In lieu of Astorias…

I was SO excited to pre-order my pair of Astorias from American Duchess for an upcoming 1912 themed weekend in April. Unfortunately, the shipment date of the Astoria shoe has been postponed due to some unforeseen production issues, which means I have to find an interim shoe choice for those upcoming April events…

The Astoria from American Duchess
This link contains an affiliate code, which provides a small benefit to my shoe fund. This does not affect my impressions and reviews of this product.

I’ve thought about shoes I currently own, because obviously that is a cost effective solution, but I don’t have anything that is dance-able, walk-able, and 1910s looking all at the same time. So… the current idea is to purchase a new pair of shoes. The idea does have its drawbacks, most importantly including a desire to be cost effective. But a new pair of shoes! I’ve been digging around the web looking for shoe options and I’ve broken the seach down into two categories of possibilities: 1- low heeled strap-y pumps, and 2- mid heeled pumps with a buckle or similar toe decoration. The mid heel pump idea stems from images like the one below–an adorable pair of shoes from the 1910s.

c. 1910 Evening Pumps (The Met)

I have had trouble with the mid heel pump idea because I don’t seem to be finding modern shoes with a somewhat correct heel height, that curved in shape, and with a closed toe (even without the toe decoration). I’ve found a few possibilities that have some, but not all, of those qualities. Here are the best options, and there are more on my “In lieu of Astorias…” pinterest board.

The heel height is perhaps a little high, but pretty good. And the toe decoration is super cute. Even love the heel shape. Don’t love the narrow heel style for the 1910s (although I think this is a great modern shoe!). Also, it comes in a variety of colors.  The price is $43.99, which is a little high for what I’m thinking of spending. These are at
These have a pretty good heel, from what I can see. They also have a toe decoration, although it looks rather modern and not Edwardian. It only comes in gold, black, and silver. But the price is just $29.99. These are from
These have a nippped in heal, although it is low for the pump look. It also has a toe decoration of buttons, which seems like a good modern-does-Edwardian shoe possibility. This shoe is only availble in black and is $29.99. It is from
These have the right heel height and stockiness, but not quite that curved in shape I like about 1910s shoes. They do have the strap-y look going, which is a plus. They come in a variety of colors and are $19.99. Like the price! They are at

Back to the first train of shoe thought: a low heeled shoe with a strap-y 1910s look. I’ve found a few options for this style, although it is a little tricky. There are actually a fair number of t-strap shoes that look very 1920s or 30s-ish, but the simple t-strap isn’t quite the right look for the 1910s strap-y shoe. Here are some of the best low heeled strap-y options. Again, there are more on my “In lieu of Astorias…” pinterest board.

These have a low heel and they are strap-y. They look a little heavy and not quite dainty enough, I think. But they come in a variety of colors and the price is $24.99. They are are
These have a low, slightly curved heel I think. They have an interesting t strap detail. They come in a variety of colors and the price is $29.99. These are at

I  think right now I am leaning towards this last pair of shoes. They seem dance-able and walk-able as well as being sort of generic early 20th century looking, which means that I think I could push them into the 1920s or 30s for dance purposes… I’m just not entirely decided. Do I really need a new pair of shoes? (Of course, the real answer is that I do not need a new pair of shoes… but how often it is nice to have a new pair of shoes simply to have a new pair of shoes!) Or maybe I should go in a pump direction? Ack! It’s really too bad that my Astorias will be just a few weeks too late for these events! (Sad face…) Anyway, I hope that wether you are waiting for Astorias or just looking for Edwardian shoe possibilities these are some helpful ideas!


1910 Dress Inspiration and Classification

The next historically clothed event in my life is Titanic-themed and I have five busy weeks in front of me to prepare for it. I’m quite excited to see everyone’s clothes from a whole new era that is so different from the usual 19th century looks. I’ll share some of my progress on my emerging 1912 wardrobe soon, but for now here is a selection of inspirational dresses for your perusal!

In what order would you classify these dresses? You are welcome to create unique descriptions to describe the order you choose! I’ll let you comment and share my classification later (I want to avoid swaying anyone my way, you see).

