This is a photo diary of my costuming "travels"; where I've learned and struggled to make historical costumes for myself. They're not always pretty, but always fun. most of the time. And I want to share with others what I learn along the way. **You can find me on Facebook, or have my posts delivered to your email by signing up at the lower part of the right column.**

About Me

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HI, my name is Val. I'm a member of Costumer's Guild West in Los Angeles, Dean Emeritus of 2018 Costume College; member & Past President of the San Diego Costume Guild, member of Orange County Costume Guild, a representative of the San Diego History Center, & an honorary member of SITU (Someplace in Time, Unlimited) in Seattle. I make my own historical costumes but don't sell any unless I get tired of one.The eras I've made so far are 1770 up to 1918. My favorite is the 1880s bustle.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015


1907—Original photograph by Jaques Boyer 1907                           
This morning Cindy from The Broke Costumer called my attention to a photo on Facebook from 1907 that had been colorized, and of course had ladies working on dresses. Eye candy! 
The company called PhotograFix is in England but has a page on Facebook too.
The first thing that caught my eye was the layered bodice on the blue dress in the background.
Cindy had said look at how they added the trim upside down. ?? She had to point me away to the bottom of the maroon skirt and the lady pinning a row of trim on it. At first you can see some gold, and a piece hanging down.
But on closer look, right where the skirt is separating and there’s a gap between the trim, I saw what she was talking about. If you follow the line just inside where the skirt separates, you can see a wide piece has been sewn on top of the skirt. Starting at the bottom it has a narrow band of gold. Follow it up and it folds over with the second band of gold starting to go down with a fold hanging there. Obviously we may never know what happened to the bottom of that fold, possibly it was tacked down. But what a great way to add a border to the skirt. BTW, this was a Frederick Worth gown, photographed in the House of Worth in France.

Now about that blue bodice…

It was built by layers also. I tried my own version of doing that a few years ago, and just started with a base bodice, and laid parts of lace and fabric on top of each other. Not haute couture like this but it was rather fun. Edwardian Black & White Reception Gown 

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.  There are things going on in my sewing room. A new pattern, and I'm making it for our "A Picnic in Tissot's Garden" in Balboa Park, San Diego, in the middle of November. 


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