All posts filed under: Admire

Theresa with a Fichu at Old Government House Parramatta, thedreamstress.com

A new 18th century fichu – HSM 2018 #5

I always try to have a bit of handsewing on the go, so I have something to work on while sitting in a waiting room, or whenever else I have a tiny bit of down-time (an all too rare occurrence in my life at the moment, sadly). My last handsewing project was another 18th c fichu – a twin to the one I made back in December, because it’s easier to cut a square and divide it into two triangles than to cut an individual triangle, so you might as well make fichu in pairs! I finished my fichu on the flight to Sydney, just in time for Theresa to wear it for my talk and our photoshoot at Old Government House in Parramatta, Sydney. There isn’t a great deal to say about the fichu’s construction.*  I cut it at 80cm/31.5″ along the straight edges, which creates a 132cm/52″ angled edge.  The little slit in it is 12cm/4.5″ long. The slit allows it to sit nicely and snugly against the back of the neck. The …

Old Government House, Parramatta, Sydney, thedreamstress.com

Old Government House, Parramatta, Sydney

I’m in Sydney & the surrounding area for the week, visiting the wonderful Theresa, having a much-needed mini-holiday with Mr D, and, most importantly, speaking in conjunction with the ‘Tales from the East: India & New South Wales‘ exhibition at Old Government House, Parramatta, Sydney. I was incredibly excited about getting the opportunity to visit Old Government House.  It’s the oldest public building in Australia and one of the few authentic examples of Georgian architectures in the Antipodes.  It’s also an extremely important structure from a historical standpoint.  It’s strongly linked to both Australia’s convict and colonial history, and to Governor Lachlan Macquarie.  Macquarie is sometimes called the ‘Father of Australia’.  While his legacy is chequered, he was undeniably central to shaping Sydney & New South Wales general trajectory in its formative years as a colony. He and his wife Elizabeth were also responsible for expanding Old Government House to its current structure.  The house is furnished as it would have been under their residence, in the style of the 1820s. Theresa and I were …

High fashion hairstyles for 1916 (and the ‘Hump’ hairpin)

Along with gorgeous fashion spreads, my August 1916 edition of The Designer magazine includes a fantastic assortment of advertisements illustration how people lived (or aspired to live) and what they bought (or aspired to buy) in the 1910s. Generally the food-related advertisements are more practical, and less aspirational, and the fashion & beauty related advertisements are very aspirational indeed.  They show what to wear to balls, and at the best resorts, and on ocean liners, while linking them back to everyday products. One of my favourite of the beauty ads is this one for The Hump Hairpin which “locks the locks”, featuring hairstyles purportedly designed by 7 of the leading hairstylists of the day.  Each hairstyle, of course, is held in place with Hump Hairpins. The hairstyles are a wonderful glimpse into the changing coiffures of the mid 1910s.  The move from low hairstyles, that sit on the nape of the neck, to high ones, with the volume concentrated at the top of the crown, is obvious.  So too is the growing fashion for very …