April 23, 2018

Brown Gingham 1940s Dress

This is one of those dresses that *really* didn't turn out how I planned. I based it off a Pinterest photo from the 1940s of this really cute dress with a wide bias cut waistband and pleated skirt...which you can tell it didn't really end up with;)

The biggest problem was that I didn't have enough fabric--I had 1 1/4 yards of 45" fabric, which, for the record, isn't enough to make a 1940s dress with a bias cut waistband and a pleated skirt. I had the cut the skirt a-line, and then when I tried to add the waistband....haha...it really didn't work. So, I ditched that idea, and just added the skirt to the blouse and...that didn't really work either. There were several problems, such as the skirt being too tight, and me forgetting to face the top, so the buttons were all strange, and the fact that I didn't have enough fabric to make a decent belt...just saying. I didn't do anything to fix the dress, just hated it while it hung in the closet, until I pulled it out last week and put this sweater on top and fell in love with it. 

I think the deal is I love the fabric and the skirt but not the dress so the sweater covers up all the dress except for the skirt which turned out okay...so it works:)

The dress buttons down the front with fabric covered buttons made to match the belt. When I was making this, I couldn't decide if there should be a brown collar, a white collar, or no collar. Each time I wore it I chose a different one and it was pretty funny when people were saying, "wait I thought that dress had a brown collar..." haha. 

I also added this little bias cut pocket which is too small to hold really anything, but it's really cute and I love the interplay of the grain lines here. The sleeves are also cut on the bias, but you can't see them here. 

Wearing my favorite ever shoes again, my RV Peggy Spectators:) 

My hat and necklace are both vintage: the hat is from the 1940s, but I don't know when the necklace is from. 

What I really love about this outfit is how it doesn't *quite* match: I mean, brown and black and navy and white and cream and turquoise? But all those colors interplay into something quite pleasing, and it feels like a *real* outfit from the 1940s that a lady would just put on to go to town, not 100% caring if it really matched or not. 

It also is a very elegant-feeling, yet comfortable outfit, something I really like:) 

Do you think that ferry is going to be around anytime soon? 

Thanks for reading! 

Photos by my sister:) 

April 21, 2018

1940s Cranberry Dress

So, I have this thing with the 1940s right now...you could call it a love, or an infatuation...or a complete obsession...but whatever you want to call it, it consists of looking at 1940s Pinterest results and dreaming over everything, wearing 1940s fashion whenever it's warm enough, and day dreaming constantly about the decade.

I made this dress about a year and a half ago, and I've worn it quite a lot, it's one of my favorites, but I've never gotten out to take pictures of it until just today.


It's made of some sort of cotton/poly blend in a cranberry red color, not the best fabric type, but the lovely color makes up for it, and I don't really care as long as it's cute:) I used Simplicity 1587 for the base, but I added different sleeves and changed up the skirt. I wasn't the biggest fan of the gathers on the front of the skirt, and I wanted long sleeves for a winter dress, and I'm super happy with the results! 

I love the neckline detailing on this dress, and I'm sure I'll be using this pattern again in the near future. I'd like to try it in a more drapey fabric next time. This fabric works okay, but I feel like it kinda sticks out in strange places...not exactly what I'm going for. 

The back has a keyhole closure that was perfect for one of these cool vintage buttons in my collection, and I even had enough for the sleeves as well! They make me happy:)

As for my accessories...I always feel like a lot of my historical stuff looks pretty plain, but for some reason, when it comes to 1940s, I have no problem finding things to accessorize with! My coat and scarf are both modern, but have a good vintage look to them, and I love them both so they work, even if that scarf print isn't exactly accurate. 

My hat is one of my favorite things I ever bought...it's a vintage 1940s beret with pearls I found in an antique shop, and it's been a favorite ever since! It seems like it matches pretty much every 1940s outfit I have, so you'll be seeing it a lot on here I'm sure. 

My shoes are my wonderful "Peggy" Spectator Heels from Royal Vintage: I love them so much! Well actually, I just love shoes too much, but these are especially great. They're so cute, and comfortable, and match everything! 

Me, wishing that boat going past on the river was mine. 

And one more picture, just because I love how this one turned out: 

Thanks for reading! 

Photos by my sister:) 

October 7, 2017

1863 Plaid Day Dress

Hello Everyone!

I'm delighted to share with you this creation of many years, my *first* Civil War Dress! For as long as I can remember, I have loved and admired the beautiful gowns of the 1860s, but it has taken me until this September to get it fully finished.

I started it about two years ago. I made a chemise, a corset, drawers, and the dress. The biggest problem that I didn't have a hoop skirt...and since I've always wanted one, I decided that this summer was the time to make one!

