Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Historical Sew Monthly 2019 - January - Dressed to the Nines

Historical costuming is a wonderful and never-ending learning experience.  In 2013 I had the good fortune to find The Dreamstress and The Historical Sew Fortnightly.  It was truly fortnightly in those first few years I participated.  What a stretch it was to research, create, and share a new historical item every two weeks!  But I learned so very much so quickly!

Now The Dreamstress challenges us with The Historical Sew Monthly and participants share their creations each month.  I've been a steady participant these past few years but have been slow to blog but vow to catch up this year.  Meanwhile, it is January, and the new Challenges are published and here is January.

JanuaryDressed to the Ninesmake something fancy so you’ll be ‘dressed to the nines’ – whether its the full outfit, or a little accessory. Or look at the challenge in a different way, and make something from a year ending in 9 (find a portrait or fashion plate or mention to support the date), or even an item with 9 major design elements (9 buttons down the front, 9 tucks in a petticoat etc)

The era I first created and still my favorite era is Victorian Late Bustle 1883 to 1890.  It is an easy era for a beginning seamstress as patterns are readily available and resource books are plentiful.  These books are my primary resource for inspiration and guidance to historical accuracy for this era.  Victorian Fashions & Costumes From Harper's Bazar 1867 - 
1898 Edited and with an Introduction by Stella Blum - 1000 Illustrations.  Another valuable resource for me has been Victorian and Edwardian Fashions from La Mode Illustree Edited by JoAnne Olian.  A recent gift is Victorian Fashions, A Pictorial Archive, Selected and Arranged by Carol Belanger Grafton.

 The beauty of the Victorian era fashion is in the silhouettes of the different periods and in the embellishment making every ensemble a work of art.  For my January Challenge I used nine different forms of embellishment inspired by images in the books mentioned above.

  1. Embroidery
  2. Fur
  3. Feathers
  4. Beaded and Fur Trimmed Brooches
  5. Beading
  6. Lace
  7. Velvet Ribbon
  8. Box Pleated Satin Ribbon
  9. Fabric Overlays
These are some examples of these nine applications and the book the image is taken from:

Harper's Bazar, Page 187, 12.12.1885 Fur and Fur Trimming

Victorian Fashions, Page 43, 1889

Harper's Bazar, Page 159, 9.8.1883, "This handsome costume is of Russian green cashmere, with applique velvet leaves on the corsage, the apron, and the drapery bow."

Harper's Bazar, Page 178, 11.1.1884, "This reception dress is of very light beige-colored Sicilienne, trimmed with golden brown velvet."  "Felt hat with velvet bands around the crown and an aigrette in front."

Harper's Bazar, Page 150, 2.3.1883

La Mode Illustree, Page 96, 1887

Harper's Bazar, Page 198, 10.15.1887, "This graceful house dress is of supple wool of chamois ground with cherry-colored silk stripes, trimmed with bright green velvet ribbon."
La Mode Illustree, Page 98, 1887, "Dinner dress in red satin trimmed with black Chantilly lace and embroidered with dark red beads."

La Mode Illustree, Page 89, 1885

La Mode Illustree, Page 84, 1884

La Mode Illustree, Page 97, 1887
Harper's Bazar, Page 190, 12.5.1887, "This rich costume for paying visits has a dress of heliotrope faille francaise and a mantle of plush of a deeper shade, trimmed with the white musk-rat now in favor in Paris."

With all that beautiful inspiration and an upcoming Victorian Valentine Weekend and no costumes to wear I set out on an inspired sewing frenzy.  I used Truly Victorian patterns to create a Talma Wrap which was very popular in the 1870s and 1880s and a coordinating 1880s French bonnet.

Untrimmed Talma wrap.

Talma wrap with beaded brooches and fur trim.

On Saturday of the Victorian Valentine Weekend I will be teaching a class in the morning, and then going on an outdoor tour in the afternoon, and a dinner in the evening.  Using Truly Victorian patterns again and coordinating a day bodice and dinner bodice with the same underskirt and overskirt, and embellishment inspirations from the fashionplates, I continue my crazy sewing marathon.

Day bodice option.

Dinner bodice option..

Historical Sew Monthly

The Challenge:  January - Dressed to the Nines
Material:  Velvet, taffeta, cotton interlining
Pattern:  Truly Victorian TV 551, TV 500, TV 463, TV 460, TV 382, TB 261
Year:  Late Bustle 1883 - 1890
Notions:  Lace, buttons, beads, fur trim, beaded brooches, feathers, buckram, French elastic, millinery wire, thread, applique
How historically accurate is it?  Very close with proper underpinnings, vintage buttons, natural fabrics, interlined, giving proper silhouette and impression.
Hours to complete: 48 hours
First worn:  February 16, 2019
Total cost:  $290