1690s Mantua (HSM 9/2017) – Photoshoot

With the dress finished a good month before, I finally got all the components (photographer, babysitter, day of work and nice weather) together for a photoshoot in early October.

For the location we chose (as so many times before) the park and creak right outside my home, including our parking-lot (super fancy, right? :-D).

I’m wearing the 1690s striped Mantua over the corresponding skirt, my 18th century stays, chemise, 2 small bumpads, quilted petticoat, an regular petticoat, stockings and Kensington shoes.
I’m also wearing a quickly made “Fontage” made from lace and cotton scraps pinned to my 18th century cap, fake curls, a pearl necklace and a peacock-feather fan.
The belt is just a piece of navy velvet ribbon pinned in back and the under sleeves of the chemise is fake, and made from  pieces of cotton voile and lace gathered and tacked to the sleeve cuffs.

Photos by: Maria Petersson

Behind the sceens:Last fix-up in the elevator

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Long lasting Robe a La Franchaise – Photoshoot

Once the Robe a la Francaise finally was finished, I couldn’t wait to get it photographed. So I asked my sister to help me take some pic (on one of the windiest day no doubt).

I’m wearing the newly finished Robe Francaise, over matching petticoat, regular petticoat, Panniers, Stays, chemise, stockings, “Kensington” American Duchess shoes, a masquerade wig, pearl bracelet and a lace fan.

Inspiration Me and Madame Pompadour
Pictures by: Elin Evaldsdotter 

A video of the dress in motion (viwes best without sound)

And a bonus one where I’m “Bounching” and busting a pin in the stomacher

Long lasting Robe a La Francaise – Construction

When I started this project back in 2014 I never thought it would take this long to get it done, (then, a bit later I thought I would never finish) But here it finally is, My long awaited Robe a la Francaise.

As mentioned this project took it’s sweet time to get finished, and it all started with this:
A pink/flower/striped polyester satin found in the bargain bin at my local fabric store.
I immediately though it would be perfect for a Francaise, and bought the while bolt (8-9m)

Then it rested a while in my stash while I finished some other projects and gathered the courage to actually get on with it.

The intention was to make something like these

The project then started in 2014 when I made my 18th century long stays, and then cut into the fabric to make the skirt/petticoat for the dress.The first version of this petticoat paired with my (then) newly made stays.

In jan 2015 I continued the project by making my “Panniers of pain” (and getting started on the actual robe)

Along the way the petticoat have evolved a bit and here is the final result after some additional tweaking of the hip-pleats, hem and adding of some decoration.

In January 2015 I started on the robe by drafting the pattern, making the mock-up and cutting the fabric.

I spent so manny hours hand-stitching the pieces, draping the pleats, adding the lining, and making the lacing holes, that I eventually tried of the whole thing.
(the curse of the creative – always got to move on to new exiting things).

Then, in Jan 2017 I picked them up again, and continued by adding the sleeves, and making (and adding) all the trimmings.
 The firs try on after 2 years (and 1 baby) – and it fits like a glove :-D.

But then I got stuck on how to best solve the tapering of the sleeve flounce, and since I no longer felt the excitement over neither the fabric nor the gown itself the project once more went back in the closet.

Unfortunately all y pictures from the construction (from 3 years past) got lost in a computer crash in mars, (It wasn’t even the damn computer that crashed – but the extern memory/safety backup where I kept all the old pictures:-( – how is that even possible) and all I got left are these who happened to be on my phone.

In June, however, my interest returned when I found this picture:

“Portrait of a lady” (thought to be Madame de Pompadour) by François-Hubert Drouais

Whoa!
So close!

And once more the excitement came rushing back.

So I spent a few more hours finishing the lace flounces and decorating the stomacher, and that was that.

The Finished Francaise:

Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 8/2017 – Ridiculous
 – Fashion is sometimes a little silly, and historical fashions can look particularly odd. Make something that was considered outrageous in its own time, or is just utterly ridiculous to modern eyes.

