Finished Project: 1002 Nights Poiret Dress

I have just finished up my Poiret inspired dress!

Paul Poiret is one of my fashion design icons.  Making a dress that paid homage to him was really fun!

I felt so “high fashion” in it, because of it’s absurdity, so had fun with editing my photos to capture the way it felt.

p02 p03 p04 p05

p01 p06 p07

If you missed the prior post with more details about the making of this dress, you can find it here.

This “excuse” for making this dress (not that I needed one) was the Historical Sew Fortnightly’s “Fairytale” challenge.  Here’s the info for the challenge:

The Challenge: #6- “Fairytale”  Inspired by Paul Poiret’s “One Thousand and Second Night” party.

Fabric:  The tunic is all poly with little rubber dots on it.  Pretty horrid, but has a great look when made up for the “Poiret” look.  The dress is a black satin rayon, which they actually did have in this time period.

Pattern: Underdress: My Cordelia skirt pattern and the 1910s Blouse pattern with an altered neckline and no sleeves.  Overdress:  Very loosely based on a bodice pattern from the period, but mostly entirely self composed as I went along.

Year: 1913-ish

Notions: Indian import trim, hooks and eyes, snaps, hoop wire, bias facing.

How historically accurate is it?  If it wasn’t for the fibre content, it would be pretty close.  I’m knocking myself for that, though, and giving myself a 40% accuracy marking.

Hours to complete:  I have no idea.  Maybe 12-ish?  It went pretty fast, but I puttered in 15 minute increments on it over the span of three weeks (didn’t make the “fortnight” due date).

First worn: Today for pictures!

Total cost: Hmm…. considering the only thing I really bought for this was the dupatta, I think it was around $35.  Everything else was from the stash.

More outfit details:  My shoes were thrifted, my hat is authentic Edwardian, and the brooches, etc are vintage, with the exception of the necklace and earrings, and the choker I used as an accent on the belt.  All of those are new from Ebay, bought over the last seven years or so.

 

Share/Bookmark

Vintage Inspiration: 1936-1937 Winter Blouses & Skirts

I case you’re not on my Facebook page, you may not have heard that I’m in process of developing a new 1930s pattern.  Well, it’s not actually “new”, it’s one I had previously released in my beginning days as a single size reproduction.  Well, no photos of it yet (bwahaha! I like to keep you in suspense!) but I’m cutting out samples today to test it, and I was desiring a little inspiration.

Here we have some darling little blouses and skirts from Fall and Winter 1936-1937 from the National Bellas Hess catalog.  Don’t you just LOVE the details?  I want to make about a million separates for myself right now.  I hope you find these inspiring, too!

It seems like 1936 and 1937 were the years of the tunic.  They’re all over the place!  Tunic blouses, tunic dresses, two piece dresses.  And now they’re back… just over leggings or skinny jeans.

Do you have a favorite blouse of the ones above?

Finished Project: The Plaid 1869 Dress

Last year, several of us were shopping in the LA garment district and we happened across a fantastic silk taffeta at a fantastic price.  Katherine (The Fashionable Past) had already purchased the fabric a prior year, but when the other three of us (Ginger of Scene in the Past, Stephanie of Girl with the Star-Spangled Heart, and I) found it and fell in love with it, a group project with the four of us was born!  We would all choose a different era, keep the making of the dress itself a secret (though we did talk of the “plaid project”), and then show up at Costume College on Sunday in our dresses made of the fabric!

Katherine did 1820s, Ginger did Civil War, Stephanie did 1950s, and I did very late 1860s. It’s kind of fun to see this one fabric is so appropriate for all these time periods.

Here is a group shot so you can see the finished effect, and I have more photos of my friend’s completed dresses in an upcoming post.

This post is mostly about my dress for this group project, but I’m excited to share the other girls’ projects in an upcoming post because they all did such an incredible job!

