1865s Kaki Walking suit (HSM 7/2017)

HSM 7/2017 – Fashion Plate

I knew from the start this challenge would be an easy one (or hard, depending on how you see it), cause I often use pictures and extant garment as my inspiration. The only trouble was to pick which one to make.

But since my sister needed a new 1860s outfit for an upcoming event and I already had this pic saved on my ” wish to make someday” list, The choice turned out easier then expected.
Fashion plate from 1862

Close-up on the outfit I planed to make.

I also looked at some extant garments for additional inspiration and style choices. Then I got to work.

Using two beige cotton sheets from IKEA.
I started by cutting the skirt and used the same method and calculations as my latest 1860s dress, stitching the skirt together. This time it went a lot faster, since I already had the measurements and the technique down.

Once it was stitched and hemmed (after quick fitting) I added a singel row of braid around the bottom. Even though my insoiration din’t have one, I really liked the way t looked, and how it connected with the decoration to be made on the jacket.   

Then it was time for the jacket.

After some quick research and studying of pattern-diagrams and extant jackets on the internet I drafted my own pattern from my usual modern templates.

Then I stitched it together, inserted the double sleeves, added lining and begun working on the trimming.

 I used the same furniture braid as on the skirt combined with a brown pom-pom trim also from my stash.
Even though they weren’t a perfect match color-wise the effect was really nice.

A quick pic of the just “finished” outfit on the floor. Now all that was needed was some pressing and the right accessories. 

The finished dress: 

Just the facts:

Challenge: Nr 7 2017 – Fashion plate
“Make an outfit inspired by a fashion plate […]”

What: A 1860s Walking ensamble – Skirt and Zouvare Jacket)

Pattern: None – I drafted my own based on pictures and pattern drafts from the time.

Fabric & Notions: 2 beige cotton sheets (150 x 200cm/each), thread, hook and eye for skirt closure, 6 m of tapestry braid and 2 m of pom-pom trim.

How historical accurate: So so – The look and the pattern are good, but the fabric is way to thin and should have been either a thin wool or a heavier cotton. Also it’s stretching it a bit time wise by saying they used sewing-machines at this time, so thats another “wrong”. Maybe 7/10

Time: About 10 hours. more  then half of which went into hemming and trimming by hand.

Cost: About 150-200 Sek (all trim was in my stash from a notions clear-out a few years ago)

First worn: On June 10 for “The day of the Big Crinolines”.

Final thoughts: I think it turned out pretty good. My sister looked like she had fun wearing it and the whole outfit came together really well.

 

1850s Plaid Summer Dress – Photoshot

Back in may with a big event coming closer i had a bi of a wardrobe panic – which (thankfully) was pretty easy solved by posting my 3 choices on Instagram and let you decide.

And as some of you already know, the (not so enominous) votes tallied up to my plaid light cotton summer dress and my white 1850s bonnet, and I couldn’t have made a better choice 🙂 – So a big Thank you to all that voted!
I felt perfectly temperate, pretty,fashionable and practical, all at the same time.

While at the event, I took the time to get some better pictures of it (since last times photos tuned out somewhat odd).




 Photos: Maria Petersson

1750-1850s Spring Ball (2017)

Wow, It’s already been more then a month since the spring ball (and summer arrived) but I just now finished my blogpost about it.

As you might recall, I had quite a bit sewing done before the ball, both for me (1825s bonanza)
and my sister (a whole 1860s costume with underpinnings and everything).
Thanks to good planing (he he, right;-)) I managed to finish everything in time,
and didn’t even have the panicked last minute finishes that always seams to be my lot.

The day of the ball was a bit hectic though.

As I needed to turn the mandatory dance rehearsal down, in order to get to a friends babys christening instead.
But since I still had my sisters dress at home, I had to make a pit-stop at the dance-hall to leave it to her, before I stuffed my (relatively) clean baby in the car and drove 1 hour to get to the church. After a quick stop, leaving our present, and eating some cake I rushed home to get dressed in record speed for the ball. My outfit ready and awaiting.

