1850s Plaid Summer Dress – Photoshot

Back in may with a big event coming closer i had a bi of a wardrobe panic – which (thankfully) was pretty easy solved by posting my 3 choices on Instagram and let you decide.

And as some of you already know, the (not so enominous) votes tallied up to my plaid light cotton summer dress and my white 1850s bonnet, and I couldn’t have made a better choice 🙂 – So a big Thank you to all that voted!
I felt perfectly temperate, pretty,fashionable and practical, all at the same time.

While at the event, I took the time to get some better pictures of it (since last times photos tuned out somewhat odd).




 Photos: Maria Petersson

Grecian Chiton (Aka The “Liberty Dress”) (HSM 4/2017)

For the HSM nr 4/2017 – Circles, Squares and rectangles I (for once) knew straight away what I wanted to make.

A Grecian Chiton.

I’ve been wanting to expand my horizon (time-wise) and make some older things, so this challenge was the perfect opportunity for that.

I also wanted to make things as easy as I could, and needed to use material that I already own to cut down on both cost and effort while I tried to keep up with the challenges and taking care of my little one at the same time.

The fabric I choose was a beautiful jewel toned polyester charmouse(?) which I bought a few years back, in the hopes to make an Edwardian evening gown. That didn’t happened, and since I didn’t find anything else that would be more suitable for this project, that’s what I settled on.
The color is much more aqua in real life

I didn’t take any in progress photos, since the whole dress basically came together in one afternoon.
I just cut two lengths of fabric (150cm wide) and stitched them together at the sides, felled the seams hemmed the top and bottom, and added some beads at intervals along the upper edge to make for decoration.

And that was that.
Un-belted but finished

The finished dress:






Once one the dressform for photos I realize the fabric had the exact shade as the Statue of Liberty  So with a few extra details and some excess fabric I now give you – The Liberty Dress

Challenge: HSM nr 4/2017 – Circles, Squares and Rectangles

What: A Grecian Chiton

How it fit the challenge: The garment’s just two rectangles stitched together.

Pattern: None, used two widths of fabric.

Fabric & Notions: 2,5 m of aqua colored polyester charmouse, thread and perl-buttons for decoration. I also used a brown cotton string to tie around the waist.

How historical accurate: Not much.
The shape and hand stitching is right, but the fabric’s ALL wrong and should have been really thin linnen instead of plastic. 4/10.

Time & cost: It took about 3 hours (all hand-stitching) and since the fabric came from my stash it was basically free ( I think I payed 100 Sek/m (10Usd) for it at one time)

First worn: Late June for photos

Final thoughts: It’s such a basic dress and so simple. Yet I wish I’d had some better fabric for this project. But sometimes you just got to use what you have.

HSM 2017 – The rest of the year (Aug-Dec)

I always find it hard to plan a full year of sewing ni adwance, since so much can happen that will change your creative drift and interest.
So this year I only made plans for the first half of the “Historical sew Monthly“.

But as summer’s now upon us I think it is time to take a new look at the uppcoming challenges, and to try to figure out what I wan’t to create for the ending of this year.

August:
Ridiculous
Make something that was considered outrageous in its own time, or is just utterly ridiculous to modern eyes.

There are SOoo many things yuu could do here, like 1880s bustles, 1890s mutton-sleeves, 17th century trunkhose ore 1830s hairs (already done that:-).
But for this challenge I will try to finish my Robe a la Franchaise that I begunn in 2014.21b6904ef6a12a9a9d65e486ef558bfdIt’s not silly looking per se, but the panniers that it will go over are a bit cazy

September:
Seen Onscreen
Be inspired by period fashions as shown onscreen (film or TV), and recreate your favorite historical costume as a historically accurate period piece.

I’ve been wanting to make myself some more 17th century garb and now might be a good oppurtunity to get to it.
elizabeth-capell-countess-of-carnarvon-ca-1665-sir-peter-lely I’m thinking maybe a new 1860s bodice (since I already have a pattern)
Or maybe someting a bit more daring like a mantua (I’ve hears a lot of Swedes arte doing these now a days…)

October:
Out of Your Comfort Zone
Create a garment from a time period you haven’t done before, or that uses a new skill or technique that you’ve never tried before.

