Inspiration has struck! To bad time and money hasn’t!

I really want to make this!  May be in a blue or purple!  Or red!httpwww.metmuseum.orgcollectionthe-collection-onlinesearch107772rpp=90&pg=1&rndkey=20140921&ao=on&ft=&deptids=8&when=A.D.+1800-1900&pos=68

The part that has caught my eye is the wool and bead netting on the skirt and the strip that goes around the edges of the bodice!  I love it!C.I.45.38.1ab_SI think it would make a wonderful sound as you walk!C.I.45.38.1ab_B

I have nowhere to wear a train like that so I think I’d pull it back some.  And all those pleats.  I’m going to have to take the plunge one day and make some pleats like that.

But here is a dress that would be hard to wash.  You risk loosing all the pleats and the wool trim could shrink and tangle.  The skirt part would have to be a separate so it could be washed separately (and give the wearer the option of not wearing it.)  With all these cleaning issues, it could not be in pale colors for me.  I’m always eating spaghetti when I wear white!


Which hat should I make?

The hat challenge is fast approaching and I need to make up my mind about what I am going to do for my Silky Skies hat.  I thought I knew what I was going to do but, it looks so different from what I have seen in fashion plates so I have some misgivings about the accuracy of the dating.CI60.23.23_F

This prompted me to do a bigger search at the Met site and here are the ones I’ve come up with.

The above hat is the general shape that I’ve been seeing in the fashion plates.  It wouldn’t be too hard to make and wouldn’t require too much shopping (stash busting).  But the under the chin thing doesn’t look great on me and it would hide the snood I’m going to a lot of trouble to make.

There is that general shape again but there is the problem of having to find a straw hat I am willing to hack apart (shopping) and there is the under the chin thing and hiding the snood again.

This one is the shape I’ve been seeing.  I wouldn’t need to shop.  You’d see the snood.  The chin thing is there again but that is what I’ve been seeing in fashion plates.  I might not be getting away from it.

This would look good on me but I’m not sure the dates are right.

No chin thing.  No shopping.  The date might be a hair to far along.

Besides being to far along…well this hat looks like a plant pot.  Foy.

This is the right year.  I might not need to shop.  Hmmm.  The chin thing is down played. Snood would show.  Double hmmmm.  To bad it is round.  Makes me think of a monkey hat.  Also makes me think my first choice seems more plausible.

Well that is more work than I thought

I’ve been working on my elliptical hoops.  I’m not having any problems but it is taking more time than I originally planned.  The dead line has come and gone for the HSF 14: Under it All challenge and I”m thinking I will be at least a week late.  Ah well.  It will be worth it.

In the mean time, I’ve been considering what style of hat to make for the 1860’s Silky Skies dress.  What do you think of this?CI60.23.23_F I’m pretty taken with it.  Should it be blue? White? Pink?



Love it.  I wonder if I have enough buckram to pull it off or will I be shopping again soon?  Hmmmm. I wish I could remember what I have in my stash!

If I can get myself going…

My next project is to be a mantle for my 1870’s gown.

I think this might be my favorite photo of myself in this photo shoot.

I didn’t need a mantle for this shoot.  I was a tad hot as it was.

And I plan on using TV501 from Truly Victorian and some leftover material from the dress.

Ideally, I’d like to make it reversible so that sometimes it can match the purple and sometimes the green.  That is all dependant on if I can get it to do that without destroying any resemblance to accuracy (I haven’t actually read the pattern yet to see if it is possible or done the research to see if it is plausible) and if I have enough of the fabric left over to pull it off.

But, the real challenge is getting my butt into gear.  Maybe if there was some inspiration….

Nope, not yet.  Sigh.  Oh, for a few days with nothing else to do and tons of energy and drive!


My next project is my tea gown.  I showed you the material and the lace a couple of days ago.  I bought tons of that lace knowing that I want to use it but I’m not sure how.  I had thought that running it down the front might be nice but it is so wide and straight (no ruffles or pleats)…I just wasn’t sure what I wanted.  Then I saw THIS!


It is sort of zig zagged  down the front.  I like it!  I like the pleats too but I doubt I have enough fabric for that.  And I think my fabric is too loud a print for that any way.  May be if I found a plain print with a matching or complimentary color….  I have to see what the gown looks like all put together first I think.

Do you plan your trims before hand or do you wait and see what it “tells” you once it is done?  Some trims are easier to do pre-assembly but I end up worrying that it will look bad or over done and then I’ll struggle to get it off!  I buy a few things that I think might work before sewing.  Sometimes I don’t end up using them and sometimes I end up heading out to buy more.


More musing on my 1840s dress

I’ve been looking at shoes in the Met to see if the flat shoes I have are close enough to possible to be an OK option.  My shoes are similar to these in shape.1840s shoesThe toe isn’t quite as square and mine have a bit more of heel (but still low enough to be called flat).  I might be able to remove that heel, or at least shave it down to make it more similar to the above shoe.  But, honestly, who will look that close.  My shoes have a bit of a tassel on the front that I may remove and replace with something else…like  a bow or ruffle.  That should tone down the modern look some.   I wasn’t sure about the reddish color  my shoes have…did they dye leather that color then?

Then I found these examples dated as 1825-30.1820s shoesNot pretty…at all…but, they are the right color so they were able to dye leather red.

Some day, when I’m not feeling so lazy, I will get up and photograph my shoes and show you what they look like.

Two birds with one stone.

This coming Mother’s Day, we are hosting a Victorian Tea for our folks at the nursing home with dresses made by Shirley and myself.  We’d like a dress from each decade so we can show how the dresses changed in shape over time.  Neither of us have a dress from the 1840s so I plan on making one.  I also plan on doing it in a striped material so that I can get one of the future challenges from the Historical Sew Fortnightly done at the same time.  I found a photo at the Met Museum of a dress in a similar pattern from the one I bought at Truly Victorian and it is in stripes.  1845 dress afternoon a

I’m not wild about the colors.  But, I’m cool with the look of it.  The trick will be to avoid the bold colors I like so much as I don’t believe that was too common.  The other end of that spectrum is that just because dresses from the 1840s are muted in color NOW does not mean the colors were always muted.  Obviously, fading could be an issue.  1845 dress afternoon b

But, the real issues are finding a striped material that is in a color that does not make me look like poop and finding it in a price range I can afford AND having it be a material that is at least a believable fake in fiber content.  Ahhhh to be a quadrillionaire so I can move to Mexico in the winter and Victoria in the summer and sew real silk taffeta as much as my heart desires……