A very special thanks go to padawansguide and her husband Doug for allowing me to stay with them, and for providing transportation over the weekend. I'm certain I would have been lost without you two! Not to mention how great it was to get to know you both better. I can't wait to come back for a visit! Another special thanks go to quincy134 and her husband Mike, for letting our group change in their hotel suite in Alexandria. I think my head would have fallen off if I'd worn that wig all the way from Maryland!
And now for some pictures and commentary, starting with a shameless selfie!
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( Read more... )We still need to sew some faux hair curls to the front, but otherwise it's done. She wanted something that made doing her hair easy, and this will definitely be that! It doesn't get a whole lot easier than throwing on a hat that already has hair sewn to it.
As for construction, it's an iridescent silk exterior, a fleece mull layer, and a straw hat's crown for the base. jenthompson was kind enough to lead a group of us in how to make Regency turban-style hats that are permanently attached to a hat base. If I recall correctly, the straw hat started life at Party City. After mulling the hat, I just pinned and tacked the silk until I had something I liked. I sewed a straight-grain band around the bottom to hide the raw edges of the crown silk, then covered the seam with the gold trim. I curled the peacock feathers using a plastic knife (yes, that really works!) and tucked all the feather ends into a filigree cone bead.
It's nice to be making progress! Tonight I'll be fixing some small errors on my own regency hat, and tomorrow I'll work on a chemisette and some sleeves for my dress. I've gotta look spiffy for tea this weekend!
Gorgeous but almost certainly not historically plausible purple/black changeable silk. My pics don't really do the color justice...it's pretty amazing in person. Bonus points since I already have a plain petticoat made from this fabric, and so I'd just need to trim it and make the francaise itself from my yardage. My jewelry would really pop on this since it's such a rich, deep color.
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- Stays: I think what I have will work, but they're aging and will need to be replaced soonish.
- Panniers: I have one pair that's probably larger than I'd like for this event. Plus they're not collabsible, which makes packing a hassle. I've got a smaller set cut out, so I'll sew them up and cross my fingers they work for me.
- Stockings: White silk clocked, or red silk clocked from American Duchess. Red with the deep purple silk, white with the other options.
- Garters: I need to get working on these. atherleisure gave me a wonderful pattern. It'll be a good project for slow evenings at work.
- Shoes: I've got two pairs of American Duchess shoes, one black and one white. I could dye the white pair if I feel adventurous.
- Shift: Yep, I have a cotton one that'll work. Although I keep saying I'll remake my linen one and not doing it.
- Jewelry: I'm scouring eBay and etsy for good rhinestone/paste-look stuff. I'll also look at making some strung pearls myself. So, still sorting out my options on this one.
- Chatelaine/equipage: I'm going for it! I've been collecting bits and bobs to make this work for over a year, and I recently found evidence via portraits that they were, in fact, worn with francaise dresses! Check out my Pinterest board if you're interested.
- Wig/Hair: It's on this list, but I'm not sure exactly what I want yet. I'll be consulting Kendra's book this week!
- Outerwear: This wasn't even on my radar until m_of_disguise mentioned how cold it was last year. I've got a couple short cloaks, but something a little fancier would be nice.
I chose a softened canvas-weight linen for the fabric, a long-pile faux fur, and a unique woven poly trim I found on ebay from seller mespa13. You'd think that a canvas weight fabric would be too much for a tunic, but it was already softened and got even more drapey after an initial run through the wash. It also got more textured and rustic-looking, which is exactly what I was hoping for! I was in a rush to get this packed up and in the mail, so the wrinkles you see here are due to my only ironing where it was absolutely necessary (ie, the neckline facing.) Then again, it is linen, and we all know how prone it is to wrinkles!
It was delivered yesterday, but it's a Christmas gift. So I won't have any pictures of the young fella wearing his spiffy tunic until after the holiday. I hope he likes it!
Now I have some new frilly whites - combinations and a petticoat to fit over my bustle. I had to wash them to get all the chalk marks off, so now they're dripping dry in the bathroom. Maybe there will be fewer wrinkles to iron out this way. *crosses fingers*
I'm also working on a new bustle dress that I'll call 'The Very Merry Christmas Dress.' This will make perfect sense to you when you see it, but for now no pictures. It's pretty on-the-nose, both colorwise and fabric pattern-wise (there are small pine trees woven into the fabric!) I don't usually get into themed dresses like this, but honestly the guild does enough Victorian Christmas events that it'll get plenty of use, so I'm going for it! Here's my to-do list:
- Hem underskirt
- Make and apply self-trim to underskirt (this can wait until last, or be added later)
- Construct overskirt (
it's cut out and marked for pleatingin progress) Mock up bodice, make changes to pattern as needed Cut outand construct bodice Make a paper small-scale model for a tall hat from this doll-sized diagram, make changes as necessary and scale up pattern(or come up with plan B) ETA: Plan B it is!
