Rate the Dress: neutral suits in 1913

Last week I thought the rather mad 1860s dress, while not exactly attractive, was at least fascinating, which I feel is sometimes better than pretty.  But your responses started out quite unenthusiastic, and went from there to quite enthusiastic, and QUITE unenthusiastic, resulting in a pretty dismal rating of 5.2 out of 10, which is the lowest we’ve had in a long while.  At least those of us who liked it won’t have a lot of competition if we decide to recreate it!

This week I’m sticking with the theme of rather odd and oddly placed decoration on a neutral background, and seeing if it can work in some instances.

Suit, Josefine Hammarbæck (Oslo, Norway)- 1913, silk and cotton, Digitalt Museum

Suit, Josefine Hammarbæck (Oslo, Norway)- 1913, silk and cotton, Digitalt Museum

What do you think of this summer suit that reflects the new, simple, tailored style and oriental influence of mid-teens fashions?  Is the creamy neutral sophisticated or boring?  The abundance of matching buttons cunning or fussy?  Does the trim, drawing attention, as it does, to the cut-on sleeves and flattening bosom, perfectly period or rather atrocious?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

A little mending

I actually did do some mending for the Make Do & Mend HSF challenge: there has just been so much else to post that I haven’t gotten around to writing about it!

First, a little 10 minute mend.  One of the bones in my 1770s silver gilt stays was the tiniest bit too long, and had worn a hole in the kid leather binding:

1770s silver gilt stays thedreamstress.com

I unpicked that section of the binding, slipped it off the tab, pulled out the bone, cut it shorter, and smoothed it off:

1770s silver gilt stays thedreamstress.com

Then I pushed the bone back in, and used a tiny piece of leftover kid to patch the area with the hole:

1770s silver gilt stays thedreamstress.com

All that was left to do was to slip the original binding back on, and re-sew it down:

1770s silver gilt stays thedreamstress.com
The Challenge: #1: Make Do & Mend

Fabric: a tiny scrap of kid leather

Pattern: My own, based on one in Jill Salens ‘Corsets’ book.

Year: ca. 1770

Notions: Just thread for the mending.

How historically accurate is it? Period stays were certainly mended, but my binding technique is not the most accurate, so my mend couldn’t be accurate.

Hours to complete: 10 min

First worn: No wearing plans at the moment, but I’m sure it will get worn sooner rather than later.

The second mend was a little more complicated.  I cut the pattern wrong with my 1900s Time Lady blouse (my fault – not the patterns!) and the neck back gaped.  I solved the problem during the photoshoot by simply taking in a pleat and safety pinning it down (I know!), but I wanted a permanent solution to the problem.

1900s Time Lady blouse thedreamstress.com

So I looked at extent 1900s blouses and blouse advertisements, and found examples with pintucks running down the entire back

1900s Time Lady blouse thedreamstress.com

So I unpicked the neck finish and the back waist-tie holder, and sewed pintucks down the entire back, releasing them just above the hem, so I didn’t have to unpick that.

1900s Time Lady blouse thedreamstress.com

The neck now sits nicely and snuggly against my neck, with no gaping.  And the back as a whole is a little slimmer, which will improve the fit.

1900s Time Lady blouse thedreamstress.com

It took a good hour to do, but well worth it, and I’m so pleased it’s done!

1900s Time Lady blouse thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: #1: Make Do & Mend

Fabric: 1.5m of circle patterned cotton broderie anglaise (for the original shirt)

Pattern: Wearing History’s 1900-1910 Edwardian Blouse

Year: ca. 1905

Notions: Just thread for the mending.

How historically accurate is it? My original blouse has some inaccuracy issues (the fabric, and the sewing techniques I used to compensate for it) but my mend is based on period examples, so is quite accurate.

Hours to complete: 1

First worn: Not sure when I’ll wear it again, but I’m waiting for an excuse! 

Total cost: $18

Noir Goddess

Oh my, what a week it’s been!  Teaching and sewing, a few marathon blog posts…

Time for something fun and light.

There was a professional photographer at last years Windy Lindy Noir ball, and I posed for photos in my Hula Goddess dress.  I’ve just got the photos, and I can’t wait to show you how gorgeous my three favourites are:

Hula Goddess dress thedreamstress.com photographed by Artful Dodge photography There was a chaise lounge!

Hula Goddess dress thedreamstress.com photographed by Artful Dodge photography

And best of all, this one, which looks so sweet and innocent, until you notice the grotesque hand shadow: how very noir!

Hula Goddess dress thedreamstress.com photographed by Artful Dodge photography

All the images are by Clive of Artful Dodge photography (pop over to his website and have a drool – I’m particularly in love with his pet photograph: he does pigs!)

Page 4 of 120« First...«23456»102030...Last »

Meet the Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes is the Dreamstress, a textile historian, seamstress, designer, speaker and museum professional. Leimomi is available for educational and entertaining presentations, textile and fashion advice, special commissions and events. Click to learn more

Come sew with us!


Archives