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This may be the latest posted “Finished Project” on my blog EVER. In fact, I finished this many years ago, before I even had a blog! It’s one of those projects that I felt completely inspired by, intended to wear to an event, but then put away and never took out again. Well, I was determined to take photographs in it this year. To be honest, I highly doubted I would actually fit in it, but a little squeezing from my new corset I made this year, and it *barely* fit. Good enough for pictures, anyways!
When I first became aware of James Tissot’s amazing paintings, I wanted to make a bunch of dresses inspired by them. This one, “At the Rifle Range” (or “Woman at the Rifle Range”) from 1869 was an instant favorite because it appealed to my inner adventuress.
My husband was sweet enough to instruct me how to stand, so we could play at replicating the feel of the pose. Here, with photoshopped background to look more autumn/winter-y than we currently are in Southern California. The pistol is just a toy.
And here is how the plants really look in November where we live. I honestly wish we had some sort of weather- the years tend to kind of run together when you don’t have a visual representation of the changing of the seasons.
Unfortunately, I can’t give details on it because I honestly don’t remember what I did, but I DO know I used Truly Victorian for a base of top and overskirt (though I can’t remember which ones), and changed the patterns, but the underskirt is my all time favorite base skirt, the Grand Parlour Skirt. The fabric is an odd, interior decor fabric of sueded synthetic fibres, and the trim is faux fur.
Here’s a view of the back. I used antique cut steel buttons.
Trying to be Christmas-y with a vintage fur muff.And some kitty pictures for good measure :)
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Many blessings to you and yours.
Ah, the Edwardian times. Such odd table dressings, such odd food. No other time in the 20th century comes to mind, except, maybe, the 1950′s and 1960′s, when food on the table was both edible and took such strange and bizarre forms.
If you fancy a bit of a whimsical table decoration for Thursday, why not try to make funny animals out of fruits and vegetables. It’s like Cake Wrecks. But not.
These come from Good Housekeeping, November, 1908
A while ago my mom gave me an old magazine that was without the cover, and a Good Housekeeping. I usually don’t go for those types of magazines- preferring those that focus on fashion like McCall, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and the Delineator- but after I flipped the first few pages, I stumbled across this series of images and found myself wondering about the lives about about those photographed here.
As a general rule (though I know there are exceptions), we tend to base our rosy-colored view of what people of the past wore through illustrations, paintings, exquisite high-end gowns in museum collections, and photographs- and what most of those have in common, is that, in essence, most were either worn by, are images of, or are targeted toward, the younger, fashionable, and wealthy (though, advent of magazines such as McCall, Ladies Home Journal, etc, targeted the middle class). I admit, I don’t often even think about what the older, less wealthy people wore in a given generation. I was interested in what people in my age range wore, and, if I was going to consider a gown to make, was obviously going to make one as pictured in the fashion magazines or the other visually appealing images of loveliness that flit before our eyes constantly on social networking sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
But let us consider, for a moment, a completely different kind of beauty. In fact, I venture to say, this is a more realistic, more heart-touching, more genuine form of beauty. Just a look at the lines on the faces and smiles glistening through their eyes makes you stop and consider, not only, our perceived notion of what “beauty” is, but also WHO these images capture. What they must have lived through! What must their lives have been! Even consider, had some of these sitters ever had a photograph taken of themselves?
Seeing these faces really gives me something to be thankful for. Those courageous men and women who came before us, who carved out a life for themselves, and who touched the people they knew. It really humbles and gives us a moment to consider how much WE have to be thankful for.
Today I have another set of images from The Delineator, November 1908. If you ever feel a little out of your element in long skirts, or skirts with trains, here’s a great article that teaches how to manipulate them to move gracefully.
If you’ve studied Edwardian fashion for a while, you may recognize that the time period called these “Directoire” influence. Now, granted, in view of the history of fashion, these have little to nothing to do with the Napoleonic and Regency dresses they were referencing, but if you consider the silhouette of historical fashion, the slim, long, draped skirt was relatively out of Vogue for around 80 years or so. These must have seemed so refreshing and freeing, after decades of crinolines, cages, hoops, bustles, and layer upon layer of petticoats.
