Friday, October 23, 2009

Inspired by history

I get a bit irritated by the overuse of the term vintage - a three year old dress Is Not Vintage, in my opinion. I do however feel completely justified in my description of my latest creation as "vintage inspired". More accurately, it's a modern interpretation of a historic design.

I own this book ("Costume in Detail, Women's dress from 1730-1930" by Nancy Bradfield) because about 20 years ago a friend found it in a 2nd hand bookshop and thought I'd like it. (This is the same friend who introduced me to the people at the Globe Theatre, where I volunteered for quite a few productions doing wardrobe. I was actually in charge for a few, and got my name mentioned in a review in the paper once! But I digress) Anyway, every now and then I browse through it's pages, and last week I found this page. This simple child's dress just called out to me and I had to make a version of it.

It wasn't too hard to draft but I had to allow for making the neckline much less wide than the original, so in order to preserve the proportions of the back sections I gave the sleeves a centre seam so that they don't have to meet at the shoulder, .

The front is very simple. The fabric is a pretty embroidered cotton voile, which was perfect for the design. Hidden domes again.

Everything interesting happens at the back. I just loved the seaming detail!

Obviously this has to be worn over something, so I think I'll make a basic slip dress to go under it. I wish I had a wedding to take Isabella to!


  1. you are so clever - to see a design and reinterpret/recreate it like that..I'm very impressed looks gorgeous .. almost too good to wear!

  2. Very pretty! You'll have to think up an excuse to have her wear it.

  3. I love your interpretation...that seaming detail is just the sort of thing I love to discover in other clothes and then wonder how it was done. You are so clever.