All posts tagged: paisley

The 1913 paisley skirt

All last week Miss Felicity was helping me with my sewing: making a 1913 skirt for the HSF Paisley & Plaid challenge. We finished it last week Saturday, but my blouse wasn’t done and I couldn’t schedule time for a photoshoot.  I took some quick documentary shots on Isabella: For the Paisley & Plaid challenge I’d wanted to use an amazing paisley silk jacquard that I found at Fabric-a-brac a few months back, but I just couldn’t get my ideas to come together into the perfect design, and none of my wilder plaids were speaking to me either. Then, a few weeks before the challenge, I found an amazing paisley twill at The Fabric Warehouse in Wellington.  I loved the scattered woodblock inspired design, rather than the more common crowded, swirling Victorian paisley, and while orange isn’t usually a colour I gravitate towards, the dark blood-orange shade is really growing on me. For the pattern I used the little diagram of the ‘Side fastening skirt’ from Thornton’s International System, 1913 which is reproduced in Janet Arnold’s Patterns of …

Rate the Dress: 1860s paisley & swiss waists

There were a whole range of ratings on last week’s quite embellished stripey ca. 1880s frock, from “Want it now!” to “Ewwww….armpit ruffles.”  I’m very much in the LOVE.MUST.RECREATE.NOW camp, but I think if I did recreate it, I’d end up tweaking a lot of things just a tiny bit, so I can understand the final rating of 7.3 out of 10. I don’t know what the logic of this week’s dress is in relation to last week’s frock, except that I woke up today and thought “I’ll post that dress”. So here it is: Early 1860s.  Coral-y orange-y pink.  Paisley, ruffles, a swiss waist bodice, but all quite restrained. It has some slight display issues in the back, with an odd skirt fastening, and a poor replacement lace, but I’m sure you can overlook that and focus on the dress as it was meant to be worn. What do you think?  It’s a dress that could be either too simple, or too frilly, depending on how you look at it.  The colour is a …

The Raspberry Swirl at tea

I loved the chance to get the Raspberry Swirl out for the Afternoon Tea talk at Premier House.  It’s had so few proper outings, and I still can’t decide if the evening bodice is actually ‘finished’ or not. Does it need a bertha?  I’m beginning to think not.  As a cotton dress, an evening bodice is never going to be properly historical, and there are examples of plain evening bodices, sans berthas and much in the way of trimming, in the 1850s. So then all I really need to do is actually make the day bodice that was always meant to go with this skirt! Some of you may be wondering what a paisley evening gown has to do with afternoon tea.  It gave me a chance to talk about the continued links between England and India, and the cultural cross-pollination that characterised Victorian England. It also gave me a chance to talk about the re-thinking of manners and mores in the mid-19th century.  In the 1850s Queen Victoria attended official day events in evening …