Saturday, April 20, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnightly - #8 By the Sea: Aqua Linen Gown

You may remember the aqua linen I posted that I bought from Fabric Mart a while back?  Well, I cranked out a basic Angalise out of it and then re-trimmed my Gainsborough to match.  I had meant to finish or at least get much further along on the Tissot-ish Gown I've been working on for this challenge but I've got other costume deadlines looming (Myth Masque) and couldn't put in enough time on that to really get somewhere on the Tissot with that hanging over my head.  So I finished this off instead. 

While it could, I suppose, be a seaside 18th C gown, the real "By The Sea" connection is of course the color.  Nothing says "Ocean" like Caribbean blue.  I thought it looked nice paired with the infamous Target "shabby chic" curtains petticoat and I'd add a big fluffy fichu as well.

The Challenge: #8: By The Sea
Fabric: Aqua linen with a black stripe

Pattern: my basic 18th C body block (which is based off of the Period Impressions Polonaise)
Year: 1780s
Notions: Thread, vintage lace from the stash

How historically accurate is it? relatively accurate materials but machine sewn.

Hours to complete: As you know if you've been reading this blog for a while I rarely keep track of things like this, mostly because I'm working on multiple projects at once.
First worn: Not yet!

Total cost: about $40

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Reshuffling and retrimming

After a long hard look at the calendar I came to the conclusion that I needed to reshuffle my sewing priorities to better fit the deadlines I've got coming up.  This means I'll be wearing a "this old thing" to the upcoming Impressionists' Picnic instead of my Tissot gown - I just have too much to do on our costumes for the upcoming Myth Masque to ensure I could get everything done in time.  But thankfully I have several fun bustle gowns in the closet.  I've decided to reprise my black and white dotty bustle gown, probably because it reminds me of this gown that was featured in the Met's recent Impressionism exhibit.

But the hat I wore last time has been re-trimmed to go with another gown and was only a stop gap anyway since it was more of a winter hat, being felt.  So I dug out a black straw hat blank from my stash that I'd purchased from Truly Victorian a while back and got to work.  I had only a scant few scraps of the polka dotted ribbon I used to trim the original dress left, but it was enough to carefully piece together a bow.  I also had some scraps of pleated organza and pleated grosgrain left over from trimming the gown that I trimmed the edge of the hat with.  Finally I added some white dotted millinery netting which I thought nicely echoed the dots in the dress. And Voila - my new hat!

 dotty hat

 I also decided to add a few new trimmings to my dress.  I've found I'm much more enthusiastic about an old standby if I can refurbish it a bit and make it seem "new."  So I'm adding some of the narrow pleated organza ribbon to the vestee at the bust line and adding some wide pleated organza (that ironically I bought for the Tissot dress but am not using because it's too white) to the under sleeves.  Pictures to come once I got to the event!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Renaissance Faire with my boy

Sometimes it's nice to wear something old, to have no deadlines and no worries about what something will looks like because it's a much-beloved tried and true staple.  That was the case this weekend when I took my younger son to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire.

This was a sort of spur of the moment thing of, with out getting some last minute tickets so there wasn't time to make anything new.  So I got out my old pirate costume that I used to wear to the Maryland Renaissance Festival and was set.  Yes, I know 18th Century isn't the right time period, but given the plethora of pirates, barbarians, musketeers, fairies and Star Trek costumes one often sees at the Faire AND the fact that I wasn't staff buy a playing customer I was fine with it.  And C got to get one more wear out of his old pirate coat too!

There was much music, magic, shopping, photographing, puppets, drinking, eating and shooting of random strangers with his brand new marshmallow catapult (best toy bought at a Faire ever!) - in other words, we had fun!

This Friday I take my older son to the Faire with his 6th grade class and we do it all over again, whee!