one lovely dress

Have I posted about this dress yet?

I had never really paid attention to the 1840s — that is, until I found this dress one day during an online browsing session. It almost took my breath away. My first thought was how wearable it looks — unlike many historical garments, it isn’t ridiculously skinny. And it has fabulous details. (Did you notice the little decorative circles marching up the bodice?) I love the sleeve treatment — fitted, but with fabric billowing out near the forearm. And the little lace detail around the neckline is so sweet! (If I’ve convinced you to love this dress too, click on the picture to go to its KSU page and see more photos…)

I did a little research and found out that the 1840s was a sort of transition period between the romantic 1830s and the true Victorian, crinoline style that came in during the 1850s and 60s. In the 1830s, the waistline was slightly above natural (it was still coming down after the super-high waisted Empire style) and dresses of this period feature wide necklines and ridiculously puffy sleeves. The two examples below are from the Met Museum (click on the pictures to visit their pages):

They’re very good examples of the huge sleeves, wide necklines, and tiny waists of the period.

The 1840s retained the wide neckline, but the huge sleeves were largely restrained to more demure puffs further down the arm, as in the dress above. The waistline also dropped dramatically, with women in this period preferring a very long, slender look.

By the end of the 1840s, the sleeves had collapsed altogether, and the skirt had started to expand to the voluminous mass of the 1850s and 60s…

Look at all that detail — isn’t it lovely?

Melinda

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On Vacation

To celebrate the arrival of summer, we’re taking three whole glorious weeks of vacation!

We’ll have access to email and internet, but as Lisette is fond of saying, too much internet on vacation sort of defeats the purpose of going…

That said, we will try to check in with you all from time to time, and we do have some scheduled posts planned for you all; that way you can have new and interesting things to look at even when we’re not around!

We’ll be back in the sewing studio in early July, ready to finish all the custom work and start in on the Fall line (yes, we’re already planning it!).

Until then,

Melinda, Melody, Samantha, Kirsten, Lisette and Sophia

Cloak & Dagger

Well, we are more than a little delinquent about posting this, since the film has already been released for a month. However, I wanted to go and urge you all to watch Cloak & Dagger on the Starlight Studio’s YouTube channel. It’s an excellently done film — full marks for drama, intrigue, and excitement! And of course, if you keep watching, you’ll get to see Miss Smithens wearing the Coronation Dress. We were so humbled and pleased that we could be a part of this magnificent endeavor!

Enjoy the film, and congratulations to Sitara and Starlight Studios on their excellent work!

For all the MVC staff,

Melinda