Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on March 30, 2014
I am long overdue for posting pictures which customers have sent me of the dresses they’ve made from my patterns, so I thought I would share some photos today.
This adorable little girl looks like she’s having so much fun in her Liesls’ Dress! Her dress is absolutely perfect on her and she is so, so cute! Her mother writes:
“My mother-in-law just made the children’s version of Leisl’s dancing dress for my almost 6 year old daughter. I purchased the pattern for her a couple of months ago and she just brought my daughter the completed dress yesterday. Ally just loves her dress! I wanted to pass along a couple of pictures of the dress for you to see.
She really loves the dress–especially twirling in it. My mother-in-law doesn’t live in the same town, so they had trouble getting all of the fittings in (I believe she was short a couple), but I think it turned out perfect. The inner layer is a satin-like material with silver sparkles. I wasn’t sure if it would show through, but you can definitely see the sparkles through the chiffon. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show in the pictures. Thank you for offering this pattern. It is beautiful.”
Liesl’s Party Dress
Next, we have several dresses made from my “Liesl’s Party Dress” pattern.
This first version was made by a young lady named Katrina. (It’s not often I hear from someone who shares my name!). She made her beautiful cranberry and ivory version for Christmas 2013, and the finished results are so elegant! She says, “I wanted to send you pictures of my “Liesl’s Party Dress,” which I made in red crepe back satin and cream lace for Christmas. I really enjoyed making it! I’m enjoying following your blog, and I’m looking forward to the release of “Liesl’s Edelweiss Dress” pattern!” Oh yes… Liesl’s Edelweiss Dress – more on that at the end of the blog post.
This lovely ice blue and white organza version (made from the Liesl’s Party Dress Pattern) was sewn by Eden, who shared her thoughts about the project: “For those of you who are like me and can’t stand those “Sew Simple” pattern brands that really turn out to be, “Sew Difficult”, then you will love Edelweiss Patterns! They are amazing! Hands down! I was so surprised to find how easy and explicit the directions are! They’re easy to follow and came along with wonderful step-by-step explanatory drawings. Along with all this, Katrina also put together a page on her website filled with all sorts of helpful tips and hints for sewing this dress. Overall, following the pattern was easy and simple! And as far as the accuracy of the dress, yep! It’s right on! :)”
And for an even more “Sound of Music” themed dress, this girl chose colors for her “Liesl’s Party Dress” that give a nod to the famous line, “Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes”! How fun!!
Her mother sent me the photo and mentioned, “This is a picture of my daughter. She chose to play “My Favorite Things” for her guitar recital and wanted to dress the part. We’re hoping the dress will still fit her next year for her Confirmation. My daughter would be happy for you to share her picture. Thank you so much.”
Maria’s Gazebo Dress
These next photos were sent to me when I was in England last fall, and I was quite excited to open up my inbox and see such a lovely dress made from my “Maria’s Gazebo Dress” pattern. This dress was made by the same seamstress who sewed her own cranberry and ivory lace Christmas dress up above. She does such beautiful work!
Katrina wrote, “In May I made Maria’s Gazebo Dress, from pale blue chiffon with a crepe back satin belt. I really enjoyed it-I had never smocked before. I found the dress very easy to put together, and I love it! My mom took pictures last month, and I attached them to this email. Thank you again for making these beautiful patterns!” Thank YOU for sharing, Katrina!
Liesl’s Dancing Dress
Rachel sewed her own costume and shared the results with me: “Your pattern was lovely and simple to work with! I had no luck finding a pinky grey or lilac chiffon, so I used pale pink chiffon for the top layer, and then two layers of silvery grey extra fine beamsilk for the lining. I also added two extra panels to the skirt to make it extra twirly (which I later regretted mid-way through 18m of hem!). Thanks again for putting in the time and effort to share this pattern with the world! Was very much appreciated!”
Then I received some pictures of a purple “Liesl’s Dancing Dress” which Krista and her daughter Schuyler sewed together. They chose to lengthen the skirt pieces for a slightly more formal look, and lined the yoke (which is usually sheer) for more coverage. The sparkly organza is a beautiful twist on what is usually made from pale chiffon, so I really loved seeing their creativity! Organza is, of course, much stiffer than chiffon, so the sleeves tend to “pouff” out with organza more than just hang and drape like chiffon, but either way is lovely.
