Who here is a fan of the t.v. series Downton Abbey? I think it's the only television show I watch,  besides the wonderful drama and characters, what can I say I am a huge fan of the clothing. I kind of wish I was born in the 1900's. So it's no wonder I accepted to be on Elisa's, of Charming Doodle, sewing series dedicated to t.v. show : Downton Sewing. 
I am a little, actually very disappointed I wasn't actually able to sew for it, instead I hope to bring you some inspiration and share one of my favorite designers- Jeanne Lanvin. 


source: Vogue

The best way to get inspire to sew for a series like Downton Sewing is to go to the source, I love to do research about the era and study the different looks. If I am sewing for my children I like to see what they wore at the time. So today I would like to introduce you to an amazing trail blazer when it comes to children's fashion and woman fashion designers in general: Jeanne Lanvin. 

Jeanne Lanvin started started working as a seamstress and millinery apprentice at the age of 13, it wasn't until her mid 20's that she opened her own millinery shop and The House of Lanvin opened in 1909. Jeanne Lanvin had 2 loves, her daughter Margueritte and her business. 

When her daughter was born, she became Lanvin's source of joy, pride and inspiration. She started making her daughter clothes which began to attract lot's of attention. Soon she was making and selling children's clothing- she was one of the first children's wear designer and couture house for kids. 
It wasn't long until she was making dresses for the mothers too and so began her journey in the world of fashion. There were also very little successful woman's fashion designer at the time. What I admire the most about Lanvin is that she was foremost a mother and that she was able to turn that love and admiration for her daughter into a creative force.


You can see some of her designs in the illustrations up top. The big bows, hats and coats. Lot's of A-line cuts, drop waist and pleats, as well as full skirts. Many amazing details such as intricate embroideries and flowers adorned the clothes. As for the colour palette, I find it interesting, there are lot's of pinks and whites as well as reds and dark blues and blacks.
You can see one of Lanvin's dresses in the photo below and a close up of one of the flowers on the dress as well. I highly suggest you google Jeanne Lanvin, not only will you see some amazing children styles but the best in fashion of the times. Since she started as a milliner you will be inspired head to toe.

So many of the Lanvin style are very adaptable and would make some lovely clothes for todays market. A few of my favorite designers, such as Pale Cloud, Caramel Baby & Child, Marilyn Tov have done a great job at borrowing elements from the Lanvin times and making them contemporary. Albert Elbaz has recently re-launched the Lanvin children's line which you can see here or to see some editorial photos check out Bellisima.

Perhaps you are like me and love the styles of the 20's and 30's, then I think you will love this book by Lanvin, most of the images came from that book.  It's one of my favourites. Every time I flip through it I am amazed, the details and work that went into clothing then is breathtaking.

So what will you be sewing for your kids inspired by Downton Abbey? I love it all, although I absolutely love the green dress with the scallop edge and the big bow on the pocket, I might have to make my own version of that.


Elisa has put together some really amazing giveaways during her tour. I strongly suggest you check her blog CHARMING DOODLE for all the details and some amazing inspiration too.

Here is what you can win today…
There will be THREE winners and each will receive a different package of fun goodies! All three winners will be given a copy of Violette Field Thread's Coco Mittens pdf sewing pattern. In addition, one winner will get a yard of fabric from Andover Fabric's Downton Abbey collection, one will get a hat pdf sewing pattern of their choice from Elsewhen Millinery, and the third winner will receive a copy of The Ultimate Apron pdf sewing pattern from CharmingDoodle.

So what are you waiting for and enter the rafflecopter below….

You can sew along using the #downtonsewing and don't forget to check out everyone's posts…. just click on our photos!

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