Sunday, December 17, 2017

title pic One Week Till England!

Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on September 1, 2013

Hello, Ladies!

It’s hard to believe that in just one week I’ll be in the UK!  I have been planning towards this costume study trip for so long that I can hardly imagine I’m finally this close!

The trip will be costume-focused in a couple of ways – firstly, we will obviously be studying a lot of magnificent gowns in some of England’s finest museum collections.  (The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Fashion Museum in Bath, and Kensington Palace, just to name a few.)  And secondly, our group will be wearing a plethora of costumes, as well!   For the last eight months I’ve been sewing on and off towards the Jane Austen Festival which will include a marvelous Regency ball held in the very Assembly Rooms that Jane Austen mentioned in her novels, as well as a lovely costumed promenade through the historic streets of Bath.


Here are a few of the things I’ll be seeing while I’m in England:

~ Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation gowns at Buckingham Palace

~ Queen Victoria’s silk wedding dress housed at Kensington

~ Evening gowns worn by Princess Diana

~ The actual filming location of “Longbourne” (the Bennet’s home) from the 1995 version of Pride & Prejudice, complete with a costumed supper in the dining room and Regency dancing afterwards!

~ A tour of “Pemberly” (Lyme Park), for which I have recreated an “Elizabeth Bennet” film costume to replicate some of my favorite shots from the film!

~ Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral, both famous sites of the renowned British royal weddings

~ Plus studying dozens of sumptuous court gowns and day dresses from the 1600s up to the 1900s…

I will try to blog just as often as I possibly can while I’m on the trip , and I’ll be taking hundreds of photos to share!  Rest assured that if I can’t find time to chronicle all the goings-on while I’m in England, I will be sure to write much longer blog posts once I come back!

Well, before I go stuff all my dresses into my suitcase, here are a couple preview shots of just one of the Regency outfits I’ve sewn while it was under construction.  Does anyone want to take a wild guess as to which Pride & Prejudice costume ensemble I’ve recreated?


And here’s one last picture of a special hatbox I’ve decorated for carrying my Regency bonnets on the plane!  I used pink spray paint on the top, “I Love Lucy” fabric for the sides, and sparkly pink ribbon for trim.  I think it should hopefully keep my bonnets from getting “squashed”!


The next time I post here I will be in London. :) 

Happy sewing!


title pic Red, White, & Blue 1950s Dresses

Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on July 20, 2013

Hello, Ladies!

You may remember how last fall I sewed a blue and white gingham dress from the 1958 Party Dress pattern.  What I never blogged about, though, was how I made a matching little girls version for a dear young friend of mine who was only too happy to model it with me!


Sense & Sensibility Patterns put out matching women’s and girls’ sized versions of the same pattern late last year, and this versatile design can be adapted to all kinds of fabrics and occasions.  But best of all, they can be used to make adorable mother-daughter matching outfits, or identical big sister-little sister frocks.


I had the most wonderful time using these patterns!  The dresses came together without a glitch, and they are remarkably simple to fit to yourself.  The bodice has kimono sleeves and darts (for ladies), and a slightly above the waist seam.  I chose the pleated skirt method, though you could just as easily gather the skirt instead.  Both dresses were worn with crinoline petticoats underneath for fullness.  Little girls are soooo much fun to sew for!  I wish I had more reasons to do so. :)


And as for the pictures themselves, we had so much fun having them taken!  My adorable friend Suzi made the cutest miniature model, and we both wore white gloves and red ribbon sashes to complete the look.  It was so fun!  The only downside of the photo shoot was when our ice cream sundaes started melting all over the old fashioned counter.  :) 


And isn’ this the cutest soda fountain?  I’m told that this place has been in existence since the 1940s and still retains its original decor and memorabilia.  It’s really darling!



Well, that’s the sewing fun for this week, and now I should go get back to my Regency costumes for the Jane Austen Festival.  Speaking of which, a slot has just opened up on the historical costume tour I’m going on, and if any of you are able to go this September you would absolutely LOVE the trip!  We will be studying costumes of all eras (from the 1600s to the 1980s), with a special focus on the more “old fashioned” sorts of designs from about 1800 to maybe 1950 or so.  (At least that is what we saw the most of on the 2009 tour.)  At Kensington Palace we’ll be viewing Queen Victoria’s wedding dress, many of her court gowns, Princess Diana’s gown collection, as well as magnificent Norman Hartnell creations (1950s-1960s) created for Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret! 

display of 1950s formal dresses in England museum

Some gowns we studied at Kensington back in 2009.

