October HSF-challenges!

So, appropriately after my Hoarding-post, I will unveil my projects for October.


The Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #10: Heroes

The HSF/M 2015: Challenge #10: Sewing Secrets


                     1. A brooch depicting Margaret of Prussia with german tricolori-ribbons.

The 100 years of independence in Finland is due next year. In honor of it I decided to make a brooch honoring our would be-queen Margaret! Her husband was supposed to rule Finland as King Väino the First but Germany losing WW1 caused him to abdicate before even entering the throne. I always loved the way Margaret and her sister Viktoria Luise dressed! The edges of the brooch are still bit ugly so i am still framing it with gold pencil. But otherwise I am VERY happy with my brooch. It kinda combines two challenges: heroes and secret messages. Well, the pro-german ribbons are not so secret really.

The Challenge: Heroes and Sewing secrets mash-up

Material: Brooch, some ribbons, a printed picture

Pattern: none

Year: WW1-era, late 1910s

Notions: ribbons, gem-glue

How historically accurate is it? Somewhat.

Hours to complete: 20 minutes

First worn: not yet

Total cost: almost nothing


                                                   2. Also, a clockpunk-mask

I bought some masks from Sinooperi from Halloween-sales as they were shaped like classical 18th century masks. This one I made with gold and silver paint first, then I started to add details: gears, golden guipure-lace, glass cabochons with golden backing, some holographic sequins as tears, a paper butterfly, dashes of glitter. I used Artemis from “Spellbinder 2, land of Dragonlord” as my inspiration.

The Challenge: Alternate history

Material: a mask, findings

Pattern: none

Year: alternate 18th century or Clockpunk

Notions: gem-glue

How historically accurate is it? Well, it’s alternate history. And Clockpunk. So not much.

Hours to complete: one hour

First worn: not yet

Total cost: less than 2 euros.


    3. A Kriegskrinolin

This challenge broke me a bit. I had a good idea but it didn’t work out. I had yarn that had mixed together and i just cut it and used it like horsehair to do a crinoline. I cut it and shaped the yarn-mess and then used tape to make it into a tube. That I sew into an old hippie-style summerskirt I had.  These pics are crappy but so is the outcome!


I couldn’t find the poem in english: paraphrasing it goes like this:                          “Grandmother was seventeen, her friend was same age: in their skirts the crinolines both now could sew. Blue roses in a muslin, big crinoline gathers in sections, thinner in front and back, is the waspwaist of crinoline.”

I attempted to do a warcrinoline’s underpetticoat. My inspiration was an italian poem by Guido Gozzano I found on Kaari Utrio’s non-fiction book on historical female’s fashions and body ideals. It’s a poem by who writes that his teenage grandmother sewed her crinoline to her skirts with her friend. This poet was famous for depicting clothing in his poems. I just happened to remember this poem when thinking about poem with clothing mentioned. I did not want to do a 1860s crinoline because I don’t plan on wearing costume from that period. I did need a Kriegskrinolin for my Finland 100 years-outfit so I thought about making a warcrinoline-petticoat inspired by the poem. I did have a muslin skirt (not with blue roses-pattern though) but I will dismantle the crinoline from it and use the skirt as a plain petticoat. Sometimes projects fail. That’s how you learn.

The HSF ’14: Challenge #18: Poetry in Motion

The Challenge: Poetry in motion

Material: old white muslin-petticoat, yarn and tape

Pattern: none

Year: late 1910s

Notions: needle and thread

How historically accurate is it? It is not.

Hours to complete: hour

First worn: never.

Total cost: almost nothing.


4. The 18th century  frilly cap from blogger Gouvernante Astrid.

Her HSF-challenge was a “chocolate maid-cap” from this swedish site with patterns I printed to make my cap. This was fun to make actually. I plan on making a pink version for my copy of chocolate maid’s uniform. But for this I used a delicious caramel-colored sateen I had used for my 18th century stays previously. I used an old cotton-lace my mother had and some cheap broderie anglaise I had in my hoard. I used few pins to wrap it around my bun. Very comfortable and practical actually. I can see why women loved to wear them.

The HSF ’14: Challenge #19: Historical Sew Fortnightly Inspiration

The Challenge: Another blogger’s HSF-challenge

Material: caramel-colored sateen, old  cotton lace and broderie anglaise-lace.

Pattern: Taken from

Year: 18th century

Notions: needle and thread.

How historically accurate is it? somewhat? The fabric and lace might not be very accurate.

Hours to complete: 2 hours

First worn: around home

Total cost: almost nothing

Some images are BAD, sorry. My cellphone camera is not so good, also I took the pics of me wearing it while using toilet cabinet mirrors. But i hope it gives the good idea of it. I WILL practice taking better pics, I swear.


   5. An 18th century summer-mask.

I read they used green half-masks in summer to keep their faces white. I got this halloween-mask base I got with the other mask bases I bought recently (so much for my pledge not to buy anything….). I painted the base, glued green glitter on it for structure and then added dull green paint on it. The effect is grainy and pleasing. I also added green sequin-trim I had in my stash to frame it.

HSF Challenge #21: Green

The Challenge: Green

Material: mask, glitter, paint

Pattern: none

Year: 18th century

Notions: gem-glue

How historically accurate is it? Not much, its mostly plastic. The original summer half-masks were done in green silk.

Hours to complete: an hour

First worn: not yet

Total cost: 2 euros


6. 18th century fingerless mittens

I was in town and I had forgotten mittens at home. It was already freezing here so I went inside local Tiger (danish cheap chinese stuff-shop) to gte some discount mittens. I noticed a nice model with militaristic golden buttons. I thought what it would look as a fingerless mitten. I liked the idea so much I bought them. They look like they would look good with redingotes! So I chopped off the fingertips and glued the fray and fortified it with red thread. I have already used them around the house as I have circulatory issues and suffer from cold hands.

