Monday, December 19, 2016

A Busy December

With a plethora of events this December, I found myself without anything to wear, quite literally, since the majority of my 19th century wardrobe is on display in another state.  Despite the fact that wearing only a corset and chemise would cover as much as many modern party dresses, it did seem a bit outre.  
Having determined that wearing real clothing, to the Hartford Holiday Ball and also to Fezziwig's Ball in Salem, was my best option , it was time for a dress. 

After some delays, I was left with a week to get everything done, for Hartford I had it mostly wearable.  Continuing with the theme of full body coverage, as many accessories as seemed reasonable were worn, and then the unreasonable ones were put on top of that.

An 1830s dress...

With a silk taffeta bodice with velvet stripes...

 For Salem, the next week, I was able to finish the outfit fully, adding lace around the neck, drawstrings at the sleeves and finishing the satin under skirt.  And had a lovely time at the ball, so lovely that it is almost completely undocumented. But I do have pictures of...

A silk organza skirt and ruffle trimmed/bound with silk taffeta...and pretending to play the piano

Vintage lace and pattern matching..and the giant comb

Happy curls...and looking demure by the Christmas tree

The Challenge: Special Occasion 
Material: Silk taffeta for bodice, lined with cotton, silk organza, cotton satin, silk taffeta trim
Pattern: TV 1830s bodice with heavy redrafting, none for skirt and ruffle
Year: 1832-35
Notions: boning, vintage lace 
How historically accurate is it? 70%
Hours to complete: 40?
First worn: Hartford Holiday Ball, Fezziwig's Ball
Total cost: $50, probably
This past weekend we dropped by the Gibson House in Back Bay for their open house.  For which I wore a fantastically loud dress from the HSBM exhibit, also redecorated a hat with some teal velvet ribbon and gray moire. It also has streamers.

Merry Christmas,

Friday, June 24, 2016

An Exhibit

Hello eesome readers,

The past several months I have been working on an exhibit at the Howard Steamboat Museum in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

 The Museum was finished in 1893 and was the Howard family home, it is utterly stunning. The furnishings are original to the home, and are all beautiful, as is the woodwork which was made by the craftsmen from the shipyard, that was owned by the Howard's.

The exhibit spanned from 1875-1900.  I don't really have a lot to say, just that I was so glad for the opportunity and that a lot of growth occurred, as well as a crash course in time management, since I ended up with about a month and a half to make most of it.

c. 1885 Polonaise and Skirt , it is made of cotton calico and a cotton poplin, trimmed with cotton grosgrain.
It is drawn up on the sides with ribbon so that the poofs can be adjusted.
This is the 1890's dress from a few years ago, finally with a hem facing and finished armholes.
And a waistband.
c.1893 Tea gown, silk satin with a diagonal stripe, fully lined with silk, centre panel of soft china silk.
Trimmed with a lovely embossed cut velvet trim.
c.1894 Day Dress
This dress looks wrinkled in the photo but, it is not so in person. It is made from silk faille and silk noil. The skirt is lined with silk taffeta and trimmed with an antique silk schiffli trim, antique lace and rick-rack.
The dresses in the beautiful dining room, and they match the decor.

c.1880 Promenade Dress
This was a dress I had started a couple years ago, then finally I finished everything on it and made a matching polonaise.
It is made of a silk dupioni, trimmed with various passementerie trims and braiding, as well and antique lace, ribbon and buttons.

c.1890 Party Ensemble
It is made of a floral print cotton and a silk/cotton organza.
c.1885 Seaside Dress
The plaid silk/cotton blend formed the colour scheme of this dress, it is made of a plain black linen trimmed with bands of  ribbon, the drape is edged with a very pretty passementerie trim.
The dresses in the Library
c.1898 Walking Dress
This is made with a cotton with a raised plaid pattern, lined with cotton, trimmed with chenille, with vintage linen cuffs.
The dress on the left is one I don't have a good picture of.
c.1900, the skirt is of linen and the blouse is made of a chambray and trimmed with antique whitework.
By the time of the exhibit I had very little time to make a reception dress, 2 days, to be exact.  With some help hemming, it was finished, and I have to say I absolutely adore it. It is made of a silk blend trimmed with several rows of sef fabric pleating, as well as, vintage rayon/cotton moire, vintage lace and innumerable "silk" flowers.