“I’ve been wanting to send you photos of the dress I made for my daughter from your Liesl’s Dancing dress pattern. Her favorite color is purple, and I didn’t want to limit her with trying to match ribbons and fabric, so I just used some of the satin fabric we chose for the underdress to make bands for the “ribbon”. We used fabric from JoAnn’s Casa Collection, and I was pleased with how it all handled. We had really intended to make the purple dress a trial dress, but as life went on, it stepped up from being a trial to the real thing. The dress was fun to make, and it turned out well. We had to make some minor adjustments, but all together everything worked great. We would definitely like to do this one again. Thanks for letting us share!”
An Update on My Next Pattern
And for those of you who have been asking about Liesl’s Edelweiss Dress pattern, first of all I want to thank you for your patience. 2013 was actually the first year since 2009 that I haven’t put out a pattern, due to some very unexpected and unforeseen things that came up in my life which prevented me from being able to put much time into pattern drafting. Sometimes “life happens” even to the most organized of all of us, and last year I had some things I needed to help with for an extended period of time that left me little time for much else.
That being said, yes, the pattern is very close to completion. And no, I don’t know exactly when it will be ready to order. At this point the dress is almost ready for photographs and the pattern is all but finished in size 12 (standard pattern size), but I still need to grade the pattern to the other sizes and write the instructions. I am trying to put in a few hours a week on the pattern right now – sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t, but I am sincerely hoping that I can have it ready soon! I am SO EXCITED with the way the dress has turned out!! I think it is probably the most accurate of all the patterns I’ve made as far as reproductions go. And I am looking forward to sharing photos when I get closer to having the pattern printed.
I want to finish by saying a great big, “Thank you!” to all the ladies who have shared these photos of their dresses, to all of you who comment on the blog and send me emails, who repin some of my favorite 1950s pictures on my Pinterest boards, and share my love of beautiful vintage clothing in general. Even though I’ve never met most of you in “real life”, I have been so delighted and amazed over the last several years to hear from such a large number of you about similar interests we share in costuming, vintage dresses, and sewing.
In this fast-paced world where beautiful clothing is nearly extinct, it is comforting to know that I’m not the only person who squeals when I see a stunning 1950s evening gown, who has all the costumes from “Anne of Avonlea” memorized, or who thinks that a wardrobe fashioned after “The Sound of Music” is the ideal choice for today. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only girl who thinks that crinolines should be worn every day in an ideal world, whose idea of good fun is not reading the trashy magazines called “popular” by today’s culture but who would far rather read vintage 1940s fashion magazines, and who would much rather sew her own party dress made to look like a 1950s film costume than go to the mall and buy one of those sorry looking contraptions that passes for a dress nowadays and are often six inches or more above the knee. (Um, “dress”? I don’t think so! :)) Those of us who often hear we were “born in the wrong decade” can have the tendency to wish we were born one hundred years ago (or even seventy years ago), but I for one am thankful that there are so many of us so-called “old fashioned” ladies living today! I think this world needs lots of us who aren’t afraid to wear a 1950s circle skirt and cardigan to the grocery store, who don’t mind standing out for wearing a real hat and vintage gloves, and who would rather be known for wearing more fabric rather than less. Don’t ever feel like you need to fit in with ripped-up jeans and sloppy t-shirts if you don’t want to! I am so thankful for each and every one of you, and I am so much looking forward to sharing more projects with you in the future! Keep up the good work, girls!
Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on February 8, 2014
The 1940s Sweetheart Neck Dress – Hollywood Pattern 1059 Pattern Review
There’s just nothing like 1940s dress styles! Despite the fact that all fabrics were rationed during WWII, the fashion designers of the decade created styles which were so detailed with shirring, gathers, pleats, and wide waistbands, that you almost wouldn’t know they were had to scrimp on materials!
And of all the 1940s pattern companies, by far my favorite is Hollywood Patterns (you can read a history of the company here). Featuring film stars on their pattern covers, (including Lucille Ball, Olivia De Havilland, & Ginger Rogers), these dress patterns were far and above their “peers” such as Simplicity, Advance, and Vogue. The incredible detail that went into each dress was simply inspiring, and the pattern covers alone are collectible nowadays. The truth is, I never met a Hollywood Pattern I didn’t like! You can find them on Ebay and Etsy quite regularly, and you can also see some of my favorites on this Pinterest board which is devoted just to designs from this vintage pattern brand.
