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



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


Vintage Shopping in the Capital

This weekend me and a friend went to Stockholm for the movie premiere of the movie “Huldra”.

But before we needed to get ourselfs ready for the night, we headed down town for some vintage store browsing and a tiny bit of shopping.

First we visited the much talked about vintage store “Old Touch

20150320_151124_resizedJust the window display are to die for.
I totally understand why everybody recommend this store for anything vintage.


20150320_151822_resizedThe gentlemen section


20150320_152025_resizeda dress from the 1950s.




20150320_153215_resizedIt seams I got some extra love for old shoes somehow.

Bags in plenty hanging on the walls, on the shelves and every other place where they would fit.20150320_152125_resizedTake a good look at that golden one, because it’s no longer hanging on that wall…


Then, on our way home, we stumbled on the shop “Epok“, which caries everything you could possibly need from late 19th century to 1950s.

20150320_155509_resizedThis store was even more cramped, and every square inch was packed with stuff.

20150320_155512_resizedLace veils, collars and shawls hanging from the ceiling.



20150320_155624_resizedHats on the walls.

20150320_160224_resizedA fabulous hat from 1910s.

Kristin found a dress from the early 1920s, and tried the skirt on20150320_155746_resizedThe skirt is in two layers, with lots and lots of decorative embroidery and sparkly pallets.

I bought myself a pair of crocheted gloves (for my next big HSM project), and a beautiful beaded party bag. It’s from the 60s, and if it wasn’t in such impeccable shape it could easterly be mistaken for something a lot older.20150321_194521_resizedI highly recommend a visit in to both of these stores.
But be aware, they’r both totally rabbit holes, where you can get lost for hours and emerge with a lot less money then when you entered.

1920s Glittery Robe de style

I’ve been set on trying my hand at 1920s fashion since the last challenge, nr 24 “All that Glitters”, was announced.

Not quite getting over myself to do the full straight/boyish figure, I settled on this design from “Fashion in Detail”IMG_4347

I drafted the pattern and started cutting the pieces from a lovely black cotton velvet I bought for this purpose.IMG_4229

The skirt are cut like a circular one, but using a square instead of a circle.
I originally planed to level the skirt and to hem it to be circular, but once cut I liked the square hem better. IMG_4238

I used some silver/glittery soft tulle, I got on sale about two years ago, as a second layer for the skirt.IMG_4231

IMG_4372Here you can see the shape of the square pattern, and the finished skirt hanging in tapered edges.

I pinned the dress together and put it on my dressform to get a view of how it would look
– And it looked hideous.


I then tried it on, and the result was no better.IMG_4345

It was around here I really started to look for a dress to buy and wear at new years…

Determent to finish before the challenge deadline, I pushed on and stitched the dress together, aded the zipper, set the sleeves and neck facing, and marked the angel of the skirt.IMG_4368

It do looks better, but a mock up wouldn’t have hurt…IMG_4373

I finished of by shortening the sleeves a bit, cutting and hemming the skirt and making a belt out of some left over velvet.

The finished dress:IMG_4734













A sneak a peak from the photoshoot:IMG_4391

Just the Facts:

Challenge: nr 24 – All that Glitters

What: a 1920s evening dress (sort of a Robe de Style)

Pattern: I drafted my own.

Fabric: 2,5 m black velvet, 2 m silver printed black tulle and scraps of black cotton for facing.

Notions: Thread, zipper, 2 hook and eyes and fusible interfacing for the belt.

How historical accurate: I’m not sure, but even though the fitted bodice are un-characteristic for the 1920s the style did exist. The construction methods are modern and the silvery tulle are also to modern. Conclution, maybe 4/10.

Time: About 10 hours

Cost: About 300 Sek (48 Usd) but I only spent about half since most of the fabric came from stash.

First worn: on dec 22 for photos. I planed to wear it for new years eve but I’ve changed my mind in the past few days.

Final thoughts: I actually like it much better now that it is finished, and I will deferentially wear it if I ever get invited to a 1920s themed party.

Progress and set backs – 1930s Christmas dress

I’d planed to be finished with the 1930s Christmas dress by now, but life, work and karma apparently do not approve.


The good things:

IMG_4269I’ve cut the fabric for the dress and even though the plaid’s not perfectly matched I don’t mind as much as I thought I would.

IMG_4025The contrast between the darker plaid and the white satin for the sleeves looks great. I’m so pleased with this combination.

I have yet another week left until Christmas, and have all confidence I will finish in time.

The not so good things:

IMG_4248IMG_4265I must have had a black out while pattern drafting since I decided to skipp the waist darts and only use the side seams for waist shaping. You would thought 10 years of pattern making for my curvy body would have tought me something about proper fitting to my shapes. I’m currently busy shortening the bodice length and adding darts to both bodice and skirt.