Bye for now,

Monday, March 28, 2016

1837 Dress

The week before last I made a 1837 summer dress, it had been, lately, unusually warm and I assumed that the taking of pictures would be a pleasant, but only mildly chilly experience,  unfortunately instead of being somewhere around 60 degrees it was in fact 43. 
 In spite of the fact it was very cold, the 6 layers I was wearing did help quite a bit, though I was concerned my shoulders and nose were going to fall off. 
The dress is made from an indian block print which took arrived after an one month saga, courtesy of indiapost, but is one of the softest and sheerest cottons I have ever felt/seen.
It is worn with 4 plain and one corded petticoat, 1840s mitts, a vintage veil with silk cord and a straw hat, and 1830s/1870s bone earrings
So here are my red nosed pictures
Gazing out upon the beautiful mud flats of public garden, they had just groomed them. 
The willows showed their fighting spirit, however, with a little spring green.
There was rather a lot of wind
Wondering, is that screeching creature a mud soaked squirrel?

This looks sort of like a 1840s daguerreotype,
 particularly the odd facial expression which occurred when I could no longer feel my face.

Ruby Grace

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A 2-day Dress and Part of a Skating Outfit

              This past weekend I went to an 1890's weekend hosted by the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers.  We were to skate and dance, and it meant, of course, I would need something to wear for both.  I received the bodice patterns for Christmas, but our lives were just restarting after the holidays and so sewing was delayed. 

 A week ago I started my skating outfit, it was to be a navy wool skirt with, a plaid flannel blouse. I made the skirt, and began on the blouse.  There I was sewing away, I had made the body, yoke and 1 of the 5-piece sleeves.  I went to make my next sleeve,  I finished the entire annoying sleeve, held it up to the blouse to see how it would look...and realized I had made 2 right sleeves. 

Still rankles.  

So after some shrieking and wailing, I decided to make the ball gown(which I had decided against earlier in the week because I wouldn't have enough time) as a consolation prize. I had 2 days.  I made it out of some pale blue rayon/cotton? moire and a Spanish Chantilly lace panel. I made the under skirt of  2 quarter circles seamed front and back  and then cut out 5 gores/panels of  lace and hand seamed them, which took an incredibly long time.  Then it was time for the bodice, I made the under bodice with the blue moire and the put lace over that as well.
The ball took place at Pine Manor Collage.  It had lovely paneling.

The main staircase

The Back

 The next day we had skating at the Larz Anderson Museum.  I had made a cape, based off of a 1890's cape I had from Christmas.  Its made from curly lamb and lined with cotton sateen.  I didn't have a top, but had an adorable military jacket to wear.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

1630s Jacket and Skirt

                 Two weekends ago, I was invited to attend the Plymouth Thanksgiving day parade.  It was a glorious experience.  First, I got to get up at 5:45 a.m.  Then, I stumbled into my clothes, tragically, I forgot that: a. it was November and, b. that I had no real coat and would be by the ocean, thus the blanket.
We drove and, then waited in the freezing cold for 3hrs, then, for 3 more hours, with a cute, enormous hat I marched through billion mile an hour winds.  It was fun.
The dress was made in September for a lovely event by the Colonial Dames of America, which was so fun.  It is a 1630s ensamble, the jacket is patterned from one at the V&A, and hand embroidered with wool and cotton threads.  The skirt is wool, too.  The cap it made from linen, all hand sewn(yay).  So, pictures:
It's too early

Those, charming rosy cheeks, owe themselves to wind burn.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Join Us!

Photo courtesy of Commonwealth Vintage Dancers 
Join us, for a Tiara Tea!  We will have 1890's hairstyle tutorials for the ladies and, for the gents, neck-wear tutorials.  And then we shall have a lovely tea.  Register here: Tiara Tea

Civil War weekend

             This weekend my family and I went to a Civil war weekend by The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers at the Chelmsford Arts Center.  It was extremely fun, Saturday was dance lessons followed by a Ball and Sunday was a fabulous German Party.
I have no pictures of Sunday,  because when I tried on my lovely new evening bodice, I found out it didn't fit.  But, my day bodice fits wonderfully, so here are some pictures.

Photo courtesy of L.R Stern

Photo courtesy of L.R Stern

Photo courtesy of L.R Stern