Friday, May 30, 2014

1864 Half Mourning Dress (of Fail)

Remember that side trip to the 1860s I was making?

Well, I got to go back to Michigan for the Greenfield Village event (where Mike and I got engaged two years ago) because we got a nice tax return AND Tim Eriksen was playing! How could I pass that up? It was lovely to see so many friends, like Katie. She kindly took pictures for me, because my stinkin' camera is still missing... It has all of the construction detail shots of my riding habit and a new cap... *grump* I had a really fabulous time visiting everyone, and even got to spend time with my in-laws.

Naturally, I wanted a new dress, and since I spent the last year doing so much mourning research, I felt a half-mourning ensemble would be enjoyable to put together. Since it's 2014/1864 I wanted to choose specific elements that would place the dress and bonnet in that year, for example the slim coat sleeves and wide box pleated skirt. The contrast-colored vest bodice absolutely abounds in fashion plates from this year, and you can look through the ones I posted on my Pinterest page.

I also covered and decorated a soft crown bonnet frame from Timely Tresses, after an 1864 fashion plate (bottom lefthand corner bonnet).

My antique veil and lace shawl (that I shared pics of aaaaages ago) got to come out to play, and I bought yet another parasol! But it's a tilting marquis parasol, and I don't have one of those! Plus, I promised Michael that I would sell one of mine. So if you are interested in an 1850s parasol that needs recovering, message me. :)

However... As excited as I was to make this, I rushed near the end (I only had 2.5 weeks, with a bum wrist--De Quervain's tendonitis) and I am unhappy with the result... 

1) The skirt is too short
2) The underbodice is too big
3) The double points are too far apart
4) The pinked trim frayed miserably

Those are things that for the most part I can fix... But I don't know when that will happen. I have SO much to do for Costume College. *sigh*

So I half-heartedly share these pictures with you. At least I have killer accessories, right? :-/


Ken Giorlando snagged this picture of me in the flower-laying ceremony on Memorial Day. 

A nice shot by Lee Cagle, who works at Greenfield Village. 

Me and Tim Eriksen. He signed my shape note hymnal!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Civil War Faced Hems with Calimanco

Calimanco the cat, that is!

I'm taking a side trip to the Civil War before getting back to the 17th century project. Many skirts from this period are faced with polished cotton and then have a wool hem tape applied, either binding the hem or just placed against the edge as I did. Here's a skirt with the hem applied as I did it.

I made my facing from plain cotton because I'm on a time crunch (event is in two weeks!) and didn't have time to order polished cotton. The facing on this dress is 12", but it varies. Hem facings protect the dress fabric, and wool hem tape further protects the very edge of the skirt from scraping against the ground. It's a lot of extra work, but it adds not only authenticity but a lovely weight to the hem of the skirt.

I spread out the skirt on the ground, and of course Calimanco had to lay on it. She loves silk...

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fun Things on the Horizon!

I finished my riding habit for the cricket game this past Saturday! My lovely friend Emma acted as photographer yesterday to take some shots of it, and those will be posted as soon as I get them in my hot little hands. :) Until then, here's some pictures of my hair, and hair with hat.

I've misplaced my camera, which has a bunch of construction pictures. Hopefully I will find it so I can share those with you all, too. I learned SO much in making this. And it was a good husband-wife bonding experience. :-P

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Regency Wardrobe Sale

In preparing for two really big 1810s events, it's time to make room for a new wardrobe. :)

The following gowns and pelisses are for sale. They fit a 32" bust, 29" under-bust, 11" upper arm circumference. I'm 5'4".

Silk Ball Gown $100 SOLD

Silk Short Pelisse $150

Wool Gown: $250

Wool Pelisse: $300