Monday, November 30, 2015

Regency Sleeveless Spencer

Two summers ago, inspired by the beautiful Regency era sleeveless spencers researched and produced by Natalie of A Frolic Through Time and Jenni of Living with Jane, I urged my mother to make herself a sleeveless spencer to match her silk bonnet made by Jenny D'Onofrio of The Needleworkers. This summer, when I should have been throwing all of my efforts into packing to move, I borrowed the pattern to create my own sleeveless spencer. I also made a bonnet to match.  It was fun to use someone else's patterns for a change! My mother did an excellent job of writing step-by-step instructions...which I did not follow at all but admired just the same! I'm not sure why I didn't capture side and back views...the spencer has a peplum at the back and the bonnet has pinked coral box pleated silk trim with a coral silk bow. I wore a vintage coral necklace. My mother's beautiful cameo jewelry was created by In the Long Run.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Immortal Beauty Exhibit at Drexel University, Philadelphia

Haircomb. Circa 1905. American.

While visiting Philadelphia I had the opportunity to see the exhibit Immortal Beauty: Highlights from the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection. Here are pictures of a few of my favorite pieces from the exhibit.

Belt. Circa 1902. American.

Gold belt with cut-steel details.

James Galanos. Evening Gown. 1959. American.

I love the design lines of this dress! It's the little details that make it fabulous.

Charles James. Evening Gown. 1948. American.

Charles James was such an inspiring designer. The lines of this gown are gorgeous. The black velvet bodice has a waist seam and the fabric above the waist is draped from the center front around the body to the center back. It was nearly impossible to photograph this detail. The velvet over the hips is a separate piece (from the bodice). So stunning!

Jessie Franklin Turner. Evening Gown. 1932. American.

This evening gown is a champagne pink with champagne colored detailing - piping at the top of the bodice, down the back strip, and a separate ruffle under the skirt hem that peeks out 1/4". The silk satin fabric is sumptuous!

The design lines and the lacing at the bodice front of this dress felt very theatrical to me - in a good way!

Left: Melanie Pascaud. Dinner Dress. 1878. French.
Right: Charles Frederick Worth. Mantle. 1883. French.

The details on this dress are just stunning! That neckline trim! The ruffles on that train!

Left: Evening Gown. Circa 1808. American.
Right: Day Dress worn a la polonaise. Circa 1780. American.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Historic Rock Ford Plantation

Attending Historic Rock Ford Plantation's Second Sunday events was easily one of the highlights of my summer! One of my favorite program's was their 18th Century Gardening living history. The garden at Rock Ford Plantation is very well researched and maintained. Many of the regular gardeners were on hand to discuss gardening techniques of the time period.

My mother and I volunteered to arrange flowers on the front porch. My mother always has a fresh flower arrangement on her own dining room table with flowers from her own gardens so it seemed like the perfect activity for us. It was fun to study and reproduce flower arrangements of the late 18th century.

My mother wore her linen gown with sleeveless silk spencer. The bonnet was created by Jenny D'Onofrio.

I wore my sheer white cotton dress with coral jewelry by Victorian Needle and a new silk shawl.

With moving, getting a puppy and sewing an 1860s Bathing Costume (which I hope to share pictures of soon!) I didn't have much time to sew new things this summer! Here's to hoping that next summer will include some new dresses to wear to Rock Ford!