Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
September, 1837, Upper Canada...
“The journey of my dear cousin to visit the Colonies has indeed been revealing. England and Canada stand worlds apart, quite literally. She speaks of Queen Victoria as an ensample to all. A young queen, a large responsibility, and a regal wardrobe! My dress is plain beside her gowns, I have the latest conventions, but mine is a country dress. A dress from the meadow.”
1835 Winter Dress, painting. 1838 Spring Dresses, catalog.
Credit for this dress goes completely and entirely to Willow. She surprised me with this dress upon my return home from work one day. I had left the dress on the Sewing Lady (see before picture). When I returned she had the finished design all pinned on the Sewing Lady, she had designed it to match my yellow evening gloves.
To achieve the yellow puff sleeves, she took out the inner seam, and rolled the sleeves up. She also made a hoop and included an underskirt as well. As you can see, the dress falls within the 1835-1838 era. I had limited resources for this early period -- at least picture wise. We have dated it 1837 because this is the first official year of the Victorian Period. Many thanks to Auntie Margaret for the gift of her bridesmaid dress!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
September 1836, Upper Canada
Princess Victoria’s rumored ascension in England will signify great change. Such a young queen, barely 18 I have heard. Rumours of her wardrobe are filtering down though the countries; just this past epistle sent over from my sister in Hampshire County confirms new styles are in high demand. Some of these fashions are taking wing on our continent. I’m afraid I’ll be long in joining the latest fashions. Money is scarce these days with the harvest not being what it was or should be. T’will be no new dress for me this harvest. Yesteryear’s fashions will have to do.
I believe Danielle's dress was by far the easiest dress --many thanks to Naomi, Kelsey, & Brenna for loan of their dress. It is perfect. I tried to get a close up of the embroidery work. Besides the dress, we added a gilded ribbon for a sash and the string of pearls. Thank you, Danielle, for posting the initial update of this post! ~Ash
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
1862, Michigan, two years into the War Between the States...
Underground Railroad Operation.
A Green Dress
“Every day, more and more slaves are escaping into Canada. Father says we play a significant role towards abolition of slavery. Tonight, we are to hold a grand party: the railway runs tonight. No one must know. I will wear my new gown. Mother had my dress made in fashion with recent gowns of First Lady, and by first lady I do refer to Mrs. President Lincoln.
I am looking forward to this evening, but I know I shall be quaking inside as my distraction will save lives. Tonight, we will be dancing, as if no trouble in the world invades our minds, while the lantern of the railroad moves on.”
* * *
Mary Todd Lincoln, First Lady, 1862
The design for this dress has been the green picnic dress off the movie, Gone With the Wind. I found it interesting that this particular dress is a combination of two of Mrs. Lincoln's gowns. These gowns were photographed in 1862.
The green picnic dress off Gone With the Wind is definitely a classic icon. When Sarah first mentioned this dress as a reference of what she would like to wear to the festival, I was thrilled. I love a challenge and this was a challenge.
As mentioned in an earlier article, the first obstacle was the material. Once I had the material figured out (see below article), I took the sleeves off the wedding dress I had bought last year. I also took the high neck out. After many designs, I decided to make a pinafore to go over the wedding dress.
I cut the sharpie colored curtain. Two thirds of the curtain made the skirt of the pinafore.
The top edge of the curtain (where the rod would slide through) made the ruffle and the rest made the top of the pinafore.
From the 1 meter of green cloth, I made an extra long sash. Green ribbons from another 4 for 1 sale added the finishing touches. As you can see, its not exactly the same as the Gone With the Wind dress, but I am excited as to how close it turned out.
I had the sunbonnet from another outfit when I was Queen Victoria at the local museum. You can check out my portfolio slideshow to see more on that outfit.
We did have to use the 4 leaf clover scarf for the bonnet, nothing else looked right. The 4 leaf clover scarf is a gift from my Grandma from her recent trip to Ireland. The color is perfect!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Sewing is usually quite the adventure in our house, as you may well imagine. The mess of ribbons, glue sticks, scraps, and threads is atrocious! The little blue pin container has a habit of jumping gleefully around when we
turn our backs, leaving reams of sewing pins across the floor. Glue sticks melt and ribbons tangle, but things are working nicely, no hair elastics this year--well, at least not yet.