frualeydis: (may)
I didn't manage to make this challenge before deadline. The theme for challenge nr 15 in The Historical Sew Fortnightly was "The great outdoors". My initial idea was to make a pair of plus fours for my husband. But the heat (now sadly missed) made me too tired to start on projects that required more advanced pattern construction (I really haven't made any trouser patterns) and that also involved wool fabric. I also didn't have any suitable fabric at home.
So I decided that the sporty 1940s jacket that I hade planned to make from a really green pinstriped wool remnant that I bought in January when we stopped at a fabric store on the way to my father-in-law's funeral, would be my entry. Unfortunately there wasn't enough fabric for sleeves. At first I thought about making sleeves from another wool fabric, but once the idea of knitted sleeves entered my mind it grew on me more and more. What I needed then was documentation for jackets with knitted sleeves from the 1940s. You find them in some Swedish folk costumes from the 19th century, but that doesn't say that it's period for the 1940s. Fortunately I have a collection of ladies' magazines from the 1940s and in one of them from 1944 knitted sleeves on a sporty jacket was suggested as a way of remaking an old suit.
Then I had to find matching yarn, which turned out to be impossible, but this Shetland wool is okay I think, especially after I had tea dyed the wool fabric to tone it down a little. The fake leather buttons actually match the sleeves' colour, which is just a happy coincidence, since I bought those on sale two years ago. In all it's very much an example of "Make Do And Mend" and as you can see I am ready for a walk in the forest.
The skirt is from challenge 14, the blouse was made by me a couple of years ago and the hat is vintage.

The Challenge: 15, the great outdoors
Fabric: wool, Shetland wool yarn, rayon lining
Pattern: not really, but it is remotely related to a 1940s house dress pattern that I own.
Year: 1940-45
How historically accurate is it? The buttons are plastci, otherwise I would say spot on.
Hours to complete: Too many, knitting takes time. Maybe thirty?
First worn: today
Total cost: around 200 SEK, approximately 30 dollars.

So, how did the entries in the challenge become two? To make something before deadline I entered a sporty 1930s hat from the same tartan wool as in previous challenge.

frualeydis: (may)

I missed the last challenge - not because I didn't sew anything historical, because I did: my 1920s kimono, but because while it didn't cost me more than 10 dolalrs, which was the challenge, that was just because the fabric was a gift and that felt like cheating.

Challenge nr 14, which was due yesterday I managed to make. Just, because while I knew that I was going to make a tartan skirt from wool and had the fabric it has been very hot here and sewing thick wool when it never goes below 30 C/86 F in the flat really isn't tempting. I've also been away on holiday for a week. It has now dropped to around 26-27 degrees C (79-80F) so it has been possible to sew.

I'm also wearing a 1930s jumper from Susan Crawford's "A stitch in time 1", which I finished in May, but haven't shown here.

The Challenge: #14 Paisley and plaid
Fabric: tartan wool, rather stiff, maybe some other fibre, it was a remnant
Pattern: drafted myself
Year: 1930s
How historically accurate is it? Unless there’s polyester in the wool 100%
Hours to complete: six maybe
First worn: today
Total cost: c 8 dollars

frualeydis: (may)
The theme for the 11th challenge was politics and fashion. There are of course many ways you could interpret that - among the things that I considered were a two-coloured hood in blue and red, like the rebelling burghers of Paris in the late 14th century, trousers, which of course ahd a very political charge when women started wearing them in the early 20th century, a Bloomer costume, a chemise á la reine, or just a blue, white and red cockade  from the French revolution. But this winter I saw some amazing textile prints from 1920s and 1930s Soviet Union and  I really fell for them. This led to me looking up more info on Soviet textile and clothes design in the 1920s.

   The Soviet Union in the '20s was really one of the hot spots in avant garde fashion design. Most people who are interested in 20th century fashion have heard of the French artist, textile and clothing designer Sonia Delaunay, but just as radical and creative, and maybe more influential in the world of clothing, were Ljubov Popova och Varvara Stepanova. The latter devoted herself almost solely to the design of clothing after 1921. It wasn't jsut in France and the Soviet Union that modernist clothign was designed; Italy had a strong modernist curent in fashion desig, a current that often was combined with right wing radicalism and elitism. So it wasn't just socialists who wanted to create modern clothing from a political point of view. I strongly recommend the book Against Fashion by Radu Stern - it even has an example of Stepanova's design for sports clothing on the cover. In any case, clothes were political and in the Soviet Union they should both be an expression of the new, liberated, working human and a means to achieve this new man and woman.

