06 November 2012

Fashion Envy: 23skidoo Shoes from American Duchess

Oh, she's done it again. American Duchess has made a pair of shoes I just can't live without! Her latest shoe, the 23skidoo is a 1920's strappy shoe that I most definitely daydream about. In fact, she's doing a giveaway right now over at her blog!

Check out those puppies! Aren't they just darling?

Be sure to pop over to the American Duchess blog to enter to win your pair soon! The contest only runs until November 10th!

27 October 2012

Pinning Inspiration

Do you have a Pinterest board? I was very late to the game on Pinterest, but I am definitely hooked now. I thought I'd share my Pinterest board with you today, though I will be posting individual finds from Pinterest from time to time so you may see duplicate info.

If you're not familiar with it, Pinterest is a social media site that acts like a cyber bulletin board (or scrapbook, almost) for all sorts of things. You can use it to bookmark recipes, create color schemes, collect craft ideas... pretty much anything you can think of.

I use it to keep track of dresses and other historical fashions. The great thing is, so do others. Because of this, I can access pinterest every few days and search for things like "1928 dress" or "Edwardian blouse" and gain access to photos and sometimes even extensive information on antiquated pieces from across the world. It's pretty fantastic!

I have one main Pinterest board that I pin to, titled "Fashion 1900-1930". I use my board to keep track of the dresses that I love and would like to draw inspiration from at a later date.

Do you use Pinterest? What do you use it for?

26 October 2012

Historical Reproduction: 1918 Day Dress Construction Photos

 Well, I am nearly finished with my most recent historical reproduction. It's not a direct reproduction, but I'm happy with it, and it's all taken from historical sources (or sources that are sourced from historical sources - hah). Anyway, I started with a neutral geometric pattern. Originally it read as being a very creamy fabric, but the more I worked with it the more I became of how starkly white it reads. I'm not very happy with the fabric, though it was very cheap (roughly $4 a yard at a local big-box craft store). I'm actually considering tea staining it, though we'll see if I have the nerve to risk it. 

This was my first time doing pin tucking, and I had to do three reeeeeally long straight pin tucks on the skirt. It was nerve wracking!

Here's a shot of my first muslin of the top. The neckline was seriously wonky, but I liked the sleeves, so I pressed on. This eventually, after many, many times basting and tearing out stitches, became the basis for my blouse. I love wrap-style blouses; they tend to be fairly flattering to my busty figure.

I was becoming concerned with the cut of the dress, thinking it looked more and more silly, until I pinned the skirt (complete with it's adorable pockets) to the blouse. This was when I got excited. :)

The fit is nearly perfect! This was my second time drafting a dress exclusively on my own and I'm pretty happy with it. I still need to finish some edges and add hooks and eyes to the side-closure. I'm also torn about weather or not I should use lace or embroidery to embellish the pockets, cuffs and modesty panel. I expect I'll have some more photos for you sometime soon. I'm hoping to con(vince) my brother into taking some better photos for me tomorrow.

So what do you think? Is the print too stark white? I really worry that it's too modern for this dress. Should I tea stain it?

Vintage Fabric Find: Woven Cotton Check (CP)

(This is the last one Cross Posted from my other blog)

I have been looking for a specific fabric for AGES and I finally found something very similar to it while browsing Etsy today. Just a side note: I'm thinking it's time I either give up Etsy or get an account and start selling to support my habit. This is ridiculous. I am going to be broke.


Woven check cotton fabric is nearly impossible to find! I even posted about it in a blog post a few months ago, and on facebook, trying to find out if it had a specific name or if anyone knew where I could pick some up. Just by chance today I was stalking a vintage fabric seller on Etsy today after day dreaming about buying some other fabric from them and lo and behold! There it was! And only five dollars a yard, to boot! Anyway, I've immediately come up with a super-cute early 30's dress idea for it, but before I get too set on anything I want to have the fabric in my hand. If it's what I think it is, it'll be perfect!
Have you ever sought a nameless thing only to have it find you? 
(I am sounding super zen here, despite having disappointingly material intentions...)

Fashion (Blog) Envy: All the Pretty Dresses (CP)

(Cross Posted)

It's a grumpy sort of morning. I have Pride and Prejudice playing on the television and am snugged up in nearly ten blankets on the couch with a puppy (I've yet to start the wood fire this morning). My DH is out of town this weekend, leaving me to my own devices (watching Jane Austen adaptations on DVD, napping and grumping around eating poorly) but I just happened to stumble across this blog this morning and so I had to share it.


All The Pretty Dresses is a blog detailing the internet findings of an antique fashion fan and there are nearly eight hundred posts! Each post documents a dress or piece of clothing that she has found on web sites other than museum sites (ebay, etsy, etc) and has the original photos and description, as well as her own input. I've been on this site for so long that I can barely see straight, and I've only nicked the surface!

This page has convinced me to post a few of my own vintage and antique dresses over the next few weeks as I get them cleaned up. Stay Tuned!

