To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
Followers of my blog are likely familiar with my love of American Duchess these days, but if you’re new around here, allow me to introduce a great historical costuming merchant: American Duchess. They provide well-researched reproductions of historical shoe styles, often in customizable, dyeable form. Their latest shoe is a Regency style called the Highbury.
I liked their previous regency style—the Pemberly well enough, but this new style is exactly what comes to mind when I think “regency shoe”. Had these been out when I was doing the 1812 stuff last year, I would have purchased them in a heartbeat (and still may, although I have my eyes on the Gibsons at the moment).
The other thing I love about AD is their business model—they pre-sale their styles to gauge interest, which allows them to product high-quality custom shoes at a relatively affordable price (considering the small-ish scale of the production runs). They use great materials and have a very high quality control threshold (which I admire, even though it did mean a longer wait for me to receive my Astorias after they rejected the entire shipment due to inferior quality material use).
So, that means it’s time to jump in on the pre-sale for the Highbury now through April 21. Make sure you’re able to order your desired size, and get that pre-sale discount!
The links in this post are affiliate links for American Duchess, meaning I may get a bit of money if you buy their shoes after clicking one, however I have spent my own money on their products and think they’re awesome. The affiliate links will just help subsidize my next American Duchess purchase, I hope. 😉 Like my dream of owning the Tavistocks. And the Gibsons. And these. If you have something against affiliate links, here’s one that isn’t: www.american-duchess.com
Have you seen the latest American Duchess pre-sale? The Victorian button boots? Well, now you have.
I want these so much. Unfortunately, things like fixing the traction control on my car (I swear, the day after the warranty went up, that dang light came on) mean I can’t hop in the pre-order (oh fates, please, please, please let me win if Lauren runs a contest for these), but my woes shouldn’t stop you!
They’re so pretty. And Victorian. And lovely. And likely entirely unrealistic for daily wear, with the buttons and all, even though I would love to wear them daily anyhow. Nonetheless, go on. Get thee to American Duchess!
Also, while I’ve been lazy about blogging, they ran a pre-sale for 1920s Spectator T-straps called the 23 Skidoo. They’re now in production and are the bee’s knees!
The links in this post are affiliate links for American Duchess, meaning I may get a bit of money if you buy their shoes after clicking one, however I have spent my own money on their products and think they’re awesome. The affiliate links will just help subsidize my next American Duchess purchase, I hope. 😉 Like these boots. If you have something against affiliate links, here’s one that isn’t: www.american-duchess.com
I mentioned early on that I wanted to try drafting a bifurcated skirt out of a period tailoring manual. I’m still doing that, sort of. Except, I’m also kind of cheating, because I realized that if I enlarged this one:
…so that the front measurement (line C-G) was the right length for my models, it worked out that the waist was also right (in other words, the measurements I needed to draft to are pretty much correctly proportioned to the book’s draft).
I spent my National Sewing Day taking advantage of the lovely weather to do some much-needed leaf raking, then sat on the porch and made progress on my Tula quilt’s binding. I still haven’t photographed my underpinnings and gown (show is tomorrow), but here’s a few of my shoes.
After deciding against the American Duchess shoes, and Moof chewing my half-finished pink attempt, I still found myself in need of shoes for the show. Target no longer had the pink ones, so I couldn’t continue in that vein. I finally decided to go back to my original plan of gussying up a pair of black flats I purchased a few years ago and have practically worn out (I stopped wearing them a while ago, but never got around to throwing them out). Some of the wear will be hidden by the decoration anyway, so it’s a good compromise.
After making proper drawstring channels for my gown and sewing my petticoat straps on (they were pinned on TV), I decided that my outfit needs one more addition: a reticule. After all, I need a way to hide my very un-period keys and cell phone.
While I like the American Duchess Regency repro shoes, they are a bit pricy. Priorities meant that I didn’t purchase them as I’d originally planned. So, this week, I found out another option on the cheap: less than $20 for shoes and stockings at my local Target. Historically accurate? No, not really (I mean, patent leather, snake-skin, general 2011 styling do not historical shoes make), but they are affordable, and just need a bit of DIY to look a little more accurate.
So first, a few hallmarks of Regency shoes (looking as close to 1810/12 as possible):
American Duchess to the rescue. Their third historical reproduction shoe is similar to styles from 1790–1810—in other words, about as perfect as you can get to the proper footwear for the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show in March. They’re dyeable leather, so you can make them match whatever you’re planning to wear.
As with the previous shoes, these must sell enough during the pre-sale to go into production. The pre-sale is running from Today (November 25) through December 9. I asked, and Lauren said they should ship in January, so you’ll have plenty of time to get them ready for the show in March! Buying them during the pre-sale garners you a discount and the insurance of being able to order your size, so really, there’s no reason to wait.
My copy of the Mantua Maker 1800 -1820 Regency Corset Pattern came, so I started working on my first mockup of the corset to wear under a regency gown at the 1812 Quilt Challenge show in March. When I was in highschool (the last time I really did a lot of garment sewing), I could somehow get away with cutting straight into my fashion fabric, but now, eight years and 40lbs later, that would have been a very dangerous proposition. So here is what happens when you try to make the pattern with no alterations for someone with size 16 measurements, larger-than D cup breasts, a short waist and a lot of squishability.
Though I haven’t been able to sew much lately, I’ve been thinking about my 1812 Quilt (and the fact that I really need to get started on it) quite a bit. I finally have all the fabrics I think I’m going to use, a plan, and after a bit of tea-dying, my medallion is a bit closer to the color I’d hoped to have.