The Start of a war – Downton Marys style – Photoshoot

Last Sunday I took the chance to both see my sister, and to do a little photoshoot of my new striped Lady Mary/”Downton Abby” Dress (read about it here (Part 1) and here (Part 2)) The weather was warm but a bit cloudy, so unfortunately we didn’t get any sunny pictures. I wore my dress with my long line 1910s corset, Autumn garden hat, American Duchess Gibson shoes, stockings, a thin petticoat, and a few bits and pieces like crocheted gloves, antique velvet bag and long pearl necklace. IMG_4754 IMG_4761 IMG_4775 IMG_4773 IMG_4782 IMG_4779 IMG_4780IMG_4791 IMG_4792 IMG_4799 IMG_4803 IMG_4819 IMG_4828 IMG_4850 IMG_4854 IMG_4855 IMG_4861

IMG_4869Photo: Elin Evaldsdottra

The Start of a war – Downton Mary’s Autumn Flowery Hat

 Before I could call it a day and be finished with the Striped Lady Mary dress (part 1 & part 2) I needed to make the most vital (and biggest) of her accessorizes – The hat.

0x600The Hat Lady Mary wears in the series are huge and awesome – of course I needed one just like it.

I started with a cheap straw hat as a base.
20150421_204022
The most important things I needed from the hat was a straw base, lightly colored and strong enough to carry all the decoration.

I stitched the netting irregularly and random to the brim of the hat.  20150502_120408

For the flowers I visited E-bay before Easter and ordered tree silk flower bouquets in muted brown, beige and violet colors, and the arrived in perfect time a week ago.

I needed to cut the flowers from the stems on each of the bouquets, but that went really easy and fast using a nippers, and then they were ready to be attached.20150421_203957

I placed a few flowers on the hat just to get a feeling for how many I would need, and how to best arrange them to get the flowing organic look of the original.

20150502_122222Looks pretty good I think.

I tried to stitch the flowers down but It didn’t work, so after some hesitation I decided to use the most loved (and hated) tool of them all – hot glue.

Then I got to work arranging and attaching the flowers as I went.
It was so easy, and went so fast, it almost felt like cheating.IMG_6512All you need for your hat project: Hat, Netting, Flowers, Inspiration pic and hot glue…

Finished Hat:IMG_6548

IMG_6553

IMG_6554

IMG_6563

IMG_6555

IMG_6556

IMG_6557

IMG_6561

And a few pics from the photoshoot:IMG_4788

 

IMG_4864

 

IMG_4758

The facts:

What: a 1914s summer hat (with autumn colored flowers)

Notions/Materials: A big brimmed straw hat, synthetic flowers in different muted colors, white hat netting, thread and hot glue (ops…)

Time: 1 hour

Cost: 250Sek (40Usd)

Final Thought: The hat is a bit to wide in the brim and a bit to small in the head to be perfect. Put considering the shape (and look) of most modern straw hats I won’t complain.
I think it turned out beautifully, and think it fits my “Lady Mary” dress just perfect.

The Start of a war – Downton Mary’s Striped Dress (part 2)

I’ve been working on my entry for the HSM15 nr 4 – War & peace for the past week (Part 1), and here are the rest of my viral dress diary:
0x600Lady Mary in one of her signature dresses from the Tv-series “Downton Abby”.

Once the bodice was finished and lined I attached it to the skirt, set the sleeves I once more tried it on to determent the exact placement of the hook and bars for the skirt closure.
I also pinned on the collar to get a better visual of the completed look.
20150501_202039 20150501_202153-1
The fit looks good even though it’s more figure hugging and shaped then the one on Lady Mary.
(I’m pretty sure the actress have a completely different body then mine…)

Then I needed to pause the sewing for a few days over the May 1st celebration, so I put it on the dress form to keep me inspired (and to show of to our long distance friends coming over – don’t tell me you never done that…).
20150501_195003 20150501_195018

Once back at sewing, I pinned some narrow lace ribbons to the buttonhole stand and top front piece.20150501_225246Then I spent a few hours (at my in-laws) hand stitching the narrow lace, the collar, the lining, the black velvet ribbon and the hooks and bars to the bodice.20150501_225316