Other highlights include the Fashion Musem in Bath, the Museum of London’s private costume collection, and the creme de la creme – the Victoria & Albert Museum.  Of course we will see more than just costumes, with time set aside for shopping at historic department stores and quaint antique shops, not to mention free time for sightseeing in London (you can be sure I’ll be making some Royal Wedding stops to Westminster & St. Pauls if I can possibly help it!).  Oh yes, and did I mention some of us will be going to a costumed Regency ball at the Assembly Rooms in Bath?  So all in all, it’s going to be a fabulous trip and one that you won’t soon forget!  The official website is here, with all the wonderful details. 

And if the royal baby ever comes, they just might have the child’s christening while we’re in England – you never know!

Have a wonderful week!

Happy sewing,


title pic The Largest Sound of Music Costume Collection Ever Sold!

Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on July 7, 2013

Nearly fifty years after the release of the most popular family story ever told, many of the once-privately owned Sound of Music costumes are now being sold in one massive lot at Profiles in History!  You may recall how last year I blogged about a much smaller scale version of this sort of auction when Maria’s blue chiffon dress and a rather worn Liesl’s dancing dress were sold by Julien’s Auctions.  That was a decidedly monumental moment in Sound of Music costume history, but this collection far surpasses even that!


For the first time since 1994, all seven of the children’s sailor suits, all seven of the children’s curtain playclothes, Liesl’s dancing dress, Liesl’s edelweiss dress, Liesl’s party dress, Maria’s gold suit, Brigitta’s dirndl, as well as the dress she wore for the wedding scene, are all being sold in one gigantic lot!  Estimated to sell for over 1 million dollars, this massive collection is the largest, most complete set of Sound of Music costumes to ever be in one location since the actual film production in 1965.  Excepting Maria’s blue chiffon dress (which sold last year), Maria’s wedding dress, and Baroness Schraeder’s red suit, this collection represents most of the notable costumes worn by the principle actresses.


Most of the costumes appear to be in fairly good condition, though Liesl’s chiffon dancing dress is understably a bit tattered.  In case you read my article I wrote last year about another version of this costume which sold at Julien’s Auctions, you will remember how I was convinced that the dirt-stained dress they were selling was not the one that Liesl actually danced in, and that I was sure there were either one or two versions alive and well in the world somewhere.  Oh, it was definitely really used in the film (for the scene in Maria’s bedroom), but clearly wasn’t the one worn for “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”.  (You can read my reasons in the article I wrote last year.)  So I was so excited to see what a non-dirt stained version looks like today!  This is the one she wore for dancing in the rain, though I think there may have been another one she wore in the dinner scene…


Liesl’s party dress is almost as lovely as it was back in the 60s, but what happened to that gorgeous yellow sash?  Apparently the unattached canary-yellow ribbon has been lost, but it could definitely be replicated if it was to be displayed somewhere.  The gathered/puffed collar still looks sturdy, though the puffed sleeves are a bit more worn.  These sleeves, by the way, are so much fun to sew!  When I created my “Liesl’s Party Dress” pattern last year, I think the puffed sheer sleeves were the most enjoyable element to create.


Liesl’s edelweiss dress is lovely with all the piping down the bodice seams and the delicate embroidery on the white ruffles!  This garment is probably in better condition that either of the other two “Liesl” dresses mentioned above.  The thing that suprised me the most about this dress is the purple piping!  On the screen, the piping looked dark green, so my guess is that it was a dark purple piping that has faded over the years.


This classsy gold suit was such a refreshing change in Maria’s wardrobe from the earlier “governess” dresses she had worn!  It is being sold along with the matching chiffon blouse she wore underneath.


Brigitta’s dirndl worn for “Do Re Mi” is a lovely blend of homespun fabrics and fall earthtone colors.  And the heirloom dress she wore for the wedding scene looks like it belongs in the pages of Sew Beautiful.


It is my hope that this group of costumes will be purchased by a museum that will put them on display for public viewing, and that will see them not just as old film memorabilia, but as part of the Sound of Music legacy that has continued for nearly the last fifty years.  These costumes have been admired on screen by millions of people all over the world, and if they are displayed in an exhibit, there is a good chance that they could be filmed up close for the 50th anniversary edition of the Sound of Music dvd which should be released in 2015.  I can think of a couple of places that would be ideal locations, but whatever happens, it is just wonderful to know that nearly two dozen costumes from this classic family film have survived all these years and are all in one place!

I LOVE the Sound of Music costumes and always have (as is evidenced by the patterns I’ve put out inspired by the original designs), and I look forward to seeing if these outfits make it into a permanent display!

So long, farewell,