I tend to be really drawn to transitional periods of dress, so for this project I wanted to try my hand at a late 1860′s dress.  I love 1868-1869, and for this project I prepared by making a new corset and using a small elliptical hoop with a bustle pad as my undergarments.

I love how the late 1860s and early 1870s were really inspired by 18th century fashion.  Since I was doing two 18th century dresses for Costume College this year, I loved playing with the 19th century idea of 18th century fashion.

I originally wanted to use a 1868 bodice pattern from Harper’s Bazar called the Marie Therese Waist (republished in Reconstruction Era Fashions by Frances Grimble) and mocked it up, but in the end used the bodice pattern from Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion as it was closer to my size and I had already enlarged it several years before.  Both had almost the exact same lines, but Janet Arnold dated the dress from the Gallery of English Costume as 1870-1871.  For the underskirt I used the 1869 Grand Parlor Skirt from Truly Victorian.  I have made this skirt many times and it’s one of my favorite patterns for early bustle, as it’s a fantastic foundation for trimmings.  I made up the overskirt by just using two large rectangles of fabric (a larger one for the back piece) and using the seams as a casing for drawstrings to gather up the sides of the skirt to swag.

For my contrast trimmings I used a fabric that was a checkerboard of the exact colors of the dress that was a lucky find to use as bias strips to bind my ruffles. I also purchased a contrast peach silk taffeta to use for my belt, neck ruffle, and bows.

I made a little attached modesty pannel from a strip of vintage cotton net to which I added lace beading and edging.  I finished the bottom with bias binding and whipped it into the bodice.  It snugs to the décolleté with a black silk ribbon.  Keeping with the 18th century inspiration, I used scalloped scissors that I purchased on Ebay to cut the edges of my neckline trim.

The hat I used was a vintage 1930s hat that I pinned leftover trims to.  I used a vintage brooch as an accent for the rosette. I used the same hat last year with my green plaid bustle dress.  For the sash, I used an antique buckle pin.

I used vintage (or antique) plaid buttons on the bodice that I had found at an estate sale.

I loved making this dress!  Like a lot of my projects, I loved sewing it and then didn’t like it… until I put the trim on.  Then I loved it! :)

The fabric was an absolute dream to work with.  I really hope I find a good deal on silk taffeta of this quality again, as I’d LOVE to work with it.  I think I have a thing for plaid dresses of this era.

The Practical Shirtwaist, 1904.

Sharing another lovely image from 1904.  Here are more shirtwaist designs from 109 years ago.  The illustrations are just lovely.  And the hats! *swoon*.

What I think is particularly interesting is the sleeve design.  The placement of the tucks and the way they controlled where the fullness is released, as well as trim or decoration accenting the cuff… simply brilliant!

Click on the image for a larger version you can read.

Shirtwaist Designs, 1904

I just got a few lovely old Ladies Home Journal magazines.  This one, from April, 1904, shows us the fashion in shirtwaist decorations from 109 years ago.  Maybe you could take these designs and incorporate them into my Edwardian Blouse Pattern.

What is novel about the designs below is that they are adapted from e pretty flourishes  and borders that are often seen in magazines of this period.  These, of course, come from the Ladies Home Journal.  In fact, the blouse just below the title has the same motif as the title decoration.  Novel, isn’t it?  If you enlarge the article you can read their suggestion for enlarging the designs for use in garments.

Click on the image for a larger version you can read.

Textile Inspiration- Pairing Dress Fabrics, 1939

Hello all!  Long time no post! I’ve been a bad, bad, blogger.

We’re currently working on a new production of His Girl Friday at the La Jolla Playhouse.  I’m so excited, and feel so blessed to be working on one of my favorite movies in one of my favorite time periods and years for fashions!  They’re setting the play in 1939 and I’m loving the costumes we’re building.  Of course, that means I’m wanting to make all sorts of 1939 fashions for myself!  Here’s some great images that I’m inspired by, from the Spring and Summer of 1939 Chicago Mail Order catalog.