The HSF Challenge #20: Outerwear

The Challenge: Outerwear

Material: bought mittens from Tiger

Pattern: none

Year: 18th century

Notions: glue, needle and thread

How historically accurate is it? Too thick yarn for it.

Hours to complete: less than half an hour

First worn: at home

Total cost: around 2 euros



  7. 18th century masquarade-mask

I used original paintings as inspiration for this. It has fake face with black mask. I used watrecolors to achieve an old faded look on it. The black mask-part look almost velvety. The lips I tried to make as 3D as possible with various reds. This mask was SO much fun to make!


The HSF Challenge #22: Masquerade

The Challenge: Masquarade

Material: mask from Sinooperi

Pattern: none

Year: 18th century

Notions: paint

How historically accurate is it? It could be my most accurate one to date.

Hours to complete: few hours.

First worn: not yet

Total cost: 3 euros (on sale because its backtie was broken).



Life with hoarding issues.

I said I would do a post on my problem with hoarding. The very reason I begun to make these projects on HSF was to get rid of my hoarding habits. I have a ton of accessories, clothign items and fabrics I bought because “I got them cheap” or “I liked it!”.


Problems I have met are space issues and that my asthma that has worsened. I don’t have issues with asthma much on my daily life but if I get sick it can give me respiratory-issues, Last January I had to go to ER to get oxygen because I couldn’t breathe normally. I was coughing so much and I was panicking. Doctor gave me an inhalator that i mostly use when I get a flu that causes me to breathe more heavily. I am in my 30s and I cannot afford to play with my health. I have never been a healthy person anyway, I was born with brain issues and spinal and leg-issues. I will be a crippled old woman if I ever hit 60. I do not need respiratory issues to further burden me. It’s time to take care of myself.

250px-gallen-kallela_the_defence_of_the_sampo  Me battling the evil creature of Hoarding…lol.

That means I must stop hoarding. I will not stop my favorite hobby however, I love costuming, But now I plan on beign more smart about it. That’s why i called my blog Frugal Antoinette. My inspiration is a woman who keeps a blog: The Pragmatic costumer

I want to stop spending my little money in stupid things and use what I have instead. Like what Kajsa Warg saind in her 18th century cookbook “You take what you have”. This does not mean I stop buying things. I will just be more smart about it and use flea markets more.


I have been inspired by my great-grandmothers and grandmothers who could never buy anything for themselves: they made food, grew crops and vegetables, had animals and made everything themselves. Often the shop they had had very little items on sale anyway. They made good of what they had. My recent poverty has made me humble and admit to myself that I cannot afford to buy everything. I should not have everything I want. Most of the stuff I bought and wanted is worthless anyway and just an eyesore to me now. Something has to change.

My paternal great-grandmothers Josefiina (first pic, the woman sitting), my grandmother Aini (woman in far-right) and the second picture is my father’s father’s mother Emma.

My hoarding gene probably is, quite ironically, from these women. These were the types that would saved EVERYTHING. They saw a button on a street, they grabbed it “just in case”. If you have ever been to a woman’s house that has seen war and depression you know what I mean. Pack-ratting was a virtue when no one had much anything.

So I decided to take on the challenges. Not just the current year’s challenges but EVERY challenge they had for past 4 years. This will teach me to tap on my hoard as economically and effectively as possible. Also it will help me to actually accomplish things. I have huge procrastinatiomn problem and I never seem to finish anything. Having a timeline helps.


So that makes around 6-7 challenges monthly so I have had to keep my projects small and simple. I even had one failure with my Kriegskrinolin but I plan to take the crinoline off and make it into a white petticoat instead. Admitting failures is after all, beginning of change and…perhaps of something good.

The onyl thing is to learn how to make decent photographs now. I understand the quality is not good at the moment. I will have my familymember take pics when I pose with actual garments.

In the end my obligatory cat-images with my thumb….                                                                   This is our cat Kisuli (in finnish it means “Kitty-cat”. VERY unmasculine name for a very chauvinistic cat with a high opinion of himself….).

Lolita style subgenres in pictorial glossary

I was a gothic lolita less than 10 years ago. No, there are thankfully no pics as I was notgood at it. I still admire the style and the astehetics of it. I was always bit ashamed of the name Lolita as other people immediately think of over-sexualized teengirls in heartshaped sunglasses and pedos. I called it Lollipop-style instead to my parents. My mother actually invented the name as she had heard me call it “Lollari” which is a finnish pet-name of the style and said “lollipoppi” instead. We still call it that in my house.

Main Subgenres:

Gothic Lolita:

This is the original name of the style “Gothic lolita”. Singer Mana invented the terms EGL and EGA or “elegant gothic lolita” and “elegant gothic aristocrat” to denote further more stylized substyles of gothic lolita.



Ama or Sweet Lolita:

More brighter style than gothic lolita. This style quickly branched on its own and is one of most popular versions of lolita-style. It has numerous sub-genres like sailor lolita, Country lolita, Kote Lolita, Casual Lolita, Shiro and Kuro Lolita…. Careful color-combinations and matching accesories are the key.

“everything sweet”


Classical Lolita:

More mature and understated style of Lolita, even if it does have its own Kote (overt)-style.

“preppy cute”


Forms of these subgenres:

Sweet classical Lolita:

Mid-state between Sweet lolita and classical lolita. Difficult to pin down. You just know it when you see it. One keypoint would be to combine traditional classcial colorschemes with pastels to acheive this look.

