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

 

 

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Edwardian blouse – finished

It’s now actually, completely done! Since my last post, I bought some new buttons, sewed the button-holes, attached the buttons and made the hooks & eyes for the collar. I also managed to make some better pictures. So I can now present the front:

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And the finished back!

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The buttonholes were sown by hand. Mostly because I don’t trust my sewing machine. It has an automatic buttonhole function, but depending on the nr. of layers it needs to sew through it makes the hole smaller or bigger, which is not helpful. I also find I like the look of hand-sewn buttonholes much more, and it’s a relaxing exercise. The collar closes with hooks and eyes, because buttons in the thin lace wouldn’t work.

 

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I’m still really happy with how the lace work turned out, so some more pictures, because it’s so pretty!

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Finally, a shot of the inside where you can see the hem and the french seams (this one is on the lining). If you look closely, you can also see where I attached the lining to the main blouse on this (side) seam.

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I also managed to get some pictures of the blouse worn! No detail shots, because that’s difficult when taking photos of yourself. I wore a short skirt which sort-of has the right silhouette and a modern belt, but it does the job of showing the silhouette. It has a slight pigeon-breast effect, exactly as it should have!

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Apologies for the awkward pose in this image, but this picture shows off the silhouette best. I love how the width of the blouse helps to make the waist look small.

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And one more, just because I liked the picture.

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Some statistics:

Fabric: White cotton

Pattern: Wearing History Edwardian blouse, with extra width added to the upper sleeve

Year: ca. 1906

Notions: Antique bobbin lace, modern bobbin lace, bias tape (to finish the edges on the lining), buttons and hooks & eyes

How historically accurate is it: I’d say pretty good. The pattern fits, as do most of the materials. I did use polyester thread and I suspect the buttons are also plastic. I also inserted the lace by machine, which probably would’ve been done by hand at the time.

Hours to complete: Around 2 days.

 

 

Edwardian Blouse – almost…

With the underwear layers of my Edwardian outfit almost done, I could finally start on the garment which began the whole project, the blouse.

I used the Wearing History Edwardian Blouse pattern, but adapted it slightly to fit an earlier style. The blouse is ca. 1910, and because I’ll be making the wider type skirt more seen in 1906/7, I also wanted a blouse to fit those years. Basically, the adaptation meant splitting the sleeve in an upper and lower part, and adding width to the top. The pattern was great to use! A lot of information, many different options and even some information on how to adapt the pattern for earlier/later styles. Moreover, on her blog Lauren from Wearing History has a tutorial for lace insertion which is a perfect complement to this pattern. It worked really well!

My main inspiration was this blouse:

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I did a little sketch to guide the lace placement, which is similar to the photo, but with 2 different types of lace, more lace at the top and some v shaped insets.

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After copying and adapting the pattern, and checking the fit it was time to cut! I used plain white cotton, of the thinnest and drapiest quality I could find.

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The lace insertion was done before assembling. So I took the front panel, and started laying out my design.

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This was what I ended up with! It looks really messy, but I didn’t want to cut until I was sure I’d have enough for what I planned. After this, I cut the lace and placed it on the fabric again to check the design again.

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The lay-out after cutting already looks a lot cleaner! Now it was time for sewing! I drew the lines of where the lace needed to go on the fabric. The horizontal strips will go first, and then the v shapes. I first sewed the narrow and wider lace together where they matched up, and then inserted them. I did one strip to test first, and then all the others. The first step is sewing the lace onto the fabric in the right place.

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Strip one done! Next up is cutting away the fabric on the inside, and pressing away the fabric to the sides. This is then zig-zagged on again and the exes fabric clipped away.

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In the image below all strips have been sewn on and the fabric clipped open. The one on the far left is finished, with the allowance finished and clipped. For the others, you can still see the allowances shining through.

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This was the point where I stopped taking pictures because I forgot… I next inserted the v shaped laces, and added lace to the lower sleeves. The bodice was then assembled, the sleeves gathered and assembled, and bodice and sleeves sewn together. I made the collar of 3 strips of lace, and sewed it on. I finished all seams with french seams. I also added a lining layer, because with the thin cotton and lace the blouse is pretty sheer. The lining was tacked to the blouse on the inside, and a fabric channel sewn on at the waist to gather the blouse. Finally, I finished the back and hemmed the blouse.

