1914 Skirt Beginnings and Research Troubles

New years hit and I've been in a bit of a sewing rut these last few weeks. I haven't had a ton of time, or energy, to put towards sewing lately so I haven't been too productive.

However, I managed to get started on the first part of my 1914 era ensemble, the skirt. I'll write up a post when it's done with more details, but for now here's where it stands.

My goal is to make a hunting suit similar to the styles seen on Donwton Abbey, however I've had a hard time finding information on women's hunting clothing from the era. So far I've only been able to find one example. Apparently hunting wasn't as common of a sport for women as Downton made it out to be...

I have been able to find a couple of original jacket patterns, however, that I'm using as a reference to draft my own. Until I can find more information I'm just doing my best to make something that looks appropriate.

Completed 1914 Corset and Chemise

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and happy new year. As promised in my last post, today I'm talking about my recently made 1910's corset. I finished both the corset and chemise just before the end of the year and it made a nice final project of 2017.

As I mentioned in my last post about this corset, the pattern is from Bridges of the Body. I really liked the pattern, particularly because it fit quite well without any modifications and was completely free.

The chemise is made from a book I've had in my library for many years and was printed in 1917. This was gifted to me by a friend of my mom when she learned that I was interested in historical sewing and I've been waiting to use it ever since.

The book is Practical Sewing and Dressmaking by Sara May Allington. It's filled with instructions on how to draft patterns for everything from skirts and blouses to jackets and night gowns. It even has some adorable children's clothing instructions in it too.

The pattern for the chemise is actually based off of the shirt waist pattern and has a modified neckline and is lengthened. So I drafted the shirtwaist pattern according to the instructions and made the alterations suggested for a chemise with a gathered neckline.

I didn't bother to pattern the chemise part, but I want to note I made it 36 inches in length, which sits right at my knee's, and that I added perhaps a little bit more fabric into the neckline than I would do in the future, but it still turned out nice.

The book

Drafting the Shirt Waist

Kitty Baby decided to keep me company and eat my supplies
What the Shirt Waist draft looks like

The examples of the two variations using the shirtwaist as a base for a chemise

I like the simplicity of the pieces and it's a very comfortable corset. Strangely enough, my dimensions are still pretty much the same as my non-corseted measurements with this, even though my body shape is altered a bit.

2017 in Review and 2018 Plans

With only a day and half left in 2017 I figured it was about time I sat down and wrote my annual year in review post.

This year was a good year for me costume wise. I branched out into a some new era's of historical dress as well as had my first internship. I feel like I've gained a lot of technical skills such as draping and have a lot more confidence in my abilities than I did at the beginning of the year.

In Review

I started the year off by working on a couple of late 18th century ensembles. The Polonaise, and then the Gray Gown.

In February I started working on Padme's Picnic Dress (AKA Project P19), which is still a work in progress.

For Aviation Day I made a 1930's Aviatrix outfit, which I wore later in a 1940's style for Vintage Aircraft Weekend.

During the summer I interned in the wardrobe department of Beauty and the Beast, and during production helped maintain the costumes and worked as a dresser. I have so many good memories from that experience.

Then for Vintage Aircraft Weekend I made a 1940's swing dress.

For Halloween I updated my 1871 dress by making a new shirtwaist and sash for my "portrait" costume.

Next was the 1841 Marie Louise Gown, which is also still in progress. It's close to done, but I got sidetracked and it got pushed to the back burner.

Lastly, my final project for the year is a WWI era corset and chemise, which will have a proper blog post soon.

1770's Polonaise

The Gray Gown

Padme's Picnic Dress/Project P19

1930's Aviatrix from Aviation Day

Beauty and the Beast
1940's Swing Dress worn at the dinner dance at VAW

1940's Aviatrix worn at Vintage Aircraft Weekend

1870's Portrait Costume for Halloween

The 1841 Marie Louise Gown in progress
WWI era corset and chemise

Plans for 2018

Every year I make a post full of idea's of things I want to accomplish the following year, and I usually don't follow through with much if any of the things I hoped to. So this year, I'm taking a slightly different approach.

Instead of having a list of specific costumes, I have slightly more vague goals for myself.


-Develop my artistic voice and style. I really want to start finding and developing my style for both costuming and my blogging.

-Focus more on 20th century fashion. I specifically want to build a 1940's wardrobe, as I have several events each year I attend where WWII era fashion is appropriate.

-I also want to explore the fashions from 1916-18. I have some plans already, as well as fabric on the way.

-Finish P19 before Comic Con

Those are the only specific goals I have for this year, but I expect I'll experiment with a couple of other era's and likely continue a bit of 1840's through the year.

And with that, goodbye 2017. Hello 2018!
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