Sunday, December 20, 2015

Catching Up: Teslacon Part 1

So... I didn't get the 1840s dress done for the event last weekend, but that's okay! It will be shiny and new for Costume College, and I'll be all set for the 1840s event NEXT year!

In the meantime, I have a bunch of finished projects that need to be shared! Mostly Teslacon and a couple things I made in October. The theme for Teslacon this year was Wild West, and I was really inspired by Annie Oakley's cute outfits and others like hers. Short skirts, fringe, etc. I came up with "Steampunk vivandiere goes West" as one of my outfits. It's made from teal wool from Burnley and Trowbridge with hand-cut deerskin fringe. The outfit consists of an underskirt, overskirt, Swiss waist, blouse, and jacket. I actually thrifted the blouse because... why not! It was perfect for the outfit and saved me a lot of time. Plus it goes perfectly with a 1940s Western outfit that's been sitting in my closet for a couple years. I was going for an 1860s silhouette, and I think it turned out okay. I cut down an old cage crinoline but I'm not completely happy with the shape. Starting a cage from scratch would have been better but I just didn't have time! This was the first outfit that I could really have fun accessorizing. It just begged for goggles, and for once, goggles seemed totally appropriate! It's very sandy in the West, you know. ;-) I also got an old ammo container and I snagged Michael's hat. Michael Steampunk'd my barrel, which was just awesome and got so many compliments. He's so creative! It really lights up!


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Early 1840s Bonnet

I'm so happy with how this bonnet turned out! And I had everything I needed to cover and trim it in my stash!

This bonnet is for a c. 1842 outfit that I'm suddenly working on! It's mostly for Costume College, but there is also a small 1840s event a week from today that I will hopefully have it finished for! At least I hope to have the gown wearable, even if it doesn't have all the trim.

The bonnet form is from Timely Tresses, and I covered it using their pattern. I decided to pipe the tip of the bonnet and do a bias binding on the front edge for added interest. After looking at dozens of original bonnets and fashion plates, and playing around with my silk satin ribbon and velvet flowers, I came up with this trim design. 

The pink silk is sarsenet from Burnley and Trowbridge. The ribbon and flowers are vintage pieces from an antique store in Michigan. I bought them without a project in mind but knew they'd come in handy eventually!

Now on to the gown!

 IMG_2684 IMG_2690 IMG_2691

The curtain is gauged after this original bonnet

Bonnet insides are rarely a thing of beauty... Silk taffeta brim facing and a cotton "head liner". 



Saturday, November 28, 2015

We're Having an Historic Clothing Conference!!!

In what is undoubtedly the most ambitious project of my fledgling museum career, I have been organizing what I hope will be an amazing conference next June 24-26! Check out the details below. Registration opens December 1 and is limited to 72 participants! I will let everyone know when the webpage has been updated with the link to buy tickets.
Come to Jamestown Settlement for a weekend focused on the study and recreation of late 16th and early 17th century clothing. “Tailored to a New World” brings together The Tudor Tailor team from England and historical clothing scholars from around the United States for a truly unique learning experience that combines hands-on workshops with traditional lectures. Participants will also enjoy field trips, behind-the-scenes tours, and an evening reception in the recreated James Fort.
Tickets are $300. Registration is limited to 72 participants and includes:
*Four hands-on workshops with The Tudor Tailor
*A special presentation by The Tudor Tailor followed by a question and answer session and the opportunity to examine recreated garments, take photos, and buy from The Tudor Tailor shop
*A private archaeological tour of clothing-related artifacts from Jamestown Rediscovery at Historic Jamestowne
*A behind-the-scenes tour of Jamestown Settlement’s costume shop, highlighting the role of historic clothing in the museum’s living history interpretive areas
*An exclusive embroidery pattern taken from a blackwork coif circa 1600 in the collections of Jamestown Settlement
*An evening reception where participants are encouraged to wear their finest historical clothing and enjoy food and period music in the recreated James Fort
*Boxed lunches and refreshments between workshops and lectures
Jamestown Settlement is pleased to welcome Brenda Rosseau (Costume Design Center, Colonial Williamsburg), Daniel Rosen (Old England Grown New), Mathew Gnagy (The Modern Maker), Noel Gieleghem, Bly Straube (Independent Archaeological Curator and Material Culture Specialist), Mark Hutter (Historic Trades, Colonial Williamsburg), Neal Hurst (Museum of the American Revolution), and Samantha McCarty (Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation) as speakers.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Costume College 2016 or Bust!

I am very honored to announce that I have received a scholarship to Costume College and will be attending next year! And hopefully teaching, if I figure out what I should teach... (suggestions welcome!). This scholarship is SO helpful and made all the difference in my being able to attend. I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone next year!

Of course in terms of what to wear, I already have some ideas... :)

1. Felicity--at last! Maybe for the Gala, but I may also wear...
2. 1610s silk gown: we are having a big to-be-announced event at work next June, and I'd like to finally have an elite 1610s gown to wear for that
3. Jane Eyre 1840s black silk gown: to be made from the gazillion yards of $5 black silk taffeta we bought last year! In the book, Jane wears a black silk gown for her first (official) meeting with Rochester. She mentions she changes from a black stuff (wool) gown into a black silk gown for the occasion, her only other gown besides a gray silk that she feels is too nice to wear.
4. Probably something 18th century... I should finish the polonaise jacket I started in the B&T workshop! Although that seems sort of boring... :-P
5. Tightrope walker: for Friday ice cream social, although I may change my mind on this one and save it for Halloween... I'll have to see how these other projects work out!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Late 16th-Early 17th Century Waistcoat

I FINALLY was able to get pictures of the whole outfit! I'll take detail shots of the garments themselves, but I'm stuck at the Atlanta airport and thought that now was as good a time as any to write this post. :)

The waistcoat pattern is based on The Tudor Tailor, altered slightly to fit me better. It is made of white wool flannel from Renaissance Fabrics and lined with natural linen from Burnley and Trowbridge. It closes with brass hooks and eyes also from Burnley and Trowbridge.

