historical fashion

Treaty of Ghent – 2020 edition!

Last weekend was my first costuming event of 2020 and it’s a favorite. It was the 2nd running of the Treaty of Ghent weekend at Historic Camden, SC. This weekend is an immersive event (but not a reenactment) based on a celebration that probably occurred to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814, which ended the War of 1812. The event includes an evening soiree, a marketplace, a high tea, day time talks, a tavern evening and a ball which ends with celebratory cannon fire. It’s a lovely event that all takes place on the grounds of Historic Camden, a revolutionary war site. The immersive and intimate quality of Treaty of Ghent has made it one of my favorite events to visit. It also is nice that it happens in the winter, which gives me a chance to have some variety in my Regency wardrobe.

I tend not to hold to the 1814 timeframe too tightly. Most other people don’t either so general Regency is on offer. This year I had hoped to make some new outfits for the event. Top on my list was a new ballgown. I have had a new Regency ball gown on my to sew list since at least Janefest 2018. Over the summer, as part of my birthday present, my awesome mom bought me some fantastic black silk embroidered with small gold rectangles. I had a couple of choices in my stash for a ballgown but I decided to make the black dress. I used trusty Laughing Moon #126 and trimmed my sleeve and skirt hems with a bargain trim I found to match. Version 2

Version 2

My hat was commissioned from Shocking Bad Hats and was based on this fashion plate.phillips0200-001

I was super thrilled with how this dress came out and I love how striking it is. I wore a mix of vintage necklaces and the world’s heaviest earring. Also titties.IMG_0104

My 2nd outfit was designed especially to go with my first ever hand knitted historical accessory! Late last year I was killing time in a yarn shop in Ft. Lauderdale, as you do, and I found a knitted sample of Simple Half Pi Shawl by Dawn Craig. The sample was in a bright variegated yarn but I thought that in a more muted shade it would be a very cute cold weather accessory for Regency wear.

E19D64EE-44A2-457C-9044-1DDF48C4A38F.jpgIMG_8005.jpg

I knocked it out very quickly as it is a simple and forgiving pattern. I even wet blocked it (a first) to open up the lace pattern and make it lay nicely.

At Janefest 2019 I purchased two new hats, both pink, from Shocking Bad Hats and Timely Tresses. I had not worn either and I only owned one dress that really matched either. I decided I needed a new pink dress, even if I didn’t have time to sew it for Treaty of Ghent. Some bargain glazed looking pink cotton and black and cream trim appeared to me so the new dress was on the docket.

I decided to do something different and used Laughing Moon #130. I mocked this up a long time ago in totally inappropriate fabric so I was sort of just going for it when I made this without mocking it up again. I figured that my fit in the Laughing Moon patterns seems pretty consistent and if it was a mess, it wasn’t meant to be this time.

It turned out pretty damn well!

IMG_0017.jpgIMG_0019.jpgIMG_0005.jpg

The chemisette was made in a Costume College class. And that little shawlette, it really kept me warm! I had to get my fan out at one point. This outfit also was a great match to the Shocking Bad Hats beret I bought at Janefest 2019.

Personally I think this dress is super fussy to put on. There is a lot of pinning to be done and I really don’t think I could get dressed in this one by myself.

IMG_8312.jpg

I made a new reticle from Japanese indigo samples given to me by my Ikebana teacher. I lined it with fabric from the pink dress and the ribbon is stash.

For my final outfit, I rewore last year’s “new” dress from Janefest.

IMG_5465.jpg

I made a sleeveless spencer from Laughing Moon #129 out of a piece of vintage yellow velvet I got at an estate sale. As the velvet was upholstery weight, it was really too heavy for the task at hand but I wrestled into shape anyway. As it poured rain at the start of the weekend, I pinned up my train. I accessorized with a vintage pin, stone earrings from india and long winter gloves I purchased several years ago at a Paris department store. I was fairly toasty until the wind picked up. I got my cloak from the car eventually but not before some photos!IMG_0069.jpg

The hat is by Timely Tresses. It was not made to match this but it does perfectly.IMG_0036.jpg

This event has me revved up about Regency. I bought patterns from Fig Leaves and fabric from District 96 with new outfits in mind. I’m not sure when my next Regency event will be (I may not attend Janefest this summer) but I will be ready!