The Finished Dress:IMG_6516

IMG_6517

IMG_6537

IMG_6535

IMG_6521

IMG_6523

IMG_6524

IMG_6526

IMG_6528

IMG_6540

IMG_6532

IMG_6539

Just the Facts:

Challenge: HSM15 nr 4 – War and Peace

What: A 1914s striped summer dress

How it fit the challenge: WWI started in summer 2014.
My dress is also a re-creation of the dress Lady Mary Crawley wears in the TV-series “Downton Abby”, in the episodes (and at the garden party) it’s  announced that England will join the war.

Pattern: None, I drafted my own with influences from a small sketch in Janet Arnolds “Pattern of Fashion 2”

Fabric: 2,5 m of striped cotton, and 0,5 m white cotton for lining – both leftovers from previous projects.

Notions: Thread, buttonhole tread, 6 buttons, 2 pairs of hooks and eyes, 6 snaps, 0,5 m of narrow lace, 1 m black velvet ribbon, one extra long lace/crocheted collar.

How historical accurate: Not sure. I used modern techniques with lots of hand finishing. The fabric wold have existed in the period, but I think the slim silhouette are a bit to modern. Perhaps 5/10.

Time: About 15-20 hours. Lots of fiddling with both the fit and matching the stripes made this project a bit more time consuming then I expected.

Cost: About 250 Sek (40Usd) all fabric from stash – Bought on sale a few years ago.

First Worn: May 3 for photos.

Final Thoughts: I really like this dress. It came out exactly like I envisioned and I felt really pretty (and posh) in it.
I’m really happy with the decision to make the dress slim and figure hugging (contrary to the original which have a more straight shape) even though it diverts a bit from the fashion of the day.
But there are as always a few thing I would like to fix before wearing it again: The back bodice are still to long (what’s that about?) and the button holes need to be stitched shut about 2 mm each (those buttons needs to remain closed next time around).

 ***

IMG_6547Accessorized and ready for a photoshoot.

The Start of a war – Downton Mary’s Striped Dress (Part 1)

When going over the many ways on which I could go for the HSM15 nr 4 – War & Peace, I  remembered a project I’ve been dying to make for quite some time.
The striped dress The character Lady Mary wears in “Downton Abby”.  0x600The time period (1914s) was perfect for this challenge, and when I remember the striped cotton in my stash the decision was made.IMG_6454Thin, structured, white and green cotton fabric – leftovers from my 18th century “Artsy Robe a la Anglaise/Turque“.

I started by doing a dress studie – sketching down the basic look, special details for the pattern and all the materials. 20150502_111150

looking through my costuming book for a way to tackle the pattern drafting I found a sketch of a 1910s, high waisted slim skirt that would be perfect for this dress.20150502_111452Sketch from Janet Arnolds “Pattern of Fashion nr 2”.

I used the basic principle from Arnolds book and drafted the pattern to fit my measurements.IMG_6438

Then I made a mock-up and tried it on over my long line corset.
IMG_6439 IMG_6443
And it was huge.
I’m still amazed of how much ease it must be in my modern pattern temples since I almost always end up with mock-ups about 10 cm to big.

I took it in everywhere about that much.
IMG_6447 IMG_6451
Much better.
But still in need for some extra alterations, like smoothing out the darts and taking out a few cm from the length at the bodice back.IMG_6455Here you can see the way I took out the width at the seams and darts.

Once the pattern was adjusted it was time to cut the fabric.IMG_6459

IMG_6461 IMG_6462
The back bodice being cut on bias and with the stripes carefully matched to he shoulders, sleeves and center back.

Before I started sewing I needed to be sure the collar was long enough to fit the neckline.IMG_6467Perfect match.

I sewed most of the dress on my sewing machine. 20150430_080119Sewing the bodice, skirt, sleeves and lining together but away from each other at this pont.

IMG_6503Making the placket for the skirts closure.

