Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Fall/Winter 2018-2019





I can't believe that all of the events I wrote about in my January post have come and gone! My fall and winter are already full of events, some of which need sewing and some of which need writing and performing. Silly me, thinking I'd "take it easy" for the rest of the year... ;-)

My sewing plans are as follows:

  • second set of clothing for contract museum work (shortgown, petticoat, kerchief)
  • French farthingale and silk bum roll for a presentation at Agecroft Hall
  • 1787 Eliza Hamilton gown for the Museum of the American Revolution--more on this later!
  • finish cotton print short sack and petticoat, cover hat for event at MoAR
  • remake my 1815 spangled ball gown for the RSV Victory Ball
  • early 1840s "Jane Eyre" dress, bonnet, cloak, and petticoat for Victorian tea/Christmas at Agecroft
  • Dress-in-a-weekend program at MoAR--more on this later!
  • fancy dress-ify my black 1860s evening gown for Victorian 12th Night
  • 1530s gown for SCA 12th Night

Elizabeth Shuyler

Explore SceneInThePast's photos on Flickr. SceneInThePast has uploaded 5829 photos to Flickr. 




Early 1860s Black Evening Gown

This was my favorite outfit for Costume College this year, and I felt like it deserved a blog post! I'm also hoping to get back into blogging more regularly. I've got some exciting projects planned for the rest of the year and I want to share them with you!

So this gown I actually made two years ago, but the bertha was never quite what I wanted and the bodice ended up being a smidge too small. I bought another two yards of the fabrics--silk/cotton blend satin from Robert Kauffman--to make a new bodice and bertha. I also became the recipient of dozens and dozens of yards of vintage chantilly lace about a week before Costume College, and it was perfect for the bertha and headdress. I'm contemplating continuing the trim on the skirt all the way around as well. This dress is already pretty luxurious, so why not go all out?

I knew I wanted a black evening gown, but I had to contend with some "rules" surrounding black for young women. Namely that it just wasn't done because it was considered unbecoming for young women who should be in white and light colors, and that it wouldn't have looked well with the lighting of the time. But the large quantity of black formal gowns in portraits, fashion plates, and extant garments on women about my age encouraged me to make the gown anyway. And I'm probably not a "young lady" by 1860s standards anymore, as I'm married and pushing 30. ;-) So if I was in my late teens or early 20s, I probably would stick with a frothy tulle confection in light colors (but I already made that dress). I'm also not considering this a "ball gown" meant for dancing. It's an evening gown for formal evening occasions.

So here's some of my inspiration images. There is also a description of a black evening dress from a fashion magazine. My Pinterest board has all of the images I've collected, from the 1840s-60s to give a good range and show that they aren't as uncommon as one might think.
"Princess Louise (1848-1939)", Albert Graefle, 1864; Royal Collection Trust 400765

1861 Marii Sawiczewskiej by Leopold Löffler 

Contrast-weave box-pleated pleats  CIVIL WAR ERA BALL GOWN BODICE W RUFFLE PLEAT TRIMS
Bodice from eBay

Peterson's 1861
and the description: 

So with that, I present my gown! I'm so happy with how it fits and looks. The only thing I want to change it to make the bows on the skirt out of velvet. But that's it! And I'll be changing it up slightly for a fancy dress party in January, so look for this gown again in the future.
















Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018 Plans



It's going to be a busy year...!

January
*Jane Austen Evening: I'm wearing my embroidered gown!

February
*Burnley and Trowbridge shift workshop:I'm teaching this one again, so I need to get my handouts in order...

March
*Burnley and Trowbridge sack gown workshop: I'm assisting Brooke Welborn with this workshop. I can't wait to learn from her! 
*MOH fashion show: I need to make an 1890s skirt to go with the jacket of my bicycling outfit to make a "normal" daywear outfit. I'm one of the organizers for this and providing a lot of garments for it. Need to make sure they're in good repair and wearable!
*Francaise dinner?? I probably don't have time for this but I really want to go... And I have a new sack gown started!

April
*Agecroft performance: I'm doing a first-person performance and I'm very excited to put my theatrical and creative writing skills to use! I'll need to finish my 1616 bodies, make alterations to 1616 gown, and make a lace ruff and cuffs, bum roll, vizard... And memorize the show!
*Ft Fred: I'll be shopgirl for Burnley and Trowbridge which means I need clothes for 4 days! There's no telling what the weather will be this far in the future... This event is notorious for crazy weather! I'll probably be altering my brown wool gown and making a second wool petticoat.

