Monday, December 28, 2015

Trenton Ball 2015

Saturday night I took a jaunt up to Trenton for the 18thc ball - the ball and battle of Trenton reenactment are the same weekend, you may recall we did both last year. I think balls are generally more fun than battles though, so I don't feel the need to see the battle reenactment every year.

The ball was overall very enjoyable. It was in the Masonic Hall this year rather than the nearby hotel ballroom...which was much more scenic, but somehow had even less space for dancing! It's a nice-sized room, but as they insist on serving food and having tables and chairs, there was barely room for two sets of dancers. And I do mean barely! Take a cue from period balls and have the food in another room, and just have chairs round the perimeter...or if you can't get another room, don't have much food at all, I didn't show up because I heard there'd be sammiches. :P Really, I only danced two dances because I found the crush so unpleasant!

Still, I'm always happy to sit and watch a ball, and chat with my friends! Which is good, as that's mainly what I did.

I trimmed up my red/green/yellow striped 1770s dress a bit more for this outing - still not quite as much as I'd like. Still plan to do two more rows of puffer trim on the skirt, but I decided I wanted to enjoy my Christmas rather than doing last-minute sewing! Still looked quite nice if I do say so myself.
Silly puffers!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

1860s marquee dress

Over the weekend, I went down to New Castle, Delaware, for their Dickens Experience/Spirit of Christmas event - all the historic houses in Old New Castle are decorated with greenery and fruit, most of the sites are open for tours, there are a few dramatic readings/performances, and general shopping and dining. I'd never been down there before, and I thought it was quite charming. And very historical! I don't know the finer points of architecture, but it at least looked like all the buildings around Market Square were 18th/first half of the 19thc. If only we'd had a bit of snow...but it was about 70*F that day, not wintery in the slightest! I made it a point to demand snow or at least cold for next year, if one can demand such a thing!

Anyway, I'd worn my "marquee" dress, mainly so I could get photos of it and do this writeup! If I hadn't wanted to do that I'd have gone for my taffeta instead...I wasn't sweltering, quite, but did start to get uncomfortable in some of the heated buildings. Wool flannel is a lovely thing, and not made for summer weather, thanks.
Just out of frame there is a very amused gentleman in the midst of decorating his railings. "SIR CAN WE TAKE A PICTURE WITH YOUR PINEAPPLE?!"

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cream poplin late 1830s

I still have to play catch-up with my new things from Gettysburg, but I'll do this one first. My friends and I decided we finally wanted something in the correct era for Allaire Village (they're set in the 1830s), to go up for one of their Christmas weekend events. It was a bit of a crunch, as we only had 3 weeks in between Gettysburg and Allaire, and one of those involved Thanksgiving.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

1860s bonnets

Worst blogger ever! I didn't make a point of taking photos of my new things at Gettysburg, though...and who cares about the old ones? I had the genius idea of buying a cheapie tripod so I can go out and get my own costume shots, and don't have to depend on my poor family members for them. (And really has taken that many years for me to think of getting a camera tripod. I am so incredibly astute, you guys.)

Anyway, this weekend is a local costume weekend - 1860s today and a new late-1830s tomorrow that I'm, er, still putting the finishing touches on. So, there shall be pictures of things! Just not tonight, as I have to hem those sleeves.

So I'm going to leave you with a small post on the two spoon bonnets I made for my friends - not specifically for this event, but since the frames have been done for ages, this event lit a fire under my bum to actually finish them! They're both made from a Timely Tresses pattern, which I must take a moment to talk up - I love every pattern I've ever used from them; they go together so nicely! This one is the Mildred Augusta. (The bonnets ought to have blocked tips, but...that sounded like work.)
I absolutely adore how utterly pointless this bonnet style is for any practical purpose! Gives no shade, kind of blocks your hearing, gets knocked off by low door-frames, and just perches there!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gettysburg: the very short version

Back! And was absolutely horrid at picture-taking, especially from a blogging point of view. I lost my camera for a good chunk of the weekend (of course the day I wore my new day dress), so I'm going to try and get out this week to take pictures of it. I make no guarantees, though, as it's a holiday week...

