Ariel goes Edwardian – Photoshoot

When me and my sister got together this weekend to do the photoshoot of my new “Edwardian Ariel” gown, we were happy to discover that the recent snow had melted and turned into perfect sunny spring weather.

So I put on my akvardly red syntetic wig and my new gown. Then we spent an hour outside by the chanal, playing and taking pictures.





















IMG_7023Photo: Elin Petersson

Ariel goes Edwardian

For the HSF challenge 6 – Farytale, I’ve been working on an Edwardian dress for “The litle mermaid” Ariel. (If you wonder how the heck that works, take a look at my previous post.)

b494ff618d0617fcfd3b9dc06ed0a0f5The girl on the left is my main inspiration.

IMG_6653A quick design sketch.

As usual, I started with the draping of the pattern. I pinned the fabric to my dressform (on top of the corset and brassiere) and draped a tight fitting lining.

IMG_6595 IMG_6594

IMG_6587And a larger outer layer.

Then cut and made a quick mock-up. First I tried on the lining.


And then I pinned on the draping outer layer.

IMG_6614 IMG_6611

After some minor changes to the pattern, I cut all the pieces. Using a striped cotton voile (same as for my “Chemise a la Reine“) for the bodice, sleeves and skirt. And a dotted polyester organdy for the neck insertion, and decoration.

IMG_6692I cut the skirt as two lenghts of fabric, sewed them together and pleated the wasit to the right measurments.

IMG_6695I made the pin-tucks from a long piece of the organdy, only cuting the front insertion when the piece was finished.

IMG_6755 I interlined the bodice and stitched it togehter, then I put it on to determen the placing of the pin-tucked front piece.

IMG_6758And pinned the front draping fabric to the waist.


IMG_6725It does look pretty good ( the skirt and leeve ae just pined on at this stage).

IMG_6713 IMG_6705

But I do have some minor problems at the back and side, which fortanly can both be fixed by shortening the waist a few cm.

Then it was time to stich on the front piece, collar, sleeves and skirt. Putt in the hooks and eyes, and finishing the whole thing of with some flowers.

The Finished Gown:IMG_7045











Just the Facts:

Challenge: 6 – Farytale

What: An Edwardian (1901s) gown for “The little Mermaid”.

Pattern: Drafted my own, using a picture for reference.

Fabric: 3m of striped white cotton voile, 0,5 m of white dotted polyester organza and 0,5 m regular white cotton sheets for interlining.

Notions: Thread, hooks and eyes and about 80 cm syntetic whalebone.

How historical accurate: Not much, the cotton content is ok, and the colour would suffice for a “nice dress”. But I don’t think I quite got the shape/look right.

Time: About 10 hours – on and of for two weeks.

Cost: About 100Sek (16Usd), everything from stash (bought on sale about a year ago).

First worn: 30th of mars, for the “farytale” photoshoot.

Final thoughts: Sadly I did’t enjoy making this dress.

I was way to tired after work, and to occupied on weekends, to take the time to do the dress right.

Instead I forced myself to make some “baby-step” progress on it for about two weeks, and then pulling myself up and stressing like crazy to get it finished before the photoshoot on sunday 30s.

All that stress would have been worth it, if I at least would have liked the dress.

But No, when I putt it on for the first time (at the photoshoot) I really hated it.

I feelt fat, ugly and ridicoulus in it, and was more then a bit ashamed to go outside for the photo session.

But now, when I’ve been going through the pictures we took, I think I do like it a bit more.

Because I can tell you – we got some awsome looking photos, which I’m dying to show you. (As soon as I can get this damn blog to stop deciding over my picture sizes).


Re-working the Edwardian Brassiere

Lateley I’ve been bothered by the ill-fitting brassiere I made last week for the HSF 5 challenge (bodice).

And since I’m curently working on a dress to be worn over the brassiere, I figured I needed to take the time to re-work it.


IMG_6639 IMG_6644

The brassiere needed to be let out a couple of cm in the sides, shortened at the waist and lowered both at the armcykles and neckline.

So this weekend I grabbed the seam ripper and got to work.

I started by removing most of the bias tape, and the boning.IMG_6654


Then I cut the new neckline, armholes and waistline. IMG_6647

The side seams was being let out a bit, and I needed to make some additional bias tape to cover for the new and longer edges. IMG_6656

Then I shortened the boning and finishing of by sewing the bias-tape back on.

IMG_6657But it does look very nice. There are to much fabric at the top neckline.

