2017 in review

A new year means time to look back to what I’ve done last year!

I had some concrete plans, and some more tentative ideas. The concrete plans were for the first half of the year. These were: a balayeuse for the 1870’s gown, a day bodice for said gown, a bodice & overskirt for the 1870’s dress of a friend, finish the red fancy spencer, and a 1940s floral dress.

Of those, only the floral dress hasn’t been done, so pretty good in total!

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The balayeuse

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1870’s day/dinner bodice

 

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A bodice, belt and overskirt for Marije

 

A very fancy spencer

 

The tentative plans were: a red 18th century cloak, a brocade burgundian gown and steeple henin, a satin 1660’s dress and a black-white 1870’s dress.

Of these, the burgundian got made but the henin was simplified into a flowerpot style. The 1660’s happened, but in a much fancier fabric and with a different design than I was first thinking of.

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A damask burgundian gown.

 

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The 1660’s gown. This became a much larger project, as I wanted to do the fancier fabric and trim justice.

 

And, of course, I also made some things which weren’t on the list. In addition to the 1870s day bodice, I also made a hat and chemisette. The burgundian gown actually started with a linen smock, and then kirtle, which I hadn’t planned at the beginning of the year. Although not the one planned, I did make 2 vintage dresses, one 1940s and one 1930s. I also made a full 1880’s winter ensemble, and a corset to match.

 

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Chemisette for the 1870’s dress. I also made a hat and bag.

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A medieval smock

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An medieval kirtle and veil

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An 1940’s dress inspired by my grandmother.

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An 1930’s dress from an original pattern.

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An 1880s corset

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An 1880’s winter ensemble, underskirt, overskirt, bodice, hat and muff.

 

All in all, a pretty productive year! I also visited a number of fashion exhibitions, which was really great. And I went to Bath for the Victorian ball. Stay tuned for some tentative plans for next year!

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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:

2017

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)

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