1920s | Accessories | Downton Abbey Inspired | Dresses | Hats

1921 Bustle Effect Dress

By on February 13, 2014

I made this dress to wear to a Downton Abbey inspired tea, but also as an entry into the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #3 Pink.  The pattern itself is a repro of an original 1921 Butterick pattern and it went together very nicely.  For being such an old pattern the instructions were much better than what you find on BurdaStyle magazines, although they are wholly inadequate Big Four standards today. I used a poly shantung for economical reasons but other than that, the dress is pretty historically accurate.  Actually, it’s not a dress but a skirt suspended from a “long underbody” and then a blouse on top. I am very happy with how it turned out.  It’s not something I can just wear around but it served its purpose, and I think I’m going to use during Costume College for day activities.  For more pictures and a description of the Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge, please visit my blog.  I almost forgot, I made the hat too, using Simplicity 1736 and wool/rayon felt.

 

As a side note, I hadn’t made any posts since the blog was moved over from Blogger but I could have sworn I had an account.  Apparently I didn’t so I had to create one, and it’s showing that I have no other posts.  Bummer.

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1920s | Downton Abbey Inspired | Dresses | Hats | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

Going Gatsby for an Afternoon

By on September 9, 2013

This year I finally made up my mind to create a historically correct 1920’s outfit for the Art Deco Society of California’s Gatsby Summer Afternoon in Oakland, California.  This Art Deco picnic was held at the Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate and the attire is daywear from 1920-1940 (the Art Dcco period of course!).  It is a living history event with no spectators as everyone is a participant.

Gatsby Summer Afternoon

I made not only my outfit, but my husbands’ as well, even venturing into hat-making, which is a pursuit that I have never delved into before.  My dress is a seafoam green floral poly chiffon with a yellow crepe back satin slip.  It’s made using Vogue 2535, a 1928 design pattern that is out of print.

Vintage Vogue 2535, Original 1928 Design

I added a sash out of my slip fabric and fabric rosettes made from my dress fabric.  I love this pattern and it’s very comfortable to wear, even with synthetic fabrics and a hot afternoon.  The cape is most definitely my favorite feature and I also love the handkerchief hemline.

My hat is a 1920’s garden party hat made with maize silk dupioni and a buckram base.    The sash is the same yellow fabric I used for my slip and I added vintage silk millinery flowers.  I used Butterick 4697, a “Making History” pattern that is also out of print.

Butterick 4697

As a history scholar, I try to get my vintage repro outfits historically correct.  I am ….mostly …. with the exception that I could not find any crocheted gloves in time and my lace glovemaking pursuits were futile.  Also, it was very hot that day and I couldn’t stand wearing my seam-back pantyhose….. I think stockings and garters are the way to go!

If 1920’s men’s patterns were readily available I would have used them for my husbands’ outfit, unfortunately they are not easy to find.  Fortunately, men’s fashion has not changed much in the last 100 years, so I improvised.  My husband’s shirt is McCalls 2447 and is made of blue Burberry herringbone stripe shirting.  It has collar stays and French cuffs with vintage blue sapphire cufflinks that were my grandpa’s (which of course, you can’t see!).  His vest is Vogue 8497 (out of print) and is made of navy cotton poplin with vintage metal buttons and lined with striped shirting.  His trousers are vintage from a thrift store.  I bought him a 1920s vintage silk foulard tie with a geometric design, but what do ya know?  I forgot to pack it….

His golf cap is Vogue 8869 and is made of a black/midnight blue wool coating from my stash.

Overall it was such a great day, albeit HOT, and we are already planning for next year!  I’d like to make Vogue 2535 in a silk/cotton voile and use some contrasts.  I have in mind making my husband a seersucker suit, so if anyone knows of any great vintage suit patterns, please let me know!

Mr. and Mrs. Hughes at the Gatsby Summer Afternoon

Happy Sewing!