1=Favorite! 2=Almost favorite 3=Beautiful, but not my style

1910 Ball Gown (The Met)
1910 Ball Gown (The Met)
1909-1911 Worth Evening Dress (The Met)
1909-1911 Worth Evening Dress (The Met)
c. 1910 Worth Evening Dress (The Met)
c. 1910 Worth Evening Dress (The Met)

Only 2 days until pre-orders for the Astorias!

Starting Monday, January 16 you can pre-order these Edwardian shoes from American Duchess!

This link contains an affiliate code, which provides a small benefit to my shoe fund. This does not affect my impressions and reviews of this product.

Over at American Duchess, Lauren just announced this week the pre-order dates for the new Edwardian shoe, the Astoria! These shoes look fantastic! You can place your pre-order here, starting Monday, January 16! Pre-orders will ensure that the shoe has enough popularity to be produced, so if you’re interested then now is the time to show your support.


1912 Dress Beading Motifs

I am leaving the Regency period for now to focus on preparing dresses from 1912 to wear to Titantic-themed events in April. I’m hoping that by starting early I will be able to spread the workload out and include lots of beautiful details.

I am making the dress on the right side (the black one) and I plan to include beaded panels (this is why I am getting an early start!)… I can see a beaded pattern: the top and mid beaded sections appear to have an inner outlined area that mimics the exterior shape of the beaded panel and the remaining space appears to be filled in by zig zags. Similarly, the bottom panel appears to also be filled in with a zig zag pattern. (Or is it a pattern more curvy than a zig zag?)

(From Vol. 59 of the magazine Bon Ton)

I feel like I have a clear idea and can move forward with the beading, but at the same time I am doubting myself and thinking that perhaps I need to do more research on 1912 beading motifs. Do you think I can take creative license and go forward with the information I can glean from the Bon Ton image? I did find this example of an extant 1912 beaded dress that is similar on the one from Bon Ton.

1912 Beaded Ball Gown
1912 Beaded Ball Gown

I don’t own any books that are specific enough to assist me in this search and various online searches have been generally disappointing. And yet it seems that someone out there must have some good information! Do you know of any sources for information on Edwardian beading motifs? I hope to hear from you, if you do have any ideas!

Edwardian shoes from American Duchess!

Well, Christmas wishes do (almost) come true!

When American Duchess announced the Pemberley Regency style shoe around Thanksgiving I was super excited… but I am even more excited about the most recently announced shoe that is nearing the end of production.

Yes, an Edwardian shoe! It will be for sale before April, when I know we will all be attending Titanic-themed events. I have plans to make Edwardian clothes for some of these events and I have been looking for modern shoes with a historic aesthetic to match; however, it is quite challenging to find a modern shoe with the right heel shape, top detailing, and heel height, just to name a few features of this Edwardian shoe. I am so excited!

New “Astoria” Edwardian shoe from American Duchess
This link contains an affiliate code, which provides a small benefit to my shoe fund. This does not affect my impressions and reviews of this product.

American Duchess has other shoes in development as well: a 1920s t-strap (super cute) and court heels c. 1680-1740. You can check out the designs here, just scroll down.

I say Christmas wishes (almost) come true because when I posted about the Pemberley Regency shoe I wished for a late Victorian shoe from American Duchess. Well, Edwardian is not quite late Victorian, but it is just as exciting! And such perfect, well-planned timing! SO EXCITED!



1912 gowns in 2012: one hundred years after Titanic

 Next year, 2012, is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. So expect to see an increase in passing mentions of the event as well as reproduction dresses being built by costume historians and seamstresses. There will also be lots of 1912 themed events coming up. Anyway, I want to start the season by sharing this fabulous 1912 dress with you from the Diary of a Mantua Maker. Enjoy!

1912 gown

This gown has a related post on the blog Diary of a Mantua Maker. In short, the dress uses the pattern in Janet Arnold’s 1860-1940 pattern book to create a unique version of the gown. I encourage you to visit the post to read the description for yourself and see more photos! I think it was quite a success.