IMG_4264Yet another blackout compelled me to rush through the making of the sleeves pattern and left me with cut out and sewn raglan sleeves fit for a 5 year old. Do it again and do it right.

My design decision to change the bow at the waist to a belt, turned out to be more trouble then anticipated. Since the only store in out town with good sewing notions recently closed, and I couldn’t find anything I liked to a reasonably price on the internet. Guess the bow will have to do. Perhaps I can ad a separate belt later.


 Lets get back to the sewing machine…

Allers Pattern Magazine 25 Mars 1925

Since I don’t have anything new to show you just yet I decided to post some pics of another one of my “Allers Pattern Magazines”.
And look! The cover are in color!







IMG_9332Sewing instructions and pattern layouts.

IMG_9334And look there is patterns to.

IMG_9335Hm, wounder which lines to use…


IMG_9337This right one is adorable.





IMG_9341I need to make this jacket someday.




Suffragets in action – Luncheon

Yesterday it was finaly time for the “Suffragett luncheon” I’ve been helping to plan since february – or rather been watching while other planed.

Anyway, I got up realy early yesterday morning to get on the train taking me to the capital, were I arrived in good time before the meet-up.

I walked the 10 min to my inlaws empty apartment, and started to get dressed.IMG_7618Underwear and huge red hair.

Using all my flexibility, I manadged to lace the corset (fairly easy), and to button the shirtwaist all the way in the back (really hard). IMG_8085The “In-door” look: Shirtwaist, walking skirt, swiss-waist and brosch.

And before leaving the apartment (about 40min after I arrived) I doned the huge hat, jacket, chain and broschIMG_8098

I took the intercity train to the smal, old house were we was to hold the meeting.

The ones of us who came early, emediatly started to prepar the food and table.IMG_8105Elin and Aggi prepearing the food.

Johanna set the table with yellow napkins, flowers and these lovely place holders, which she made using costuming pictures of all of us.IMG_8103I’m the one at the front.

 Then the guest started to arrive.IMG_8178From left: Elin (organizer and cook) trying to sell of some caviar, Johanna (Co. organizer) in blue and Lina in a purple 1910s dress. In the backround we can also glimps Aggi.

IMG_8112Carolina and Hanna.

Hanna is known for only using original garments. And she’s an expert in finding the most faboulus, well perserved, pieces ever.IMG_8113Close up.

When everyone arrived, it was time to take place by the table to start the 4 course “Suffragett luncheon” from a 1914s recepie. (link “Good housekeping 1914” recepie).IMG_8118

And since I’m not a fan of  “food photos”, I of course forgot to photograp all the courses.

But here are a few.IMG_8122Chicken soup with croutons.

IMG_8129Celery-canapé with salad and toast.

And some pics of the lovely ladies.IMG_8125Looking modelstly happy…

IMG_8126..and happily confused…

IMG_8144..and then back to modestly interested…

But after a while it got a bit crazy… No I’m kiding but Lina did pose in a rater unexpected fashion.IMG_8132A suffragett on top of a suffraget….

When we finished all the courses, it was time to play the original “Suffragett board game”.IMG_8146

Using famous swedish women-fighters for pieces.IMG_8150

 Then some of us took the time to pose for the camera.IMG_8151Emelie in her lovely striped pink, self made gown.

IMG_8152Love this picture – So pretty.

Then it was my turn.IMG_8175I think this pic is hilarious – take a look at the frisky look in the creapy manequins eyes, and you know what I mean.


IMG_8141Carolina gives us a big smile in her cool, self made outfit.

Then we went outside for some quick group pictures.

IMG_8157We manadged to get a young guy to help us photograp – he was very polite and patient, but he must have thougt we were totaly crazy.

IMG_8159“Empire but skratch”

IMG_8160And of course some shoes – oh those naughty suffragetts.

Then it was time to hurry back to the aparment to change (took me half the time taking it of), and catch the train home.

I had such a good time dressing up and spending an afternoon in the company of all these awsome ladies.

Book Review – Everyday Fashions 1909-1920

I’m currently in some kind of early 1900s mood, preparing for an up-coming event this weekend.

So I thought it would be great to tell you a bit about one of the book I own on this period.

Everyday fashions 1909-1920 – As pictured in Sears Catalogs by Joanne Otan.

IMG_7927The name says it all – it’s a fashion catalouge showing some of the most promenent styles of the 1910s.

IMG_7931It contains lovely evening dresses,

IMG_7932as well as pretty separates,

IMG_7936and of course some comfortable day-dresses for wearing around the house.

IMG_7939I love the sections on underwear, and used this pages a lot when creating my own early 1900s wardrobe.

IMG_0787Like my 1910s underbust long line corset.

IMG_7941And just recently, when making my new corset cover.

IMG_64771910s corset covers.

IMG_7930I also want to recreate on of these petticoats and bust ruffles one day.

