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.
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 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.
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.All you need for your hat project: Hat, Netting, Flowers, Inspiration pic and hot glue…
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.
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:
Lady 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.
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…).
Once back at sewing, I pinned some narrow lace ribbons to the buttonhole stand and top front piece.Then 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.
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).
Accessorized and ready for a photoshoot.
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”. The time period (1914s) was perfect for this challenge, and when I remember the striped cotton in my stash the decision was made.Thin, structured, white and green cotton fabric – leftovers from my 18th century “Artsy Robe a la Anglaise/Turque“.
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.Sketch from Janet Arnolds “Pattern of Fashion nr 2”.
I used the basic principle from Arnolds book and drafted the pattern to fit my measurements.
Then I made a mock-up and tried it on over my long line corset.
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.
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.Here you can see the way I took out the width at the seams and darts.
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.
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.
Pins to show where to make the new seam line.
Once I had the bodice ready, I attached the lining to the neckline,cut he seam allowance, flipped it over and carefully pressed the edge.
To be continued…
(Because otherwise this would be an extremely long post)
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.
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.
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.I’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.
On 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…Not 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 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).
So 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.
The day of the event I arrived at her house, carrying both our costumes, in good time to get ourselfs ready.underwear 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.
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.
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.
My sister looking fab, in her Edwardian outfit and Hairdo.
Sara (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.
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.Let me just say how much I love both their outfits, and those shoes! OMG, I definitely need to get myself some 1920s styled pumps.
Thanks to everyone who attended, it was so nice meeting you all. And lets hope we can do this again sometime.
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.
I’m not that good at reading picture tutorials, but thankfully we live in the age of youtube.
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.
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.
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.
Beneath 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.