by Eugene De Blass 1815-1894, Italian
With all the 19th century paintings that are surfacing and being shared on the web, I wonder that modern designers don't take a hint. Women love to look at the details of these clothes, with their drape and texture and color. Could not they be modified in designs for modern wear?
The aqua prints on the aqua and blue skirts in the painting look like some of the woven fabrics I've seen lately in the calico and quilting fabric sections of fabric stores. I also like the red bandanna collar that the woman on the far right is wearing around her shoulders. Eugene De Blass painted this style many times.
A Helping Hand
by Eugene De Blass
The vests and bandannas are so colorful, and the women's shoes look quite stylish, even today. It was quite common even in the early 1990's to wear white or black stockings with dresses, and they were also available in pink, red, and other colors. I know some young women who have developed a personal style using just long skirts which you can buy anywhere today, poets shirts, colorful vests which they sew, with these types of stockings and shoes.
I'm hoping to find time to make some sketches to go with these beautiful paintings, using modern patterns. You see the Victorians were not limited by their clothing to stiff, formal indoor events, and in this scene of mending nets, is portrayed a woman knitting, on the left. I'm still curious about their apron over-skirts, and remembered that back in the 1980's there were clothes like this from designers like Lanz of Salzburg, Laura Ashley and others.
In the Orchard
by Ernest Walbourne, British, 1872-1927
A Couple Playing Golf,
By M. Humphrey
Most people immediately comment on the how the length of Victorian skirts "dragged on the ground" and although that may be so, I noticed in this video clip shows women catching trams and their dresses did not seem to hinder them at all, neither were they dragging in the mud.Certainly today, with updated sanitation and street sweepers, etc. a dress cannot get dirty now as it would have then.
In a previous post, I shared how make a sewing planning sheet, and this is what one of my email friends sent me to share. She made these dresses for wearing at home.
You see where she has pasted a clip of her fabric on the planning sheet.
I have a new column on the sidebar called "Sewing" where I'm gathering the collection of sewing articles for easy reference.
Australian Woman and Her Daughter Strolling in a Garden of Australian Native Plants
by Percy Spence, Australian (1868-1933)
Picking Flowers at a Water's Edge
by Ernest Walbourne
A lot of the country type clothing of the past was actually quite roomy, comfortable and colorful. I think it can be easily re-designed for today's wear and patterns made by Simplicity, McCalls, Burda, Vogue, and others. Here are some patterns that are similar in design, to the clothing of the paintings. All patterns can be altered to fit better, and I've put a link on the sewing section on the sidebar for an old fashioned and easy method of raising necklines and making facings. If you are familiar with sewing, you know that some of these costume-like designs could be modified for every day wear.
These are similar to my idea in a previous post about a dress with a jacket.
Sleeves can also be added to any sleevless pattern,
Use my simple method for raising necklines, posted on the sewing section of the sidebar.
These patterns could be sewn in a current fabric found in your local fabric store.
View wedding patterns with an eye for casual clothing. It is the style that counts. This pattern would look good in calico, like a country-western type garment.
If you are going to make a neue mode pattern for the first time, you need to make a muslin sample first, just to see what the fit is like.
You might also notice women and men freely mingling in this video clip from 1900 in England. The ladies are walking around in long skirts with apparent ease, and everyone is fully dressed, even in good weather, yet they seem happy and comfortable.
This is a two piece garment I sewed yesterday, using this pattern for the top:
This is not a current pattern, so I do not know if it is available any more. It has a one-piece drop shoulder.
The buttons are clear with a silver sparkle in them. To sew buttons quickly on the machine, do not clip the threads or remove the fabric after each button is sewn. Instead, lift the presser foot and pull the thread to the next button, and sew the next button. repeating until all buttons are sewn. Then pull out your work and clip all the threads joining the buttons. The fabric is another "Fabric Traditions" brand from Wal-Mart but is also available at JoAnns, and is cotton.