This one is hard, but I’ve been wanting to give menswear a fair try, so why not now. k4202drwI already have a Regency west cut and waiting, and if I can find the time I would love to also make a pair of breechers and a shirt.

November:
HSF Inspiration
Be inspired by something that has been made for the HSF over the years to make your own fabulous item.

 There are so many gorgeous and inpireing entrys to the HSF/HSM, that it would be almost inpossible to choose only one.
That I think I will approach this from the other angle – to decide the garment first, by going through my stash and then find the right inspiration from the comunity.

December:
Go Wild
You can interpret this challenge as an excuse to make something that incorporates animal print, or wild animals in some way, or to simply make something wild and over the top.

I also been craving an 15th century Burgundian gown for myself, and since those often are decorated with fur, it would be the perfect choise. spinning-women1

As you sure can guess, I’m planing a lot more costumes this year, 3 of which are already well on their way, that don’t fit into the scheduel that is the HSM.

1750-1850s Spring Ball (2017)

Wow, It’s already been more then a month since the spring ball (and summer arrived) but I just now finished my blogpost about it.

As you might recall, I had quite a bit sewing done before the ball, both for me (1825s bonanza)
and my sister (a whole 1860s costume with underpinnings and everything).
Thanks to good planing (he he, right;-)) I managed to finish everything in time,
and didn’t even have the panicked last minute finishes that always seams to be my lot.

The day of the ball was a bit hectic though.

As I needed to turn the mandatory dance rehearsal down, in order to get to a friends babys christening instead.
But since I still had my sisters dress at home, I had to make a pit-stop at the dance-hall to leave it to her, before I stuffed my (relatively) clean baby in the car and drove 1 hour to get to the church. After a quick stop, leaving our present, and eating some cake I rushed home to get dressed in record speed for the ball. My outfit ready and awaiting.

Thank good my boyfriend (who happened to have a book-release that same day) had already come home, and could take the baby and help me close the dress.
Even more thank good, I’ve already done the dress-rehearsal (or more exactly the hair-rehearsal) so I managed to get the hair done and the dress on in not more then 30 minutes.
Beat that!
Does this lok like a fast and easy hairdo?

Arriving (in time) to the ball, I had some time to calm down and to find my sister.Hiding out by the fire-extinguisher

The evening started with a mingel and everyone admiring everyone else dresses/costumes. 

Selfie with a big digital camera is not as easy as it looks…

Beautiful girl – terrible lighting…
I’m not kidding, this is how bad the lighting is in the dance hall.

Group picture, with awful resolution
Pretty bows on the shoes 🙂

Then it was time to head upstairs to get some dinner. unfortunately me and my sister dragged a bit behind to take some silly pictures, and once we got upstairs there was no seats left.

They managed to get out a few extra chairs for us, but since all tables was full, we was seated on the table flanks far away from each-other.

pretty far away…

The dinner started with a soup made from peas, which was really good. 

The main course was basically beef, chicken and bacon combined.

As a vegetarian there wasn’t to much to eat, unfortunately.  “Can we pleas call for a pizza, cause I’ve only had some cake since breakfast…”

During dinner one gentleman got up and started singing an “humorous” old song, which was kind of musing, at first, but 78 verses in I was not the only one rolling my eyes at the (inappropriate old sexist jokes in the song and) man taking up to much space.

Once we finished the dinner I took the opportunity to take some picture of pretty dresses while the tables cleared to make room for the dance.  

Beautiful regency sisters

Mirror selfie

Then it was time to dance

We had one break for dessert later in the evening I’m still starving, thank you very much 😦

Then the dancing continuedSomebody knows how to pose…

Then it was time to say goodbye and go home.
I had lots of fun dancing and fooling around with my friends, making some new friends as well, but to be both hungry and really tired made me a bit cranky at the end.
At least I got lots of compliments for both my hair and my dress(es) 🙂

Got an Event coming up – but no costume?

We all face this dilemma one time or the other.

You get invited to a fancy party/wedding/themed birthday-party ect. and you got noting to wear.