“classical style with pronounced sweetness”

My personal favorite style, more on this style in this blog: http://fyeahlolita.blogspot.fi/2011/04/sweet-classic-lolita.html


Classical Gothic Lolita:

The midway between classical and gothic, Some would say its just EGL. I would call it “gothic lolita with less frills and less graveyard prints”.

“Fairytale heroine who became a vampire” or “streamlined version of gothic lolita”


Bittersweet Lolita:

This is interesting because it is at the same time a color style and a midway between gothic and sweet styles. It’s black colorbase with pastel prints.


“Dark chocolate with marshmallows inside”


Kote Lolita:

The overt style of anything. It begin in sweet lolita first, more accurately by the clothing brand Angelic Pretty which is known for its overtly sweet busy prints. This style corporates two-tone pastel-wigs, extravagant bonnets and explosion of sweet prints.

The another substyle of this is Classical Kote that is basically same but with more muted victorian color and print-palette and bigger attention to bonnets.

“Pink pastel explosion of candies and pastry” also “victorian scrapbook overload”

Again, Fyeahlolita explains this style and its variant the best: http://fyeahlolita.blogspot.fi/2011/07/taking-classic-lolita-to-next-level.html


Casual Lolita:

Usually it’s a sweet lolita-style, not to say that any lolita-style could not be pulled off in casual style. But it’s more seen in sweet style because it looks very nice. Its for shyer lolitas that don’t want to look like a pastryshop puked on them. It fits best in home and schoolwear.

“understated cute”



Hime Lolita:

The difficult to pull-off substyle of sweet lolita. It takes inspiration from rococo-styles and has more mature prints and more expensive materials and more unusual cuts. Robe-dresses are preferred to achieve a layered look. Crowns and spectres even appear!

“princess and historical style meeting”


Country Lolita:

It’s basically counrystyle in sweet manner. Strawberries, plaids, baskets and strawhats.

“Fairytale heroine in the countryside”


Punk Lolita:

Substyle of gothic lolita. Skull-t shirts, tartan-skirts and chains and even leather. The style is asymmetrical and deconstructed.

“Anarchy in candyland!”


Guro Lolita, Pirate Lolita:

Substyle of gothic lolita. More costumey look. Can involve bandages and eyepatches and even blood. Horror-style. Overlaps with so-called Pirate Lolita-style.


Ero Lolita:

Another gothic substyle. Sexy underwear, vintage and historical included. Skirts are shorter and BDSM etc. paraphenalia (like studded collars) are used. It can vary from sexy and naughty to innocent maiden in her nightgown-look. I have seen many 18th century version of this and they are so sweet. Imagine Marie Antoinette 2006’s blue baskethoop used as an outerwear item!

“Madonna’s corset-used-as-a-top-look” meets innocence.



Boystyle, knickerbockers and small tophats and cute shirts! Lolita style does not much include pants but this style allows it.


“These are the things little boys are made”


Old school Lolita:

This is not really a style per se, its just gothic/sweet/clasical styles as they were appeared in the 1990s. rectangle headdresses, simple colors and details.

“Those were the days my friend!”

Ethnic or cultural Lolita:

It begin as japanese lolitas started to make yukatas as lolita-wear. Resulting in interesting intrepretation of their cultural heritage. In Japan being proud of yor national cosutme and your old ways is not somethign that is “passé”, embarrassing or laughed at. We in europe could take some cues from that. I have seen many Dirndl-lolitas but I still would love to see baltic and finnish Kansanpuku-lolitas around!

European Lolita:


“Nationalism can be cute!”



Many colors are used in Lolitastyle but some combinations are so much used they are their own substyles (usually of sweet lolita).

Shiro, white and Kuro, Black Lolita:

Mizuiro and pinku lolita:

Mint and pink, chocolate (any combination of these):

Ama Lolita:


Uniform Lolita:

This is interesting substyle, and I have included Sailor lolita here even if it is also a sweet lolita-substyle. Here we see army styles of every kind, schoolgirl uniforms, nuns, maids and nurses oh my! I have even seen police and cook-styles!

Sailor Lolita:

Military Lolita:

Others uniform styles, including: Maid Lolita, Nurse lolita, Nun lolita, school lolita, etc. :


Historical Lolita:

Vast substyle that is also called Hime lolita but I separated it here so i cna explore it more deeply.

Rococo Lolita:

Regency Lolita:

Victorian Lolita:

Steampunk Lolita:

Antique-lolita or edwardian lolita:

Retro Lolita:

Retro-futurist, cyberlolita:


Mingled styles:

These styles are nebulous and overlapping. Some suggested reading:







“Rich girl shopping for princess clothes”. This is NOT a hime lolita style or even a lolita style. It overlaps a little and often himegals use Angelic Pretty-brand dresses. But its actually a substyle of Gal-style.

Fairykei, Dollykei, Popkei:

Muted pastels of 1980s and layered clothes. Popkei is like fairykei but with brighter pastels of 1980s used.

Morigirl, natural-kei, forest-lolita:

Deconstructed lacy clothing and layered clothes, like you are living in a small german cottage in a fairytale forest with your animal friends like Snow White!


Means simply a “maiden”. A style from 1970s Japan that is seen as starting point of “cute fashion” and an ancestor of Lolita-style. 60s and 70s had many frilly feminine style in West too as seen in this Simplicity patterns. Gunne Sax is a popular brand used.


Visual Kei-fashion with lot of hairpins and accessories.

Cosplay Lolita:

Costume in Lolita styles are popular at Cons. Its also used as a slur of “badly dressed lolita” as True lolita don’t see themselves dressed in costume. Cosplay lolita-outfits are also of inferior even shiny fabric and inferior plastic lace instead of non-shiny fabrics and cotton lace preferred by Lolitas.