So I tried it on.IMG_6671And pined away the exess fabric.

IMG_6677The shoulder straps need to be adjusted – re-shaped and shortened.

There was noting to do but to start ripping out the bias tape once more.






It is defenetly not my best work, but at least it does what it is supposed to.

The whole procedure took about two-three hours, but together with lots of over time at work, it unfortanly left me with only one week to start and finish my entry for the next challenge…


A 1913s hat

When posting about my To late for Titanic 1913s dress I got quite a few remarks on my hat, and the ladys who went with me to the Titanic exhibithion also admired it and asked where I bought it.

Well, It is a totaly modern and ordinary sun hat from any clothing store.

IMG_0297All that’s needed was a bit of re-styling.


So I bought some fejk flowers for decoration. And pleated a white ribbon, and sewed it to the hat in order to hide the black stripe on the crown.

And turned the brim up on one side to get those 1910s look.

IMG_0300I only used the orchids, so the rest of the flowers will be left for some other time.

And the hat being worn.







It was only a happy coincident that the violet flowers together with my green and white “Titanic dress” symbolizes the collors of the suffragetts.

A 1929s picture dress

When looking at the pictures for my boyfriends exhibition I emedetly fell in love with the photo of the 4 women and the little girl.

CApettersson1 - Kopia

3 generation of women who, probably dresses in their finery for the photograph, all look so severe and sad. It makes me wonder who they where and what there lives was like.

I decided to make one of their garnments, and really wanted to make the little girls jacket. But since the time was limited, I only had two late nights to do it, I decided to make the teenage girls dress instead.

After studying the picture, I drafted a pattern for a straight skirt, a straight bodice with button clouser and a sleeve with a long slim cuff.

And a big white collar…

Those of you who know some of my previous work will recognize the collar.

It is almost the exact same collar as in The 30s sailor dress and in the 1913 to late for Titanic dress!


And yet, I do have historical evidence for all of these dresses (well, I do if you count fashion plates).

I have no idea why, but apperently I’m drawn to dresses with big white collars…

Well, back to the construction. The fabric is a cheap brown cotton and the collar is the exact same fabric, just a lighter shade of colour. The buttons is cheep brown wooden buttos which works verry well with the brown of the fabric.

The whole dress took about 6 hours to make, and I manadged to have it ready and hung 10 minutes before the opening of the exhibition.





The original…CApettersson1 - Kopia - Kopia

And the copy.IMG_1979Hm, maybe not that good…






IMG_2032It was really hard to try to mimic the stiff, severe look of the girl in the photo. But I did my best.

Eastern Influences in 1914

I had some difficulties figuring out what to make for the HSF Challenge 14 – Eastern Influences. I didn’t want to start a too big project, being so busy with the Titanic dresses at this time.

After much hesitation and changing my mind I finally decided to use the 1,5 m of light pistage-colored organdy already waiting in the stash. It is covered in a geometrical pattern in the shape of 4cm big grecian keys. So perfect for the challenge. But I’m not much of a print person, and feared that the geometrical pattern would be too obvious, too silly or just simply destroy whatever I made from it.


Ok, fears aside – what exactly was I going to make with it (that wouldn’t look costumy or silly)?

I had not enough fabric for a regency-dress, and the fabric was not suitable for anything heavy like a round skirt or a stiff bodice. What to do?

The answer fell on me when searching the internet for inspiration for another project.


A Titanic era evening-gown. It seemed perfect, and already being totally emgrossed by the early 20th century I didn’t hesitate.

I quickly made some sketches and played around a bit with the fabric on my dressform to get the basic shapes and cuts figured out.

Then I started drafting the pattern. I wanted a cross-over bodice with a short kimono-sleeve attached to a draped skirt. The bodice was a bit tricky and I decided to try the paper pattern on my dressform before cutting a toile. That impuls saved me making a useless mock-up.


I tried but could not get the pattern and the dressform to co-operate, so I scratched the paper pattern and instead draped a bodice on the form. So much better.


I then did the mock-up, tried it on and pinned all the necessary alterations. (It is not easy trying and fitting a back-closed mock-up by your self).

IMG_0284Ignore the huge seam allowance.

Since the organdy is so sheer I needed to make some foundation underneat – both for modesty and to get the right support and shape. I used the the same white skirt as for my late Titanic dress, and drafted a strapless dress-bodice to attach the organdy-bodice on.

Then it was time to cut the fabric. I sewed the foundation bodice and tried it on, then I stitched the organdy and draped the skirt on the dressform.