This isn't a post about my undergarments, so I won't get into to much detail about the corset and hoop skirt and petticoats. But I just have to mention my hoop skirt, because I love it so much! If I was a woman who lived in that day, I would see it as something "liberating", since it frees you from all those layers of petticoats and is so much cooler for summer and indoor events. I made the hoop skirt this September. After searching around on the internet for the cheapest option, I finally decided to draft my own hoop. I ended up making the entire thing for about $45 dollars, which I think is a pretty good deal! The circumference of the bottom hoop ended up to be about 120", though the finished product may have grown a little.

So, now, onto the dress...

I used the Laughing Moon 1860's Dress Pattern. The pattern went together really well. It fit almost prefect, and I hardly had to make any adjustments to the pattern. I originally made the dress with the pagoda sleeve option, but after doing some more research and looking at more period pictures, I decided that the pagoda sleeves needed to go. There were also some other adjustments that needed to be made. 

So this summer, I "re-made" the dress, almost from the beginning. I took off the sleeves and the skirt, then fit the bodice a little better. Before, it had been slightly crooked and the binding fit very strangely. Once the bodice was finished, I re-pleated the skirt, this time with a dog-leg closure, sort of complicated, but pretty common in these mid-victorian gowns. 

The skirt is fitted to the waistband in three different ways. The back has cartridge pleats, the sides are two big box pleats, and the front is knife pleated. I love the way how these pleats all flow out over the hoops.

Cartridge pleats just make me so happy:) 

The sleeves are probably my favorite part of the finished dress! I based them off of several pictures I'd seen, and I'm totally in love with them! For the sleeves, I just drafted them on the bias, and sewed them until the fit. The puffs were made by following the tutorial on Romantic History, and they turned out great! The cuffs are just basted on, and I based them off a period photograph. 

Every material I used in making this dress is from Hobby Lobby, I think. The fabric is some blue and tan small plaid that I have always admired. The dress is entirely flatlined with plain cream cotton, which makes it sit really nice, but also makes it really hot. Especially when its 75 degrees in full sun...:) But anyway...

Even though a lot of people think that clothes from this time were really restricting and hard to live in, I've found that I can function pretty well in them! In the afternoon that we took these pictures, I went walking for a mile in the corset and hoop skirt, and went walking through corn fields! And it was all comfortable and easy. 

Fall leaves and civil war dresses...two of my favorite things. Especially when they're together:) 

Photos by my sister. 

August 16, 2017

My Blue Regency Dress -- 1801

This has got to be one of my favorite projects ever. The lovely blue linen, the big knife pleats, the white ruffles, and that blue linen scarf just make me so happy. So much fun to wear!

I made this 1801 blue regency dress about two months ago. It's entirely hand sewn, except for one tiny seam in the lining that doesn't even serve any purpose. So, yes, it's hand sewn. I'm wearing it over my 1860's chemise and drawers, and my regency bodiced petticoat. I love how this project turned out. It's also hand sewn, and there's cording and tucks around the hem. So cute! There's an excellent tutorial on how to make a bodiced petticoat here. The light blue linen scarf is a modern scarf that I threw on last minute, and I'm so glad I did!

The fabric is a rayon/linen blend from Joann's that I bought years ago. I know it's not an overly accurate color for linen in the 18th century, but it's cute. It started out as a rather ill-fitting 1780's dress. It was quite plain and needed a lot of improvements, but I wore it all the time just the same. Earlier this year, I saw a turquoise regency dress on a book cover and I decided I needed one too. I had just enough fabric to remake the 1780's dress into a 1801 dress and I'm very happy with the result. 


I used period techniques whenever I could on this dress. The bodice lining is constructed first, and then the linen is topstitched onto it.  I know this is maybe more of a 18th century technique, but since this is a early 19th century dress, I figured it would work. 

This dress is a bib front gown, which means the front panel is pinned into place after fastening the ties on the bodice underneath. Some dresses fasten with buttons, but I chose to used pins because it's so adjustable. 

This skirt is pleated and unlined. I wanted a very loose look to the pleats, so I think there's one 4" box pleat in the back, and 1 1/2" - 2" knife pleats all the way around. This skirt is just rectangle panels, not shaped like a lot of other regency dresses are. It's also a little wider in the skirt, but it still has the narrower silhouette of that era. 

This outfit feels like something straight out of Sense and Sensibility! Out for a walk in the English countryside... I feel like it's something that someone could have really worn back in the early 19th century, not just a costume. I think I could live in clothes like these. 

These two look very Grecian to me. Or Roman;) I guess it's the scarf and the hair ribbon...
The Regency Era was very much inspired by classical architecture and fashion, so I like how these pictures turned out. 

Photos by my mom :)