From late Georgian, through Regency to Victorian. Corsets, bustles and enormous gowns!

I have recently been cleaning out some of my hoard of sewing patterns and books and thought you all might enjoy a few “fashion plates”.

Above is the fashion plate for Peterson’s February 1879. It is the whole reason I started collecting Victorian fashion magazines. I completely fell in love with the black ensemble second from the right.

I love the green and pink in this fashion plate. Fashion plates are all hand colored, so they the colors can sometimes vary depending on the lady who painted them.

For more visit my blog EleanorMeriwether.blogspot.com



Hi everyone! I have been lurking more than posting these days, but I recently made a discovery I couldn’t keep to myself.

I just love Craigslit. I check it with enthusiasm daily. A few weeks ago a man posted that his wife’s Grandmother’s trunk had been found in the attic and it was full of Victorian clothing. Not just any Victorian clothing I would soon find out, but some as old as 1840. I was stoked. The only thing I didn’t like about the listing was that it said to make an offer, which is something I HATE to do. Not because I’m uncomfortable doing it, but you can never tell if people are going to be offended with what you offer them, weather or not it is a fair or more than fair price.

So I made an offer and he took it! So I drove the 1.5 hrs across the state and picked up my lovely trunk contents (he kept the trunk, which was fine with me!) I am a happy girl!

Here are a few bits of eye candy. See more on my blog!


I am all about the clothes. Well, to be honest, I’m all about writing fantasy and living in a wacky, geeky, fantasy world. In my writer-y life, I hostess our RWA chapter’s annual Readers’ Luncheon and last year I made myself a “steampunk costume.”

I started going to these things in costume just because I love the clothes, but last year my friend dressed up as a pirate angel!


Just this week, I finished my first “official” vintage dress that I can wear “in real life.” It’s a 1940s Swing Dress from Sense & Sensibility patterns. You can read about some of my adventures in sewing it at www.nancysbrandt.com.

I'm trying to hide the side zipper because I don't like the way it came out.

Is she a strong woman holding down the home front while the boys are off fighting the Axis?

Please come in. I'll find some Jell-o with vegetables in it or something.

Trying to look Not posed, like I'd ever really climb into the tree house!

Someone told me this could be a book cover and I thought “Oh a story about a woman waiting for her sweetheart to come home from overseas.” My daughter said, “Or a woman who just got diagnosed with a fatal illness.”


There is something so fabulous yet terrifying when sewing with plaid. Even more so when said plaid is 100% silk! But when everything comes together, it’s worth it!


Plaid Silk Group Project

Yay for plaid! One trick to using plaid is to find a pattern that is going to work well with plaid. One easy way to know a pattern is good for plaids is to find a pattern illustration with plaid!


So when I found Simplicity 3750 I knew this dress was meant to be!


Plaid Silk Group Project


I made this dress to wear to an annual costuming convention called Costume College. Three other ladies made dresses from the same fabric from different periods. From left to right, it’s Regency, 1860s (think Civil War), 1869/1870 (which is a transitional period between Civil War and Bustle with an elliptical hoop) and 1950s. I know the other dresses are earlier than usual for We Sew Retro but I couldn’t help sharing the plaid fabulousness!


Plaid Silk Group Project

I had such fun making this dress even though I doubt my life will have too many events that will call for such a blod, silk dress but at least since it’s pink and green, I won’t have to make a new Christmas dress this year!


There are heaps more photos over here. Plus I did a construction post if you are interested in how exactly I sewed with silk. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be!