Everything went together fine and I just needed to make some minor alterations on the waist and shoulders. I tried the dress on and really liked it, but felt like something was missing.



I rummaged around a bit for a suitable waist-sash, but neither white nor pistage seemed right. Then I found the vine colored sash for my sisters Titanic-rose dress, and it was perfect. So I used whatever leftovers I had and made another dark red sash.

The finished dress.



IMG_0690Detail of sash and drape.

And the dress being worn.












IMG_0522Photo: Maria Petersson

Just the facts:

Challenge 14: Eastern Influences.

What: A 1912 evening dress.

Pattern: None, I draped my own.

Fabric: 1,5 m polyester organdy, 0,3 m white cotton voile and 0,5 m white cotton sheets for lining and interlining the bodice. And 0,2 m vine colored viscose for the sash.

Notions: Thread, plastic boning, hooks and eyes and snaps.

Historical accuracy: There are way too much polyester in it to be any good. But I think the look and the overall feel of the dress is right. And according to Arnold they did use foundation-bodices beneath sheer and slippery fabrics. Maybe 6/10.

Time: 15 hours (made it in a two days speedrush).

Cost: 100 SEK (11 Euro).

First worn: On the photoshoot July 5.

1913 to late to Titanic – Pattern

When posting about my new 1913s dress on the HSF page, I got lots of positive feedback and many ladies asked for the pattern. So I decided to to share it.


You must keep in mind I’m no commercial patternmaker, and have only so far drafted for my own use (so don’t expect any wonders). But I’m willing to give it a try.

There are several ways to make a pattern, but here I will show you how I drafted mine.

I will show you the basic pattern blocks I used and go through the patterning process step by step. I will also show you the finished pattern-pieces (something I personally find very useful when figuring out other peoples patterns).


I want to begin by saying that it is a pretty easy and straight forward dress to make, and if you have a bit of experience from drafting and sewing you will probably find these instructions redundant.

And if you are quite new at this – it looks harder than it is,  just use logic and take your time to measure everything and just do it one step at a time.

Lets start:

For the basic pattern blocks you will need: A  fitted bodice block, a skirt block and a one-piece sleeve block. You can use what method you find easiest to draw up these basic blocks – I use templets from the swedish book Mönster och konstruktioner för Damkläder (pattern-making for womans wear) by Inger Öhman and Hervor Ersman. You can also draft them from scratch using your own measurments.

001002 Your pieces may look a bit different from mine, but that is nothing to worry about.

Start by measuring the bust, waist and hips of your pattern and make the necessary adjustments to your body measurments. Don’t forget to add some ease (but not too much, since it is a fitted dress).

When the pieces are all measured and altered I like to start with the bodice – leaving the skirt for now.


Start by moving the upper bust dart to the waist dart. Cutting the waist-dart through the middle and closing the upper bust dart at the same time.

Then you can choose either to keep the waist dart as a regular sewn dart, or to take out the waist dart completely by gathering the fullnes at the bust instead. (I use the gathering alternative).

Remove the shoulder dart at the back by reducing the outer shoulder measurment.

And then raise the waist line.

Now your bodice pieces should look something like this.


Now it is time for the collar. It is basically a combination between the “sailor collar” and the “roll collar” but with a twist.

Mark where you want your collar to cross the center front. Add for the buttonstand.

Put the front and back shoulders together and draw the collar.


When I made this pattern, I then made a quick mock-up for the collar to better see the proportions and curves, and to tweak it a bit. If you like you can drape the whole collar on your dressform.


Now it’s time for the sleeves. Cut the sleeve to the desired length (somewhere below the elbow). Measure and draw the cuff, with some extra for the overlapping closure. Mark the back opening.


Next up is the skirt. This is a slim skirt, but you can add as much or as little width to it as you like.

Add the raised waist (which you cut off  the bodice earlier), and make sure the new waist measurments are right by adjusting the darts.

Split the back skirt down the dart, and add some extra width at the bottom. This will make the back skirt into two pattern pieces.

Add a buttonstand at the front, and draw the opening in the lower skirt panel crossing the front line. Add some extra width at the sides.


When you are done with the drafting you should have a fair amount of pattern-pieces.

009The skirt:

Front (cut 2), Back/side (cut 2) and Back (cut 1 on fold).

The rest:010

Bodice front (cut 2), Bodice back (cut 1 on fold), Collar (cut 2 on fold), Facing bodice front (cut 2), Facing bodice back (cut 1 on fold), Facing skirt front (cut 2), Sleeve (cut 2), Sleeve cuff (Cutt 4 or 2 on fold) and Sleeve placket (cutt 4).

