder suggest a most elegant inside wrapper – basically an early tea gown, which first began to appear in the 1870s. At the same time, it is also very reminiscent of the trimmings and silhouettes of the type of unshaped outdoor dresses that were popular in the 1860s, such as the ones seen in Monet’s Women in the Garden.  The back view makes me lean in that direction. I suspect on days when my brain wasn’t cooked …

The placation dress thedreamstress.com

The Playcation dress

I’ve been working on the Truly Victorian 1900s S bend corset all this week , and by Saturday it became obvious that it was not.going.well.  Along the lines of – “I’ve let out ever seam 1/4″ of an inch, and the thing is still 2″ too small for me!” not going well ( a couple of other bloggers have mentioned their corsets were far too small in passing, so I suspect an overall issue with the pattern’s smaller sizes and the fact that our body type is going to have a much higher immovable bone to moveable squish ratio, especially with the ribcage, that isn’t accounted for in the patterns sizing and shaping).  So I threw the corset in the corner in disgust and had a sad. Then lifted my chin, threw back my shoulders, and fished out a piece of striped black and ivory viscose knit I’d found in the Fabric Warehouse $5 bin during their 40% off sale, and whipped up a simple two piece summer dress on my overlocker. No pattern, no fussing, …