- Construct tall hat during slow evenings at work
- If I miraculously have time, make a shoulder cape and small muff trimmed with faux beaver fur.
B- Biggest Fear: Losing loved ones.
C- Current Time: 4:13pm
D- Drink you last had: Strawberry Crystal Light with caffeine
E- Easiest Person to Talk to: Ben
F- Favorite Song: Not sure, something 80's rock probably.
G- Ghosts, are they real: In some form or another.
H- Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
I- In love with: Ben
J- Jealous of: Anyone with enough money to offset most of life's worries.
K- Killed Someone? ...with kindness, maybe.
L- Last time you cried?: I don't remember for sure...sometime in the last month, I think.
M- Middle Name: Ann
N- Number of Siblings: 3 stepbrothers
O- One Wish: For my loved ones to be completely healthy.
P- Person who you last called: My mom.
Q- Question you're always asked: How are you doing?
R- Reason to smile: My fur-kids and the unconditional love they give.
S- Song last sang: Wow, no clue. I don't usually sing.
T- Time you woke up: 9:15am
U- Underwear Colour: Pale blue.
V- Vacation Destination: Hawaii.
W- Worst Habit: Eating junk food.
X- X-Rays you've had: Teeth and chest.
Y- Your favorite food: Hard to pick just one, so I'll go with sushi.
Z- Zodiac Sign: Libra on the cusp of Virgo.
( Dress options. )
The Challenge: Stashbusting
Fabric: (polyester) brocade & linen/cotton blend
Stashed for how long? 3 years for the brocade, a 6 years for the linen/cotton, and 9 or 10 years for the buttons.
Pattern: Laughing Moon #125, View A
Year: 1800-1815, approximately
Notions: fusible interfacing, buttons, thread
How historically accurate is it? Shape and style are pretty dead-on, materials are utterly modern.
Hours to complete: 8-10, it was all running together that week.
First worn: March 21st, at the symphony with other folks dressed in Regency attire.
Total cost: About $10 total ($7 for brocade remnants, $1 for the linen/cotton blend, $1 in bulk buttons, and $1 in thread and interfacing.)
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When I decided to outfit my hubby for the Regency Era, I was prepared for footwear to be the most challenging part. Buying actual equestrian boots is terribly expensive (my eBay watch list, which I set up months in advance, yielded absolutely nothing under $200.) Costume boots don't come in the right shape or dual colors. Evening slippers probably weren't on the table to begin with, being as they don't seem at all 'manly.' After much fruitless searching, I gave up on finding something ready-made in my budget.
Instead, I decided to modify some costume boots he already had. We bought them 8 or 10 years ago for a swordsman outfit he wore to a convention. They'd seen only occasional use since, and really no use at all since we moved to Texas 6 years ago. So I wasn't too concerned with ruining them. After all, they were in pretty poor shape after rough storage and weren't exactly high-quality to begin with. Just for reference, these are the Ellie 121 Bernhard boots. They're still sold on eBay and Amazon.
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I started with Kwik Sew #2326, which is designed for stretchy fabrics. My fabric is an off-white suedecloth and has a negligible amount of stretch.So, I did a LOT of slashing and spreading. I also lengthened the fingers to match my actual fingers and allowed extra room at the glove top for my 'generous' biceps.
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Working from Laughing Moon #130, I made her the redingote without the cape. Chris's only request was that she wanted something colorful to break up the all white dress she'd be wearing underneath. Knowing she loves purple, I perused the selection at JoAnn's and came away with a velvety velour/suedecloth sort of fabric. While it's not historically accurate, it is super soft and a great color. Parts of the bodice call for a lining and I just used some light lavendar satin that was already in the stash.
