Making Dante's Dream come true.

27 Sep 2012

Re-enacting an 18th century toilette.

I've been finishing my 18th century outfit during the last few days so I hadn't the time to post. We took some beautiful pics yesterday, when they're sent I will be posting about them. But meanwhile I want to show you our version of 18th century women at their toilette.

I had a big empty room an my granddad's furniture which generally looks a bit period correct. We covered our walls with fabrics and put lots of props in the right places: a vanity set, a jewel case, feathers, a violin, an 18th century ship miniature, shoes etc. We looked at paintings for reference and saw ladies had lots of stuff all over their rooms, so we went for the same.

Young Woman at Her Toilette, attributed to Niklas Lafrensen, called Nicolas Lavreince, ca. 1780s,
(Found at

I think it looks rather nice, taking into account that this is random stuff I had at home! Even the footstool is very similar! As you can notice, the dressing table is covered with fabric, that's because they did the same (at least, that's what we can see in some paintings).

For example in this one, from The description reads:

The woman is wearing a peach satin dressing gown with a hat of plumed feathers & pink flowers. The lace shawl over her shoulders was one that women wore to protect their clothing as they powdered their hair. Before the woman is a vanity table of sorts - she would eventually apply white powder to her face and heavy spots of red rouge to her cheeks.

So I used a vintage looking shirt to "copy" this shawl and well, let me show you some of the final pics:

Yaaay, with my Pomps!

Hmm which one goes better with my outfit?

Some final touches....

And now, a bit of waiting till someone comes to see me! *sigh*

As always, there are some more pics in my DeviantArt and Flickr galleries, go and take a look if you're interested!

19 Sep 2012


I had been expecting my American Duchess Pompadours for the last week, and just when I landed in London my mum sent me this pic...

Sorry for the bad quality, it's from her old mobile phone.

And of course, first thing I do when I get back... I LOVE THEM! They're perfect. These are the ribbons I'll be using, because they're part of the Laure Richis outfit and these are the colours of my fabrics.

A bit more detail and flash light. I couldn't love them more! I'm so happy, the bad thing is that I don't think the silk stockings are here in time for the shot but well...

15 Sep 2012

Pre-Raphaelite Avant-garde.

Sorry for the lack of posts but I've been busy this past week. Apparently, my boyfriend knew how much I wanted to go to the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition so he booked the flight tickets for us. I went to the Tate Britain yesterday and it was amazing. Pictures weren't allowed but I bought the exhibition book so I can share with you some pics.

The exhibition is divided in these sections:

I liked this distribution; of course some works could've been in other rooms too but they highlighted some aspects of the work so it could fit. I particularly loved the first, second and seventh rooms.

When you first go in, you see these beauties. I was so shocked because one is so used to see their faces and then you're there, seeing them live knowing they practically painted each other. I must say I loved the Lizzie drawing. How many times have I stared to that young gorgeous Rossetti? Sigh. There where also some paintings that were considered from influential movements for the Pre-Raphaelites, some Ford Madox Brown etc. time for that when I'm back at home.

Loved to see these "Paolos and Francescas" both in painting and sculpture form. The second  room had some Lizzie works that were worth staring to for hours.

Delighted to see they included furniture. This is from the Beauty room, I think.

The Morris family bed was astonishing, here in its original setting. Loved to contemplate every single stitch of it. In the exhibition, the bed is in the Paradise room.

This was huuuuuge and splendid, from the last room. I'm so sorry for this shabby pics, I could've looked for them on the internet and posted them with better quality but I wanted to take them from MY book haha. I'll be posting about the exhibition in more detail back at home, as said before.

Ugh, and the shop, oh my goodness! Spent a fortune there, I wanted everything. Make sure you take money with you! Have a nice weekend and go to the exhibition!

7 Sep 2012

More 18th century shoes.

