Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fort Wellington Dress


I just finished this dress for the fort. It's the late 1830's period. The picture doesn't show the true colour, which was a more teal background fabric. It also needs its petticoats under the skirt.
It was based on an actual dress. We wanted to reproduce the pretty sleeves, which have pleats and a double ruffle at the top. The bodice has pleats laying diagonally across the bust line.
The entire bodice and sleeves are lined in cotton and boned at the bust darts and sides. We use hook and eye tape to close the back, as it's very durable. These dresses are expected to take a lot of wear!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

1812 Dress

1812 Dress

This is a cotton dress I made for Fort George. It has the typical Empire waist of the period and is made in a small print . The front bodice has gathers under the bust, while the skirt is flat. The back skirt has a gathered waistline, which adds fullness to the back of the dress. The neckline has a drawstring to adjust the fit. The small puffed sleeves are designed to fit tight to the upper arm at the cuff to keep them in place.

What you cannot see is the matching petticoat and under bodice. This is a tight fitted bodice, rather like a lightly boned corset. This is such an easy style to wear and suits many figure types!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Beautiful silk and lace



Silk is my favourite fibre and so it was a pleasure to make another outfit in this luxury fabric. Silk is sometimes confused with “satin” which is a type of fabric. Silk is a natural fibre, which is sometimes woven into satin fabric. Satin is a shiny fabric often used for special occasion clothing. This skirt is made in silk bridal satin, or “peau de soie.”


This outfit was created in silk and lace. The blouse was dupioni silk with an embroidered dupioni camisole underneath. The skirt was silk peau de soie, with a lace overskirt. The whole effect was very sophisticated. The large ruffled collar was bias cut to keep its shape without added stiffening. Open ended darts shape the bodice and sleeves.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A beautiful Wedding

It's been a busy summer with weddings and costumes to make. I made a dozen pairs of stays for Fort George! Also, this lovely wedding dress. It is duppioni silk, with metallic gold under the bodice and for the sash at the back. Don't they look wonderful?


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Watson's Mill ready to launch



Here are two of the volunteers in their costumes. The era is 1880. I had tremendous fun creating these outfits, which were complete with corset sand bustles!
The mauve outfit is wool and rayon stripes and the check was made with cotton upholstery fabric. You never know where you will find the right fabric! I have often used fabrics from the drapery department.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April is a busy time


Recently I have been giving talks. The first was at Watson’s Mill, a visual tour of the 1860’s fashions, with a view to what was worn in Manotick when the town was being founded. It was followed by a hat-making workshop, in which everyone dressed a bonnet, ready to wear at the centennial.

The second talk was about the war of 1812 and the upcoming anniversary. I gave a lecture on the fashions of the time and the importance of doing research when costuming. All Dolled Up club has taken on the challenge of creating figures depicting daily life of the period, as well as historic figures like Laura Secord. It should be a fun challenge. We have lots of time to get ready for it!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

January Happenings


Lately I have been working with Watson's Mill. This summer, the Mill celebrates 150 years of operation! The museum would like to see everyone in costume for the celebrations. To that end, last week I drove through a snow storm to give a lecture. I showed slides of fashions from 1860 to 1880 and we had a dress up session. I dressed a volunteer in a full costume: corset, hoop, petticoats and 1860 dress. It was a lot of fun.


Next Saturday, February 7, I will lead a workshop to help get the costumes ready. We will be trimming bonnets and hats, too!