All posts filed under: Admire

1900s day dress, 1900s fashion

Rate the Dress: a ca 1900 day dress gets the blues

Last week’s 1750s Robe a la Francaise was far better received than I had anticipated.  I thought the muddy colours and square shape would put people off.  If they weren’t enough, there was the lacklustre presentation and dreadful wig. Despite all those, you found the back pleating sufficiently swooshy, and the fabric sufficiently luxurious, to keep all your ratings at 6 and above.  The ratings averaged out at 8.3 out of 10.  8 (or 8.5) was the most commonly rated # for the dress, so for once the ratings reflect the general reaction. This week: A ca. 1900 day dress This week I’ve chosen something in a nice bright, bold colour: a ca 1900 day dress in deep blue printed silk: The silhouette of this dress, with its drooping bell sleeves, not-yet-excessive pigeon breast, and gored skirt with ruffled hem, is absolutely typical of fashionable 1900s dress.  The S-curve has yet to reach its most outrageous proportions, but is definitely in evidence.  The only throw-back is the sleeve heads, which retain a slight fullness. The …

Emily's Wedding Dress,

Emily’s Wedding Dress

In celebration of her first wedding anniversary, here is Emily’s wedding dress! I’ll only do wedding dresses for very, very special people anymore, and Emily definitely qualifies. Not only is she a dear friend, but she’s the genius who keeps my blog and running.  Emily herself blogs at, though her blog is on hiatus. As with all the wedding dresses I’ve made, the end result was a collaboration between the bride’s ideas and my sewing experience. Our inspiration for the dress was late 1950s & early 1960s cocktail and evening dresses by designers like Balenciaga and Jacques Heim.  Emily liked the overall silhouettes, and the lush fabrics used. Key design points we wanted to incorporate were a fitted bodice with scooped necklines, little cap sleeves, a natural waist, and full bell skirts with lots of swish, and flatter fronts.  Plus amazing embroidered fabric.  We settled on a slight dropped hem, to take full advantage of the fantastic fabric. I draped the pattern myself, using my princess-seamed dress block as a starting point.  For …

Winter 1915-16 dress,

The ‘waiting for bluebells’ winter 1915/16 day dress

I’m extremely excited to be showing you a fully done, properly photographed, newly sewn historical outfit.  It seems so long since that has happened! Too long… This outfit was also a long time coming. It was on my list as a wardrobe hopeful for my Fortnight in 1916 experiment, based on fashion advice articles which extolled the virtues of jumper dresses over skirts and blouses, as a wool jumper frock was more durable, and could be worn for many more days than a cotton blouse without needing washing. I based my own ever-so-practical jumper frock on this page from The Pictoral Review Monthly Fashion Book, Dec 1915:  I loved the double-button detail, and the asymmetrical crossover bodice, both so typical of the mid 1910s.  It just seemed to period-perfect, but also so classic. I also liked the severity, especially with the grey, black & white colour scheme, though the palette on these pages is so limited that it’s not the best indication of what colours the frocks would be made up in.  I’m quite certain …