Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New Castle Christmas: Red Ballgown

I didn't need a new ballgown. (Is a ballgown ever something one really needs?) The Rainbow Trout dress is alright, but I really wanted something more Christmas-themed, and less...sleeve-y. I love my friends in big-sleeved ridiculousness; I don't love it on me quite as much. So I wickedly bought some yardage of silk taffeta in one of my very favorite colors, and proceeded to make a c1838-40 ballgown!

As much fun as I had at the ball, dim lighting doesn't make for very good costume documentation for one's blog, so I trotted it out again today to take pictures that are less grainy (and freeze my bum off in the park).

Monday, December 12, 2016

New Castle Christmas: Outerwear

New costume bits for New Castle will be in two parts; not so much because I made a lot of stuff, but because I couldn't get detail shots of the ballgown from Friday night (the dim lighting at balls is not great for my poor little camera, especially when the trim is all tone-on-tone)! So I plan on dressing up the dummy today or tomorrow, and do a writeup on the ballgown then.

With that said: new outerwear! Period winter clothes are some of my very favorite things to make and wear, so I decided to focus on a bonnet and mantle for Saturday tea and town-wanderings, and rewear my cream poplin dress from last year. Not a dress I'm thrilled with (still need to fix the sleeves), but perfectly acceptable, especially as a base for more fun things.
Those "more fun things" would be a new bonnet and mantle, precisely. Relatively simple but very necessary in cold weather! (And we did have cold weather this past weekend. I was thrilled. "You mean it's going to be a high in the 30s?! Hooray cold!")

Thursday, November 10, 2016

1790s accessories

This past weekend, I attended a Pumpkin Tea that a costumer friend hosts (and has hosted for ten years as of this one! I haven't made them all but every one I've been to has been excellent). It's always good food, good friends, and good fun! It's "Regency" themed - 1790s to about 1820. Every other time I've attended, I've actually worn some variation of the same outfit...my Pompom Outfit. Which I still like very much but am fairly tired of wearing places by now!

I've always found Jen's 1790s dresses very inspiring - mid-1790s especially are so distinctive and ridiculous! You might remember that I made the white round gown earlier this year (and photographed it very badly!) but never finished the open robe I wanted to go over it as my planned picnic got rained out. Well, the open robe still seemed like too much work, but a couple accessories would spruce up said round gown for an event, right?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Brief post!

I made my late-18-teens mourning dress two years ago to wear to the Met for their mourning exhibit, and haven't gotten decent pictures of it yet! Well, I still haven't done so...but I wore it this past weekend to a friend's black-and-white themed masquerade birthday celebration, and there is one nice picture of me, so I'm posting it here.

(It was candlelight - lovely and atmospheric for the party but not great if you wanted dress detail shots, haha! Not that I really tried hard to get any; I'm not entirely sold on this particular dress. But anyway. I felt very appropriately Halloween-y!)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

1770s cross barred gown

Nothing like the slimmest of reasons to finish a new dress! This particular one's been in the UFO (unfinished objects) bin for a year or so; I cut the back panel too narrow when I started it, and packed it away in annoyance. But my friends and I came across an 18thc market fair being held at Washington's Crossing, and I decided, a week out, that that was as good a reason as any to have a new dress!
Playing graces! This kept us amused for a very long time.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

Early 1880s print dress

Not quite displayed as originally intended, but that's alright! I (and my usual costumer-partners-in-crime) decided we wanted natural form dresses to match a friend's most excellent 1882 Egyptian campaign setup at Belvidere Victorian Days this year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

1860s satin and lace ballgown

And I'm just about 9 months late in writing a blog post for it! I made it last year, and wore it to the Saturday night ball Remembrance Day weekend in Gettysburg. I only got a few pictures of it then, and none of them were great quality (that's the thing about balls, they're too much fun to stop and get proper pictures, and indoor nighttime lighting is never great for documentary photos anyway). And as I take my costume pics outside 99% of the time - first it was too cold, then it rained forever, and then it was too hot. And I had to plan in advance because it needed some repairs after the Gettysburg wearing. But here it is!
Introduced in "action", because I couldn't resist.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

1830s Underpinnings

All new, at least relatively - everything except the shift has been finished no earlier than June, I think. (I'm wearing my late 18th/early 19thc shifts with 1830s - they tend to be my default because they work with most eras!)

(Ugh, the photos are misbehaving - if they look wonky in the post they should still come up alright when you click on them! Grumble grumble.)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

1830s ballgown: The Rainbow Trout Dress

Long time, no post! I should have another one this week, about my 1830s underpinnings (but I need to let my corset air out a bit, that was one warm dance) but for now, here's another 1830s offering for you.

