Sunday, March 1, 2009

March - In Like a Lion!

Silent, soft and slow descends the snow.
--Henry Wordsworth Longfellow

It's the first day of March, the daffodils are up and a few have blossomed, but the snow is white and blanketing everything. So it's a perfect day to be indoors enjoying the view, drinking hot chocolate, and thinking about the Spring Fashion Show.

But first, I'm thinking how wonderful it is to see that The Perfect Touch has some followers! Thank you D. Leigh Quist, Bella Lucille, Shabby Lane Shops, and To Tea, or Not To Tea! Thank you to Amanda who inspired us to add the Playlist from so that we could have something for our readers to listen to while they watch the behind the scenes at The Perfect Touch. If you have a favorite song that you would like added to the Playlist, please let us know.

While the shoppes at The Perfect Touch will have creations that are Victorian inspired as well as some vintage and eco-chic, the Spring 2009 Victorian Fashion Show will be reproductions of gowns and accessories that are as close to period correct as we are able to do in the current century. The Show will have two parts. The first part will be entitled "The Proper Victorian Lady". We will demonstrate all the layers it took for a lady to be properly dressed in 1874. Some of the items we will use will be beautiful recreations, and some will be breathtaking vintage pieces. You will have a chance to see all the items here as well as the online version of the Show prior to the actual Show.

The second part of the Show is entitled "Four Decades of Queen Victoria". In this part we will have ladies and their daughters showing fashion from the 1860's, 1870's, 1880's, and 1890's. The truly special part is that all the daughters are three or four-years old.

The mother and daughter who have so graciously agreed to portray our mother and daughter of the 1880's is Natalie and her daughter Sarah. Sarah is 3 years old and will be 4 in April. She is beautiful, bright, and will be an artist some day. Of that her mother is sure! (I hear the bedroom walls show some of this talent already.)

Natalie will wear a gown created by Lady Leigh, a wonderful historical reproduction seamstress with exceptional talent. She has taken this 1880's inspiration and brought the fabulous gown into reality.

The color is the sage green of early spring leaves and the embroidered organza reflects the best blossoms of spring. Even the bodice buttons have painted flowers. Lady Leigh has here, as she does in all her gowns, searched for and used all the special details and trim that made Victorian gowns so lovely. To compliment Lady Leigh's gown, I created a completely hand-sewn hat with silk blossoms cascading down the front and satin buds on the top and under side of the brim. Natalie loved this ensemble from the moment she saw it and is looking forward to wearing it! It will be stunning on her!

Natalie's daughter,Sarah, tells us that her favorite color is pink and so we looked all around the sewing loft and found our best pink satin and trims to create a coat that this sweet little lady will love. Our inspiration is the coat and hat on the right from a Harper's Bazar fashion plate of May 6, 1882.

Sarah fell in love with the boots on the left and wanted to know if we could make those for her too. I told her I could make the spats on the right and she agreed that would be perfectly fine and we also thought white stockings with ribbon embroidery might be pretty. We'll decide later. Right now we are starting with the 1877 Girl's Walking Coat pattern from Ageless Patterns shown here with our pink satin and the 3" pink trim. We have several other trims with shades of pink and white and some insertion lace to finish the edges.

We made a muslin mock-up for Sarah and she was so sweet to try it on. We have to add to the length to recreate the fashion plate, add a center back box pleat, and will use a single cape rather than the two in the pattern. We were so impressed with this sweet little lady trying on our mock-up and holding the hat on her head so we could imagine the right proportions that we forgot to take a picture! But we'll get a picture when she tries on the second mock-up, we promise. You have to see how adorable she is! Just to give you an idea of Sarah's size, the straw hat in this picture is 10" in diameter. Sweet and petite! And she is excited to be in the Show with her mother!

Time for another cup of hot chocolate and a bit more sewing! Wishing all a wonderful week!

With Love,