Friday, January 20, 2012

Titanic inspirations

Probably most of you have seen Demode's great Dressing for Dinner on the Titanic article but just in case, it's here.

I don't have all that much of the green silk satin left, and worse still what I do have has been sewn into a partially completed skirt.  But after looking at some of the pictures Kendra posted in her article I came to the conclusion that the black and green combo will work. I've got a lot of black silk satin (long, long ago had a sale on black and poison green silk satin and now I'll finally get to use it!)  that can be the base of the dress and at the very least I can do bands of green under lace.  Plus I do have dupioni that's the same color green that can also be used.  So yay!  I'm especially pleased because I never was all that satisfied with the Poison Polonaise for some reason, so this gives me a chance to revisit the black and poison green evening wear in a whole new era.

Here's my current pile of potential Titanic gown trims, fabrics etc.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Favorite Patterns

Just for fun I thought I'd throw this out there:  What are your top 5 favorite patterns and why?

While I frankenpattern and draft patterns of my own, I do have a few go-to patterns that I use over and over again.  Mostly this is because that particular pattern fits me well or is easy to alter to a bunch of different styles.

1.  The J.P. Ryan Jacket pattern.  I've made this pattern so many times I've lost count.  I've altered it to make late period jackets like a peirrot, I've made long sleeves, short sleeves, sleeves with cuffs and sleeves with flounces.  I've made plain versions out of linen and fancy embroidered silk ones.

2. The Period Impressions Polonaise.  This is my basic 18th C body block, I've used it as a base for nearly every gown I've made.  I lengthened the bodice (which I have to do on every pattern) I use the JP Ryan sleeve (which is more period correct) and I always make the skirts fuller than the pattern.

3. The Folkwear Empire gown.  I've made this about 4 times.  Other empire gown patterns and have never really pleased me as much as this one.  Maybe it's because the bodice actually has a c-d cup sizing so it fits me better.

4.  The Truly Victorian 1872 vest basque bodice.  Actually I haven't met a TV pattern I haven't liked.  They have all fit me exceptionally well.  But this pattern is particularly flattering.  I used it as the base for my butterfly bustle gown, my white with black polka dot bustle, my Daniel Deronda archery dress, and my blue and white striped seaside gown.

5.  Tailors Guide 18th C Riding Habit.  This is actually just an enlarged version of a riding habit in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion but it fits a modern body well and has instructions!  I've made this at least 3 times.

Please share your favorites!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Titanic corsets and inspirations

My big hurdle to making something Titanic era has been the dreaded corset of course.  There are a lot of great patterns out there on the web, but after thinking about it I made the executive decision to NOT make a corset but to instead use my old Edwardian corset that I made in the GBACG Dark Garden corset class years ago.  Despite weight fluctuations it still fits (it was drafted by Autumn for me, so rather well I might add!)   While it's shape is definitely more S curve and earlier than most of the Titanic era corsets, that's a more flattering shape for me anyway.  AND it's an overbust  so I don't have to deal with the whole what-the-heck-I-have-to-make-a-freakin-bra-too?! problem.  And I think that shape will work with the inspiration dress.

I did a search of the MET collections on  Callot Soeurs, the designers of the above gown, discovered that they were four French sisters who started out in lace and lingerie.  And that I love nearly everything they've designed, it's all so luxe and feminine!  (I mean really, look at THIS!)  Anyway I've pinned my favorites to my Edwardian/Titanic board on Pinterest if you're interested.

Titanic era

Given the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic there are a lot of Edwardian/Titanic events going on this year.  So like many of you I've been trawling the web for photos of gowns for inspiration.  And I think I may have found it! This is a 1911 ca, Callot Soeurs Evening Dress from the MET's collection.