All posts filed under: Sewing

Things I sew – historical and modern

Winter 1915-16 dress, thedreamstress.com

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 …

Gather Ye Rosebuds CoCo 2017 Gala Gown thedreamstress.com

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 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 …