Black & White lace

I’ve been quite busy working on several projects, but none are quite ready yet to be blogged about. (For progress pictures etc. see my instagram and facebook page). So for now, some more very pretty pictures. The topic was inspired by the last inspiration post, where I couldn’t include all of these.

Lace has been used for centuries, but the height of it’s popularity might be the turn of the 20th century. I adore these dresses, and would love to recreate them, but the cost of suitable lace is frighting, so instead I just admire. Although there were a lot of solid white and colored dresses with lace, this post would be too long if I included them all. So the theme will be black & white.

 

DressJeanne Paquin, 1902The Museum at FIT:

Jeanne Paquin, 1902, The Museum at FIT

 

Ball gown dress of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. 1900-1901:

Dress of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. 1900-1901

 

From the collection of Alexandre Vassiliev:

From the collection of Alexandre Vassiliev

 

From the collection of Alexandre Vassiliev:

From the collection of Alexandre Vassiliev

 

Half-Mourning Dress  1889-1892:

Half-Mourning Dress 1889-1892

 

Circa 1906 black silk and lace evening gown, Bonnaire, Paris.:

Circa 1906 black silk and lace evening gown, Bonnaire, Paris

 

Dress, Evening  Date: 1898–99 Culture: American:

Dress, Evening Date: 1898–99 Culture: American, MetMuseum

 

1900s evening dress:

Musée de la Mode

 

 

30 times inspiration

At the beginning of this month, Jennifer from Historical Sewing started a 30-day inspiration sharing project. I only commented occasionally, but really liked the idea. So, in retrospect, my entries. For this post, I choose to do all existent pieces. Links to the museum pages are included.

1. Favorite Time Period

Immediately one of the most difficult. I don’t really have 1 favourite, I like different things about different eras and what I like most changes from moment to moment. But, one that has always been high on the list is the second bustle era, ca. 1883-1890. I love the clean lines, dramatic fabrics and shape.

MetMuseum

 

2. Blue

I’ve always had a soft spot for this dress. The fabric is absolutely stunning.

Evening Dress  1850-1852. With detachable long sleeves. Dark blue / Emerald green, patterned fabric such as in the picture.:

MetMuseum

 

3. 1890’s

One of those eras that needed to grow on me, but I quite like it now. Especially the jackets, those are maybe the best from all time periods.

Emily Reynolds Historic Costume collection

 

4. Skirt

The Dutch 18th century chintz skirts are one of my favourite items. This one has a border, using the pattern on the fabric to its fullest.

Fries Museum

 

5. Pleating

Loads of pleating on this Edwardian dress. Pin-tucks in the sleeves and main part, with another pleated drape around the shoulders.

Gemeentemuseum the Hague exhibition on 19th century fashion - Edwardian Dress bodice detail:

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

 

6. Darts/Tucks

I love the tiny gathering on 1840’s  and ’50s dresses to give shape.

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

 

7. Red or Pink

I’m much more fond of red than pink, which is soon a little too sweet for my taste. I love the fabric on this dress, along with the cut-out design of the bodice.

Victoria & Albert

 

8. Bells

I’ve always loved the huge dramatic shape of the mid-19th century. My first big historical project was a recreation of this gown.

MetMuseum

 

9. Regency

Although rare, my absolute favorite Regency dresses are the ones made fully of lace. I’ve seen this one in person, and it’s even more stunning in real life.

Japon van zijden kant, `Blonde', in empirestijl met laag uitgesneden hals en pofmouwen., anoniem, ca. 1815 - ca. 1820:

Rijksmuseum

 

10. Shoes

Lattice-worked boots are probably my all-time favorite type of shoe. I want these.

1905 boots:

Vintage Textile (missing record)

 

11. Sewing Technique

One of the great joys of seeing historical garments in real life is seeing the details. Tiny stitches on the far left of this image, setting the pleat. Tiny cartridge pleats along the embroidered cuffs.

IMG_6780

Rijksmuseum

 

12. Fringe

I’m generally not a big fan of fringe, but the effect on a full dress can be stunning. This fringe I do really like, very creative.

