All posts filed under: Historical Sew Fortnightly

The Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #9: Historicism

The Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #9 is Historicism: Make a historical garment that was itself inspired by the fashions of another historical period. Up until the early 19th century, to the best of my knowledge (caveat: my pre 1660 fashion history is pretty weak, so I’m happy to be corrected here!) historicism in fashionable dress was predominantly focused on emulating and borrowing from ancient Greek and Rome.  I say fashionable dress, because regional styles in certain areas often used elements that went out of fashion in the main centres decades, if not centuries, before.  This isn’t historicism in its truest sense, because its a case of styles stagnating, rather than intentionally borrowing from the past. Depending on how you look at historicism, one exception to the reliance on ‘the ancients’ as an inspiration from the past is the robe de coer.  The robe de coer, based on Louis the Sun King’s favourite elements of female dress in his youth in the 1660s and 70s, was implemented as the required court dress in France in the late …

Sewing with a Singer 27 for the Fortnight in 1916 thedreamstress.com

Sewing in 1916

As part of my Fortnight in 1916 project, one of my goals was to make a garment using period techniques and my Singer 27 machine, just as a woman would have done in 1916. As you can see, I succeeded!  It was quite an interesting experience, and I did learn quite a bit about sewing in the period. For the blouse pattern, I took a pattern from an original 1914-16 blouse in my collection: When I purchased the original blouse it was unfinished – the vestee part in front was only loosely basted in, and there was no front fastenings.  I secured the vestee, and added hooks as a less invasive alternative to buttons and buttonholes. I’ve worn it once, as it’s extremely robust, and I really wanted to understand the fit. As my original was unfinished, it made it easy to study the construction.  I’ll do a full post on the original shortly, rather than focusing on that now, but will note two of the interesting clues that it did yield.  First,  it was made from a commercial pattern as …

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 …