Friday, March 2, 2012

On to the 20th century!

So I need to start focusing on my 1912 plans next.  I started the corset but had to recut and redo a panel (stupid mistake - that is why people tell you to label your pattern pieces).  Now I'm working on boning channels.  Still a lot to do before it's done, but once it is I think I'll move on to the aqua day dress.  I have been thinking that maybe I won't keep 100% to my original inspiration gown.  I want a more interesting skirt and although I've finally found brocade to use on the top, figuring out what to do for the lace has been harder.  So that may get tweaked some.

I found a period guide to making battenburg lace, and my sweet aunt has even offered to do it for me if I make a pattern for her.  She learned how to do it in Italy recently! :)  But, like I said, I may tweak things a bit.  Maybe not use lace, or maybe a different kind.

Here are pictures of the inspiration dress!

Simple and elegant.  And something one of my ancestors could have worn since it was made in Salt Lake City.

But with a pretty bodice.

From the side.  The skirt wraps around.  I couldn't get a good picture of the back though.

Though it did have these weird swirly things on the back.  I'm going to leave those off...

First, finding any brocade like this has been impossible.  If you know of something that could work, please let me know!  Also, aren't those sleeves cute?  You can see a couple more pictures if you click on any of them.  Should take you to my flikr.

I also recently bought some black and white checked wool with thoughts to make a simple skirt and shirt waist.  This is something I've been wanting for a while as I have an adorable vintage hat that I want to wear.

Then it will be on to the evening dress.  Which has also changed in design a little bit!  I may still stick to the original plan, but I found some gorgeous sequined net that would make it a much more interesting (and sparkly!) dress.  But I'm not sure if it's too modern looking or even if it would look right with my other fabrics.

I'm not going to bother making a chemise, I think modern garments can come close enough to the real thing, that would mean just finding a slip to go under the corset.  I hope I can find a pretty one!  And anyway this plan may change as I may need a bust improver... :P  And I think I might need a princess slip, this would go over the corset/undergarments combo to smooth the line of the dress.

I'm also itching to make some 20's garments, though I have absolutely nowhere to wear them!  I may make a 20's bathing suit though.  I just think they're the cutest!  So new plans, in a new century! :)

Medieval Times

This post is long overdue.  And was written/edited multiple times in the past so forgive the random jumble of info, especially at the end.

This year for our annual trip to the Renaissance Faire I decided I wanted to try out something from the Medieval world.  I did quite a bit of research which you can read more about in the dress diary below, but first I'll just share pictures and basic descriptions.

I made a 14th Century linen kirtle out of beautiful drape-y navy linen.  I don't have a picture of just the kirtle unfortunately.  My friend helped me fit it to perfection.  Thanks Jenni! :)
At the last minute I decided to make something warmer to wear over it.  It was October and pretty chilly, but actually on the day we went it wasn't super cold, just windy.  The layers and the fur did their job!  This was a very last minute, slap and dash project unfortunately, so I'm not entirely happy with it.  It's an orange wool surcote with a vintage fur collar I had tacked on to it.  I didn't have very much fabric for the surcote so it's not the perfect shape or perhaps totally accurate.  But it did the job of keeping me warm!  The fur is also not the right size at all but it used to be on my old roommate's mother's coat or something, and I figured it may come in handy for something else someday, so didn't want to cut it up.  Plus, last minute sewing!  You know how it goes.  
I also made some accessories.  A veil (pictured below because of the wind), headband, a hip belt out of metal medallions and a purse based on historic ones but not at all accurate in any other way than shape. :P  But I needed something to carry my stuff in!

The dress was a little long but I think it lent more to the historical accuracy. :)  I had to lift it up and carry it around most of the time.  Makes carrying food to the joust a little tricky! 


My shoes are modern ones I bought a couple years ago because I hoped they would work with a costume like this someday.  You can also see more of the handmade buttons on my sleeves.  Unfortunately I don't have a better picture but they are historically accurate!  Basically they are circles of linen that I gathered into a ball and attached.

Here it is with the veil which I couldn't wear most of the time because of the wind!  It's just a circle of silk organdy (or organza? I never know the difference, it's not super stiff, but not super soft).  My hair didn't come out.  I wanted side ear braids but my hair is just too thin.  I opted for a long braid over my shoulder instead.