What I love about this, and several other fashions from the late 1930s, is how some of them actually look like seperates but are actually a dress!   These dresses often include a few different fabrics in order to get a very tailored look.  In these pages it’s called the “basque styles”.

Even if matching different weight or style fabrics isn’t your thing, these pages are inspiring for what to do with trims.  Bows, buttons, ruffles… you can take a relatively simple dress and add a lot of whimsical details to make it more fun.

Although these styles are aimed at juniors, you can tone the proportions or styles down in you don’t want something so playful or “youthful”.

1939catalog1
1939catalog2

Hope the rest of your weekend is wonderful!

Keeping Warm in the 1930s: Rain and Snow

I’m a bit under the weather today, so I figured I should post another set of images in the “Keeping Warm” series.

Here’s two pages of catalog images from 1937-1938 showing coats to be worn in the rain, and outfits for play in the snow.

rainyweatherfriends

I find the fabric descriptions pretty fascinating. Rubberized fabrics like silk crepe de chine or cotton tweed, all rubber, or cotton gaberdine or whipcord- which were both supposed to be water repellent on their own. Also notice the sensible headwear, umbrellas, and rubber overshoes (which are made of rubber and hollow in the heel so that you can slip your regular footwear inside. I think they should make a comeback!).

snowfun

This image shows darling snow wear! I admit I have a love for the vintage ski jackets- but I’d rather wear them in regular life than in ski and snow sports. I think they’d look pretty cute even with modern jeans! I personally think ski and snow wear has come a long way since the 1930s. Although I’ve never tried it in the snow myself, it’s hard to imagine these “water repellant” styles keeping you dry, if you spend as much time as I do falling down or sitting in snow ;) These are all mentioned to be lined in cotton Kasha. I have not personally ever run across this fabric. If anyone knows what the modern equivalent is, or if it’s still available, please be sure to let us know!

Wishing you a warm weekend,
Lauren

Keeping Warm in the 1930s- Overcoats!

Now that’s we’ve taken a quick look at what goes on underneath, let’s skip to what goes on top!  Many gals have mentioned that layering is what’s needed, since it can be frigid inside and then toasty indoors.  Luckily, we can remove the overcoat.

Unlike today, when a girl can choose (or thrift, or make) several coats in one season, our counterparts in the 1930s would have to choose very wisely.  Most women had one overcoat, and that coat had to last through several winters.  Because of that, overcoats needed to be chosen with great care and thought.  It had to match your wardrobe, go with your other clothing, and fit your unique style.  This is why, often times, vintage overcoats could be a bit “bland”.  The flashy ones were fun, but were more the luxury of women who could afford to have an alternate coat- or else the purchase could be regretted the following year when the fashion forward coat was suddenly out of style!  It’s actually a great lesson to take with us into how we select our wardrobe today.  Think of it as quality over quantity- or choose a great basic to mix with more inexpensive “fun” pieces, like a quirky hat, bag, or brooch.

However, I am in LOVE with all these more fashion forward versions of coats below.  They scream the era they’re from, but aren’t they just delightful with their topstitching detail?  (Actually, they’re a glimpse of things to come for Wearing History, since I’ve been back puttering away at a pattern with similar detailing, but from a different era).

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

The one below has a definate “Gay 90′s” flair, as they called it in the mid to late 30s. What a time to harken back to the 1890s! It’s kind of funny, actually- our harkening to 40 years prior would put us in the 1970′s, and we can’t say that there aren’t fashions floating around today that were influenced by the recent past.

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

I’ve got more great coat images I can share that fall more in line with “warmth” than “chic”, but these were so fun I had to share.

For past posts of mine with images of overcoats, check out these links:

 Images posted prior to my migration to a WordPress.org blog are fuzzy, but if you click on the image it will take you to a nice clear version.
Have a great weekend!