Thank good my boyfriend (who happened to have a book-release that same day) had already come home, and could take the baby and help me close the dress.
Even more thank good, I’ve already done the dress-rehearsal (or more exactly the hair-rehearsal) so I managed to get the hair done and the dress on in not more then 30 minutes.
Beat that!
Does this lok like a fast and easy hairdo?

Arriving (in time) to the ball, I had some time to calm down and to find my sister.Hiding out by the fire-extinguisher

The evening started with a mingel and everyone admiring everyone else dresses/costumes. 

Selfie with a big digital camera is not as easy as it looks…

Beautiful girl – terrible lighting…
I’m not kidding, this is how bad the lighting is in the dance hall.

Group picture, with awful resolution
Pretty bows on the shoes 🙂

Then it was time to head upstairs to get some dinner. unfortunately me and my sister dragged a bit behind to take some silly pictures, and once we got upstairs there was no seats left.

They managed to get out a few extra chairs for us, but since all tables was full, we was seated on the table flanks far away from each-other.

pretty far away…

The dinner started with a soup made from peas, which was really good. 

The main course was basically beef, chicken and bacon combined.

As a vegetarian there wasn’t to much to eat, unfortunately.  “Can we pleas call for a pizza, cause I’ve only had some cake since breakfast…”

During dinner one gentleman got up and started singing an “humorous” old song, which was kind of musing, at first, but 78 verses in I was not the only one rolling my eyes at the (inappropriate old sexist jokes in the song and) man taking up to much space.

Once we finished the dinner I took the opportunity to take some picture of pretty dresses while the tables cleared to make room for the dance.  

Beautiful regency sisters

Mirror selfie

Then it was time to dance

We had one break for dessert later in the evening I’m still starving, thank you very much 😦

Then the dancing continuedSomebody knows how to pose…

Then it was time to say goodbye and go home.
I had lots of fun dancing and fooling around with my friends, making some new friends as well, but to be both hungry and really tired made me a bit cranky at the end.
At least I got lots of compliments for both my hair and my dress(es) 🙂

Got an Event coming up – but no costume?

We all face this dilemma one time or the other.

You get invited to a fancy party/wedding/themed birthday-party ect. and you got noting to wear.

For us in the costuming world however, it’s not as easy as taking at tripp to the nearest department-store.
We need to create our costumes for ourselves.

Here’s a few tips and trixs for looking the part(ish) for your next short-noticed costuming event:
For the sake of this post, lets pretend yo’r going on a mid 19th century picknick (1840-1860s)

*Disclaimer: These tips are for the average “Not strictly Histotical correct evets”. If your Event calls for Historical accuracy or “as close to accuracy as possible” you really need to go the extra mile.

Got Time and Sewing Skill but short on Cash?

Here’s some of my dresses made on really limited funds:
(Two words for you – CHEAP FABRIC)

Look for suitable fabrics:

– On sale:
IMG_4952Bough 5m of thin plaid cotton on 70% of from a big fabric store for this dress.

– At Goodwill:
I used 1 cotton beedsheet that I got for 50Sek (5Usd) on second hand.

– In unexpected stores like IKEA and Walmart:
Two sets of cotton beddings made up this dress. The duvets was enough for an additional evening bodice.

 Use “bad” material and scrimp on fabric:
(This must be the worst advice ever but knowing how to do it well is GREAT when funds are lacking.)
1 set of polyester curtains 140 x 250cm (bought at IKEA for 100 Sek (10 Usd)) was just enough for my sisters 1860s evening gown. (And yes I used up every scrap of the fabric)

Short on Time and/or Sewing Skill?

Here’s some example on costumes made with minimum sewing and time:

Buy the items you need:This blouse are currently up for grabs in my shop.

Or rent them:IMG_4980This skirt and bolero was made by me to be rented.

 Make Fast and Easy items:
This costume (skirt, blouse and belt) took me about two days and is made mostly from rectangular pieces (the belt/swiss waist are really easy to make as well).

 Use pieces you already have:
This is a combination of 18th century cap, 1860s blouse, 1840s skirt and early 20th century apron.