Shall leave you with a photo of the tintype of our group that was taken on Saturday. I'm wearing my old candy-stripe plaid silk, which I was surprised looked pretty boring on the plate. Wait til you see Katherine's in color, though!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dress for sale

Still 1860s sewing! This post just brings you a commercial break. ;)

I've put up my green and gold Regency evening dress for sale in my etsy shop - I almost didn't because I do still like it! And then I sternly asked myself when was the last time I wore it, sighed, and wrote up the listing.

Listing here

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Day dress finished

Here's a sneak peak at my "marquee" dress for Gettysburg - I'll get nice pictures and do a proper writeup then. But here are a couple not-great dummy pictures for you, as proof that it's done!
(Except for sewing in the pocket, and taking the undersleeves off my grey dress, washing them, and tacking them into this one. Which I should do sooner rather than later...)
And this dress weighs a TON. Well, ten pounds, which is rather a lot for a dress, I think!
I like my buttons. :)

Monday, October 19, 2015


I'm being a bad blogger...but I'm vain and like to post pictures of things I'm making that look like something! And I've been bouncing around between Gettysburg projects like a hopped-up flea. But lately I've been talking up my blog to some new people I've met ("oh, yes, I have a blog..." *tries to look important*) so I probably should update it at least once this month, eh?

First off, I'd like to say hello to all the lovely people I met yesterday at Fort Mercer. *waves* Another Amanda wandered across this blog and realized, hey, we're practically neighbors, we should meet up at this event! Her regiment was quite friendly (and only thought I was a little weird for dressing up on my own and going as a member of the public, haha)...I think I'll be seeing more of them! :)

And had an open house at the Indian King Tavern on Saturday - so I had a very 18thc weekend! I didn't get any pictures, as they were just rewears; cream jacket and red petti Saturday, and red wool gown and red petti Sunday. I found a new appreciation for that dress on Sunday...I haven't worn it in while, and I forgot just how nice and warm it is! I brought my cloak but left it in the car...with the temps in the low 50s, I was quite happy with my mitts. (Okay, this has been your PSA for warm woolen gowns; carry on.)

So, sewing? First, a very fuzzy-wuzzy 1860s winter hood for the shop. Pink and fuzzy!
This is the unprofessional version...I didn't list it in the shop like this, haha.
Also a silk organza apron, but that's not nearly as fun as the fuzzy hood, imo. And two laces...but I didn't make those! Just acquired more of them than I need!

Done attempting to (badly) pimp out the shop; what did I sew for me? Wellllll...

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sewing Things

A fair majority aren't for me, but I'm still sewing! I neglected the shop a bit leading up to the tea last weekend, so I've primarily been mocking up and starting to sew things for selling this week. Namely, md-19th-century winter hoods. Yes, very specific! Mainly because I'm going to Gettysburg in November and want a warm head if it goes down to freezing again...and figured while I'm making one for me, might as well make them for the shop, right? Somebody might want one!
1860s black silk winter hood
And I've got another version in pieces on my ironing board, that will be pink with white marabou trim!

I did spend one day off sewing just for myself, and managed to knock out the bulk of my 1860s quilted wrapper.
I also managed to put the sleeves on backwards. WINNING.
It's a snuggly wool-cotton flannel, trimmed with pre-quilted silk. It still needs a lot of finishing touches that I haven't bought yet (200 frogs or so for closures, etc)...and I need to take those sleeves off. But it looks quite garment-like!

Monday, September 21, 2015

18th Century Tea

On Saturday, the Indian King Tavern in Haddonfield was kind enough to let me host an 18thc tea with some of my friends. And my friends were kind enough to show up for it! And at least a few people members of the public thought we were interesting enough to listen to us ramble. Always good.