Deemed the rainbow trout dress, because it's pink and green shot, you see.  And trimmed with salmon taffeta bows and sash, in keeping with the fishy theme. ;)
This particular shot got an instagram filter later; I think it came out very nicely!
Another Allaire Village event: a little barn dance. My friends and I were a little overdressed for a barn dance, perhaps...but we're always overdressed, so no one was really worried about that. And at least for my part, I plan to wear this when we go to New Castle for their Christmas weekend, so I wanted something fancy!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mid-1830s Summer Dress

Hooray, we finally made it to an event that didn't get rained (or snowed) out! Yesterday my friends and I went to the historic village at Allaire State Park to see our friend get fake-married as Maria Allaire. We all even made new dresses for the occasion!
Mind you...I didn't plan on making a new dress. I was more than a bit sulky after my Regency picnic got rained out last month, and didn't feel like bothering. All I planned to do was make myself a nice summery bonnet, since I didn't have any 1830s bonnets (and cover a bonnet for a commission from my friend Alice), and just wear my cream cotton poplin.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Please hold.

Just popping in to say that I have been sewing, but I keep getting rained out of events so I've got nothing to show for it! I was supposed to have a Regency picnic tomorrow, but this weekend's going to be a total washout - a couple of inches of rain predicted over tomorrow and Sunday! Not good picnic weather.

So I'll leave you with a picture of a 1950s-style skirt I made at the end of April instead. (Worn one day when it wasn't raining, fancy that!) Just a plain old novelty cotton poppy-print, but I think it's cute!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

1790s Round Gown

With truly dismal hair, for which I apologize! I really thought I had a wig that would work with minimal tweaking (the tweaking needed was not minimal), and I didn't want to go to the trouble of setting all my hair last night for a ten-minute shoot (this is still valid, in my books)! So...just try and ignore the hair.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Cotton Print Brunswick

Not entirely finished, mind you. It still wants a good amount of trim - robings, waistcoat, &tc. But it's done enough to wear, and I did so on Saturday, while at the Indian King Tavern for an open house. And they're not very good pictures, I do apologize - very rushed after an afternoon in the 18thc before changing for work!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pre-Raphaelite Dress

This dress (and an overgown to go with it) was meant to be worn to Fonthill Castle in PA this past Saturday, for a friend's birthday outing. The weather, however, decided that it would be extremely seasonally appropriate to dump some very messy snow on us that day, to which we said...maybe we'll reschedule. None of our outfits were quite intended to handle that particular weather!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Making A Painted Petticoat (or Two)

As promised, a nice detailed writeup on the construction and design of my painted petticoats!
I've named this design the "Anne".
Both designs can now be found in my shop: Charlotte and Anne!

Monday, March 14, 2016

A c1790 jacket and petticoat

Some of you might be familiar with the Francaise Dinner my group of costumer friends has been putting on for the past few years, lately in Alexandria...it was this past weekend, and for various reasons, a few of us in the Philly area weren't able to attend. So I thought it might be nice to have a compensatory event the same weekend, just so we could play 18thc dress-up this weekend too! We ended up having a nice little lunch at City Tavern in Philadelphia yesterday, that I decided to very cleverly decided to call the Loser Anglaise Luncheon.

(Because an anglaise luncheon is not as cool as a francaise dinner, you see. Very clever indeed.)

The point wasn't to make anything new, but I did anyway - primarily because I wanted to get a nice display of the samples of painted petticoats I've been working on for the past few weeks. (The petticoats will get their own post in the next couple days, fear not.) And I really wanted a jacket to wear with a painted petti rather than a gown; what's the point if you can't see the whole petticoat, right??
No, I shan't stop showing off my pink American Duchesses, thanks very much. I luuuuurves them!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Sewing green stuff

Pelisse: Still looks the same, although I finally motivated myself to gear up so I could see whether I wanted the CF to meet edge to edge, or overlap (overlap, it was decided). So I've finished almost all the edges I need to before I can start putting on the fur - just one more side of the CF to do. And now of course the weather forecast is far too warm for next weekend, which is when I intended to wear it! Here's hoping it changes...

Pierrot jacket: Oh, I started a late 18thc jacket. It is also green, hence the post title. I don't really need it, but hey. When has that ever stopped me before? Inspired mainly by the little jacket in the KCI collection, but not directly copied. Terrible nighttime picture I took of it a few days ago, before I sternly told myself I should finish the pelisse first (even if I don't get to wear it):
Hard to tell, but the fabric's sage-green satin with bronze stripes and I think it's very nice! Bought it as a remnant from Renaissance Fabrics last summer because it was pretty, haha. I've also got the shoulder straps fitted and sewn on since I took the photo, so I just have to do the sleeves. Jackets are so gratifyingly quick to do!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Pelisse progress

Yes, it took me a whole week to make sleeves and put them in.
Unimpressive proof of said sleeves.
Oh, but I also stitched in some twill tape to the inner waist to give it some stability. That took a very long time. *nods*
No, it really didn't.
Oh, and I made myself another 1950s skirt for modern wear - blue and black tartan cotton flannel, that I wore yesterday and didn't take a picture of. Maybe next time I wear it!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pelisse in-progress

Did I mention I'm making a pelisse? I can't remember.

Well hey, guess what? I'm making a pelisse!