 Use modern pieces from your wardrobe:
A children’s boater, paired with a modern high collared blouse accessorized with a brooch and umbrella works in a pinch.

No appropriate underwear?


This era (mid 19th century) calls for pretty spectacular underwear
But don’t worry if  you’r lacking some of them
Here’s some ideas how to fix the fashionable silhouette without to much of a trouble, Starting with the corset:

 Use a Corset from another era:
I just recently made myself a 1860s corset, and used to use my 1880s one for everything from 1830-1900s.

Use a modern corset:
I made this corsets from a 1880s pattern but my sister uses it as modern party clothes.

No crinoline?
No worries why don’t you simply…

 Use a modern hooped wedding petticoat:
My very first petticoat was a bridal hoop that got lots and lots of use (notice the regency stays with the hoop for my very first 1840s event)

 Make yourself a quilted petticoat:
 Made from a pre-quilted fabric, this gem took me about an hour to make and have seen every era from Tudor England to 18th century and the 1850s. It’s just Perfect!

When everything else fails – Think outside the Box:

 Go down the hierarcy chain:
Maybe you can pose as a commoner using shawls, old blouses and aprons.

Focus on the accessories:

Two bonnets with about 50 hours difference in time spent on them.
The green one is a piece I made from scratch using silk and hand-sewing, while the right one is a modern straw hat where I cut parts of the brim, and added a lace-ribbon and called it a day.

Borrow from a friend:
If you’r going on a event, chances are that you know at least one person there – see if they have something that would work on you.
Here my sister’s wearing my green 1840s gown for a winter photoshoot we did a few years back.

 Bend the timespan:

Perhaps there’s not such a big deal if you show up wearing costumes from 10 years to early/late.
After all everyone just there to have fun, right?

You might even get away with 100 year wrong if you think strategically…
18th century peasant can almost work in the mid 1800s.

Crossdress:
Bend the gender barrier and dress as a man (or lady).

Or maybe you even got a national costume laying around…
Most of our Swedish national costumes comes from the mid 19th century, why not use that as an excuse to wear one.

But most of all, don’t sweat it if your not wearing the perfect costume, chances are no one will notice the modern tidbits or, lacking bloomers.
Go, have fun, and don’t over think it.

Best of luck on you’r costuming event this summer 🙂

1865s Teal Evening gown (HSM 5/2017) – Photoshoot

The week before the ball my sister came over to do the final fitting and to take some photos.

She is wearing her new green corset, orange cage crinoline, petticoat and 2 pieced gown. Accessorized with black gloves, black lace-fan, a black velvet bag, silver tiara and necklace. She is also wearing a chemise, stockings, bloomers and dancing shoes.

Photos: Elin Evaldsdotter

Bonus:
Video of the gown in motion (shaky mobile video – sorry)

1865s Teal Evening gown (HSM 5/2017)

When all the underwear (almost all, I still had the chemise and a second petticoat left to finish), it was time to get started on the dress itself.

Since the dress was for my sister, it was she who ultimately took all the decisions on the final style, and I came with lots of suggestions, inspirations and different looks.inspiration sketch

We finally decided on one main inspiration Evening dress ca. 1865, From the Cincinnati Art Museum

Since the budget was particularly scarce on this project, we decided to cheat and use a set of IKEA curtains I already had in my stash for the dress fabric.It’s a thin polyester in a lovely dark blue/teal color that would be really pretty in a style like this.

1 pair of 2,5m x 1.45m curtains would require some really thoughtful cutting and pattern layout, but with some math and quick calculations I was fairly shore I could get the dress cut from the fabric (as long as I didn’t do any errors…)

I also recently ordered 5 m of silver sparkles and a few m of black lace which both would be perfect for this project. (So, not stash, but almost:-))

I started by drafting the bodice pattern using modern templates and my sisters measurements.
Then I did a quick mock-up that we tried on over her recently finished corset.

Lots of adjustments needed

Just to be sure I got everything right (and since I didn’t had fabric for any errors) I did another mock-up of the bodice.

After the last alterations was made, it was time to cut the fabric.
Only scraps left.