The traditional 18thc shoe shot. ;)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


This past weekend was Victorian Belvidere - it's a cute little town in north Jersey that has a Victorian-themed sort of festival every September. They have house tours, teas, a baseball game, a fashion show, and lots of vendors. Oh, the shopping. That was about 90% of the reason we showed up. ;)

It's very much a "wear something Victorian! Ish!" sort of event, so Robin and I wore hoops, and Alice her mid-1870s (all very impractical for shopping in tents, natch). We were very bad with the photo-taking this year (partly because nobody wore anything new, partly because we were having far too much fun to remember to take pictures), so the only one of all three of us is from some helpful person who shared it on Belvidere's Facebook page.
courtesy Marianne Meyer-Garcia

Monday, September 7, 2015

Playing catch-up

I enjoy having an online shop, but it's way way cut down on my Sewing Things For Me time! If there's only time for a little bit of sewing in the day, it has to be for the shop. Doesn't help that the bird dress is at the point of "why doesn't it just TRIM ITSELF??"

For Cloth Fair, I've made a big pink mushroom hat aka 1780s capote (I didn't list it as "mushroom hat", but do you know how tempting it was) and a very practical linen apron.
You know it looks like a mushroom. And I say this with all affection. I love this style!
Aprons is aprons. But everybody needs aprons, right??
For me: Finished yet another cap (and did not take a picture) in my never-ending quest for the Perfect Fluffy Cap - still not perfect, but quite nice and very acceptable for this event.
This event, specifically. :D
Did get the sleeve trim on the bird dress, at any rate. There is TOO MUCH GATHERING left to do! *flops*

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hats and things

I had grand ideas of having a Grand Opening for my etsy shop...and then realized that wouldn't be til next year sometime, as I'm such a slow sewer!

Anywhoodle, I like making hats and accessories and things (have you noticed?), so I finally got round to opening an Etsy shop - both for the aforementioned Hats and Things, and for a few very old costumes that I'll never wear again, but are too nice to pick apart or donate.

No outfits that date to within the span of this blog, though! Not yet...

I'll post hats and things here as I get round to listing them - they'll also be listed under the new "Accessories" tab at the top, with links as long as they're available. I'm still feeling out what people might like to actually spend money on, so I'll probably have one of each style in the next few weeks. I'm mainly going to focus on 1750-1820ish, as that's what I know most about, and like to make the most! Suggestions and/or comments from persons in the accessories-buying market are welcome. ;)
Silk 18thc cap
Cream silk-covered 18thc hat

Monday, August 24, 2015

Bird print dress progress

As of today, I've finished construction on it. That still leaves a ton of trim (how many tons, specifically, depends on how much I can squeak out of the yard-plus I have left), but right now it's technically wearable, if criminally under-trimmed.

Actually that one line of white fluff I've put on so far probably looks sillier than no trim at all! But I've got til Sept. 19, so I'm not worried. Yet.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

18th century, again

Or, The Bird Dress!

Currently still under construction, but I'd venture to say the bulk of the construction is done. (Trim is a whole different animal...)

I know it's not very impressive over my under-petticoat, but you can't see any detail at all with the matching one!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

1920s Housemaid

Or, Volunteering at Jazz Age on the Delaware at Glen Foerd. :)

Glen Foerd is a late 19thc riverfront estate north of Philadelphia proper, and this first JAotD was a fundraiser for the mansion. It's a lovely site - the riverfront hasn't been developed along this particular stretch, so it's easy to pretend you're back in Oldey-Timeys - and the grounds are a public park when they aren't full of people in 20s dress.

I wouldn't have been up unreasonably late finishing my dress if I hadn't hemmed it without checking to see how long my apron was. Unsurprisingly: longer than I hemmed the dress. Unpick, unpick, resew.
Sorry for the blinding white apron. I even toned it down from the original blinding brightness...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sewing: 1920s housemaid

About-face from the 18th century, eh what? I sort of forgot that I was volunteering at the Jazz Age on the Delaware at Glen Foerd (if you're in the Philly area, you should come! Tix are a little pricey but it's a fundraiser for the mansion, and I think it's going to be rather fab...also, yes, that is Yours Truly on the home page) on August 1st...well, not forgot, exactly, but August 1 seemed so far away!

