Construction

Swiss Waist, 4: The Historical Pattern

Swiss Waist, 4: The Historical Pattern

Nikki concludes her Swiss waist study by constructing a final garment from an original 1860 pattern using accurate methods.

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Swiss Waist, Part 3

Swiss Waist, Part 3

Now that we've studied many original Swiss Waists, here's how to draft and construct as close to the original style as possible.

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Lobster Tail Bustle Pattern & How-To

Lobster Tail Bustle Pattern & How-To

The lobster tail bustle is a classic for a reason. Here, Christina shows us how to put some junk in that trunk (includes free pattern).  

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How To Make A Worth Gown 2

How To Make A Worth Gown 2

Studying the construction of an original Worth bodice so that we can discover and recreate the magic of Worth in our own work.

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Bustles, Bustles, and More Bustles

Bustles, Bustles, and More Bustles

What's not to love about a bustle gown? Christina puts aside the lobster tail, makes some different bustles and compares the effects.

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Recreating A 19th c Dolman Mantle

Recreating A 19th c Dolman Mantle

Dolman mantles were exceedingly popular late Victorian outerwear. Chantal shows us how to recreate this type of sleeved 19th century cloak.

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The Veiled Lady

The Veiled Lady

What's more mysterious and dramatic than a veil? Bess outlines the veil's role as a fashion accessory and finishing touch to any Victorian ensemble. 

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Two Worth Bodices

Two Worth Bodices

Charles Frederick Worth is remembered as the father of haute couture, and Suzi Clarke has a couple of treasures of his to show us...

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Feathers as Eye-Catching Hat Ornaments

Feathers as Eye-Catching Hat Ornaments

Lynn shows you how to create a whole range of eye-popping professional milliners' tricks by burning, dyeing, stripping, shaping and clipping.

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Millinery Design part 4: Ostrich Plume Confections by Lynn McMasters

Millinery Design part 4: Ostrich Plume Confections by Lynn McMasters

My passion for Ostrich plumes started when I saw the opening credits of the 1997 movie Wings of the Dove.

Where do such plumes come from?

How do milliners fabricate them and can I create such confections?

These are all questions I asked myself then, and they led me on a course of study and experimentation. In this article I will share some of what I have learned along the way.

 

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Millinery Design Part 3: How to add Life to Ribbon Loops and Bows by Lynn McMasters

Millinery Design Part 3: How to add Life to Ribbon Loops and Bows by Lynn McMasters

or My hat looks like it has a dead fish on top because the bow just lies there! How can I fix that?

One of the most often used decorative elements on late Victorian and Edwardian hats were bows and ribbon loops.

To a non-milliner, trying to recreate some of these fantastic hats may seem a daunting task. Here are some tricks that simplify things.

 

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Millinery Design Part 2: Adding Large Areas of Silk Flowers by Lynn McMasters

Millinery Design Part 2: Adding Large Areas of Silk Flowers by Lynn McMasters

This month Lynn shows us how to add large areas of silk flowers or ribbon decorations to a hat, without using glue and without sewing each one on individually.

Why would you want to add decorations to a hat in this way?

There are several reasons, but the most important would be to save the base hat from being damaged, either because it is vintage or because you might want to redress it in the future and anything you do now will have to be undone.

 

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Millinery Design Part 1: How to Choose the Decorations for a Late 19th Century Hat by Lynn McMasters

Millinery Design Part 1: How to Choose the Decorations for a Late 19th Century Hat by Lynn McMasters

Have you ever walked into a large craft or fabric store to purchase the things you need to decorate that fantastic hat you're making, and been totally overwhelmed by the possibilities?

Should your hat be simple and elegant, or should it be a liberally decorated, multi-coloured feast of delights?

Professional period milliner Lynn McMasters shares her secrets with us in this new series on millinery design.

 

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The Cage Crinoline, Part 3

The Cage Crinoline, Part 3

Constance concludes her exploration of the Victorian cage crinoline with the recreation of a large covered crinoline from 1868.

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The Cage Crinoline, Part 2

The Cage Crinoline, Part 2

Constance MacKenzie continues exploring the crinoline's development, making a light & collapsible Victorian cage crinoline.

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How to make a Tucked Petticoat

How to make a Tucked Petticoat

Tucks were a favorite decoration from the 1820s to Teens: here's how to create a mid-19th c.-style tucked petticoat, start to finish.

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Quick Victorian Petticoat

Quick Victorian Petticoat

To ensure your Victorian dress is always smooth and perfect, you really need a petticoat. Here's the fastest way to rustle one up.

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Mid-Victorian Underpinnings

Mid-Victorian Underpinnings

Sunny walks you through every single item that a mid-Victorian lady might have worn under her gown, with references to appropriate patterns from all sources.

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Celestia's Homemade Dress

Celestia's Homemade Dress

We're not the only ones who curse over our sewing. In the early 1870s, Celestia Freeman made herself a dress - and she struggled too!

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1876 February Dress

1876 February Dress

Izabela describes the construction of a dramatic February 1876 ensemble - from original Victorian fashion plate to final trims and accessories. 

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