Plus Feathers!

I wanted my next post to be patterns, but I’m so excited about my new 1910s – early 20s hat, I had to share it. I added feathers, because frufru is awesome. I found the feathers already attached together in some sort of flower arrangement feather-duster-like pouf at a craft store – the closest I’m going to come to one of those awful Victorian let’s-just-stick-half-a-dead-bird-here decorations.

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The feathers are brown, dark with peacock iridescence, and there are a few very skinny tan ones at the back. I love how they look against the navy velvet.

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This hat is my entry for the Historic Sew Fortnightly’s Challenge #2, Blue.

The original I based mine on, from LACMA.

The original I based mine on, from LACMA.

See my original blog post about sewing this hat here.


Patterns, anybody?

I have handfuls of patterns that I’ve taken from originals, or adapted from originals. I’m thinking of posting a handful of them.
Very soonish, I’m posting an adapted mid-18th century small cap pattern, a ca. 1900 corset cover pattern (about a dress size 4), and 1930/40s high or low spats pattern.
Here’s why I’m writing this particular post. I also have a ca. 19-teens silk jacket in a loose-fitting dress size 0-2, and my own 1920s feed sack dress pattern from this original dress, which is about a dress size 6-8. I also have a size 2-4 way-too-many-gores skirt pattern from the 1900s. These patterns will take a little more work to get online, especially the skirt. Would anybody like to try them? They’ll be formatted as images to download – measured drawings on graph paper, with instructions and a link to a page of detailed images of the originals (except for the cap) Let me know as a comment!


19th century newspapers

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We had a beautiful snowfall today! Before I went outside to enjoy it, I spent a few hours inside, looking through some old newspapers.

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J. Russell’s Gazette, Commercial and Political, for Monday, July 22, 1799. Most of the ads here are from the MD/VA/PA area, Philadelphia and Washington.

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It has the usual scattering of textile, rice, coffee and tea ads.

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Not sure if that’s the Hancock of Declaration fame or not (top center of image).

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The Daily National Intelligencer, Tuesday, December 28, 1813 …

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… has this awesome advert for millinery and clothing  …

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… and nearby, someplace to wear your new frippery. I can hear Jane Austen characters squealing as I read this.

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Clothe your Lilliputians at the Lilliputian Bazaar! From the New York Daily Tribune, November 9, 1887.

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A first-class dressmaker who comes to your home and has her own machine! Cool, right?

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And from another issue of The New York Tribune, 1887, this highly amusing story. I wonder if he tried it a second time!


A new hat

I’ve been holding back my sewing appetite because I’ve had other things to do, but yesterday, I lost the fight and it resulted in a 1910s hat.

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Me doing my not-smiling thing, and my brand-new super suffragette velvet hat. I made it from a few bits of used cotton velvet, a couple pieces of canvas for stiffening/lining, and a length of narrow metal boning for the brims’ shape. I winged it; I didn’t have a pattern, and I had super luck making it, so I probably won’t be able to pull it off again. You know how those things work.

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The brim: just a loop of boning with a loop of velvet folded over.

 

 

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The sides; a wide strip of canvas folded in half lengthwise, and a somewhat wider strip of velvet pleated and sewn down to the canvas.

 

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Sides and brim, ready to be sewn together

 

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Pinning/sewing the sides to the brim.

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Inside out, sewing the top to the sides. This was later covered with a bit of that stripy material. I did completely hand-sew it, I could have used the machine on about half of it, but the rest was really better finished by hand. The visible basting stitches were an oversight that I might re-do later.

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And hat! Needs some feathers/flowers/stuff. It’s very comfy.

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It’s kind of like this purple number from The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Click here for the item description.

And finally, yeah, I made it on a whim and I have nowhere to wear it. I’d love to make a whole suit/outfit to go with it. I have some more velvet and a lot more of the cool stripy lining material. Maybe.

 

 

 


The net tea gown, finished!

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My net tea gown is all washed, dried and steamed out, so today I got her on my mannequin. Isn’t she pretty?

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The lower skirt looks a lot whiter than the rest of the dress because you’re only seeing two layers of net there, and then the white petticoat I photographed it over. The rest of the dress looks yellow because you’re looking through four or more layers of net, and the white padding on the mannequin is harder to see. Im thinking of taking photos later with unbleached cotton under it, to get a more accurate color. The brighter white kind of distracts me.

Disclaimer: The skirt has a weird hitch at the left hip because of an old repair gone wrong. It left a big pucker in the inner skirt and the hemline doesn’t fall straight now.

When I first saw this dress I thought it might be early, maybe 1905-1910, but I wasn’t totally comfortable with that date range – I couldn’t find a lot of similar dresses. It looks different on a mannequin. Now I think it’s probably 1914-1917.

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A 1917 silk chiffon and net Austrian tea gown from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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Bingo! (Cotton) net, shorter skirt, layers, somewhat fitted sleeves, and that ruffly wrap front with the same attached under-shirt.

I wish I had a parasol, white shoes and a nice hat to pair with it! It’s the perfect summer tea party dress! I don’t have those things (yet …), but I do have the coat that goes with it, and that pretty glass bead purse in my last blog post. I’ll reunite them, maybe later this week, and get some more pictures up.


Some vintage clothing, finally …

It’s been difficult to get good photos of my vintage stuff, but today, my camera liked the light, and detail came out! Yay!

I wrote up four of my items on my other blog, The Everyday Clothing Project. Click on the links to go to that blog and see more pictures and stuff.

