Monday, August 30, 2010

An Old Fashioned Girl

1878 period dress

You may have read Louisa May Alcott's book, An Old Fashioned Girl ? I must confess this book is one of my favorites, I love the quality of these older books. I also have a particular weakness for "good" illustrations and the illustrations in this book were of no disappointment.

The dress in this illustration is similar to the look Willow is creating and will be wearing to the upcoming Victorian Festival. She is aiming for the 1870s to 1880s circa. The traditional western school teacher

look is pepped up with a bit of eastern class and the latest range in hoops. More on the hoops later...

This is the latest update in color, the skirt is black lace edged cotton, draped in printed crinkle cloth. A starched white sensible blouse, trimmed with a black swiss belt, completes the bodice. Accessories are still to be determined .

We call this outfit:
An Old Fashioned Girl.


(You can view Willow's blog at (

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ribbons & Embroidery

With this years Victorian Festival rapidly advancing, I am once again pulling out the fabrics to create new costumes. My sister and I visited shop after shop today searching for the perfect materials at the perfect price.

One of our costume requests is for that of civil war period dress: The famous"green" dress off Gone with The Wind. This dress has been increasingly popular and I bow to the many ingenious recreations of this dress. I saw so many replicas of this dress online, each with slight variations. I even saw a dress made completely from dollar store material. Hats off to this creator, she did a marvelous job. A dollar store fanatic as I am, even I was unable to create this dress from dollar store material.

Naturally, every dress "replica" will not be identical, unless you have access to the same fabric and fabric design. However, the general concept of the dress will be developed. I say "will" as the dress is by no means finished as of yet.

We hunted high and low for suitable material -- and came up with nothing. The fabric store had NOTHING that was even remotely close. This wasn't even a matter of budget, this fabric or any similar style was not to be found. I am thankful to say that we did return victorious.

We settled on the purchase of a sheer curtain embroidered in white leafy designs. Armed with a green permanent Sharpie, I am slowly transforming the material into the desired color. I have colored about 1/3 of the material and I am going to need a couple more green sharpies. These are the before and after pictures.