Loli-inspired: means wearing one or two lolita-item with your normal clothes. Most lolis end up doing this on as thei casual style. Its actually not Casual Lolita per se, more “cautious lolita”. If that makes sense

Lolified: an item, character or clothign that has been added bows or loli-items to make it cuter.

Ita-lolita: “painful lolita” a non-style. This means a girl who wear BAD lolita-clothing like lacemonsters and non-poofy petticoats.

Poetry In Motion

I compiled a list on poems and songs I considered as my HSF-challenge “Poetry in Motion” to be about. 12 in total of examples from english to german and from finnish weird songs to american bubblegum pop and even one odd french poem thrown in.



  1. Space-dyed vest                                                                                                                            I’m an old goth from late 90s….. I came by Dream Theatre by accuident on a Ferry cruise from Turku to Stockholm. I was bored and perusing the cd-aisle on the tax free-shop and came by an odd cd that looked promising. I listened it when i got back home and fell in love with the music. It was both melodic and had retro-progressive feeling to it. I introduced the cd to my gothic friend in High school too. The classic tracks like Caught in a web rolled regularly on my home stereo. But my favorite was the sad piano piece Space-dyed vest. I imagined making a vest that celebrated 1930s and 1990s gothic scene with spacedyed yarn. I had nice drawing of it too. But I simply had no time to make it with all my projects and work. So I have buried the project until i have more time for it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHz-JqYRSu8



2. Thomas Hardy’s poem “The ruined maid”. I imagined a feathered bergere and a levite despite this poem being from late 1800s.

“O ‘Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?” —
“O didn’t you know I’d been ruined?” said she.

— “You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks;
And now you’ve gay bracelets and bright feathers three!” —
“Yes: that’s how we dress when we’re ruined,” said she.

— “At home in the barton you said thee’ and thou,’
And thik oon,’ and theäs oon,’ and t’other’; but now
Your talking quite fits ‘ee for high compa-ny!” —
“Some polish is gained with one’s ruin,” said she.

— “Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak
But now I’m bewitched by your delicate cheek,
And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!” —
“We never do work when we’re ruined,” said she.

— “You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
And you’d sigh, and you’d sock; but at present you seem
To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!” —
“True. One’s pretty lively when ruined,” said she.

— “I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!” —
“My dear — a raw country girl, such as you be,
Cannot quite expect that. You ain’t ruined,” said she.



3. Shepards, I have lost my waist! A funny poem and later a song about a woman who curses Regency-fashions. One of these prints show a juxtapostiotion between a “ridiculous-looking” regency lady and “respectable” lady in 1750’s clothes.







4. Lucy Locket lost her pocket. I was also considering on making a pocket with the poem embrodiered. I’m actually sad I didn’t. It would have been better than the abortion of a crinoline I made….


Kate Greenaway and other s made lovely artwork on this poem. The Poem is actually about two women’s bitter rivalry, Kitty Fisher and Maria Gunning or Lady Coventry.

“The other day they ran into each other in the park and Lady Coventry asked Kitty the name of the dressmaker who had made her dress. Kitty Fisher answered she had better ask Lord Coventry as he had given her the dress as a gift.” The altercation continued with Lady Coventry calling her an impertinent woman, and Kitty replying that she would have to accept this insult because Maria became her ‘social superior’ on marrying Lord Coventry, but she was going to marry a Lord herself just to be able to answer back.”



5. Gothic girl. I did ssay I used to be a goth? This was my anthem in 1999….. Gothic girl by The 69 eyes. Sunglasses after dark!





6. The Balloon Song “Ev’ry lovely charming she/Must have her hair – Balloon O. More from this site on Baloonmania of 18th century! http://www.ultimatehistoryproject.com/flying-fashion.html




7. My favorite collection of  bubblegum-songs from 1960s:




8. Now for finnish songs: Huopikkaat is an old song about a girl who wants to go out to see her sweetheart but her mother hides her felted mittens or “huopikkaat.”




9. Ankkurinappi. Classic song is about a man who waits for a boat and his one-night stand with a  girl who wear a blouse with anchor-buttons that is the only thing he has as a memory of her. She also has a red scarf.




10. 4-Rivinen, a techno-pop song from 1990s! About a girl who is leaving her boyfriend and all she has is leaving behind is a note with four lines and only jacket he takes with her is with anchor-buttons in 2 rows. Classic late 80s and early 90s look btw. I imagine that kind of jacket also had heavy paddings on shoulders.



11. Leather-jacketed girl Nahkatakkinen tyttö By 80s most famous band from Pori: Dingo. Girls wore chiffon-scarves on their necks and lined up behind their doors to get an autograph. My aunt lived in same flat as the drummer and she had to dodge a steady stream of girls in the hallway. Apparently it was annoying for the neighbors.




Grün, grün, grün sind alle meine Kleider is a children’s song that says that if you have all green clothes you will love a hunter, if red you will love a rider, if blue you will love a sailor, if black then the loved one is a chimneysweeper, white clothes means a miller and finally colorful clothes mean a painter. Its a sweet song.

Finally some german poems, I got a link for this site that has aforisms and poems on clothing auf deustch. Enjoy: https://www.aphorismen.de/suche?f_thema=Kleidung


Wäsche ist von des Menschen Umäußerung
Das Innerste, also das Feinste,
Und soll immer das Reinste
Sein, wie im Menschen selber die Seele.

