If you love clothing and do not know who Madame Grés is? Then you are missing out on something great! She is from the time where glamour was the real deal. Master of the pleats!
I wanna share a couple of sites i have been stumbling (drawling) over. But first, something about madame Grés.
Picture of Madame Grés. Source
Madame Grés was born in 1903. Her birth name was Germaine Émilie Krebs. She wanted to be sculptor but failed at this. Through the 30’s and until 1942 she was known under the name Alix Barton. But there and forward she was known as Madame Grés. She was very successful and have design for people like Grace Kelly. She died at an amazing age, 101 years old! If you wanna know more I recommend this site: The Fashion Historian
Stunning dress from 1958 made from Silk Jersey. Source
The Technique she used was quiet unique for her time. She sort of say, felled the fabric and made it speak for it self. Her having this great knowledge about draping and pleating, she sculpted a very modern and simple look. But her dresses was far from simple. Some of the dresses took over a 100 hours to make for a skilled seamstress to produce!
Madame Grés Technique. Source
A Challenging Sew – This is the most amazing blogpost ever! Shows in details how to work with the technique Madame Grés used.
Lady Jojo’s – Nice blogpost about Madame Grés.
A small video:
The Challenge: #20 Alternative Universe
What is it? A Harry Potter inspired Prom dress
Fabric: Poly fabric. All is synthetic. The leafs is made from fabric (store bought)
Pattern: Selfdrafted with inspiration from Angela Clayton.
Inspiration: Elizabethan/Tudor stays. Harry Potter universe. Autumn.
Notions: I was inspired by the Elizabethan/Tudor stays, and build my upper part of the dress like them
How historically accurate is it? Nothing close to!
Hours to complete: 30 hours
First worn: This will be used as my Prom dress for a Harry Potter Larp in Poland.
Total cost: About 90 US$
Hopefully I will be able to post this dress in action by the end of November.
Most of August and September was spend in our capital Copenhagen. Here I was a part of a big TV production, Klar Parat Sy! Inspired by The Great British Sewing Bee. I was one of the 10 final participans. This Thursday the second show was on TV.
In this episode we had a challenge which we could prepare from home. The challenge was to make a wrap-dress. I made a different kind of wrap-dress, inspired by the 1930s.
My pattern was home draftet, inspired by this photo
The final result in the TV show was this:
More information about the show can be found here: (in danish):
The Challenge: Yellow
What is it? A medieval needlecase
Fabric: Embroided on wool, lined with linen and embroided with silk and cotton
Pattern: Selfdrafted with inspiration from archaeological finds and a pattern from Medieval Silkwork.
Year: 13th & 14th century Medieval
Notions: I chose to use cotton thread in some of the colours. Yellow and Green. Mostly because I couldn’t get it in silk and I really wanted to get started.
How historically accurate is it? Apart from the cotton, and the lack of find of fabric needle cases from the medieval period, I guess it pretty close and it is completely done by hand. I would say 60 %.
Hours to complete: 12 hours
First worn: I need to collect some medieval sewing gear before this can be used.
Total cost: About $10 USD
More information on brick stiches:
Medieval Arts and Crafts
More about brick stitches
The Challenge: Terminology
What is it? A needlebinded pair of socks
Fabric: 100 % organic wool, from norway – Sandes Garn
Pattern: Selfdrafted with inspiration from archaeological finds.
Year: Viking age and early medieval Scandinavia.
Notions: Made with a custom made bone needle.
How historically accurate is it? This is very accurate. There is a lot of finds from Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia. If I should make this more accurate I would need to find some hand dyed wool.
Hours to complete: 5 hours
First worn: Right now! This is the best socks to keep your cold feet warm!
Total cost: About $10 USD
How old the history of needlebinding goes back, I am not sure of. But it seems to be a part of the Scandinavian culture a long time before the start of the viking age.
I do not know where this picture is from. But i need to share it so you can get an idea of which model I am making, B.
This sock was found in Uppsala 1961, but is dated to early medieval time: read more here
Wanna learn more? Here is a german blog, where you can learn most of the basics. I must say I am a fan 🙂
Mellegren, Nusse: Nålbinding – The easiest, clearest ever guide, 2008.
Hald, M.: Olddanske tekstiler (Ancient Danish Textiles from bogs and burials), 1950.
The Challenge: Under $10
What is it? A 1940s inspired dress from children’s fashion.
Fabric: Cotton-linen Tablecloth from the 1960s
Pattern: Half Burda 7494 and self drafted.
Notions: This dress is inspired by the 1940s children dresses. The Peter Pan collar especially. The techniques are time appropriate, but this dress would never have been worn by any in the 1940s. So it is much more just an inspired piece. One sad part is that i have made it a bit to large. Might end giving it away.
How historically accurate is it? Not very much. It is just inspired by the 1940s children fashion.
Hours to complete: 6 hours
First worn: Not yet.
Total cost: $0 USD- got an old tablecloth from my mother. The zipper cost me $6 USD.
This is some of the pictures I found for inspiration
Dorothy form The Wizard of Oz (1939).
What the item is: Late Edwardian Corset (1910s)
The Challenge: # 12 – Shape and Support
Fabric: Cotton coutil, Silk ribbon and vintage cotton lace.
Pattern: Nehelenia 1910 Corset Pattern
Notions: Polyester thread
How historically accurate is it? Quiet fair. The Pattern is based on a extant corset from the 1910s. I have only used period appropriate techniques. But my polyester thread is the game killer. So about 90 %
Hours to complete: SO MANY! But to be fair: About 3 hours of cutting, 4 hours of fitting and 10 hours of sewing. So all together about 17 hours in all.
First worn: Only for photos. But I am planning a 1915-16s suit
Total cost: ca. $ 110 USD
I must say. I really like this pattern. It is easy to sew and fit. It is so different from an victorian corset. Not tight at all! Fells like getting a big hug.
I recently bought a apron on eBay. It was used by the Swedish army under the second world war. But more important. It was used by the Lotte corps to. Just what I needed for my ongoing Lotte project.
As you can see the apron is quite damage by time. The ones who had this piece earlier in its life didn’t treat it well. I have big bleached spots and smells like an old musty basement.
The apron is not my size. It is way to big. So I will not be wearing it. Also as mentioned earlier, it is quite damage. I will therefore copy the construction and make a new one myself.
What is it? Shirtwaist dress
The Challenge: 11 – The Politics of Fashion
Fabric: 100 % Cotton
Pattern: Butterick 2531 (1943)
Notions: Earlier this year I announced, I was joining up in a Danish WW2 group. This is why i made this dress. The other reason why I wanted this dress is how much I love the clothing of the rural people of all time. So many people is focusing on the middle and upper class in most reenactment societies. One of the reason is that it is more fun to dress up pretty, than dressing down. But in my heart, there is a special place for all those simple folks.
What makes this political? WW2 was a big deal in Europe. So many people suffered in so many ways. I started planning this dress back in January. I knew I wanted it so be as accurate as possible. So I sat down and started thinking. Back in the 40’s people in most of Europe was in short of everything. So i chose to cut my pattern asymmetrical in the skirt, to cut down of fabric use. I wanted this dress to get that feeling. And people loved it at the event. Asked where I bought and telling me how authentic I looked. Just like themselves back ten or their mothers.
How historically accurate is it? Very close!
Hours to complete: 10 hours
First worn: March 24th at a WW2 event called Bunker By Night : link
Total cost: c. 45 $
I have started the trimmings on my Sophie jacket. All i going to be sewn on by hand. This is gonna take some time, and my fingers are killing me right now.