All posts filed under: Sewing

Things I sew – historical and modern

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 …

Elephants & Kangaroos thedreamstress.com

Kangaroos & Elephants Oh My! – (almost) first me-made dress

In the sewing community May is Me-Made-May – a month of trying to wear more of the things you’ve made, using them to get out of wardrobe ruts, and setting yourself personal challenges around them. I’ve never officially participated, in part because wearing stuff I’ve made every day is pretty much an obligation of my work, and what I wear cycles in response to what classes I’m teaching at the moment, what patterns I’m working on for Scroop Patterns, and the weather (which currently includes the first snow of the winter – yay (note sarcasm)).  In bigger part, I’ve always been too busy with either the Sew Weekly, or the Historical Sew Fortnightly. Between sewing-teaching work, history-lecturing work, pattern-making work, running the HSF, and life, I’m one additional thing away from dropping all my balls – and I’m pretty sure that what I’m juggling is a mix of ostrich eggs in extremely fragile shells (some of which are well past their best-by date), newborn dragons (a la McKinley, where dragons are marsupials, so newborns are really squishy) and pressure-sensitive …