"Resign yourself, Catherine! Shops must be visited! Money must be spent! Do you think you could bear it?" - Northanger Abbey

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Jane Austen Festival Bath - 2016 (the costumes)

Time for my post about the Jane Austen Festival (its quite expensive so I tend to go every other year). Lets start with the dresses which of course are very important.
I had been working on them for a number of months as this time I needed four outfit and I had loaned my usual back up dresses to my mum. Well I don't need more than that as an excuse to make more. I had got much more confident in my sewing and more HA (historically accurate) this time round. I started of course as you should do with the foundations.
So that was 2 more shifts to add to my current total. One of them needed to be longer sleeved 18th century. Then stays which I had completed a last year.

I wanted a 1790's transitional look and couldn't be bothered to fight with gussets. I was able to re use my petticoats, although had to adjust the length by rolling up at the waist, and used a bumroll for my 18th c outfit and of course pockets. Yes I wear them with regency...even with a reticule on hand. And my fichu.
For the Saturday. DAY.
Fichu, bib front gown, fingerless mitts, shawl, broach (cameo) bergere, basket and umbrella (as it was rather wet.) You can see from the photo of the back of the dress how the hem got soaked...my petticoat was pretty muddy too.

Unfortunately I don't have many pictures of me wearing the dress as we were in a rush so didn't stop to take any before leaving and then I was dancing most of the time. I will post a more detailed description of the construction of this in the future. the dress was inspired by the tiedens toj dress and the sleeveless spencer was a happy accident as it was originally going to be the lining for and open robe but I liked it so added the gold trim. The headress was a last minute sew it up 5 mins before I leave job. Here I had fan and reticule to complement the look and the ubiquitous broach.

Sunday - day dress
This was my attempted at a late 18th century working class dress. I had petticoat and a lined skirt. My shoes I had modified (another future post) shift, stays, fichu and 'caraco'. I like the 18th c look but to make it more later in the century I'd raised the waistline nearer the natural. You might reconized this item from previous posts its gone from a bed gown, to a short gown and now its more of a caraco. I wore this ensemble to visit no1 the crescent in Bath.

Monday - day/dance dress
I had a bit of a mini disaster with my outfit on the monday so I didn't end up wearing what I planned. Firstly the white bib front gown had shrunk since I last wore it so it was short and I struggled to move my arms. I was wearing modern foundations as I needed to be able to sit in the car for a long journey so couldn't wear the stays this then meant my bra peeked out over my chemise and the chemise over the top of the dress. Arrrgggg! So I tried to make the chemise look part of the dress and pinned it to the bra so that it covered the straps up. Then when I tried my sleeveless spencer over it the waistline was in the wrong place. So I had to take back my old open robe from my mum and wear that instead. This then threw out my colourscheme and thus I improvised. Blue shawl over shoulder. My blue sash I turned into a turban and added my green cameo broach then clipped on my feather bow on the back of my head so it looked like it was part of the regency turban. During the day I wore my ankle boots but changed to my dancing shoes for the workshop.

And so ends the saga of the outfits. I'll post up a general post about the festival very soon. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Straw Boater to 18th Century Bergere

I know I've been quiet for a while. Blog posts take a long time to write and I've been busy busy busy. Anyway....I thought I'd do a sorta tutorial. I say sorta because its not that indepth. lol!

It started with a hat, not just any hat, a straw boater in a sale. Ignore the price, I got it even cheaper because it was broken. Hence my erm...cunning plan.
I got out the seam ripper and began to unravel it from the outside edge. Originally intending a 'missy'/mary poppins sort of hat.

Hence why I kept a lot of the height. Started sewing then changed my mind as I realised I could get a bergere out of it. Ooops, now I had to unstitch where I'd got to sewing it. :(
So now the crown was shallower but I kept its shape and width.

I used steam from the iron to help shape the first few 'rounds' into a flat brim. And set the rest of the straw to make it easier to sew. (It really hurts your fingers sewing by hand.)
I got 90% of the brim done before my hands were cramping up and I couldn't hand sew the rest, thus I resorted to using the machine. I found this trickier as you have less control.
 Ta Da! Finished hat....well nearly finished. I pinned a few ribbons to see how it sat. (When flat it reminds me of this painting of Miss Constable 1787)

But I still need to line it - as the straw messes up my hair and makes me itch - and trim it.

