Yes, second viewing of Frozen went better than the first (I think because I reset my mind to “children’s movie” and didn’t hope for more complex relationships- who says the two romantic interests in your life can’t both be good or bad or human and flawed..? but compared to most fairy tails this was indeed more layered).

Anyway, I kept going back to how Elsa reminded me of someone and it dawned on me this weekend. Queen Maud of Norway. Almost typed Normandy. Oh no.. crossover alert…

Anyway I knew about some of her gowns but look at this collection:

The very first photo? Fully sequinned gown dude! Given the studio hired a costume designer who worked in other elements of historic dress (nalbinding of Anna’s mittens?) I don’t think this is a coincidence. The rest of the movie does have the 1840’s flavour the designer mentioned but Elsa just really has that long late Victorian/Edwardian torso.

While the ice gown itself reminds me of Bob Mackie in modern use of materials (beads and more beads and then some beads just to make the gown weigh more than the wearer) I suspect there is some Maude glam in the concept of her. And before you say but it was the fashion, no. 1905 and we are talking the poufy pigeon front, that very sleek fitted no waist seam look was *a* fashion but not the fashion. If you look at the patterns below there are indeed princess gowns (which is again not about seams but about no horizontal seam at the waist and it had been around for centuries in and out of style) but they are not the predominant trend because you really need an extreme hourglass figure to hit those particular fashion notes. Modernly we like a longer torso, such as we see in the figures in Frozen. Also the majority of her portraits have this feature as opposed to an occasional iteration as would have been in keeping with the fashions.

So because I went nuts hunting out this site again:

Skirt and dress patterns with from three to 9 panels. I hopefully will not lose this site again- I have those patterns stored in my brain because I know them so well, but remembering the site name took a few goes. Yay for one of my favourite go-to sites being still online! Same domain!

So I think it’s no surpise I fell for yet another not-bad bad girl. But since hunting for more Maud images I am leaning more towards “what if” and thinking real historic. ZOMG! Beetle wings!!! No, no. No.





But beetle wings……

I am not hand sewing real metal or gelatin sequins. Why yes, gelatin. When the Worth to Dior collection was here (sigh…..) and there were amazing coloured sequinned gowns some were listed as gelatin. I don’t think I saw any metal ones- early methods included: take wire, make in to tiny rings like for chain mail and stamp them flat- metal sequin, or spangles as they were called- best images for this are in Historic Costume in Detail, I’m trying to look on the V&A for a clear example but am coming up short. This is amazing though, coloured metal foil. Sigh So colourful! It is in the same book 🙂  This shows metal sequins and metal lace which has strips of metal laid flat and not twisted around a thread core. Yeah, just don’t even look at me right now. I’m in metal fabric heaven. And that is all embroidered, even the satin surface background.


Yesss!!!! Here, you can see in the close up that some of the sequins have a notch in them? That’s because it was wire hammered flat and not perfectly overlapped 🙂 I can go to sleep happy now. And all that goldwork, take a look at the deconstruction of the lamb especially. That my friends is how you do dimensional embroidery. Layers and layers and layers.

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