The pattern goes together well enough, though I did find it particularly time consuming. I did have issues with a few of the marks not lining up, but everything was close enough that I wasn't confused by it. I made some adjustments based on Chris's body type, so I essentially cut the collar, sleeves and sleeve heads in the smallest size, and the bust and skirts in the size that corresponded with her bust measurement. This caused a little bit of wonkiness with the sleeves since I didn't adjust the sleeve pattern to correspond with the larger-sized side bodice piece, but in the end it still fit her all right and worked out for the archery. I did shorten the standing collar by about an inch since the pattern instructions specifically mention that it's very tall.
( More outfit and archery fun! )
Long story short, I'll be able to make the tiara and matching comb, a necklace, two bracelets, and earrings for about the same price as a single collet necklace. Win! I was originally hoping to create it with pink rhinestones (since my silk is a pinky-peachy-gold) but I wasn't thrilled with how the pinks looked together on screen. So I chose emerald instead. I think it'll be an excellent contrast for this outfit. I've also got some emerald silk in the stash that could become a future Regency dress, and this jewelry will go with that as well.
It's 7/8" wide/tall, just to give you some perspective. My plan is to mount large point-back rhinestones into brass settings and attach them to this banding. I haven't worked out the exact logistics of that yet, nor have I ordered the rhinestones and settings (though I have chosen a very reasonably priced supplier!)
I chatted a bit with quincy134 about how to shape this banding on both the X and Y axis, since so many portraits and surviving pieces shape not only around the head's circumference, but also around the hairline (forehead to temples.) That means it would need to have movement similar to spiral steel (great visual, Gloria!) Since all this banding is really only meant to bend in one direction, that will be very tricky and require strategic cutting and rewiring. The banding I chose is probably a poor choice for that, but I really, really like it. Once I get it in my hands I can make a better decision about how to proceed.
I've worked with the stuff before and it is sturdy. I've got teensy rivets with a punch and setter to match, plus all the polishes and dremel tool buffing stuff I'll need to keep it looking shiny. I'm not sure if I'll attach a comb or just a couple 'legs' on the ends that I can pin down to my hair. A lot depends on how much I can get it to shape. It looks great in my head...hopefully the end product will look great too!
I'm trying to work from my stash as much as possible, so this is what I've got for my outfit so far:
( More plans! )
( And for the Regency gentleman... )
Challenge #1: Foundations
The Challenge: Bustle-era corset
Fabric: Silk exterior, coutil flatlining, cotton lining
Pattern: Laughing Moon #100
Year: 1837-1899, according to the pattern envelope. It's intended for mid to late 1880's.
Notions: Busk, spiral and flat steel boning, two-piece grommets, round polyester lacing, thread
How historically accurate is it? I'd give it an overall 80%. I used some modern materials, but the pattern and fabrics are plausible for the Victorian era.
Hours to complete: About 20, which includes a fully boned mockup and fitting.
First worn: January 10th (four days ago) for a costumed visit to an Impressionist art exhibit.
Total cost: Around $75. Most of this came from the stash, so that's my best guess.
Before we entered the exhibit, we stopped for a group shot. I think two people had gotten there early and were already inside, but this is most of us:
It was amazing to see all that stunning art with friends. Getting a glimpse into the everyday life of the era is pretty fascinating. I know there's a lot of little details I'm missing because I'm too busy mentally deconstructing the clothing of the subjects. I was so caught up in the hat and facial expression of one lady that I totally missed seeing there was a tortie cat under the table until jenthompson pointed it out to me! I think that means I need to spend more time around art.
I managed to finish up my friend's outfit just in the nick of time - I put the last stitch in the hat just minutes before she arrived to get ready! I'm really happy with how it turned out. She was thrilled too, which made me feel great about it.
( Want more pics and construction details? )
Shift from Laughing Moon 100, made from buttery soft cotton voile I got from jaelie:
Bustle Petticoat with Wire Frame (TV101) from cotton muslin:
(We're pretending this one is done even though the hem needs another pressing and I still have to sew on the waist closure.)
I've also got an overskirt complete, but I want to keep the outfit a surprise for Saturday.
Today I'm wrestling with sleevils. Chris is very petite, so I'm now on my third redraft of the sleeve pattern for the bodice. Hopefully third time's a charm! I also found out that the fabric I want to use for the bodice and underskirt was terribly off-grain, so I'm giving it a good wash and dry in the hopes that with the sizing removed it'll be useable. I seriously wonder what's going on at the fabric mills when they're finishing off the fabric and getting ready to fold it onto bolts. This is the worst off-grain mess I've seen in a long time. Cross your fingers for me, because I don't have a backup plan!