Was immer ihr fehle,
Die Sauberkeit fehle ihr nie.
Und schön und schöner, wenn außerdem sie
Noch Wohlgeschmack, einen freien Geist
Und das Verständnis für neueste Zeit
Und für die Gesetze der Ewigkeit
Beweist. –

Wie doch die innersten Blättchen der Blüten
Die innigsten sind. –
Wäsche sollst du wie dein Gewissen
Und wie dein Kind
Peinlich pflegen und sorgsam behüten.

Joachim Ringelnatz

(1883 – 1934), eigentlich Hans Bötticher, deutscher Lyriker, Erzähler und Maler

Die Unterhose

Heilig ist die Unterhose,
wenn sie sich in Sonn und Wind,
frei von ihrem Alltagslose,
auf ihr wahres Selbst besinnt.

Fröhlich ledig der Blamage
steter Souterränität,
wirkt am Seil sie als Staffage,
wie ein Segel leicht gebläht.

Keinen Tropus ihr zum Ruhme
spart des Malers Kompetenz,
preist sie seine treuste Blume
Sommer, Winter, Herbst und Lenz.

Christian Morgenstern

(1871 – 1914), deutscher Schriftsteller, Dramaturg, Journalist und Übersetzer

Buttons and their various materials

The HSF-challenge “Wood, metal and bone” led me to think about buttons and how they were made in previous centuries. I break them down by material here:


Pleasing and understated material, wood is often used in vintage buttons. The nicest have carved images and some like this japanese one below has a metal inlay. Wooden buttons are quintesentially finnish since we are a wood exporter and many of our vintage clothes have naturally wooden buttons. If making a period gown, some nice carved woodbuttons add luxury and even folkish feeling to it. Imagine an Aesthetic dress of 1890s with nice jugend style-buttons or 1920s flapper’s nautical outfit with sporty sailing boat-buttons!



Most used material and a safest choice when makign period gowns. Metal alloys are numerous from precious gold and silver to more common bronze, copper and tin. Pewter seems to be most used metal type however.


Ivory has been used in Japan in particular like these 19th century example. Buying ivory might be unethical for most and definately heavily priced and regulated. So a good substitute is always better. Or try more friendly elk or reindeer-horn substitutes.



Precious stones

Jasperware buttons from Wedgwood:


amber, diamond paste, mother of pearl and other various materials.

Porcelain, glass and other ware:

painted and moulded glass and porcelain-buttons looks VERY nice but are prob. fragile for harsh use and thus not so easy to replace.

These here are moulded chech-made buttons, Bohemia was and is a maker of crystal and glass beads and buttons that make a very fancy and nice touch on any period wear!

Actual stone

ok, this might be a modern thing more or less but I would think it would work interestingly in a pagan-era or medieval clothing!



Self-fabric buttons look business in almost any costume of almost any period. 18th century had a variety of embroidered buttons in delicious designs. One fun style was Dorset-buttons that is easy to make yourself. It was a cottag-business in 18th century and regency-era Dorset and making them for your costume is good way to show off your skills as an embroiderer. Google image seach is full of modern artistic examples like bouquets and sheafs of lavenders made into Dorset-buttons.



Leatherbuttons come in many style and look fantastic in period costumes.

Early plastics like Bakelite

Some examples of buttons on various eras:

Medieval and viking


New era 1400s-1600s

The secons one would look wonderful in a Alt-Deutschen National Tracht!

18th century

embrodiered, porcelain and dorset-variety



19th century

This last button is actually a scene from Wagner-play, Lohengrin saying his farewells.

My mother found an old black boot like this in the attic of our old house that was built in end of 1890s. I treasured it for long time and filled it with newspaper so it stood as a decoration in my bookshelf. I sadly lost it somewhere after we moved. I have no idea what happened to it. Did someone mistook it for trash as it was bit suffered and had no pair? I loved its tiny black round buttons even if it was too small to fit my size 40 feet…. Women did were a lot smaller back then. These types  of boots were fasted with a button-hook shown here.

early 20th century


Art-deco 20s-30s

Gothic modern buttons look cool and are handiest to buy in larger amounts than other specialty-buttons. These look nice for vampire-isnpired costume. But the skull-ones would work on officer’s uniform or a dragoon-redingote inspired by it?


I didn’t really handle men’s cufflinks here but I could not mention the “4 vices”-fad for 1920s. These cufflinks had drinking, gamblings, womne and fast horses (some had golf or hunting). Also nice are these 18th century porcelain buttons that have different variation of the same scene, in this a lady doing toilette or dancing?


Naughty buttons from Germany, be warned….

Also, a nice composite-button from Art Nouveau-era.

Alt-Deutsche Trachten (or Alt-Teustche Trachten)


This one is interesting: the fan, the embroidery on the hemline and the sash make this almost Robe de Reine-like dress interesting.

The fashion for nationalist clothing came from nostalgia for simpler times. In 18th century Europe was in political turmoil: ars, famine, revolutions, new inventions and ideas popping up everywhere. France dominating and finally crashing in a spectacular way only to rise again with Napoleon and crash again. People were fed up with french fashions and french in general. They wanted something of their own. Nobility had paraded in turkish and eastern costumes only few decades ago and rising bourgeoise and thinking class had begun to despise this masquarade too. This was not just german thing, Scots had pitched for their own way of dressing and their jacobean style for far longer. Swedish king Gustav designed himself the swedish national costume. In Finland we followed after german footsteps and our poets and artists started to look for “old finnish styles” from the wardrobe-chests of remote houses.

above are swedish examples mostly and english example on the bottom row far-left. The far-right one is an example of “turkish” costume.


Alt-Deutschen Tracht for women and men.




Following is taken from Wikipedia concerning this dress paraphrasing:

“The fashion known as Altdeutsche Tracht, “old German” dress or costume or “German national costume” became popular in Germany between 1813 and 1815, during the time of what is in German historiography known as the Befreiungskriege, the “liberation wars”.