Metmuseum

 

13. Braids

Intricate braiding on the sleeve of a regency spencer. I love details like this.

Spencer Date: ca. 1820 Culture: British Medium: silk, willow Dimensions: Length at CB: 18 in. (45.7 cm):

MetMuseum

 

14. Gathers

Smocking is a way of strategically gathering fabric to form a pattern. This blouse is a gorgeous example.

Paarse blouse in de stijl van reformkleding met lange mouwen en smockwerk langs de hals en op de mouwen. De sluiting is middenachter met knopen. De combinatie van blouse en rok was gebruikelijk in deze periode, maar in de reformbeweging werden doorgaans japonnen gedragen.:

Amsterdam Museum

 

15. Green

The 18th century does green really well. This is a beautiful example.

MetMuseum

 

16. 1830’s

Another one of those eras that had to grow on me, but I now quite like. This particular dress I’ve always loved though. Those sleeves!

1837 dress. printed challis lined with glazed cotton and linen.:

Victoria & Albert

 

17. Plaid

When Victoria showed an interest in Scotland, using tartan became very popular. Hence, there’s a large number of plaid mid 19th century dresses. This might be my favorite.

An exquisite Canadian plaid/tartan evening gown from circa 1860. The popularity of plaid exploded after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert chose Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands as one of their royal residences:

Musee McCord

 

18. Reticules

This one was actually first shared by Historical Sewing, and caught my eye. My mother has picked up tatting for about 1,5 year now, so I immediately had to think of her. Also, she’s trying her hand now at recreating this in black, which is really cool!

foto van Historical Sewing with Jennifer Rosbrugh.

Kent State University Museum

 

19. Challenge

This is a close-up of a spencer jacket I’m using as inspiration. My recreation has proven to be a bit of a challenge, and so far the most time-consuming project I’ve ever done, but it’s also starting to be really pretty. My trim won’t be quite as ‘close’ as in the original, but close enough. I also really like how even the original isn’t 100% symmetrical, obviously hand-work, and a challenge to get as perfect as possible!

Maart historical - Spencer Jakcet - in progress:

MetMuseum

 

20. Outdoors

This couldn’t be anything but a large big cloak. Still on my wish-list to make.

MetMuseum

 

21. Undergarments

You’ve got to love Edwardian underwear. It’s the epitome of ruffled and lace undergarments.

MetMuseum

 

22. Lace

I love all types of lace, but black might be my absolute favorite.

Museum of Decorative Arts

 

23. Black or White

I have a weakness for black dresses in general actually.

MetMuseum

 

24. Parasols

I repeat the black lace comment from above.

MetMuseum

 

25. Edwardian

Not initial my favorite era, but once you look at it more the details are so gorgeous.

Dress      1909–11:

MetMuseum

 

26. Ruffles

No era does ruffles like early 1870’s.

MetMuseum

 

27. Oop-sies!

Not so much an oops in the dress as in the display. Museums are generally pretty good at displaying their costumes, and getting even better. Auction houses are more of a hit-and miss. This 1770’s dress looks like it’s got a round crinoline underneath. That counts as a miss.

STRIPED SATIN GOWN, 1770’s.:

Withaker auctions

 

28. Corset

This one was difficult just because there are so many gorgeous examples. I always love flossing on corsets, and the contrast on this one decided me.

Corset ca. 1893-97 From the exhibition “A Century of Style: Costume and Colour 1800-1899″ at Glasgow Museums:

Glasgow Museums

 

29. Unusual

Maybe not so much unusual as rare, this is one of the few surviving 17th century gowns. It will be on display when I visit Bath in May, so really excited to see it in person.

9f04d1519def01b735f28ef4570f7589.jpg (736×1605):

Bath fashion museum

 

30. Favorite Costume

This is another really difficult one, but at the moment it’s this chintz ensemble. Probably not worn together originally, but such print mixes were common in parts of the Netherlands in the 18th century. I absolutely love chintz, and very excited for the upcoming exhibition where this will also be on display.