Once all the separate pieces was ready, I basted the front bodice to the sides, the bodice to the skirt and one sleeve to the sleeve-cap. And then I tried it on.
IMG_6494 IMG_6497
Pretty good fit. The back is still to long (just to take some more out), and the bodice front was a bit to big.
I decided to take the width out at the bust seam.
IMG_6499
Pins to show where to make the new seam line.

When the fit was once more good, I un-picked the basting and marked the button holes. IMG_6500

Then I hand stitched the buttonholes,20150501_195031 and sewed the front pieces to the rest of the bodice (using the new seam-lines).

Once I had the bodice ready, I attached the lining to the neckline,20150430_075631cut he seam allowance, flipped it over and carefully pressed the edge.

Then I made the cuffs for the sleeves, and attached them to the bodice.IMG_6505

20150430_080953Now it is starting to look like something

To be continued…
(Because otherwise this would be an extremely long post)

The start of a War – Downton Mary’s Striped dress – studie

About the same time the challenges for the HSM15 was announced, I was sitting at home in my soffa, stitching and re-watching (for the third or forth time) “Downton Abby”.

I’ve always loved the striped gown Lady Mary wears in the very last scene of the first season.
Realizing how perfect it would be for the April challenge “War & Peace”, and that the perfect fabric already lay waiting in my stash.

So last a few weeks ago I started collecting images of the lady and her fabulous dress (and accessorize).downton460_1755730c

img_prod_lg_downtonabbey_1

6889148859_eab5503be8

images (1)What’s pretty obvious straight away are the change in hat and necklace, between the two times she wears the dress in the show. I love the “over the top” wide brimmed, flower-covered straw hat in this photo.

 My searches also led me to some fashion plates from the time, which I’m pretty sure would have been the inspiration for the dress from the costume designer.images (2)

images (3)Sorry for he small size.

I also found lots of people recreating this dress (It seem pretty popular – wounder why…)37e33d1bdc006046b9238d4844fd79cdLady Mary as a doll

1-DSC_0135And a modern interpretation. Love this so much!

Of course there’s also lots of costumers who re-created this dress, but if I post them I will feel the pressure of there beautiful creations so much more…

But this is the picture I decided to try to copie.0x600I’ve bought both the crocheted glows and the super long necklace.
The hat looks a bit intimidating, but I’ve collected the hat base, the flowers and the netting, and don’t think it will be that hard to get the right look.

The dress on displayd10283050e04121086e4765e2635ba73Here you can see the slim width of the skirt and the fact it’s gored all the way down.

downton_abbey_mary_dress_season_oneOn closer look we can see the proper way to close the dress – wit a placket hidden under the contrasting ribbon and front side dart/seam. This means the dress will be closed both with buttons (at enter front bodice) and with hooks and bars at the center side skirt (in a kind of lightning shape).

You can also clearly see that the dress is actually pale lilac & white in the stripes, and a darker lilac on the belt.

I was indecisive of what to do with the bodice back – would it be a center back seam? Darts? Something else?
Until I found this picture…17a9fa6259cc877505541e81efa36bc0Not from the back, but you can clearly see the stripes running on the bias. Of course! The back will be designed with the stripes meeting in a V at center back, running up to the shoulder and continue into the sleeves. So pretty and so simple.

I hopes Lady Grantham approves. images

Lady-Mary-Crawley-Downton-Abbey-GIFChears!

Edwardian Sisters

I love attending events with my sister/sisters.
It’s so great having a companion in this crazy costuming adventure.
Someone who love dressing up as much as me, and who gets the work and planing goes into making an historical outfit with all it’s accessories and seemingly uncomfortable pieces (non les putting it on).

IMG_6179So when she discovered she was free from work, and thous able to go to the 18th century “fika” in old town, I was so happy and immediately scrambled to find something for her to wear (because that’s what sisters do)

And since I was to wear Edwardian we decided that so should she.

IMG_6181Goofing around

 

The day of the event I arrived at her house, carrying both our costumes, in good time to get ourselfs ready.20150315_142515underwear selfie

We helped each-other lazing the corsets and button those buttons, and then we were of (only half an hour to late, ops).
I blame my sisters hair for taking to much time, but really, it just take a lot of time getting into all those layers.