Treaty of Ghent Weekend

As mentioned in my 2019 goals post, I was an attendee of the 1st annual Treaty of Ghent Celebration. This event is held at Historic Camden, SC and was patterned after an actual event that supposedly took place to celebrate the end of the War of 1812 (hence the name). The date in question would have been 1815 so I geared my wardrobe towards the later part of the Regency.

A dress from Laughing Moon #138 was my new wardrobe debut this weekend. I used a lovely indigo blue and white window pane cotton from my stash. I made the dress with removable gathered sleeves to give the dress more utility. I didn’t make much of a fuss at pattern matching but I got some very lovely lines anyway. Having sewn this pattern before it was a relatively fast make. I just pinned the back for this event but I may eventually make more permanent fastenings. I made the cape too, but it was almost too warm to wear it.

IMG_2973IMG_3050

I commissioned a new “winter” friendly hat with matching reticle from Shocking Bad Hats.

IMG_2980

The weekend featured talks and shopping during the day. Evening entertainments included a house party with games and port tasting and a ball that ended with a Grand Illumination (canon fire and fireworks).

A really fantastic high tea was also on offer.

IMG_2946IMG_2950

I’ve never attended such a historically immersive event in the United States. It was really fun to be in rooms of the era, doing the historical things with people who were committed to dress the part. Also, this wasn’t billed as a reenactment so no issues with my pink hair or fancy nails. Win!

Plans are already afoot for 2020 and I, and all of my company are excited to attend again. The fact that this event is a manageable 3 and 1/2 hour drive from us is also great.

Some more photos!

My company at the Friday night party

IMG_2929Port and Madeira Wine TastingIMG_2904IMG_2902Losing at the Baccarat TableIMG_2919Gathering for TeaIMG_2934Posing during the BallIMG_3001Gathering to watch the IlluminationIMG_2996And that pretty much sums it up!IMG_2985

 

2019 — goals and aspirations

We’re almost at the end of January so it’s time to post this year’s sewing goals and aspirations. I took a bit of time to figure this out because I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on or realistically how much time I’m going to have, especially in the first part of the year, to focus on sewing.

We are entering the last stages of a whole house renovation. Including the gut of our garage into a beautiful, fully conditioned studio, we have been under some level on construction for almost three years now. Luckily and thankfully, we were able to move out and live elsewhere for the last part. My stress level has been so much lower and my sanity has been mostly intact because of this. Hooray! Because of this, fairly soon I will need to put sewing temporarily aside and concentrate on putting the house back together. As it will sort of be like moving into a brand new house I’m very excited and anxious for this! While I have ambitious goals for 2019, I’m looking at it more like a wish list than a to do list. I’ll just have to see what is accomplished.

I don’t have a lot of events already planned in 2019 so there is not much on this list that is pressing. I do have a bucket list goal of attending Fetes Galantes at Versailles so prep for that figures into 2019. Anyway, I’ll explain more below…

More Regency:

I’m attending the 1st staging of The Treaty of Ghent Celebration and Grand Illumination in Camden, SC next weekend. As this is February in the south, the weather could go all sorts of ways. I’ve already made a historicalish cloak in case of chill but it looks, at the moment, like the weather will be fairly mild. Better to be prepared than not! The cloak is made from red stash wool with a blue / gray herribone print flannel lining. Technically it is fully reversible. I had not planned on adding any trim but when I cut the pattern out (Simplicity 5794), I accidentally cut the grain line marking, not the front! I fixed it but had to cover it up. I found the chenille and gimp trim for $1 a yard and it looks great. Happyish accident?image1image2

I’m also making a new version of Laughing Moon #138 for this event.

I will most likely be attending Jane Austen Festival in July so I’d like a new ballgown for that. This was on the docket last year but did not happen. I’ve since acquired even more potential ballgown fabric so 2019 is a must. I should also consider making another chemise and bodiced petticoat (or one of those suspender type petticoats).

1870s Polanaise ensemble:

I am long overdue to make a new 1870-1880 day dress / evening dress. I claimed this dress from Daniel Deronda for a group at Costume College. I bought the orange silk for the polonaise in the LA fabric district right after the event and I just found something for the skirt. Since I have everything and I committed myself, this will be my next historical project after I finish my Regency stuff for Treaty of Ghent (unless something comes up!)