And then all of a sudden it was next Saturday. Oh.

I had plans to make a 1920s housemaid outfit (volunteering, see), so I scrambled a bit to find some appropriate fabric for a maid's dress - of course there wasn't anything in the Stash, as I don't really go in for practical dark stuffs in my historical costume! Two yards of wool won't break the bank, though, and it should get here tomorrow or Tuesday.

(As an aside: yes, wool. I flatly won't wear synthetics on a day I have to be outside in a Philly summer, plus it of course wouldn't be correct to the 1920s. My instinct's against linen for a maid's dress - would look too sloppy and wrinkly. Rayon or cotton, possibly, but it's hard to find a dress-weight cotton that's not a sticky broadcloth nowadays, and neither of those will hold up as well as wool for a work dress. I'm a little fuzzy on the history of rayon anyway, not sure that it would be a cheap practical choice as yet in the 1920s? So that left me wool. A nice lightweight wool will breathe, and wear well - although I probably will only ever wear it this once! Details...)

So I did a bit (a very little bit!) of research into the maids of well-off families...and mainly discovered there's a relative wealth of information on British domestics when compared to their American counterparts! Not that this has to be a well-researched project, but I always feel the need to add a disclaimer when I'm Making It Up As I Go Along. Which I am doing. I'm running on a few pictures (mainly sans attribution, annoyingly) and common sense.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Living history day at the NYHS

I was invited to join some new friends at an 18thc living history demonstration they were doing for the New York Historical Society this past Sunday...I could sit and sew things and talk to the public about it? Sign me up!

I worked on a cap, which was apparently not as exciting as the tailoring demonstration going on next to me; I kept teasing that next time I'd have to bring a whole gown with me, would that be impressive enough?

And I was very glad I was inside yesterday, unlike the poor guys with their was HOT! And the triathlon closed down half the streets in the city so we couldn't even get to the Historical Society; we had to park about six blocks away and hike our stuff over so I can tell you just how hot it was! Was very grateful a gauze cap didn't weigh much, at that point...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Summer Day in a Turque

Today Robin and I went to the Historic Village at Allaire, partially to do a favor for a friend that volunteers there and be in their fashion show, but mostly because it was a very good excuse to dress up! Robin wore her new Regency dress, and I decided to finish something that's been in the UFO box for...approximately two years. All the satisfaction of a new dress with about a tenth of the work - all I had to do was sleeves and finish the neckline.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A brief update

No pictures, though, sorry. Feel free to move on!

I didn't sew much this week (did do a lot of reading, though!)...I tend to take a bit of a break after a sewing crunch, and that was definitely a crunch for Tall Ships. I did finish my 18thc linen mitts and wore them yesterday to the Indian King Tavern, for their reading of the Declaration of Independence. Familiar as I am with that document, I don't think I've ever actually heard it read aloud in its entirety, and if you can process the 18thc style it's really very moving! Especially if you can put yourself in a bit of a 1776 mindset...which is always helped by the costume. ;)

I'm making a couple of 1860s bonnets for other people for Gettysburg, so I'll probably start those this week. And I'm also working on organizing my sewing space a bit before I dive into the rest of Gettysburg sewing. And, of course, sorting out what I am actually going to be making! I originally had very ambitious plans, but I'm not half as enthused as I was half a year ago when I dreamed them up. Hence the need for sorting.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tall Ships

I got no good pictures of my outfit, so I must apologize! There were what felt like millions of people, and we only got to tour (or should I say "tour", as no one told us anything about it, we just walked on, walked off) one ship. But I got to see my friends, and we had a lovely lunch at City Tavern, and I enjoyed my sail on the When and If immensely. The crew were very nice to me, and didn't act like they thought I was a madwoman, dressed like that all by my onesie...even if they really did think so. ;)

If I find any more pictures later I'll update, but for now you just get three.
You can't see the other two hundred people milling around on the ship, just behind the person with the camera...

Monday, June 22, 2015

Regency sewing

So, this week I worked on Regency Tall Ships Things, unsurprisingly. Not much worth taking pictures of, which will make for a boring post, sorry. I'll make it up to you next week!

