Thursday 30 June 2011

My grandmother in the 1930's.

My maternal grandmother Greta has probably been the person who has influenced me the most when it comes to sewing. She was all her life a very snappy dresser. My Mum has let me scan and post pictures of my grandmother and even though the pictures are small (I tweaked them a bit to make them larger) I still think they are marvelous little peaks into her life and her wardrobe. The pictures in this post are almost all of them from the 1930’s, when my grandmother was in her twenties, she was born in 1913. I think they prove that even a working class girl, who made her wardrobe with a small budget, could with fantasy and ability to sew, make a wonderful wardrobe.

Monday 27 June 2011

Using historical movies as a source of inspiration

For those of that also read Fashionable Forties, I’m sorry for the double posts- I’m not going to make it into a habit. But I felt that this post isn’t just relevant for the 1940’s, but for everyone interested in historical clothes.

It may sound a bit odd when I say that even movies in a historical setting, may work well as an inspiration source. They are set in another time, with other fashions, right? Yes, they are, but historical accuracy has not always been particularly important, especially not during the golden era. Generally speaking the costumes had a more or less accurate look, hair had a somewhat right look and make-up was completely contemporary. There are reasons behind that, for example, even if the moviegoer expects something different s/he still needs to recognize things. If every single detail was to be historically correct, the final look would be something so alien to the modern eye that it would be rejected. Now, those expectations change too. Nowadays period movies usually strife for accuracy in costume and hair and even modify make-up to make it look at least somewhat different to our modern eyes. The modern moviegoer has learned to expect this. The moviegoer in the 1940’s did not and thought nothing when Lizzie in Pride and Prejudice, 1940 (played by Greer Garson) looked like this, false eyelashes and all.

(The movie was set in the 1830’s, not the Regency, but the hair has most to do with the 40’s.)

Even if you try, it is hard to completely remove all traces from the time we live in, even when that is the goal. Some things gets so ingrained as to be considered natural that a movie that is considered perfect when it is released may seem dated after a few years Let’s look at a modern actress, Elizabeth Mcgovern. In 1981 she had a part in Ragtime, a movie set in the early 20th century. It is a very good costume movie and it has dated well, but still… Brooke Shields eyebrows, anyone?

Sunday 26 June 2011

My Sara-hat

A few weeks ago my friend Sara died very unexpectedly. She was a very special person and she will be terribly missed. As her best friend said in a speech on her funeral, something Sara once said about herself: "Every person is unique, but perhaps I'm a bit more unique than everyone else." She was.

Sara was also one of the founders of the Society of Gustafs Skål and she dressed in 18th century, she dressed in any century with a flair and elegance that few can manage. She could dress as the extremest of fashion plates and look just natural. The last time I saw her I bought some straw hats from her that she imported them herself from Romania. Today would have been her 42nd birthday and Gustafs Skål has gathered in the park of Haga castle to remember her. I'm unable to attend, so instead I have finished one of the hats. I don't have the flamboyant style Sara had, but I have tried to make a hats that is flamboyant for me. She would have told me if she had loved it. She would have told me if she had hated it too.

Thursday 23 June 2011

These are a few of my favourite things

Or rather portraits. It's raining and I have been looking though my Photobucket and now I'm inflicting you with some pictures I particulary like. With that I bid you a festive Midsummer and I will return next week- hopefully with something sewing related.

Elizabeth of Austria

Wednesday 22 June 2011

18th century mourning clothes

I have been thinking a lot of 18th century mourning clothes lately. If the Victorians practically reveled in it, mourning in the 18th century was a bit more restricted. It was something mainly for royalty and the upper classes, though by the end of the century it had started to seep down into the middle classes. Mourning clothes could be black, grey or white in material with a dull luster. Depending on the degree of mourning no jewelry, or very little of it, were worn.

Monday 13 June 2011

Meets Lipton

He is a five-year old Shetland Sheepdog who, as of Friday, will bes our dog. We already know him very well as we have dog-sat him when his owner’s have been on vacation. Now a developed asthma makes it impossible to keep him and we were asked if we could consider taking Lipton in. We have been thinking of getting a dog for some time, so it was very easy to say yes. Lipton is a lovely, well-behaved dog and it will be so much fun to have him. He also gets along well with the cats. Mats love and adore him (he was raised by a dog) and the others treat him with indifference. In Page’s case indifference as long as he keeps away for the cat food. And it will be so beneficial for me to have to walk a dog every day.

To tie it all to the 18th century, here are some nice pictures with dog from the period.

Friday 10 June 2011

The masquerade gowns

I have a bit of a thing when it comes to masquerade gowns in the 18th century. They are so much fun! So far there have been three and a fourth is planned for October.

Tuesday 7 June 2011

Blue 1790's outfit

This was a totally un-planned outfit. In December 2009 I stumbled over this painting and fell in love with the blue and rose outfit. Love at first sight and I just knew I wanted it for the 12th Nigh Ball that was (then) a month away...

Thursday 2 June 2011

White gown of 1797

I fell in love with the beautiful gown from Tidens Toj years ago and set out to make it in embroidered white linen. Only I found that I didn’t have enough for fabric for the lovely drape in the front. As the fabric had been resident in my stash for years there was no chance to get some more. It still turned out to be a lovely gown and I’m very pleased with it. I adapted the pattern for my roundgown for it, making the front a bit less gathered, for example.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Round gown

I have a knack that I’m not particularly proud of- the knack of making the shirts of my 18th century clothes too short. I managed to do that beautifully with my 1790’s round gown, as you can see on the pictures. The patterns is from Kvinnligt mode under två sekel, again- I love the book. And I love the pattern, it was very easy to put together and had some fun construction details such as the bodice have a seam MB, but then a narrow extra back piece is stitched on top of it to give the impression of two curved back seams. I have since used the pattern for two other projects. The fabric is IKEA’s Anneli in yellow, an 18th century re-print in linen/cotton.

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