All posts filed under: Miscellenia

Why my garments don’t always looked perfectly pressed

I’ve been asked why my historical garments don’t always look perfectly pressed in my photos. There are five reasons for this (what a lovely coincidence, it means this works perfectly as Five for Friday): First, my garments are made from fabrics that are as close to historically accurate as I can manage, which means they are made from natural fibres (silk, wool, cotton and linen), which don’t always press as crisply and smoothly and permanently as synthetic fabrics, nor stay as crisp and pressed.  This makes them look rumpled, but its also part of their charm, and part of what we value them for. Think of Princess Diana’s wedding dress, and how rumpled it looked as she got out of the carriage.  If the woman about to become the Princess of Wales can’t have a perfectly pressed, non-rumpled dress out of certain silk fabrics, it’s not possible. For an example of this, look at the photos that Mandi Lynn of A La Mode photography took for the Radio New Zealand photoshoot.  I spent hours ironing …

HSF Challenge #15: White

The Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #15 is our first colour challenge* for the year, and I’m easing you into it slowly, picking a colour that has lots of options for really easy makes (you can never have too many chemises…) and has appeared in every possible period. White has carried many connotations as a colour, from defining culture and social boundaries in Ancient Egypt (only foreigners and those connected to the afterlife wore colour), to denoting status (white was often an expensive colour to produce and maintain), to implying purity, or simply cleanliness. For this challenge ‘white’ is defined as anything in the white family – from brightest white, through to ivory and cream and all the shades between. Whether you make a simple chemise or an elaborate ballgown, your garment should be predominantly white, though it may have touches of other colours. Here are some of my favourite white garments, from the sublime to the ridiculous.  I’ve posted a lot of fabulously over the top garments, but, of course, little accessories and undergarments are …

Flora and Fauna inspiration

The Historical Sew Fortnightly ‘Flora and Fauna’ challenge fortnight starts on Tuesday, and I’m SO excited about it. I love using the natural world as inspiration: I’ve done it with the Juno Gown (melding Greek/Roman mythology and nature with the peacock motif) and with the Luna Moth gown, plus the Laurel Gown, which also used natural motifs and classical inspiration.  I also do it with not-so-historical garments, like Carolyn’s wedding gown, which borrowed from both butterflies and fish, and with Shell’s wedding dress, which borrowed from native New Zealand birds. There are so many different ways to interpret ‘Flora and Fauna’ – you can simply use fabrics that depict flora or fauna, or fabrics made from flora or fauna, or can add in flora and fauna based motif, or you could create a garment that is inspired by the aesthetic of a particular bit of flora or fauna.  The last bit brings to mind the yellow and black Regency dress that I posted a few months back that many people felt had been inspired by …