For us in the costuming world however, it’s not as easy as taking at tripp to the nearest department-store.
We need to create our costumes for ourselves.

Here’s a few tips and trixs for looking the part(ish) for your next short-noticed costuming event:
For the sake of this post, lets pretend yo’r going on a mid 19th century picknick (1840-1860s)

Got Time and Sewing Skill but short on Cash?
Here’s some of my dresses made on really limited funds:
(Two words for you – CHEAP FABRIC)

*Look for suitable fabrics:

– On sale:
Bough 5m of thin plaid cotton on 70% of from a big fabric store for this dress.

– At Goodwill:
I used 1 cotton beedsheet that I got for 50Sek (5Usd) on second hand.

– In unexpected stores like IKEA and Walmart:
Two sets of cotton beddings made up this dress. The duvets was enough for an additional evening bodice.

* Use “bad” material and scrimp on fabric:
(This must be the worst advice ever but knowing how to do it well is GREAT when funds are lacking.)
1 set of polyester curtains 140 x 250cm (bought at IKEA for 100 Sek (10 Usd)) was just enough for my sisters 1860s evening gown. (And yes I used up every scrap of the fabric)

Short on Time and/or Sewing Skill?
Here’s some example on costumes made with minimum sewing and time:

* Buy the items you need:This blouse are currently up for grabs in my shop.

* Make Fast and Easy items:
This costume (skirt, blouse and belt) took me about two days and is made mostly from rectangular pieces (the belt/swiss waist are really easy to make as well).

* Use pieces you already have:
This is a combination of 18th century cap, 1860s blouse, 1840s skirt and early 20th century apron.

* Use modern pieces from your wardrobe:
A children’s boater, paired with a modern high collared blouse accessorized with a brooch and umbrella works in a pinch.

No appropriate underwear?
This era (mid 19th century) causes for pretty spectacular underwear
But don’t worry if  you’r lacking some of them
Here’s some ideas how to fix the fashionable silhouette without to much of a trouble, Starting with the corset:

* Use a Corset from another era:
I just recently made myself a 1860s corset, and used to use my 1880s one for everything from 1830-1900s.

* Use a modern corset:
I made this corsets from a 1880s pattern but my sister uses it as modern party clothes.

No crinoline?
No worries why don’t you simply…

* Use a modern hooped wedding petticoat:
My very first petticoat was a bridal hoop that got lots and lots of use (notice the regency stays with the hoop for my very first 1840s event)

* Make yourself a quilted petticoat:
 Made from a pre-quilted fabric, this gem have seen every era from Tudor England to 18th century and the 1850s. It’s just Perfect!

When everything else fails – Think outside the Box:

* Go down the heralding chain:
Maybe you can pose as a commoner using shawls, old blouses and aprons.

* Focus on accessories:

Two bonnets with about 50 hours difference in time spent on them.
The green one is a piece I made from scratch using silk and hand-sewing, while the right one is a modern straw hat where I cut parts of the brim, and added a lace-ribbon and called it a day.

* Borrow:
If you’r going on a event, chances are that you know at least one person there – see if they have something that would work on you.
Here my sister’s wearing my green 1840s gown for a winter photoshoot we did a few years back.

* Bend the timespan:

Perhaps there’s not such a big deal if you show up wearing costumes from 10 years to early/late.
After all everyone just there to have fun, right?

You might even get away with 100 year wrong if you think strategically…
18th century peasant can almost work in the mid 1800s.

* Crossdress:
Bend the gender barrier and dress as a man (or lady).

* Or maybe you even got a national costume laying around…
Most of our Swedish national costumes comes from the mid 19th century, why not use that as an excuse to wear one.

But most of all, don’t sweat it if your not wearing the perfect costume, chances are no one will notice the modern tidbits or, lacking bloomers.
Go, have fun, and don’t over think it.

Best of luck on you’r costuming event this summer 🙂

What’s in Store… (pun intended)

Exiting things are happening with “Fashion through History” this year.