“This new fashion was considered a sign of resistance against the rule of foreigners, but also against the old type of monarchical rule, and of a liberal, democratic disposition.”


“Men wore a long tight-fitting coat with a widely opened collar. To this came widely cut trousers and often a large velvet beret.”

The dominant colour was black, the colour of the uniforms of many Freikorps during the liberation war. In particular among the young men, a rebellious behaviour and unkempt hair and beards were also common. After the foundation of the Urburschenschaft in Jena in 1815, it became a sign of belonging to the student Burschenschaften, who wanted to stand out from the traditionally minded, regionally oriented corps students.”


The outfit got a lot of ridicule, from jokes about the fabric coming from England and young people dressed in black looking like misery personified. The Tracht seems to have picked more color variety later. But like in Sweden, the dominant color seems to have been black.

The most prominent bearer of this fashion was King Ludwig I, the authors Ernst Moritz Arndt and Karoline Pichler and Prussian princess Marianne pictured here below in her dress.





“Deutsche National-Frauentracht (German national costume for women”), Journal des Luxus und der Moden 1815 The fashion included slashed and puffed sleeves, and ruffled collars. “


The cap shown here is described to be “Alt-Deutcsh” But I see there were numeroud headgear used for the dress and one even remains in museum! http://www.bk-textilrestaurierung.de/content/64/49/arbeitsbereiche/kostueme-accessoires


The couple in above painting is described wearing the Tracht. The womna’s example is interesting and looks like she is wearing something similar to the museum cap?

Some inspiration for the dress and pics of national romanticism.


One of most famous painter for these dresses was as man called Moritz Stifter and he managed to capture the later evolution of this Tracht. Here we see more colors.

What would be modern intrepretation of this gown? Since North-germans hate the idea of everyone imagining them in Lederhosen and Dirndl, maybe this is the costume everyone can put on. Well, at least it would be more festive than this modern german uniform:


Queen Anne-dolls (Deutschen puppen) and a Regency ragdoll

Queen Anne-dolls have their origins in southern Germany and there comes the original name “Dutsch doll” or corruption of “Deutschen Puppe”. I became fascinated with them after I came by a book by Venus A. Dodge, a bookwriter on doll clothes and making reproduction dolls. I bought the book for myself and I can recommend it even if its not been printed anymore. Every book by Dodge is a DELIGHT to read!

My father Altti made the doll for me few years ago. I was extatic about it. He was born in 1939 and he has been working with wood since he was very small. (His father made him straighten nails for building of their first own house in 1940s when he was not even in school yet.) He has built many houses since then, including the one I was born in 1982. He made a wendyhouse for me for my 5th birthday, a stable for a horse (he had no previous knowledge of horses but he is good at finding knowledge), he also made a treehouse for my nephew, many swings, and a 18th century babyhouse (but more on that in next post).

The doll’s name is Loviisa Ulriika. She was the queen of Sweden and Finland in 18th century and the mother of Gustav the third that got shot in a masquarade. She was originally a prussian princess. Her story is interesting and I recommend reading on her in wikipedia more. She was one of few swedish queens to visit Finland and so a town of Dagerby was renamed Loviisa after her visit. She was said to be speechless on devotion shown by finns compared to contempt and suspicion she received in Sweden’s court.


My main job was to paint her and make her a wig and clothes. this is an ongoing process and she is NOT finished! Her face is regal and fashionably cool, her face has many beauty spot and her shoes are painted red. Her hair is styled “A la enfant” after Marie-Antoinette (really I ran out of natural wool I had found…I plan on making her another wig). The medici is made of peach-colored pearls and still lacks a small lace to frame it.                                      Her stays are douppion with embroidered red and pink stomacher, cording and lacings.


Her petticoat has a green woollen decencyskirt underneath made by my mother Toini. The petticoat is white douppion that is unfinished still. Only complaint I have about her is that her other leg wont bend like the other one does. It got accidentally superglued.


The hands are attached with leatherstrips in both dolls.

He also made a baby for my doll. I named her Sofia Albertina after Loviisa Ulriika’s real life daughter and after my father (Altti is a finnish petname for Albert). She wear a douppion-chemise and curls made from silk-fibre that have been wet and rolled in hairpins to tight curls.

The actual Sofia Albertina, she had some cute clothes I might attempt to do. That cute cap and those allemande-style sleeves are definately appearing one day on her!

This is the book and the doll in green robe. The insructions are simple to follow and a lot of fun!


But that’s not all! The dessert is my newlymade regency-era ragdoll Herzeleide, named after another prussian princess.


Her hair is brown mohair-like yarn that looks like small braided curls and is luxurious to touch. Her demure face is painted like my old ragdoll in 1980s. The other hand has to be remade though but I am very happy at her.

Her dress is some sort of transitional regency-dress with a long almost watteau-like back without the pleats though (if that makes any sense). Its made of pink linen and has a silvery belt taken from a 1990s Barbie-doll. She has a medici around her neck made of white doll-lace and black ribbon. The legs are bound with narrow satin-ribbon in “a la Greque”.



September Challenges revealed

My HSF-challenges for the September are as follows: an 18th century petticoat, 1930s apron, Alt-Deutsches cap and mittens, Kriegskrinolin’s petticoat from late 1910s, fischus, buttons and an equipage.


Challenge: Brown

Fabric: bought petticoat from ebay.de, striped white cotton

Pattern: none

Year: 18th century

Notions: only a tin of brown Dylon

How historically accurate is it? Very accurate, down to the tie-mechanism

Hours to complete: I did not sew it, only dyed it, took me few hours to do so.

