All posts filed under: Miscellenia

Rate the Oscars 2013

Every year for the Oscars instead of doing my usual ‘Rate the Dress’ post I turn the tables and give my rating of all the best and the worst of the Oscars fashions.  This year is no exception.  So you’ll have to wait one more week for the final rating on Mister Embellishment. As always, I’ll start with my favourite dress of the year.  I think you may be a bit surprised. Yes, Fan Bingbing, I have no idea who you are, and I’d never in a million years wear your dress, and technically by all my rules that is a hideous frock, but it was the perfect dress for you.  Right colour for you, right makeup, right hair, you’ve got the figure to pull off the ‘just shove a bunch of fabric on her, pin it wherever you can and call it good‘ school of haute couture, and something about your smile makes me think you have a sense of humour about the dress.  It’s so right, and so not boring, that it is …

Celebrating the common man (and what he and she wore)

Next fortnight’s challenge in the Historical Sew Fortnightly is Peasants and Pioneers.  It’s all about making clothes for the lower classes – the most common group, but also the ones whose clothes were the least documented, and the least likely to to have survived. I’ve got a serious soft spot for the clothing of the lower classes across almost all periods.  They may not be as bright or sparkly as the clothing of the upper classes, but they often managed a restraint and elegance that the fancier clothes of the wealthy and fashionable of certain periods (*cough* *cough* *Elizabethan*) were sorely lacking in.  Their practical nature quickly weeded out any cumbersome additions which made work difficult. I think my favourite peasant outfits and images are those from medieval manuscripts and Books of Hours from the 15th century.  The details are just so clear (look at the beautiful torn and ragged sleeves on the white tunic in the first image below), and the colours so vivid, though the clothes probably weren’t so bright in real life. …

The Historical Sew-Fortnightly – why 1938

People have been asking why the cutoff date for the Historical Sew Fortnightly is 1938, and I realised that while we discussed it in comments, and I’ve mentioned it in posts, I’ve never directly addressed why I picked 1938 as the cutoff date. The short answer is because it is 75 years ago, but that was really just a convenient bonus. The long answer is that I wanted to pick a date before which garments would really look distinctly different from what we wear today, and in which the sewing techniques used to make them would be distinctly different from modern sewing techniques.  I also really wanted to make myself sew historical garments for my work, not vintage-historical which I could wear in an everyday context. When I first conceived the idea of the Historical Sew Fortnightly I set the cuttoff date at pre-1920. The reasoning behind the 1920 cutoff was that anything after 1920 could easily be used in an everyday modern wardrobe, and I really did want this to focus on really historical stuff – …