Tuesday, March 29, 2011

1844 Poe gown

I made this dress to wear to the Poe Birthday Celebration at the Poe House in Baltimore, in January of this year. I liked the pattern for this bodice in Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 1; very Colleen Atwood-esque! Originally I thought about making it in the black silk I have, but scored some cheap wool from fabric.com and decided to use that instead. It's taupe, and probably the most boringly-colored wool I have ever seen, but the 1840s weren't exactly known for their blindingly bright colors, so I decided it was Good Enough. Plus wool in January around here is always good!

Unsurprisingly, I got myself into a time crunch at the end, and therefore the sleeves are bad. If I wear the dress again, I intend to make new sleeves, this time with the cutouts that are on the original. Also, hopefully less ill-fitting. Besides the sleeves, though, I quite like this outfit -- even if it weighs a ton with all those petticoats!

1840s undies

I finished all this at the end of 2010, though I had the corset in a half-finished state for at least a year!

The corset is made from the pattern for the1844 corset in Corsets and Crinolines, of a layer of cotton canvas covered in plain white cotton. It's mostly corded; there are two rows of cotton cording on each seam. The front has two cable ties, and each back edge is boned with cable ties, just so the lacing isn't all wonky. The original corset in the book has stiff boning on each seam, and I'm honestly not sure why I decided to use mostly cording instead...I started this so long ago, I really forget! I think maybe I didn't have enough cable ties at the time...? That's the reason you can see such wrinkles, the cording's not stiff enough to smooth them out.

On to the petticoats...First the corded one. It's made of ivory linen (because I had some laying around at the time), and corded with 25 rowns of hemp.
Then the flounced petticoat:
And the top petticoat! Both it and the flounced one are made from plain white cotton muslin. It's all worn with an 18th-century style shift, but having the right chemise is at the absolute bottom of my list of Things I Care About When Making A Costume! As long as the neckline's fine, I don't really care.

All this to go under an 1840s gown (next post). So much gear! Getting dressed in all this takes a bit of time...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pink hat

I had Big Plans to make this dress for another dressed-up Philadelphia outing with my partner-in-crime in July of last year, but it didn't get finished (bodice fitting issues, sigh! Still unfinished).
I did, however, make the hat. I'd have preferred to use silk, but I had pink poly shantung in the Stash already, so I decided to use that. (Polyester! The horror!) I wore it with a cotton print gown I made in 2008. Still roasted. Philly in July, you know! Was very worth the roasting, though, as we kept getting waylaid by tourists and getting requests for pictures! I think we made three dollars each, because a couple of them insisted on paying us.

Yellow gaulle

I made this dress to wear to a local Bastille Day celebration, with my friend Katy. It's an annual event at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia; they have a little street fair, and a reenactment of the storming of the Bastille. The reenactment is pretty silly, but all in good fun; they have Marie Antoinette up on the roof insulting the crowd, her defenders pelt the crowd with Tastykakes ("Let them eat cake," geddit?), and finally they bring MA down to the guillotine and behead a watermelon. But it's still fun -- plus an excuse for us to wear 18th century pretties!

I decided I wanted a gaulle -- also known as a chemise gown or a chemise a la reine. Many of them were made from light cotton muslins, but could also be made from other fabrics. I was mostly inspired by this gown from The Duchess, and basically just checked around to see if a silk gaulle was completely out of the realm of possibility. No? Okay, I've got some yellow silk shantung in the Stash, let's go. (Brilliant idea for a dress worn in Philly in July, that.) Let's hand sew the whole thing! Why? ...dunno, felt like it?

I think my sash was hopelessly wonky all day, and I'd recently chopped off about ten inches of my hair and really didn't know what to do with it. But I'm not good with hair anyway, so that might just be an excuse!

Best part of the day: We were invited to come up on the battlements and chuck cakes at the peasants! And we managed to avoid falling off the roof, which was wonderfully sloped toward a drop of doom (three stories?).

I like this dress better than I did when I first finished it; I had a sort of fit of crankyness and decided everything about it was terrible, and that it made me look enormously fat. But I actually made the sleeves fit properly, which still sort of surprises me...I hate sleeves.

1780s stays

I made these in May (I think) 2010, because I wanted to make a 1780s dress and my 1770s stays simply would not do! I'm one of those people when it comes to the 18th century...and I kind of like making stays!

They're from the 1780 stays pattern in Norah Waugh's Corsets and Crinolines, and are boned with cable ties. Construction: the ties were sandwiched between two layers of cotton canvas, and then that interlining had the green dupioni outer layer placed on top, the eyelets were (hand) sewn, the edges bound in pink shantung, and the green linen lining was sewn in last.

 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tudor gown

I decided I ought to post something here, no? Have decided to post the past year and a half's worth of costume pieces here, starting with the Tudor gown I made for the Renaissance Faire in 2009.

I based it on this portrait of Anne Bolyen, inasmuch as it's a black gown, worn with a French hood decorated with pearls. You really can't see a whole lot of detail! (And the detail you can see, I still haven't actually put on my dress. Of course.)


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

First post

Testing! Testing!

No real posts yest, I'm just checking to see how this thing works.

*taps microphone, gets horrible screechy feedback, runs away*