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Wednesday, January 29, 2014


it takes awhile to complete a gown. This one {also from a fashion plate} was a little difficult to complete, and needed revisions more than once. But in the end, it was finished looking just beautiful. The pictures look green, but the color is a dark teal blue.

  The blouse is of a fine cotton lawn, with lace overlay around the bodice inset. I have had that piece of fabric for some time. {Does that make it vintage?} Now was the time to use a part of it. I added a brooch pin of vintage black jet beads at the neckline, that I created just for this ensemble.

  The skirt, jacket, and hat were of a teal taffeta, lined with white cotton lawn {for the skirt} and a teal lining in the jacket and hat. The skirt has six gores, after I had to remove two of them due to the fullness at the bottom of the skirt. This is a walking dress, or something worn shopping. The top of the skirt forms a deep V shape in the brighter silk accent piece. Over each joined gore section is another accent piece of the same silk. On top of that is a nine inch black knot work appliqué . This decoration on the bottom of the skirt and jacket sleeves, varies from the fashion plate picture. This looked better, but retained most of the design from the fashion plate.
  The jacket laps over in front and sports the same knot work appliqué and silk accent as the skirt. Mind you, every bit of those black appliqués are hand sewn down. I just hate the look of glued stuff. It's messy, unrealistic and not pretty to look at. So I never use glue. That means I have to hand sew a lot. I really don't mind that. I think it looks better.

  The hat was a joy to create. I really love these old hats, with all the feathers and ribbons, lace and bows. This one's brim turns up in back, making it easy to perch forward on the head. A frill of black vail netting hangs free in the back. Black &  teal blue feathers, along with some pretty blue ribbon, and a touch of black knot appliqués complete the hat's design.
  What's left, is the black purse, that I added black jet beads to, allowing for a richer design look, of the Gibson era.

So there she is, in her newly completed suit.

  This one was worth the extra effort to create, pattern and all.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sewing on black at night

It's said not to sew on black at night. I have always believed it, because, after awhile you think your going blind. It's just so hard to adjust to the dark color no matter how much light you put on the subject.
But, sometimes you do it anyway. I really wanted to finish this simple black dinner gown. Late night or not, I finished it. All I can say, is don't sew on black at night. lol.
  That being said, here is the gown

This is so special, because I have used two vintage beaded pieces to complete the gown.
First, is the very delicate and old jet beaded appliqué I used on the collar. It had to be pretty much re-beaded onto the collar {which was created just to hold this piece}.

  The gown is a princess style cut with the smaller full sleeves, bell shaped skirt and round neckline.
The lower band is another vintage piece cut from an old scarf. Velvet that is edged with a beaded, net pattern and tassels. I applied it so that it would swoop up in the back, but not be bustled. 

A filmy black single bow tops the upward curve. Both pieces were a real find and I have been saving them for something special to use them on. Well, my Gibson is just that special thing. I made a filmy ribbon gather with one tiny bow to attach the single black plume in her hair. An accessory often used in this era.
  I also made her a new set of black lingerie. Drawers, petticoat and corset.

Simple, yet elegant. I like the way this one turned out.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Formal Black

I have started with a fashion plate and reproduced this lovely black gown. The full skirt has a teal layer underneath of satin, with a black net layer then a fine black netting layer trimmed with an embellished organza on top.  The vertical organza pieces end with a tiny black satin bow.The sleeves are not lined with the teal or netting but handled like the outer layer of the skirt. As with the style they are very full.
   The bodice is the teal satin, trimmed with an net edged with organza and a puff of  net underneath. It also has a trimming of fancy black cording. Both sleeves and bodice are embellished with satin and see through ribbons which were so popular at this time.

She is ready for a night of dancing

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Plain gets Vamped!

This Gibson gown is a simple green velvet gown, with a white lace edged neckline insert and sleeves.

It's a very simple gown. But then I went to town with a pile of beautiful timings that came off of an old  dance costume of mine. So take a look.

Don't let it throw you. Some people will say the flowers etc are to big , not the right kind etc etc. But! And that's a big but. Ladies wear all kinds of fabric prints etc. Big and small, and not necessarily what one would think perfect for the person or age etc. That doesn't make it bad, just a difference of option.
This era was also know as the opulent era. In other wards it was rich in all kinds of over blown styles as well as demure .
  The overdress  was created from a two tone chiffon, trimmed out with a crocheted and beaded border.
Then I added the sequin and beaded flowers, leaves etc. With just a bit of large rhinestones . It is a style that would have been worn in the early 1900's. I love the way it all came together and most of all that I was able to use something I was no longer going to be able to wear. I always said the day would come when I would cut up my beautiful costumes and re-apply them somewhere else. It cost to much money to just let them sit and rot, or to just give away.
  So one down and a few more to go, …. but just not right now. This evening dress is it for now.
Next up? A lovely black gown.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Nightgown and Wrapper

She has a nightgown and wrapper now, along with another fuller petticoat. Someone asked me how many pieces would I make for her wardrobe, and I had to say as many as she wants, or I have the time to make. lol.

I have as yet to figure out why they called a housecoat a "wrapper"?

At least she has hers now, and can sleep in her victorian nightgown made from white cotton and trimmed with insertion lace. As well as a ruffle along the front and neck edge and the sleeve cuffs.

Dark gray half morning

I have never  found so pretty a brocade fabric as this gray one. Shot through with a deep gold. I decided to make this gown from it, as it was so different, and I liked the style. It has an ecru blouse made from a thin fine fabric. I don't know what it is except it feels like silk. The style has a rounded yoke with semi short puffed sleeves. A embroidered appliqué covers the yoke.

The skirt and jacket is also trimmed out with this appliqué .

The deep gold "ribbons" that trim the jacket are made from a organza fabric.

The jacket closes in the front, and has elbow length full sleeves. I have drawn the pattern for this gown myself and have used a fashion plate of Gibson gowns as inspiration.
  I love the way it turned out. I think she looks stunning . Just another lovely gown for her wardrobe. Now on to the next one, a beautiful golden yellow evening gown.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Promenade gown

Off to her favorite watering hole, in her new striped gown. The skirt needed some fullness under it to give it that little touch of flare. So I made her a new petticoat, with a double net flounce.
The bodice has a plastron attached separate over the bodice, and ends in a kind of wide band that closes in the back.
  Over the bodice, she wears a white lace bolero. This is made up with a combination of two different types of lace, over a firm net ground.
  This gown is another very useful example of using lace in a tasteful way, and not just as a border trim. The hat is a "boater" style, wide brim design, completed with feathers and self ribbon bows.
She looks ready for her promenade.