atherleisure: (Default)
At the beginning of May we had a small Victorian tea at the Smiths' house. There were only five ladies in attendance (though a couple of uncostumed husbands were hanging around). I chose not to take the children along this time, though there would have been plenty for them to do on the Smith farm.

It seemed wildly appropriate that the two hostesses wore tea gowns and the two visitors wore walking dresses. The fifth was not in costume. I finally got a chance to wear my 1886 navy and silver dress for something better than trick-or-treating.


More pictures under the cut... )
atherleisure: (reader)
I went to the local English country dance ball on 10/30. It turned out to be not so much a ball as a party with dancing. It was fun, and it turned out that the host grew up very close to where I grew up - our junior high schools both fed into the same high school, though he was just enough older than I that we wouldn't have been there at the same time. And his family moved from Dallas to Houston at the same time mine did and for the same reason. Small world, isn't it?

It was a fun party, and I danced every dance. I look forward to doing some more things with them, though I had to decline the invitation to join them at the Hobby Center for a Baroque dance performance due to a scheduling conflict. That would have been fun, but I anticipate more fun from my other engagement.

I realized on my way to the party that I had a headlight out, and it amused me to think that if I were pulled over for it, the policeman probably wouldn't think it odd that I were in 1820's dress, what with it being the evening before Hallowe'en and all. (I wasn't pulled over, by the way, and I've taken care of the headlight.)

I took no pictures. Not even one, but I looked generally like I did for the Salem ball a couple of years ago. I did a better job with my hair, though, and never actually put my gloves on. The humidity made the curls relax over the course of the evening, but they weren't awful. I'm glad I didn't have to unpin them until just before leaving for the party after having slept in them overnight. (Mom was surprised that I even knew how to do pin curls.)

Salem 2013

The next night was Hallowe'en. Again, no pictures, but I wore my 1886 dress and the new bonnet. For the first time I went trick-or-treating with my children instead of staying home to hand out candy. I am pleased to report that my high button boots were okay for walking over a mile, though I'm going to get something to put in them so my feet don't slide down to the toes so much - the perils of having narrow feet. It was the first time I got to wear them for a costume event. Again the humidity made the curls relax, but at least the rain was between the time I got home from the dance the night before and the time we went out Saturday night. I had to take the curlers out earlier this time - lunch time, maybe?

1886 Navy Faille Walking Dress

Next up is the Georgian Picnic, and I'm really looking forward to it. I had hoped to get to a couple of DFWCG events this year, but due to weather and scheduling, I somehow never got to. I think I'm going to wear the wool dress I made last fall. I need to do something with colorful accessories to spice it up a bit, but that won't happen this time around. I'll have my pinball and an apron and mitts and cloak if I need them and a bit of ribbon on my cap so that will have to do. I'm too busy cross-stitching right now to sew!


Sep. 26th, 2015 01:59 pm
atherleisure: (reader)
After sewing for most of the spring and summer with absolutely no place to wear anything, it looks like events are finally in the near future.

First, there's an English country dance ball on 10/16. I'm not making anything new for it, but I'm going to wear my copper 1820's evening gown for it. That dress definitely deserves another wearing. And I've bartered with [ profile] m_of_disguise for a tiara, which I'm looking forward to getting shortly.

Then on some yet to be determined October or November date I'm going to take the children to the Texas Renaissance Festival. I haven't gone to that (or any Renaissance faire for that matter) since I was in college. I always meant to go to the one in Virginia or Maryland with some high school friends who live in the DC area, but somehow it never happened. I'm nearly finished with my things for that, and I'm waffling on whether to try to make anything for the girls.

Hallowe'en is coming up in about a month (five weeks from today, in fact), and I'll get to wear my 1886 dress. My husband has informed me that it's weird that I tell people on Hallowe'en that I'm myself in the year xxxx so I guess I need to find someone to be. I think I'm going to go with Evelyn Emerson from Elizabeth Peters' Egyptological mystery novels. While I don't particularly identify with her, it's the right period, and I have similar coloring - I certainly don't have the dark looks of the protagonist!

Then we're still trying to get a Regency archery event together, probably in early or mid-November. I'm hoping to get a spencer made by then, but if it's chilly, I have a pelisse to wear so it's not of great importance. I don't exactly have a design for it yet, but I do have fabric. That's half the battle, right?

Then there's the DFWCG Georgian picnic the weekend before Thanksgiving. I've got the dress I tried to make for it last year, but it's not very exciting so I need to think of some kind of bright accessories. Or I could wear the green-striped dress that I made over. There's plenty of time to figure that one out, and the weather may ultimately influence my decision.

Dickens on the Strand is only a couple of weeks after that, and I'll need to decide what to wear. I've really only got two dresses from Dickens' working years so I'm inclined toward the wool 1860's dress. We'll see.