   Since both Stepanova and Popova built so much of their design on their own prints it was hard for me to choose any of their designs to work from. Instead I chose a design by  Nadezhda Lamanova from 1925. Nadezhda Lamanova appears to have been somethign of a chameleon as a designer - from designing both theatre costumes and clothes for the Tsaritsa, like the one shown below, she after the revolution started designing clothes which combined inspiration from Russian folk costumes with the modern lines of the 1920s.

The black ensemble is made from Russian shawls. Since I neither have Russian shawls nor the time and/or opportunity to embroider or print special patterns I chose this design:

The fabric is a grey linen remnant that I got for cheap in January and the red linen is scraps from a dress that I made over ten years ago. The pattern can of course be seen from the image above, but I had good help from the blog posts about the one hour dress on Festive attyre. I chose to  make the front piece gathered in a similar was as the back piece, since I wasn't really sure how Lamanova had intended the dress to be made and I was at least sure that this would work. The sleeves got a lot longer than on the sktech, but I don't think that matters.

More photos )

From the photo of the back you can also see that I have cut my hair at the back, in to a 1920s bob
frualeydis: (Default)
This was a challenge that was really hard for me to come up with something for. You may have noticed that I'm not a great fan of black and since I had made a shift in another challenge I didn't feel like repeating myself. I have also run out of the linen thread that I use for hand sewing shifts. Then there's the fact that I came home from England on Saturday and that I was extremely busy both before and after that. The for example ruled out the obvious solution, which was blackwork.

But yesterday I came up with the idea to make a gollar, the shoulder cape worn in so many German portraits from the 16th century. You find them in Scnadinavia too, as can be seen on the top image, which comes from the fantastic site, which has tons of pictures of grave monuments and paintings from mainly Danish, but also Swedish and Norwegian churches

A Danish painting from 1575, showing a gollar:

This garment is probably what was meant by the term "kraga", which is found in swedish 16th century documents and could be made of wool or silk. Earlier images than that one shows gollars with lower collars, and since my Swedish 16th century dress aims for the 1560s I decided to make my collar lower too. I did keep the length though, so it goes down a fair bit. As you can see I didn't have the energy to dig up my blue dress and put it on, so my dress dummy "The Grand Sophy" (named after a novel by Georgette Heyer) got a smock on, on which I really have to starch and set the ruffle,  and then the gollar.

Back )

The inspiration for the decoration came from this 16th century German painting:

frualeydis: (Default)
I didn't think that I would have time to do this challenge, which was to make a historic version of clothes that could have been worn by a character in a fairy tale, since this is the time when applications for research founding within the humanities are due. I had lots of ideas, none of them involving fairies. Even J.R.R. Tolkien declared that "Fairy tale" wasn't a good name for the genre, since most of them don't have any fairies in them. Eventually I ended up with what can be interpreted as c. 1150, probably Germany, or 19th century does medieval. Then I had to decide wich "fairy tale" and I decided to make something from the Arthurian legends, which always seem to come in a 12th century package in my mind, probably much due to artists such as Edmund Blair Leighton:

My favourite Arthurian 19th century painting, by John Collier:

They also have the advantage that there are women in the who don't fall into the two categories young, beautiful maiden on one hand, and old ugly witch, on the other hand. There are actually middle aged women in them. I decided to go for Morgause, queen of Lothian (or Orkney, or Norway, depending on story), Arthur's sister or aunt (depending on version). She had four sons, and I think that she might also have gotten a little plump in her middle age.

The new thing is the overgown, which is made from a large bedspread or table cloth, probably of Thai origin, that I found at the salvation Army. The blue fabric is silk and I have sewn a broad lace trim in "gold" thread on it and then glass beads. Lace isn't period, but I didn't have that much time and you can either pretend that it's some kind of couched gold thread embroider, or a 19th century theatre costume. In which case it wouldn't matter.
frualeydis: (Default)
My current projct is the hand sewn bodice and sleeves of a ca 1500-1510 Cranach dress for my daughter Valeria. She is going to make the skirt and I'll attach it. It's a good division of work, since she hasn't hand sewn before and need ot learn it on something that doesn't need to be strong enough to take it being pulled tight around the body. Hopefully I'll sew the sleeves today, though if I don't because I finish my funding application that is good too.


