Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh my! Put some clothes on!

... or not, because underwear can also be very pretty ;)
I promised you pictures of my 18th century underthings over 2 weeks ago and I hang my head in shame, that I haven't posted them earlier. I thought I would take the pictures as soon as I have my wig, but alas, by an unfortunate turn of events, I don't have it yet. So you'll have to make do with the sort of rococo-ish updo I did with my own hair and my trusty friend, the hairpiece.

Let's start from the bottom up, shall we?
With my victorian outfit, I never took a photo of just the chemise. And this time around I also almost forgot and did it really last minute (as you can see by my already undone hair and removed make-up and general tiredness). But there you go: First layer, chemise.

Next up, the corset. You've already seen it, but these pictures are prettier AND I have good news! I actually laced it properly and now it fits better and doesn't overlap at the top anymore! Yay! I feel so stupid now, for listening to Simplicity's lacing instructions, when I actually knew how to lace 18th century stays in a "historically correct" way (with just one string instead of two) and I just didn't put that knowledge to use. Duh.

There you go, front, back and side views. In the side view you can see nicely how the corset shapes the rococo silhouette with the flat chest.
Also, I think this is the point where I should tell you that, if any of you ever plan to use Simplicity 3635 and 3637 together (as you were clearly meant to do in my opinion), well... be careful. I was never planning to use the dress pattern exactly as it is, I almost never do that, but I wasn't confident enough to tackle the project without one (turns out I would have been able to, but whatever).
Thankfully I approached this project the same way as the victorian outfit: underwear first, then we'll see about the measurements.
With the victorian dress it didn't make too much of a difference but it definitely did with this one.
While my chest is (obviously) flattened and therefor a size smaller than it would usually be, the corset doesn't really pull my waist in, so with the added thick layer of fabric and steelband it's actually almost a size bigger than my usual size.
And that doesn't really work with the Simplicity pattern, because the dress is made in normal clothes' sizes. So now I can have fun redrafting the pattern so it actually fits over the corset. Woohoo!
Now let's see some details:

A close-up, so you can see the prettypretty fabric and the bow on the shoulder stays.

Next up, the pockets. I didn't want to do these at first, but I fell in love with the idea to have this hidden spot to stash your things. Considering they're completely hidden I put way to much work into them of course, and embroidered them. But they look nice :)

Now, let me introduce you to my newest housemate. It certainly takes up just as much space...

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Front, back and side again. I LOVE my hoop skirt. It's surprisingly fun to wear even though I don't fit through doors with it. I need a versaille-esque castle, please.
But seriously, it takes up so much space. I don't really know where to put that thing.
And now, last but not least: my shoes. You have probably seen glimpses of them in the pictures already, but here they are in all their glory.

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When I first planned this project I also immediately thought about where to get my shoes. Then I did some research and was very sad when I saw how incredibly expensive all kinds of historic footwear are and that they simply wouldn't fit my budget (which is basically non-existent). And then, some days later I was in the city and just browsing through a shoe store when I saw these

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And I immediately thought "Hmm... the basic shape kinda looks like... awesome!" So with just a little left over fabric from my corset, a bit of ribbon and gold paint and lots of burns from my hot glue I got pretty cool shoes for about 20€. Neat, isn't it?

This post was epic, I hope you appreciate it ;) See you at an indefinite point in the relatively near future!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Yesterday, we did a really cool project in school and I wanted to share it with you.
It was a joint project for both modelism (where we do all the patterns and the sewing) and costume history. And basically they needed something pretty to show off for the open day tomorrow ;)
Our assignment was to do historical fashion (we all got assigned a fashion era) out of paper, draped on a dressform. We did this in groups of three, and I'm very lucky, that the other two girls in my group just went along when I proposed we do rococo. Because quite frankly, that's the one I have been researching lately, making it the easiest option.
I think the other two were a little sceptic at first (for some reason most of my class doesn't get how brilliant historic fashion is and all wanted to do the 20s and 50s...) but in the end I seemed to have convinced them that rococo is both awfully pretty and also extremely fun to make (I mean... all the bows and flowers and frills! Yay!).
And now I'll stop babbling and just show you the pictures :)

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And now for some details...

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This is the detachable front panel (very prettily decorated by one of my group members)

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And here's the little adornment on the sleeve.

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And this is the mini-exhibition in our entrance area. From left to right, there's our rococo dress, then another rococo dress from the other class, a fifties dress and a "Biedermeier" dress (which is sort of the German equivalent of early Victorian/crinolin style).

And last but not least, here's me, very exhausted but also happy and content next to our creation (in case you don't believe me I actually made it)
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And while we're on the topic, a little update on the actual rococo dress I'm making: All the undergarments (and the shoes!) are done now, so that huge first step is out of the way. I should get my wig over the weekend and can then take proper pictures. So look forward to that sometime next week (I hope...)

Oh, and in case I kindled your interest in historic paper fashion, go on over to and check out this article. It's very impressive.