28 January 2015

Regency Shoe Shopping

The Duchess blush or York flame, 1791. BM 1868,080.6133 
I love how social media helps us share resources and allows those with a common interest to learn from each other.

If I was intentionally shopping for inexpensive Regency-looking shoes, I wouldn't be able to find them. A few months ago I saw this pair of shoes in my Pinterest feed, thanks to Quinn, which has led to some serious Regency shoe shopping.

Ollio Women's Shoe, available on Amazon

Since Kitty Calash and I are preparing for an 1820 event, I couldn't resist the excuse to splurge on super pointy toed shoes...


...so I ordered them in brown. After doing a little research, the shape reminds me of this 1790s pair from the V&A. My new shoes are probably better suited for a late 18th or early 19th century event.

Thanks to Amazon's "People who viewed this also viewed" feature, I was tempted by two other pairs.

The Mia blue suede flat, which is ironically the same style shoe that the Bohemian Belle did a great blog post about last year.

And the Breckelles boots in taupe. (The boots are shown with the printed cotton for the dress I'm wearing to the 1820 program.)

But it gets better! When antiquing in VT last month, I discovered old ballet slippers--that fit.




They're quite different from the ballet shoes I've used over the last 30 years. The leather is stiffer and the shank is almost as solid as a pointe shoe's wood shank. They have eyelets for lacing across the foot much like Regency ballerina style shoes, which differs from the method of lacing pointe shoes around the ankle.

I recruited advice from my ballet teacher, a former NYCB principal, who thought they were mid-century. I agree...
...they have a Cyd Charisse quality to them. 

I hope this bit of shopping/research helps inspire others on the path of 19th century foot attire!

05 January 2015

Winter Wear

Though this has been a mild winter, it's cold enough to inspire some winter wear research. For two winters I've been itching to make...


 ...this yellow cloak. I love the color combination and fur trim. Given the way the fabric rests around her shoulders, I think it's a capelet, similar to what a men's cloak would feature, and not a typical lady's cloak hood.

 The angle of this 1786 Ann Lewis illustration is a good model for draping the capelet. And I love the color combination.

This 1781 cloak features a slightly more dramatic capelet.


But I could just chicken out and make a fur-trimmed hood, like this 1758 cloak shows.

Moving forward, I'd like to make this 1804 oversized muff 
someday...which could probably double as a throw pillow.

And for anyone wanting to make a furry Regency coat, I found a good source for this 1814 fur. Haberman Fabrics's Chincilla Faux Fur is a close color match.

Though their fur is a little pricey, I've generally found that it's a decent quality that doesn't feel like a synthetic fiber and look blatantly fake. And this one is currently on sale!

Images two-six found via Pinterest.

15 December 2014

A Little Shoe Review

Finding period-correct children's shoes is nearly impossible. Fugawee used to sell them for about $50, but they're no longer available. Burnley & Trowbridge sells nice kid's shoes but they run too narrow for my family...and they're pricey ($75-$90). The few options leave me considering to sew them myself, and I'm not up for that adventure. So what's a kid to wear? For those with the same struggle, here's a little shoe review of a few options we tried this year.
I bought these Mary Janes in red from Shrimp & Grits for about $20. They're cute, they run close to size and look appropriate with her white leading strings gown. They have a rubber sole, some support on the sides and the velcro closer is well-hidden, though they're not made for wearing every day. Miss A scratched the red off the side button when sitting "criss cross applesauce". But for occasional use, combined with the cost, this is my #1 option.


I found a pair of black cotton hand sewn shoes similar to this pair on ebay. They're fine for a photo shoot, and they're super cheap, but they're not made for extended wearing. There's no support and hardly any traction on the sole. (When my daughter would run, she kept falling.) You can see a photo of her wearing them with her purple gown here.


Others have recommended this boys dress shoe from Payless, which we have found to be a good option. (If I could attach a small buckle, it would look perfect.) It's sturdy / good for running and costs less than $20, but my daughter prefers girly shoes.

Next season we'll try this handmade shoe by Bear Feet Kids Shoes on Etsy, which costs about $30.
What shoes does your little one wear?

01 December 2014

A Touch of Red

In sewing my Ann Frankland Lewis gown, I was struck by the color combination. Red and brown are not what I would pair together. Brown and pretty much every pastel? Yes. But not red. It's more of a Christmas/Valentine's color...or shoes that pop. Yet digging around, red seems to be a common accent in fashion plates. Below are a sampling of images that illustrate this and provide a little holiday fashion inspiration...

 1798

 1799

 November 1802

 1802

 1807

 1809

 1810

 1810

1811

 1813

 1815

  1825

All images found via Pinterest.

29 November 2014

#ShopSmall Vintage Etsy Sale

I'm hosting a #ShopSmall vintage sale in my Etsy shop! All vintage items, or items that use vintage trim, are 20% off (no promo code needed) through December 1st such as...

Was $70, now $56
(That's such a bargain, this hat is awesome!)

Was $6, now $4.80

Antique Hand Fan that's perfect for winter balls.
Was $22, now $18.40

Brown felt hat with 1930s-40s antique ribbon.
Was $82, now $65.60