Sunday, March 17, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnighly: Challenge #6: Early 1930's Summer Seersucker Sun Dress

The Dreamstress hosts the Historical Sew Fortnightly event, Challenge #6: Stripes.  My entry...a VERY early 1930's (transitional from the 20's) seersucker sun dress.  Originally, I was going to make a Regency era night gown, or dressing gown.  But, then life happened, and I decided instead to go with something practical for the stripes challenge.  I love the silhouette of the early 1930's, and combine that with the fact that summer will be here before I know it...seersucker was really the only way to go for me.  I certainly don't have the desired, long, waif-ish, figure of the early 30's, but I do like the comfort and femininity of this dress.  It's not fancy (these were the year of the great depression after all), but I feel very girl-ish in it.  I'm sorry I don't have a better photo of me in the dress.  Bad lighting, and an even worse photographer are my excuses.

I found a couple of 1930's seersucker dresses HERE and HERE that were the original inspirations for my gown.  However, the style evolved during the draping and drafting process.  I secretly love it when this happens...I have a design in mind, and the creative process takes over and comes up with something completely different, but better!

HERE'S a Fancy Evening Gown from The MET, from a later 30's date, that really influenced the shape of my day dress.  Also, the gowns in the fashion plate at the top of this page, and the bright yellow chiffon dress 3 gowns up from the bottom of this page(although it's a 20's dress), really affected the overall design.

 Just the Facts:

The Challenge: Stripes

Fabric: Dark grey and white striped Seersucker.

Pattern: I draped and drafted it.

Year: Very Early 1930's...transitional from late 1920's silhouette.

Notions: Zipper and thread.

How historically accurate is it? The fabric and style are accurate, the construction was merely a guess.

Hours to complete: Approximately 8 hours.

First worn: Last Saturday at a tea part.

Total cost: Maybe $15, but I bought the fabric with a gift, technically, free to me.


P.s. - We've sold our house (hurrah!), and are now in the process of moving.  I'm surrounded by boxes and packing tape.  I hope to be able to make a small, simple, hand sewn piece for the next challenge (accessories)...but I reserve the right to be late, or absent, if I simply can't find the time.  Settling into our new home will certainly be big on my priorities list.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnightly: Challenge #5: Peasants and Pioneers - Child's Doll

I think my Peasants and Pioneers project might be stretching the concept a bit.  I wanted to create something that I (or in this case, my daughter Jane) would actually use.  When I dress out in costume, I don't typically dress as a peasant or pioneer, so what I made is something that could pass for either upper class, or peasant.  I made a child's doll.  Dolls are made from scraps of fabric and bits of wool roving, and even the poorest of little girls might be able to scrounge up enough scraps to create a small poppet.  

 Jane absolutely adores her new poppet, and has named her Arabesque (pronounced "Arabesca," she says, and which I'm pretty certain was inspired by her resent love of ballet.)  I might later make the doll a new, fancier gown.

In keeping with the theme, Jane's doll is fancy ball gown or feathered turban.  But, the inspiration for Jane's new doll does have all of these things.  

*original doll*

Jane's doll is about 2 1/2 inches wide by 14 inches long.  Everything is hand stitched.  I started by sewing together the individual pieces of the body, made of cotton duck.  I stuffed each piece with wool roving yarn, then assembled the doll.  The hair is also wool roving.  I drew on the face with pencil first, then used actual make up to outline the eyes and put some color on her face.  The first clothing item I made her was a cotton shift.  A cotton cap came next with a tiny bit of ruching to decorate it.  Then I made the simple, gathered, linen gown.

A very "peasant" type of gown...don't you think...even if it is only 12 inches long?  Does it pass for the challenge?

Just the Facts

The Challenge: Peasants and Pioneers - Scrap Doll

Fabric: cotton, linen

Pattern:  None

Year: Late 1790's to 1815ish

Notions: Thread, pencil, make-up, wool roving yarn

How historically accurate is it? I would assume it's very historically accurate...made with period techniques, style, fabric, etc.

Hours to complete: Maybe 8 to 10

First worn: First held about a week ago. :)

Total cost: Free, made of bits of scraps.