 

18th Century / Robe a l’Anglais:

In prep for a potential trip to Fetes Galantes in 2020, I need to make a serviceable Robe a l’Anglais. Essentially, I want to make a wearable test dress so my eventual Fetes Galantes gown is not my first. I have a lot of the underpinnings already from 18th Century Strawberry Shortcake. I also have the fabric for this, again purchased in the LA fabric district. In the 18th Century vein, I wouldn’t mind revising the JP Ryan jacket pattern that I used for Strawberry Shortcake. It needs some fitting tweaks. I also think it would be pretty easy to knock out an actual historic look with that pattern.

1860s dress with evening and day bodices:

This guy has been hanging around for a while now. I still don’t have an elliptical hoop. My new plan is to make one myself using Laughing Moon #112. I just feel like I have to get this done somehow. The evening bodice is halfway complete!

Laughing Moon #117, not sure which view:

I bought this pattern and want to sew it. I bought some bright orchid purple poly taffeta with matching bright loud checked poly taffeta when I was in India. I think it would be insane and perfect for this.

Edwardian Suffragette Suit:

I was thinking this Butterick pattern and the kelly green cotton / linen blend I’ve had in my stash for a while.

Figure out vintage style pants / jeans:

This is another holdover. It became slightly less pressing when I found these jeans from Collectif (I bought two pairs) but I want to have a good fitting slacks pattern in my arsenal.

Sew more knits:

I’m hoping at some point this year to purchase a cover stitch machine. I’m pretty set on this Janome. It gets good reviews and is at a price point I’m willing to pay. This would help immensely with my knit fabric experiments.

Reorganize and purge my costume closet:

This isn’t a sewing goal per se but it needs to happen. I have a wonderful and very large cedar lined closet for all my costumes, antiques and kimono. I need to get stuff properly cleaned and hung up, go through everything and make sure I want all the stuff that is in there. I did get rid of some gowns a couple of years ago but it’s time to do it again. Also, I am sure I have way too many “project” accessories and hats. Several things got thrown in the closet when I had to clear my house for the current renovation, so it’s time. This does not include going through the fabric stash. That happened fairly recently. It could stand to happen again but I can basically find everything so it’s a lot less pressing.

Everthing else:

In addition to these things, there is what I call my regular sewing — vintage inspired dresses and outfits, including one off themed dresses and the odd cosplays. These items aren’t goals but they are sewing I’m sure I’ll be doing along the way.

Like 2018, and considering that I know I will be very busy with my house, I feel like this is a very ambitious (maybe doable?) list for 2019. I’ll just need to see how it goes and what gets thrown my way!

Wish me luck!

What I made – 2018

While I did not make a huge dent in my sewing goals I did manage to sew some stuff.

Here’s what I made in 2018:

Wax cotton with Simplicity 2506 from 1958IMG_8304

A mod take in scuba of New Look 6889

Harness by ApaticoIMG_8998

Tana Lawn Robe with Simplicity 8510 from 1969IMG_9287

Late Regency “Kermit” dress from Laughing Moon #138.

Hat by Shocking Bad HatsIMG_9674

Fairy Headress by Diamante QueenIMG_9760

Lace Guimpe from Laughing Moon #104. Everything else made in 2017.fullsizeoutput_3e52

Remade bodice for Stars & Stripes ballgown / Zip Tie headdressIMG_9851IMG_9837

18th Century Strawberry Shortcake: Jacket from JP Ryan, Skirt, Apron, KerchchiefIMG_9879IMG_9902

Dress to match my Irregular Choice shoes – Simplicity 1427from 1955IMG_1161

Spencer from stash scraps – Laughing Moon #129

Hat by Shocking Bad HatsIMG_2430

Midnight blue “witch” dress with spiderweb and bat lace overlay. Pattern mashup. IMG_1344IMG_1282

Pink & Red Christmas dress with vintage trim. Made from a vintage pattern mashup.IMG_2481IMG_2543

