onsdag 29 januari 2014

Some antiques..

I thought I should show some accessories I wore on the ball which doesn’t really show in the pictures, such as underwear and some jewelry. All of what I will show you now are actually antiques, all of it!

Lets start with something I got from my lovely Peter this Christmas, a little broach (5.5x 2.5 cm) in sterling silver, made, from what I can see of the marks on the back, in the Swedish small town of Sala, or Stenungsund, it is hard to see clearly, but if it was made in Sala it would be really wonderful since Peters family has a summerhouse there and we spend very much time there. Sadly I can’t make out when it was made but I believe it is from around 1900, but it has a timeless design so I feel it works for re-enacting in general, as well as everyday life.

I also think the stones  (and they are all still there!) are all cut glass, the stone in the middle is damaged but it hardly showes and it gives it a very interesting and mystical story. When and why did this happen? Oh if things could talk…


I wore it on the left shoulder on the dress, opposite the flowers!

Shoes normally is a heck of a problem. You can hardly find shoes with the same touch in detail and form today, even if it’s historical recreations. But I had some luck with me a few years ago and ran in to an antique pair of shoes in a little shop here in Stockholm. They are probably from around 1890-1910, can be earlier to, but I find it more probable around 1900. they’re in black leather, with a wooden heal and some sort of black stone decoration. Probably a size 37,5, they’re a little big for me, but with double socks they fit me very well! I know some might want to kick me now for wearing antique shoes, but I can tell you it shows how much better they “feel” after and while wearing, in contrary to just letting them collect dust in a box or on a shelf, then they just start falling apart by themselves. Guess it has something to do perhaps with the moist from the feet or something!

Well, I am really happy I got hold of them and saved them from squashing in a cupboard with other shoes. Let them live and be worn for as long as they hold together I say!

Then we have those unmentionables… but I’m going to mention them anyway because this is so cool! My family went to my paternal grandmother last year to help her move from her apartment to a elderly home, and there I found some interesting stuff, like these gloves, probably my grandfathers, and they fitted Peter like a charm!

And then my mother found what we believe is my great grandmothers old bloomers, and some details saved from a chemise, which of course match the bloomers, and then a corset cover from the teens probably by the looks and designs of it. (Don't have pictures of those yet though..)
I had to move some buttons in the waist, wash them in some chlorine (they had some yellowing parts because they’re old) and mend some small holes, but other than that they were in perfect condition! But they were closed in the crotch, and I needed them to be open or else there could have been an accident.. so I gently pulled apart some seams and remade them to fit my needs.

As a note my leather gloves are also antiques, but there are so many pictures of them already so I skip those..
I will take some better pictures of the bloomers when the chemise is made with the matching edging, but when that will happen I don’t know..


söndag 26 januari 2014


Last night was the so called Oscarsbal, a ball to celebrate the Swedish king Oscar II, or rather his reign and the timeperiod. This took place in Stockholm’s beautiful operahouse, as you will see in all the pictures this is just the most awesome place ever, it’s like stepping in to a movie set or a painting from the period! And some people actually came all the way from Finland to, which is really nice, and the Finnish photographers from Atelieri O. Haapala was there to take beautiful pictures again, here is me and Peter from last year:

This dress was a first attempt ever at bustle period, 1880’s, but I think I managed quite well, and we had ONE day to find formal clothing for Peter, it was a real struggle, but success, and it didn’t cost us much at all, not nearly as much as it would have cost us to rent. Why it became like this is because one day before the ball, one of the hosts contacted Peter as a friend and had leftover tickets, that’s why it became such a rush, in the beginning it was only me going. It is my grandfathers shirt, waistcoat, tie and shoes, pants we bought and the tailcoat we borrowed from a friend!
Now this year we were a little bit more prepared, and I knew I would have to do three outfits in the amount of three months. Last year my friend Tove was away studying in Belfast, so she wasn’t able to attend, but this year she didn’t hesitate to attend with me and Peter. She didn’t feel like she would be able to pull of such a dress even though she can sew, and she doesn’t have a sewing machine so I said I could help her, but I ended up sewing the whole thing anyway, it was so much fun!
I worked with mine and hers parallel, and suddenly it was only a week to go.. o lord, Peters uniform! I ended up sitting the last to days, and some of the day of the ball, sewing his (damned) uniform, cause I was so determent that he would come as the tsar of Russia, since the ball had a Russian theme this year, and the hosts was really happy to hear we wanted to go all in like the tsar pair since Peter looks a lot like tsar Nicolaj II, with the beard and all, although he wasn’t tsar in the 1880’s yet. And we managed!

As you can see I have pretty much taken all my inspiration from one of the Worth gowns in the Met museum.
The real gown does have a lot more of tulle details, but I who never had worked with that material can only say – never again. I hated it so much, electric and didn’t go where I wanted it to be… so that’s mostly why I skipped those parts. The second thing was the train. The original has a striped train of long strips assembled on the same silknet that is draped over the front, and I did this but didn’t really find it so attractive on my dress, and I felt like it wouldn’t look like that anyway after dancing, walking around in stairs and get trampled upon so I skipped it. But here's how it looks:

I am no Worth, but I think I did quite well anyways, it is after all the most worked on thing I have done, and I think it shows. Usually I don’t copy things because some of the fun is coming up with ideas by yourself in design and so on, even though you often take ideas and inspiration in details you like from different paintings, extant clothing and other people, but this time I wanted to challenge myself, and my perfectionist self with something grand. And I can't say anything is grander than something from Worth...

So, now for Toves dress! She wanted something special, a color she doesn’t normally wear but works now in the 1880’s and not in the 18th century, so we went for this lovely silk in magenta and clear red, which in different lights showed different nuances of sharp pink, and finished of with black details. Normally she is very blue, not sad, the color, and moss green, pale pink and so on when we do 18th century stuff, so now we went for dramatic and sharp!

