Thursday, May 19, 2011

18th C waistcoat and Fancy Dress

I'd gotten a tiny scrap of embroidered silk ages ago that I'd wanted to make into a waistcoat for my husband but it was just a wee bit too short.  Then I had the brilliant idea of piecing it which would also make the pattern curve with the front - I'm very happy with how the piecing turned out! 

I also got caught the fancy dress bug.  You see, I've had a certain design and the fabric to go with it in my plans forever, and given my recent bustle-mania I thought it might be a better idea to whip out another bustle gown rather than start a whole new style I'd never done before like the sac.  

I'm going to make something similar to this:      Out of this: (which is more black/red & gold/black changable than it looks here.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

From the bookself: Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion and Recollections of Leonard

I had a bit of a red letter day as far as books go on Saturday - getting two wonderful new books from Amazon on the same day. 

I'd heard from a few friends that Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion was a good book based on an amazing exhibition, but that doesn't quite do it justice, it was more like mind-blowing.  If you're into Empire fashions I'd say it's a must have book.  It's chock full of incredible, huge color photos of tons of gowns you've never seen before, most of them the height of  fashion.  I haven't even begun to read the next yet but that's only because I've been distracted by my other book - Recollections Of Leonard: Hairdresser To Queen Marie-Antoinette.    I'd recently started reading "The Private life of Marie Antoinette" by Madame Campan when I came across the fact that MA's hairdresser Leonard had also written memoirs of the queen.  Leonard is such an outrageous character I decided I had to read what he'd written.  And although I've only just started his book it's been well worth it so far. Leonard's recollections are astonishingly modern in style, totally self-inflated and very funny.  They could easily be a modern Hollywood self-made-man rags-to-riches story. 

Mad Men Event

So my son's school had a Mad Men night out fundraiser.  And may I just take a moment to say school fundraisers need to be like this more often -  SO much better than yet another "Yankee Candle" sale!   They rented out a restaurant, had both a silent and a live auction as well as dinner and drinks, and candy cigarettes.  And everyone was dressed to the nines!

I did not make anything but wanted to give a plug to Audrey K for the dress I did wear.  I've bought other dresses from her boutique and love them all - they are comfy, kinda retro and very flattering.  And this was no exception.

I was originally going to wear my hair up in a pseudo beehive like the photo above -  but my husband really liked the curls straight from the hot rollers so I indulged him even though my hair ended up a little more 1940s than early 60s.  We had fun hamming it up and drinking cocktails and played it safe and took a cab home.