Saturday, 26 November 2016

Autumn is golden!

Autumn is like a promise. A promise of winter, of cold days, of snow - the falling leaves always remind me of how much I anticipated the first snow as a child, year after year. Winter in Munich is grey, muddy and mostly without snow, but autumn is golden.
My friend Katharina from Photopraline (klick HERE) and I took the opportunity to go out and take some pictures during one of the most beautiful days. Check out her blogpost on autumnal photography and location tips!
She is currently testing and working on a review about a camera from Canon, our shoot was part of her testing. She loved the camera, I enjoyed dressing up again: A recipe for a perfect day.

Dressing up is a loose term, it didn't take long. I applied basic make-up, which I only do for pictures (no mascara or foundation for me at events!) and fiddled with my hair - as usual it doesn't like to be curled.
I chose an ensemble I made years ago, but never had pictures taken of. The dress is inspired by various fashion plates between 1810 and 1815 and was entirely handsewn from a thick and densly woven cotton material, I believe it to be a fabric called moleskine. It's very soft with a velvety pile yet hard-wearing - perfect for a day dress! The fabric was bought at a market for a bargain, later I found the very same fabric in a store fore more than ten times the amount I paid. ;) 

The hat was made after these fashion plates, it's basically a typical shape without much decoration. It's entirely handsewn as well, but I ended up using the polyfibre-felt plates I had for my mock-up (I made the pattern myself) for the finished hat as well. Not exactly historically accurate, but cheap and easy.

I know, modern background. ;) 
As usual I had much fun collecting the accessoires, I made a matching reticule (which actually matches a little too well for my taste) with metal tassels and added a removable belt. The brooch is a vintage hand-carved coral cameo I found in a expensive jewelry store for a bargain ("it's so cheap because it isn't genuine gold" - well, no problem for me), later I made a coral necklace to match. 
I especially love the shawl, it's a little short and the pattern isn't perfect, but it adds so much to looking the part - and it wasn't expensive either, it's another thrift-store find of mine. 

I tried to make a wrap gown, but it just doesn't work. My figure, especially in 1810 underthings, is pretty extreme (we are talking a 74 to 96 underbust-bust-ratio! That's why the bust dart is also a little odd) and there are no gathers at the front. It just looked ridicioulus and gaped, hence I sewed it shut and added a back closure with hooks and thread bars. It may work with a different fabric and I will try again, but not with this dress. I have no proof for an overlap front with a back closure, but I sincerly hope I am not the first woman in history who messed up a wrap closure ;)

One thing I really like about this dress is how variable it is. For a Reenactment-Event this summer I made an apron to go with the dress, it took about two or three hours but changes the appereance a lot. Toss the hat, add a cap, don't forget the bow, and voilá, hello common girl! Well, good girls should be working, not reading...

...but fortunately it's 2016, not 1816 - I can spend my time reading books and meeting friends to enjoy the weather. ;)  And to me reading is working.


  1. Beautiful!

  2. Well, this dress suits you well, it's so lovely. And the brown tones are perfect with your autumn background, you fit in really well :) Cheers to you and your talented photographer !