Originally I had very grand plans to make a nicely-trimmed Ageless Patterns 1898 suit from a really snuggly plum wool-cashmere I have...but by the time I got enough of the new underwear done, I knew I wouldn't have enough time to do the suit properly, so separates and a cape were plan B. (Actually the cape was plan C...I really prefer outerwear with sleeves when it's a Thing in period, but I ended up with 3 days to make a jacket, and that isn't really doable for me. Capes are much quicker!)
A small group of friends and I went to lunch at City Tavern, and afterward headed down to the River Rink at Penn's Landing.
|Not quite the right time period, but we're fond of the food!|
|And later there was cake.|
The hat's a velveteen-covered buckram form that I made from Lynn McMasters' Belle Epoque pattern. I deliberately tried to not go matchy-matchy, as the guiding principle for this outfit was "actual me if I happened to live in 1898", rather than the slightly-more-fashionable-and-put-together I try to go for in most of my costumes. I tend to prefer skirts and tops to dresses, and my purse doesn't always match my coat. ;)
All that to say I decided to make a brownish-orange hat! It's trimmed with cobalt blue moire ribbon, natural ostrich drabs, and two duck wings. Wings and birds were very big in the 90s - most of which are not easily obtainable today (with good reason!). These wings are byproducts of other industries, though, so I personally don't mind using them. Your mileage may vary, of course! :)
|Admire the background of lovely almost-exactly-contemporary-to-my-dress houses in the background of my park pictures. Thanks, people who live in expensive Victorian homes!|
It's intended to be worn basically flat on the head, but my short pins combined with wind has led to some listing to port! I really need to get a couple of 12-inchers for this hat, but it hasn't happened yet.
someone I know mad, and that's half the fun!
|Bonus deranged hat, which I prefer to think of as "jaunty", ahem|
|Wearing gloves with a shirtwaist and skirt looks very silly but it was cold!|
I cut down the sleeve puffs pretty considerably. The pattern envelope shows cute little perfect-for-1897-to-99 puffs, and believe me, that isn't what you get! They're pretty much full-fledged mid-90s puffs, although without the support. I took 4" out of the width initially, and then hacked about 3" off the top while putting it together. Let's say it together: always make mock-ups! (I didn't. Hence the hacking.)
I'm very pleased I took the time to make and apply that band of crinoline interlining - it really does make a difference! Crin is good for the softer post-sleeve collapse years, and I wouldn't hesitate to use regular buckram if I were making one of those aggressively-shaped mid-90s skirts. There's buckram in the hem of at least one of the Janet Arnold 1890s dresses, which is where I got the idea.
Yeah, I thought it was hilariously weird too. But both the just-about-turn-of-the-century dresses in Janet Arnold have them, so I figured they must be on to something. Okay, sure, we'll try out this weird butt-pocket-thing.
I think I'll be doing more of the late 1890s when I have a chance; I think it's personally rather flattering, I do love me some separates, the hats make me happy, and it feels quite modern! Yes, despite the long skirts and petticoats. In sensible shoes I really don't think there's much of anything I couldn't manage in this type of dress that I can manage in modern clothes. Besides ride a horse astride, of course. ;)