Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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BOOK RELEASE: The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking


Today's the big day! Our book, The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking: How to Handsew Georgian Gowns and Wear The with Style has officially been released! While you can buy the book on any major book retailer, we do also have copies for sale on our website. If you want a signed copy of the book, make sure you click the box that says, "Yes, Please" before you add the book to your shopping cart! We can't wait for you all to read and enjoy the book, and then go off and make beautiful things from it!

The American Duchess Guide - https://www.american-duchess.com/american-duchess-guide

We've been doing a few Facebook Livestreams (English Gown, Sacque Gown, Italian Gown, 1790s Gown) on the different sewing projects in the book. Lauren and I also wanted to talk about what it was like to actually write/photograph/pattern/illustrate/edit/insanitysauce the book, so last week, we sat down and chatted about the experience on our "Fashion History" podcast.


We mention in the recording that we plan to supplement some parts of the book. Some things got cut out, some things were forgotten (oops), so we've already created some additional content to help you with your projects and will share more in the future.

Gathered front Italian gown variation - (c) 2017 American Duchess Inc.
One of the gown variation doodles Lauren sketched. None of the variations made it into the book, so we will share these sketches here on the blog later on.
Below is a gridded pattern for the full Italian Gown, which includes information on the skirt panels such as widths and number of breadths, placement of the bodice waist edge, and placement for the ties. We hope you find this useful!

1780 Italian Gown Pattern - The American Duchess Guide *supplement* - (c)2017 American Duchess Inc.
Click to enlarge
When it comes to "workshops," we are thrilled to be collaborating with Jennifer Rosbrugh of Historical Sewing on classes that will use The American Duchess Guide as a textbook. Jennifer will take great care of you, and we'll pop in on occasion to shed some light on particular sections and techniques.

The American Duchess Guide - https://www.american-duchess.com/american-duchess-guide

Finally, we want to give a huge, huge, huge thank you to all of you. This book was a big challenge for us, and demanded a lot of blood, sweat, and tears and blood and more blood. We could not have completed this book without your support. We hope that you love the book and that there's something in there that will help you along your costuming journey.

Thank you for going on this grand 18th century dressmaking adventure with us. <3

Lauren & Abby

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

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NEW! Special Edition "Dunmore" 18th c. Shoes in Red/White

American Duchess "Dunmore" shoes in red leather bound in white

This year, we've created a special shoe to coincide with the launch of our new book, The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking.

The idea came about from the shoes we created for Maggie to wear with the 1780 Italian gown - white Dunmores dyed bright red with the heels painted white. Originally only available in black wool or white cotton sateen, the allure of one of our most popular 18th century shoes in leather seemed too ripe to pass up. So here they are, our special holiday shoe: Red & White Leather Dunmore!

Red Dunmores featuring the new Forget Me Not 18th century shoe buckles by Sign of the Grey Horse 
The best red leather shoes in the late 18th c. were made of Moroccan, a goat leather with a distinct pebbled finish. While Moroccan isn't available today, we developed a pebbled finish on our calf leather uppers to mimic this historic material.

Red Leather Shoes, 1770-1789, Met Museum
Additionally, white bound edges and the white leather heel are hallmarks of mid 1770s - early 90s ladies shoes, so we opted for leather-covered heels in white and white twill tape on the edges. This two-tone style is one you see repeatedly in originals, prints, and paintings of the period.

American Duchess "Dunmore" 18th Century Shoes in red leather trimmed in white
"Dunmore" 18th Century Shoes in red pebbled leather with white binding and white leather heels. Shown here with "Fleur" 18th Century Shoe Buckles. AmericanDuchess.com
Women of the 18th century loved to wear brightly contrasting shoes with their outfits. While it may seem a bit of a "risk" to wear red and white shoes with your attire, we encourage you to try them - bold red shoes seem to go with everything, weirdly, and you can accent almost any gown with a bit of red here and there to make it pop. You can see the variety in these fabulous prints (just a few of *many* depicting red and white shoes):

Bob Blunt in Amaze, or Female Fashionable Follies, 1776, British Museum

The Fair Penitent, April 1781, British Museum

The Wishing Females, 1780s, American Antiquarian 
We're so excited about our special limited holiday Dunmore shoe, and we hope you are too! We only ran 200 pairs in ten sizes, so if you're madly in love with these, don't wait (or ask very nicely for Christmas or Hanukkah).

Georgian Gorgeous - "Dunmore" 18th Century Shoes in red leather trimmed in white. 
Also, for our Black Friday Sale, November 24 - November 27, we are offering a combo deal with the new red Dunmores, free buckles or stockings (your choice), and a signed copy of our book for the sale price. Skip on over to AmericanDuchess.com to check it out!
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Friday, November 3, 2017

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Podcast Episode 13: Flappers, Fringe, and Fashion with Zoë Beery

Nope.
Hi All!

This week on Fashion History with American Duchess we speak with the amazing Zoë Beery, a writer for Racked, about her article on how flappers didn't wear fringed dresses (at least not the ones that we all think of today as "flapper" dresses --- you know, the ones you find in the Halloween costume pop up shops...)

Zoë Beery rocking some great vintage fashion

While we started down the path of the origin of this 1920s fringed flapper dress myth, as with so many of our interviews, the three of us found ourselves discussing the evolution of gender, sexuality, and fashion and the quirky juxtaposition of the 1920s vs. the 1950s. It was quite the fun discussion, which lead to a few nice moments of deep thought and contemplation during and after our chat with Zoë.



We really enjoyed this thought provoking episode and hope you do, too! If you have any thoughts on what we talk about this episode, feel free to leave a comment below.

<3
Abby & Lauren

P.S. -- This episode was recorded through a Skype call, and sometimes that leads to funny noises because of weird internet connections. :)


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