To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3

Sunday, October 22, 2017

1850s Wedding Dress!

Good Sunday evening to you all!  I hope this week was a fabulous one for you!  For me, I finally got around to feeling like tackling my next project...a half mourning, late 1860s, elliptical gown!  I am almost done with the petticoat so Huzzah!

Today's post is about the last of the wedding dresses I made for the Dressing The Historical Bride program.  And it ties with my favorite for first place.  I don't know why this one makes me so happy, it just does!  The fringe would have put it in dead last just last year, but I think since I made the fringe out of the fabric itself, it didn't look so "fake".  Don't know what that means, but there ya go.

The dress was made out of 70/30 cotton poly and is a beautiful moire!!  I adore moire and think it's interesting that both of my first 1850s gowns happen to made out of moire (MET Moire Mourning Dress).  I know that I should have used a lighter weighing fabric, but when Mama made her 50th Wedding Anniversary Party Dress there was a ton left over.  She let me have it and there was almost enough to make this dress! I do not what we were thinking, buying so much.  Like I have said before, math is not my strong suit and so it is the norm for me to buy too much fabric, but this was ridiculous! Anyway, the skirt of this dress alone weighed 8 pounds!  So note to self, when next making a flounced 1850s dress, use a sheer fabric!  hahahahahahaha!!

I just loved how this dress turned out and now I am wanting to make a ball gown in the future!  Out of lighter weight fabric...

The Dress

A word to the wise...if you plan on making a flounced dress, please decide that you want fringe BEFORE you sew the flounces to the underskirt!  I decided AFTER I sewed all the flounces on that the skirt would look better with fringe.  Grrrrrrrrrrrr...

The pattern called for a pointed back bodice, but I had so much trouble with it laying flat, that I decided to do a straight across the waist back.

I love the long point on this dress and the way the seams work together to give the illusion of a super long "V".  I borrowed Mom's faux wax orange blossom corsage for the decoration on the dress.  I though it looked fantastic!

Hand fringed self fabric fringe actually makes me happy.  I think the world is going to end tomorrow.  hahahahaha!  Just kidding!

The Inspirations

I spent a long while searching for an 1850s wedding dress to use as inspiration.  The one below from the V&A Museum totally made my heart happy and was going to make the whole outfit similar to the original dress.  However, I had never used the pattern I purchased to make the bodice and so was really stressing out over it, even though I intended on making a mock up.  Perhaps one day I will make a bodice similar to it!

1857 Wedding Dress.  Source:  V&A Museum

After I decided against making a long sleeved bodice, I had to go on the hunt to find a short sleeved bodice.  Happily I came across this fabulous example from Kerry Taylor Auctions (Sold December 3rd, 2013.  Lot #45) Thank you Kate for permission to share the image of this fabulous dress!  
You can see more images of the dress Here.

Wanting to make sure that short sleeved bodices were used in weddings in the 1850s, I also searched for photographs from the era and found many.  Below are a couple.  Such beautiful brides!!

"Martha Pickman Rogers in her wedding gown"

Source:  mfa Boston

Source:  Skinner Auctions

In Progress

One of the most time consuming parts of this project was the making of the fringe.  Below you can see how I did it.  I laid the fabric on the floor, put heavy books down on it to hold it down and started pulling the weft threads, sometimes two at a time!  And yes, it was also a messy business!

Each strip, and I had to make 10 strips of over 5 yards, took over an hour to "pull".  I spent a lot of time on the floor!

Other tools used were a seam ripper to start the threads to be pulled and a comb to comb the fringe when it got knotted up.

A short video on how simple it is to make your own fringe!

All the fringe rolled up on a fabric tube. 

Bertha before being trimmed with ruffles and fringe

The Pattern

This pattern was a fabulous one to use.  I will most certainly be using it again!!

Well, I'm off to bed!  I hope that you all have a most wonderful week!



Sunday, October 15, 2017

1920s Wedding Accessories and Underwear!

Good Sunday everyone!  I hope that your week was a fabulous one!  Mine was busy, but it's over and I'm looking forward to next week when hopefully I start a half mourning, 1860s elliptical dress!

Today, I'm sharing the accessories and underwear that was made for the 1920s Robe de Style Wedding Dress.  And also my Mama's puppy, Chloe!

The Bridal Bouquet

I was so busy and really under the gun to get things (namely dresses) ready for the September "Dressing The Historical Bride" fashion show, that I just didn't have time to do the flowers that I wanted for three of the dresses.  Having done floral things in the past, and being so beyond excellent at making my visions come to life, I asked Mom if she would do the 1850s, 1914 and 1920s wedding bouquets.  I'm so happy she said yes, because as you will see, they were magnificent!!!

Isn't Chloe the cutest thing?  She is so fun and silly and happy and loving!  I want to steal her and bring her home, but Mom would be crushed and Greg would not be pleased.

And my Mom...she is just the cutest thing ever!  She made the bouquet out of new maiden hair fern bushes from Hobby Lobby, Boston fern bushes from the dollar store, beautiful bridal blush roses from Michael's, and antique lily of the valley that I pulled off of an antique hat...there were over 45 of them on the hat!!!  The style of bouquet in the 1920s had become ENORMOUS and for some fun reason, knotted ribbons, sometimes with flowers tied to them, sometimes not, were added to the bouquet.  As you can see in the following inspiration photos, Mom hit the nail on the head perfectly!!

