Saturday, 24 December 2016

Plans for a New Year of Sewing

2017 is nearly upon us! That means making sewing plans, yay! I thought I'd share with you some of the things I wish to sew next year, which is really exciting.

  • First on the list is a waistcoat. I already have some plaid wool left over from a project which I shall be blogging about soon, for my waistcoat. This should be achieved by February, though preferably sooner.
  • Secondly comes my long-neglected 18th Century Indienne gown, which I shall also make stays, panniers and a shift for (good Lord, this is going to be a killer of a project, especially seeing as I dislike making foundation garments!). I love the 18th Century, but let's hope it agrees with me to cooperate and go to plan! 
  • Then I'm planning on finishing off my 1860s-70s Prague Opera Gown with the bodice and a fluffy petticoat. This should hopefully be done by May, though I may have to abandon my 18th Century project for a bit to get this done.
  •  I'm thinking of making a range of six or seven 1950s and 60s dresses for every day of the week in summer, so that I don't have to think about coordinating things much, or worry about getting too hot, all whilst being effortlessly vintage. There are some designs in my sketchbook, inspired by images on Pinterest that I have saved. 
  • Then there is also the 1900s "Autochrome" Fairy gown that I had described in my last post.
  • Also, the 1860s Sunshine Yellow Quadrille Ballgown that I've had planned and designed for a while now. Because you can never have enough ballgowns from the Victorian era. 
  • And for winter, I have a 1870s Monochrome Day Dress, which consists of a black velvet or cotton button-up dress with a striped black and white petticoat or skirt beneath, inspired by the image below. 
Circa 1868 

Writing a list of all the things I want to achieve for 2017 was something that really set my mind at ease, especially with all my unfinished projects that are begging to be put out of their misery and photographed, ready for my costume portfolio! I think 2017 is going to be a year of finishing off costuming projects, as well as building a bit of a vintage wardrobe, perhaps with some Lolita and lingerie thrown in.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Edwardian Photographic Inspiration For the "Autochrome" Gown

For 2017, I really want to get more into photography, as looking through my pictures of Prague (which I have yet to post on Miss Morris!) and some old photos I took in the local graveyard, I remembered how satisfying it is to get a good shot. Being honest, photos of people interest me more than architecture - the emotion, the makeup, the clothes! - especially if those photographs happen to be Victorian or Edwardian. I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to photography, and most of those images happen to be of pretty ladies in costume.
Whilst I was showering this morning (yep, I get my best ideas in the shower, which is actually quite inconvenient as I can't write them down whilst I'm in there) I remembered this photo that I took of myself on my phone (a selfie, okay... I hate that word).

I'm wearing a vintage Laura Ashley dress in bright pink with a sailor collar, which reminds me of Edwardian children, and a gorgeous flower headband that Rosa made me for my birthday. I purposely styled my hair and makeup to look as natural as possible, whilst being slightly curled and ruffled, which is something that I've noticed in a lot of Edwardian photos. The photo that I took reminded me of an Edwardian fairy kind of look - which sounds kind of vain now that I think about it - and makes me want to take more in the same kind of style, in a new costume.

Looking through Pinterest and Tumblr, here are some images that I will use as inspiration for my future gown. I want something flowy, fairy-like, ethereal and soft, like an Edwardian peignoir or something.

Miss Phyllis Monkman above and below.

Portrait - c. 1910 - by Reutlinger

The hair here really inspires me, though I know there's no chance of me getting a wig or something like that! Mary Garden as “Melisande” in Pelleas & Melisande - Davis & Eickemeyer - c. 1908

Above and below, Delores Costello from the 1920s.

Maude Fealey.

Photographer F. Künzl, České Budějovice/Budweis (Bohemia, Czechia) - Cabinet Card, circa 1905

And some inspirational gowns! Evening dress ca. 1915 From the MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY. I love the colour, and texture of the bead-work and fabrics here.

Fairy gown by Zuhair Murad. This definitely isn't Edwardian, but I love the look and feel of it.

This is one of my main inspirational gowns. Evening dress by House of Clergeat, 1890s.

As you can see, the eras of my inspirational images are all over the place, so I need to find a pattern that settles on the year. 

This will be a project for the new year, possibly in spring! I'm quite excited to see how I can pair costume-making with my own photography, rather than relying on somebody else to photograph my costumes. 

Sunday, 4 December 2016

1930s-esque Vintage Lingerie: Tap Pants and Bralet

Hi everyone! I haven't been posting much recently due to some changes in my life - mostly very happy changes, but also for a negative reason. If you've been following Miss Morris and my other blogs, you'll see that I haven't posted for what feels like months; this is due to college being very busy, and my chronic fatigue getting a lot worse. As well as that, I've also had a trip to Prague where I met the lovely Rosa! I've been busy, so I haven't had time to sew, blog, write my novels, draw much (except I recently got a new graphics tablet, which I'm currently experimenting with), or design.
The Christmas holidays are coming soon, and I have a couple of exciting projects lined up for when I have the free time; some boy-style Lolita shorts out of some fabric I had stashed for me. I'm looking forward to making these masculine-ish items, as it will be a lot different from making dresses!

But for now, here is a project that I've been considering blogging about for a few weeks now. I recently finished some vintage tap-pants, to match a bralet that I made last year out of my Nana's old slip that she gave me to repurpose into something new. The fabric is an old pink satin, which was very thin and soft to the touch, and feels very luxurious worn.

For my 18th birthday this year, I got a course book on making lingerie, which was what prompted me to make them. I love lingerie anyway, especially by What Katie Did, and a pair of tap pants that I ordered from them are so lovely that I wanted to make some more. The book contained instructions for drafting your own patterns, however, my poor, frazzled brain couldn't figure out how to do them, so I ended up printing off a copy of VeraVenus's pattern, which worked like a dream.
I adapted the pattern to my size, and instead of adding a placket with buttons and using the waistband, I made my own waistband on the bias and made it a drawstring channel, using satin ribbon to keep the tap pants on my waist.

The French seams on the inside.

(very messy) Flat-felled seams on the inside.
 All the seams are either French seams, or flat-felled seams, the latter of which is a new technique to me that I learned in my lingerie book. I made the pattern even bigger by inserting a panel of broiderie anglaise lace on both sides - which on the inside were made into flat-felled seams. Then, I added two rows of lace to hide the seams. I think the lace looks very pretty together!

When I made them I didn't have a specific era in mind, just that I'd like some shorts to go beneath my vintage dresses, but when I tried them on together I thought that they looked rather 1930s. They're very comfortable, and I love how they look together; the ties on the bra match the look of the ribbon ties on the tap pants, which makes them look quite uniform, I think.