Then I got to work making the skirt.

Starting by marking and stitching the silvery sparkles (which I’ve already cut apart) on the skirt panels.

Then I sewed the skirt panels together, interlined it with a black cotton fabric that also would serve as lining and pleated the top to my sisters waist measurement.
not completely happy about the look of the pleats, I put it on my dress-form (over the new crinoline) to get a beter look. Something seamed wrong.
So I grabbed my books and read up on the period way to pleat the skirts to he waistband, and there I found the answer – by the 1860s they left the knifepleats of the earlier period for a few double box-pleats evenly spaced around the skirt. So that what I did.
 Much better

Then I attached the skirt to the waistband and after a final fitting cut and hemmed the length. I also moved  some and added some extra sparkles and stitched on a narrow black lace ribbon to the bottom edge.

Then it was time to get started on the bodice.

I started by interlining all the pieces in a strong black cotton twill, after which I stitched the darts and the pieces together. I added some bias tape and bones to the seams to make the bodice old its shape.The interior of the bodice

Then it was time to try the gown on my sister.

Don’t you just love how she matches the wall… 
Thank good for multiple mock-ups. The bodice (and skirt) fit almost perfectly (the wrinkles you see at the back will disappear once I got the center back bones in).

After some minor adjustments, I set the sleeves and the lining and got started on the eyelet for the back lacing.Here I ran into trouble. after almost 3 months of planing and making undergarments for this dress, I still hadn’t found any suitable lacing cord in a color that would work for the dress. I’d been to every sore in town, searched the internet, contemplated using black or even discard of lacing for closure all together, when I realized I might in fact have something in my own stash that would work.
Hurray! The odd colored cotton cord I’d got on super sale a few years back turned out to be the exact shade of Teal I needed – what are the odds? Perfect match! – Is this a sign my stash are to big?

Once the eyelets where finished I stitched down the lining, hemed the sleeves made a belt and added some black lace to the neckline.  

Then I got my sister to come and try it on for a (almost) final fitting, where we marked the skirt length, stitched the belt on the bodice and added hooks and eyes to the waistbands of both pieces to keep the bodice from riding up.
We also decided on how to accessorize, and to ad a piece of the same black lace around the sleeves and hem.

And since I want to submit this dress for the Historical Sew Monthly nr 5/2017 – Literature, I did some thinking on what book I would choose to make it fit. Then came the obvious answer – Victoria and her Court by Virginia Schomp (find preview from Google Books here).
Because who if not Queen Victoria would house a gown like this.

The Finished dress:

Just the facts:

Challenge: Nr 5/2017 – Literature

What: A 1865s evening dress

How it fit the challenge: It’s a plausible outfit for one of Victorias many ladies in waiting, or even the Queen itself, as described in Virginia Schomps book Victoria and Her Court.

Pattern: I drafted my own after studying the 1865s dresses from Waughs Cut of women’s clothes and Arnolds Pattern of Fashion.

Fabric: 5 m of teal colored polyester curtains (2 pieces 250 x 145 cm each), 4 m of black sheets for lining and 0,5 m of black cotton twill for interlining.

Notions: Thread, Buttonhole-thread, 7 short bones, 1m black bias tape to use as bone casings, 1 m heavy interfacing for the belt, 1 belt buckle, cotton cord for lacing, lots of silver spangles and 7 m of black lace for decoration.

How historical accurate: The shape/look is right, but the construction, pattern and material are all modern. So maybe 4/10

Time: In total about 20 hours (on the dress).

Cost: Almost everything came from stash and/or was really, really cheap. I think I payed about 300 Sek (30 Usd) total for everything. But on a dress like this there really is no limit at what it could cost.

First worn: For photos on May 1 by my sister, and later for a ball on May 6 2017.

Final Thoughts: Both me and my sister are totally in love with this dress. I love how it’s so stylized yet over the top at the same time. The small bodice comparied to the lovely exaggerated shape of the skirt, and the subtle sparkle of glitter when it moves makes me very happy. I also had a lot of fun making it. Only problem is, now I want my own…