First off, I finished shaping my first-ever straw form...which I'm promptly handing off to Robin, who doesn't mind taking my experiments off my hands! It's a little wilty this time, but it's not bad enough to put me off straw forms forever! ;)

Although, I did end up buying a new roll of buckram. I was considering a straw for myself, but I'm familiar enough with buckram forms that it'll be quicker and easier to make a new buckram bonnet for Tall Ships instead! I got a nice bit of that put together yesterday; sewed the pieces together, got all the mulling put on, and started covering it in red satin. I think it's going to be quite nice.

A red bonnet and a red spencer! The body of the spencer's put together, so all I need to do is sleeves, trim, and fastenings. I didn't want to make the collar very heavy compared to the spencer (it's linen), so I used two layers of silk organza rather than the canvas I normally would. Wasn't entirely certain it would work as nicely, but it definitely does! I do love pad stitching.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bloggers Award

The lovely Anneliese of The Young Sewphisticate has nominated me for a Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award; thank you very much! I don't always "do" these awards that ask you to write out some Q&As, but I do appreciate the ones you've all ever given me in comments! (Hooray! I'm inspiring! I'm still tickled by this.)
Although - they do always require you to nominate X more blogs, and I feel a bit like I'm perpetuating a chain letter. So as per usual, I'm just going to answer the questions, and that'll have to be good enough. :)

Why did you begin blogging?
I started a costume journal on a different platform about ten years ago, because many of the Big-Name Costumers I read were on there, and there was a great costuming community. When Blogger came out, I thought it would be a good place for me to have a slightly more professional costume portfolio (but only slightly!), apart from my daily "I sewed a seam"! Plus it's a way to keep in touch, as a considerable part of the costuming community has moved to a blogging style.

Who or what sparked your interest in costuming?
I originally started looking around at costume sites because my high school madrigal choir dressed up to compete at the Renaissance Faire (at which we used to place regularly, thankyouverymuch), and I thought everything in the costume closet was ugly! Not that what I made was much better...but I was lucky enough to stumble onto The Tudor Costume Page, with instructions for making an outfit for Kentwell, so I completely bypassed the Simplicity Horror Phase! Completely by accident, but I've been interested in accurate costume (or, you know...relatively!) ever since.

What do you find more exciting: the designing or the sewing process for your costumes?
 Designing. And I find that more exciting than actually wearing, too...which is why I have such a pile of UFOs! I very rarely actually do any sketching, unless there are troublesome seam-lines; it's all in my head. I mentally sew every single seam in my head before I do so in reality, which also contributes to that pile...once I've finished it in my head I don't always feel the drive to complete it in reality!

What is your all-time favorite period drama?
If we're talking film? (If it's book...I couldn't choose, don't make me! So many books I love that I've never seen a satisfactory adaptation of!) Pride and Prejudice. Yes, that one. Yes, it's a common answer. There's a reason! It's wonderfully costumed, well-adapted from the text, overall well-cast, and it devotes enough time to plot development to satisfy me. Yes, every novel adaptation should be approximately six hours long, haha. Oh, and it's funny. I find Austen novels to be quite humorous, and not all adaptations translate that well to the screen. (Tangentially, while assigning Austen heroines to our group, a friend told me I'm Mr Bennet. I am surprisingly ok with this.)

If you could travel anywhere in the world for a week (all expenses paid), where would you go?
It's another tired old answer, but I'd love to see the British Isles! I'm poor so I've never been there...I'm a great fan of classic Brit Lit so I want to see all the places I've read about! A week might not be enough time, though...can I have a fortnight instead? ;)

If you could have a conversation with anyone from the past, who would you choose & what would you ask them?
Oh goodness, really? "The past" is a lot of time to choose from! Picking a bit randomly, I'd love to have Eleanor of Aquitaine tell me stories of her life!

Which do you prefer more: mornings or evenings?  Why?
Evenings. I like being awake in the mornings, too...but that requires actually getting up in the mornings, which I like much, much less. I don't really know why I function better getting up and staying up late, but I do! I'm not allowed to cut fabric past midnight, though...