Activiteiten sitsen - Activiteiten - Te zien en te doen - Fries Museum:

Fries Museum

2017 plans

After the overview of last year’s projects, it’s time to look ahead!

In the beginning of the year, I want to make a baleyeuse to fully finish my 1870’s ballgown ensemble, to spare the train a bit of harm.

37.  Balayeuse ready

This wonderful baleyeuse is from Prior Attire, who also gives a tutorial!

 

I’m also looking into maybe making a day bodice to go with the dress. I have plenty of yellow silk left and some of the narrow black lace. I really like the idea of making both evening & day bodices for dresses, it opens up a lot of opportunities to wear things!

Aside from my own dress, I’m also helping a friend with hers. The base skirt is done, but I’ll be helping her with the overskirt. The bodice I’ll make for her as well. She’s a beginning seamstress, so the current division of labor is that she’ll do the pleats for trimming and I’ll do the bodice. This is the plan:

foto van Marije de Vries.

 

Also planned for first half of the year is the red spencer jacket. I’ve been working on it for a while, but it’s a slow progress. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it next year! A teaser:

foto van Atelier Nostalgia.

 

I have a whole load of unmade vintage dress patterns, ranging from 1930s to 1950s and I’m hoping to make some next year. For one I’ve already got the fabric, so that one will be first.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor SIMPLICITY - 8050

 

After these projects, the plans get a bit more vague. I have several patterns, and fabric for several other projects. What will get made probably depends on occasion and mood. Time will probably also play a role, as I’ll also finish my PhD project next year which means busy times lie ahead!

None of these next ideas concrete in any way, but it’s fun to dream ahead.

One is the red cloak which has been on the todo list for 2 years. If I finish my red spencer, I’ll have a more appropriate outfit to wear it with. (A red wool cloak over a short sleeved ballgown is just a bit weird). That might help.

Cloak late 18th century The Metropolitan Museum of Art:

 

I also have a gorgeous orange/black silk brocade. I’ve been debating between a bourgundian gown and a Tudor gown since I got it. I’m leaning towards bourgundian now though. As I also just got a remnant of black silk taffeta, I can also now make undergarments. The silk isn’t nearly enough for a kirtle, but it should be plenty to fake the idea of a silk kirtle if I just make all the ‘invisible’ parts out of black cotton. Not HA at all, but practical and a lot cheaper. The painting below has been on my mind for a while. So it would be this, but with black cuffs and collar, and a black kirtle and belt.

My fabric:

Zijde Stoffering Zwart met oranje medallions 1 mtr.*

Petrus Christus | A Goldsmith in his Shop | The Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Of course, that would also involve a headdress and veil. I’ve never done medieval, but I love the look of them.

I especially like the steeple henins with butterfly veils. Probably the most impractical, but so pretty. This image shows one worn with the same style of dress as the previous painting.

Burgundian hats! In all their ridiculousness.:

 

Another project which has been on my mind is a 1660’s satin dress. I love these ‘smooth’ dresses. I also realized I have 4m of cotton/polyester in my stash, which can pass for satin. I originally bought it for a regency dress, but in the end didn’t use it because it was a bit too heavy. Would drape perfectly for this era though, and it’s not really suited to many other eras. So who knows.

Queens of England, Catherine of Braganza, 1638 - 1705, not strictly English, but Portugese.:

 

Then I got some patterns recently, including the Truly Victorian 1875 Parisian trained skirt. I love this pattern, and really want to use it. I’ve been eyeing black/white striped dresses, and it would be perfect for this. Now it should theoretically be in silk, all cotton I’ve found used during this period was the light colored/sheer type, not really suited for black. But finding silk like that which is also affordable will be very difficult, and I’ve seen plenty of lovely cotton reproduction dresses. So if I do this, I’ll probably go for that option. A design like this would’ve made my 14-year old gothic self very happy in any case. (and still sort of does)

 photo Bustle paris skirt_zps9fsodpdo.jpg

 

Finally, I’ve been meaning to start on 18th century for a while. Other plans got in the way, but who knows?