Edwardian Corset Cover from Truly Victorian finally completedIMG_9561

Costume College Bargain Basement dress from Vintage Mail Order patternIMG_8426

Wax Cotton Maxidress – Simplicity 9562 from 1981IMG_9468

I also knit this dirty hippie hat!IMG_1446

My 2018 (intensive and long) list of sewing goals

It’s officially 2018. It’s been a bit of a start since our heat went out New Year’s Day and it’s been quite cold (below freezing) here in Atlanta! Being stuck in one room with space heaters or in the much more spacious and warm studio has had me seriously thinking about sewing goals. I feel like I really dropped the ball on historical last year. I’m in fairly dire need of new Victorian gowns for both day and evening. I had planned on making both — made neither! I also have a late 1860s gown started but not finished. And don’t forget piles of awesome fabrics waiting to be turned into several other gowns. I need to prioritize!

So, in no particular order, my top goals for 2018:

Late 1860s Ball Gown and Day Bodice — I have the bodice half done. I “threw in” my hoop in favor of commissioning Black Orchid Atelier to make one for me. I bought trim in LA last year that I think will work on the ball gown. I might have enough silk for a day bodice. I’m thinking I may try to turn my hoop fail into a circular hoop, just so I have one and so I at least save some of my effort. I just have so many icky feelings about wearing Civil War fashion.

Early Bustle Era Day Dress — I have a stash black and whitish sawtooth cotton to use for this. I just need to pick a final design and make it.

18th Century Riding Habit — I took Lynn McMasters’s fitting class at Costume College so this also is basically ready to go. I should probably mock it up once more before I use my fashion fabric, a kelly green linen / cotton blend that I originally bought to make a Slytherin themed 1890s suit. But as that fabric is not precious and replaceable, maybe I should just get to it instead?

More Regency —  I’m already slated to go to Jane Austen Fest so I want to make something new. I bought a beautiful sari in London to use for a ballgown. I got a fabulous blue and white striped gauze from my husband for Christmas that I’d like to use for something. I only have three meters so most likely it would be an open robe or a sleeveless overdress. I don’t know. I just don’t want to make another white gown to go underneath. I made a white dress last summer.

1910s Ball / Evening Gown — I have a different sari from London for this. I also have a paste rhinestone buckle, most likely from the 1980s, that I got at the Paris flea market as a focus. This dress will most likely be a little loud and more Hollywood than history but I think it will be fabulous. I tried starting the Laughing Moon pattern but didn’t get very far with the mockup. Not sure if I should revisit that or use a different pattern.

Figure out how to make myself a pair of jeans — this was on my list last year and didn’t happen. I need a pair of vintage / retro style jeans. I need to conquer pants, but I have fear.

Of course that list doesn’t include the Elvis and David Bowie themed dressed I had tentatively planned for Costume College. I don’t even know if I can stomach the cost or intensity of my Elvis idea. Nor does it include reviving my 1901 Mourning Ensemble or sewing anything else practical or vintage. Oh and there is also the time of real life too! I’m just not sure where to start exactly, since the only current deadlines I have are Janefest and Costume College. But if I just picked one, hunkered down and started, I feel like the priority list could be possible!

In the time it took to write this, my heat finally seems to be fixed! Another good sign!

Any suggestions? Make them in the comments!

 

2017 in Review

It’s the last day of the year so that means it’s time to recap my sewing adventures from 2017. I probably should have split this into more than one post. I didn’t realize exactly how much I actually managed to sew until I was well into compiling this recap. Some items don’t have photos nor did some end up getting a blog post (until this one).

All in all, 2017 was ok but I didn’t get as much done was I had hoped in terms of historical sewing. I had planned on making at least one new Victorian gown. Still, I had some great makes and I also now have a whole weekend’s worth of Regency. My 2018 to sew list is very long. We’ll just have to see how it goes!

Without further ado….2017….

I tried to get better at knits and made three shirts from the Montlake Tee from Straight Stitch Designs.img_2139img_2121

IMG_4399

The 3rd tee was a present for my mom

I made two shirts from Simplicity 3852 as Christmas presents for my uncle. I have a photo from the one I made as a late 2016 present (I sewed it in January 2017) but I don’t have a picture of the one I made on time for 2017. Even worse, my uncle was at my house on Christmas morning! How missed getting a photo I’ll never know!img_2154

A patriotic pantsuit from Simplicity 5556 circa 1973.img_2162

Two more versions of Simplicity 1577 from 1956.