What accomplishment(s) in the past year made you the proudest?
Are we talking sewing? I've decided we are. It's probably that I managed to meet a deadline, finish the Gainsborough Princesse natural form dress, and submit it to YWU's competition! I absolutely hate putting my costumes out there to be judged; I'm a very harsh judge of my own work and I always imagine others are too! It went over rather well, though I doubt I'll enter again.

What do you hope to accomplish this year?
 Sewing again! Short-term (that is, by the end of November) I want to make a few new things for Gettysburg; longer-term, that is, next calendar year, I want to go back to Katherine Parr and finish her. The gown's in pieces, but I still have a lot of accessories to put together!

What is on your sewing wish list?
Someday I'd like to make a recreation of Mme de Pompadour's "coronation portrait" gown, done as accurately as I can, from the inside out. I've had the taffeta for it since a nice taffeta was $16/yd (and that was a lot for me at the time!) but not the the past couple of years I've started to think I could do it justice, but it'll probably take another ten years to collect the rest of the supplies!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Little White Dress

Finished! Well, except that I need to order more white silk ribbon for the drawstring...I discovered this afternoon that I'm out, and used stiff unpleasant poly for now.

Photos first, and then I'll complain about tucks...
Modeled with very historically-inappropriate hair and footwear (for my age, anyway!), but I just wanted to get this documented and out of the way.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

New jacket and a Regency dress

Wotcher! Long time, no update! I did warn you...but we should be back to more regular updates around here soon. I'll try to get back into weekly posts, providing I've done something worth posting about!

I've just started volunteering with the Indian King Tavern in Haddonfield, and yesterday was their annual "skirmish" in front of the Tavern (blocking Kings Highway off and making drivers mad, it was great fun). There was never any actual fighting in Haddonfield during the Revolution, but the public does love that kind of thing - and the numbers of visitors were quite good! I'm new enough to not be confident in any of the little information I know about the site, so I sat outside and sewed a pair of mitts - something I am confident in. ;)

And I had a new jacket to wear. I made it a couple of weeks ago, having decided I really needed a specifically light-weight 18thc outfit for summer.
Of course it ended up not being disgustingly hot on Saturday...but I wore it anyway, because, hello, new jacket!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fort Fred 2015

A quickie post, as this was a re-wear and I took four pictures, though I'll come back with more if some flattering ones of me pop up later. ;)

Attended the Fort Fred Market Fair in Maryland on Saturday with a bunch of friends; this is generally an annual event for us and I think it's a lot of fun, though I never buy much, myself. This year it was a pair of black silk stockings and two cakes of beeswax. Big spender. But I love seeing so many people in 18thc dress, and petting all the fabric that the sutlers have!

I didn't finish my Brunswick (big surprise, eh), but I think it's all for the best, as that cotton wouldn't really have been substantial enough for me to keep warm. It was a bit chilly and I'm always cold...wool all the way! So the cream jacket got to come out and play again.
Wore my Ugly Cloak over it all day, but did make it a point to get pics without it in the parking lot before we left...
1/ Yes, that is a fabulously unevenly-pinned stomacher. I realized after it was all pinned in, and decided it would take way too long to re-pin. The perils of parking-lot dressing.
2/ Yes, I deliberately stuffed as many differently-colored things into one outfit as I could! Pink shoes, blue stockings, red petticoat, cream jacket, brown mitts, checked fichu, and orange and green ribbons on the hat. I like to combat "but they only wore poopy boring colors Back Then!" whenever possible. (Though this might be a little more variegated than usual...)

