Been cruising eBay a bit recently. Yeah, it’s under control, just. Got some chic vintage French fashion magazines, a wonderful German pattern magazine that is killing my eyesight with deciphering it’s spider-webs of pattern sheets, and a couple of Weldon’s Lady’s Mags from the 20’s and 30’s complete with tissue lingerie and dress patterns. This 1920’s Weldon’s Fancy Dress issue is the One That Got Away:
I really do wish I’d bid that little bit more on it. It reminds me of this wonderful early 1920’s photo of my Italian grandmother in a fancy dress costume. She was a dressmaker too.
…wait a minute, I worked all summer. The joys of being freelance. When work’s on offer I feel obliged to take it as there may not be more around the corner.
Well, that’s how I used to think but I’m older and wiser now and less keen on hammering myself into the ground.
Still, the summer months were back to back jobs and just whizzed by without much time for anything else (like keeping my blog updated!)
Here’s some of the work I did from early July through mid August:
3 showgirls for a tv advert I love doing retro style showgirl costumes like these (and couldn’t resist trying out a Photoshop film strip action on the photos)
Next I made …
5 Gold “Icons” for Top Hat the musical (clockwise: Queen Elizabeth, Aphrodite, Brunhilde, Cleopatra… and missing is Joan of Arc as the gold paint on her armour wasn’t dry when these were taken.) These took me and a fab prop maker I work with 3 weeks … with a few very late nights by the end.
Somehow in among those jobs I finished a private wedding dress I’d started in the spring….a rather gothic-y number in black lace, silk & cotton tulle and Italian gold lamé. Definitely has a 1930’s feel to it as well. In motion the 8 soft tulle godets are very frothy and floaty. At the last minute the bride asked to have the scalloped edging from the lace fabric appliquéd all the way around the hem which does weigh it down a bit but still moves beautifully. There are 16 black glass buttons down the back and tiny seed beads stitched on the neckline of the dress and bolero and at the under bodice seam. Hardly noticeable but little details like that make it that much more special. It was worn both to the civil ceremony two weeks ago and a couple of nights after to the party. I’m looking forward to the pictures of it in action! The girl who wore it has pale blond hair and intended to pin it up with blood-red roses. The lamé was so fab that I bought a few metres for myself to make a glam 30’s style bias dress in. Personal Project 2,536 …
There were a few smaller jobs squeezed in those weeks as well… nothing special though.
After all that I had a small collapse, stayed at home for 3 weeks, caught up with family and life…and of course did some sewing for myself.
I’m saving that for my next post.
Oh, and finally I received some simply gorgeous pictures of the 1930’s style wedding dress I posted about making here .
Seems like I’ve been working on this forever … but wedding dresses often do. The first toile fitting was just before Christmas and the fabric didn’t arrive until the end of January so it hasn’t been that long really. Getting fittings scheduled is usually the problem. We will have done a total of 5 to get this just so.
Anyway, ultimate try-on and collection tomorrow. Hooray! It’s funny how brides-to-be often say they don’t want a veil, but somehow get more in the spirit of things towards the Big Day and for this we’ve ended with a veil and a tiny cape cover-up as well.
The satin is a fairly weighty 240gm. All seam and hem edges are bound with bias georgette strips and I mounted the bodice on silk georgette as well but left the skirt unlined. With a pair of Spanx underneath not a vpl in sight . Perfect. It fits the bride like a Jean Harlow glove. She’s having a soft waved & rolled 1930’s style hair-do with white flowers pinned in the back and the 3 metre veil will just fall from there.
This job has been a real pleasure, such a gorgeous style to make.
My current rouleaux obsession has started because of this lovely early 40’s dress. I’ve borrowed it from the costume house I often do work for as I’m feeling the need to make a similar one for myself.
I’ve made the dress pattern, readied lengths of rouleaux from my fabric and figured out how to make the lozenge shapes. The fabric I’m using is a pale stone colour cotton/linen blend. Lots of applique work ahead!
The satin dress below is an original a client bought from eBay. Lovely but just too tatty in the flesh to wear on her wedding day. I’m recreating it for her in heavy silk satin but re-using the original leaf collar. I suspect that is from yet a different dress even as the satin colour doesn’t match the satin of the dress body.
These pics are of a romantic lace wedding dress I designed and made last summer that I was particularly happy with.
It was vintage in feel if not strictly adhering to a particular decade.
Top layer was french lace hand pieced together so as to appear seamless. Under layer was a heavy silk crepe lined in a light weight silk satin and all was supported by a built in cotton tulle corselet. The 3 metre silk tulle veil was edged with a tiny zigzag stitch and had 36 lace flowers hand appliqued on near the front and back edges. All in all 200 hour make.