A month ago I started experimenting with shoes, at least decorating an 18th century look a like pair. I posted about it here. It was just plain decorating simple shoes to make them look like more ornamented 18th century mules, but of course, the heel wouldn't be accurate. It's just a cheap option for those of you who are fine with it or can't spend a lot on shoes. I'd love to have lots of historical shoes to wear with different gowns...*sigh*

While waiting for the American Duchess Pompadours, that should be here next week *yaaaaaay*, I'm still experimenting. So what this time? Another option for shoes but a bit craftier. If you read the other post on shoes, I wrote about bad experiences with heels, right? So well, heels are sometimes easy to remove, and other times they're real bitches. Some heels are held with 2 or 3 screws, therefore you just have to unscrew them... others are stuck with a huge staple or metal clip, I don't really know how to call it in English, but really, that stuff is hard to remove as hell!

I got myself a cheap pair of shoes, you can use some old heels or whatever, but make sure they're pointed and curved if you want them to look like mules. Well, these ones had screws! :)

That's what you end up with when the heel is removed. Then if you "peel off" your shoe, you'll get something like this:

Don't throw it, you'll need it! The shoes' cover will be used to make the pattern for your 18th century version, applying the necessary changes you want (I chose mules because they're easier); and the sole will be used with its natural purpose, that's why I bought the shoes, to have some materials and not make them from scratch.

My pattern, made from cream satin and painted with fabric paint (yeah not very accurate, but I can't embroider this!). You'll need a heavy fabric as a lining because the shoe needs "consistency".  If you have heavy upholstery fabrics that you think they may work, do as you please, that's just my version. As you can see in the pic they're not stitched yet, I still have to work a bit more on them. But let's move on.

Look at these beauties! Handmade curved heels! Ok, I didn't make these, my awesome granddad did. He used to be a carpenter so he offered me his help. I tried to ask for this kind of work at a shop and they said their huge machines couldn't work with pieces of wood this small. Maybe you'll be luckier where you live. Maybe you can ask someone or maybe you can try it yourselves. This is the difficult part, getting the heels, because they don't make shoes with them any more :(

Looks great, doesn't it? Well, then you're supposed to screw this new heel to the sole (using the same screws, because the holes are still on the sole) and then glue the shoe cover to the sole too. I haven't done this yet, because I haven't had the time, and also I need my boyfriend's screwing tool. I will be here with more updates as soon as I can to show you the finished product. I've been sewing a lot too, so (probably) I'm posting pics from the 18th century jacket tomorrow.

5 Sep 2012


This has been today's work. I haven't started with the boning yet, as you can see. The pic below is the original one, my salmon thread isn't as noticeable as the one in the pic but I may be re-stitching it with a wider thread.

4 Sep 2012

18th century jacket.

I seriously need to get a dummy and stop posting this horrible pics of garments on the floor. But well, it fits! And it looks good so far. Hope it doesn't get difficult... ^^'

3 Sep 2012

Elizabethan dress pics.

So well, the idea for this shots originally came from The Seamstress of Rohan who thought it'd be cool to make some Shakespeare related stuff that allowed historical clothes from the Elizabethan period and water. So you know we started the dresses together and that, but she couldn't come with me today and I just went with my boyfriend to have a go with the dress and try not to drown.

We wanted to take pics underwater, showing the shipwreck in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night or What You Will because my boyfriend has a good underwater digital camera, but we'll leave that for next time when we can go together. So today I just went and took some Viola pics, as if she was left on the shore's rocks by the tide and then woke up.

I was so excited about "going swimming" with the dress that I totally forgot to take some pics of the actual dry dress. *Ophelia feels* But this is the best I can show you. The skirt is sewn, the decorations are in the right place. I just need to finish the hem and sew the sleeves at the wrists. The sleeves dropped a lot because of the water's weight in the fabrics. But more or less, with its flaws, it's finished.

The skirt did actually pop out a lot, with the bum roll and that, it was very beautiful although it looks withered and wet here haha. I'll take more detailed pics next time, dry and wet, outside and underwater etc. As always, the rest of the pics are in my DeviantArt an Flickr galleries (the ones there are "more artistic" :P).

Then moving on to the 18th century project, the skirt and petticoat are practically finished and just need to start with the jacket. I'd love to receive my American Duchess shoes and stockings in time to wear them with this outfit *__* I'll keep you on track.

1 Sep 2012

Nearly finished!

Well it just needs a few things more. Like stitching the skirt to the bodice and adding the decorations to the bodice.  When the skirt is sewn it will sort of "pop" and have more volume as it should. Not very much to say apart from this so, good night :)