Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Medieval Inspired Prettiness

Since I recently weaned Little One I can suddenly fit into dresses that didn’t fit in the bust area before. I managed to wriggle into the embroidered dark blue medieval-ish wool dress I made about 15 years ago (it even laced shut!), but never had nice pictures of myself wearing it. 

 I had also planned to have my hair cut, but first I wanted to take pictures of it long, so with these pictures I killed two birds with one stone.

I wore my hair in two long plaits, with ribbons braided into them, inspired by the 12th century fashion. I also wore a linen veil for the start of the photo shoot, but later ditched it, and in the end unbraided the hair too. 

The whole photo series have a rather Pre-Raphaelite medieval-ish feeling to it, which I confess I’m rather partial to, even though I’m usually all for historical accuracy. This is all about pretty, but I think that can sometimes be an object in itself. To accentuate the fairy tale feeling I edited the photos to be really vibrant.

 It is nice to finally have pretty pictures of myself in this lovely dress, but now I hope to sell it. It would look better on a slimmer figure, and I don’t really have any use for it.

And I did cut my hair that same afternoon; 40 cm (15 ¾”) was chopped off, so now it only reaches to below my shoulders. Much easier to care for, if harder to put up in fun hairstyles.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

A Blouse From an Old Dress

Way back when I was 16-17 years old or so (half my present age) I made a dress from a thrifted duvet cover in soft cotton. It was heavily inspired by medieval dresses, as I had a great love for them, and had not yet dared to take the leap into real living history. It wasn’t my best style – one goes through some weird stages as a teenager, trying to figure out who you are. 

Still, there were elements to this particular dress that I liked long after I’d stopped wearing poorly fitted medieval-ish dresses. I loved the colour, and rather liked the simple embroidery round neck and wrists. Even when I cut the dress up to use the material in other projects, I still saved the upper part, in some vague hope that I’d find a use for it. And yesterday, I did.

 I was going through my bins of scrap fabrics, when I stumbled on the long saved dress remnants. It was waaay to small over the bust (16 years and two kids can do that to you), but the sleeves fit decently. 

 I also found a piece of what was once the skirt part, and thought that if I inserted a gore into each side, I might be able to use it again. As I was planning to wear it under my sleeveless dresses, the gores would hardly be seen.

As it was so short I also thought that I’d take inspiration from dirndlblusen and make it a thing - less bulk at the waist, and might make nice nursing wear if ever I have another baby.

Said and done! During the afternoon and evening I inserted the gores (extending into the sleeve, so I wouldn’t have to redo the whole armscye), cut the bottom to shape (shorter in the back and long in the front to fit over the bust), and put an elastic into a casing at the bottom. 

The blouse is certainly not a masterpiece and falls firmly in the everyday wear category, but with very little work it gave new life to what was once a favourite, so all in all I’m pleased.