First worn: not yet

Total cost: cannot remember how much the skirt cost me, its been few years. The dylon tin was from a flea market I think for 50 cents.


I had a natural white hobby apron I had bought in discount from Sinelli. I had nothing yellow in storage to use so I broke my own rules and got yellow Dylon-color in discount from local craftstore. It was older package for washing machine use. I decided to dye the apron yellow and sew anglaise-trim on it to make 30s inspired kitchen-apron. I put also an under-petticoat, a mobcap I had bought and some fabric samples in there too to see what results I would get. I was VERY pleased with the sunny color I got on my apron. The under-petticoat and mobcap I plan to further dye with purple one day to get brown color on them.

I dyed also my bought 18th century petticoat in chocolate brown. I happened to have a tin-package of Dylon-dye that I opened and put on washing machine with salt. The result is GORGEOUS. I got exactly the shade I wanted to. The shade is close to the Hot chocolate Maid by Liotard.


Challenge: yellow

Fabric: white cotton pre-bought apron

Pattern: none used

Year: 1930s

Notions: needle, thread, old package of Dylon’s yellow washing machine-color.

How historically accurate is it? I think it would pass.

Hours to complete: hour to dye and few hours to dry

First worn: not yet, plan to wear it around house

Total cost: apron was around 4 euros, packet of dye was on sale as it was old.



Cap and mittens

Challenge: Historiscm

Fabric: Green silk-velvet

Pattern: cut rectangles

Year: early 1800s, medieval and 1500s?

Notions: needle and thread

How historically accurate is it? no idea, the model is VERY simple so it should pass

Hours to complete: around 20 minutes

First worn: not yet, the costume itself is not complete yet.

Total cost: no idea, not much

I had bought less than a metre of antique green silk velvet for myself for some odd reason. I just loved the way it felt. It has sat enough in my locker so I took a look at it and unceremoniously cut it in half. One half I made into a simple coif and one half I cut into two pieces and made them into mittens. It was very fast project. I had been nervous at doing anything to such precious item but in the end I thought that doing the most simple thing was the best for it. Maybe I will further decorate it with beading one day. It will be for my Alt-Teutsche Tracht that is 1813’s style.


Kriegskrinolin petticoat

Challenge: Poetry in motion

Fabric: pre-bought white muslin-skirt

Pattern: none used

Year: 1910s

Notions: needle, thread, yarn, tape

How historically accurate is it? ugh….

Hours to complete: too many

First worn: not yet thankfully

Total cost: less than 4 euros I hope

I had SO many plans with this one. My initial plan was to use all my yarns and knit a Space-dyed Vest (from a Dreamtheatre song). Then I scoured for poems on 18th century clothing and ended up with 19th century poem about a “Ruined girl”which I really wanted to do but I got time issues and it will have to wait. I then remembered another clothing-heavy poem from a book by Kaari Utrio on women’s fashions. Its an Italian poet Guido Gozzano who wrote about her grandmother’s crinoline-skirt. Since Finland’s 100 year celebration is on the way I decided to choose a war crinoline instead of 1860s crinoline since I am not into that era. I took an old white cotton skirt I had bought from some hippie-shop for summerwear. I have packrat-tendencies and even more embarrassing problem of showing things quickly in boxes when my parents say they will visit me. That has not been good for some of my yarns…..and instead of sorting them from their knots I cut them out and sorted them into the bottom of the skirt and sewed them in. Bit like horsehair would have been sewed in. I did try to make another tier but it looked so odd and unusuable so I took it all off and left the one I had originally sewn at the bottom. I am NOT happy with this one and I will continue with this until I am satified with it. Now it looks like a clumsy monstrosity.



Challenge: Separates (yes, I came back to this August challenge!)

Fabric: striped cotton from Nehelenia patterns and knitted peach-colored lace-fabric from a finnish fabric shop.

Pattern: none used, I just made the fabrics into triangles.

Year: 18th century

Notions: needle, grey woollen thread on peach-colored one

How historically accurate is it? somewhat, the cotton is period correct and shows in many paintings used as a fischu. The net I am not too sure of but it fits with Highlander-aesthetic.

Hours to complete: less than half an hour, the white one rewuired no time.

First worn: not yet

Total cost: cannot remember anymore, been years since I got the fabrics.


Buttons a-plenty

Challenge: wood, metal, bone

Fabric: Fimo and Sinelli’s cheaper version of it.

Pattern: none used

Year: various timeperiods

Notions: needle for markings

How historically accurate is it? um…

Hours to complete: few hours went

First worn:not yet

Total cost: around 6 euros I think?

That was the first thing I thought when I saw thr title of this challenge: buttons. I am fascinated by Fimo and Fimo Faux-techniques that I have used in my miniature works.


Equipage and costume jewelry

The Challenge: Remake, refashion, re-use

Fabric: none

Pattern: none

Year: 18th century


How historically accurate is it? um…

Hours to complete: none

First worn: not yet

Total cost: got it for free

My sister-in-law bought and unusual necklace from a woman who makes jewelry from very old typewriter letterheads. She gave it mother to be sold in flea markert but I gpt it for myself to repurpose. I took a look at the costume jewelrybox that no one was taking any interest in and amused myself by thinking how would I use them. The greek-style golden chain is perfect for regencywear, the chunky metal and glassbead-necklace just screams 1500s to me and the unusual typewriter-necklace just looked so like an equipage. I often look at shops like Glitter etc. for what kind of costume jewelry they are selling these days and I am excited. earrings that look like the blue ones Diana used to wear, pearls, pearls pearls and chunky unusual styles that will find their way to flea markets soon enough to be picked up by me!

