All posts filed under: Sewing

Things I sew – historical and modern

Gather Ye Rosebuds CoCo 2017 Gala Gown

Gather ye Rosebuds… a 1916 crinoline evening dress

And here it is!  My 1916 crinoline revival evening dress: Officially, it’s been dubbed the ‘Gather ye Rosebuds’ dress – I felt I needed to make it before I was too old to get away with this look, it’s trimmed with roses, and there was lots of gathering (my gosh was there so much gathering.  I gathered, and gathered, and gathered some more….). Unofficially….it’s the Jellyfish. I assembled all the pieces, put them together, put the dress on, looked at myself, and said “Oh dear, I’ve made a jellyfish!” I have mixed feelings about the Jellyfish. I really enjoyed wearing it.  It was very bouncy, and I bounced a lot (lots of people took videos of me bouncing and spinning in it, but so far I’ve only seen one and I can’t figure out how to download it!). And I knew it was far from perfect so I didn’t feel the need to be precious about it. But…I know it’s far (so far…) from perfect.  It started out really thought-out and precise and beautifully finished, …

A petticoat for a 1916 evening dress

A cheater super-full 1916 petticoat

I’m making progress on my romantic historicism 1916 evening gown. The under-bodice is totally finished: My biggest concern about this gown was how to create a petticoat to support the width of the skirt.  The bell-shaped silhouette of 1916 was so high fashion, and lasted for so short a time, that there are very few extent petticoats to use as a guide.  There are lots and lots of examples of petticoats to create the more common A-line silhouette, but the bell-shape is harder to source. There is this wonderful petticoat from a 1917 issue the Paris Journal of Fashion, and it’s on my to-make list, but I think I’m going to need to try a couple of versions to get it right, and I couldn’t find the right fabric. I was getting a little frantic, and then I realised that the solution to the petticoat puzzle was right under my nose – in my UFO pile. I’ve had this 1950s petticoat schedule for a re-make for a while. The construction and finishing is beautiful, and …

Harpers Bazaar 1916 evening dress fabric

A romance & roses 1916 evening dress: the under-bodice

I am in the midst of madly sewing for Costume College, and madly getting another pattern ready for launch, and juggling the Indie Pattern Month sale for the Monthly Stitch, and cleaning up the mess left by the low-key cyclone (that’s a hurricane to those of you in NA) that hit last week, so it’s all go, all the time in my life. For the CoCo Gala I’m making a dress that has been on my long- time wishlist, and which is one of those garments that definitely seems like it comes with an expiration date in terms of how old I can be while still pulling it off, so it’s now or never! This uber-romantic confection, as shown in Harpers Bazaar in April 1916, is a delicious example of brief fad for 1850s/60s inspired historicism of 1916, with bell-shaped skirts, sometimes supported by hoops, and other elements lifted from mid-19th century styles.  The fashions was hugely inspired by 1915’s The Birth of a Nation, which was a smash hit in the US. For obvious …