Bridal Bouquet Inspiration

I just love the shape and size of these bouquets.  Many of them had asparagus and maiden hair fern and just a few flowers, usually roses.  The look was something very whispy and airy

The Veil and Gloves

Keeping with the look of the cloche in the 1920s, wedding veils became caps that resembled skull caps.  They were many times made of a lovely silk veiling and decorated with tucks, silk ribbon, silk ribbon flowers, waxed orange blossoms or fresh flowers.  Elastic was sewn into the edge to hold the veil snugly to the head!

The hem of the veil is embroidered with a serpentine, chain stitch.

To go with the dress, I chose antique, ivory colored, kid leather opera gloves!

Veil Inspiration

Many of the veils from the 1920s were exceeding long, probably to make up for the short skirts that were now in fashion, but on occasion, brides wore short veils.  Happiness for me, as my veil was on the shorter side!

The Underwear

For the underwear for the dress, I wanted to make a set of  "step-in" combinations and tap pants.  I should have made them out of satin, but I was out of money to purchase some and had pretty cotton on hand, so that's what I used!  I will, in the future, be making a satin set.

The underwear was edged in antique lace.

I patterned the lace decoration on the front of the step-ins after an image that I can't find right now!!  ACK!  I hate that.  It came from an antique catalog, so when I find it, I'll sneak it in!

The pattern used for the step-in combinations and tap pants was Past Patterns 501

Robe de Style Panniers

I must admit that I was most excited about this project because I could finally make these panniers!!  I think they are ridiculous and marvelous and jolly and fun!!  Plus, I can now make other Robe de Style dresses!  Huzzah!

I really wanted mine to be sheer with a pretty ribbon boning channel, with lace at the bottom flounce!

Pannier Inspiration

I really liked how this pannier was attached to a bodice.  Sort of like an extra element of modesty for the satin bodice of the dress.  Source:  The MET.

The lace at the hem came from this example from The MET.

I just loved the over all look of this one.  Also from The MET.

The pattern I used for the the panniers was the fabulous Laughing Moon 128

To finish out this post, one more look at the lovely Miss Adalea wearing the 1920s dress!  I could not get over what an incredible 1920s bride she made!  Almost made me cry!!

I hope you all have a wonderful next week!

Be Blessed!


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

1920s Robe de Style Wedding Dress

Hello everyone!  I hope that the start of your week has been splendid!  Mine has been ok!  This week's post concerns the 1920s Robe de Style wedding I dress I made for the "Dressing the Historical Bride" program.  I think it is one of my favorite dresses.  It is so ridiculous, with the panniered hips, but so elegant and lovely at the same time.

The Dress

I used a hem stitch to hem the satin edges.  That was so not fun.  But in the end it was worth it!

My court pearls worked perfectly with the dress!

Inspiraton for the Dress

Photo of a Robe de Style wedding dress I found on Pinterest with no source stated.  I LOVED the lace flounces on her skirt!  It is so sweet and very feminine.  I didn't much like the idea of making a collar like is on her dress, so left it off.

The bodice part of this dress, that was once on eBay, really made me happy.  I liked how plain it was leaving the skirt to do the showing off.  This dress has sheer sleeves, but I didn't like those either.  The flounces were gathered on a cord and that is what I did for my lace and satin flounces.  I also really liked the piping around the neckline, armscye and where the bodice meets the skirt. 

There was also on this dress a decoration at the left hip.  This is a popular place for decoration on a lot of the dresses I saw while doing research.

Skirt Decoration

I discovered two dresses online that had floral decorations that I fell in absolute love with and determined that my dress should have the same decoration.

For mine, I made small tubes of satin that were knotted at the end, wire and very thin crochet thread and antique lily of the valley sprigs.

This decoration turned out so lovely and I was happy that I took the time to complete it.

Inspiration for Decoration

This first inspiration dress is from (the next 4 photographs).  Deborah graciously gave me permission to use several photographs here on the blog.  Thank you Deborah!

The first decoration I discovered was on this dress from Antique Dress.  I instantly fell in love with how the leaves were placed on wire then covered with thread and the addition of  the lily of the valley.

 Everything about this dress makes me happy.  The color, the satin, the lace and the floral decoration!!

Look at all those lovely lily of the valley!  I think there were also waxed orange blossoms used!

Full dress photograph. What's not to love!!!???

The second inspiration for the floral decoration comes from Wild Rose Vintage (next 3 photographs). Thank you so much Faye for letting me share your dress here!!  I am so in love with it!

I really can't believe how similar the decoration on these two dresses are.  Like almost exactly the same!!  And look a that lovely piping between bodice and skirt!

The close up of this one really helped with placement of the leaves and the lily of the valley.

Full view of Faye's fabulous dress!!

I used a tutorial that I found through Pinterest to make the satin flower.  You can find that tutorial Here.  The leaves I made using instructions from a fabulous book..."The Art and Craft of Ribbon Work".  It is a reproduction of a 1920s flower and bow making book that is fabulous!

And speaking of piping....look at what I did while making piping for my dress!  I have NEVER sewn through my finger while using my sewing machine.  Well, my fingers got a little too close to the needle this time.  The dangers of using a zipper foot I guess! Thankfully, it wasn't that bad of an accident!

The Pattern

For the pattern I used for the dress was the Laughing Moon pattern 128 Robe de Style, View C and it went together like a dream!!

Right then!  I hope you all have a most excellent rest of your weeek!  I'm trying to work up the desire to start on my 1860s elliptical skirt half mourning dress.  We shall see how tomorrow goes!