Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Victorian New Year's Wish...

The first commercial Christmas card printed in 1843
The Victorians loved their greeting and post cards, always beautiful, sometimes bizarre, and created for nearly every occasion! When the Penny Black stamp was introduced in England in 1840, the greeting card phenomenon was born and quickly became an inexpensive and thoughtful way to spread love and cheer during the holiday season. By 1895, little more than fifty years after the first greeting card was commercially printed in England, nearly a quarter of a million different types and designs of greeting and post cards were available on the market. Here are some notable Victorian holiday examples:

Compliments of Getty Images - the Hulton Archive

Compliments of The Doodle Place at Wordpress

Compliments of The Papermaker's Journal at Blogspot

Compliments of The Doodle Place at Wordpress

Compliments of Getty Images - the Hulton Archive

Compliments of The Doodle Place at Wordpress

Compliments of The National Library of Ireland

Compliments of Number One London at Blogspot

Compliments of Vintage Postcards Revisited at Blogspot

Compliments of The Doodle Place at Wordpress

Compliments of Getty Images - the Hulton Archive

Compliments of The Doodle Place at Wordpress

Compliments of Sexy Witch at Wordpress

Compliments of The Doodle Place at Wordpress

Compliments of The Ephemera Society - Artist Kate Greenaway (1880)

Compliments of Parisian Party

As the Irish say...
May the new year bring
The warmth of home and hearth to you.
The cheer and goodwill of friends to you,
The hope of a childlike heart to you.
The joy of a thousand angels to you,
The love of the Son and God's peace to you.

Many blessings, happy sewing, and Happy New Year!  ~Angela

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Viola! Marie's Victorian Gown

Happy Winter Solstice - lol! Last night I put the finishing touches on Marie's Victorian gown, and here she is, in all her loveliness! Merry Christmas and happy sewing! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Little Peek of Progress...

As usual, it's hand pleating the knife pleats around the hem, this time for the overskirt, that takes me more than a minute - :). Now that the overskirt is complete and attached to the underskirt (I made these two skirts one piece for wearing ease), I can resume the finishing detail and complete the gown! 

Happy sewing! 

Overskirt attached to the underskirt - tested for fit before adding the waistband

Final fitting before completing the remainder of the finishing detail

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ewww, There's Snooki on the Tree!

Being a high school English teacher and a parent to two young adult daughters, I credit myself for being up on pop culture and the latest trends. I even took my youngest and her "bestie" (best friend, for those of you who aren't current on the ever evolving teenage vernacular) to a packed midnight premier of Breaking Dawn (and yes, I've read the whole Twilight series against my better judgement - I think it took me a few weeks to regenerate braincells). And, regarding Justin Bieber, I do hope that this baby-mama-drama is put to rest and the Canadian boy wonder is able to move forward with his successful singing career (like most, I seriously doubt that he fathered a child). Although I feel bad for the Biebs, I surely don't want to brush my teeth with! You read right - while shopping with the hubs this afternoon, we encountered some questionable holiday gift items (which gave us both a good chuckle) - and of course, they deserve mention:

Isn't it enough that the Biebs has a successful ladies' fingernail polish line and has been dubbed by style gurus the world over as "the beauty expert that teen girls trust"? Why No! These ridiculous, yet lucrative, marketing and public relations feats have now extended to dental hygiene - that's right! Who doesn't want Bieber teeth? Ooo, and better yet, while you're lovingly brushing your pearlies with the pulsating Bieber brush, it will serenade you with one of two Bieber tunes...

And just in case you have ever wondered how the stars of the Twilight crew manage to create their sensational hair styles, wonder no more! You, too, can create Edward's textured styled coiffure in minutes...

...or, maybe you don't care for Edward - how about Esme's smooth and sleek locks of loveliness?

No can hairdo? No worry! Here's a styling wand to recreate Bella's sensual loose and natural waves...

Oh, I see! You're a Rosalie fan and nothing less will do than her dramatic, looks-like-a-bad-wig bouffant!

As for Alice, Emmet, Jasper, and Carlisle? Who cares about them when you can have your choice of Jersey Shore Mix and Match tree ornaments - and two for $10! (WTF?)

Despite the hilarity and morbid fascination of my Christmas shopping experience today, I did have time to work a bit on Marie's Victorian gown. Right now, as it stands, it looks like a little number from the early 1940s. But, once I get all the details squared away, with the trim and the draped overskirt completed, it will resemble a gown from the 1870s.

Peplum added to the bodice.

Sleeves on; testing trim placement

Aside from a slim belt (constructed from a trim similar to that of the trim on the hem of the underskirt and sleeves), trim on the sleeves at the base of the upper arm, and added knife pleats around the hem of the draped overskirt, I plan to keep the decoration elegantly simple for this gown. Aside from the gown's decoration, I still have some finishing work to do, like fine stitching around the collar and peplum, and some pill buttons sewn on the cuffs and down the front of the bodice (if I can find the right size and color). 

In the meantime, happy sewing...or brushing with the Biebs and styling to Twilight - but please, keep the Snooki off the tree - lol! ;)