Friday, January 13, 2012

Of Another Fashion

I was trawling the net looking for images of 1940s ladies in hats (don't ask, CADD)  when I stumbled across Of Another Fashion- An alternative archive of the not-quite-hidden but too often ignored fashion histories of U.S. women of color.  It's a wonderful blog of fashion photos of women of color from a multitude of eras.  There are gorgeous flappers, "Rosie the Riveters", Gibson girls and 50s Bombshells - real women in real clothes, not fashion models or starlets in magazines.  Enjoy!

Regency Open Robe

I've always loved the more eastern influenced Regency looks, like the ones in the movies Immortal Beloved and Vanity Fair, so much more fun than yet another boring white "nightgown" dress, IMHO.  So when I decided I wanted to make a new open robe to cover my, um, boring old white "nightgown" dress, I wanted to go exotic.  This fabric was originally ordered for a Polonaise but once I got it seemed a little more Regency than Georgian and it also had a much softer hand than I'd anticipated, so Regency it is.  The front under vest part is a remnant from my "Water" Victorian fancy dress costume that was in the stash, and the trims are all on-sale trims bought from Jo Anns ages ago.  I'm already starting to think of this as my Regency Belly Dance Costume - LOL!

I was having some trouble with it for a while but after sleeping on it a few nights and re-doing the pleats in the front I think I've got it.  I'm making this pretty differently from how I often make things.  I made the lining/front vest part all first then started draping and stitching down the outside to the lining.  I've only gotten one side draped so far, the other is cut out to the right shape but that's it.  This is another all stash project.  

And I'm using the Patterns of Fashion Regency Open Robe scaled pattern as my base for this:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Little Red Redingote

So yesterday I finally finished the little Red Redingote, a costume idea I'd been kicking around for a long time.  Part of the reason I think it took me so long to finish was that I was a bit stymied by not settling on a particular style of redingote and not knowing exactly where to start with patterning.  I ended up deciding to do a more of a gown style redingote rather than one of the more "coat" styled ones with double collars or "coachman" type capes.

I took inspiration from these fashion plates, this gown in Patterns of Fashion and this jacket in the Cut of Women's Clothes.

And I finally had the eureka that I could just draft something similar to the Duchess "victory jacket" I'd made in the picture below right.

For that jacket I'd used my trusty Period Impressions Polonaise pattern as an 18th C body block.  I did the same thing for the redingote, changing some of the seamlines and adding to the center front to create a double breasted front.  I used the J.P. Ryan jacket pattern single piece sleeve as a base for my sleeve, just extending the sleeve to wrist length.  Then I drafted a collar and cuffs, and at the last minute decided I wanted some pocket flaps to further emulate the men's styles, and use up the 6 extra buttons I had!

The fabric is a red silk faille from Fashion Fabric Club lined with ivory silk shantung I got when a local Jo Anns was going out of business.  I bought the  brass buttons at Fort Frederick's 18th Century Market Faire a few years ago (for a coat for my husband, sorry hon!) I think from Burnley and Trowbridge.

While it's a mishmash of styles that may not really be historically accurate, I really like the over all result, although I think I might bring the skirts forward just a few more inches on either side.  I was lucky enough to have a big blue velvet hat trimmed with white and red I'd made for another costume that went perfectly with it.  I'm also wearing a petticoat I made of embroidered cotton curtains  from Target (!) and red leather 18th reproduction shoes from Burnley and Trowbridge.