Our group at the Faire.  I am the odd man out, the rest are in Tudor/Elizabethan, including, you might recognize, my outfit from last year on my friend Quinn! :)  I loved how Jenni's kirtle came out!  And it was so fun getting to know our newest member Carrie.

I loved wearing this outfit.  Though the surcote wasn't exactly what I wanted and the collar too big, I felt very pretty prancing around the faire!  And the linen kirtle might be the most comfortable thing ever!

So I had started a post as I was working on things, so I'll include that here, just as a kind of "dress diary".  This gets long so follow the jump if you want to read more!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Peach Beaded Ball Gown

A couple of weekends ago I attended an 1812 ball in Salem's Old Town Hall that was put on by the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers.  It was a fabulous ball!  The venue was great.  There were so many people, and pretty much everyone was dressed for the period.  I got there a little late (so hard to find parking in Salem!) so only danced 4 sets, but they were very fun.  There was an intermission with refreshments that was also lovely.  I met up with a friend there and made a few new ones as well!  So on to the stuff you're really here for, the pictures!



I was so pleased with my dress and how it came out!  There's just a couple little things that bother me, but I'm going to try to ignore them.  It's based on quite a few different fashion plates from around 1812.  It's a peachy pink silk shantung underdress with a beaded (and sequined) net overlay.  The net is not historically accurate, it has clear opalescent sequins on some of the flowers, but that made it sparkle so nicely!  It's covered with embroidery and there are round and marquis shaped pearls all over, one on each flower and around the scalloped hem border.  I think it's probably bridal fabric but it was just too pretty to pass up.  I had a very limited amount (I think 2 or 2.5 yards) and about the same of the silk, so I had to be very careful with it.  And I used up pretty much every bit of it!  I flatlined the net to the silk on the bodice and sleeves.  The skirt is left separate.  The underdress skirt is just a triangular shaped, no gathers skirt.  For the overlay I used a wide panel that I curved slightly in the middle.  I then pleated the rest of it in the back.  There are a few little tucks on the front and sides to help it lay better.  The one thing I'm disappointed about is that the net seemed to stretch with wear.  I had originally hemmed the pink silk skirt to hang about 1.5 inches below the "top" of the scalloped hem.  But I noticed by the end of the night they were basically the same length.  Which is a bummer as it's not like I can take the hem up.  I can let the silk hem down but I wanted it to be ankle length, especially as this makes it much easier to dance in.

I have a posture problem...  Photo courtesy of Quinn.

Don't mind the crooked back, my roommate had to mark it so it's a little off.  I couldn't tell in the mirror at the time.  Will be fixing that for sure.

With my friends at the ball.  Photo courtesy of Quinn.
I was pretty pleased with my accessories too!  I got to wear my new tiara to help camouflage the hair piece I was wearing.  I felt like a pretty princess!  I also wore my vintage kid leather elbow length gloves.  I found the perfect shoes at a dance store in Burlington.  And got them for a steal! I'd been looking at these ones online for forever and debating whether to buy them or not.  I put it off so long that it was only a few days from the ball and I didn't know what I'd wear for shoes.  I had some not so great options but I really wanted satin dancing slippers.  The dance store had these back in storage and I guess they'd been there forever because they told me "eh, ten dollars" when I asked their price.  They didn't have my exact size so I'd been debating between half size up or half size down but when I heard that I said, I'll take them both!  I wore the smaller ones to the ball but they definitely hurt by the end of the night.  I'm glad I bought two pairs as well because I have "elf toes" which totally put holes in shoes right over my big toe.  This is already happening on the smaller pair!  I'm glad that I'll still have some when that eventually goes all the way through.

Last but not least, my favorite accessory, and a totally last minute thing, my fan.  I will do a post about these soon.  I am so so excited that they've been working out.  It's actually almost totally period correct!  I will have to share the secret on that soon.  I mounted it literally 2 hours before the ball.  Luckily it dried quickly and I could use it by the time I got there.  It got a lot of compliments and I'm thinking maybe I need to teach a class or do a tutorial or something.  I've thought of selling them but they do take some time to make.  Anyway, like I said, more on that to come!

Thanks to Quinn for the picture!

blogger templates | Make Money Online