"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!!