Anyway, the rest of the year is starting to look quite full among holidays, costume events, and the start of the opera season. I shall have to husband my time well. Don't be surprised if I don't do much sewing until after the new year!
atherleisure: (reader)
I feel that I'm getting a better idea of where I need to go with the whole 1610's outfit, though I know I still have a lot to learn. Questions, questions. [ profile] reine_de_coudre is being very helpful; I'm so glad I'm on her friends list.

In the meantime, I haven't really done any sewing in the last couple of days because I've been reading so much. So this morning I made the upper part of my last 1890's petticoat and worked out what I want to do with headwear to go with my 1886 navy faille dress. I'm going to make a bonnet along the lines of this one at the Met. The best thing about it is that the shape is the same as the base of my 1868 bonnet that I made last winter, just rotated 180 degrees. So I pulled out all the supplies for it, cut out the buckram, sewed the darts, and started wiring it. Wiring it by machine was NOT working, so I abandoned that and will wire it by hand tonight.

But first I need to take the children swimming. I really don't want to, but being a mother isn't about what you want to do.
atherleisure: (reader)
I finally got decent pictures of my bustle gown based on the costume with walking skirt from the June, 1886 issue of Delineator as reprinted on page 153 of Frances Grimble's Bustle Fashions 1886-1887. I used plain silver silk taffeta and navy silk faille and navy cotton broadcloth for lining.

1886 Navy Faille Walking Dress

1886 Navy Faille Walking Dress

More pictures under the cut.

More pictures )

Here's hoping I don't get completely lost in the Costume College wrap-up posts.
atherleisure: (Default)
I got my husband to take pictures of my new 1880's dress, but they came out so badly that I don't want to post them. I won't be able to get him to take more without complaint so I guess I'll be back to the camera's timer. Or I need to find an event to wear it to where someone will photograph me.

But at least I know that I am very pleased with the dress. I think it came out very well.


Jun. 18th, 2015 07:55 am
atherleisure: (reader)
I'm at the halfway point on my new pinball project.

Carnation pinball - Front

Now the back just has a sad little four rows finished, but this project is so addictive that it probably won't be long before I finish it.

My 1880's gown is finished except for overcasting the armscyes and replacing the buttons. I had to put different buttons on temporarily because the store didn't have enough. Now I'm waiting for them to restock so I can finish the dress. Then I think I'm going to start a set of 1790's stays because I don't want to work on 1890's petticoats right now, and I'm kind of in limbo on the 1940's playsuit.
atherleisure: (reader)
I've been moving along on projects, not necessarily quickly. The skirt is finished for my 1880's dress, and the bodice progresses. I've got the bodice mostly together, and now I'm working on the fastenings before I fine-tune the fit and check the sleeve pattern again. I tried to take pictures of the skirt in the mirror, but that was quite a failure; the mirror was too narrow to get the whole skirt in a picture.

Last night I started a new 18th century pinball. It was hard tearing myself away from it to go back to boring buttonholes after I put the children to bed.
atherleisure: (reader)
I spent a few of my evenings this week working on lace. It's from a pattern published in The Art of Knitting in 1892 (#71 on page 50). I'm using #30 crochet cotton and 4-0 needles, and after blocking the first eight repeats, I can't say I'm thrilled with it. The idea had been to make enough for the hem of an 1890's petticoat, but since it's really not blocking out the way I hoped it would and takes about an hour to the inch, I'm not sure whether I'll pursue it.

1892 Lace

Other than that I've been working on an 1880's dress. I fit the bodice muslin and cut the lining. Last night, I cut the silk faille for the main garment, though I'm holding off cutting the sleeves until I have the bodice together and can double check the fit. I still need to cut the contrast, which will be a silver silk taffeta. I'm hoping to cut the bodice pieces tonight, but I'll have to put together the drapery before cutting the skirt because I want to conserve the silver where I can so I'll only be using it where it shows on the skirt. So there's nothing noteworthy on that dress at present, but I'm pleased so far.
atherleisure: (reader)
Yesterday I redrafted the bodice pattern for my 1880's dress with the 33" rule instead of the 35" rule and cut out a muslin. Today I tried it on, and I was astonished. It was almost perfect; even the darts were good. The only thing I had to adjust was the shoulder area and let out some of the hem at the center front. So I suddenly have a good pattern for a mid-1880's bodice. Even the sleeve was good. I have to add something for a hem, but that's fine. The pattern didn't say it had any hem allowance.

I sketched on alteration lines for modifying the bodice to be more like the inspiration garment so I still need to make a copy of the pattern to modify, but it really astonished me how well the fitting went. Then I cut the lining for the sleeves and bodice back and foundation skirt so it feels like I'm making good progress on this dress. Either I'm being rewarded for something, or it will come back to bite me later.


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