And I was very pleased to meet two readers of my blog at Fort Fred, too! *waves madly* Being recognized from here is still novel enough for me to be quite tickled by it, so if any of you ever see me at an event, do come up and say hi! I'm not scary...maybe a bit weird though. ;)

Next up is a Regency card party in mid-May. I hope to finish the neoclassical dress I've had in the works for a while for it, but if that doesn't happen I have two dresses to choose from already.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

18thc Encampment at Allaire

Well, first off, I've now got a second job in the mornings (and the J in the evenings and weekends), so I can't make any promises about sewing output for the near future. Which is blah. I doubt I'll have time to finish my Brunswick for Fort Fred next weekend, so, like most events for now, you'll be seeing repeat offenders. Good thing I have a not-inconsiderable costume wardrobe already. ;)

Anyway, Allaire Historic Village in NJ had an 18thc encampment this weekend - they're usually set in 1836 (which I don't have clothes for!) but they do other events occasionally, so Robin and I decided to gate-crash, as we do. The girl at the gate insisted we didn't have to pay admission since we were reenactors; we had to force her to take our money. "We want to support your SITE, please just TAKE OUR $3!"

And we met up with Tessa, who wasn't volunteering at the site this weekend, but who just happened to be there for Sunday. Very glad we didn't go Saturday!
I wore my striped linen gown and forgot my hat and mitts (Robin remembered her hat but forgot her hatpin, which was ineffective in the wind!), and got a very charming sunburn on my forearms, a sliver of chest, and half my face. It's quite a Look. At least we both have matching sunburns...?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sew ALL the things

Or none of the things! Which is what it's generally worked out to.

Trying to plan for and/or sew a Brunswick, an entire yet paired-down Remembrance Day 1860s wardrobe, new stays, and a Game of Thrones dress (all the Cool People are doing it, and I am nothing if not a huge copycat) at the same time is somehow not really coming together.

*short-circuits and falls over*

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Francaise Dinner 2015

Or, Yet Another Event in Which I Took No Pictures!

Indoor event with low lighting, y'know. Poor old sad camera. So I'll just leave you with a link to one of the organizers' posts and group picture!), on In the Long Run.

Aren't we a fabulous group?? It was a great event, though I felt maybe a little underdressed with all the silks about!
That's me seated towards the center, with the tiara and lower-cut-than-I-remembered-aieee(!) dress-in-a-day. And fluffy hair. Very fluffy hair.

Also, here's my real Almost-A-Winner icon from was in my spam folder the whole time! OOPS. I'm a weeener!
Next on the docket is an 18th century hoodie! Okay, a Brunswick...for Fort Fred Market Fair at the end of April. More on that next time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Odds and ends

First off, I neglected to post about it, but I was a runner up in the Your Wardrobe Unlock'd costume contest this year, which was pretty cool! (Anybody who voted for my dress, thank you. I am surprised and flattered.) I never did get the icon proclaiming me a runner-up that was listed as a prize, though, so I made one for myself.

(With apologies to Hyperbole and a Half...)
Besides serious Paint creativity, what have I been up to?

Um. The striped 1780s dress and I had a falling-out. I didn't want a weird butt-bubble in the skirt, but it did. I put it in the naughty pile and then proceeded to get sick. The current plan is to wear the Dress-in-a-Day for the Francaise Dinner. Not too horrible as I've never actually worn it to an event!

"Styled" a new-old wig to wear with said dress, as a friend's borrowing my usual 1780s wig. I say "styled" because it was really more manhandling. I had an old ratty wig I tried and failed to style into a pouf a hundred years ago, so I decided to use that (it's getting ratted up anyway, right?) in the interests of Not Buying More Wigs.
I also made a new under-hoop petticoat. Need new fancy underwears for Remembrance Day this year, doncha know. Stay tuned for more random 1860s wanderings at inopportune times this year.
None of my other ones were trimmed with LACE, OKAY?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Working on the 1780s bodice

Verreh, verreh slowly. But it is all put together, so now I need to work out those sleeves. Those terrible, terrible sleeves. There will definitely be piecing involved. Sigh.

But I tried the bodice and waistcoat on so I could make sure the back shoulder fit properly, so I got some pictures for le blog (because nobody cares about a pictureless post, amirite). My t-shirt and pajama pants really made the look, I think.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Reworking a dress

You may (or may not) remember that I was waffling about what to do with the fraying trim on my 1770s striped dress, as I wanted to wear it to the Francaise Dinner. I solved that problem by ignoring it completely, and deciding to wear something totally different!

