Edwardian Casual

Here is a photo that is likely Edwardian.  And as it isn’t mounted and the background is not a studio, I’m wondering if this is not an amateur photographers work.SAM_3066

The woman on the left is in an apron that makes me think she is puttering around the house.  And yet she looks so stylish. She has great Gibson Girl hair and her shirtwaist is perfect! The other woman seems younger to me-perhaps it is the shorter hem line.

In my mind I have created a story.  The older sister has headed off to the big city and has become very stylish while there.  She comes home to visit and while home, she dons her old apron to help her sister around the house.  Dad pulls out his new camera and asks his girls to head outside so he can capture the visit.

Takes the gold star

The gold star winner of the last display from the Costume Museum of Canada (in my opinion) was this gold 1880’s dress.1880's dress military gold a

I just loved the military look on the bodice.1880's dress military gold dIt has a wonderful little bustle in the back.1880's dress military gold b

The detailing shows up  in the cuff of the sleeve.1880's dress military gold hThe above photo shows off the dark stripes in the gold.  1880's dress military gold c

Here is a better look at the back of the bodice.1880's dress military gold iBut I’m still lovin’ that trim on the front.1880's dress military gold eA piece of it separated from the bodice.1880's dress military gold fThis allowed me to see the front and the back so I can try to repeat the process.1880's dress military gold g

The bows on the skirt are the only thing I can’t get excited about.  I know it needed something but I’m not sure that was the correct choice.1880's dress military gold j

Beat up but worth it

This cabinet card was not always treated with love.  I don’t know what happened to it.  Did it get stuck in a frame or album?  Who knows.  Luckily, the subject of the photo is intact.SAM_2760 a

The hair is 1880’s and the skirt seems to be natural form so I would place this in the early 1880’s.

I bought this card, in spite of the damage, because I really liked the detail on her bodice.SAM_2760 b

There are pin tucks on the upper sleeve and braiding or soutache on the body and cuffs of it.  Very nice. Well fitted too.

Nice idea in theory…

For years, I wore a corset everyday.  I had back pain and the corset helped wonderfully (not to mention made me look 30 pounds lighter).  But in the past year, two things happened to change that.  1) The back pain improved.  I don’t know why but it got better.  I wouldn’t say I’m cured but it is better.  2) Menopause.  I am in the early stages of that glorious time of life and I randomly get really, really hot.  The corset became just another THICK layer holding all that heat in.  (I am not a fan of me in a bathing suit but there have been times I questioned why they wont let me wear one at work.)

I saw this the other day and thought this would be the answer to the heat problem.

The theory would be you’d still get the support of the boning  without all the heat retaining fabric.  I envisioned trying to make one of these.  Doable.  Then I envisioned trying to wear one.  This is what came to mind….only much, much worse.

One thin little chemise is not going to keep me from looking like a giant Playdough Fun Factory.

1872 Basque in Blue “meh” hat

I completed my hat.  I think.  It could be another entry into the HSF accessory challenge but I feel lukewarm about it.  It may need some tweaking.  Perhaps, once the bodice is done I will know what needs to be done, if anything.  I may also scan some museum samples for inspiration.  But, here it is for now.

Left side

Left side

I don’t mind the left side.  The tuft of tulle in the front hides the fact that the brim isn’t stiff enough and wants to buckle.  The wire and buckram that is easily available to me tends to be flimsy.  I usually double up on them but I didn’t this time.  Lesson learned.  SAM_3086

I don’t mind the back either.  Except I will have to go back and figure out what that weird little bunching on the left side is caused by.  I only noticed it in the above photo.

Here is where I feel ambivalent about the hat.SAM_3088

The tulle that is hiding the weird buckling of the brim seems odd.  I like the way it is thin in some spots, showing the blue, and solid white in others.  But, it sticks up oddly on the left side of the photo.SAM_3087But the part that sticks up on the face side of the photo, looks okay at this angle. Sigh.  But at this angle the tail of the tulle seems to be too much.  And the little bow gathering the tulle isn’t enough.

Perhaps it would look better if I hadn’t used a cotton as the base fabric.  A velvet would have been better.  But the cotton was in my stash.

What do you do when you feel “meh” about a project?  My usual treatment is to walk away from it for a bit.  If it sits in the back ground of my life for a bit (meaning: I see it as I walk by it but I don’t study or play with it) I either grow to like it or I get the inspiration I need to fix it.

Family photo with new baby

A wonderful reason to get a new family photograph!SAM_2756 aWe have Dad, a son, mom and baby.  I think the toddler is a boy because of the side parts.SAM_2756 bThe older boy looks like mom doesn’t he? It is a bit hard to tell on the baby as the lighting is off (my camera’s fault) but I think it is a boy as well. The style of moms hair and bodice says 1880’s to me.  I love the chevron pattern in the bodice and the bar pin is nice as well.

Challenge #7: Accessorise


What the item is: over skirt
The Challenge: #7 Accessorize
Fabric: cotton

Pattern: side drape over skirt TV303SAM_3077

Year: 1872

Notions: hook and eye, trim

How historically accurate is it?: I’m not sure the trim would have looked like that and I’m fairly sure the fibers are incorrect.  I liked it though, and I think Victorians would have too!  Pattern and construction of the over skirt are accurate.  Fabric is plausible.  I would think the color would be as well (the flash on the camera makes the color a bit more “neon” than in real life.) 70%SAM_3080

Hours to complete: 10, with most of that hand sewing the trim on.

First worn: not yet.  But when I do wear it, I hope I will have need of the mantle that I am building this dress for!  See it peeking out from under the mantle?SAM_3082
Total cost: @$30 Canadian