Monday, May 23, 2011

Talented Photographer Friends!

Gar Travis (whose work you can see here) took some excellent shots when I gatelisted last weekend. Look at the bird "sitting" on my shoulder! Yep, he planned that!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spanish Rose Ball Gown

My ball gown for next weekend is almost done! It just needs its cotton net tucker, which I am applying now. I also have to whip up a headdress, which will just be roses, black lace, and a tortoise shell comb.

The gown is red-green changeable silk taffeta. The sleeves are cotton organdy and the false chemise is cotton voile. Criss-crossing the bodice is black velvet ribbon. 

I promise that after next weekend I will have gratuitous images of the gown with coiffed hair and picturesque background!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Two Day Corset

The first two 19th c corsets I owned were made by the talented Kay Gnagey. However, neither ever addressed my long-waistedness, which meant that the corset would slide down until my bust was no longer be supported! This had to be remedied.

In January, my friend Katie helped me make my first corset. It was a learning experience, to be sure. There were some pretty annoying issues with it, though. The bust ended up too small and the hips too big!

For the Greenfield Village event next weekend (EEK!), I was asked to participate in the fashion show, including a "getting dressed" segment. I was not about to let the whole world see my ill-fitting corset! So it was time to make a new one. I bought coutil and the Laughing Moon corset pattern and got to work. Wanting to save money where I could, I re-used my old busk and boning. This ended up being a bit of a bad idea, since this new corset is a bit longer than the previous one, and the busk is maybe an inch too short! However, it does not affect the fit or shaping of the corset, so I can live with it until it's time to make a new one.

The pattern made up very easily and is nice and long for long-waisted me! I have nice support in the bust. The only bad thing fitting-wise is that it ended up just a tad snug in the hips (I think I may have been subconsciously over-compensating for the last corset being too big!)

I made the corset as a single layer corset with boning channels. While I like the lightness of the corset, I feel a little untrustworthy of the single layer withstanding the strain over time. It's already a tad wrinkly in the back, but that could probably be solved with a few more bones.

For now... this was another good learning experience. I'm proud of the shape it gives me, and that I threw it together in 2 solid days of work (last Friday and the Sunday before that). It will get me through Greenfield Village and that's all I care about!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Court Gown, Cont'd

The outfit really would not have been complete without more beading on the sleeves and skirt and a matching over partlet! ;-) I also remembered to bring my gloves and jewelry this time. :-P

Mistress Knyvett took some very artistic and lovely pics for me backstage (since we obviously can't be whipping out cameras while in character!). There should be more photos popping up shortly, once our fantabulous pro photographers put theirs up. We love and appreciate your hard work, that is for sure!

I am also very happy to announce that I won 2nd place in the costume contest! My prize was the loveliest mirror which will hang hopefully in a place of honor in my dorm next year. 

Also... having more than one GMail account makes blogging difficult sometimes! :-P

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Yummy Silk for Sale!

Cleaning out the stash still... I have listed two yards of scrumptious silk taffeta that would make the most adorable 1780s jacket. Please take a look!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Steampunk Bustle Gown

When I heard the Gaslight Gathering was going to be happening in San Diego, I got very excited that finally there was something steampunk in the Southern California area! That being said, I put off my outfit for months and ended up doing another one week sewing fling (started last Friday) to get this outfit done. I'm EXTREMELY pleased with it and love how I feel in it. It got a lot of compliments and we couldn't go a few steps without getting stopped for a few pictures. This is definitely one of the "sexiest" costumes I've ever made (!) and it was an interesting feeling... I think the bustle era does lend itself to a bit more sensuality than, say, the mid-19th century. And nothing is more fun than a jaunty hat!

The dress is a walking ad for Truly Victorian, although I heavily modified the bodice pattern so that it barely resembles the original. This was mainly due to yardage constraints. I had two yards and the pattern called for four! I also had some fitting issues (darn bust to waist ratio!) that I should have taken care of earlier because the TV patterns have a special sizing system that allows you to take that into account. However, my ingenious betrothed suggested I do a stomacher front. Ta-da! Problem solved! The stomacher is sewn to one side of the bodice and pins shut on the other. Skirt and bustle underneath are also TV patterns. I got a lot of "Great bustle!" and "Can I take a picture of the side/back?". But I want an even BIGGER bustle now! Although I think with a fuller and longer skirt in the future, I can have an even larger look.

Not too many "just dress" pictures to show you all the aspects of the dress, but I hope you can get a good idea from these!

ETA: Here's a few more! From "Mr. Muggles"

(Bleh, my skirt is getting smushed by a bush! Ignore that! :P)

Photo from M. Jennings