Friday, June 21, 2013

My Secret Addiction: Antique Parasols

I recently acquired yet another antique parasol (and saw Rebecca's post about her new acquisitions), and I really wanted to share it with you all. That made me realize I had never really talked about the three other antique parasols I already own! You've actually seen them in my pictures, but I don't think I pointed them out.

Here are the ones I already have:

  • Two 1850s parasols with baleen (yep) spokes/ribs, ivory finials, and folding handles. One of them has the most beautiful silk fringe too! Their covers were in pretty good condition when I bought them, but after a couple of events, they are starting to crack. I plan to recover these, along with my new baby. 

  • A 1900-1920 parasol with wood handle and metal spokes/ribs and mechanism. The cover was a beige cotton which was in pretty good condition except that it was stained and really icky. I rushed the covering job since I needed the parasol for an event the next day, so I didn't have time to do a proper mock up, etc. This one also had a broken spoke/rib that Michael and I fixed by making a "splint" for it out of a metal tube. It has its original tassel, although it's a little worn.

And now, my new baby! She is my favorite out of all of them, with her sage green watered silk and silk fringe, but especially her ivory handle. She also has baleen spokes and from the 1850s. There is polished cotton at the center of the mechanism and on each rib, where the hinge is. She has the remnants of the cord that was used to keep her closed when not in use. The cord would have had a little knob of ivory at the end that caught in the metal bit sewn onto the cover (see picture. I don't know how else to describe it! My other fringed parasol has this closure.) The thing I find most interesting about her is that the stitches are HUGE. But that would help with not putting too many holes in the nice silk and possibly causing some kind of damage. It is entirely sewn by hand. It looks like the selvedge was used for the edge of the cover (the selvedge is incredibly fine and almost invisible).

I took a lot of pictures so that I could reference them when recovering this, and you can see them all in the Flickr album.


I look forward to recovering all my babies in the future. I will probably re-recover my 20th c parasol first, and then do my first two 1850s, before moving on to my newest one. However, if I get to overwhelmed the wonderful Marta Vincent  recovers 19th century parasols professionally. :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Dita Dress

I've loved this toile Vivienne Westwood dress worn by Dita von Teese for aaaaaages. When I stumbled upon this amazing toile quilting fabric called "Midnight Pastoral" by Alexander Henry (yes, those are skeletons in the print!!) I knew I had to make it! I originally planned to wear this to Comic Con in July, but I decided to make it in time for my bridal shower this past Saturday. 

The bodice was taken right off of my 18th century stays, but with straps added and very little waist reduction. There are tiny hip pads, which of course I can leave off for "every day" wear. But the skirt is balanced to be even when worn with the hip pads. The back laces up and the straps attach at the front of the bodice. It is boned with cable ties.

(I wish I had better pictures, but my camera is awful... It is SO old and junky...)


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

18th Century Black Silk Bonnet for Sale!!

Need a black silk 18th century bonnet for Under the Redcoat or other 18th century events this summer? Bonnets are great for shading your face! And they are an awesome, underrepresented headwear choice for the 18th century. They were super common in the period, especially with lower and middle sorts (although very fashionable bonnets abound as well!).

I am making myself a black silk bonnet, and would be happy to make one for you to use up my materials and make the cost a bit more economical.

Hand sewn black silk taffeta bonnet with pasteboard brim for $80. Untrimmed for you to decorate as you like!

Here is the mock-up for the bonnets. Actual bonnet will be black. :)