Thursday, October 5, 2017

Mary Ellen's Swim Suit: A Look at a 1940's Original

When I venture into a new era, if possible, I like to find an original garment that I can add to my collection, study, and love. I thought the name made this swim suit especially fun! 

I'm not sure if this was a bought or home-made suit. The somewhat sloppy nature of the stitches suggests home-made, but the overcasting on the seams leads me to question this. Any ideas? 

Either way, I'm loving that stripe matching in on the skirt!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A 1940's Bathing Suit

I have always thought 1940's swim suits are just the cutest! I finally used a trip to the beach as an excuse to make one. 

I vacillated over what fabric to use, as the 40's are out of my regular purview. I looked into stretchy blends. I looked into rayons. I looked into wools... And by the time I spent all this time hemming and hawing over fabrics, it was going to be too late to order anything in time. So, I settled on some cute checked linen I'd had in the stash for ages. Time to use it! 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Aid of Art to Represent Nature

We are all familiar with Camille Clifford. Oh, those curves! But wait, here she is again, about ten years later, when curves are out and that slim line is in. Wait, what? Where did those curves go? 

My guess: the padding came out.

I recently made up this Atelier Sylph corset pattern. I made a mock up, which fit relatively well, but didn't actually make any changes to it. It's such a curvy and dramatic silhouette, I wanted to see how it fit out of the box. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

"We get so awfully dirty..."

In my last post I mentioned a postcard, from my husband's collection, where the sender remarks on being dirty all the time. It's one of my favorite of his, so I had to go find it and share. The postcard was postmarked from Blue Canyon (NV?) to Aurora, IL on March 18, 1911. 

Sat. A.M.

Dear Aunt Grace, - I didn't say goodbye to you Tues. night. It came to me as soon as the train started. Everything is fine here and the scenery is beautiful. We get so awfully dirty, but then everyone does lovingly, Grace

I never paid attention before, but I flipped the postcard over, and what a happy coincidence: our building is right on the front! It's the three story, brown and white building, second from the left.

Now I'm off to do more laundry and get the dirt stains out of that skirt! 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Goldfield Days 2017

Just like last year, Goldfield Days fell the weekend after Costume College. So, again, we had fun road tripping all week and ended up in Goldfield just in time to open our building for the event. We open up the John S. Cook Bank Building as a bar for the day and sell beer and shirts and mugs even have a ghost hunt! With all the proceeds going toward the restoration and upkeep of the 13,000 square foot building. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

More Costume College!

Oh, I am just the absolute worst at taking pictures! I never remember to actually get out my camera! I must say, though, there were so many amazing gowns and outfits throughout the whole event this year. I didn't even get a picture of all the things I wore. So bad! But here's a few of the weekend.

I started on Thursday with a Riding Habit fitting workshop. I wore my same 18th century undies, but here's a couple pics of the fitted waistcoat. I can't wait to start this when I get home.


Thursday night, for the pool party, I wore my white linen 1930's beach pants and a new black crepe de chine halter. I had my hair marcelled, but totally forgot to take a picture until I was getting undressed. Whoops! I totally love these pants. I have worn them so many times since I made them!

Inside the 1902 Worth Gown for the CoCo Gala

A while ago I was looking online for warp printed silk for an 18th century dress, when I came across a fabric. Immediately I thought of this gown:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
2009.300.2009a, b

This particular gown is at the Met. It's a House of Worth gown from 1902. The fabric is very distinct, and though the fabric I found wasn't 100% exact, it definitely had the vibe, and the motif was the right size and pattern to work with the design and cut outs that are on the original dress. I had to make it!