IMG_7946Thera are also several pictures of fabulous jackets and coats. Perfect for those chilly spring evenings.

IMG_7942Horse-race someone?

All the diferent kinds of dresses in this book was great inspiration and help to me, when making my 1913s walking dress.IMG_0562

I also really like the childrens sections of the book.

IMG_7937So many dresses for the girls (oh, if only I had a reason to make these).

IMG_7934And sweet sailor suits for the boys.

And we must not forgett about the gentlemen.IMG_7944

Bathing suits are big this year (at least in my part of the costuming comunity.)IMG_7943I do think I pass on this one…

IMG_7938Accessorize with belts, girdles, handbags. And for the men there are plenty to choose from regarding ties and bow-ties.

IMG_7935Lovely shoes.

IMG_7948And who do not love some fancy hats and watches.



Guess this did’t turned out qute like a real review. I couldn’t even give you any cons :-).

Anyhow, I do really love this book, and thinks everyone intersting in early 20th century fashion should buy it.

It is such a good inspiration and gives such a clear visual of the transistion in fashion between edwardian curves and the new 20s flair.

It’s a great book to own and to use as reference for what people realy wore at the time, for anyone who loves historical fashion. And it’s part of a series – so you can collect them all.


“Ariel”, meet “Camille”

From the moment I put the Ariel gown on, I’ve been thinking about ways to alter it to make it more flatterning, tous make me like it more.

I very seldom re-work and alter my costumes. If there is some item I don’t like, I usaly just putt it in the bottom of the costuming box and forget about it.

But this time I figured I give the re-working a try. And after reading all the tips and encuragment from all of you, I decided I was definetly going to try to make it into a more lovable gown.

But how?

After some image searcing, for edwardian dresses, on the internet I came across this pic. Camille21 It’s Camille Clifford in a white “pigeon bust” gown accessorized with black belt and hat.

I emmediately decided to try to re-style my Ariel gown into Camilles beautiful dress.

So, I needed to go from this…b494ff618d0617fcfd3b9dc06ed0a0f5

…To this.b17-1(the black line highlighting the low neckline is a later addition by who ever had the picture before me).

I realized at once I was not going to manadge the black colour fading on the skirt, simply because my fabric didn’t had the toning. Nor did it had the flowery design, and I did not had the time to cut and attach several hundreds of flowers to get the style completly right. Maybe that will be something to do later on, if I decides I like it this time around.

But on to what I could do.

I started by ripping my gown appart, separated the bodice and skirt. IMG_7108

Ripped out and re-cut the sleeves to get rid of some of that high pouf I prevously had. IMG_7115

And getting rid of the cuffs. IMG_7106

Then I started to assemble it again.

Attaching a black self made bias tape to the collar, to mimick the high sharp collar of Camilles gown. IMG_7187

Then I got on to the sleeves. Gattering the sleeve head, and changing the design of the sleeve-end from cuff to rusching.IMG_7181

I re-stiched the bodice to the skirt, rising the waist a bit in the process.

I also experemented a bit with the flowers from the previous design. IMG_7105 Making them smaler and pinning them to the sleeves, bodice and skirt. But decided to pospone that project to the future.

The finished dress:IMG_7230




When the gown was finished it was time to start on the belt.

I did not had a pattern to use, so I decided to make my own. IMG_7122

IMG_7123 IMG_7124


I then brought out all the pieces of black fabric I owned to decide wich one/ones to use. IMG_7113 I decided on the plain cotton fabric (center top) for the foundation, and the cotton voile/cheese-cloth (top left) for the draping.

I cut the foundation pieces and basted on a second layer as interlining. IMG_7137

Marked and stiched the boning chanels, and inserted the boning. IMG_7208

Then I started on the draping.IMG_7209Pinnig the cotton voile on the bias to the foundation piece while attached to the dressform.

Then I cut of the exess fabric and pinned the tucks in place. IMG_7214

I handstitched the tucks down, and folded the exess fabric around to be covered in cotton lining.

IMG_7218 IMG_7219

Then I set the gromets (something that caused more trouble then usual due to thick fabric).IMG_7220

And finishing of with some hooks and eyes at the front tabs.

IMG_7222 IMG_7223

I really like how the curve of the belt looks in this picture.IMG_7225













Facts re-making:

What:  Re-fashion of the edwardian “Ariel” gown into a new edwardian gown – “Camille”.

Fabric: Scraps of regular black cotton sheets (maybe a total of 30cm), and 30 cm black cotton voile.

Notions: 2x hooks and eyes, thread, 20 cm black bias tape, 1m of boning, 1,5 m black cord and 12 gromets.

Time: To long – ca 8 hours.

Cost: Maybe 20 Sek (3 Usd) worth of stash notions.

Result: I think it looks great (but so did  “Ariel” on the dressform), I will have to wait and se how I feel about it until after the photoshoot next week.