What: A 1760s Robe a la Francaise

How it fit the challenge: The special shape of the Robe Francaise, with its wide hips/panniers and full back pleats makes it instantly recognizable for the modern viewer as a piece from one of the most exaggerated part of history. Both the shape and the “fru fru” trimmings are cause for ridicule and head-scratching in our time, even if it was a more common and sought after sight back in the 18th century.

Pattern: I draped my own based on drawings from Waughs “Cut of Womens Clothes” and Arnolds “Pattern of Fashion”

Fabric: 6-7 m of a thick flowery/striped polyester satin, 0,5 m cotton twill for interlining and 0,5m white cotton for lining.

Notion: Thread, 2 m cotton cord for lacing, 3 m plastic bones for back opening and stomacher, about 20m of thin cotton lace for the trimming, 5 m of 15 cm whide cotton lace fro the sleeve ruffles and 5 buttons for decoration on the stomacher.

How historical accurate: So so. The fabric are polyester (should have been silk), the pattern and construction method are ok since its draped for my (corseted) body and entirely hand sewn. The print on the fabric is a bit to modern, but as shown in the above portrait not to far of. The business of the design/print are totally accurate even though it may seem a bit over the top for our modern sensibilities. I’ll give it a 7/10

Time: Waaay to long… I started this project in the autumn 2014, the again winter 2014/2015, and again winter 2016/2017 and only now (summer 2017) got around to finish it. I spend somewhere between 100-150 hours on the dress.

Cost: Not sure but I’ll guesstimate about 600 Sek (75Usd).

First worn: For photos in late July

Final thoughts: I’m so happy that it is finished! And even though there is some things I liked to have made differently I think it is spectacular, and it’s so fun to wear.

***

For this project I alos made a Masquerade wig to match my gown.

It’s made from a re-styled and powdered halloween wig.

The finished wig:
pic from before the photoshoot

1920s Sparkling Evening Gown (HSM 6/2017)

Since my first planes for the HSM nr 6/2017 fell through, I needed to think of something else to make.
Stuck in the 1920s as I where, I quickly decided to use on of my old fabrics (you know the ones you bough really Loooong ago, when you were “young” and foolishly though everything poly and shiny was pretty).I still think this fabrics pretty, sort of, but now I’m all to aware that sequined polyester lace was not a 1920s thing.

Anyhow I figure if I ever’s gona use it now might be the time.

Unfortunately I only had about 1 m.

Not enough for a dress – how small the 20s fashion ever might be compared to my usual stuff.

Hm, how to get that little amount of fabric to cover the body?

By making really low necklines and short hemes of course.

like the V-necks in this fashion plate or the pattern from “Waughs Cut of Womens clothes”

So I though of the brilliant idea to cut the lace in half almost at the bias to create the triangular pieces that would make up the bodice. only trouble was I forgot to mirror the pieces for the second cut – which of course left me with 4 identical trapezes pieces of fabric (and not 2 left and 2 right which I needed).

Crap!

I had absolutely no fabric left, not even scraps, so I experimented with using the wrong side of the fabric for two of the pieces.
No, that would not work, neither esthetically or functionally, since the sequins would snatch hold on the lining or underdress.

So I decided to try to fix my mistake by also cutting the pieces the correct way. Which ment they would need to be mended back together form the first cut. This resulted in slightly smaller pattern pieces and a mend that would hopefully not be this obvious with selveges cut down and worn over a underdress.

I experimented on my dressform to get the sizing right and cut and stitched as I went along, deciding on a knot for the front to make it easy to adjust and to create some interest in the otherwise simple design.    I also found the perfect little dress (on sale) to use as a slip.The dress worn open.

The Finished dress:

Just the facts:

Challenge: 2017 nr 6 – Metallics – make something in silver, gold, bronze, and copper, whether it be an actual metal, cloth of gold or silver, or lamé.