FullSizeRender

a UFO of black lace and pleather

IMG_7284

a Poison themed Housewitch dress

A groovy maxi dress from 70s era McCalls 5337.IMG_3928

A couple of bowties from a 1970s Kwik Sew patternIMG_725218235921_10154532898787337_567025972_o

Three different dresses / cosplays from McCalls 2276, an 80s does 20s pattern.

Photo May 12, 2 05 43 AM

A day dress for the jazz age lawn party

DSC_1433

A 20s themed Slytherin dress based on fan art

DSC_1734

A jazz age take on Birdperson from Rick and Morty

 

I made, but did not blog about, a titanic era day time outfit made from TVE 45 – 1911 Narrow Panel BlouseTVE 30 – Narrow Panel Skirt and a remade church lady hat. While I successfully wore this outfit to a Titanic themed escape room, and while we successfully escaped the sinking ship before the time was up, this outfit has issues. I need to revisit and potentially remake it. I didn’t have enough time to let the fabric settle before hemming so fixing that would be a big improvement at the very least.IMG_3999IMG_4004IMG_4005

A Flamingo dress from Simplicity 4478 from 1962.IMG_5488

New daytime sleeves to take my purple Regency dress to half mourning.IMG_5474

A brand new Regency dress ensemble, including dress, shawl, reticule and fixed turban.IMG_5915IMG_5522IMG_5536

A Regency / 18th Century chemise and 18th Century petticoat. My stays were made by the very talented Anthony Canney / House of Canney.IMG_5762

A music dress from Simplicity 1427, View 2 from 1955.IMG_7197

This year’s robe from Simplicity 8510 from 1969.IMG_2227IMG_2228

A “science” housedress from a 1960s nightgown pattern — I don’t have the pattern number handy!IMG_6400IMG_6401

Wizard Robes for my mom!IMG_7536IMG_7535

Skirts for friendsIMG_4557IMG_4559

I finally finished putting the finishing stitches on my Edwardian safari outfit. The majority of it was sewn and worn a few years ago but I never finished the jacket. I also wore another House of Canney creation — a proper S Curve Corset — for the 1st time.IMG_7044

I also remade my Mod Christmas Dress from 2016 into a mod Disney dress from Costume College.IMG_5774

Finally I made Christmas stockings for our new pup Ollivander and our first time Christmas visitor, my Uncle Ronnie. We had seven stockings on the rail this year! A Santa record!IMG_7789And that brings us to the end of 2017!

I wish you all the best and all the luck in 2018!

 

Dragon con 2017 Wrap Up

Wow. It’s November. How did that happen?

I haven’t made a new post in a while because, well, I’ve been busy in the world! But here I am trying to catch you up on my goings on.

Dragoncon 2017 was once again the giant party known as “Nerdy Gras”. Since I have been so crazy busy with real life stuff I set my sewing goals sort of low by only committing to two new outfits. In a strange turn of events, they both ended up being 1920s style. While I still don’t think this is the proper era for me, I’m not as scared of it as I used to be. I’ve learned to “embrace the frump” as it were and just go for it.

My first outfit was based on this Retro Hogwarts fan art by Savannah Alexandra Art:17973657_1305274152919865_4067429283595783083_o

I once again used my trusty 1980s 2276 McCalls for this dress. The pattern already had the collar style I needed.

DSC_1433

I accessorized with a Slytherin head girl pin from Universal Studios, an Automatic Honey brooch, my trust Broomrider hat from Blonde Swan hats and a black wig. I generally hate wearing wigs, especially with hats, but I figured that the wig would really help me look closer to the original art. I also now have a perfect wig if I even want to cosplay a vulcan. The green tones are a little bit shifted from the original drawing but I got lucky finding that green stripe and the purple both on sale from Fashion Fabrics Club.

DSC_1444

My cohort Megan’s Gryffindor outfit was also based on Savannah’s art. We wore these house outfits to run the tea dueling tournament. What is tea dueling? Well, to fully explain that would take another whole post but the short answer is that it is a silly parlor sport originally invented by a couple of British Steampunk gentlemen. I am the founder of the American Tea Dueling Society and we have been running a very popular tournament at DragonCon for the last four years.

