All posts tagged: Historical Sew-Fortnightly

A 1914 Cobwebs evening gown, thedreamstress.com

My CoCo evening dress 2016: A ‘Cobweb’ evening gown of 1914-15

While it was tempting to just wear old things for Costume College, and not stress about making new items, it was also tempting to try to make all the things.  I compromised by only making one new gown: a 1914-15 evening gown for the Gala Ball. I couldn’t really not make this gown.  I have an amazing 1910s metallic lace with a spiderweb and roses pattern* that I wore as my wedding veil, and it’s been sitting in my stash ever since, waiting for the perfect opportunity to be made into a dress.  With the theme of the Gala being ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’, using it for a cobweb fairy dress was practically mandatory! 1914-15 was also a shoe-in for a time period.  The mid-1910s (1914-19) is pretty much my all-time favourite era, and, having done the Fortnight in 1916 project, a dress of that era seemed more than appropriate.  Rather than making a 1916 gown, I decided that something summer-before-the-war, or from the first months of the war, when fancy going-away balls were still the …

The 1924 Hula Goddess dress

After a bit of modification to my design idea, and some hemming-while-wearing the dress fun, my 1920s green dress is done. I’d originally planned to make the dress entirely out of the amazing green silk, but it was a little overwhelming en-masse and I ended up breaking it up slightly with a shoulder strap and sash of gilt linen (the same stuff I made my silver stays out of, only gilt gold not silver) The design was mostly based on a process of basting things and draping until things looked good.  The dress ended up looking like a lot of frocks and sketches from 1923-24: very low waistline, low calf length, asymmetrical draping, low straight-or-asymmetrical neckline. I’m calling it the Hula Goddess dress, because I spent a lot of time dancing around the house in it after my post on hula dancing, and the draping is both very pa’u/sarong/lavalava-y, and rather Grecian.  I feel like it’s exactly the dress that a 1920s Hollywood starlet would have worn to a fancy party in Honolulu. A rather …

The Chocolate & Roses 1930s capelet

A long, long time ago, Maryanne mentioned that no-one ever made her wearable items as gifts.  Now, as a rule, I never make anyone wearable items as gifts (with the notable exception of the occasional wedding dress and stuff for my mother), but Maryanne is pretty special, and I thought it was high time someone did. So, a long time ago (confession: this project was meant to be done for Flora & Fauna) I had a voucher for fabric from The Fabric Store, and they had just gotten some luscious silk velvets in, and I offered to make Maryanne a version of my 1930s Capelet in the silk velvet of her choice.  She chose a glorious chocolate brown.  Thich was quite fun for me, as I love chocolate brown but it really doesn’t love me.   I offered to supply the lining as well, but she already had a beautiful silk dupion embroidered with Poiret roses in her stash that she wanted me to use, and no wonder: it’s AMAZING. So I started making the …