The Everyday Clothing Project isn’t to sell items, but to document and, hopefully, to serve as a reference for users. Or to supply images for Pinterest. That would flatter my photography skillz.

So here are the items. One: this homemade turn of the century linen and cotton corset cover, in a wearable size that’s just asking to be reproduced. Check out that lace and linen vandyked bit around the neckline.

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Two: This gorgeous turn of the century beaded purse, which I want to photograph with the silk jacket of awesome awesomeness and its associated net tea gown, eventually.

DSCN9463 DSCN9481Three: this linen purse from about 1900-1915, which has appeared here before in my reticule project posts.

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Four: these lacy, frilly, girly split drawers, ca. 1890s-1900s.

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Enjoy!


For Continued Awesome …

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Front view, with the fronts crossed more than they would be if it was worn.

 

This is my gorgeous silk coat, ca. 1905-1910 (edit: actually 1914-17, after a little more research!). It’s 30% air, 70% held together by luck, and 100% Art Nouveau awesome. So, to keep the awesome going, I’m taking as good care of it as I can, and finishing up a pattern to it.

A pattern! The next generation! Because it’s far too delicate to be displayed, and far too awesome to sit in a acid-free box forever. It has to live on!

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With the fronts folded back. The front buttons are backed with three small 4-hole shirt buttons, to keep the main buttons attachments from pulling the cloth.

 

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Cuff detail – There are three of these silk macrame buttons down the front, with silk loops instead of button holes.

 

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The back of the collar and upper back detail

 

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Front and shoulder detail, with a silk cord appliqué at each shoulder. The appliqués have three silk tassels with silk-covered wooden beads at the ends. And, by the way, the true color. Damn digital photography in low light.

The coolest thing about this coat is that the person I bought it from said it came from a trunk with a tea gown and a bonnet (both of which I have as well, and both of which are fantastic). The bonnet is decidedly older, ca. 1875-1885, but the tea gown is the same date range as this jacket. I would love to assume they were worn together, and since the jacket is so light (it’s unlined) perhaps they were. They look great together (I put them on my mannequin for a moment last week, before I began to clean and pack them).

So here’s the gown, kind of. Beware, these are very poor photos; I took them with my phone. They’re from while the tea gown was drying after I washed it. I’ll get the gown on my mannequin for some real photos later.

The gown’s completely made of cotton netting and lace. It’s got a net under-bodice and a net under-skirt, but it’s still super transparent. It would have looked so frothy and lacy on somebody, with all the proper under-clothes. The gown itself is in super condition, just a little yellowy. It was musty and yellow-er before I washed it. These photos don’t do it justice.

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The bodice of the gown, all net and three different types of lace. It has a bloused, wrap front.

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The two-tiered skirt, all net and lace.

So I’ll get a few pictures of the stuff later, and I’ll work on the pattern. It’ll be “a la Patterns of Fashion”, just a measured drawing on graph paper, but I’ll post it for anybody who wants to spread the awesome 😀


So I said I wasn’t going to be writing until after Christmas –

but I’ve got something to say, five minutes and two images – and one of the images even moves slightly.

I’ve been seeing posters and ads for the new Into The Woods movie that’s coming out in two days. It looks like many of the costumes are classic fairytale Middle-Ages or Disney-style prince and princess stuff – but I have to say I’m super impressed with one item.

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Apologies for the poor .gif quality. I couldn’t find a better picture on the Internets. The one below looks a little Photoshoppy, too. But whatever.

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These look soooo close to a pair of original 18th century stays that I’ve seen – can’t remember which particular pair, if I do I’ll post it with a comment here. But really. The color’s nice, the shape is great, the seams and boning all appear accurate … even that decorative half-lacing down the front is correct. Of course we could debate about how they’re being worn … another issue entirely … but right now I’m impressed. I want to watch the movie just to see the rest of the costuming!


So Yeah … Writing …

I’ve been away.

(“Thank you, Captain Obvious.” “You’re welcome, Lieutenant Sarcasm.”)

Away, right now, means moving and finals week, with a side of holidays thrown in. The upshot is that I probably won’t be writing again until after Christmas or so.

In the meantime, I’m SUPER EXCITED to hear that the Historic Sew Fortnightly is continuing into 2015 with a monthly schedule, so I’m waking up the grey matter to figure out a project for the first challenge. More to come.

I finished by dad’s black and white waistcoat, but still have to write about how that did or didn’t work out. More to come.

I’ve received a lot of Victorian/Edwardian clothing that I can’t wait to take my camera to and show off here, and get some input on what’s what. It includes purses, a hat, underclothing, dresses, skirts and shirtwaists, all dating from about 1840-60 (still figuring out that date) up to maybe 1910. I very, very much want to reproduce some of it for my own wardrobe. More to come.

So yeah. Happy Holidays, everybody, and I’ll be back soon! 😀


Reticule, Part 2

Over the past few days the reticule has become fancier, and I think it can get even more fancy: I still have areas that are asking to be filled with designs. I haven’t lined it yet because I keep going back and adding stuff.

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Now with 78% more leaves! It’s like a folk-art weeping willow, but also like a vase full of seaweed. I added linen tassels to the drawstring ends too.

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I think the biggest problem is that the big chunky designs are on the flat areas, and the detailed embroidery is lost in the folds at the top. I think I can compensate by putting something detailed inside those circles.

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Next to an original turn-of-the-century linen purse. An illustration of how popular this simple style was.