Friday, January 29, 2016

HSF 2016 - #1 Procrastination

What the item is: Bodice for Bustle Era outfit
The Challenge: #1 Procrastination
Materials: 100% Cotton and Silk.
Pattern: TV 400 but I modified the pattern. Converted the front to a faux vest. I also narrowed the sleeves and added a self drafted collar.
Year: The patter says 1871 but due to my modifications it probably sits later in the era.
Notions: Buttons
How historically accurate is it? Well the patterns HA and for a change the materials are too.
Hours to complete: I lost track as it all got spread out over several weeks.
First worn: For pics the other day but when I finish the full outfit it will be worn in February.
Total cost: I was quite surprised it came to £25!!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

HSF 2015 - Challenge #12 - Redo

What the item is: Bodiced petticoat/supportive kirtle

The Challenge: #12 re-do

What Challange/s are you re-doing?: 1# foundations

Fabric: Melton wool/cotton 100%

Pattern: Tudor tailor kirtle

Year: 1510s

Notions: Eyelets lacing

How historically accurate is it? The pattern is right but i compromise on fabric for budget reasons

Hours to complete: Approx. 10 i lost track.

First worn: Several times for fittings...as I'm making an over gown for it.

Total cost: As I was using up my stash guesstimate £35.

So this kirtle took me a while to make so I didn't manage to start/ finish it in time for the challenge I wanted to do this for hence it became a redo project.

I drew out the kirtle bodice pattern from the tudor tailor book straight onto the fabric. Initially using my dress form to pinch out the excess for the first version of the toile. Then I recut and tried pinning it on myself with the sides basted. I ended up changing the straps, waistline height and taking in at least an inch off all the sides. This resulted in a curved front pattern.
 So then I decided to cut the result out in the lining, interlining and wool fabric.
 Here's a secret I didn't use the usual fabrics as I could only use my stash. So it was made with wool outer fabric but cotton lining and interlining.

I reinforced the CF with and extra panel of cotton fabric (the lilac in the photo). Just for extras strength.
 I chalked on the waistline so I knew where to attach the skirt and where the eyelets should go.
Cheated with the eyelets as by this time I just wanted it done. So I used metal eyelets. As this will be under the gown no one should see that they are metal not hand done.
No I don't know why its gone sideways
I also tried it on for a fitting with my 18thC petticoat over the bodice to help with judging the skirt placement.

I pleated the skirt to the bodice by eye. Then I hemmed it. Then I put it aside for a bit as I had other things taking my time.
I then added a guard to the bottom of the kirtle and it was finally finished.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

HSF 2015 - Challenge #11 - Silver Screen

What the item is: 1920's day dress

The Challenge: #11 Silver Screen

What's your onscreen inspiration?: I took inspiration from Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries. I love her frocks but they are a little to 'glam' for me. So I made one more suitable for Dot her assistant. 

I like the purple and black combo

Fabric: Poly Rayon/Viscose

Pattern: I used the 1 hour dress pattern from festive attire Its a very customization pattern.


Notions:Bias binding

How historically accurate is it? viscose/rayon is acurate not sure about the poly side but the pattern is good.

Hours to complete: About 3 hours in total.

First worn: To check the fit. Haven't had an event for it yet.

As you can see like thoroughly modern Millie my beads won't hang straight. lol!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Upcycling a Jumper

So I've been working on a few cosplay's lately and an element of one is a jumper with holes in. But I didn't want to cut holes in a perfectly good jumper. My solution sequins.
I bought a cheap £6 Primark jumper. Just plain black.
I then followed the instructions from American Duchess blog on how to make a retro jumper. To get my basic and more flattering shape. Then I started sewing on sequins.
I'm quite pleased with the result.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

MCM Comicon London - October 2015 (Saturday)

Another comicon report. I'd been working on a Historical/Steampunk Ariel cosplay....well it started off steampunk but turned out more HA.
 First off the accessories. Green ribbon and gold shell necklace. Red wig styled with plaits...
 Trident made from a broom handle, craftfoam and cardboard.
Tiara - modified a cheap one with craft foam, shells and pearls.

The bodice was made from truly victorian pattern, the skirt was a S&S pattern I heavily modified, and my apron was draped from scratch.

 I popped over to the Crankrats stall (a steampunk comic book). Always interested in whats new and have a chat with Katherine the author.

 Then more steampunk had a brows round the steapunk area...there was a distinct star wars theme this year.
 Found these great steampunk cosplayers.
 Then headed to the Disney photoshoot. Met up with Whatsername's cosplay. The disney photoshoot was huge. Lots of other Ariel's including this brilliant one.
There were some HA Frozen characters.
1830's I belive.

Oh no! King Triton got zapped by Ursula.
Also met up with these ladies who I had been corresponding with about HA disney. It was lots of fun but I was sooo tired and my feet were throbbing by about halfway through the day. I think I need a cosplay with built in seat or at least one I can sit on the floor in. lol! I didn't buy anything this time, well except for food and drink.