Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring Fever: Floral Shoes!

Okay, so maybe it blew a gale and was a bit nippy today, but on the whole it's been quite lovely here in Nevada, which has put me in mind of gardening. I'm a terrible gardener - I do try, though! - and since it was bad weather today, how about admiring some beautiful bloom-inspired shoes from history?

Museum of Applied Arts, 18th century (German)
MFA, 1780-85
LACMA, 1760s
Bata Shoe Museum (blog), 1780s-1790s
Eleanor Meriwether (blog), gaiter boots, c. 1840s
The Met, early 1840s
LACMA, 1849 - aren't these ADORBS!?
The Met, 19th century
Whitaker Auctions, 1870s
Manchester City Gallery, 1880s
The Met, 1891
LACMA, 1914-17
Vintage Textile, 1925
There are gobs and gobs more, of course - to find these and more floral shoes (and just more historical shoes in general), follow my "Shoes" boards on Pinterest.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My Annual Sewing Rut

Once again, I have absolutely no motivation to make a single stitch of anything lately. I've learned that this is quite normal, and that if I force the issue I'll regret it. I do have inspirations, though, so here are some things I would *like* to sew, at some point when I'm into it again...

Something From The Borgias...

Regardless of what the Internet thought about The Borgias costumes, I absolutely *adored* them. Holliday Granger as Lucrezia Borgia was utterly enchanting, and I wanted pretty much all her gowns. And her hair. And her face. My goodness.

Lucrezia Borgia
I have nowhere to where such a thing, but that's never stopped me before! Here's my Pinterest board for The Borgias costumes.

Something From the Turn of the 17th Century...

After visiting Jamestown and then receiving Seventeenth-Century Women's Dress Patterns: Book 1, I've had the itch to make a complex ensemble from this transitional period in English dress. This one below is really interesting and different, and I love it to pieces, though there are plenty of more "expected" examples I lust for too.
Portrait of a lady thought to be Vere Egerton, Mrs William Booth, attributed to Robert Peake (1541-1619)
I haven't had a really good Renfaire outfit in years, so it's time for something new - won't happen in time for this year's Valhalla Renaissance Faire, but maybe next year's...

This Late 18th Century Pierrot Jacket...

I didn't get this one done for Williamsburg a month ago, but it's still on my hit list. I have the fabric I want to use (one of the Williamsburg prints), I just need to get to it...

Part of my "problem" recently, though, is that all my pattern are now too small (yay, amazing expanding body!). I need to let the waists out in everything, and that's a lot of work...

Two...or Three...1830s Dresses

Yep, I'm still going on about these. I cut out some piece for a test-dress, and I have fabric for the brown, but that's about it so far.
Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum, 1835
LACMA, 1830
Luckily Chrissy is already on-the-ball with how the beret sleeves work on the pink gown - apparently they're harder than they appear, so I'm glad she's figuring it out, because I'd make a mockery of it.

Something Edwardian...

I forget how much I love the Edwardian period. The blouse I found on eBay arrived and is splendid (I'll show you photos later), and now I want a little mini-wardrobe to accompany my original pieces (all two of them...for now).

I adore the costumes from both seasons of Mr. Selfridge, particularly a suit that Ellen Love wears in Season 1. I can't find many photos of it online, so I'll have to track down which episode it appeared in, and take some screenshots.  Anywho...something like THAT.

I guess that's all for now...I mean, there are 100 things I'd like to make/have, at any given moment, but they won't just magically appear! I hope my sewing inspiration returns soon!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Please Vote: Newport Historical Society "Signature Shoe" Development Poll

I'm excited to announce that American Duchess and the Newport Historical Society are teaming up to re-create one of the gorgeous Edwardian shoes in their collection, a splendid satin and metallic brocade evening shoe that'll be called "Seabury." These'll be a limited edition "Signature Collection" shoe, which will benefit the Newport Historical Society directly.

Here's an image of the original shoes:

Thanks to so much fantastic feedback on our Facebook page, we've narrowed the color choices down to three:

Ivory - a warm off-white hue.

Ivory - concept sketch
Dove Grey - a warm grey tone

Dove Grey - concept sketch
Black - concept sketch
The brocade has a few different tones in it, but the outstanding feature is the metallic brocading in the flowers, which has tarnished on the original shoe. We don't want our version to look cheap/garish, so we think a dark silver/pewter metallic thread will look splendid.

Please vote for your top 2 choices out of these three, or choose the "none of these" option if you wouldn't be interested in any of these shoes at any point.  Thank you again for your help!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Few Snaps from Our 3rd Annual Titanic Tea

Last weekend was our local costuming club's first event of the year - our 3rd Annual Titanic Memorial Tea - and what a nice kick-off to "the season" it was.

Due to the tea's attendance, we held it at Chez Louie at the Nevada Museum of Art, this year, which was spacious, public, and full of art exhibits to admire while we paraded around in our finery.

I only got a few photos. I didn't have anything new to wear, and just *barely* squeezed into my old blue wool hobble skirt from a few years ago. Thank goodness for darts (though I should've tried the thing on before the morning of the event), as I quite like the skirt and want to keep it!

My mom and dad, always well-dressed.

Hats! It wouldn't be 1912 without splendid hats!
My mom's new skirt and blouse. Snazzy!
Liz, in her original Edwardian linen suit
Liza is the mistress of re-fashioning - her gown was made from a 1930s dress and a bridesmaid's gown
Gina in action
Photo by Dana Reeser - my same-ole-same-ole, blue wool hobbleskirt and antique blouse.
I love wearing originals, but I don't own many. I got so inspired by Liza and Lisa's incredible antique finds (Liza was wearing original combinations, and had an antique purse and parasol to die for; Lisa brought a stunning 1890s/1900s wedding gown she'd found for, like, $20) that I came home and surfed eBay for way too long, and bought this shirt:
Silk Pongee - eBay seller shastasvintage
I think it's a bit later than 1912, and obviously needs to be cleaned and well-looked-after, but I'm happy to own another original I can wear on occasion, and study, perhaps take a pattern from. :-)

That's all for now! Perhaps next year I'll get off my duff and make something new. :-)