All posts filed under: Sewing

Things I sew – historical and modern

A petticoat for a 1916 evening dress thedreamstress.com

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 thedreamstress.com

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 …

1911-12 Miss Muffet dress thedreamstress.com

A photoshoot in the 1911-12 Little Miss Muffet at the Village Fête frock

Some time ago Regional News Wellington contacted me to see if I wanted to be interviewed (of course I did! – read the resulting interview on page 9). Naturally, they asked if I had any pictures of myself in historical dress to include with the article, and, as it turned out, none of the stuff I had was suitable, so they offered to have their photographer take pictures.  Oooh, fun! For my outfit, I chose the 1911-12 ‘Little Miss Muffet at the Village Fête’ frock, because I’d never had the chance to wear it, whatever I chose needed to be something I could put on without any assistance and drive from my house to the studio in, and (for a reason I can’t remember) I thought I was being photographed against a dark ground – so light colours seemed a good idea. As it turned out, the studio backdrop was white.  If I could choose again I’d probably have gone with something dark, like the 1813 Kashmiri dress, or my 1914-16 Cobwebs gown. Still, I’m tickled …