All posts tagged: 1890s

Rate the Dress: Emily Warren Roebling is presented at court, three ways

I’m running a bit late, so I haven’t tallied the totals for last week yet, but I’ll get to those shortly. For this week’s Rate the Dress I present someone who is undeniable awesome: Emily Warren Roebling.  Emily is famous as the Chief Engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge.  Her father in law started the bridge, but when he died her husband took it over.  He became extremely ill with decompression sickness, Emily looked at the bridge and though ‘yep, I can do this.’  For the next fourteen years, Emily oversaw every aspect of the bridge’s construction, from calculating the curves needed, to testing the materials used, to liaising with everyone from the workers to the politicians. When the bridge was finally finished, Emily didn’t rest on her laurels: instead she helped with relief efforts during the Spanish American War, helped organise a World’s Fair, travelled extensively, and got a law degree from New York University (while she was in her 50s or 60s).  As you do. Undeniably awesome! From a Rate the Dress awesome perspective, …

Rate the Dress: Charles Worth in 1897

Last week I showed you a striped 1860s number, and pointed out that the stripes weren’t aligned as we would expect them to be.  Oh foolish me!  Having had it pointed out, you all obsessed about the stripe placement, and were rather harsh on the poor gown (I know there was a tiny mis-match as well, but other than that, I actually though the unusual stripe action on the chevrons made the gown far more interesting and dynamic than a ‘normal’ stripe placement).  Beyond the stripes, some of you decried it as quite dull and blah.  Poor frock!  Some did love it though so it managed a 7.4 out of 10. I’m quite obsessed with the late 1890s at the moment: the stiff, A-line skirts, the focus on menswear inspired tailoring, the pleating, the peculiar puffed sleeves. This House of Worth evening gown from ca. 1897 is the perfect summation of the whole look.  The skirt, with its heavy folds and widening gores.  The juxtaposition of the über-feminine pink floral warp-patterned silk with a strong, tailored …

An 1890s corset

There are historical costumers who like making corsets, and there are those who don’t.  I am definitely in the ‘likes making corsets’ group. I love making corsets – I love the fitting, I love the precision, I love the scope for playing with really lux fabrics that you couldn’t afford for a full garment.  I love that they don’t have sleeves, and I love that even the fanciest corset is usually pretty minimalist – the trim on finished garments is really where I get bogged down.  Most of all, I love them for what they do to your overall look.  A corset is a foundation garment; it is the foundation to your outfit.  Without the right corset, your outfit just won’t look right. I’ve made many corsets over the years, mostly from my tried and true personal corset pattern, which does 1870s-1890s well.  However, I always love trying new patterns, and there is one pattern I’ve long meant to try.  Well, not one pattern, one specific style of corset.  There are a whole swathe of …