Christmas tones

For some reason, christmas in the Victorian era is linked to Dickens. It might be all the Dickens festivities around christmas, and probably a Christmas Carol has something to do with it. So for this post, some christmassy dress inspiration from the Dickens era! Most Dickens events tend to bring 1860’s clothing, but his books were written from 1836 to about 1865, so these images cover that whole period. Prepare for loads of red, green and plaid, in chronological order (as far as I could find out).

 

Court dress | probably German | The Met:

l:

Le Bon ton fashion plate 1837:

Day dress ca. 1840’s:

Lady's Cabinet Fashion Plate - "MORNING VISITING DRESS (Green)" - Hand-Colored Engraving - 1840:

Litografia di moda d'epoca 1848: due signore di AntiquePrintsOnly:

Two-piece woolen plaid dress, 1855-1865, via In the Swan's Shadow.:

An exquisite Canadian plaid/tartan evening gown from circa 1860. The popularity of plaid exploded after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert chose Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands as one of their royal residences:

The Victorian Needle:1860 fashion plate:

La Mode Illustrée, 1864:

March 1865, Les Modes Parisiennes. From LAPL.:

1863 Vintage Victorian Fashion Plate from Les by PastPaperNPostcards,:

 

1870’s underskirt trim

While making the trim for my 1870’s dress, I also looked a lot at images of other underskirts of the period. There’s loads of different ways to trim the skirt, and although  skirts without any trim do exist, they seem quite rare. In fact, there are so many options available that I can imagine it’s difficult to pick how to trim a dress! In Dutch there’s a saying, that you ‘can’t see the forest through the trees’. Basically it means there’s so many options that you can’t clearly see any one choice clearly. So in this post I’ll give a brief description of different types of popular trim.

To illustrate how different trims were used in combination, I’ll be using pictures of existent 1870’s dresses. All of these are in the Metropolitan museum of Art. I’ve decided to only use this source, as it’s very extensive and many of the dresses are photographed in high resolution so close-ups of the trim are available.

Nearly all trim on bustle skirts is a combination of lace, fringe, fabric/ribbon strips, ruffles and pleats.

Lace

Lace existed in many forms and shapes, and would be made out of silk, linen or cotton. In the 1870’s, lace could already be made by machines although hand-made lace was still an industry as well. I’m not an expert on lace, so I won’t go too much into types and history here. From what I’ve seen, nearly all lace used on dresses was either a shade of white  (white to yellow-ish) or black.

 photo 1995352andashc_Fb_zpsojhtpr8e.jpg

A skirt close-up. Rows of lace attached to ruffles of sheer fabric.

 

Fringe

Fringe is the type of trim Victorians loved but which doesn’t get used a lot today. It seems it’s just not that appealing to the modern eye. Fringe is mostly seen on the lower edge of the over-skirts, but it does also occasionally pop up on underskirts. Fringe can also be beaded, or consist of more adventurous shapes.

 photo 19752273_d_zpst28o8r8k.jpg

An example of very pretty fringe, with tiny tassles and what looks like beads

 

Fabric/Ribbon strips

Contrasting strips of fabric or ribbon are often used to create (mostly horizontal) stripes. These strips can be turned over, used as bias tape or finished by bias strips themselves.

 photo 1986304b_d2_zpspa7yxxsg.jpg

Fabric strip decorations. You can see how they’re cut on the bias, the edges seem to be folded under.

 

Ruffles & Pleats

Ruffles & pleats are by far the most common way to decorate a skirt and come in a massive number of variations. A ruffle is a gathered strip of fabric, a pleat is folded. You get strips of ruffles, strips of pleats, folded pleats, or gathering on the whole fabric creating a smocked effect. Loads of different versions exist.

 photo 197934670andashc_Fb_zpsaslfdubz.jpg

Three rows of ruffles. The top one is gathered with multiple rows to create a smocked effect.