 

 

 

More details and photos from this event on my blog.

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1910s | Downton Abbey Inspired | Dresses

Downton Abbey Day Dress

By on July 23, 2013

I just adore Downton Abbey and I’m so happy that I’ve gotten to sew from some reprinted Edwardian patterns this year! 😀

This dress is 1914-1915 which would be at the end of season 1 of Downton Abbey. I was able to find a reprint of this dress pattern from Past Patterns. This one is #8480.

Originally, I was going to go the whole nine yards with the bows and neck ruffle and sash but once I got sewing, I felt like it would be way too much!

For the main fabric, I choose an embroidered cotton with tiny green polka dots! From far away, it reads as white but up close you can see all the green. A more period option for the ruffles would have been green, but I like the contrast of the yellow better.

This dress was a lot of work to make since I was working with the original instructions which expect you to know a lot about how these types of dresses are supposed to go together! I also bit the bullet and worked with the original 3/8 inch seam allowance instead of adding extra.

More photos and construction details over on my blog.

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1910s | Downton Abbey Inspired | Lingerie

Edwardian Unmentionables

By on February 12, 2013

I’ve been quiet on here for a while. One reason is that I’ve been super busy, but the other is that I’ve been working on Edwardian undergarments for more Downton Abbey type sewing this year!

My 19teens corset! I made it from a pattern that the blogger Festive Attyre made from an antique corset that she thinks is from 1916 or so. This is my first real corset that I made with coutil and steel boning.

I also made a 19teens early brassier from a pattern made by blogger Historically Dressed from an antique brassier and 1913 combinations made from a reprint of an antique pattern.

I adore my combinations! They are super fun to wear!

I’m already working on a 1914 dress but in the meantime you can see more of my Edwardian sewing here: Dressing Downton Projects, brassier and combinations, corset.

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1910s | Downton Abbey Inspired

renfrew, downton style

By on December 27, 2012

The sisters Crawley- Lady Edith, Lady Mary and Lady Sybil, season 2

for many, many moons now i’ve wanted to adapt this dinner dress of lady mary’s (circa 1918 in the show) into something wearable and a little more modern for myself. you may even recall some of my earlier ideas.
20121227-094141.jpg

after a few false starts, i settled on adapting the design to a t-shirt as the most wearable and achievable goal.  there were some construction adventures, but in the end i’m pretty happy.

full post and more photos at puu’s door of time.
top styled with a modified 1940s simplicity 2571.

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1920s | Capes | Downton Abbey Inspired | Vintage Sewing

Downton derived

By on September 19, 2012
Lady Cora's mum-ITV.com Photo Gallery
Lady Cora's mum from ITV.com Photo Gallery

Downton Abbey Series 3 has started in the U.K.  Everyone everywhere else will have to wait varying amounts of time before seeing it on local tellies, but hopefully we’ll begin hearing and seeing inspirations from our U.K.-based We Sew Retro colleagues before then.  (hint-hint!)

I’ve read that this season’s 1920s fashions will include marcel waves, crushed velvet and lots of beading.  I, inspired by that sweeping arm of Lady Cora’s mum as she arrives at Downton and descends from her limo, might have discovered what to do with a bit of stash fabric, below.

Velour from stash
Velour from stash

Only sticky wicket is the fabric is velour, with a lot of lengthwise stretch.  Will need to back it with something to stop gravity, and provide more warmth.  Perhaps wool & non-stretchy, iron-on interfacing?  This will require some thought, but might be sorted by the time Downton rolls across the pond January 2013.  Especially if lovely colleagues here have suggestions.  (hint-hint encore!)

Velour + Folkwear Cape?
Velour + Folkwear #264 Monte Carlo Tunic/Cape?

Meanwhile, am looking forward to reading everyone else’s thoughts and inspirations!

U.S. Preview & Trailer:
ITV Photo Gallery U.K. site

This entry on my blog has a few more links.

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