Mystery Challenge 1900 World’s Fair



If you are just now joining in on this blog hop, let me explain. A group of creative minds were given the topic “Moments and People Throughout History” and asked to chose an event/person/place and give it to another member as their challenge. (Can I just say that this has been an educational adventure as I didn’t even know some of the topics that were given as a challenge.  I love you Bethany for giving me mine.)  Elfster lent a helping hand and paired us up with a partner that we were to give a topic to. I chose “Women Suffragette” for Nikki. I was given  “1900 World Fair/Art Nouveau”.  These creative minds seriously went to work and have put out some great and amazing projects that you aren’t going to want to miss out on! (You will find all the links at the end of this post.)

As I was given the Mystery Challenge of doing something with the 1900’s World Fair/Art Nouveau, I thought I’d start off with a brief history rundown. (Don’t worry!  Its short and sweet)
The Paris World’s Fair of 1900 (also known as The Exposition Universelle) was held in Paris between 15 April and 12 November. On display were many new inventions: Matryoshka dolls, diesel engines, talking film, and the telegraphone. But more importantly (and the part that I have loved since childhood), the architecture and design of this World’s Fair brought the wonderful Art Nouveau style into popular culture. A high point in the evolution of Art Nouveau was this Exposition in Paris, which the ‘modern style’ triumphed in every medium. I could fill a whole website about the World’s Fair as it is a huge topic to cover.   I decided instead to narrow my focus on doing something that would reflect the influence that Art Nouveau brought to the masses because of that fair.
But just what is Art Nouveau?
Art Nouveau could be called the Pop Art of its time. The name ‘Art Nouveau’ derived from the name of a shop in Paris, Maison de l’Art Nouveau, at the time run by Siegfried Bing, that showcased objects that followed this approach to design.
Dynamic, undulating, and flowing, with curved ‘whiplash’ lines of syncopated rhythm, characterized much of Art Nouveau.  Here are some examples of that influence  you can see today.

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My kids will tell you that it looks like Hobbit or Fairy art, depending on which one you ask.  I personally think my love of Art Nouveau first started with Ozma of Oz.

Before I lose my focus (squirrel!! Lol) let’s get to…The CHALLENGE!  My inspiration for my submission was this beautiful 1900 World Fair advertisement postcard.



I knew a few things straight off that I wanted to accomplish with this dress.  Upcycle/repurpose something from home, have the photos taken at Balboa Park’s Spreckles Organ Pavillion (which has Art Nouveau influences in its design) and I wanted it to be long gown.   After that I was stumped. Seriously.  For weeks.   It took me forever to figure out how I wanted my dress to look until the last week before my challenge was due!  I hope you love how it turned out as much as my Kate did.

BalboaIMG_0562 copyBalboaIMG_0496 copyBalboaIMG_0491 copy For the dress I originally wanted to have a rounded yolk front but it ended up looking like a bib on her.  So I scrapped that design and decided to adapt the Made for Mermaids “Alyssa” pattern to what I wanted.  I changed the shoulder ties to flat straps (which should still have been an inch or two shorter) as well as lengthening the dress to reach the floor.  And other than adding trim to the bodice, the pattern was used pretty much as is.    For the outer material I actually used home decor sheers that I had.  They were still new but they were a complete clash with our new house and just sitting there. The lining I found on clearance at Walmart for $1 a yard.  After seeing that it was also home decor fabric, I laughed and scooped it up.  (Eat these drapes up Scarlett!)  Before sewing all the pieces together, I worked on my embellishments.  The center dress embellishment was a wired ribbon that I found in the Hobby Lobby floral sections.  I removed the wire from both sides of the ribbon, centered it on the sheer front dress panel and stitched it down with sparkly gold thread.  The shoulder straps (gold sequin ribbon), fabric, lace and ribbon trim and buttons for the bodice as well as the pearl arm swoops were all purchased from Hobby Lobby.

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Her headband was created by simply wrapping flowers with wire to create a complete circle of flowers.  I didn’t like the effect though of the complete circle of flowers.  I played around with it a bit and once the headband was on her head, I swept pieces up and over the flowers creating two effects.  One was that her hair had some thickness/volume to it and the second was that the flowers were more sporadicly placed.  It was super easy and I think that really helped pull the whole look together.

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I hope you have enjoyed my stop in time and history and have inspired you in some way.  Now don’t stop here!  Continue your journey through history by visiting the rest of the Mystery Challenge Participants!

5/25│ The Berry Bunch – Frank Lloyd Wright │ Sew Not PerfectLucille Ball, I Love Lucy
5/26 │ Create 3.5 – George Sand
5/27│ Zoe and TedSuffragetes
5/28│ House of EstrelaWoodstock/Fall of the Berlin Wall  │ Pen Seb RoxPiet Mondriaan
5/29│ Friends Stitched TogetherImpressionist MovementWining WifeJudgement of Paris
5/30│ Super Stay at Home MommyMadame TussaudKeep Calm and CarrionJackie Kennedy  │ Gloria JuneFlorence Nightingale
5/31│ SofilantjesAndy WarholBusy Little BeeMarie AntoinetteAmanda RoseMarch 9, 1959 Barbie
6/1│ PienkelBianca JaggerHuisje Boompje BoefjesAnne Frank
6/2│ Taking it Up a NotchQueen VictoriaAmazing Adventures with Bubba and Bug1964 New York World Fair │  Kelly’s Sewing Creations – Steampunk Mary Queen of Scots
6/3│ Mae & KTeslaPretty Little BlogMoon LandingKnot Sew Normal – Lutie Eugenia Sterns
6/4│ Sew StarlyCoronation of Queen Elizabeth II HibbadorayAmelia Earhart │ Sew Far NorthCountess Markievicz (1868-1927)
6/5│ Made By SaraJohn Dillinger/Roaring 20’s │ Friends Stitched Together – Prohibition/Roaring 20’s
6/6│ Country Bella – 1900’s World’s Fair/Art Nouveau │ Lulu and CelesteRosie the Riveter
6/7Sew Domesticated1960’s/Civil Rights Movement │ Rebel and MaliceFrench Revolution/Joan of Arch │ The Fabric Hoarder – Gypsies


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