Corsets, crinolines & kitty cats

How to tell if you have awesome friends:

If they stop by your house on the weekend for a cup of tea and you say “Oh, I was just about to climb into a chemise and corset, any chance you’d be willing to take some photos of me?” and they spend over an hour helping to lace you into a corset and directing poses and snapping photos:

1880s corset & chemise thedreamstress.com

The resulting photos are evidence of how truly fabulous Emily of Ever So Scrumptious is!  I hope she had as much fun as I did helping me document me wearing my 1860s chemise (finally!) and new stockings and drawers, and red elliptical crinoline (even more finally!), and paisley petticoat (also finally).

We got some lovely atmospheric, romantic period stuff:

1880s corset & chemise thedreamstress.com

And some adorable stuff with Felicity (because how could you possibly pass up the chance to pose with Felicity?):

1860s elliptical crinoline thedreamstress.com

And some fun stuff with me being silly (this is me immediately after saying “I don’t know what to do with my hands!  I feel they should be doing something!  Should I just throw them out?):

1860s elliptical crinoline thedreamstress.com

Or just showing off all views of the garment (note to self – I need to add one more band of wire to this hoopskirt, and re-arrange the wires so they form a smoother bell:

1860s elliptical crinoline thedreamstress.com

Felicity objected to posing (she only likes to be gorgeous on her own terms, thank you very much), so I got her involved by playing button soccer with her on the bureau chest:

1860s paisley petticoat thedreamstress.com

 

We had to end that game when she decided to ‘win’ by trying to eat the ball.  I guess that’s better than trying to eat the other players, but still not ideal!

1860s paisley petticoat thedreamstress.com

 

I was so distraught and overwhelmed at the thought of sports cannibalism that I had to swoon:

1860s paisley petticoat thedreamstress.com

 

Most gracefully and elegantly of course ;-)

1860s paisley petticoat thedreamstress.com

I soon recovered, and found a much more effective and satisfying (and safe!) way to tempt Felicity to be part of the photoshoot.

1860s paisley petticoat thedreamstress.com

 

String!

1860s paisley petticoat (& Felicity the cat) thedreamstress.com

 

Many, many thanks Emily!

(and on the subject of awesome friends, Joie de Vivre has written the sweetest post about all of us,: D’awww!)

And the theme for Challenge #22 is…

After lots and lots of voting on your part, and lots and lots of vote-counting on my part, and lots of over-seeing from Felicity, who appointed herself auditor of the votes and protector of the score sheet, we have a result!

Felicity the cat thedreamstress.com

 

The theme for Challenge #22 (due Mon 1 Dec) is….

(no drumroll, you’ll wake the cat up from her nap!)

 

Option #1: GentlemenMake a garment for a historical gentleman, or a period garment inspired by men’s fashions!

Gentlemen very narrowly beat out its closest competitor, Heirlooms & Heritage, which was followed in popularity by The Great Indoors, and then Stashbusting.

Thank you to all of you who voted, and to everyone who suggested a theme!

Rate the Dress: 1940s stripes

Last week I showed a Regency dress that was radical in its simplicity, and use of luxurious fabric.  What you really noticed though, was how radically low the neckline was!

This week’s Rate the Dress features a more covered-up plunging neckline.  It aims for sexy and sophisticated, without a lot of skin.

Dinner dress of ribbed navy, green & yellow striped silk, Patullo-Jo Copeland, 1940s, sold by Augusta Auctions

Dinner dress of ribbed navy, green & yellow striped silk, Patullo-Jo Copeland, 1940s, sold by Augusta Auctions

Dinner dress of ribbed navy, green & yellow striped silk, Patullo-Jo Copeland, 1940s, sold by Augusta Auctions

Dinner dress of ribbed navy, green & yellow striped silk, Patullo-Jo Copeland, 1940s, sold by Augusta Auctions

Dinner dress of ribbed navy, green & yellow striped silk, Patullo-Jo Copeland, 1940s, sold by Augusta Auctions

Dinner dress of ribbed navy, green & yellow striped silk, Patullo-Jo Copeland, 1940s, sold by Augusta Auctions

Striped frocks have a surprisingly rocky record on Rate the Dress, frequently coming under fire for the placement or mis-alignment of stripes.  How will this one do?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.

Cheers, Leimomi

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Meet the Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes is the Dreamstress, a textile historian, seamstress, designer, speaker and museum professional. Leimomi is available for educational and entertaining presentations, textile and fashion advice, special commissions and events. Click to learn more

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