Friday, May 23, 2014

Homespun Apron

I got the great idea to do a hand sewing project while on the road to California. That went alright, although I did lose a needle in the rental car that was never found......
Preparing it ahead of time, it was probably one of the easiest projects ever. I didn't finish it until we got home, but it was a nice quick project to hand sew. I really like it maybe a little too much.....I love plaid.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

1800's Fashion Timeline: 1855-1867

By this time, ladies were wearing layer upon layer of petticoats to attain an almost unattainable fullness to their skirt. It was inevitable that something must be done to help shed those layers. As soon as the wire hoop skirt was invented, ladies snatched at it and corded petticoats 'died a sudden death'.

I wouldn't say that the overall fashion changed, other than for day dresses, large sleeves with an unattached undersleeve was popular, like the ones below. The one on the bottom is shown without the undersleeves.

This ball dress to me definitely reads 1850's, but note that it is with a hoop.
In America, something called the zouve jacket became very popular. Hooray for America coming up with it's own fashions! Anyway, it was a jacket that was worn over a fitted white blouse, although it wasn't called a blouse, but a 'body'. It often had braid that was similar to the trim on military uniforms (keep in mind that 1860-1865 was the Civil war).

During the 1860's, all of the fullness was slowly moving more towards the back. This gave the ladies the appearance that they were perpetually gliding, or to me it does. It is pretty, but by the end of the hoop era (1865-67) the dresses were quite flat in  the front. Not really my favorite, but oh well. The dress below is very pretty, but see how flat it is in the front? It just doesn't look so balanced to me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Interesting 1850's Evening Dress

At first glance, I was totally awestruck by this dress. It was so absolutely beautiful! All that delicate detailing; and it is not embroidery. Here is the link to the museum it is in. Zoom in and look at how iridescent it is; the design is blue-green.
So now it begs the question: what in the world is that? Scroll down for the answer.

Beetle wings. Yep. Someone had the guts to do that. I think I would, if it turned out as lovely as that!

1800's Fashion Timeline: 1840-1855

This period of time in the fashion industry for women was rather heavy. Literally! By this time, women were trying to make there skirts as large as possible without hoop skirts. Many layers of petticoats stiffened with cording and horsehair were used. I do not like to think about how hot it must have been.

Anyway. Beginning in the 1840's, the large sleeves from the 1830's were replaced with tight-fighting sleeves. Remember, by now the waistlines had gone all the way down to the natural waist. In this age and era, no one knows where their real waist is. It is a bit ridiculous, actually. Your waist, ladies, is right at your  last rib. It is not on your hip bones, where your pants come up to. It should be the smallest place around.
The one thing that makes me think of the 1850's is ruffled skirts. This style is not limited to the 1850's, there are just a lot of fashion plates with rows and rows of ruffles. Remember: fashion plates were the cutting edge!
Another thing that was a part of the 1840's was smocked bodices, like the one below. I don't know if I have ever seen a smocked bodice in the 1850's, but the museum says the one below is from 1850. Go figure. 1850's was similar to the 1860's, in that tight bodices like the one above and the last one, with gathered bodices for work dresses.
Although skirts were certainly not limited to ruffles! This one is very nice as well.....

Monday, May 12, 2014

Museum Searching

Just thought I would make a quick note on how I search through the museum:
Go to the website and click on Search the Collections, which is under the collections category.
There will be tabs that say Who What Where When and In the Museum. Under What I click on Dresses. After that you can even click on What again and put in more specific textiles and materials. Under When I put in 1800-1900 (too bad you can't break it up at all). And sometimes I put in North American or English. French will also come up with similar styles, usually more extravagant.
Feast your eyes!

1800's Fashion Timeline: 1825-1839

I am at a bit of a loss as what to call this era, as nothing seems to have really happened. In 1837, Queen Victorian began her reign, thus beginning the Victorian era.
Anyway, I have clumped these particular years together because the fashions were somewhat alike, kind of like how there was the 'Regency' era, and the 'hoop skirt era'.
The fashions in what I will now call Late Georgian/Early Victorian were rather interesting. There is nothing particularly outstanding, and you could put the 1840's in here as well, but I find they fit in more with the early 1850's.
By now, as you will recall, we have already come through the empire-waisted dress era, and that fashion is beginning to fall by the 1820's. In 1825, they were just beginning to lengthen. Here is a good picture; you can really tell that is a transitional-type dress.

 I don't know why, but I tend to view this era as completely transitional. It just seems a little awkward to not have it below the bust, but not at the waist either. Hmm.

Anyway, by the 1830's, large sleeves were trending. Huge sleeves, actually. Large puffs at the top of a tight sleeve, or, strangely, tight at the top of the sleeve with a rather large puff from the elbow to the wrist. I think the large sleeves really made the waists look very small. And maybe it is the other variation that seems really weird to me, I don't know. There were other styles as well, and one thing that is rather interesting is there were a lot of different things that were fashionable.

For the skirt, from 1825 all the way to 1855 it only continued to get larger and larger. In the particular time that I am speaking of, skirts were still rather small. By the end of the 1830's, the waists had pretty much dropped to natural waist. At least, that is what it looks like to me. The first one looks almost more like 1840's (I don't know why, it just does). The museum says it is 1838. I was close. The third one down has those weird puffs I was talking about, but they manage to make it look not weird on a mannequin.