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Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Little Smoother.....

Compared to the old dress form, the new one made with floral foam is much smoother, but I think that it is still going to need another coat of gesso. The stuff that I have is too thick. I am going to go to Michael's tomorrow and pick up a new bottle.

Besides, I noticed that I should have shaved a bit more off of the left side of the bust, under the arm. That's the nice thing about this method. You can go back and make changes at any time.

Here's one of the old Styrofoam forms. I never did finish this dress. I should do that one of these days. Like the rest of this series, the dress is a copy of a real one. This one is 18th century English. One of these days......

After Tessie got all of the awful, icky gesso off of herself, she went hunting for some of the other historic costumes.

I think that I showed them in one of the early, early blogs, but rather than go hunt them up, I will just show you new photos.

The first one is a walking suit from 1895. I found that one in Harper's Bazaar. I would make one for Tessie, but she refuses to walk anywhere. She prefers to zap in and out.

The second one is from 1840, also a promenade dress. This one is really authentic. The white collar is made from a piece of fabric that I purchased at an antique fair. It was in a bag of scraps. When I got it home, I found that this particular piece was from a hand stitched night dress. It's hard to see, but leaning against the bottom step is a photo of part of the fabric in question....The owner of the nightgown had, in minute cross stitch, put the date on it in red....Yup. It is 1840! The hand stitching of the seams that were left was amazing. Too bad that the whole thing wasn't still intact.

Tessie keeps hinting that she really, really, realllllly likes that one. I imagine that she would keep it on for about two seconds.

I made a real life one of these 1840s dresses when I was in college. I drafted the pattern from a book, just like the ladies would have had to do back then....No life sized patterns for them.

I wore it one year for Halloween. It was the most uncomfortable garment that I have ever worn. Cinched in at the waist and then they turned around and made huge sleeves. The top of the sleeve on that dress was 60" around and had to be gathered down to armhole size! The hole was about 16" around.

And they wonder why women started fighting for liberation and the vote!? They had to walk sideways just to get through doors!

OK. I am going to get down off of the soap box now.

Have a good Sunday. See you tomorrow.


Lucille said...

The dresses are exquisite, Casey! They could not have been easy to make. Besides being a great miniaturist, you are also a great seamstress. Sewing those little pieces can be so daunting! I admire your patience.

Norma said...

The 'old' dress sets are just gorgeous Casey. And like you I just can't imagine how anyone actually wore some of them, especially the pinched in waists, no wonder they kept on fainting all the time - they couldn't breathe!

Lataina said...

Wow, Casey these are amazing!!!! I simply adore the walking dress!!!! The second one is just as beautiful. I also love how you have them displayed. It makes them look very special. =)

Heather said...

I love these dresses. Your talent is unlimited!

I'd love to try this out but I fear it may be to fiddly for my fingers!

Elga said...

I just love your dresses, they are just gorgeous. I am grateful though for 21st century clothing, imagine doing miniatures in a dress like that or gardening!!!!!!!!!

miniacollection said...

Your dresses are stunning!

Merri said...

Casey, the dresses of the 1750's were even worse..panniers that got stuck in doorways, and impossible corsets..many ladies actually had their rib cages deformed by wearing confining clothing since they were very young children. Ladies regularly had 'the vapors' which was thought to be a real disease, when actually it was simply that they couldn't breathe from those darn corsets!

Your seamwork is amazing, LOVE the 1840's promenade dress, and it's beautifully displayed.

There's something to be said for Tessie's hatred of shoes and all tight clothing. She's a wise little witch after all!

Caseymini said...

Merri, The deformities went on for several centuries. They started before the Tudors and went through the turn of the last century. The Gibson Girl figure even caused the same problems.

I was a history of fashion/art major in college and you wouldn't believe some of the strange things that they tortured women with in the name of "fashion".