 

Some pictures!

From the front:

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Some detail of the lace inserts.

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And the collar.

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The lower sleeves also have lace, but these are just sewn on for a more solid look.

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A little puff at the sleeves!

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Now the blouse is almost finished. Almost, because I haven’t made the closure in the back yet. This is what it looks like now, pinned shut.

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The reason for this is that the buttons I bought for the blouse are not quite as white as the rest. I bought them a while back, and when looking back I think they’re too pearly for the pure white of the blouse. So I need to find new buttons. I can’t make the holes until I do, to get the size right. So I need to get back to the store. But it’s almost done, and more importantly, it looks done, so now when I sit on my couch I can look and admire it. (It’s so pretty!)

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Edwardian outfit – plan

No I’ve got the first layer done, it’s time to share a bit more about the Edwardian outfit I’m planning. This whole outfit was started by the antique lace I found a while back. It’s so perfect for a lace blouse, that I slowly started thinking about making one. I was inspired by blouses like these: (this is also blatant excuse to show lace blouses)

But to make an Edwardian blouse, I first needed the underthings! Edwardian underpinnings are meant to decrease waist size and increase bust size, so to get the correct measurements, I first needed a chemise, corset and padding. That’s done now!

So I’m now starting on the ‘second’ layer of under-things, the corset-cover, drawers and petticoat. But meanwhile, I’ve also been planning the rest of the ensemble.

Aside from lovely lacy blouses, the Edwardian period also has some lovely high-waisted corseted skirts. Think this silhouette:

So the plan is a high-waisted skirt, although it’ll be a bit lower than the one in the image, ending below the bust. A bit more like this:

From what I found, this high-waisted skirt was popular around 1906. At that same time, blouses were usually wide-sleeved, the narrow sleeve starting to appear around 1908, right when the skirts become slimmer. Because I want a wide skirt, I will also make a blouse with wide sleeves, something like this:

I haven’t settled on a lace design yet, but I’ll be using the Wearing History Edwardian blouse pattern, and adapting the sleeves to be wider.

 

I haven’t got the pattern for the skirt yet, although I’ve been eyeing the Truly Victorian pattern. The downside is that it’s not available anywhere in the Netherlands yet, and I want to avoid shipping, so I might try drafting it myself first.

It’s pretty though…

The fabric for the blouse will be thin white cotton, which I already have. The high waisted skirt I’ll be making out of the wool tartan I bought in Edinburgh:

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The picture is a bit bright, but it’s a mix of bright red, very dark green and white. I wanted something which would really stand out, but could be matched with both black and white easily. I’m really looking forward to working with it!

Finally, I’ll need a hat. I’ve never made one, but I’ve been eyeing this one:

I’ll learn how to make a hat, or find a good base to cover… I already have some black ostrich feathers though, so I think this’ll happen!

I made a sketch of the whole outfit:

Edw outfit

 

All-in-all, this outfit will consist of:

Chemise – done

Hip pad – done

Bust-improver – done

Corset cover – in progress

Drawers – in progress

Petticoat – todo (I have: fabric, pattern to draft)

Blouse – todo (I have: fabric pattern, fabric & notions)

Skirt – todo (I have: fabric fabric, pattern to draft)

Hat – todo (I have: feathers, base todo)

I’ve no clue how long it will be until I have it complete, but something to strife for!

Pink roses – Lolita skirt

This skirt was a birthday gift, inspired mostly when I saw the fabric. The girl it was for wears a lot of Lolita clothing, a Japanese fashion style inspired by Victorian and Roccoco fashions. The one of the main characteristics of lolita is the knee-length (sometimes calf-length) skirts, alwasy worn with a petticoat. The fabric I found was perfect for the style, so I decided to make her a skirt!

The base of the skirt is similar to most of my own cotton skirts, a pleated rectangle with a waistband and lace at the bottom. I wanted to make it a bit customizable as well though. Loads of lolita skirts have high waists decorated with bows and lace, so I decided to make a ‘belt’ thing to wear with the skirt. This way it seems high-waisted, but can be worn without the belt for more casual wear as well. Finally, I also made a big fabric bow which can be worn with the skirt or as corsage. (I just attached a safety-pin to put it on or off). The fabric is cotton I found in Edinburgh, the lace I already had but was pure white, so I tea-deyed it.