I also made a linen partlet to wear over the petticoat and under the waistcoat, and linen cuffs for the sleeves. The coif and forehead cloth are also new, but not terribly exciting!

I had to play around a lot with the fit of the waistcoat, even painstakingly letting out the center front edges 1/4" on each side so that it would fit PERFECTLY. But I'm a little crazy like that... And very pleased with the effort. When I take detail shots at home, I'll go over my construction choices a bit.

There's also a new apron, made of a wool from Burnley and Trowbridge. It's the "dog ear" (my term) style apron, which is just a plain rectangle with ties. This is quite practical because it's easier to fold up or iron without gathers in the waistband. There are only paintings to go by, so it's hard to tell how the ties are attached. In some places it looks like the tie goes all the way across the apron, and in others it doesn't. I chose just to stitch the ties on either side of the apron, letting the "dog ears" flap free. It was the simplest choice, and the most economical in terms of tape usage.

Anyway, here are pictures! I'm wearing a pair of the American Duchess "Virginias". They are SO comfy! Go buy them!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ruff Stuff

I'm sorry, I just couldn't help myself. I blame the punny title on ktlovely.

I managed to finish ALMOST everything I wanted done for this event! The only thing I didn't get to do was cut down the neckline of my smock from a high neck with neckband to a low square neck so that it could be worn with my new partlet. I ran out of time for that and just wore my 18th c shift and never took off my waistcoat!

I've been meaning to do a blog post on the finished waistcoat, partlet, and cuffs, but have had no time--and no cooperating weather!--to take good pictures.

What I do have pictures of are the ruff I made fully starched and ironed in the period manner! I demonstrated ruff making and setting for the event and it was so much fun. Visitors and other reenactors were just fascinated by the process. It IS a really cool process, and one you don't get to see very often.

16th and 17th century ruffs are works of art and craftsmanship... They require the finest hand sewing you can muster with rolled hems and stroked gathers (I had to gather 176" of fabric into a 12" neckband...), and then they require skill in starching and ironing. There are no wires, pins, or anything else keeping the ruff in this shape... Just starch and a hot iron!

I must give props to my ruff mentor, Noel, for being an all-around awesome human being and providing me not only with this incredible linen but also let me borrow his poking sticks and sent me wheat starch for the event.

The wheat starch is mixed with water, boiled to thicken it, and then worked into the linen. Once the linen has dried a little bit--you want it damp, but not soaking), it's time to "set" the ruff. I chose to set the ruff in big "setts" (the figure eights) so it would be appropriate for the late 16th/early 17th c. I think I rather look like the lady in the woodcut below!

Anyway, I am so happy with this ruff, although I will be putting it on a new neckband eventually. There are examples of ruffs set on neckbands of slightly coarser material, and I think doing that on my ruff would help it stand up even more!

So here's some ruff pictures, and hopefully I'll get pictures of my whole outfit soon... After the hurricane... :-P




Thursday, September 3, 2015

1860s "Oriental" Fancy Dress

Michael and I had the opportunity to attend a private 19th century masquerade/fancy dress ball last weekend at Braehead Manor. It was quite possibly the loveliest ball event I have ever been to! The setting was beyond perfection, there was an exactly even amount of men and women (all eager to dance) and the food... Oh the food! Lobster salad, sugarplums, and berry tarts with gold leaf! That's just a few of the incredible offerings. 

We escorted our beloved friend Emma to the ball. She and I spent the past few Saturdays working on our respective costumes. Emma went as a springtime sprite and I decided to go with an "Oriental" costume that blended Turkish and Indian influences through a 19th century lens. Along with the sheer fun of it, I also wanted something comfortable to wear. And boy was it! I really like this outfit and all of the fabrics and accessories came together beautifully. I will probably bring this to Teslacon as a back-up outfit.

I didn't try to recreate a specific image but instead combined ideas from a few favorite sources. My main inspiration was this Indian fancy dress costume. But I knew I wanted bloomers to wear as well, so I started hunting around... Turns out that Indian clothing from the 17th and 18th centuries saw a lot of sheer skirts/dresses worn over pants. This image is technically later than the date I was shooting for, but served as my inspiration for my turban and veil: But as it wasn't a strict "historical" event, I was fine pulling inspiration from different eras. And I built it over my Regency stays because my 1860s corset isn't wearable... (that will change soon, though! I need it for Teslacon!)

All of the fabrics I used were silk. The turquoise and the sheer organza are from Renaissance Fabrics, and the gold was stash fabric (yay!). I got the vintage sari and khussa slippers on Ebay. Instead of a regular mask, I pinned a strip of fringed metallic silk fabric from my turban in front of my face. None of us lasted in our masks very long though because it was such a warm evening!

The bodice is just my usual 1860s bodice pattern. I only bought a yard of the turquoise silk so the sleeves ended up being tiny cap sleeves! I still like it, though!

This was the first time I got to see Michael in his hussar uniform from Waterloo in person. Swoon-worthy. :)



Friday, August 28, 2015

Lilli Ann Fox Fur Coat for Sale!

This sumptuous coat is in excellent condition apart from some faint stains on lining, which are completely invisible when worn (see pictures). Fur is pristine, all closures are sound. It has pockets! Would fit S-M.