With that said: new outerwear! Period winter clothes are some of my very favorite things to make and wear, so I decided to focus on a bonnet and mantle for Saturday tea and town-wanderings, and rewear my cream poplin dress from last year. Not a dress I'm thrilled with (still need to fix the sleeves), but perfectly acceptable, especially as a base for more fun things.
And before I get any further into outfit talk: New Castle is a town in Delaware that has a Dickens Experience/Spirit of Christmas weekend every December, with a ball on Friday night and tea/Christmas-themed entertainment/open historic houses on Saturday. It's an absolutely lovely little downtown, chock-full of buildings that date from the late 18thc-mid-19thc (if they're not all originals they're very good repros!). Last year two friends and I found out about it too late to get tea tickets but went down Saturday anyway on a recon mission to see what it was like (which was documented in my seafoam-and-fuchsia 1860s dress post). We declared it charming, and that we ought to do the ball and stay over for the tea the next day. So we did!
|Haven't I got a well-dressed group of friends?|
The velvet was a lucky find on the clearance table at Joanns - all dead dino (possibly with some nylon thrown in, judging by the burn test), but very soft and without the unfortunate stiff backing you find on a lot of upholstery velvets. I'm a horrid fiber snob but I won't turn down a nice velvet when I find it for cheap! ;)
It's interlined with cotton flannel and lined in bronze silk shantung (because I don't care what they tell you, poly will very rarely keep you as warm as natural fibers!). The tie is pink silk taffeta, and the trim is marabou in what I like to call "pink champagne."
|Finished mantle laid out flat.|
And now for the bonnet!
"Gorgon" silk taffeta, and trimmed with natural ostrich drabs, black velvet flowers, and really glorious plaid ribbon from Bulldog and Baum that I thought couldn't get much more Dickensian-Christmas if I tried! I stuck the red berries on at the last minute, because, well, Christmas. They're easily taken off for less-Christmassy events! As with the mantle, I wanted to be Christmassy but not so much so I can't wear it to a plain old winter event!
|Wildly attractive form with mismatched binding. Well...I make my own and just keep grabbing bits from the scrap bin!|
SewLoud - she borrowed my old velveteen mantle (a girl can't have too many early Victorian velvet mantles...right?) and I made the bonnet for her.
She wanted a more on-the-nose Christmas bonnet, and I think she got one! ;)
|Because I am never not amused by modern technology in period costume.|
|Where's Waldo (if Waldo was wearing a plaid muffler and top hat, hee hee!)|
|And to close, the most epic shepherd's pie I've ever seen, at Jessop's Tavern! I'm still eating it today...|