Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pink Gown for Ball

This is it! I have decided to go with this dress design (from The Cut of Women's Clothes) and this fabric. The pink fabric I've had in my stash forever, so I will be glad to finally use it. It is synthetic and while I would love to buy real silk, I would much rather use this fabric since it's been sitting in my closet for so long. :)
pink/yellow irridescent taffeta and embroidered/beaded ivory satin

1870s pink lilac irridescent silk ball gown

bustle in blue and white seersucker - pattern from Corsets and Crinolines

Corset and bodice lining in pink striped cotton chintz

Ageless Patterns

Got my new Ageless Patterns today! Hooray! I furiously cut them all out in one hour and am excited to start making some of them. Will wait til we return from our beach vacation. I will update this blog as I make the patterns with comments, tips and pictures of finished pieces.
pattern scraps

1868 Cape w/Hood for Child 2-4 Yrs

1893 Sun Bonnet for Girl 5-7 Yrs

1875 Slip for Girl 2-4 Yrs

1868 Man's Lounging or Negligé Jacket

1886 Lady's Gray Twill Corset

1868 Frock for Infant under 1 Yr Old

1869 3 Baby Bibs

1868 Suit for Boy 8-10 Yrs

1869 Short Sleeved Shirt for Boy 4-6 Yrs

Friday, July 24, 2009

Vintage Clothing Online Studies

Another list that I will continually add to for great sites that have actual vintage clothing to study.

Historical Costume in Film

I just HAD to post this blog site because it is AWESOME!!! Especially if you are looking to reproduce a costume from an historical film! The archives have everthing listed plus lots of great stills from the movies - recent and old. I just LOVE the old Pride and Prejudice and there it is! Hooray for a wonderful site!

Historical Costume in Film

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Necklace

As I am thinking about this upcoming ball and trying to design a dress, I remember a story I read that has always stuck with me. The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant! It is a wonderful story about a foolish young girl who lets pride get in the way of common sense and learns her lesson a little too late in life.

As with most well-written short stories, it has such an incredible lesson and one so easily learned. If you have never read it, or if you don't remember it well, take a few minutes to read it now. I think you will be very surprised by the end.

Vintage Dance Societies and Etiquette

Just thought I'd keep a list of dance societies and etiquette pages for quick reference. I do not support any of these in particular nor to I guarantee any of the "advice" given in them is always historically documented. I'll do my best to include those that are.
I'll add to this list as I find more that look interesting.



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

November Ball - Fabric Options


This was one of my original inspirations for a ball gown - of course the train would have to be bustled for dancing. Maybe that is just too impractical. I like the look of it!


The colors didn't really show correctly with the flash, but what I have in mind is a royal purple cotton velevet for the bodice and the train/bustle lined in gold dupioni silk (yes, I know the dupioni is not really period correct - neither would "cotton" velvet for a ball), and possibly the purple and gold brocade for the inset and lower skirt.

I have just always felt that deep colors are so severe - they don't seem "fun" to me for dancing. Though very, very pretty. I'm a little afraid of using all dark colors for this dress. I always think of something more light and vibrant for a ball.

Cram Sewing - Infant Linens

Micky Anderson Varga
6 months old

Well, I got the "spirit" to sew last night after the kids went to bed. Even though I swore I would go to bed at 10pm, I ended up staying up til 1am! But . . . I got a set of infant underthings (patterns by Elizabeth Stewart Clark) completed for Micky.

* diapers
* drawers
* open shirt
* cap
* night dress

I used birdseye diaper cloth for the diapers, pre pin-tucked 100% cotton lawn for the rest and 100% cotton open worked lace for trim on the bonnet.

Since this was being done between 10pm and 1am, I used the machine for everything. Though these would be very easy and very fun to do by hand!


back view of diaper
I was very skeptical about the diaper (triangle) because it seems soooo huge! But when I tried it on Micky (over a real diaper) this morning, it did seem to fit. I had to wrap the side ends across the front and tie them in a little knot at the back. That's not how the directions explained it - they said all three corners should basically come together in the front and tie with cotton tapes - I don't know who that would fit other than an ADULT, so I just stuck with my method - worked fine.


open shirt

The open shirt also seemed a bit big in the neck area, but I guess if he had a light stay on or a bodiced petticoat that was more fitted then the neck and back flaps would fall over that to protect it. Also, the shirt and drawers alone would be comfortable on a hot day.

Loved the drawers! They are probably a bit long, but will do if I don't have a chance to add a few more tucks.


And look at this little cap - it is ADORABLE and so easy to make! I plan to make a few more - serviceable and fancy. This would be a great project to hand sew during an event. Though if I have the kids, I never have my hands free to do any sewing.

The whole set: Drawers, Open Shirt, Cap

Monday, July 20, 2009

Costume College

I can't beleive I just found this! Looks like a lot of fun - I'm too late for this year, but maybe next year.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Robert Land Shoes - A Disappointment

(This picture is from the website and not of my actual pair - my pair was an almost black "midnight blue")

I felt I needed to comment here on Robert Land Shoes because I have recently had several disappointments with them. I bought an absolutely stunning pair of his red/black side lacing boots - but after the first day of wearing the stitching ripped open in the side. I returned them asking for a replacement but was simply sent a "repaired" pair. Given the fact that I had paid full price for these boots and that they clearly were barely worn I felt that I should have been given a replacement. Well, I didn't want to continue to complain, so I accepted them.

Now . . . months later, I decided to give Robert Land a second chance because I continue to hear good things about them. So, I bought the blue and black side lacing and the American walking shoe. Wanted to make sure I bought the correct size, I completed the sizing worksheet and sent it to Robert Land. He suggested a 7-1/2 so that's what I ordered.

Unfortunately, I was greatly disappointed once again. The blue and black boot that looked bright blue and black on the web site was actually such a dark blue I first thought it was black! The American walking boot was also constructed in such a way that the space between the instep and the ankle was so baggy it actually formed a sort of a bubble when wearing the boot and was uncomfortable because it was so loose. Continuing my disappointment, the sole of both styles of boot protrude about 1/4 inch beyond the toe which both looks strange and would probably cause me to trip wearing them. And the 7-1/2 was waaayyy too big! I needed to go down at least a half size.

To add insult to injury in all of this, Robert Land actually draws from a Canadian bank (I know he has both a NY and Canadian address) but the payment was in American dollars. When I paid via PayPal, the Canadian bank that drew the payment caused my credit card company to charge me a foreign exchange fee of $9. This was both unexpected and not clearly outlined (that I remember) on their page.

So . . . I have sent the two pair of shoes back expecting a refund for the blue pair and a new pair of the American walking boot IF the toe and "baggy" ankle problem can be solved. I am hoping I will eventually be happy about this whole transaction . . .

I wish I had taken pictures of the boots before I sent them back! I was so frustrated I didn't think about it. :(

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dream Dress

This is ONE of the dresses of my dreams! I know it's not very practical and probably would be an idiodic thing to wear to a reenactment (and not appropriate either) but I REALLY REALLY want to make it! I'm thinking of a thick blue silk satin with cotton voile undersleeeves (attached I think). With self fabric adornments. I also really like the hair style the model has. Would be fun to have a dress like this do wear for late war "indoor" impressions.

Also want to try this one for Renton (the blue tunic). I LOVE it! And Renton really misses his "skirts." I'm thinking a blue summer weight wool or even a chintz or linen(though I don't see references to linen much in this period).