My Best friend got married when I was in Oregon and she was in New York. I couldn’t get to her wedding in body but I was definitely there in spirit.
She wanted me to make her a custom made wedding dress so I did. All of the elements were upcycled vintage laces other than the under pinnings and layers but those were upcycled vintage as well. The front bodice overlay was from a very old vintage wedding dress possibly from the early 1900’s scattered with some fake pearls. The dress was quite tattered when I found it probably on it’s way to a landfill if I had not rescued it from the garage sale pile of $1.00 each goodies.
The bodice back closure was from another wedding dress I found at a flea market also on it’s way to the trash at the end of the day. It was silk shantung but the bottom of the skirt was badly stained so I paid 3.00 for it and knew it would go to good use.
The applique cut from the back of the original dress, will be added to the back as a closure, it is a piece from the upcycled vintage wedding dress, beaded flowers on silk shantung. It is just pinned on now and it will not look so sloppy once I fit it into place and sew it on by hand, I love the little fabric covered buttons
Back bodice with applique pinned in place
The back panel after being sewn in place
And the back finally finished
The near finished dress, before I changed the flowers and added a bit of lace for the cap sleeves
The flowers in their final places, some also on the skirt…
And the lovely Bride with the groom and the groom’s father.
As a collage artist, I am an image collector, and in my “other life” I find and provide images for papercraft artists. I have been doing this for over 10 years and it is one of my passions because I just love old stuff! Many of my clothing and accessories are designed from vintage inspiration. In my travels (looking for vintage images) I often find images related to clothing and accessory designs, and instructions and patterns from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Below is a sample collage made from one of my , Image Source image collections for Victorian dressmaking.
I have put some of these together for myself as a reference to hopefully spur my creativity, and I’m sharing them here so maybe others will be inspired as well, if anyone ever finds my blog.
I love the fancy work and the dainty designs from the Edwardian and Victorian eras and make many of my bags based on a fine detail I’ve seen on a vintage bag or piece of clothing. Here are some of my early bags I really do like the fancy fiddley work.
Here is a close-up of the bag in the pop picture
and the back view:
The little white bag in the top right side was made from a vintage table linen and has been dragged around for years, and dyed dusty pink at some point. I think the older it gets the more I like it!
This is made from a nice moss green, appliqued and embroidered linen table napkin and some secret origami handshake folding that I will probably never be able to recreate again. I folded and sewed and turned it right side out and was surprised and a little disapointed at first. Now everytime I see it and / or use it I think…wow I should make more of those! It has become one of my favorites for stashing jewelry.
This little one is made from the selvage end of a length of unbleached muslin, leftover from making a dress.
I do kind of have an obsession with the little dainty bags and what the Victorians use to call “fancy work”.
I have gathered a bunch of vintage images for handbags and purses, most are from the Edwardian era Here are a few I have fixed for reference and hopefully I will be adding more routinely
The images below were from an advertisement for a department store which carried lady’s Fancy Bags and Novelties.
The Designs are quite cute and could easily be translated to today’s wearables
There will be more as long as I can remember to blog …enjoy!
Altered Couture, Lace Bolero Vest, Reconstructed Vintage Wedding Shrug
Lace Bolero vest, altered couture from vintage laces and fabric by ResurrectionRags. (this item is no longer available for sale, but similar items may be custom made to fit your needs
I like to tell the stories of the clothes that I create, especially when I use handmade vintage linens and laces. I started this piece years ago and got stumped and buried it among the rest of my unfinished projects hoping someday to have that Eureka! moment that would bring it to life.
It started out to be a little cropped top made from crepe rayon left over from a reconstruct of an 80’s grunge dress, remember the big floral Maxi length dresses with the empire waist and tiered skirts? This was the bodice, what was left of it, after using the copious ruffles in several other projects. The front panel is a vintage hanky made of fine Irish linen with very intricate hand embroidery using a technique called Dresden Work, drawn thread embroidery.
For me it was a little too plain and seemed too delicate to wear. I stashed it away and mostly forgot it.
Fast forward to when I recently moved back to Miami Florida, my home town and had to organize my stash of vintage fabrics into a much smaller place and sorted all of my unfinished projects and decided I needed to finish them. Unfinished business is not good for the soul and it’s really not good for creativity.
I auditioned a few possibilities before the aha pieces fit together for me. part of a Battenburg lace collar (above) on the right side and a very delicate handmade tatted doily on the left side. I liked the doily but the Battenburg lace was too bold and a little stiff for the backing.
This (above) was a piece from a vintage peasant top which was made of patchwork vintage laces and handkerchiefs. It was beautiful but way too delicate, for wearing.
This was a corner of a vintage table runner, it was strong enough and fit perfectly. The floral lace trim along the top was leftovers from a wedding dress I made a few years ago. All of the elements were sewn on by hand, beads were added and VOILA!
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed the story. I use to sell at a farmer’s market and I miss telling the stories and the interaction with the new owners of my pieces.
Feel free to visit my Resurrection Rags Facebook page to see more altered couture designs, vintage jewelry, reconstructed jewelry, handmade flowers and accessories, and much more…