Author: The Dreamstress

Rate the Dress: A vision in lace and gold, ca. 1850

Reactions to last week’s 1930s gold lamé Jessie Franklin Turner number were actually surprisingly similar to the smocked Liberty frock from the week before – a mix of strong love, a tiny bit of strong dislike, a fair smattering of blah, and sleeve-dislike. What do you get with surprising similarity?  An identical 8.3 out of 10 rating! I really struggled to pick a dress for Rate the Dress this week.  As a juxtaposition to the last few weeks, I really wanted something bright, and sweet, and girlish.  Alas, nothing I found seemed to be the right contrast.  I finally settled on this 1850s evening dress, because the gold, and the lace bertha, seem to resonate with last week’s gold frock, and its flutter sleeves.  Next week I’ll definitely have to find something with colour though! (of course, knowing me, that could be a warning rather than a promise 😉 ) This ca. 1850 evening dress in white damask silk satin, with gold brocading of rather exotic, parasol shaped flower heads, is trimmed with silk net lace, embroidered with …

Mum & Dad, thedreamstress.com

Here’s to my Mum & Dad

Today, in honour of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d write a post about how amazing my parents are. And they are pretty darn amazing! My parents are organic permaculture (permaculture is, very briefly, an agricultural and social practice that aims to be more than sustainable, and to work completely with nature) farmers in Hawaii.  I was born and raised on their farm (yes, literally born!), and no matter what, it will always be my home. We realised on my last trip home, a year ago, that their farm is probably the longest-running working permaculture farm that is fully supporting/earning a living for the farmers as a farm, not as a teaching facility or tourist attraction, in the world.  My parents are never going to get rich off the farm, and while it has made them minor legends in permaculture circles, they will never be famous in the wider sense. What they have achieved is something much bigger and more amazing (yep, I’m going to keep using that word). They have given more to the environment than they …

Rate the Dress: 1930s Lamé Glamour

Last week I showed a smocked 1890s Liberty of London dress in black china silk.  Half of you loved, loved, loved it, the other half of you thought it incredibly blah. However, even those who loved it had small reservations.  The display wasn’t ideal (granted, not the dresses fault), and you couldn’t decide if the back asymmetry was real or an illusion created by the display.  Some of you thought that while good, it wasn’t as good as most other Liberty dresses made from the same basic pattern.  And quite a few of you didn’t like the sleeves (which, ironically, were my favourite part, as I felt they made the dress more interesting than other similar Liberty gowns, and kept it from twee-ness). Despite potential blah-ness and not-quite-perfection ratings, it managed an overall rating of 8.3 out of 10.  Pretty good! (Though it ought to win bonus points for inspiring only two #.5 ratings, making my tallying up much easier 😉 ) This week, I’m celebrating the launch of the Ngaio Blouse with a 1930s pick for Rate the Dress. …