I decided I wanted one when I saw the first trailer for the new War & Peace (before the one-shouldered David's Bridal monstrosity appeared on the scene and all my excitement fizzled out). As such, I'm calling it a War & Peace pelisse (it rhymes! hurr), despite it being a little later in date than most of the story.

(Since the current series seems to have imported at least one of its characters' wardrobes from 1923, I won't quibble with a pelisse from 1815ish rather than 1805-13.)

And despite the particular shade of green I'm using being maybe a little too vivid for that early in the century. But that would be some serious picking of nits! And it's rather delicious fabric.

Anyway! The materials:
Green/bronze shot silk taffeta, to be trimmed in Russian (possibly?) squirrel, aka a vintage coat I found for absurdly cheap on ebay. I took that as a sign I definitely should make this pelisse, and snapped it up.
It's hand sewn, mostly using spaced backstitch, with silk thread. The bodice is interlined with tropical weight wool, and both bodice and skirt (and sleeves, when I get to them) are lined with brown silk shantung.
It's a bodice!
It's half a skirt laid out with no lining put in the back yet!
Since there isn't actually a whole lot out there about original Regency dress construction, I generally use either 18th century, Victorian (or "normal", with the two right sides put together when sewing a seam), or some weird combination of the two. This one's turning out to be in the "weird combination" category, haha. For the basic construction, I've sewn three of the four layers together, ironed the seam open, ironed the seam allowances all toward the side with lining, so I could fold the raw edges of the remaining piece of lining under, and tack it down. Which is in fact very 18th century, but I haven't left the edges free to turn in toward each other, as I would usually do for an 18thc something. Mainly because most of the edges are going to get fur trim, so I'll just do a very rough turn-over hem.

And since I realize that made sense to probably nobody, I did take pictures!
Plain old seam, joining two green skirt panels and the one side of lining.
Seam pressed open, then toward the side without lining.
And the lining for the other side sewn into place. Easy peasy!
Yes, it does require going back and sewing all your seams twice, but the second pass doesn't have to be very small or neat, and it's an excellent way to make sure all your seams are enclosed, if you're fussy about that. I am, in fact, not fussy about that at all (and historically speaking, most seamstresses weren't, either), but the shantung is quite ravelly, and no one likes silk strings everywhere when you're trying to wear things.

And what it looks like so far overall:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Shop post: Striped soft-crown Regency bonnet

I am in fact sewing other things, but none of them are exciting enough to post about. So you get another bonnet-in-the-shop post! Well, I think they're rather cute...

This one's another little soft-crown with a straw brim; I've been intent on using up my bag of small braid bits, which I now mostly have done, so I'll shut up about this type for a little while. Maybe. This one's got a crown of a rather nice striped taffeta - I have a particular weakness for striped taffeta. ;)
on etsy

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Shop post

I appear to be on something of a soft-crown Regency bonnet kick, as that's pretty much all I've been working on this week! Well that's alright; they're less labor-intensive than the taller 'teens buckram-framed bonnets that are so dear to my heart.

(I do have the pieces of another 18-teens bonnet cut out at this very moment - for me, because when you sell accessories, you occasionally just have to have one or two or seven for yourself!)
1800s red silk soft-crown hat
1800s silk and straw soft-crown bonnet

I'm particularly fond of the straw-brim one, and thought of keeping it, actually! Talked myself down, but I have plenty of straw braid, and a wee bit more of that silk... ;)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

1860s paletot and hood

Completely unplanned little photoshoot today...but we had the first proper snowfall of the season, and one of my friends made the clever suggestion that I actually get some halfway decent pictures of my 1860s hood that I threw together for Gettysburg. Not to mention my paletot!

(The paletot's still lacking some intended trim, but it's more done than not, and I didn't get any nice pictures of that either at Gettysburg, since it was mostly too warm for it during the day.)

I'm sure you'll forgive the side-part (very occasionally seen in the 1860s, but not enough that I like to wear it for events) and the eye makeup (I did wipe off the lipstick though!) - as I said, it was very spur-of-the-moment, and I was afraid the snow would stop if I took too long getting ready!

Obviously, it did not.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Shop Post: Brown Hats!

Alright, the Regency hat's been up for a little while, but I didn't post it here, so I shall include it now.

Just finished the 1780s hat today - it's a slightly smaller version of the 1780s hats I've put up before. Slightly more practical...very slightly! ;)
And a Rather Silly 18-teens hat, too! I was on a brown silk kick, I guess. I thought the upward-pointing feathers made it even better...if you're going to make a silly hat, don't go halfway!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Mid-Atlantic Costumers' Holiday Tea

(All of these pictures are courtesy of In the Long Run...I didn't bother with pics of an old dress, but then she got a nice shot of it that I decided I want to share!)

Over the weekend I drove down to Ellicott City in Maryland, for our annual holiday tea. We had it at Tea on the Tiber, which was a charming little tea house with pleasant staff and delicious food - I think almost nobody got around to eating the cake on the top tier because we were stuffed from the first two tiers!
Don't we look nice?
So christmassy! I do like this dress. It didn't fit super well in the shop, but...