DSC_1680

In this year’s final we had the 2016 tournament winner pitted against a complete newcomer to the sport.

DSC_1690

In the end though, newcomer Buttercup from the Power Puff Girls was the tournament winner.

DSC_1703

As for the rest of my DragonCon silliness, I went all out in my other cosplay, Birdperson from Rick and Morty.

moN6AJ3

Once again I went for a 1920s spin on the character. I had kind of crazy socialite in mind when I was thinking about this cosplay. I bought all of my feathers from Motherplucker when I was in LA for Costume College. I used McCalls 2276 yet again.DSC_1734

All the feather elements except for the trim on the cape are made as separate pieces so I can wear them with different outfits. Sadly, my puppy ate those boots I was wearing right after Dragoncon. Good thing I thought they were kind of uncomfortable. While I see the 1920s in this outfit I don’t think the vibe is a strong as it could be. But still, who cares, I’m Birdperson!

DSC_1739.jpg

 

 

New Regency and Regency Redux for Jane Austen Fest

This year I made my first visit to Jane Austen Fest in Louisville, Kentucky. If Louisville has a specific connection with Jane Austen, I can not say, but they put on the largest Jane Austen event in North America. The festival is held on the grounds of Locust Grove, a Georgian mansion and estate built in 1790. It provides a lovely, shady and picturesque backdrop for the event.

Janefest includes two full days on site, an evening of early bird shopping, high tea service and a ball. If one attended all events and evenings, three outfits plus a ball gown would be required. At the minimum, you could get by with two dresses if you do not attend the ball nor dress up on the Friday shopping night (many do not). At the time I decided to go, I had only two Regency dress and one was a ballgown. I’d also worn them both to a couple of events last year. Clearly, a new dress had to be made!

I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I don’t really stash Regency appropriate fabrics, although I’m loving the ease of the Regency so much I’m starting to. Previously I found two panels of Target Shabby Chic Voile curtains at a thrift shop. These curtains have proven very popular with historical costumers. They were in very good condition if a bit dingy. I picked them up with the Regency in mind so I set to soaking them in Orvus Paste while I figured out what to sew.

IMG_5431A friend of mine recently did some massive destashing due to a move to Manhattan. One of the pieces she gave me was a good length of (I assume) embroidered upholstery trim. The blue gray classical style embroidery had also put her in a Regency state of mind. I thought it would go great with the curtains, but it was far too heavy to use as trim.IMG_5472 I decided to use it as the front apron of the dress and sewed it together to create fabric for the dress sleeves. It turned out to be a smart and pretty move because with only two curtain panels, I was a little too short of fabric for sleeves anyway.

I used Laughing Moon #126 with the ballgown puff. It was a little bit of a fuss to figure out how long to cut the skirt pieces since the curtains have an embroidered hem. But, hey no hemming needed!

IMG_5536I used Festive Attyre’s Regency Shawl Hack and two pashminas to make a trip hazard shawl for swanning about.

IMG_5522I didn’t have a reticule either so I made the one from La Mode Bagatelle. The fabric is a remnant of a kimono bolt.

With the short sleeves, I technically made a ballgown. But as this event is held outside, in July, in the mid-south, most people aren’t too picky about exposed arms as a concession to weather. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with my hair or head beyond hoping I could buy a bonnet, ribbons or something once I got there.

Once on site I bought an adorable bonnet from Shocking Bad Hats. It was an great stylistic match to my new dress and will also look great, if a bit matchy, with my blue burnout stripe lawn dress. I had a great time swanning around dragging my wrap behind me but so many people kept telling that my shawl was on the ground that I finally picked it up. Don’t these people look at fashion plates? Who cares if it gets dirty? Fashion!

IMG_0855

Here I am in my Shocking Bad Hat with Julie, The Fat Reenactress. She also took the great full length shot below.

IMG_0853

I had to beat off an unsavory gentleman to boot! They will let anyone into this festival!

IMG_5653IMG_5647IMG_5644So that was my new dress! On to look two!

With this year being the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, many people were planning mourning looks for the big mourning procession that happened on Saturday. I only really had plans for one new dress and mourning was never a serious consideration for that. But my ballgown from last year was made from a lavender and black sari!