 

 photo 451684a-b_front_CP4b_zps431owmzn.jpg

Two rows of pleats. The top strip is frayed and box pleated, stitched down in the middle. The lower strip has spaced double box pleats. (and a row of lace at the bottom).

 

Some more examples, for inspiration. The dress below has a dark brown skirt with a lot of tiny pleats.

 photo 12_zpsskvqgiua.jpg

In the close-up you can see that the top two rows of pleats have tiny folds in them. They seem to be knife pleats, stitched down at the top. The bottom has just 2, wider rows. The fabric in-between seems gathered down just a bit. There are some folds as well, but they’re very uneven, so I’d guess that this is just a result of the gathering. Might be that they originally had very shallow box pleats as well.

 photo 12b_zpsrxb4osmg.jpg

Another one. A very dark blue one with light accents.

 photo 441471a-b_front_CP4_zpsz625f0tq.jpg

In the close-up you see that black lace was used in a very clever way. A lighter strip of fabric was sewn on, with the lace overlay. Below are ruffles, slightly gathered. The ruffles are lined in the light fabric, being sewn in such a way it just shows around the edges.

 photo 441471a-b_front_CP4b_zpswpmlymml.jpg

Another blue number

 photo 19784774ab_F_zps8ofshsfo.jpg

This dress also has trim lined in a contrast fabric showing around the edges, similarly to the previous one. In this case the strip is knife pleated and then folded in the middle to create the zig-zag effect.

 photo 19784774ab_Fb_zpspdvsvugw.jpg

 photo 56129100a-c_threequarter_front_CP4_zpstwqf9u2d.jpg

A combination of a lot of different things! On the overskirt, a strip of lace covered in a strip of fabric. The underskirt has a wide strip of fabric, which seems to have been gathered near the top, in the middle and near the bottom. These gathers are covered by fabric strips. The slightly ‘poufy’ effect is probably created by placing the top and bottom gathers just a bit closer to the middle gather than necessary. The bottom part has short sections of knife pleats with unpleated bits in the middle.

 photo 56129100a-c_threequarter_front_CP4b_zpseh2hfzrc.jpg

Another brown dress. There’s only a little bit of underskirt visible.

 photo 19892467_F_zpspurtxkgz.jpg

In the close-up, you can see that a brown lace trim is used, with very small knife pleats underneath.

 photo 19892467_d2_zpsxk8u45n1.jpg

A very classy dress. From this distance it’s difficult to see what’s going on.

 photo 22_zpsifzy9juh.jpg

Close-up! You see that the main part of the skirt is gathered with five narrow rows of stitching. This create the smocked effect, and creates the gathers in the rest of the fabric. The bottom is ‘finished off’ with two rows of small knife pleats.

 photo 22c_zpseamgh9fb.jpg

To finish off, a white cotton dress.

 photo 2002252ab_F_zpsq2gjc4sy.jpg

A close up shows that there are small rows of ruffles, with what seems like a knife pleated bottom part, stitched down at the bottom.

 photo 2002252ab_Fb_zpsvb2y38ym.jpg

Vintage wrap-around

I was browsing through 1950s vintage pattern images recently, and I found quite a number of patterns of ‘wrap-around’ dresses. These are basically dresses without a side seam, they only attach front & back at the shoulders and the skirt ties around the body to form a dress. The fun thing is that these also have a schematic image of what the pattern would look like laying flat. I’m not sure exactly how all of them would work, but some seem relatively simple and reproducible. In any case there seems to have been a bit of a trend for these, maybe even a specific line as they’re all Butterick patterns. I thought I’d share some pictures!