IMG_6197 IMG_6190
Gibson hairstyle

After saying our goodbyes to the others, we stopped for some quick photos of our costumes.
IMG_6201strip it baby…

Sis is wearing the newly made walking skirt, a modern blouse, over my 1880s corset and combined with a modern belt and a ribbon for necktie.IMG_6202

IMG_6203

IMG_6205

IMG_6207

IMG_6211

IMG_6212

I’m wearing my suffraget skirt, modern jacket, Edwardian blouse, 1900s corset and several accessories like a fur hat, modern fur shawl, elbow length opera glows, my black swiss-waist and an 1950s embroidered bag.IMG_6218

IMG_6214

IMG_6220

IMG_6226

IMG_6225

IMG_6223

IMG_6230

IMG_6231

IMG_20150315_181820Edwardian Selfie

19th century Spring Coffee in Old Town

Two weeks ago me and my sister attended a small gathering of historic enthusiasts for a “Fika” in the local “old town”.

Once me and my sister spent way to long getting ready, we took the bus to the location and hurried to catch up with the others.
We all invaded a small coffee shop, and caused a stir in the other guests who (as usual) wanted to take photos.

It was a lovely event and besides the historic clothes it almost felt like an ordinary “fika” with friends.20150315_153231

20150315_153239My sister looking fab, in her Edwardian outfit and Hairdo.

20150315_154639What’s that over there….?”

20150315_154611Sara (the initiator to this meeting) asked everybody to tell a bit of our costumes and we got the chance to really look at all the clothing and ask questions. Here is Sara in her gorgeous 1880s bustle ensemble.

20150315_154831Yvonne wore a colorful regency gown, paired with turban made from a shawl.

20150315_155723Those 18th century stays are to die for, and she paired them with a great plaid skirt, apron and of course appropriate head cover.

Then we went outside to chat some more and to take even more pictures.IMG_61961920s backsides

Both Denise (left) and Pernilla (right) are in my historic sewing group.
And they made their dresses just in time for this event (between studying and exams).
Pernilla also writes of this event on her blog “fashion of the days gone by”, read the post here.IMG_6174Let me just say how much I love both their outfits, and those shoes! OMG, I definitely need to get myself some 1920s styled pumps.

IMG_6172It was a bit chilly, so we all had our outerwear on most of the time.

IMG_6191Karin is showing her bloomers beneath her lovely plaid skirt.

IMG_6193Hair and hat detail

IMG_6176“Do my bum look big in this?” – Yes and I love it!

IMG_6198There was no end to Saras wardrobe – Here she’s wearing a Dolman, made from a Truly Victorian pattern, with the most delightful swoon to the back.

IMG_6183I’m not even sure what Dan is doing – lets just say he looks great in his red and white self made ensemble.
Ludwig looks as smashing as ever in newly made plaid breeches and well groomed facial hair.

IMG_6180Me and sis in our Edwardian gear.

IMG_6200Warm ad cosy in velvet and fur.

IMG_6189Gibson hair side view

IMG_6185The obligatory shoe shoot

Of course we posed for photos to. IMG_6160

IMG_6170Fashion from Regency too 1920s – all in one pic.

Thanks to everyone who attended, it was so nice meeting you all. And lets hope we can do this again sometime.

Gibson Hairdo

To really make your costume take you back in time you need the right hair.
So for the historical “Fika” I searched the web for a suited hairdo for my sisters 1900s walking outfit.

The answer was of course the “Gibson hair” – as portrayed by the artist Charles Gibson in the beginning of the 20th century.

ladda ned

48a5482905a55880e8c2748ac48de3f5

366661967ee89a9c5e7aa52ec3748c70

50017cf092f4372aa04ef8dad3505097

gibson-tuck

tumblr_n9sfwbUvnU1tphleno7_400

b85e3afe93574a2daa208d561377278e

ee46075155bbbfefd3ea51f2c3e56316

s_1622

picture tutorials1908mayhairstyles

tumblr_mc2htllq9Y1riyibxo1_500

I’m not that good at reading picture tutorials, but thankfully we live in the age of youtube.

