“America day – Those who Stayed Behind”

This weekend I attended the “American day” in a small village called Kisa.
The theme for the day was the Swedish emigration to America during the later half of 19th century, with a closer look at the Swedish society, clothing and food for all those who choose to stay behind (mainly the rich).

The old In (Wärdshus) in Kisa hosted the day, and me and a group of volunteer ladies held the costume and fashion “show” including a presentation of 1850-1900s fashion.

The first thing we did after arriving was to set up our dress forms with fashions from 1850-1900s.
Unfortunately we ended up with way to many bustle dresses and lacked both 1850s and 1900s dresses.
We also totally lacked mens fashion.
Lesson learnt for next time I guess.

IMG_5221Our “Showroom” – you can see my 1900s S-shaped corset to the left and my 1850s corset, crinoline and bonnet to the right.

IMG_5330Accessorizes 

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After the “showroom” was set, and we all gotten into our chosen garb, it was time to meet the guests.IMG_5245Group pic (missing two of the ladies who came a bit later)

We were supposed to walk around chatting with the guest, but since everyone was seated listening to the orchestra playing we didn’t had the chance to present ourself, but just stayed in the background as to not disturb the musicians.

IMG_5278Sara is wearing her fabulous military inspired 1880s bustle dress.

IMG_5254Helena in yet another lovely bustle dress.

IMG_5303I went a bit outside the box and wore my Downton Abby 1914s dress.

IMG_5295Gossiping 1850s ladies…

When the music was over, Sara got to show the resemblance between the orchestras uniform and her dress.IMG_5284Twins?

Then we all went inside for our costume presentation.IMG_5304

Helena held a great presentation, illustration the past fashions using both the dressforms and us as mannequins.IMG_5310

Then it was time to get seated for the 1870s style dinner, made by the Ins own chef from an old recipe.IMG_5314Salue! Cheers! Skål!

IMG_5320This pic cracks me up – just look at Mauds face watching me play with my food…

After dinner the guests had a little bit of time to ask us questions and take our photos.IMG_5340Susanna posing for a guest.

Before it was time to head home we all decided to take the time to get some nice photos
(my sister joined us the whole day as a photographer)IMG_5349

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IMG_5362Group-pic

IMG_5365The obligatory crazy group pic

IMG_5383Sara and Helena in beautiful blue bustles

IMG_5395Barbro in lovely 1870s dress – I love the stripe work

IMG_5415Maud and Marie just cant stop laughing in their 1850s garb

IMG_5433Josefine, Susanna and me chatting about some scandalous things.

IMG_5430“No way! I’t was you…”

IMG_5434Lovely Edwardian elegance

Then it was time to pack up and go home…IMG_5444

I’m not super impressed with the arrangement of the event (no PR, no schedule and strange activity clashes),
but I’m definitely happy and thankful for all the lovely ladies who turned up in costume and high spirit to make the day a success.

IMG_5368That pretty much sums it up…
All photos by: Elin Evaldsdottra

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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.
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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

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And a few pics from the photoshoot:IMG_4788

 

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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.
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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…).
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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

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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).

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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.
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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.
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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

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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.
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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.
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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

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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!