I deliberately choosed not to put any numbers or measurments on this guide. Because different people have different taste and body types, so make sure the measurments you use are adapted to your body size and personal preferences.

Always make a mock-up when testing a new pattern. I know it is boring, but you will regret you didn’t when you put lots of work into making a garnment that doesn’t fit right.

The sewing is pretty easy, just make sure to use interfacing in all the necessary places. And don’t neglect cutting down the allowance in the rounded corners of the collar…

Then you should do just fine.


IMG_0578I hope you found this account useful, and I really like to know if there is anything that is unclear or overly complicated.

Titanic – A Jurney to the past.

This weekend it was finally time for my 19th century group to visit the big “Titanic Exhibition“. I’ve been pending between super stressed and super excited these past weeks, working non stop with finishing and perfecting the dresses for me and my sister to wear.

And I made it. Everything was ready in time. Although blisters on my feet did stop me from wearing my new Gibson shoes (stupid, stupid, stupid me, wearing bright new high heels the day before a big event). I will never do that mistake again.

I really enjoyed meeting some of the members from our costume group, and looking at (and envying) everyones beautiful dresses. The weather was sunny – in fact it was too sunny. We were all toasting in our corsets and petticoats.

The Exhibition was wonderful and we had such a lovely time walkig around, looking at and listening to the fascinating stories of the real people who lived and died when the Titanic sunk.

We were not allowed to take any photos inside the exhibition, so instead I will show you some which I found online.


imagesCAN4VKIJTicket please. welcome aboard.

g_vigoenfotos_3047kUnfortunately we did not get the chance to walk down the big stairway, but had to settle for just looking at a painting of it. Even though the picture was beautifully made.

first-class-hallway-the-henry-ford-titanic-the-artifact-exhibitionWe did however walk down the first class corridor to the cabins. That was amazing, you could almost feel the “boat” rock beneath your feet and I did even get the impulse to grab the rail.

Titanic_radiohytten_530090v530x800The settings of the different rooms were really detailed and nicely done. It was in a room such as this the telegraphs sent the distress code CQD and SOS out into he night, continuing all the way until their little booth was flooded.

image_galleryWhat I found most interesting was the cross-section model of Titanic, which let you see all the little rooms and corridors. I could have stayed there for hours looking at the little people walking the deck or having breakfast in their suites.

bg-slider_2Some wood working tools used to make the ship.

2811456_520_292Pictures of families and spauses travelling to the new world.

imagesCABZABXRTrinkets and letters found on the numerous dead bodies.


ImageHandlerThe (tiny) necklace that is said to have inspired James Camerons Movie “Titanic” (1997).

Photograph_of_a_lifeboat_carrying_TITANIC_survivors__The_following_partial_caption_appears_on_the_back_of_the____-_NARA_-_278338Photo of survivors taken from the rescuing ship “Carpathia”.

7165050206_9c2afcb36a_oBut the most moving piece in the exhibition was when you turned a corner and suddenly stood before the names of all those who lost their lifes during the sinking. Men, women and children – all died in the freezing water.

This was a beautiful and well executed exhibition and I think everyone who is the least interested should go visit it. It was much bigger than I would have thought, yet intimate and really let you get close to the objects. The voice in the headphones was interesting and informative yet left room for your own thoughts aswell. It made you really think.

Besides walking the corridors of Titanic in our time typical clothes we also had a meeting and interview with the local paper. We talked about our clothes, the costuming community and everything concerning 19th century from Napoleon to the suffragets.

The news crew was allowed to take some photos of us inside the exhibition.

ImageHandler (4)

ImageHandler (3)By the main stairway.

ImageHandler (5)Walking down the first class corridor.

ImageHandler (2)Looking at a first class apartment.

News article (in swedish)

And then some of my own pictures from that day.


13 bildBoarding the Titanic

2Such lovely colors.

4It’s a bird, it’s a plane…

3…It’s Titanic!

7Look at those accessories. Fans, gloves and gorgeus hats.

6I’m  in love with her umbrella. Damn those hobble skirts, or else I would have made a run for it….

9We did get quite the attention, and by-passers stopped to look.

10One more lovely umbrella.

IMG_0667My sisters 15 minute hairstyle (ok, the curling took a bit longer).

IMG_0672Two happy but tired travellers on the train home.


