Monday, July 15, 2019

Historical Sew Monthly 2019 - July - Unexpected

Historical Sew Monthly 2019 - July - Unexpected
Make an item with an unexpected feature.  Will it be a snazzy lining,
a hidden pocket, or something else?  Surprise us!
The Dreamstress

Who doesn't love a surprise!  And I certainly got one with the Wearing History AC107 pattern for an Early 1920s Hat.  I've made dozens of hats and the basic buckram formula is usually similar:  crown tip, crown, and brim.  What I didn't realize until I printed the pdf pattern for this hat was that the Standing Crown is actually a separate piece.  Genius!  The pattern is a revival of an original pattern with both original instructions and additional notes included.

The crown is built from 4 separate wedges creating the stylish tip.  That construction technique was unexpected for me as I'm used to one-piece crown tips.  Always something new to learn!  I wired the edge of the assembled crown, the lower edge of the crown side, and the outside edge of the brim for structure.  I used a very light buckram readily available in most chain fabric stores.

The unexpected feature of this hat is the separate standing crown.  I wired the top and bottom edges for structure and covered the outside with a fabric matching my 1920s jacket.  I lined the standing crown with the same simple black cotton used on the rest of the hat.  Imagine being able to use the same hat base and changing the separate standing crown for separate outfits.  Perfect for travelling in style!

An unexpected trim feature on the underbrim.  Only seen by someone standing very close.  ;)

Historical Sew Monthly

What the item is:  Hat
What is the unexpected feature:  Removable and interchangeable standing crown.
Material:  Buckram, cotton, silk crepe du chine, flannel for mulling
Pattern:  Wearing History AC107 Early 1920s Hat Pattern
Year:  Early 1920s
Notions:  Millinery wire, French elastic
How historically accurate is it?  Created from a pattern made from vintage instructions and hand sewn in accurate techniques
Hours to complete:  8 hours
First worn:  Miss Phryne Fisher day at Costume College 2019
Total cost:  $55

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Historical Sew Monthly 2019 - June - Favorite Technique

Historical Sew Monthly
June 2019
Favorite Technique

Make an item using your favourite sewing or embellishment technique.
The Dreamstress

It's summer and the flowers are in bloom around my tiny farmhouse in North Carolina.  I don't have the heart to pick them and bring them in the house so I just enjoy them until they fade.  Like the ladies of other eras I enjoy flowers so much I recreate them in ribbon to embellish my costumes and even modern wear.

The passion began when I fell in love with this fashionplate from Harper's Bazar March 3, 1872.  The upcoming occasion was a Reconciliation Ball with the north and south reuniting after the Civil War.  The gown was to be made in blue and gray representing the colors of the north and south, with pansies created to represent the states at the time of this fashionplate.  The floral embellishment would be expensive in anything already made and plastic was not a consideration.  The solution?  Learn to create my own with ribbon!

There are wonderful books and online and free tutorials for creating ribbon flowers.  They can be made from very inexpensive polyester wired ribbon, or vintage ribbon of luscious materials.  My choice, and my choice in the classes I teach, is to begin with the polyester wired ribbbon.  The results can be incredible!  These are the first ribbon flowers I created for the Reconciliation Ballgown.

One ribbon flower led to more learning and more embellishing including custom dying the ribbon.

For the June Challenge I made flowers for the classes I will be teaching at Costume College later this month:  Dogwood Blossoms and Pansies, and Gathered and Vintage Roses and Leaves.  These are the flowers for a 1920s hat I will be wearing during one class.

The components are simple, and while it does take some time, the result is both beautiful and inexpensive.

If you are a facebook user you can find my public photo album with instructions here:

Enjoy your ribbon flowers all year 'round!!


Historical Sew Monthly

What the item is: Ribbon Flowers
Which favorite technique does it feature? A favorite embellishment technique.
Material: Satin and organza ribbon
Pattern: None
Year: Created for an early 1920s hat
Notions: Stamens, thread, lace
How historically accurate is it? Floral embellishment and created ribbon flowers are very common in all the eras I'm familiar with including 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. They would appear in headdress, gowns, and even on shoes.
Hours to complete: The dogwood blossom and pansy each take 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
First worn: For my Dogwood Blossom and Pansy Ribbon Flowers class at Costume College 2019.
Total cost: Approximately $1 per blossom.