The Olive dress has a hat

It has been awhile since I produced anything historical but today is the day!  And it has been a project that I amassed materials for a year and a half ago! ‘Bout time!

Yeah, I know.  The hat is made before the dress….sigh.

This is the inspiration:1909-dress-va-d

And this is my version:


I was hoping for more of a sloping hill look.  And I thought I made it ridiculously huge but apparently not enough.

Some more smaller flowers may help…

The base isn’t quite right either.  This is what it looked like without flowers.


Fantastic Fringe

I know some people hate the Victorian dresses with fringe but I love it.  The more the better!  So when I saw this Victorian and Albert Dress I fell in love!

It’s time frame was 1855-57.

1855-57 day dress V&A a

It is made with “silk plush” which I translate as a silk velvet.

1855-57 day dress V&A c

I wish velvet of any kind wasn’t so expensive because I’d love to copy this!

1855-57 day dress V&A b

Pop exhibit: My favorites

The exhibit was grouped together in sets.  The first set was coats.

My favorite was the leopard skin coat.  It has leather frog closures and sable trim.

Actually, I was uncomfortable with this one.  My main feeling was “poor kitty” but in a small corner of my brain, I could not deny this 1950’s coat was stunning.  I’d wear a faux fur version of this for sure!

The second set compared 1850’s to 1950’s.  Both were silk.   And I liked both.  First up 1950’s.  Could easily wear that today.  16

1850’s bodice with attached overskirt.  The under skirt is missing and the mannequin made the modern hoops sit funny.  The hoops could have used a petticoat or two as well.

I must have a fabric in this color!


The lace the dressers put at the collar is lovely!  And I like the broach as well.10

The third set was edging in around the turn of the century.  And my favorite was the 1897 Charles Worth Gown designed for Emily Ashford Countess of Warwick. 20


I once held this dress in my hot little hands.  I could have sworn I blogged about it but can’t find it now.  Gosh I was happy!

Also in this turn of the century set, was a dress I have blogged about before.  A black lace dress from 1900.26

It was displayed with wonderful accessories.

The next set was a 20’s theme.  Not my favorite era but I can appreciate the work in some of these dresses.  Notably in the bead work.  From 1922.



From 1923.

Accented with a nice beaded bag.


The next set was two dresses, one from the 20’s and one from the 50’s in mauve.

I liked the 1957 dress.


The final set looked at more modern dresses from the 60’s-2000’s.

Notable to me was the Paco Rabanne metal dress.  One must assume some sort of slip was worn under it.


Any of you costume convention folks interested in how this thing went on, here is a back view.  Clever idea!


There was a 60’s dress that seemed to be a nod towards 20’s styles. How many beads went into the making of this!

And finally, there was a dress I noticed because it wasn’t crazy.  It was from a designer that I think was crazy. Scassi!



Costume Museum of Canada pop up exhibit

I haven’t been able to do much volunteering at the Costume Museum since I started my current job so I was more than pleased when an opportunity came up to volunteer this past Saturday.  Let me show you a general over view of the show today and tomorrow, I will focus on my favorite pieces.


2005 women wool coat 1950’s Christian Dior 1937 men’s coat


1950 silk and 1850’s silk


1900 gown, 1909 gown, 1910 frock coat, 1897 WORTH gown (gasp!)


1922-24 dress, 1923 flapper dress, 1922 gown, 1929 tux, 1926 dress


1957 cocktail dress with 50’s fur, 1926 French gown


1980’s (not my favorite era….)


1960’s beaded dress, 1968 Paco Rabanne metal and feather dress, 1980 Scassi dress


2007 silk gown, 1960 tux, 1968 Paco Rabanne mini dress


So much inspiration so little time

When I made the Atessa dress, I ended up with a lot of material left over.


Don’t know why.  The material was wider than I thought? Anyway, there it languishes in my stash.

I didn’t know what I would do with it.  Then I saw this dress at the Met.

1978.295.8ab_FThe fabric is a similar color range, and is also cotton.  The pattern in the fabric is different (mine is more paisley) but both are equally busy.1978.295.8ab_dAnd I’m quite fond of the bustle era.  So yummy.

I know I have said this before but I need to retire!  I need more time to sew up and knit up my ideas and I need more places to wear these things!  I need more weekends like CoCo and the Dickens Festival where I can wear MULTIPLE ensembles!  I keep piling up more and more outfits and I can’t possibly wear them all in one year!  And yet telling myself to stop is not going to happen. Anyone else feel my pain?



Green velvet

Pintrest is a wonderful thing.  This morning I discovered a new museum with a digital collection.  I found a pile of dreamy dresses there.  Here is the first that caught my

Velvet AND green.  I wonder if it is the deadly kind of green. (Most of you likely know that some of the old green dyes were actually toxic and it was absorbed through the skin.)  I bet this beauty would have  been warm!  search-b

A darker green and this would be the perfect Christmas gown!

CoCo tour and social

Next in my series on CoCo, is Friday.  I went on the FIDM tour during the day and went to the Run Away with the Circus Social in the evening. 40

I was very pleased with this as my limited class option.  It was everything I hoped for and more!

We got a tour of the school itself and we saw behind the scenes where the clothes were stored.


Marlene Dietrich’s suit


Mae West’s shoe


Cute wicker dog purse.




I will use the photographs I took of the Victorian dresses for a later posts.  Got to have fodder for those dry spells!


I’m hanging with the pussy cat angel waiting to board the bus.  Note the bag.  There will be a shopping post at some point.  Momma has a new project waiting in the wings.

Once back at the hotel, it was time to get ready for the Circus themed social.


I wore my 1880’s Half Grand Surprise dress because it has a slight military/circus master look and I added a rubber snake so I’d be a snake charmer. 

I named the snake Hector.

To add to the effect, there were acts to watch.

I don’t know how she did that with her back.  I get stiff if I sleep funny or stand to long!

Lots of folks dressed according to theme.

Some wore what they wanted, with equally fabulous effect!141

According to theme or not, we were all friends in spirit!130a