All posts filed under: Sewing

Things I sew – historical and modern

A 1914 Cobwebs evening gown, thedreamstress.com

My CoCo evening dress 2016: A ‘Cobweb’ evening gown of 1914-15

While it was tempting to just wear old things for Costume College, and not stress about making new items, it was also tempting to try to make all the things.  I compromised by only making one new gown: a 1914-15 evening gown for the Gala Ball. I couldn’t really not make this gown.  I have an amazing 1910s metallic lace with a spiderweb and roses pattern* that I wore as my wedding veil, and it’s been sitting in my stash ever since, waiting for the perfect opportunity to be made into a dress.  With the theme of the Gala being ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’, using it for a cobweb fairy dress was practically mandatory! 1914-15 was also a shoe-in for a time period.  The mid-1910s (1914-19) is pretty much my all-time favourite era, and, having done the Fortnight in 1916 project, a dress of that era seemed more than appropriate.  Rather than making a 1916 gown, I decided that something summer-before-the-war, or from the first months of the war, when fancy going-away balls were still the …

The Black & White 1916 corset

On Monday I’m going to start living as close as I can to a 1916 lifestyle for two weeks. Naturally, this means I need a wardrobe.  A whole wardrobe post is coming, but for now, let’s start with the item everyone is really interested in: corsets. Based on my research, the average middle-class NZ housewife in 1916 had between 1 & 3 corsets at any given time: 1 or 2 for everyday wear, and possibly a fancier, more constricting one for dressing up.  Two corsets is ideal for everyday wear, because it means one can be airing while you wear the other. I’ve decided on two corsets for my experiment.  One, based on a slightly earlier cut, that Leimomi circa 1916 might have had in her wardrobe from before the war, and this one, reflecting the more recent mid-teens cut: Previously all of my 1910s corsets have been based on my personally fitted draft of the 1911 corset in Janet Arnold’s book.   However, very few women in NZ would have had personally fitted corsets.  The …

A circular cardigan with a geek twist

In my last post I showed off my 1950s inspired circular cardigan, which manages to look far more glam than a cardigan ought to. When I was finishing the cardigan I discovered that it isn’t just limited to looking glam.  It’s also great for… …pretending to be a Jedi knight! While I’m only showing you the cardigan now, I actually finished it back in December, just when A New Hope was in the theatres.  I tried on the mostly-finished cardigan for a friend, and she ‘ooohed’ over the flipped down collar and the swishy hem, and then I flipped up the collar to show it could also be a hood, and she practically fell over laughing, saying I looked like I should be in Star Wars. Obviously, with a comment like that, I had to do a Star Wars photoshoot.  I put out a call for a lightsaber, and the amazing Nina came through with not only a lightsaber, but also a half-scale Stormtrooper and a Darth Vader for me to have an epic battle with. I seriously …