A Titanic Rose

When I decided on the look of my sisters gown for the “Titanic exhibithion” I only knew that I wanted to make it simple yet beautiful. I needed to use pattern I already owned and find fabric from stash or cheap in the store. There would be no time to look for perfect fabric, or to indulge in intricate details on the garnment – quick and easy was the theme.

So when I found this wonderful black tuile, with black and silvery flowers on sale I bought the whole lot. I also got this wine colored viscose to match.


The dress immediately appeared in my head – a Rose inspired gown from the Arnold 1909s pattern.

Rose's Dinner Dress2013-06-23 20.27.19

I knew that this dress needed to go togheter fast (only one week until deadline) and that I would not get any chance to try the dress on my sister until the night before deadline.

Within those terms there was not much to do but to start sewing, and hope everything would run smoothly.

I cut the fabric for the skirts (black and red) and the bodice (just red). I then searched my stash and found a piece of black twill, leftover from the Laced corset, to interline the bodice. I also found a very small amount of soft black viscose for the bodice lining. Then I stroke luck a third time and found a piece of lightweight black chiffong for the little sleevecap. Sometimes it is good to be a maniac and save all the little pieces of leftovers.

IMG_0075This is all the fabrics for the bodice (left to right: viscose lining, twill interlining, red viscose and sheer tuile). I will also insert boning to get some extra strength and shape.

After basting all the interlining, I sewed the bodice together. I then put it on my dressform and draped the tuile over it.


After a lot of needeling I took it down, cut it clean and basted it all in place.IMG_0158

The skirts went together easy, and I used “french seams” for the flowery tuile to get a neat and clean look. Then I sewed the bodice to the skirt and attached the boning in the bodice seams.

I left the length, the back closure and the decorative waistband until the dress was tied and fitted on my sister the day before deadline. I also draped the little sleeves right on her body.

I got a bit stressed and had to scramble to get the dress done in time for the photoshoot and exhibition. But I managed, and both the dress and my sister looked lovely.



And being worn.IMG_0334








IMG_0368Hm, dirty or pretty…





IMG_0541Model: Maria Petersson

1913 – to late for Titanic

When deciding what to wear to the “Titanic exhibithion” I looked through a lot of pictures and patterns from the 1910-1912 period. Then I found this one.


The dress has a bit more of a 1913 style to it, but nothing to apparent.

The fabric for the dress is a green striped wool that’s been in my stash for a couple of years.

2013-06-24 10.24.20

I also used  withe cotton voile left over from the “Chemise a Lamballe”

2013-05-29 17.38.05

The only thing that needed to be bought was the buttons, so it was a pretty cheap project. Even though buttons can be terribly expensive, and more often than not you will need a lot of them.

I drafted the pattern myself, using Waughs “Cut of Wlomens Clothes” as a guide to the general shape.

It wasn’t until I already begun sewing that I realised two things.

1. This dress would fit perfectly to the HSF challege 1. – ..13 (make anything from the year ..13) which is the only challenge so far that I missed out on. To my defense I didn’t know about the HSF until the second challenge  had already started. Better late then never right.

2. This dress was beginning to look a bit too much as my “By the sea” 30s dress. The silhouette, the color combination with the big white details, I even used the same fabric for the collars. Well, all the fabric was already cut – there was no use not to continue. And besides, I really did like that 30s dress.

Getting the dress together went fast but I did have to reshape the collar a bit smaller – something I discovered after I had sewn it on. So I unpicked the seam and re-cut the front tabs to end a bit higher in the neck opening, and then sewed it back on.


And then I tryed it on.

IMG_0175Starting to look pretty good.

For the opening in the front of the dress I decided to make a separate skirt in the same white voile that I used for the collar and cufs. So I re-used the skirt pattern for the dress and cut a high waisted slim skirt.


So here it is, my contribution to the HSF Challenge 1 – A 1913 dress – I’m only one year late for the Titanic.





And being worn.













Just the facts:

Challenge 1. year ..13.

What: A 1913s daydress.

Fabric: 2,5 m of green wool, and 2 m of white cotton voile.

Pattern: I drafted my own, based on Waugh’s “Cut of Womens Clothes”.

Notion: Thread, interlining, buttons (5 big and 14 small ones) and snaps.

Historical accuracy: I used modern sewing and drafting techniques, but the fabric and the over all look of the garmnent are about right.

Cost: 200 SEK total (half the amount now, and the rest for stash fabric).

Hour: about 15 hour

First worn: On the Titanic exhibition on the 6th of July, and the following photoshoot.