May
*CW Garden Party?? It's so expensive but it looks delightful and it's in my backyard...

June 
*Tailored to a New World Conference: try not to lose my mind while running this conference again! My 1616 gown will be wearable for this though, so that's exciting. 
*JA Summer Program at Chapel Hill: I'm giving a lecture at this! There will be a masked ball but I will probably just wear my spangled ball gown and be some sort of flower fairy...

July
Costume College: 1530s or 40s Tudor gown for the Gala. I doubt I'll have time to make anything else specifically for CoCo, but that's okay! There are lots of things that I can wear.

August
Corsets and Cravats 1860s Symposium: I'm giving a lecture and teaching two workshops! There are a couple social events in the evenings at which we are encouraged to dress in period clothes, so right now my plan is to make a black Swiss waist and white corsage

After that... I don't know! Which is fine with me! Well, I will probably go to Gettysburg Remembrance Day, but this is quite enough to think about for now! :)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2017 Sewing Year In Review

I was a TERRIBLE blogger this year! It's just so much easier to share pictures on my Facebook page and Instagram, and I haven't had it in me to do any serious construction or research posts. Hopefully that will change this year!

Even with my continuing wrist and thumb issues, I sewed a bunch of things in 2017. The biggest project was my embroidered Regency gown, which I never got pictures of in France! Hopefully that will change at the 12th Night dinner this Saturday, if it doesn't get canceled due to snow... Being part of the imperial court at Malmaison was a dream come true, but definitely used a lot of my sewing mojo. I haven't been able to get in a good groove since then although I still made many little things after that.

So without further ado, here's what I made in 2017:

*1860s half mourning dress

*1560s gown, kirtle, partlet with ruff, cuffs, and hood (This needs a new hood and a photo shoot with the ruff and cuffs properly ironed!)

*Late 1770s stays

*Bernhardt early 19th century stays

*Madder-dyed wool petticoat with upperbodies

*The Embroidered Gown! 

 *1807 Ensemble for Malmaison: striped muslin gown, striped silk pelisse, organdy chemisette, bonnet, and a new shift


*Dimity gown, checked linen apron, and striped linen petticoat

*Dark fairy/witch/Hecate/Halloween gown


*1918 outfit


 *1840s Cloak


 *1860s corset and drawers

*Black silk mantle and pink silk petticoat

*Green silk calask and cream wool mitts

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Where Has the Year Gone?

It's officially July... When did that happen??

I've been sewing nonstop (in spite of my wrist) but I haven't updated either of my blogs in a very long time. It's much easier for me to update my Facebook page and Instagram, so that is where most of the pictures of my finished work has been going.

Here's some of what I've been up to. You can check out my Facebook page for more info on these projects. I do still plan to do proper blog posts in the future, but not as frequently as you'll be seeing new content on FB and Instagram. So check those out!

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Under and Over: 1860s Half Mourning Cotton Dress and Cage Crinoline



Last weekend I once more had my 1860s mourning display set up at a local Civil War reenactment. About a week before the event, I decided it would be crazy totally reasonable to finish the half mourning printed cotton dress that I started two years ago. I'm glad I pushed through and finished it because I'm quite pleased with the dress even though it's cotton (what can I say, I love silk and wool!).

To make a cotton dress more interesting, I did a yoked bodice with pleats and piping and played a tiny bit with the directions of the stripes. The bishop sleeve, while not really flattering, is useful if I ever want to roll up the sleeves in a working environment like cooking or doing laundry. The bodice is only partially lined in the yoke and in a strip under each arm, as seen in a few originals like this yoked dress.

    



I also thought it was about time to photograph my Needle and Thread 116" cage crinoline and petticoat that were made last year. This kit is so incredible... If you're serious about 1860s clothing, it's completely worth the investment as every single piece is perfectly reproduced from originals. I got the 110" kit and squeezed it out to 116". Looking back, I should have called up Needle and Thread and asked for a few extra yards of hooping because they have excellent customer service and I could have made the cage 120" like I originally wanted. 116" is fine, though, and looks very nice under my black and white checked silk dress (I'm not wearing it in the pictures above because the skirt for the cotton dress was cut to fit over my old 108" hoop). Because of the considerable back thrust of the crinoline, I need to make a little bum pad to support the back of the crinoline and keep it from tipping forward. But I'm trying not to feel too badly about it because this original is doing the same thing! ;-)

     

The petticoat was inspired by this original at the Met, and others like it.