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Dress of green changeable silk, 1840s, sold at Augusta Auctions in the Tasha Tudor Historic Costume Collection Sale, Nov 2007

Rate the Dress: Vivid green 1840s

It’s that time again: our weekly look at an example of historical fashion, where we discuss its aesthetic merits within the context of its time.

Last week’s discussion around a gold lace 1920s dress got very…weird.  Comments mainly centred (ha ha) around how the hip-level centre-front blue-silk bow would have been perceived in the 1920s.  Was it completely innocent, or a very risqué fig leaf?  (I’m on team ‘innocent within the context of its time’.  After all, we live in a time where you can put a vertical seam with ruching right under a woman’s bottom, specifically to highlight said bottom, on a wedding dress, and no-one makes comments about poop!).

Fig-leaf analogies I expected, but then Daniel said it made him think of something utterly repulsive – so naturally my Rate-the-Dress reading friend group has been wracking our combined and considerable imaginations for the last week to figure out what it might be (we’ve kept the discussion off the blog, in the interests of good taste), and we’ve come up completely blank (thank goodness?  Innocence may be bliss in this case!).

So, with divided opinions on the bow placement and the shoulder ornamentation, but a predominant approval of the attractiveness of the lace and colours (with a few noteworthy exceptions), the dress managed a round 7 out of 10.  We had a string of 8.5 and aboves for a while, but the last few have been striking out!

For this week’s choice I’ve picked up the vivid hues of last week’s dress, and carried them through in a very bright green changeable silk gown from the 1840s

Like much of 1840s fashion for women, this example features an elaborately embellished bodice and sleeves balanced by a fairly simple bell-shaped skirt.  The only skirt ornamentation is symmetrical lines of rosette bows which frame the centre front, with one set of bows almost hidden in the deep skirt fold facing the camera.

I find this a very interesting example of 1840s fashion both for the bold hue, and for the fascinating sleeve decorations with their combinations of ruffles, lacing, and tassels:

The lower sleeve lacing looks practical in terms of allowing a very slim lower sleeve fit, and not at all practical in terms of having heavy hanging tassels swinging around your hands as you moved them.  This is clearly a dress for a woman of leisure making a statement.

There is an interesting line running down the side back which hints at a seam, and perhaps piecing, despite all other aspects of the dress indicating a lavish use of fabric.

What do you think?  As an example of 1840s historical fashion for women, does this dress lift your spirits, or leave you feeling a bit green and queasy?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

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Spring Flowers 2017 thedreamstress.com

Spring flowers 2017

I absolute love spring flowers.  Tulips and freesias and bluebells and irises almost make going through winter worth it.  Every year I plant dozens of bulbs, so I will have something to watch over and look forward to all winter long.

I get very excited about the first blossoms, and enjoy making colour-themed arrangements around the house when the full flush arrives, with purple and yellow sprays in my sewing room, russet tones in the entry, vivid reds and oranges in the lounge, and pinks and darkest burgundies in the bathroom.

My mother also loves spring bulbs, but she hasn’t gotten to enjoy them in years, as they won’t grow in Hawaii.  I was talking to her last week, and saying how much I wished I could send her some of my flowers, and she was saying how much she wished she could send me some fruit from the farm in Hawaii (mangoes and rambutans, delicious!).  She suggested that at least we could send each other flowers: it’s not quite the same thing, but both fruit and flowers are very photogenic!

So, just for my mother, here are some of the photographs I took of my spring flower crop this year.

These stripey purple freesias were my favourites of this years freesia crop, and I want to find more of this variety next year:

Spring Flowers 2017 thedreamstress.com

Spring Flowers 2017 thedreamstress.com

Spring Flowers 2017 thedreamstress.com

Spring Flowers 2017 thedreamstress.com

This is the arrangement that has greeted visitors in my entry for the last two weeks. I’ve had tons of these rust & gold freesias, so I just change them out as they fade.

Spring Flowers 2017 thedreamstress.com

The framed picture behind them is a Baha’i quote:

My home is the home of peace.
My home is the home of joy and delight.
My home is the home of laughter and exultation.
Whosoever enters through the portals of this home, must go out with gladsome heart.

~ `Abdu’l-Bahá

Spring Flowers 2017 thedreamstress.com

Spring Flowers 2017 thedreamstress.com

Spring Flowers 2017 thedreamstress.com

Spring Flowers 2017 thedreamstress.com

Spring Flowers 2017 thedreamstress.com

Spring flowers are so beautiful I even find them attractive as they are dying.

Spring Flowers 2017 thedreamstress.com

Hope you all enjoyed these!

Scroop Patterns Giveaway www.scrooppatterns.com

Scroop Patterns – giveaway time!

Giveaway time! I’ve hit 1,000 followers on my @thedreamstress account on Instagram, and I hit 5,000 followers on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/thedreamstress/ ) a few days ago.

www.ScroopPatterns.com

To celebrate, I’m giving away TWO Scroop Patterns: one through Instagram on my @scrooppatterns account, and one on Facebook in the Scroop Patterns Sewing Group. You can enter both giveaways.

To enter on Instagram: Follow @scrooppatterns, and leave a comment with the Scroop Pattern you’d like to win (i.e. The Fantail Modern, Fantail Historical, Henrietta Maria Dress & Top, Miramar Dress Top & Tunic, etc. etc.) on the giveaway photo on that account.

To enter on Facebook: Join the Scroop Patterns FB Group ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/scrooppatterns/ ), and leave a comment on the photo there with a link to the Scroop Pattern you’d like to win.

Winners for both giveaways will be chosen by random draw in one week’s time.

Good luck and happy sewing!

Scroop Patterns Giveaway www.scrooppatterns.com

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