Inspiration – Green Natural form

Natural form fashions are so interesting. It’s the period from roughly 1877 to 1883 where the bustle almost disappeared from fashions, before it popped up again. It’s also a period of crazy trimming, complicated skirts and trains. When browsing through fashion plates, I noticed a large number of beautiful green dresses, so here’s an inspiration post.

A lovely green/beige combination with red details. Perfect for Christmas?


A clear display of the influence of the oriental on dress. (I also love the yellow/red combination)


More asian influences. Look at the print on the bottom!


More gray-ish, but I love the elegance of this dress.


Green/yellow combination with buttons. I have to admit I also love the pink one!


Mint/yellow and moss/pink combinations


Of course, we need to include a dress with bows!


A walking dress in dark/light green. With a train, of course!


More pink & green, and more bows!


A green/black combination, quite simple for this period, but very elegant


A much more complex dress, with pink flowers!


This color combination is so interesting, green and purple. But it works for this dress!


Dotted Regency dress

A while ago, I wrote a post about my planning for a new red/white regency dress. I since went fabric shopping for this project, and of course, found the perfect fabric for a completely different dress. I’m still going to make the white/red one, and already have a possible fabric choice, but it’s just a little too heavy for what I wanted, so I’m going to see if I can find anything better first.

The fabric I found was a lovely gray/blue dotted silk. It’s a bit sheer, and the color changes a bit depending on the lighting, and it was just so generally pretty that I couldn’t resist. I figured I could make two new dresses, right? After I’d bought it, I went looking for period dresses in a similar fabric, being sure I’d seen it somewhere, but I think that was just my imagination. I did, however, find a fashion plate a few weeks later which matches! I guess my intuition on period fabrics is improving. The plate is of a pelisse, not a dress, but it’s good enough for me!

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And my fabric. The blue below is the lining. (because it’s a bit too sheer to do without and white lining didn’t do anything good for the color.


Look at how similar they are! It’s things like this which make the costumer-me very happy.

Because I hadn’t actually planned this dress yet, I went back to looking at original dresses and made a design sketch. I wanted a lot of gathers because the fabric lends itself to it so perfectly, with the only exception being the skirt front. A gathered round skirt looks good on many figures, but I’ve only got a small difference between bust & under bust measurement, and I have the suspicion that if I wear a front-gathered skirt I’ll either look like a shapeless tube or pregnant. I want a somewhat slimmer line, so the choice was made for a gathered bodice and skirt back, with smooth skirt-front. I also went looking for sleeve styles, and found some images of dresses with a double puff sleeve which looked both easy to achieve and pretty. Finally, I want to make detachable long sleeves, as most of my occasions to wear the dress will be evening, but the fabric seems a bit more like day-wear to me.

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Two of my inspiration pictures for the sleeves.

The final design sketch for my new dress! Obviously, it will either be two long sleeves or none, but as they will be detachable I wanted to see both the with/without option in this image.

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I’ve already started working on this dress, but I’ll show some pictures when the project is a bit further along.

Inspiration – Journal de la mode et du goût, 1790

I recently stumbled upon these lovely fashion plates from 1790, which appeared in the magazine ‘Journal de la mode et du goût’. Fashions from France, in the beginning of the revolution. You can clearly see this from the high amount of white/blue/red fabrics used, the colors of the revolution.

Now, pretty pictures!



Regency shift

When buying the fabric for my regency stays, I decided to also buy some linen to someday make a shift. I can wear the stays over a shirt with a wide neckline, but I already had the pattern for the shift (Regency Underthings Pattern, from Sense & Sensibility), so why not do it right. I sewed up the shift this weekend, it does make for some quick sewing! I cheated a bit by doing it all by machine though. I didn’t have any white cord, so the cord is dark red (a leftover from a corset string), but I actually quite like it. I also found out I hadn’t bought enough fabric, so I slightly narrowed the shift and instead of using bias to make the casing for the string I simply hemmed the neckline with a string in it. No idea if any originals do it this way, but it saves fabric, so that at least is historically accurate!

The shift:

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Inspiration – Regency sleeves

When thinking of the fashions between 1788 and 1820, the obvious characteristics seem to be a high waist-line, as slim skirt and puff-sleeves. There’s a lot more variation in sleeve styles though, with long/elbow/short length sleeves and both puffs and narrow sleeves. I started to look at this because I wanted something different than the classic puff, and found this great article at Historical Sewing which gives a good overview. But even within the short styles worn for evening wear, there’s a lot more variation than just narrow/puffed. So for this post a whole bunch of short regency sleeve styles from various fashion plates, to serve as inspiration. Starting with bands of gathered fabric, to fitted sleeves with embroidery, scallops, ruching and pleats, to puff sleeves in multiple variations, to sleeves gathered in the center.

Sleeve 4Sleeve 9Sleeve 11Sleeve 16Sleeve 18Sleeve 21Sleeve 22Sleeve 1    Sleeve 5Sleeve 7Sleeve 13Sleeve 10 Sleeve 20Sleeve 8Sleeve 30Sleeve 28Sleeve 40Sleeve 6Sleeve 15Sleeve 19                    Sleeve 26Sleeve 2Sleeve 14Sleeve 17Sleeve 51Sleeve 3Sleeve 23Sleeve 32      Sleeve 37 Sleeve 47Sleeve 43Sleeve 41Sleeve 25Sleeve 45Sleeve 31Sleeve 46Sleeve 35Sleeve 33Sleeve 12Sleeve 27Sleeve 38Sleeve 44Sleeve 48Sleeve 52Sleeve 50Sleeve 42Sleeve 24Sleeve 29Sleeve 39Sleeve 36Sleeve 34Sleeve 49

Regency Short stays

My short stays are done! Since the last post, I sewed the layers together, hand-sewed the lacing holes, made the boning channels, inserted the bones and bound the stays. I did it the lazy way and bought bias binding instead of making my own. I also forgot to make any more progress pictures, so I’ll just show the final result.

Some details:

Pattern: Sense & Sensibility Regency underthings Pattern.

Fabric: Outer & lining made of white cotton, inner layer of coutil.

Boning: Cable ties, black ones, so they show through a bit on the inside, but they’re completely invisible from the outside.

Historical accuracy: I believe the pattern is correct, so are the fabrics. Most of it is machine sewn, so that’s not correct, only the gussets in the outer layer, the eyelets and the binding in the front were done by hand. Boning of cable ties, so that’s clearly wrong, but from what I’ve read they’re comparable to baleen in flexibility.

I don’t have any good pictures of the stays on me, but they achieve the effect they’re meant for.  So for this post, pictures on my dressform.

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