Back on the front burner…

I had a productive day but first I went out for lunch with the clan.  It was a buffet and guess what I did!  I ate dessert first just because I could!

Once back home I put on my hoops and petticoat for my 1850s and attempted to get into the car.  I wanted to see if I could a) get in, b) shut the door, c) keep the skirts out of my feet and foot peddles and d) put the car into gear.  All is good but I will have to lift the skirts and allow the gear shift to poke through the hoops.  Annoying but not life threatening.  The plan is to drive to the fort in a couple of weeks for the photo shoot and I didn’t want to have to change there if I could avoid it!  And I did not want to try to put the hoops on while fully dressed.

Once the test run was done I parked in front of the boob tube and did some hand sewing.  I had pulled a project off the back burner and the next step in it was adding 42 buttons…mercifully no button holes needed!  My project is an 1890s summer ensemble based (loosely) on this outfit.

I have no idea where I got this from. I hope I’m not infringing on anyones rights.

I have these materials which were mostly thrifted at a second-hand store.

Nice colors eh?

They are unknown fibers but the stripes and possibly the dark green feel like a blend of natural and synthetic.  The pale green and yellow are pure synthetic.  Oh, to win a lottery so that I can afford to buy all natural at full price or fly to the garment district in LA-they seem to have good fabrics for nothing.  The later sounds like more fun and maybe I’d be able to meet some bloggers that I have been following.

I finished off the outer skirt.

Ignore Trudy’s hair. I haven’t invested in a nice wig for her yet.

I deviated from the inspiration picture with the yellow ribbon trim.

That took me hours to do all those tucks and folds!

I wish I could say it was design inspiration that caused this deviation but in reality it was desperation.  When I cut the two front/side gores I was blissfully unaware that the top three inches of the pattern piece was folded under and I cut them too short.  I did not have enough material to re cut them so I had to add to them with the scraps.  The boo boo cut was diagonal and the repair seam was hideous so I came up with the plan to cover it with trim.  So it didn’t look like weird pockets, I had the trim go all the way around.  And to make it look less like something I slapped on to hide a mistake, I did all that folding, tucking basting.  Looks not bad…like I planned it all along.  Yeah, that’s it…I planned it.  (Ignore previous story…it was a lame attempt to be humble about my design brilliance….)

Today I added on 42 buttons to the slits that I created in between the gores.

There are 6 slits, each with 7 buttons.

Right now you see the white petticoat peeking out but I’m making an under skirt in the dark green.  I wanted a million pleats but it seems a bit crazy and may go for something a bit plainer.  The goal is the under skirt will show when walking or when lounging on a bench swing.  It wont show much when standing still.

Odds and ends kind of day.

Today, I brushed up little Ginger in spite of this type of look…

Sorry…we have to do it Sugar…

And then we took her to the vets for her check up and shots.  She is in primo condition!  Yeah Gingy!  As a reward for putting up with all this nonsense we took her to the doggy park for a little stress releasing.

Ohhhhh so much fun mom!

Once home I scanned a summer magazine telling about all the fabulous things to do here in my home province and I made up a nice little plan for vacationing here at home.  All kinds of fun things to post about this summer!

Then I took my 1850s dress off of Trudy to get ready for bringing out my 1890s summer dress which was on the back burner.

My day will be capped off with a fabulous hamburger dinner courtesy of Mr. Victorian and perhaps some knitting.  No sewing though.  Ah well….

Mysterious Madness

This week at work we had a Mystery Week.  We had abstract photos of regular objects around the building and people had to name as many as they could to win a prize.  The bingo game prizes were all wrapped up in brown paper bags so the winners had no idea what they won until they picked the bag and opened it.  There was a mystery outing where we took a few of our seniors out for lunch but didn’t tell them where we were going.  We had a mystery movie and mystery stories and games for smaller groups.  On Wednesday, we staged a crime (stolen brownies) and used things like finger prints and wheel chair tire tracks to figure out who the criminal was.  And today we had a Mystery Happy Hour.  Along with our usual drinks and Cheesies we played clips of songs and they had to name them.  A few times during the week I dressed up as a detective.

Detective Don Dudder at your service.

This is the look I was going for.

I found this photo at this website.

But, I’m afraid this is what I achieved.

Oh well…can’t win them all.  It was fun though!

To tired to think.