This dress I recently sewed was made from Hollywood Pattern #1059, which features a sweetheart neckline, ruching at the bust, and a wide cummerbund waistband that ends in a deep “v” at the top and bottom.
The moderately full skirt is pleated, the sleeves are short and puffed (though the pattern has the option for straight sleeves, as well), and there are ties in back at the waistline. I think the overall silhouette is quite classic!
The cutest detail in the whole pattern is the bow trim on the bodice, I think! I chose chocolate brown ribbon to contrast with the burgundy crepe/faille fabric.
I love the pattern so much that I think I’ll have to whip up a few more dresses from the same design! Right now all my sewing time is going into finishing my upcoming pattern for “Liesl’s Edelweiss Dress”, but once that project is done I would love to create several more from this pattern. This is one of those dress styles where you think, “I’ll take one in every color, please!”
Oh, and the hat! This is a vintage hat which I purchased while in London last fall on my historical costume trip. How neat to have something that was once worn in London during the 1940s – I wonder who wore it and what occasions she used it for?
So that’s my latest vintage creation! This pattern was wonderful to work with, and really very straightforward. It is quite fitted in the bodice, so it might be a good idea to cut it out a size larger if you want a bit more room. I think that Hollywood Pattern #1059 is not at all rare (there are several listed for sale on Ebay and Etsy at the moment), so it should be fairly easy to find.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on January 26, 2014
I have just put together an eleven minute video taking you on a tour of all the Pride & Prejudice film locations I visited in England last fall, along with some video clips of the Grand Regency Ball from the Jane Austen Festival 2013! I have set up this video to run in chronological order, as if you were watching the 1995 version of Pride & Prejudice (minus the words, of course).
In each location I wore a costume reproduction of either Elizabeth Bennet’s or Georgiana Darcy’s film wardrobe, though in the room where Mr. Darcy proposed to Elizabeth I had to wear a reproduction of a Jane Bennet Regency day dress, and at the interior of Pemberly I had to wear my Georgiana Darcy costume for the Elizabeth Bennet “scenes”. (Because I could only wear one outfit a day, I was not able to change for each location.)
Traveling to all these locations on various days and realizing how many different places were used for even just one scene gave me a tiny glimpse into what would have gone into the making of Pride & Prejudice. And once I started making the video, I realized even more how much the scenes “jump around” from place to place! For instance, Mr. Darcy’s letter begins at “Rosings Park” (Belton House in real life), then transitions to the exterior of “Pemberly” (Lyme Park). Next we see Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham at “Cambridge” (the interior of the Lacock Abbey in real life), then it cuts to the interior of “Pemberly” (Sudburry Hall) where Mr. Wickham receives his check of 3,000 pounds from Mr. Darcy and bumps into Georgiana. And the funny thing is that we were at those locations on four totally separate days – so you can see how it would be difficult in making a film to keep the continuity with all those different locations! (NOTE: The video is embedded in this blog post below, but in case you can’t see it the link to the video on Youtube is here.)
Do be advised that if you are not a diehard Pride & Prejudice (1995) fan, you may not understand the pink swirling fabric at the intro, or the change of locations during Mr. Darcy’s letter, or the skipping at Longbourn…. But I sincerely hope that everyone who follows my blog is as big of a Pride & Prejudice fan as I am, and will get the point of why I did what I did with the music, pictures, and video at the exact timing that it was in the film. If you don’t recognize all the shots, I would recommend watching all four episodes of this BBC adaptation ASAP.!:) It is one of the greatest pieces of television of all times, and will surely lift your spirits.
I hope you all enjoy this trip into the English countryside, and I hope you can feel as if you just visited the spots I saw in Jane Austen’s beloved England along with the rest of our group. And for any of you who didn’t follow my blog while I was in England, I have very detailed posts about the tour and about my costumes that I recreated if you go back to the “Archives” section from September 2013-November 2013 (in the sidebar of this blog).
Have a marvelous week!