Using the video it was surprisingly easy to mold my sisters shoulder length hair into a somewhat recognizable Gibson girls hairstyle.20150315_134713More then halfway there.20150315_140003

And the finished hairdo.IMG_20150315_183352 She did get lots of compliments on the hair, and said more then once that she really liked how it tuned out,
and so did I.

1900s simple Brown Skirt

About a month ago I got invite to a historical “Fika” (meeting over coffee and sweet bread) in the old parts of our town.
The dress code was “18th century to early 20th century”.

I decided pretty fast I wanted to wear my winter Suffragett outfit.

Then, about two days before the event, my sister got the day of from work and decided to tag along.
She didn’t had anything particular to wear, and would use what ever I had in my bins that would fit her. Even though we are sisters we unfortunately don’t at all have the same body type. So after some thinking and going through my costume wardrobe in my head, I decided I would not settle for something les the perfect for her. But instend make something she (and I) could feel prod about.

So the day before the event I made her a 1900s walking skirt.

bicycle1 cyclingeggandspoon
Inspiration pictures 

I choose a leftover piece of fabric in my stash (1,4m of fish-bone, polyester wool imitation in brown and white).IMG_6144

Using the whole width of the fabric  cut a two gored skirt.IMG_6116I wish I’d had more fabric so to make the skirt fuller, but this would have to do for now.

I stitched the whole skirt on my sewing machine, starting with the darts.IMG_6119

The waistband folded over some cotton for strength and to make it non stretchable.IMG_6118

Once the waistband was stitched on, I decided it looked way to bulky, and would ad to much to he waist and there by disturb the slimness of the corseted line.IMG_6123

So I ripped it of, and found some cotton stay tape in my stash to use instead.IMG_6126

I stitched it on, folded it over and hand tacked it down.IMG_6128

Not being sure about the final length, I made sure to do a wide hem that would be easy to alter later on. IMG_6130

I finished of with some hooks and eyes for the clouser.IMG_6150

Finished:IMG_6142

IMG_6143

IMG_6147

IMG_6149

IMG_6146

Just the Facts:

What: a 1900s walking skirt for my sister.

Fabric and notions: 1,3m of wool imitation, thread, 1 m of stay tape and two pairs of hooks and eyes.

Time: About 3 hours.

Cost: Nothing since everything was form stash.
But if I was to buy it all new, it probably would have cost at least 250 Sek (32 Usd)

First worn: on mars 15 on a historical “Fika”

Final thoughts: I’m really happy that I got to use the fabric for something so perfect, and I think the skirt looked great on my sister.
Even though I wish I had had more fabric to make the back pleats a lot fuller and thous the skirt more pretty.

Sneak a peak of the final outfit for my sister.
IMG_6135 IMG_6138
IMG_6140

1905s Layering

It’s been a while since I last did one of these “layering posts”.
But this weekend when we finished the “winter fur” photoshoot, my sister helped me take a few pictures of the different pieces I wore for my 1900s ice skating costume.

So here it is:
1905s Winter LayeringIMG_5299Lets start with the outerwear and accessorize: A fur muff, hat and shawl for cosy winter warmth.

IMG_5309Then there is the short jacket and the long gloves.
(sorry for the non-historical amount of hair, but I couldn’t fit a wig into the furhat ;-))

IMG_5315Striping of the outer garments we got an “in-door” outfit, with a high necked shirtwaist, a slim shirt and a Swiss-waist.

IMG_5330Under the skirt we find the obligatory petticoat.
You could use multiple layers of petticoats, and one or to in flannel was not unusual to help keep warm.

IMG_5335And beneath the shirtwaist we find the corset.
You should also wear a corset cover (but unfortunately mine have mysteriously shrunk in the closet),
and a wool shirt for warmth.

IMG_5349Beneath the petticoat I wear bloomers and high stockings. I’m not completely sure of the correct way to fasten the suspenders to the stockings while wearing bloomers, but fasting them on the inside worked pretty well for me, (something that probably would be even more difficult if you’r wearing combinations*).
And as usual the shoes are about the first thing on and last thing of.

*Combinations, are exactly what it sounds like – a combination of chemise and bloomers, which became really popular as underwear during the late 19th/early 20th century.