Keeping Warm in the 1930′s- Socks and Stockings

I’m so glad that so many of you loved the theme of “keeping warm” for upcoming posts!  I admit there was a lot more response on the last post than I expected.  I guess there’s lots of us who like keeping warm and toasty!

Next up, since we’re on the subject of what goes on underneath, we’ve got stockings.

Most people think of stockings of the 1930s and 1940s in terms of the “cuban heeled” or “fully fashioned” stockings that were sheer and made of rayon, nylon, or silk.  Some even think of fishnet stockings, which were less common than we might think but certainly were still around.  And when we get to the 1940s we think of leg paint to help out with looking like there were stockings when in reality they were mostly given up for the war effort!

For everyday wear, around the house, or for cool weather there were, thankfully, more options than those sheer stockings we usually think of.  Here’s two pages of legwear options from Fall & Winter 1937-1938 with images of legwear to keep you warm.

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

The socks (or anklets) at upper left were advertised to be worn in addition to your hoisery.  Ladies wore these not only with flats and “saddle shoes”, but they were often worn with heels!  It was a cute, sporty look, and it kept your feet warm.  It wasn’t as common to wear with heels as it was to wear stockings alone, but you do see it in catalog images for footwear and in real life photos.

“Remember- Wool is Warmer”- the ad on the right reminds us.  You could select your stockings by wool content.  The ultimate luxury were 100% wool or a wool/silk blend.

Below this ad, we’ve got invisible “under hose”.  These would be an extra layer underneath your sheerer stockings, and apparently, the idea was to have these under hose look like it was actually your skin but it provided an extra layer of warmth.

And below that we’ve got stocking lined in fleece!  Don’t those sound cosy?

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

On the page above we’ve got cotton stockings in various styles.  These would keep your warmer than sheer rayon or silk and would would be more sturdy for everyday wear.

And on the left we’ve got the “outsize” stockings, which were made for “stout” women.  You can see the standard range that most stockings, in regular or outsizes, were available in.

I usually skip over the stocking pages in old catalogs, but I found these cool weather options rather enlightening!  Are they what you would expect?  What sort of legwear do you wear to keep warm in cool weather?

Keeping Warm in the 1930′s- Knit Underwear

It’s abnormally chilly here in San Diego!  This cool weather has me thinking of things to keep warm.

One of the biggest misconceptions that I’ve seen and heard about dressing the past is our perception of keeping warm.  Just like today, our 1930′s sisters layered and selected their cool weather garments with care.  Instead of freezing in rayon satin tap pants and sheer hose, with a flimsy rayon crepe dress and jacket of questionable warmth, I’ve got a few posts coming up of images of what you’d wear to keep nice and toasty in cool weather.  It’s easy to adapt these ideas to our wardrobe recreations.  Remember no one looks chic while they’re shivering!

First up, here’s some great images of knitted underwear.  If you’ve looked at vintage knitting books, you may recognize the look of these.  Many knitted books contained patterns for wool knitted underwear like these (similar to long johns today).  It seems they were especially prominent in UK publications.  So, a clever knitter could find patterns today and knit up a set to keep warm- or the seamstress might be able to make up a set inspired by these from knits, or adapt a modern set of long underwear to a similar look (remember, cotton and natural fibres dye, so you could give them a pretty peachy pink look like these below).

Some might be turned off by these- they’re not the satin and lace dainty underwear we’ve come to associate with the 1930′s.  But, remember, it’s better to be warm and outwardly stylish than shivering in cold rayon undies that will never be seen!  Sense is always chic ;)

Check it out… the original Snuggie!

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

All of these images are remastered from the National Bellas Hess Fall & Winter Catalog from 1937-1938

You can click on any of the images to take you to my Flickr and see a larger version you can read.

So what do you think?  Would you be up for these vintage warm undies, or would you rather wear something modern, or stick with the rayon ones we’ve come to associate with the 1930′s?