Sunday, July 11, 2010

Edwardian Era and La Belle Epoque - Sewing Inspiration

Though I'm a long way from tackling an outfit from this wonderful era, it is hot and rainy today and I need a little inspiration. So off I go into cysperspace, circa 1910's ...

Beaded Cotton Gauze Dress, c. 1914 - 1916. This was posted at the Past Perfect Vintage Blog. As I was searching for inspiration, I saw that this post from 2008, which happened to be posted on the day after a rainy day.

Gowns of Queen Maud of Norway, c. 1910 - 1913.

Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown on her wedding day, 1912. I found this photo and a brief bio of this wonderful woman on the Mulatto Diaries blog.

Olga Nicolaevna Romanov, c. 1913. -->

Tea Gown, c. 1910's from The Great Basin Costume Society blog.

A 1912 Ball Gown also shown on The Great Basin Costume Society blog.

Irene Castle in a Tea Gown, c. 1914.

The Tunic Dress, c. 1912. You can see more photos and a detailed description of this dress at the FIDM Museum Blog.

<-- Worth Gown, c. 1907 - 1910.

The wonderful Dreamstress posted these on her blog from the Brooklyn Museum Collection. Click on the link to see the other great photos she has posted.

Worth Gown, c. 1910.-->

Actually, the Dreamstress is the perfect conclusion to my search for inspiration on a rainy day. If you love this era, you should check out the making of her Luna Moth Gown, inspired by this era.

I hope you've enjoyed this little stroll into vintage wonderland. These are only a handful of the beautiful fashions from this era. I do feel inspired and have set a new goal for myself:

To sew a gown inspired by this era to wear on New Year's Eve 2011.

That gives me a little less than a year-and-a-half to develop the skills to make the gown and to develop enough socials skills to be invited to the kind of party where I can wear it. (hehehe)

For now, it's time to back up my computer and do some house work.

I'd love to see your inspiration photos or your sewing projects.

Happy Sewing!


  1. These gowns are all so beautiful, so dreamy.


  2. Aren't they. I'm a real tomboy but these dresses and this era bring out the girlie girl in me.

    BTW - I really enjoy your blog.

  3. Wow this really took my breath away and the best part is I have never seen any of these :)I feel like a little kid in a candy shop with these great 1910's dresses ah.....So pretty :)

    P.S. If you ever want to use any of my images you can :)

  4. I'm so glad you enjoy these as much as I do. And thank you for the offer. I will probably take you up on it, and absolutely give you credit. I'm sure there are a lot of people in cyberspace who would enjoy your blog as much as I do.

  5. Have you thought of altering an already made dress? I'm planning on going to the Somewhere In Time Weekend at The Grand Hotel next October, and for the entire weekend, everyone dresses up like 1912! So excited!!! Anyway, I found a dress on ebay that has a square neckline, and can be altered with panels, and flowers, and such. An evening gown for someone who's not a master is a daunting undertaking, so I wish you luck. For me, I'm taking all the help I can get by starting with an existing frame.

  6. I just love these designs - you are giving me inspiration.

  7. I just came across this on google. I'm looking for wedding dresses like this. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. These are so beautiful, thanks for putting them all together and you've inspired me to do something similar.
    cheers e

  9. Is it possible to buy a dress in styl from 1910's for a human/ woman? If it is possible so where can I found this ? I think that would be amazing if we could wear the clothes like in 1910, they are so beautiful!!

    1. Though it is a challenge, you can find dresses in this era in larger sizes. Estate sales are a good place to start and, if you can find them in more rural areas, you may find larger sizes. Auction houses, while hit or miss like estate sales, can be a treasure trove. And, don't forget to keep your eye out for items on eBay and etsy.

      The fact is, while fewer women were overweight during this era, more of them were in healthier sizes, as opposed to the underweight fashion plates of the current era.

      Look for fashions worn by more mature women. And, if you can't find it, consider sewing it or finding a dressmaker who can make the outfit of your dreams from a vintage pattern.

      Good Luck!

  10. My gown took six months of sewing and it required help of a expert fashion designer tutor to make it fit correctly. If you would like to see it please visit I also made a matching hat and that took 3 months of patiently hand creating the wire frame and hand sewing the whole hat. I enjoyed looking at the photos that you provided on your blog.