A majority of attendees wear a sacque/robe a la francaise to the dinner (unsurprisingly), as I always have, but it is open to anything 1750-1800, so I thought I'd go a bit later this year. (Watching The Duchess as I cut out pieces for something else had no influence on my decision, I'm totally sure.)

I have a striped silk gown that I made for Costume Con in 2011, and while it's great fabric, it was never one of my better efforts. It never made it onto my 18thc page for a reason, haha. I meant to have a matching petticoat but ran out of time, and the sleeves were always bad.
So last week I decided to drag it out and see what I could do with it!

It was very wrinkly.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sewing Sunday: Not Much Sewing

I thought bunches about sewing, does that count?



I poked at the trim on the striped 1770s dress, as I think I want to wear that to the Francaise Dinner next month...but the red silk is fraying like nobody's business, and I'm not sure I'll be able to leave it on for another wearing. So I gave that up in disgust after stitching one piece of sleeve trim on. Should worry about that now, but I won't. Laters.

I also made a modern skirt. "Modern" apparently equals 1950s around here... I used the skirt of B5707 (OOP now), mainly because the fabric was a remnant and I just looked through my patterns til I found something that would fit on the fabric!
Werry high-quality photo. I'm starting to suspect I may have to replace my poor little camera...
The fabric's just under a yard of blue-and-black wool suiting - I got it when remnants were 75% off, and suitings were on I ended up paying less than $3 for it. Not Bad. It's lined in an unpleasant navy poly faille (dug out of my modern fabrics bin, and I have no idea where it came from, because I know I didn't buy it) that would NOT iron nicely. Stupid poly.

It's a pretty basic winter skirt, but I was sick of all my winter skirts so I like it!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Longwood Gardens in Victorian

Yesterday I went to Longwood with some friends, which was the original excuse to make my 1879 dress. I don't do much late Victorian, so this was a bit of branching out for me, and I thought LG was a nice setting for it! (Strictly speaking it doesn't quite match in time period; 19-teens would be more accurate for the gardens. Details...) It's not as exciting as it is in spring or summer - but my birthday isn't in spring or summer, so there.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Gainsborough Princesse dress finished

 I'm going to be wearing this next weekend for my Birthday Outing, but I'll be wearing a coat over it then (because the forecast is Very Cold! I still need to make said coat...), so I wanted to get photos of it today.

I'm pretty pleased with it! It's fun to wear - anything with a train is fun to swan around in, really. (And it's already filthy.) There are some wrinklies around the shoulders, and I really should have padded the front shoulder-to-bust to smooth it out. I'll fall back on my old I'm-so-not-a-tailor protest there.

And it's warm! I was toddling around Haddonfield in 38F weather this afternoon to get pictures, and I was pretty happy! I'll be even happier when I locate my fur-lined gloves for next weekend. I do love wool. Winter clothes are the best clothes! Historical or otherwise.

I got a ton of pictures (see aforementioned swanning: fun), so here you go.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Natural form dress, again

Progressing nicely! Though I'm really not as far along as I'd like to be; I need to have it finished before the weekend so I can get pictures.

Here's where it is now. Terrifyingly unimpressive. Pinning the fronts together for a picture would have been helpful, but too late now...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sewing Sunday: natural form, cont'd.

So! I have been sewing, a bit. Mainly hat-making, actually. I do have a tendency to make the hat to go with a dress before I've done the dress...which sometimes means I don't have a dress, but means I always have a hat! :D Did a mockup of the dress bodice last week, cut out all the pieces, and started sewing them together, then got distracted this week by the hat.

Not based on any one particular hat, but inspired by a whole slew of fashion plates 1878-81. I used TV550, which was lovely to put together (as always! Truly Victorian patterns are great). Wired buckram base, covered in flannel then navy silk. Fairly slubby dupioni, which is not ideal, but I really needed to keep to the stash for this, and it was hard to pick something to go with my blue and pink dress! I have a lot of red scraps apparently...