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Rate the dress: red, floral, and stripes in the 1890s

UPDATE: (hey, look!  She finally had time to tally the scores from last week)

So, last week most of you thought the embroidered mull Regency evening gown was the very epitome of Regency evening gowns, and your ratings depended on whether you thought that was a good thing or not.  Did epitome mean perfect example, or boringly typical example?  And do you even like Regency evening gowns in the first place?  Well, it appears you do, and while not perfect, it came in at 8.5 out of 10.


I know.  I’m running really late with this Rate the Dress.  I haven’t even tallied the votes for last week’s Regency yet.  I’ll get those up in a bit, but I want to at least get you a dress for now!  So here you go.

The last few Rate the Dresses have been pretty subdued colour-wise.  Time for something a little brighter, such as this printed dotted-swiss day-dress from the FIDM.

Day Gown Paris, France, c. 1897 P. Barroin, Designer Printed dotted Swiss, silk chiffon, silk taffeta & cotton braid, FIDM

There is a lot going on in this dress: patterning over dotted swiss, stripes over patterning, skirt and sleeves and blouson bodice.  Too much, or one harmonious whole?

Rate the Dress on a scale of 1 to 10 (and be sure to leave your comment on the post, not on the image, or it won’t get counted in the final tally of votes)

A romance of gloves

A long time ago, when I posted about the collective nouns for costuming I neglected to think of a collective noun for gloves.

Surely though, a collection of gloves must be a romance of gloves.

Is anything more romantic than a pair of vintage gloves?  Slightly worn and shaped to the hands of the wearer, redolent with the memories of the events they were worn to, the hands that held them as they whirled round the room in a dance, the personages they met and shook gloves with, the memorable moments that accrued the slight stains and soil marks.

A fan is a wonderful, beautiful thing, but a glove…ah…a glove was worn next to the skin, and touched the skin of others.  It felt and caressed and gripped and saw everything.  A glove is a personality.

The wonderful, fabulous Elise, of all those gorgeous vintage dresses and capes, found another beautiful collection to send me: her great-grandmothers gloves.  She suggested I might want to cut them up, but I only do that to very damaged, soiled, missing-their-partners storyless gloves.   These gloves are staying as a collection: an evocation of one woman’s life.  A story.

From left: long white kid gloves (unworn), well worn mid-length kid gloves, plain white kid gloves, embroidered white kid gloves, bright red kid, brown suede & kid, black kid

Glove stretchers? Or display stands? Love them!

Heart shaped thumb joins

The box the gloves came in - another chapter

Lacy kid


The Glovers Guild. Wonder if it is still in existence?

Early 1930s Patterns, part I of III – the Excella Patterns

I’m lucky enough to own a couple dozen early 1930s (possibly even late 1920s in some cases) patterns, most by Excella.  I thought I would put my pattern collection up for other people to use as reference and inspiration.  This is 1/3 of the 30s collection.  The others will be coming soon.

I was given these patterns in the condition they are in now – with the vintage envelopes adhered to new Manila envelopes.  It’s lovely and practical, but without the guilt of having altered the original pattern envelopes myself!

Someday I’ll get around to putting these up on the Vintage Pattern Wiki (no, please don’t do it for me!)



I’ve never figured out how I feel about the circular skirt join on this one:


This is the pattern responsible for the Frumpy Dress, and the Summertime Southerly dress.  It is also where I think the patterns transition from 1920s to 1930s.


And this is the pattern responsible for the Red Lips Kiss My Blue Away frock, which started out without the hip flounces as the Little Bit of Red dress, but got remade with them and now shows E3137 in all its crazy early 1930s glory.

Excella E3137 ca. 1930 frock

The next pattern may be too much crazy early 1930s glory even for me – but you never know!


I think this one is so chic:



I’ve helped a friend make this up, and her version looks gorgeous: