Monday, December 17, 2012

Couture Techniques: Inspiration from Antique Garments

A few weeks ago I made a trip down the street to the CMU School of Drama warehouse where the historic costume collection is housed to view originals with the Couture Techniques class. I snapped a few pictures of my favorite couture techniques for future reference.

Above it a bow trimmed interior coat pocket, now in shreds. Below is a similar style pocket with the addition of pleated trim. The bows and trim on the pockets make the pockets look pretty as well as aiding in guiding the hand to the pocket. I thought the addition of the bows was adorable.

Above soutache trimmed buttons. These would be easy to create to add interest to fabric covered buttons.

Pin Tuck Buttons - another great way to cover buttons to make them interesting.

The interior of an antique bodice showing the carefully bound seam allowances with bound notches.

Fabulous color combination and trim on a jacket.

This trim is fabulous and easy to create. The trim is created by drawing the fabric over two rows of cording to create a gathered look. So creative.

Delicate cut steel buckles and velvet trim. Isn't the color combination fabulous, too?

I have been pushing myself to make bolder color choices in my modern wardrobe and I want to also push myself to make bolder color choices and color combinations in my reenacting wardrobe. I'll look forward to future trips to the collection.

Tomorrow I leave for a fabric shopping trip to NYC to purchase fabrics for the dress(es) that I will be creating as part of my thesis. I'll be keeping an eye out for fabulous fabrics for 1860s dresses as well! Wish me luck!
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  1. Great Share & good luck on your NYC shopping trip!

  2. There was a lot of care in choosing, detailing, and trimming out a garment back then. When garments were more likely made by a seamstress or tailor pre-1900's, there is alot of attention to detail. I wish more of these classy, fairly simple and elegant techniques would be used more on modern clothing. Would love to see the shops up there, must be awe inspiring the collection of fabric the NYC stores has on hand. Wish you luck in finding something special with your NYC fabric shopping trip.

  3. Thanks for sharing such great details! Good luck on your shopping trip :)

  4. Happy fabric-hunting, Lindsey!

    Truly amazing workmanship, but can you even imagine the cost (time OR money) of "hand-stitched bound Notches(!)? Wow!

  5. Thanks for the ideas. I have nominated you for an award by the way.

  6. For the pleated pocket decoration - what is the date on that garment? I have a satin cloak with that feature and I'm not sure of the date as I bought it at a rummage sale.

  7. I'm not sure of the date of that coat with the neat pocket deco. Sorry!