All posts filed under: Sewing

Things I sew – historical and modern

The quest for Regency uplift: J.S. Bernhardt’s 1810 Stays, View C

I love ‘Regency’ and Empire fashions: the high waisted silhouette of the 1790s to the late 1810s. However, my body does not.  I’ve got small, firm, low-set breasts, very sloping shoulders, a relatively large square ribcage, and scoliosis.  It’s a natural fit for 1910s, but not ideal for ca. 1800.  Most of the bust supporting undergarments (whether they are stays, long or short, or jumps) of that 25-year span that I have made or tried on haven’t really worked for me.  Some are literally painful: twisting my already twisted spine into unhappy positions, or trying to use my shoulders to yank my very-resistant-to-upwards-yanking bust up, and thus cutting into my shoulders.  Others are just disappointing: flattening my bust into total nonexistence, or gaping sadly over each cup.  Some seem OK at first, and then get progressively less comfortable over hours of wear. I’ve felt like a total costuming failure with all my attempts at making Regency/Empire stays.  Some have been so bad I haven’t even been able to make myself blog them.  Some of it …

Labyrinth with Wearing History Nanette Blouse thedreamstress.com01

The Nanette Blouse goes geeky

What do you do if you realise that if you add a wig, grey leggings and a vest to the Wearing History Nanette Blouse, you have a perfect Jareth from Labyrinth costume? Obviously you have a Labyrinth photoshoot! And what do you do when your friend’s 11 month old looks exactly like Toby from Labyrinth had a twin sister? Obviously you make little Tobie a red & white striped top and leggings, and steal her for your photoshoot! Don’t worry, I gave her back before the 13 hours was up! It turns out that Labyrinth is a great theme for a kiddie photoshoot, because you get to use fun sparkly props.  They are perfect for keeping the wee one distracted and looking in the right direction.   My sparkle is a Czech glass necklace and the prism top from a decanter – I was improvising! My makeup is another improvisation.  It was all done with a single $5 eyeshadow palette!  I’m not a makeup expert (to put it mildly), so I was really pleased with …

Hedgehog shorts

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Hedgehog [Shorts]

It’s been a very warm summer in Wellington.  The warmest summer on record in fact.  So I’ve been making, and wearing, lots and lots and lots of shorts, and lots, and lots of short-sleeved Scroop Miramar tops. I tend to make my shirts in solids and stripes, but I like fun, patterned bottoms.  Summer shorts should be a wee bit silly.  You’ve already seen my Smaug Shorts as a pretty good example of that. When it comes to fun and wacky, my latest pair of shorts leaves the Smaug shorts well in the dust. Yes. They have hedgehogs all over them. In green and fuchsia purple: I just couldn’t resist when the fabric came in at Made Marion Craft.  It’s a beautifully soft cotton drill, and Hedgehog Girl is my superhero alter ego after all (she rescues hedgehogs). I know it’s slightly ridiculous to wear hedgehog shorts when you’re on the dark side of 30, but I’ve embraced the fact that slightly ridiculous is something I’m OK with being. Fuchsia and bamboo green on taupe-grey isn’t the …