Fashion-Envy: Late 1910's House Dress (CP)

Here's another top-contender for dresses I'd love to remake. This one is actually almost within my budget, and it's already a reproduction, but there's just something so gosh-durned awesome about making a dress yourself, especially when I can tailor it to my exact fit.
I'd love to do this one with hand-embroidered detail at the cuffs, modesty-panel and hem. I wish I had a better photo of it. The neckline is my favorite. 
Edit: I have started work on a dress very similar to this one. I turned it into a wrapped blouse and drafted it all myself, using some diagrams from historical patterns as reference, and as of this morning it is nearly done! I'll be posting some in-progress photos, as well as some finished shots asap.

Fashion-Envy: 1920's Working Class (CP)

(Cross Posted, again)

Lately I've been thinking about choosing a dress to recreate using modern fabrics. This one below is one of my current favorites. I found it on Etsy, and while I'd love to buy it, I'd love even more if I could own a sturdy, wearable reproduction of it. It's a mid-20's dress that would've been worn by a working class woman. Perhaps a factory worker? 
It's pin-tucked wool with a linen insert, cuffs and collar. I can't help but want to try it out, especially with the drawn-thread work in the linen. My main concern is that it would look kind of funky on my petite-yet-busty figure.
What do you think of it? I'd love to get readers' opinions on it before I start searching for fabric.

My Fashionable Ancestors Part 2 (CP)

(Cross Posted)

The second photo my mother emailed me this week was from 1930, according to the license plate. The interesting thing is that the ladies pictured are dressed in some seriously outdated clothing, and are still sporting drop waists from the mid-to-late 1920s. Probably more mid, since the older woman has a bit more of an earlier fashion about her, but it's possible she was just more conservative in her choices of clothing.
The shoes in this photo are making me insane with envy. Look at the cutouts on the lady on the right! You can probably click on the image above for a closer look. I'm also a serious sucker for cloche hats. 
Is there anything in historical fashion that you wish was more socially acceptable today? Bustles? Drop waists? Suits of armor?

My Fashionable Ancestors (CP)

(Cross Posted)

My mother recently emailed me some photos of my Edwardian era ancestors and I just can't stop ogling at them! 

The first photo has some great dresses. In fact, the dress second from the left (is it polka dots? floral?) is absolutely fantastic. I'd love to recreate it. I'm assuming this is right around 1918-1920 because the blouses are still deeply formal while there is some serious ankle peeking out. 

This era is definitely one of my favorites in historical fashion; it just screams modernization, and the influence of practical-lifestyle creeping in from wartime is such a fascinating catalyst in fashion. Women had to look great, but they also had to be able to actually function in their clothes. What a novel idea!
What's your favorite historical fashion era?

On New, Old Hobbies... (CP)

(Cross posted)

I have been curious about tatting since the first time I saw one of those strange little shuttles at the craft store next to the embroidery floss. I have always kind of know I'd get around to trying it. I have a passion for historical crafts and lacy, dainty things. Hah. 

So this past week I picked up a shuttle and some ecru colored thread and went about learning. I quickly found that while it's numbingly abusive to the finicky, detail-oriented part of my brain, the part of my brain that does math and manages my OCD was intensely satisfied. What could be better than counting and having to pick out little tiny knots every few minutes? Did I mention I love to untangle knots?


Above is the link to the tatting tutorial that I used to learn. I think I also pulled up a little video on youtube when I learned how to join picots, but I honestly can't find the link.

Needless to say, I am hooked (heh) and I urge anyone who has a mind for patterns and hand-work, and who can understand tension, to give it a shot. I've been making bits of tatted lace to trim some of the projects I've been working on and it's so satisfying to complete!

This is a link to my next project. http://www.georgiaseitz.com/2002/bridal/docbridal.html

Have you ever tatted? Do you find yourself tatting in your sleep now, like I do? Haha!

On Something Old, On Something New

Well, here I am!

I've finally decided to dedicate a separate blog to all of my silly historical fashion, crafting and sewing musings. I finally have a place to post current projects, inspirations and aspirations, relating to historical fashion and culture.

I suppose you might be wondering who I am. My name is Emily and I live in South Eastern Michigan. I've got a nicely seasoned farm blog over at A Pinch of Something Nice and I blog regularly with some other fantastic bloggers over at Not Dabbling in Normal. I am a farmer and horse trainer, and I run my own horseback riding program in Plymouth, Michigan, and I am married to my best friend, Jeremy Bastian, who is an all ages comic book artist/creator.

I've started this blog to share my love of historical clothing, cloth, craft, costume and culture. My current favorite time periods for fashion are 1912-1923 and 1929-1938. Basically I find myself obsessed with any great change in fashion, and wars (1914 and 1933) have a real habit of creating lots of change, very quickly. I love the intense flow of the Victorian era, but it's the practicality of women's clothing during late Edwardian, war-era England and America that really get me. The great depression leading up to the second world war is another time of great change - lots of practicality and thrift.

There are entire sections of my closet and library devoted to antique and reproduction clothing, and over time I'm sure you'll get to see most of it. I love to share the things I make, and I love to make reproduction dresses. Sooo, I suppose you'll be seeing plenty of those as well.

Stay tuned!

What is your favorite historical period for fashion?