All posts filed under: Sewing

Things I sew – historical and modern

A suffragist shirtwaist thedreamstress.com

A Suffragist Shirtwaist

In 2019 the New Zealand government bought the Kate Sheppard House to turn into a museum to tell the story of the suffrage movement in New Zealand. The new museum, in turn, asked me if I could make a garment to represent Sheppard and the suffrage movement!

A late 18th c bum rump

In my continued effort to not have this blog turn into one of those sites where the blogger starts a pattern line and never talks about anything but her patterns ever again, I present my latest totally-not-Scroop-related* historical sewing make: A 1780s bum rump! To make my bum rump I referred to: The tutorial in The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking; plus Demodé’s excellent post exploring late 18th century skirt supports; plus Extant images and mentions The American Duchess book has a great tutorial on making a 1780s bum rump, and I used it as my starting point. However, I have noticed it makes a slightly ‘corner-y’ bum, that pokes out in a square at the sides. It still looks amazing under anything with a full skirt, like an ‘Italian’ gown or a polonaise, but not so good if worn with a little jacket. To see if I could make a less poke-y shape, I consulted Kendra’s great blog post, which has been the inspiration for most of my 18th c skirt support …

A 'St Birgitta's Cap' thedreamstress.com

A St Birgitta’s Cap

There’s a slightly funny story to this post. I finished my St Birgitta’s cap back at the end of January, photographed it, and wrote most of my post. And then my Costume History students at Toi Whakaari picked their topics for their first research paper, and I remembered that I’d given them a picture of a St Birgitta’s cap as a research option – and it had been chosen. Ooops… So obviously I couldn’t publish a blog post (even a fairly lightweight one using only the most obvious basic internet references) about making a St Birgitta’s cap until the student had turned in their paper. But the paper was submitted this afternoon, so here’s the blog post! (and I haven’t read the paper yet, so I’m not cheating off it either…). I’d always put St Birgitta’s caps in the ‘too hard and time consuming’ basket, but then Hvitr made one and wore it to our 2019 Historical Sew & Eat Retreat. Now, Hvitr is infinitely more patient and precise than me, and makes notoriously crazy …