Monday, December 16, 2019

1860s in New Castle...aka I think that looks familiar

Why yes, that would be my rational dress bodice with a long skirt. I did mention I wanted to make the outfit as versatile as possible in the last post, I think!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Gettysburg 2019: Rational Dress

Aka, Twowsers! Wimmins in Pants! Scandal! Hussies! Etc. etc.
Gettysburg 19
The short version is that most of The Usual Suspects agreed to wear trousers with me this year at Gettysburg as one of our day outfits, on the day we explored the park a bit. (A bit. There's a lot of park.) And it we had a great good time!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Gettysburg 2019: Tartan re-trim

Our group decided to attend the Friday night ball at the Gettysburg Hotel this year - and the theme for the evening was "tartan." Of course not everybody dresses in regards to the theme on any given evening, but it's encouraged, and I think it's fun to do if I can!
Gettysburg 19

Friday, November 29, 2019

Gettysburg 2019: The Horrible Chartreuse Dress

Last weekend was Remembrance Day in Gettysburg, PA; my little group and I like to go out every other year for it. I've been going since 2011 so I'm pretty well stocked on 1860s cold-weather clothes, even considering the learning curve and improvement of sewing skills!

That said, I still like the planning and sewing of outfits just as much as wearing them, so I did make a couple of new items: a "rational dress" and a new silk "dinner dress", plus retrimmed the old satin ballgown for the tartan-themed ball we attended on Friday night. I'll do separate posts on all of those, otherwise I think it will get too long. And I especially want to do the rational dress justice!

Dinner bodice Chartreuse dress
Mr Pip looooves crinolines. They are best toy.
So, up today: the Horrible Chartreuse Dress. Why have I called it such a mean name? Well, I'm one of those fair people who doesn't look great in most shades of yellow, and that very much includes yellow-greens. BUT, a good few years ago I saw a silk taffeta in one of those excellent Fabricmart sales that was this wonderfully awful shade of chartreuse, and it was such an 1860s color ("let's play with all these new dyes we have!") and such a good deal I couldn't pass it up.

Dinner bodice Chartreuse dress

Sunday, August 25, 2019

An Experiment: 1900 Corset In Net

First of all, my usual disclaimer any time I make anything corset-adjacent: I can usually make an adequate corset for my own use, but I would never claim that I'm Doing It Right, or make pretty corsets! I have adequate skills to make a corset that fits okay most of the time (*cough*), but a really well-fitted, professional-looking is beyond my skills. And I'm okay with that! I make a mean hat, I don't have to have mad skillz in every area of costuming! Til I can afford to buy custom Redthreaded corsets for all my foundations, though, I'm stuck making my own corsets.

All that said...while this corset does have some pretty obvious issues that make it somewhat embarrassing to post publicly (yes, really!), I'm overall very pleased with how it came out. If I liked making corsets, this would be a great working mockup to see exactly what I ought to improve for the next version, which would be a vast improvement over this one. As it is...I doubt I'll make version 2.0 any time soon, at least until this one dies.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

New Turn-of-the-Century Undies

As mentioned in the lavender plaid post, I figured I'd break this down separately, as it would be too long as one very big post I think! Here we have a What To Wear Underneath Your Turn-of-the-Century-Outfit Post: in my case, shoes, stockings, chemise, drawers, corset, corset cover, and petticoat.
A reminder of the silhouette we're going for here. I don't make gorgeous underthings like some costumers do (and I say that with nothing but admiration...and okay a good bit of envy!), so you'll have to deal with ugly dress-dummy pictures from me.
Yes, it sounds like a lot if this isn't what you do on the weekends and aren't familiar with it, but with all natural fibers it's really not bad. Of course you sweat, but it's not like wearing a load of nasty polyester that doesn't breathe! Plus I firmly subscribe to the "if you're spending a day in the sun it's better to cover up" line of thinking. And at a certain temperature, "we're all you're hot too" is our answer to inquiring minds who want to know!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

1898 Lavender Plaid Outfit

Earlier this summer, my partner-in-crime and I decided we ought to do "something Edwardian." Why? Well, she's going on a big costume trip next summer, for which she will need a week's worth of Edwardian clothes, and wanted to start sewing for it now (because that's a lot to sew!).

Me, I'm not invited, but I'm happy to play along, provided I could branch slightly out of her strict 1901-05 timeframe. I love the transitional 1898-1900 styles, and prefer them to what came before or after, not being a giant sleeve or a droopy kind of girl (this may sound applies to both 1830s/40s and 1890s/1900s!).

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Beginnings of 16thc Flemish

I promise to do a slightly thorough post about all the research I didn't do on this outfit once it's actually finished; as it is, this is a soft opening, if you will! A friend pitched an SCA event to the Usual Suspects a couple of weeks ago, and, while the vast majority of my costume interest for the last decade has been 1760 and later...this event was in a local park, and free! So hey, why not? I have actually always wanted to make a Flemish workingwoman's dress circa 1550-80s, way back in the mists of 2005 when I started costuming because I was in my high school's madrigal choir and lived on the Elizabethan Costuming Page! I never actually got around to making it before I developed more interest in other eras, and found local friends who were also interested in other eras...but it was always on my "someday, when I have a reason" list. Well, here's a reason!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Young Victoria Dinner

1830s, everywhere, all the time! Except for on me, because I don't care for the big sleeves and ridiculous hair. (On me, specifically. I enjoy seeing it on everyone else! It just makes me feel infantile.) Hosted by Robin of SewLoud - I chipped by coordinating a picnic the afternoon-of, and by sticking candles into candelabras. It was a splendid event at the Joseph Ambler inn (they were very good to us), and we only mystified a couple of dozen wedding guests (the venue is big on weddings, unsurprisingly).
And this event debuted Mr. Dedicated Follower of Fashion in costume! This other post goes into detail about what I made for him (and what I ran out of time to make, and bought instead....). I will say that boy clothes are pretty different from dressmaking...!

Early Victorian Boy Clothes: The Sewing Part

I had Very Grand Plans to make his entire wardrobe (two whole outfits!)...and then a combination of "running out of time" and "boy clothes are stupid boring" and "my pathetic attempts at tailoring are disheartening" led to just buying a good chunk of it. Still, I think he ended up looking rather nice!
Nothing like a gaggle of ladies to keep a chap awake in the afternoon...

Friday, January 25, 2019

Cardinal Cloak

Because if your favorite American Girl doll in the '90s was Felicity, you've always wanted a cardinal cloak! Guilty as charged.
Back story of this cloak and the reason for finishing it at just this time: the Museum of the American Revolution in Philly has "after-hours" events occasionally, and this particular one was a "Winter's Ball", with dancing, and with Samantha of A Couture Courtesan there as well, to chat about the historical "Hamilton" dress she'd made. (She's an incredibly talented seamstress with impeccable taste, and I'm still impressed that she'll acknowledge she knows the likes of Yours Truly! Have I also mentioned she's a lovely person?) It was on a somewhat random Tuesday evening, but the Usual Suspects and I were all able to make it.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Black & Ivory Natural Form Dinner Dress

Part the First: Introductions

(In three parts, because this got long, and if you don't care about construction trials and travails, you can scroll down more quickly!) Happy 2019! And happy I'm-done-school! This should hopefully mean more sewing and maybe even posting. *crowd ooohs and ahhhhs*

I finished this dress for our Belvidere Victorian Days event this past September. I've posted about it in the past, I think; a friend of ours does an 1882 British campaign in Egypt setup, so we've been doing Natural Form to coordinate for the past few years. And this past year, we decided to have a formal mess naturally we all needed dinner dresses!