IMG_0704I felt like I could somehow make this half mourning appropriate so I posted about it to a Facebook group to get some crowd sourcing ideas. The two most popular suggestions were to add sleeves and a black fichu.

The fichu was easy. I found a piece of vintage embroidered net on etsy for $14. It wasn’t the biggest piece of fabric so I tacked it into the neckline to keep it in place versus trying to make it into a triangle.

While looking for the solid silk I used for the apron front I found a leftover piece of the sari that I didn’t remember that I had. It was perfect for sleeves, which I also tacked in.IMG_5474

I topped the outfit off with my black and silver bonnet hack, the vintage style sunglasses I got for the Gatsby picnic, black vintage gloves, black and silver lion earrings from Dames a la Mode and an antique french jet pendant.

IMG_5582

I was really surprised how much the dress sombered up. I thought that the silver trim at the neckline would bring too much bling. I really enjoyed wearing this. I felt very Lady Catherine de Burgh or Caroline Bingley, ultra fashionable but ready with a withering putdown at the expense of the dearly departed. I think the sunglasses helped.

20746952_10214250857010187_635855387_o

Thanks to Stephanie for this photo. I love it, even if you can see the non historic serging on my turned up ruffles. They were getting in my chicken salad!

And despite what everyone had been saying about the heat, sun and silk, I was actually as, if not more, comfortable in this outfit than the short sleeved one.

What I was missing though was a proper Regency chemise, something I sewed as soon as I got home. Kentucky heat and a lack of a proper chemise just will not do!

I just become more and more enchanted with Regency fashion. Next year is the 10th anniversary of the festival so I’ll just have to attend again!

 

1980s McCalls into 1920s Garden Party

Ah the 1920s! Jazz Age Glamour! The Black Bottom! The Great Gatsby!

Fashions that look terrible on people with tits and ass.

Le Sigh.

In keeping with the 100 year rule (people get excited and nostalgic when things are about 100 years old), the decadent Jazz Age is back in style. I’m sure the impending doom that it seems like our county is hurtling towards is helping that Weimar Cabaret feeling. But for whatever reason, the 1920s and associated events are everywhere these days.

The 1920s is a decade I have never been super enthusiastic about costuming. The boyish flapper figure is really far from what I have. I’m much more about that hourglass. A couple of years ago I tried to make the One Hour Dress and that was a fugtastic fail. Despite my dislike of the era I was joining a bunch of friends at Dardenella’s Atlanta Gatsby Garden Party. I had to figure it out so I’d have something to wear.

This photo of my grandma with her grandma was my inspiration. This photo is probably from the later part of the 20s.

File May 14, 12 36 44 AM

As cute as my grandma was, and as cute as I bet that dress was, there’s sure something wonky going on with the fit. It’s not my grandma, it’s the style of the 20s.

Check her out just a few years later in the 30s:

Photo Mar 23, 1 08 00 AMAdorable! What a difference!

See what I was up against?

Looking at other photos from the 1920s, curvy and bigger people just looked frumpy. You needed to have tiny ankles and no discernable bust like these gals. Photo Apr 17, 12 01 55 AM

Photo Apr 17, 5 59 18 PM

But then again, Queen Latifah looked damn fabulous in the Bessie Smith biopic so being curvy and looking good in 1920s fashions could be done.

bessie-queen-latifah

I was doing my usual troll of eBay and Etsy for vintage half-sized patterns when this 1985 relic came up in my search.

Photo May 14, 12 32 16 AMMinus the hair and the shoulder pads, McCalls 2276 seemed pretty close to a 1920s dress.

The line art makes the 20s potential even clearer. The shoulder treatment is very similar to Decades of Style Isabella dress and the collar options also had potential. I decided to go with a short sleeved version of view C with a hip sash.

Photo May 14, 12 32 11 AM

My cotton fabrics were pretty cheap to begin with and then I bought them in a Joann’s mega sale at 50% off. Because of this (and because I ran myself out of time) I decided not to make a test and just sew on the fly. I wasn’t super invested in the the fabric or honestly the final dress so I wasn’t afraid of a fail. I dug around in my closet for an acceptable backup outfit just in case, so I was set either way.