You might already have noticed some change in this sites appearance.
After 3 years of the same fonts and images I thought it was time to update a bit.
With pictures I’ve taken myself, which means I own the rights to – That’s A good thing 😉 

I also made myself a logo:
Noting fancy but it does the work.
Now I just have to learn how to watermark my images…

What you might not have noticed (or maybe you have), are the new blog adress (fashionthroughhistory.com)
That’s right, I’ve gone the distance and finally gotten rid of the “WordPress.com” ending.
Hopefully the transition will go smoothly and you don’t have to change anything in your saves/bookmarks ect.
(please let me know if you’r having trouble finding the blog).

But why all the changes/updates suddenly?

Here’s why:

After many years of dreaming, but being to much of a chicken to really get to it, I’d finally dicided to open my own costuming/sewing business!

Yay!
(Omg! what have I gotten myself into!!!!)

I will start in minimum scale with an online web-shop here on the blog (just added to the top-bar).

For the time being I will only sell my own “old” costumes (another pun), but I plan to expand soon to more solid stock items and brand new garments.
And maybe sometime in the future I’ll even take commissions :-).

Because of the business regulations here in Sweden, I will only be selling to people located in Sweden to start with.
If everything goes well, I hope in the future to be able to do businesses with people all over the world.

Something that won’t be changing though, is the continuously entering of new blog posts (loaded with pictures), the occasional book-review and lots and lots of (lovely) costumes.

Lastly I just want to say “Thank you”! to all of you who’s following me and encouraging me in my costuming adventure.  Now, go and shop 😉

Love
Åsa

1825s silly, silly evening hair

One of the things I got the most compliments on wearing the new 1825s outfit was the crazy as hair I sported.

There’s a party on my head…

Since I don’t have a lot of hair on my own – modern everyday style beats once in a while historical hair-possibility’s, I needed to do something drastic to disguise the modern me for the upcoming historical ball.

My first thought was to use my “go to” solution – A turban.
It’s easy, cute, comfortable and perfectly accurate for the time period.

But then I would need some fake curls for the bangs…
..and those 1820-30s hair are pretty fun and crazy…
..Maybe… I could…what if I…Hm, this flower wreath looks cute…and this braid is almost a perfect match for my hair…

And then I was caught.

I searched my bookshelf, my bins of hair-accessorize and the box of neatly rolled spool of fake hair I’d cut from a wig a few years back and never used.
Collecting the material.

After reading through “The laced Angels” blogpost about her 1830s hairdo I felt confident enough to give it a try.

I started by cutting apart one plastic “doughnut” (the kind ballet dancers/gymnasts use, which suddenly got really popular a few years back) 

Then I separated a few of the curled pieces of fake hairand twisted them around the doughnut/crescent, adding glue where needed.To make it sit more secure on my short  hair I added two wig clasps to the ends of the piece.

Then I cut the black elastic from a hairband-braid, and glued it together to form a circle.Not a nice joint, but it will be covered by other things later so I’m not overly concerned about it.

I Braided a few of the other pieces of fake hair,and put together a the rest into two clusters of curls for the bangs.All the pieces lain out roughly the way the’r suppose to sit on the head.

Here’s my first try at putting it on:
Starting with a back combing of my own bangs, and a brown hairnet, to keep all the short hairs from acting up.

Then I pinned/clipped the crescent on top of my head.

I added the two curly bits to the front/side of my face

and put the two braids on to cover the edge of the cresent.

Finally I added a wreath of purple plastic flowers

As you can see, I definitely needed to do something about the back of my head. Something I fixed by re-arranging the hanging braid and adding a white flower over loops of  pearls stitched to the back of my the thick braid.

A few days before the event I dyed my hair a bit darker red to match the hairpieces.
Blending together much better now.

Here’s a few pic from the photoshoot:

1825s Purple evening gown – photoshoot

The day after I finished my dress I’d scheduled a photoshoot with my sister (and her 1860s ball gown).
Perfect timing 🙂

We took a while getting ready, working hard to get our hair to behave in a acceptable way. And I got to try my newly finished hair-pieces (more about that in an upcoming post).
For these photos I’m wearing my purple 1825s evening gown, Regency long stays, chemise, petticoat, white stockings, ballet flats, long white gloves, fan, pearl necklaces/wrist band and a flower wreath in my hair.

Photo: Elin Evaldsdotter