Types of 18th century hats

Uncocked hats

Men wore so-called uncocked hats for huting and for har work in the fields. It was informal style for genteel classes and basic headwear for the working class.


Cocked hats

was a general term for stiffened hat-brims worn by army and genteel folks. Tricorne was the most used in 18th century in its many forms by women and men. Tricorne was eventually replaced after French revolution with more militaristic styles like Bicorne until a  new daring “Stovepipe”-design shocked people in London so much a man wearing it was fined for “disturbing the peace”. Few knew then that this style would become the future model for esteemed gentlemen’s hatwear of 1800s and early 1900s: the tophat.


Needs NO introduction, we are all familiar from childhood with this three-corner hat from fairytales and historical images. Originally invented in Versailles court where officers and genteel folk would put the hat on their armpit as they talked with polite company. The hat had to be quite flat to be comfortable to hold for long periods. A man could not part from his hat and put it somewhere as it would not have been according to etiquette: men had to bow themselves in front og King and their superiors and bare their heads to them. To this day well-educated men tip their hats to women.





The cocked hat took a two-corner of bicorne-shape in the late 18th century. Shown here in the second hat “Navy” you can see its in its classical form. It seems to have been a french invention and its was utilized by its army for long time. Other armies in europe preferred the third hat “Army”-style instead.


Tall hats

From above image we can see the style named “The Paris beau” representing this style. It was very popular in 1790s briefly for men and women.

Caleche or Calash

The hat to protect hats and enormous hair-dos of late 18th century! The name comes from french word for a wagon.

This short-lived style was more for weather-protection than standing on its own style. The surviving examples are quite stunning.

This late 1800s photo has a girl showcasing her great-grandmother’s vintage clothes (perhaps for masquarade? Wearing your ancestral clothing for parties was a thing to do back then): early 1800s dress and a calash. I have to wonder if calash was just an early version of future bonnet?



Strawhats became all the rage in the latter half of 18th century, the pastoral fashion dictated a simpler style with Robes de Anglaises and Gaulle-dresses worn with pastoral canes or dainty parasols. Everythign was crowned by a Bergere-hat which really means a shepardess in  french.

Many various styles of the Bergere emerged, a halo-style like in this painting of a woman, some were d-shaped, some were small and round, some large and flat, some had more higher crown than others though a flat-ish crown seems to have been the standard. The popular thing was to also wear a mobcap underneath and/or tie the ribbons underneath the chin.



Was just a Bergere with a taller crown and more elaboration. Its difficult sometimes to say if they are even different styles. It was popular fro  1780s onwards and did several come-backs in late 1800s and early 1900s.


The french referred to this style as Chapeau Anglais. many clever french names for hats were contemporary like Chapeau Montgolfier or taken from classical imagery like Chapeau Harpy.





The future regency bonnet had its beginnings on a style that I have seen being referred as capote in english glossaries. Capote now is a french word for a hat.



I have not canvassed mobcaps in this post, I do separate one on them later. I showcase one cap-type here: the padded cap meant for outdoors. Still popular with some North-german, Scandinavian and Finnish national costumes.

Genteel men at home wore soft even funny-looking caps made of embroidered silk:

Some other styles:

The furcaps were popular among finnish, russian and american men and even women. here an english soldier wears a raccoon-hat in America.

The capelets were clothing items and not hats perse, but I wanted to inclue this unusual scarf-calash I found and how it comperes to the capelet next to it.

Kivi-Pori, Stein-Bärenburg, Stone-Pori

A small reneissance-era city in Westcoast of Finland, Pori has been burned down at least once in a century since its build until 1800s. The great fires in 1800s destroyed most of the oldest buildings leaving only few. The oldest home is only from around 1840s, making me feel VERY jealous of places like Porvoo and Loviisa with their 18th century buildings.

Here you can take a virtual trip in Pori!


Kivi-Pori, “Stone-Pori” from 1800s. It was masterminded by a german architecht by the name of Engel who also made a famous Engel-square in Helsinki. Here you can see magnificent and opulent buildings in various late 1800s styles like neo-reneissance.



House of Junnelius

Built by a merchant Junnelius, it has inspiration from Venice and he even got venetian gondolier-boat attaching-rings on the walls.


Church registryhouse



Finland’s very first theatre in finnish language. Now peasants and genteel people could come and see a play in their own language instead of swedish. The late 1800s theatre is a DELIGHT to eyes with its victorian opulence.


To quote the official site’s english briefing on history: “Pori Theatre was established in 1931 as a merger of two local theatres. Theatre director is Patrik Drake. Pori is considered as the home of Finnish-language theatre as the Finnish National Theatre gave its first audition in Pori at the Hotel Otava in 1872. Pori Workers’ Theater, founded 1909, was the first professional theatre in Pori. It merged with Pori Stage Theatre in 1931. Theatre is located in a 1884 completed Renaissance Revival style building which was designed by Swedish architect Johan Erik Stenberg. Its interior is one of the most prestigious in Finland. The main auditorium has 313 seats and the 1974 opened studio stage 110.”

Church of Middle-Pori

The most personal thing to me here is the War heroes cemetary. My two great-uncles lie here. They used to have german soldiers here too but they think they were all were removed to their very own cemetary in other town. The statues are for the honor of our soldiers and their families.


Central Pori Church (Keski-Porin kirkko)



The house of Heine is fun to see. It’s by a sea captain that designed himself a grand house with acrow’s nest like in ships.



The cityhall has a bear statue that is celebrated every Walpurgisday with Lukio-students giving her the graduation cap and giving her a speech. Followed by a men’s choir singing.

The name Arctopolis means Bearcity and its the greek-latin name of Pori.