With no darts and hardly any shaping I didn’t see any point of putting in the zipper. Since that left the back wider than the collar I probably should have made an adjustment but I didn’t. I took very small seam allowances on the facings to make up the difference. I took a smaller seam allowance from waist to hip on the side seam but otherwise did not adjust the sizing.

I had planned on doing the pleated skirt but since I was at the 11th hour I was feeling lazy so I got out my ruffler foot. I ruffled the three skirt panels and just figured I’d attach it and hope that it fit. When I tried the dress on I realized that the dropped waist was too low even for the 1920s and the overly full skirt was super 80s. I raised the waistline between three and four inches (I did it by eye), took out most of the 3rd skirt panel, and took about another 3 inches off the hem. I hand tacked the sash and added two vintage pink buttons as a detail.

Photo May 12, 2 05 43 AMPhoto May 12, 2 05 54 AM

I tried the dress on with my other accessories but no shapewear. A distinct lack of fug was detected. 1920s success!

With my parasol mended, bust flattening shapewear on and picnic packed we were off to the event. It was held on the grounds of The Wren’s Nest, the home of Joel Chandler Harris. We were able to take an interesting short tour of the house which was a real treat!

I didn’t take a ton of photos but I here are a few.

Photo May 13, 1 04 52 PMSunglasses – $16 Amazon Prime!

Photo May 13, 1 08 48 PMMy husband, left, is wearing a bowtie I made for him. Don’t you love his oyster belt buckle?

Photo May 13, 1 36 58 PM

Megan made the Decades of Style Isabella for the occasion and I just love Rob’s swami getup!

One of our party, Rebecca (Swami Rob’s wife), was named best dressed at the party. She won a gift certificate for any dress from the new opened Trashy Diva boutique. This pretty much made the event for me!

Photo May 13, 1 03 01 PMThe win was foretold!

Photo May 13, 1 13 09 PMPhoto May 13, 1 13 19 PMPhoto May 13, 1 14 09 PM

As is prone to happen in Atlanta, a much feared for thunderstorm popped up halfway through the afternoon causing a scramble and a soaking. That pretty much ended the event as they had no rain plan (poor planning in my opinion). We never got a group photo and I was soaked through before I got my own photos.

Photo May 13, 4 22 58 PMMy coordinating bracelet and brooch, possibly by Neiger, are of the era.

Photo May 13, 4 23 23 PM My faces are of the era too. Pure silent film overacting.

All’s Well That End’s Well?

A Most Disreputable Regency Whist Party

ladygodinaprint

I love to play cards. I grew up in a card playing family with the most favorite game being Pinochle. Sadly, most people I know now don’t really know how to play cards at all. But some people I know now really like Jane Austen and the Regency. And what often gets mentioned in Austen’s books? The playing of cards and more specifically the playing of whist. In order to play more cards and also wear my gowns, I decided to have a whist party.

There are a few blogs that have covered Regency card parties. I found The Georgian Index especially helpful. As for how tos on rules and play, consult Hoyle! It also always seems like whist is either disreputable because of gambling or an activity that characters get stuck playing because of want of a fourth to complete the table. At my party we had both!

IMG_3702

I decided to set up a small tournament with a $5 ante for each player. For this party I removed myself from eligibility to win as I was the host and the most experienced whist player. We played two games simultaneously and switched partners at the end of each game. The winner was determined by total points across all games. The pot was split between two guests who had the same total. My husband, who was actually supposed to be out of town for the party, was press ganged into playing and also taking all our group photos.

IMG_3695

I served a fairly broad repast of food and drink that was regency appropriate. I had a cheese board of almost exclusively British cheeses, fruit, meats, olives and rustic petit fours. Wine, Pinor Noir Champagne, Tea and Port were served.

Over the course of the evening, I did the most to make things disreputable. I ended up breaking three champagne flutes over the course of the party. We also had puppy shenanigans as Mr. Ollivander had just joined us.

Once the guests were good and lubricated, we finished the evening by playing the no skill dice game bunco. While bunco is not of the era, it seems like something that they could have enjoyed. We again played with a $5 ante and winner take all.

IMG_3704IMG_3715

Everyone seemed to really enjoy the party and those who were invited but unable to attend seemed quite remorseful about missing it. I’m absolutely on board to host again and this time, I’m playing to win!