What: a 1920s silvery palette party gown

Pattern: None – I just cut and stitched

Fabric & Notions: 1,5m of white/silver palette lace in polyester and sewing thread.

How historical accurate: Not at all. Maybe the silhouette would be passable but it lacks lots of the refinement the dresses of the time possessed. i’ll give it a 3/10.

Time: About 6 hours (most of which I spent scratching my head and cursing, wanting to trash the damn thing).

Cost: About 50 Sek (5 Usd), found the fabric in the clearance bin several years ago.

First worn: Beginning of July for photos.

Final thoughts: I can’t say I’m particular happy about this dress. The dress itself are fine, but the road to make it was only trouble and the fit is strange on me (it requires a smaller figure). But I am glad I pushed through and finished it despite everything, then again I’ll be reminded of it every time i find some more lost sequins in my home (which will probably be for several more years)

 

1865s Kaki Walking suit (HSM 7/2017)

HSM 7/2017 – Fashion Plate

I knew from the start this challenge would be an easy one (or hard, depending on how you see it), cause I often use pictures and extant garment as my inspiration. The only trouble was to pick which one to make.

But since my sister needed a new 1860s outfit for an upcoming event and I already had this pic saved on my ” wish to make someday” list, The choice turned out easier then expected.
Fashion plate from 1862

Close-up on the outfit I planed to make.

I also looked at some extant garments for additional inspiration and style choices. Then I got to work.

Using two beige cotton sheets from IKEA.
I started by cutting the skirt and used the same method and calculations as my latest 1860s dress, stitching the skirt together. This time it went a lot faster, since I already had the measurements and the technique down.

Once it was stitched and hemmed (after quick fitting) I added a singel row of braid around the bottom. Even though my insoiration din’t have one, I really liked the way t looked, and how it connected with the decoration to be made on the jacket.   

Then it was time for the jacket.

After some quick research and studying of pattern-diagrams and extant jackets on the internet I drafted my own pattern from my usual modern templates.

Then I stitched it together, inserted the double sleeves, added lining and begun working on the trimming.

 I used the same furniture braid as on the skirt combined with a brown pom-pom trim also from my stash.
Even though they weren’t a perfect match color-wise the effect was really nice.

A quick pic of the just “finished” outfit on the floor. Now all that was needed was some pressing and the right accessories. 

The finished dress: 

Just the facts:

Challenge: Nr 7 2017 – Fashion plate
“Make an outfit inspired by a fashion plate […]”

What: A 1860s Walking ensamble – Skirt and Zouvare Jacket)

Pattern: None – I drafted my own based on pictures and pattern drafts from the time.

Fabric & Notions: 2 beige cotton sheets (150 x 200cm/each), thread, hook and eye for skirt closure, 6 m of tapestry braid and 2 m of pom-pom trim.

How historical accurate: So so – The look and the pattern are good, but the fabric is way to thin and should have been either a thin wool or a heavier cotton. Also it’s stretching it a bit time wise by saying they used sewing-machines at this time, so thats another “wrong”. Maybe 7/10

Time: About 10 hours. more  then half of which went into hemming and trimming by hand.

Cost: About 150-200 Sek (all trim was in my stash from a notions clear-out a few years ago)

First worn: On June 10 for “The day of the Big Crinolines”.

Final thoughts: I think it turned out pretty good. My sister looked like she had fun wearing it and the whole outfit came together really well.

 

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.

1865s Teal Evening gown (HSM 5/2017) – Photoshoot

The week before the ball my sister came over to do the final fitting and to take some photos.

She is wearing her new green corset, orange cage crinoline, petticoat and 2 pieced gown. Accessorized with black gloves, black lace-fan, a black velvet bag, silver tiara and necklace. She is also wearing a chemise, stockings, bloomers and dancing shoes.

Photos: Elin Evaldsdotter

Bonus:
Video of the gown in motion (shaky mobile video – sorry)