Friday, November 17, 2017

A Little 1880's Bonnet


Oh, bonnets. So frilly, so silly. I love looking at them. I don't really love wearing them. They're just so frivolous. They don't keep your head warm, they don't shade you from the sun... But I kind of fell in love with the idea of a flowery bonnet for this outfit. 


Friday, November 10, 2017

Fun with Carmen Miranda!


I, yi, yi, yi, yi, I like this verrrry much! Haha ok so this was really fun to wear. Sooo completely different than what I usually do!

I actually prepared most of it for a party last year, that we didn't end up going to. So this October, I pulled it out, added a couple more details and I was good to go! I wore it to a party we go to at the lake's marina. A lot of people really go all out for it, so it's been a fun event. 

Here's Carmen in all her feathery, decked out glory! I love her!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Black Sateen 1880's Corset


What does every good outfit need? Good undies! And while I didn't have time to make 1880's white frillies, I did prioritize time to make a more era appropriate corset. For a long time, all I had for anything Victorian was my not-quite-1860's corset. And oh boy, looking back, the off silhouette really does show. My goal for this corset was a better shape. A rounder, lower bust. Also, better fabric.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The 1885 V&A Dress: Construction


This was a very fun, relatively quick dress to put together. I challenged myself to complete it as quickly as possible, without sacrificing trying to be as period correct as possible, to my current knowledge of the period. This meant not overthinking, over-measuring, over-pinning, over-seam-finishing... And guess what? It looked just fine!

It was actually quite difficult trying to remember how 1880's gown construction went, since I've spent the last couple years in the early 1900's. Inadvertently, I think the inside might be kind of a Victorian/Edwardian mashup, so if something looks weird in there, sorry! I wasn't double checking every technique.

The skirt started as Truly Victorian's Four Gore underskirt, and the bodice as Truly Victorian's Cuirass Bodice. I draped and altered from there to match the original as close as I could, with the amount of yardage I had. I didn't have quite enough fabric, so I had to get crafty. One great way to conserve fabric was using plain muslin for parts of the underskirt that wouldn't show. Another way was to make very shallow pleats in the ruffles.

An 1880's Dress for a Halloween Outing


Last month, my husband and I were driving home from California and stopped for lunch at Calico Ghost Town. Turns out it was Calico Days. We were so bummed we missed out on the opportunity to dress for it.

Well, we heard they were having a Halloween event so we decided to go up for it. We wanted to go 1880's, which is when the original town was from. Never mind that it was just a Halloween thing. Any excuse to play dress up! So I was like, oh this will be easy, I already have a couple 1880's dresses. Cool. 

Not cool. 

Nothing fit. Like, at all. Like how was I ever that small?! 

But it was ok, because it gave me the perfect opportunity to create something that's been on my to-do list for a while: this 1885 printed cotton dress that's been on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum for years. I took the below pics on one of my last trips, but click here for the Museum's link to the dress's page.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Mary Ellen's Swim Suit: A Look at a 1940's Original


When I venture into a new era, if possible, I like to find an original garment that I can add to my collection, study, and love. I thought the name made this swim suit especially fun! 

I'm not sure if this was a bought or home-made suit. The somewhat sloppy nature of the stitches suggests home-made, but the overcasting on the seams leads me to question this. Any ideas? 

Either way, I'm loving that stripe matching in on the skirt!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A 1940's Bathing Suit


I have always thought 1940's swim suits are just the cutest! I finally used a trip to the beach as an excuse to make one. 

I vacillated over what fabric to use, as the 40's are out of my regular purview. I looked into stretchy blends. I looked into rayons. I looked into wools... And by the time I spent all this time hemming and hawing over fabrics, it was going to be too late to order anything in time. So, I settled on some cute checked linen I'd had in the stash for ages. Time to use it!