1950s | Vintage Sewing

Tree Gown in Action

By on September 20, 2014

Back in the Spring I shared my reproduction of Charles James’ Tree Gown made for the 2014 Toronto Garrison Ball. The ball was at the end of March, but I’ve only just now got photos of the gown – and one I also made for a friend! – in action up on my blog. Just a little bit of a delay there ;oP

I thought I’d share for those who may be interested in seeing what the dress looks like on an actual person rather than my dressform, and get a sense of how it moves – though I do wish I’d gotten a bit of video of its swish.

IMG_2633

Hop on over to my blog to see (lots) more photos, from lots more angles, and my friend’s dress too!

Continue Reading

1950s | Dresses

Jimminy Crispies! There’s a Charles James gown in my livingroom!

By on April 4, 2014

Back in October I posted on here an introduction to a big sewing project I was taking on: reproducing a version of Charles James’ Tree Gown:

Charles James: The Exhibition - Threads

My excuse for tackling this, apart from the challenge of it, was to wear at the 2014 Toronto Garrison Ball.  Which was actually last weekend – yes, the dress was finished beforehand ;o)

This project was made possible/feasible by the generous loan of a pattern taken of the dress’ foundation made by a former curator of the Chicago History Museum for their Charles James exhibition in 2011.

I documented the process at each step along the way and blogged about it, but didn’t post all of those here because I thought they’d get tedious.

But now it’s FINISHED and I’ve caught up with my blogging (that lagged when it got to the stress-sewing point) so I’m sharing here again!

Here’s a brief(ish) retrospective on the process:

IMG_0367

IMG_0374

IMG_0497

IMG_0602

IMG_0605

IMG_0594

IMG_0607

IMG_0885

IMG_0920

IMG_0943

IMG_0950

IMG_0955

And finally I ended up with this:

IMG_0984

A CHARLES JAMES GOWN OF MY VERY OWN!!!!

I cannot tell you how RELIEVED I was that it actually turned out well, lol.  I was nervous about it right to the very end.

If you’d like to follow the process in more detail (there is some fun stuff in there) here’s a link to all the Tree posts.

You can go here if you just want to see more of the finished dress – and the “superhero” evening cape I made to wear with it!

Continue Reading