As for Peter, well, for two and a half days work, I must say I am proud for pulling this of. I’m not satisfied by any means, but we got a lot of compliments and many ladies wanted o dance with “the tsar” and men wondered where one could get a uniform like that, so it was a success even this year even though I didn’t have time to sew the red bands on the pants which he should have had. I used the ball-scene in Anna Karenina, where Sean Bean wears a white uniform as Vronzky to get an idea of how it was built and where the details went and so on, and then also pictures of Nicolaj II. I spent quite some time searching for the right kind of golden trims and then found a little trimshop in Stockholm which helped me a lot, many thanks to them, and our dear friend who gave us some antique goldtrims!


The kraschan he is wearing, the star broach, is not the correct Russian one, st Stanislaus, this is the st Lazarus order which is Italian I think, but from afar and for someone who doesn’t have that much knowledge in this stuff it is a fabulous looking detail on the uniform. We found this one by chance at an online auction, and it was such a bargain we couldn’t keep our hands off.
I think I have babbled on enough for now and I guess you would like o see some pictures, and I took a lot, but i will try to find the best ones, so here goes!
My hair before I loosened the curls in the front. The knot is false hair and then I braided my own hair over and around it.



Some Russian singers who was there to sing some Russian folksongs for the feeling, and they later in the evening started singing the tsar -hymn for Peter, he felt really special and he kept me up quite some time later that night talking about it, they really liked him and wanted lots of pictures with him, so nice!

Two of the hosts dancing by, and that dress is just so beautiful, an original piece!

Merja from Before the Automobile in her gorgeous pink natural form dress.

This was a really great ball, and we thank the hosts and all the guests for a wonderful evening!

fredag 10 januari 2014

Who am I then?

As I said in the previous post I have been sewing for some time. I am now 23 autumn's old, live with my darling Peter in a little apartment in central Stockholm. Before I met him I lived with my parents in a big house in the suburb. I grew up in a creative home and I guess that’s part of why I do this now. I met Peter almost two years ago and he, just like me are sold on historical stuff and loves to reenact.

Here is a picture of the door to our little balcony also serving as the only window in our kitchen, and there is my lovely little sewing machine on the table, which I actually have stolen from my dear father, he got it when he left home in the 70's I think, and now it is hostage at my place mouhahaha! 
It has served me very well in the time I’ve been doing this stuff, ever since this:

Yep, that’s me in my first ever historical dress, made by me, only me, no pattern no knowledge of nothing, I had just seen “The Scarlet Pimpernel” from 1983 and wanted a dress with long, full skirts, 15 years old or something like that.. but I’m not ashamed, not since I can now show of stuff like this after only eight years of no more help than my own stubbornness and experimenting:


I have never understood things like patterns, unless I disregard the texts and information and try making it again in my head, so everything I do is drafted, freely by hand, I seldom take measurements actually. In my sewing class in high school my teacher wanted to only just pass me because I was so sloppy in her opinion. Wonder what she would say now?
Some say it’s a gift, perhaps, it works for me and I have a special sense for historical details and idiom, I can say that at least, and I am a perfectionist in every way possible! Mostly that is a curse actually, I am not always happy when I’m in the process of making things, especially putting arms on things.. hate it! And I hate making corsets, just so you know, I don’t like everything with historical clothing, I like wearing corsets and stays and all that but I don’t want to make them.

I have my father o thank for all of this, the craftsmanship parts anyway since I inherited that from him, he is mostly fond of building things in metal or wood, but is actually a hell of a tailor to! I also have to thank my dear Peter for having the same interest in history as I and wanting to explore this world of re-enactment, because this means I have a reason to explore the male side of fashion and learn to make men's clothing as well. So far it has turned out well at least, one example here and then I think it's time to end todays post, even though I haven't really told you much about me!

torsdag 9 januari 2014

So... a blog?

Yep, now it's my turn! Why a blog?

Well I have done this sewing business for quite some time now, in a historical sense since approximately 2005, but I have been sewing even longer. I still remember how I used to make small quilts in kindergarten, and when I was around 8 or 9 my school had a afternoon project for all kids who wanted to sew, I remember how I used to make these dolls called “sömntutor”(sleepyheads) with embroidered faces!

He has lost the pompom on the cap, but he still sits in my parent’s sitting room on the couch.

Nowadays I do what comes to mind and what I have time with, and sometimes what I need. Previously you may have seen my work through Deviantart in small pieces, but I felt it was time to try this platform, so here I am! Why it has taken me such long time to decide on bloging is because of a dilemma, I have been used for work, information, techniques, patterns and copycatted by someone I thought to be a friend, but then she sadly turned and showed her ugly backside against me and another dear friend which she backstabbed as a way to win me over in her favour, so I have had doubts about displaying my work openly for others to see since this will mean she can see it and use me again, but both my real friends, supporters and my lovely man has pushed me to overcome the fears of that happening again and getting hurt, so I see this as a bit of therapy to get my spirits up again and believe that I am the better part, and not the ugly, sloppy copy.

Why the name someone may wonder? Well it is Swedish, it says “Anno” which means something like “made in the year of”, and why 1776 then? This year in particular has no connection to me or anything I know of, more than in this year the Swedish king Gustaf III made a man called Liljensparre into a police detective, first one in Sweden anyway. But other than that I don’t really know. Why it became like this is because I found a decoration-trim for something a while ago in a secondhand store, with a weaved pattern and the text “Anno 1776”, therefore I thought it was perfect as my blogname, also since 18th century is what I mainly produce!