”Grace is a gentle art with which Nature has endowed some, and which, others may acquire…. the proper wearing of one’s gown is an ever-present duty”.
I just love the way this period combined insult with praise. Come, women, it’s your duty to make up for your klutziness! Learn to move those skirts properly!
Click on the images for a larger version you can read.
The weather here has been rainy, and, without fail, rainy weather gets me anxious to make historical clothing. Wouldn’t you know, I’m knee deep in working on a pattern that’s releasing soon that’s of the vintage variety. I have serious costume A.D.D., as my friend Val, of Time Travelling in Costume, would say.
One of these days I’ll get around to finishing my Truly Victorian S Curve corset (which is a little earlier in silhouette than the image above, which is a hybrid between the S-Curve and the longer “classical” lines of the 1910s corset). It ends up I cut it about two sizes too small in my real fashion fabric, a silk brocade I had been hording since before my wedding, and coutil. I forgot I added extra seam allowances, and then, ages later when I sewed the mock up, used 1/2″ all over. When I cut the real stuff I was befuddled as to why it was soo much small. Then I remembered. Whoops?
But, until I figure out a solution to my corset making dilemma , I’ll just enjoy this image from the Delieator’s November, 1908 issue. If you’re wondering what the future held for W.B. Reduso and NuForm Corsets, check out this prior post that shows an ad from 1911.
Today I’ve got more fun 1930′s inspiration to share from you. This is from Fall/Winter 1935-1936.
This catalog page includes a bevy of separates that will make your wardrobe sing for the Winter season. I can see I need more blouses, skirts, and jackets to get me through the year. All of these would be easily mixed and matched together, if done in a matching colorway.
My very, very favorite is the corduroy suit (at left). The catalog claims it can even go to tea! Wow. My love for corduroy knows no bounds. It’s hearty, warm, and washable. Everything I love in daily wear.
The jacket at makes the 1890′s influence on late 1930′s style completely obvious. Double breasted, high neck, “leg o mutton” gathered sleeves. It’s funny how the 1930′s took influence from the 1890′s. To think, it was only forty years before. It would be fashion today taking influence from the 1970s. Which does, obviously, happen…
Speaking of 1890′s style, this blouse is blaring it out, calling it the “Gibson Girl” style. I also see ads quite often for “Gay 90′s” style. In fact, I picked up a late 30′s brooch recently that said “Gay 90′s”, and has a pennyfarthing hanging from it. It has since met an untimely demise of the little hanging loop and must be mended before I share photos. An image from Charles Dana Gibson, creator of the Gibson Girl, is supplied to compare. Eh, I can see it…
If skirts are your thing, more than jackets and blouses, check out this great detailing. The insets of the skirt are cut bias. It would be simple enough to do with a pattern you have to add an unexpected detail.
Or, if you want to go even more crazy, why not add zig zag insets with buttons, pintucks, or crazy deco pockets?
Hope you enjoy these images! Happy creating!
I am so saddened by the recent tragedy in the Philippines, that from now until the end of the weekend, 10% of my Wearing History Etsy Shop proceeds will go to the American Red Cross to help aid victims of the typhoon.
I urge other small business owners, or those who are financially able, to consider doing something similar. We can help make an impact, and every small bit counts.
“Do not withhold good from whom those it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” ~ Proverbs 3:27
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross directly, click here to be taken to the page to aid in the typhoon disaster relief.
Today I have a fun little freebie for you!
If your fingers have been itching to take up needlework again, here’s a cute little crocheted pattern from the late 1940s for a crocheted acorn border. I’m sure they originally decorated things like household linens, hankies, etc,, but why not use them on a blouse, purse, or something to wear? Maybe even a little hair accessory.
Have fun! If you make them up, please share photos!
Great news!! The 1930s Blouse and Skirt patterns are available ahead of schedule. Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered the printed pattern. Really helped me out :)
You can order the wide format, mailed printed patterns of the Blouse & Skirt combo, or each piece individually.
You can buy the E-pattern for the blouse here.
You can buy the E-pattern for the skirt here.
Please help me out by spreading the word if you like these new patterns. Thanks a bunch :)