So, pictures:

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The whole ensemble. Skirt, belt and bow

 

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The side of the skirt with belt.

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And the back. The belt laces in the back. The laces are still quite long, so she can cut them to the length she prefers.

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The front of the belt, with lace and 2 little bows.

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The lacing in the back.

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The skirt without the belt, as a more casual look.

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The zipper.

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And with the bow-corsage-thing to the waistband. Here it’s on the front/side.

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The bow.

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It can also be worn at the back.

Goodies and lace

I recently found a couple of wonderful shops in the town where I live, and picked up a couple of lovely things. In addition, I also recently went to a lace-museum and an accompanying 2nd hand sale where I found more goodies. So for this post, lovely things!

In the first antique shop I entered I found a lace cap which is worn traditionally by women in Volendam, and called a ‘hul’. It’s part of the most classic of Dutch folk costumes. The lady running the shop didn’t know what it was (called it a farmers cap), but I’m pretty sure its from Volendam. Given my love for traditional costume, I just had to add it to my collection.

 

Most recent (and iconic) version of the Volendam costume. (photo from the 1950’s, but due to it getting extinct it hasn’t changed anymore since then)

 

1926. This is an older version of the costume. You can see that the caps are smaller (less pointy) and the ‘wings’ are slightly different.

 

This is mine. I think it's a bit older than the 50's one, judging from the photo's above.

This is mine. I think it’s a bit older than the 50’s one, judging from the photo’s above.

 

The shop also sold a lot of old lace, and I couldn’t resist. So I picked the prettiest. I haven’t checked how much is on the spool, but it looks like plenty.

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The second shop I entered had these lovely vintage gloves. Gloves are usually too big on my as I have small hands, but these fit me!

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The lace museum I visited was really lovely. They had a lot of old mechanic lace machines which were also demonstrated by the guides. The cotton-machines were bought second-hand in the 1920’s, and they still run! The museum-shop also sold the lace made on their machines, and I couldn’t resist buying some of it. So it’s not antique lace, but it was made with antique mechanical machines, so completely historically correct!

 

Nylon lace machine. The number of needles and threads on this thing is astonishing.

 

Cotton lace machine at work (hence the blurry spools).

 

The lace I bought, made on a machine as in the photo above:

 

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Next to the museum, there was a small 2nd hand market selling things to do with sewing, embroidery, knitting, lace making etc. I found these two spools of lace. Not the best or prettiest I’ve ever seen, but they cost me a whole of 2,00 euros each. I can think of something to do with it for that price! Maybe I’ll make a skirt with a double row of lace at the hem… Anyway, there’s plenty of it!

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They also had a lot of old sewing magazines. Most were from the 90’s, 80’s and late ’70s, but I found three from the early 60’s! They cost 25 cents per magazine… (the prices at this market were almost ridiculously low, it was very busy!) They have a lot of great images, and some patterns are included. Only in one size though, so there’s 2 patterns in there which might fit me. They’re both great though, so I’ll definitely have to try them! Some of my favourite pages:

The covers! I like how weird the first one is. I don't think many fashion magazines today would have their models pose with a banana that way...

The covers! I like how weird the first one is. I don’t think many fashion magazines today would have their models pose with a banana that way…

 

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The right dress has a pattern

The right dress has a pattern

 

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This one also has a pattern.

This one also has a pattern.

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Goodies

I was walking through the city after work recently and stumbled on an antiques market. I don’t really go to the market a lot, but I should do this more often, as it was great! I found a couple of small treasures.

The first one was this flower hairpiece. The comb and flowers are all plastic, so it’s not that old but I was immediately put in mind of 1860’s style hairpieces. I don’t have anything to wear it with (as my 1860 dress is black), but who knows…

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Along with the hairpiece were some black ostrich feathers. Again, I don’t know what I’ll do with them yet, but they’re pretty, so I’ll think of something!

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Just when I’d decided that I wouldn’t buy anything more I didn’t know what to do with yet, I stumbled upon antique lace… I couldn’t resist, so I now have 7 meters of this very pretty lace. It is telling me it wants to be an Edwardian blouse, but I’ve never done anything from that era, so who knows. For now, it’s just pretty to look at.

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