Mar. 4th, 2014 06:37 pm
frualeydis: (Default)
In a facebook post some days ago I said that it's only when you start trying to make a bra pattern that you realize how enormous your boobs are. Well they are, but I think the Lengberg bra -dress will work, with a smocked shirt and a dress over it.  Since visual sources from the period seem to favour boobs close to the armpits I tried to at least not press them together. But making a good bra from these finds is rather complicated when you have both large boobs and a ribcage which is much wider at teh lowest rib than o both under and over the bust.
But, as I said, I think it will work to get the right silhouette.

frualeydis: (Default)
You can find more about the type of dress and this dress in my other blog, here.
frualeydis: (Default)
I just wish that I was a thin (relatively speaking) as the Grand Sophy, my dress dummy.

frualeydis: (Default)
I have decided that for this challenge I am going to make a late '20s-early '30s wrap over house dress. While there was propaganda for this dress type already during WWI in the US, they didn't have their breakthrough until the '20s and really  didn't reach Europe until ca 1930, so I feel justified in calling it an innovation. Because it really is, it was designed for a whole new type of middle class housewife: someone who actually did her house work herself, with none or just a smaller part of it done by servants.

Usually I make my housedresses in a way that accentuates the waist, but with the wound not yet healed and my abdomen still swollen after the surgery I think this earlier typ will be better. The fabric, which I got from Stoff&Stil a couple of months ago also has a very '30s look and colour. It wil be a pretty, rather than just utilitarian house dress, so I will probably add a flounce to the collar.
frualeydis: (Default)
As I wrote in yesterday's post I had a wool dress in 1930s' style which had got a moth hole right in front on the tummy. The "Make Do and Mend" challenge gave me the kick in the butt I needed to do somethign woth it, except packing it down for summer and packing it up for winter. I made the new skirt from a wool twill that I bought from a friend a couple of years ago when she sold out most of her fabric stash. To tie the two pieces of the dress together visually I also made a new collar (as you can se in the post below it had a white cotton collar) from the blue wool and made patch pockets from remnants of the glencheck wool used in the bodice and sleeves. This time I made the skirt shorter, to the, to me, more flattering "little-above-the-knee" length of the 1940s.
From the lower part of the original skirt, which didn't have moth holes I made a skirt for Valeria. I feel very thrifty.

More photos )
The Challenge: # 1 Make Do and Mend
Fabric: 100% Wool tabby and wool twill
Pattern: Not as such, it started its life as a '70s pattern, but has been heavily re-made to a) fit me and b) to give it more of a 40's style. You can see here another example of how I changed this "1970s does 1940s pattern" into a 40s dress.
Year: ca 1940-44. Typical for the war years with its combining of materials and rather short skirt.
Notions: Four plastic buttons, a zipper for Valeria's (modern) skirt
How historically accurate is it? Wool was a common dress amterial in the 1940s, unlike now, so the materials are good. It has machined button holes, which wasn't common in home made clothing and the plastic buttons are probably from another type of plastic than the one used then. While the pattern is from the 1970s it has been changed enough to make the pieces look like what you can find in an original 1940s pattern. The sleeves are taken from an original 1940s pattern too. Mixing fabrics like this gives it a very authentic look for the war years (at least in Europe) where every scrap available was used. I have studied many sewing patterns and Swedish women's magazines from the period and I think this would pass without comment or notice. (The magazine on the "old" photo is one of the leading Swedish women's magazines, from 1945)
Hours to complete: Not many, maybe five, including Valeria's skirt.
First worn: For photos I wore it today, but since I'm at home recovering from a hole in my duodenum, surgery and four weeks in hospital it may be a while before I wear it "officially". It will be great for work when I get back though.
Total cost: Nothing now, since everything is from stash, nothing newer than two years old. However, if I try to remember the price of the two fabrics I would end up with c. 150 SEK for fabric, which is about 29 USD, and then 20 SEK for a zipper (for Valeria's skirt) and 16 SEK for the buttons, so in all ca 35 USD. The lining in Valeria's skirt was scraps I can't calculate the value of.
frualeydis: (Default)
For various reasons I didn't join last year, but this year I will join Historical Sew Fortnightly. My reasons for not joing was that I mainly, as you know, make '40s inspired clothing for everyday wear these days adn teh end date last year was 1938. And that I knit instead of sewing. But many of you did and it made me really inspired. The whole idea is inspiring and when the last date for what was allowed was moved from 1938 to 1945 I just couldn't stop myself from joining anymore. There will be some "real" historical costuming too, but I guess that most of my  projects will be from the late '30s-early '40s.

The first challenge, which is due on the 15th of January is "Make Do and Mend" so I have, after more than two years gotten around to do something about the 30s style wool dress above, which got a hole right in front of the skirt when our storage suffered a moth infestation. The wool is too thin to darn and I don't have enough to make a new front, so I have instead cut out a new skirt part from a medium blue thin wool twill. From the whole parts of the cut off skirt pieces I will make a skirt for  Valeria.

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