I was planning to do inspiration posts for each Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge in the fortnight running up to the challenge, but I realise that defeats the whole purpose of posting the challenges weeks ahead and giving people time to plan for the challenge. Instead I’ve decided to do inspiration posts when I announce the next challenge (a full 16 weeks ahead). Of course, first I have to catch up on all the challenges that are already up!
So, over the next few weeks expect lots of pretty, pretty historical eye candy inspiration posts.
Today I’m starting with some gorgeous stripes to get you inspired for the upcoming Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge: Stripes (#6), mostly because I already had the post written!
I think the important thing to remember about the Stripes challenge is that there are many ways to interpret stripes. Some people have bowed out of the challenge because they don’t like stripes, but I think that’s just silly. Stripes don’t need to be bold, big, black and white stripes. They can be as subtle as the tiny self-striped silk in the sleeves and bodice of my 1813 Kashmiri dress, as simple as a striped ’20s Chanel sailor top. They can be created with striped fabric, or by applying trim to create a striped effect.
The ancient Egyptians may not have gone in for patterned fabric, but their neighbors did. This mural shows Caananites in brightly patterned, including striped, tunics bringing tribute to Egypt.
Skipping ahead a millennia, Parmigianino’s rosy cheeked young woman has both a fascinating striped headdress and what I think is a striped partlet -gorgeous and exotic.
Now, how about some fabulous 17th century stripes going every-which way (and isn’t her dog just darling?)?
Or some sweet fancy dress stripes from the early 18th century?
Rococo stripes are often paired with flowers arranged in the classic serpentine line, lending them an air of femininity and frivolity:
At the end of the 18th century the serpentine line of rococo gave way to the stripes and white severity of Neoclassicism – this charming jacket is a midpoint between the two:
Another version of the Neoclassical stripe is seen on this late 18th century fashionista:
Of course, not every striped item has to be a full frock. This bonnet with its trim stripes is just adorable:
Neoclassical stripes were soften with lace and trimmings as the 19th century progressed, but they are still quite bold and severe and striking in this frock:
I love the use of horizontal stripes in the mid-19th century. It really emphasizes the width of the hoopskirts.
And look how beautiful the arrangement of stripes on this bodice is:
The Victorians knew how to do stripes, using them to full effect in 1880s bustles. This frock manages to be both striking and subtle in its use of stripes:
If that’s a little too subtle for you, perhaps this one is bold enough:
For something a bit simpler, this teens jacket could easily be used in modern life, and the lavender dress cleverly creates its own stripes through the use of trim:
These 20s swimsuits use very modern and restrained stripes – the tops could be worn as simple singlets today.
What’s not to love about Hattie Carnegie’s amazing use of stripes in this ’30s ensemble. Tres chic!
Finally, something from the very last year of eligibility. These sandals are just fabulous, and I think they could be replicated with strips of suede and a pair of modern sandals with the right heel.
If that wasn’t enough striped inspiration for you, I have a whole pinterest page of striped loveliness to spark your imagination (just remember that the post 1938 stuff is not eligible for the HSF).