Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A lot of stuff on the slightly random side

First, my latest creation:

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It's loosely based on the 1550's Italian styles. It did look rather cute with my beaded belt I got at Pennsic a couple of years ago. The bodice is one of my own patterns (I forgot it's a Venetian styled bodice pattern so there is a gap in the upper back - whoops!), and the skirt is nothing more than your typical rectangle (I did the hem funny so it would lay straight), and the sleeves are trapezoids.

However, I did try something new with the sleeves. I added ribbon loops that are sewn into the top of the sleeve so I could have buttons on the bodice straps rather than ties.

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It worked pretty well, actually. I need to fix one loop since it's too big but the look was rather nice. Or I think, at least!

The dress itself is out of uncut corduroy - you can get it at Joanns for about $6 a yard if you have a coupon, if not cheaper. It has the look of suede or velveteen which is nice. It's also warm! The forepart is out of poly taffeta flocked with black velvet damask - not my typical type of fabric but it looked pretty. :-) The actual skirt is out of a dark gray/black linen I got at Wally World for $1.50 a yard! Woohoo! And I still have a lot more.

With that project done, I'm on to the next. I'm working on a Robe a La Francaise that I'm not excited about after finding some great trim this weekend.

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The color is off but you can see the bolt of silk taffeta (it's really a lovely shade of teal; just like Madame Pompadour's famous gown) and the gold lace with mauve trim. I need to find some matching ribbon for the stomacher.

Last night, I fixed my stays (sorry, no photos yet!) since I had ripped them at 12th Night. We went over a speed bump and the thread broke loose on one side. It was an easy fix and I re-enforced that seam now. I also re-enforced a lot of the other seams to prevent that from happening again.

I cut out the pocket hoops using the Period Impressions pattern. The pocket hoops are out of this cotton:
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It's really sort of a sea green color. I have plenty of hoop boning to hammer out these hoops. I can then, at least, start on the petticoat. I plan on doing a mockup of the gown in the next couple of days.

In preparation for the trim of this Francaise, I found a pair of pinking shears! Ones that aren't sawtooth!

I really hope these work on fabric well. The edge they are supposed to do looks awesome and should be cool for the 18th Century. The one review looks promising and they are cheap enough that I won't cry if they don't work. We'll see!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Williamsburg 12th Night

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My new stays! Since last time I posted, I've been slowly, painfully, working on a new pair of stays. My old ones really, really ripped beyond repair. Do not make bias tape out of lightweight silk. It doesn't do well.

This time, I used blue canvas, lavender cotton bias tape, and lavender thread. It didn't take long after I was wearing this that the lavender thread broke along one of the seams. Luckily, it's a clean break and I can just double up on thread and add more bias tape to the seam.

Each piece of the stays is bound in bias tape and then stitched together using a whip stitch. I then cover that with either hem tape or single fold bias tape.

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My dress was the same as last year, just with a different trim arrangement. The trim is actually red silk strips that I ironed the edges of under and then pleated the strips to the skirt and neckline. I hand sewed those to the gown (covering a lot of the machine sewing). I hope to add more of the red silk to the petticoat later on and to maybe make this dress polonaise.

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12th Night itself was a lot of fun. The outfits were amazing and the food was scrumptious.

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Each of these lemony shortbread cookies were created using reproduction 17th, 18th, and 19th century stamps. They were delicious as were the ginger butterscotch cookies.

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This is Barbee with her daughter, Anne. I think her husband was holding their twin son, William, at this point. I apologize for the blurriness of the photos. I didn't like using flash given that it detracted far more from the atmosphere of the 18th c than my pink camera hidden on a table or in my hand did. :-)

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Late in the evening, we had this visitor. He was actually a pretty big cat (I ended up holding him at one point because he wanted to go into the bedroom of someone who was allergic to him - of course!) but very friendly.

Overall, the party was good. There was only one obnoxious drunk (which, given about 50 or 60 people, all of whom are drinking wine and punch, really isn't bad at all). The dancing was fabulous and I loved the music. One lady and gentleman did a wonderful duet for our delight. I found some cabernet sauvignon that had cinnamon and nutmeg in it. It was good! I also found lemonade which was very popular. Mostly, I sat around and took pictures because me and dancing do not mix. I did have fun talking with people and I saw a ton of lovely gowns and outfits.

The next day (I crashed the moment we got back to the hotel), Steph, her mom Linda, Betty, and I went to a couple of antique stores before parting ways. There are a ton of antique stores around Williamsburg that all look really good. However, I really wanted to get out into town and take some pictures like this:

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The gate to the governor's Palace!

The day was *gorgeous*. It was about 48 but it felt about 55 in the sun. There were a lot of people out walking their dogs because it was such a mild day. I had fun just going into the stores - snarking with a re-enactor, an older fashionable lady, and myself. (Thou shalt not wear spandex if you are over 200lbs and/or 45!) A lady came into one shop after me with her two children. The "shopkeeper" asked where they were from and she said "Washington DC". Curious, I asked which part. She said Chevy Chase. I smiled and told her where my parents lived and she smiled back. She lives almost exactly a mile and a half away! Yet another small world moment.

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I went into the jail, which I haven't had the chance to do before. It was actually pretty interesting. It's also sad that the jail cells are bigger than my entire first floor. I guess they kept them crowded though...

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This is the back of one of my favorite extant 18th C garments. It's black for one thing -something that seems rare in the 18th C- and it's colorful! Very polychrome.

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This dollhouse was amazing! See the little mouse near the back sofa leg? There were tons of details like that in this HUGE dollhouse. (By huge, I mean I think this thing was about 4 feet high by 10 feet long. Huge.)

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18th Century Turkish Lady print inside the dollhouse.

I have a LOT more photos of everything (the party, Williamsburg, ect) up at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jubileel/sets/72157628793155305/

The photos aren't all the best but hopefully y'all will enjoy them. Feel free to ask questions or comment!