Let me show you two looks from LaDutchessa and I this past Elfia, with clothing made by me a little while ago.
Inspiration for both outfits are from around 1912, the Edwardian/Titanic era, but from two very different corners of the fashion arena. One is a sophisticated lady’s daywear look, with a slim skirt, a modern capelet, iconic white blousewaist with insertion lace and statement hat. The other is an orientalist look inspired by the work of Poiret. I am wearing harem pants, a lampshade dress, a large cocoon coat and a turban to boot.
It is an absolute pleasure to have La Dutchessa model and style your garments. I love what I made, but I loved it 10x more when she was wearing it!
LaDutchessa/Theresia is wearing:
Skirt: wool suiting fabric lined with cotton, pattern Truly Victorian TVE30
Cape/jacket: wool suiting fabric and silk, pattern by The Fashion Archaeologist on Etsy
Blouse: cotton and cotton lace, pattern by Folkwear
Suffragette pins by me, other styling by La Dutchessa
Boots: American Duchess
I am wearing:
Harem pants: silk, pattern by me
Lampshade dress and turban: various silks cotton lining, pattern by me
Cocoon coat: mystery blend fabric with cotton lining and fake fur, pattern by Folkwear
Suffragette accessories and styling by me
Boots: American Duchess
All pictures above are from AVK fotografie, who is an absolute magician with a camera and always a pleasure to meet and talk to. I have one picture of which I cannot retrace the source, but which also shows the outfits nicely so I still want to add it:
until next time!
Finally, an 1830’s outfit! It’s Biedermeier, baby!
For my stays I took the pattern and inspiration from Koshka the Cat’s 1820-1840’s corset project. I adapted it to my own body, and browsed around for cording patterns online to complete my own vision for these ‘corstays’. A friend of my parents made a busk for me, which I carved with a burning tool. I used American Duchess notes on fan lacing, which I can recommend. Some snapshots:
For my corded petticoat I took inspiration from many places, and came up with my own version. I started out handsewing, but after a while switched to machine. I was afraid I would never finish it! It was my first time starching clothing as well.
For my gown I used the Truly Victorian pattern TV455, which I did change a bit mainly to change the gathers on the bodice to more of a pleated bertha look. I found an antique Victorian belt buckle for my belt on Etsy. My pelerine was made following a pattern in Workwoman’s Guide. I also cross checked many of the other things I made with the information from this book. The lace is vintage, I found it in an antique shop and I am guessing it came from a petticoat. And after having worn a makeshift turban for one event, I was able to buy a pretty bonnet which I lined and decorated.
So far I have worn this outfit twice, and I really enjoyed it! The stays are reasonably comfortable with only cording and a wooden busk, and the dress is light and not long. Future improvements would include sleeve adaptations for decent daywear, and good shoes for this time period. And of course some little mistakes here and there that I’m not going to mention in detail. Note that the pictures with turban were taken by Martijn van Huffelen, and the picture with bonnet by Irina Krutasova.
That’s it for my 1830’s adventure… for now! If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.
A striped fabric, purple-ish red and white, had been patiently lying in my stash for a while. When I got my copy of the American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking, I knew that this fabric had to become an Italian gown. One of my first all handstitched outfits, except for my stays which I had already made previously and an existing underskirt I used. I don’t have the best pictures of this gown, but I still want to show what I do have!
This outfit is where I started to take the historical approach more seriously, but I wasn’t yet very comfortable with it. And to be honest I am still finding my way in this area of sewing and costuming, and trying to feel more at home in my costumes again in general.
Some workroom snapshots:
Worn at the second edition of Salon de la Societe Raffinee:
And worn at a picnic organised by ‘the Hedgehogs’:
A Victorian Fancy Dress Ball, organised by my friend Shari from La Rose Soiree, inspired me to create a Victorian Lady Batman. The concept was to make an 1860s ballgown that could either be dressed up as a Batman cosplay, or styled as a historically passable gown. There are a lot of parts to this outfit!
But first, let me share some snapshots from my project notebook:
Underthings first: I handstitched a new chemise and a pair of drawers from a free pattern from The Sewing Academy. I used my ‘generic’ Victorian corset, previously made (by machine) at a corset workshop. I built a cage crinoline, after the Truly Victorian 1858 Round Cage Crinoline pattern, and stitched the parts by machine. Then came a large petticoat after the accompanying tutorial, stitched by hand.
For the real, visible part of the outfit I had a lot of help from actual Victorian bat-themed costumes, here are some inspirational images I found on Pinterest:
For the actual gown I handstitched a grey silk skirt and bodice after an 1861-4 ballgown in Janet Arnold, Patterns of Fashion I, and fashioned a Batman logo from the same silks and attached it to the bertha. I hemmed a yellow silk sash, to mimic Batman’s yellow belt and to be worn in a big bow at the back. I also made a dark blue velvet day bodice with pagoda sleeves, draped to the body by my friend Desiree. Then a pair of separate sleeves to peep out from under the pagoda sleeves, with tiny grey buttons at he cuff. For the fancy dress ball I had a fascinator, covered with black silk which I gave tiny bat ears and small veil. For a day hat, I covered a small bonnet in dark blue velvet with trimmings.
Some sewingroom snapshots:
My mother knit me a pair of long black evening mitts, as well as short blue day mitts. I also had a fan which I took apart and covered in matching grey silk with Batman logo. For jewellery I bought a reproduction mourning locket, with pictures of a Victorian couple, to represent Batman’s parents. My stockings and boots I found at La Rose Passementarie, which sells American Duchess historical reproductions.
Here are some pictures from the Fancy Dress Ball (by Lux Immortalis) , and one at the end of another event where I wore the day version of this dress (by Martijn van Huffelen).
I hope to wear this outfit again soon! If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.
I made three princess Fiona dresses for my sister-in-law and two other members of ‘Theaterkoor Nutsz’. The song is performed by the same character in three different stages of her life, which meant three the same dresses in three different sizes. I based these on a couple of patterns I altered, and worked with a tight budget. I love the outcome!
Some pictures from my sewingroom:
I will soon update with some pictures from the actual performance.
Find out more about Theaterkoor Nutsz on their Facebookpage!