Butterick 6472:

Butterick 6472

 

Butterick 6119 - love that alluring sweetheart neckline. #vintage #1950s #sewing #patterns:

1950s Butterick Pattern 6150 WALK AWAY Wrap Dress Button Back Really Cute Style:

Butterick 6150

Vintage 50s Butterick 6836 Wrap Around Dress The Walk-Away Dress Flared or Slim Skirt Bust 32 or 34 Vintage Sewing Pattern UNCUT FF:

Butterick  6836

*:

MOMSPatterns Vintage Sewing Patterns - Butterick 7349 Vintage 50's Sewing Pattern AMAZING Rockabilly Halter Top Wrap Around Sheath or Overskirt Party Dress LIKE The Walk-Away Dress Butterick 6015!:

Butterick 8151 wrap-around dress similar to walkaway dress:

And, there are two reproduction vintage patterns from Butterick which fit the format. Although I haven’t tried these, I have read somewhere that they’re re-drafted or re-sized for ‘modern figures’ (whatever that means). So these might not have exactly the same pattern pieces as the original vintage patterns. They’ll be a lot easier to find though!

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor BUTTERICK - B6211

It has a new number, but exactly the same pattern envelope!

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor BUTTERICK - B4790

Again, they have taken the original images as pattern envelope.

Early Bustle Ball gown

Last year in May, Izabella from Prior Attire organized a Victorian ball in Bath. I didn’t go, but I saw a lot of images of the event, and many gorgeous visitors. I decided at that point that it’d be worthwhile to put the event on my wish-list, just to see if it’d be possible to go one time. It would have to involve a holiday as I don’t actually live in the UK, but it’s always fun to dream.

Shortly after the ball, the theme for next year was announced, namely early bustle. Even though I had no concrete plans to go, I started looking at gowns from that period and eventually decided to just make one! There’s another ball a bit closer to home in January, so if I could manage to finish before then I’d be able to wear it anyway.

So a new project was started! I now have the corset and bustle/petticoat finished, and it’s time to start working on the dress.

When settling on what to make, I started with looking at ball-gowns from this period, namely 1870-1876. I found quite quickly that most are actually a bit too frilly for my taste. Most dresses I saw had some elements I didn’t like. Some had a lot. I quickly decided that the ruching you see a lot was not for me.

Something like this was a nope…

Le Monde Elégant 1870:

So instead, I went looking for what I did want, to see if I could incorporate this into one design. First up was color! I didn’t have too much choice, as I wanted to buy the fabric at an outlet. This made buying silk possible budget-wise, but given how much I’d need I would depend on stock. Almost all ball-gowns in fashion plates are white or pastel. The very occasional red or black appears, but pink and baby-blue were definitely popular. It’s a little too sweet for me though. So I decided to go for a light green/yellow/sand color if I could find it.

And that worked out! I bought a lovely thin but sturdy taffeta in a very pale yellow/lime color. It’s fairly difficult to photograph the color right, but this comes pretty close:

20160713_202002b

On to the rest of the design! I knew I wanted a train, as almost all ballgowns seem to have one. It’s not always practical though, so I want a train I can bustle up or remove. This means having the train as an over-skirt so that I can either remove it or bustle it up by attaching ties on the inside, should be doable!

For the front and back overskirt, I decided to keep it simple. This’ll be my first time making a bustle, and I don’t want to make it too complicated for myself. So the bustle will be based on a pattern as shown in this video.

For the underskirt I don’t want a train, so I can wear the dress without one. Ideally with trim all the way around so the train can be removed. I’m not certain if I have enough fabric for a lot of pleating, so I settled on another type of trim. Lace! You see quite a lot of examples of sheer-ish black lace on top of light fabrics, something I really like. This brown dress is a nice example:

Le Monde Elégant 1870:

So, lace it is! I also decided that I want flowers. They’re so typical for the period, and can serve to bring a little color into the picture. I’m aiming for (dark)red.

For the bodice, I’m going for pleating, inspired by this image, although I’ll probably do the basic puff sleeve.

 

Although I haven’t got the lace and flowers I’ll eventually use, I pulled something from my stash just to look  at the color combinations.

 

20160713_202002

And with everything kept in mind, this is the initial design! I might change some things along the way, but this is the plan!

Bustle design

To finish off, shortly after I made the design image, I found this fashion plate. I love how the middle dress resembles my design. I might even go for the lace as bertha as well…

Godeys 1874: