Historical Fashion

Clothing that makes history

Custom clothing and costuming for cosplayers, dancers and anyone who wants to be able to move in their clothes - and still look great. Want the style but can't make it or find it? Tired of clothes that don't fit or fall apart? Historical Fashion will work with you to design and sew the garments you imagine.

We specialize in imaginative clothing & costumes for hard to fit women. Special occasion dresses. Historical costumes. Cosplay. Dancewear. Everything is sewn in the USA and custom made to fit YOU!

Why These Sketches: Insight on designing for large, curvy women

I finished two concept sketches and gave them to my customer for discussion and approval. She also has to run them by the bride, so we will see what happens there. The bride's requirements are candy apple red with black trim and tea length. My customer hates shiny satin and wants sleeves.

Chiffon dress with handkerchief hem
The chiffon dress was the first concept I gave to my customer because one of her inspiration dresses had a handkerchief hem and she likes chiffon.Of course, there are some other considerations as well. She has a large bust and somewhat narrower waist and hips, so the slightly raised waistline accented by a contrast belt elongates the lower half of her body and draws attention downwards. The diagonal line across the bust is slimming and the sweetheart style neckline is flattering to her wide shoulders. I added the black ribbon passementerie trim at the shoulders to bring in more of the bride's accent color. The sleeves were inspired by the draped cowl sleeve in this blog post.

The dress below uses princess seams to elongate the body and draw the eye downwards. It's a little edgier and I think it fits my customer's personality a bit better.The flare at the bottom widens the hip to balance the figure and the mesh insets accentuate the flare of the skirt even more, giving a lot of motion to the dress. A V neck is flattering for larger women and especially for those with wide shoulders. The trim at the neckline adds to the V, increasing the effect of the slimming diagonal lines. That trim could be either black, to continue the line of the raglan sleeves, or red, to carry the main fabric upwards. I do plan to bead it lightly using tone on tone.
Charmeuse dress with black mesh godets

You might notice a difference between the two figures the dresses are drawn on. The top figure is more representative of my customer's real body shape. The bottom is a "fashion figure," plus-size but still tall and leggy. Lets face it - there are more of us shorter, rounder curvier women out there than there are tall skinny models. That's why I like to draw using more realistic body shapes. I have yet to draw the second dress on an apple-shaped body. Perhaps that will be the subject of my next post.

©2007-2016 Historical Fashion by Barbara Anne