It was a long day at work with tons of ups and downs and I am just to tired to formulate a complex and/or witty posting for today.  So I will simply show you some sweet little charms that I found at a craft store that I made into earrings.  (I have five ear piercings FYI).

This picture may suck a bit. You may need to click on it and zoom in....

The first one on the left is a boot.  The next one is a parasol.  The third is a carriage and the fourth is a fan.  The last one is a bit hard to make out but I think it is supposed to be a carpet bag.

A cute little nod to my current obsession.

Cabinet Card couple.

My next cabinet card is from eBay.  They are an older couple…perhaps in their 50s or 60s?

Unfortunately, the card stock has been cut....probably so that it will fit a frame or an album.

I quite like their faces.  They don’t look as serious as some do…there is a hint of a smile on their faces.  She has very nice eyes.  When you zoom in you can see a nice floral pattern on his tie and her pin is quite lovely!

There is no photographers stamp…it doesn’t even look as if it was cut off.  But, those sleeves of hers look very 1890s to me.  Her hair style is a bit old but so is she.  She, perhaps feels she’d look a bit odd in a Gibson Girl.  So my guess for dating this is 1890s!


Must have Tuesday-1800s

Front view.

Like I have said before…this era is not my favorite…to much like night gowns.  But, I am insanely attracted to shiny things so this dress I like.  It goes without saying that I’d wear something under that frothy mosquito netting.  It is dated as 1805-10.

Look at that train. Almost makes you not notice the big butt!

Interesting how they did that side seam.  Hangs like it is cut on the bias.  Or may be it is just the photograph.

Wow! You could make a statement leaving a room in this dress!

And now for the best part!

Close up of the shiny bits!

I’m not envisioning a machine doing this in that day and age so some poor souls were doing this by hand for 14 hours a day in possibly dark, miserable conditions.  How on God’s green earth did they get it so perfectly balanced?  They didn’t even have iron on stencils then!  Guess that is why it was so valuable and that is why it is still around today.  It was only worn once or twice for special occasions…not while sweeping out the hearth.



Final installment on the making of 1850s dress.

I did one more step to the dress…I added some jewelry.

I found a cameo I like. All fake but if I had the real thing I'd be afraid to use it in a costume!

I took the longer chain that came with the purse for this costume and clipped it to a locket I found and made a faux watch.

The faux watch.

Ultimately, I’d like to have a real one.  This will do for now.  If the real watch doesn’t happen soon, I may remove the clips (which are a bit tacky) from the chain and reattach the locket.  I don’t want to do that unless I am sure I will never use the long chain on the purse.  Then I want to put a picture of a watch face in the locket as well as a picture of a person.  The person picture could be changeable so it suits what ever era I am wearing.  For now I just wont open it!

I have been on-line shopping for an 1880s pattern because Shirley A Victorian and I are tentatively planning another event in the fall.  It will be 1880s travel themed.  I’m ordering the patterns so early because of needing time for shipping and for finding the right material.  It needs to be a dark color as travel can be a messy affair.  I’m feeling brave enough to consider a bold stripe or, dare I say it, a plaid.  I want to try pattern matching.  Any pattern I have had in my last three outfits have been “quiet” and any matching that happened was strictly accidental.

While I wait for the patterns to arrive and the perfect material to materialize I will be pulling the back burner outfit out.  It is for an event Shirley and I are tentatively planning for August (the biggest question is whether I will be up to it…I am scheduled for surgery at the end of May…nothing serious).  The theme is “green”.  There will be a mixture of era’s but they will all have greens and be summery.  Hopefully, we will have more folks than just Shirley and I (all dressed by Shirley) because two people could hardly be called a mix!

Somebody has to much time on her hands.

I said that to my husband and he agreed…whole heartedly.  I spent my Saturday shopping and puttering.

I bought the things I needed to make my detective costume that I need at work next week. You can't see the mustache but it is awesome!

I’m getting geared up to take a project off of the back burners and I wanted a hat that was a certain shape.  I found a cheap plastic version that I am going to use as a pattern.

I also bought the buckram.

I found a Barbie doll at a thrift shop and I am going to use her when I attempt to take the pattern pieces from one of these books and make a Barbie dress.

I found an old Barbie clothes pattern I hope will help me figure out how much I need to size up the pattern pieces.  This project will do two things for me. 1) Allow me to practice enlarging these pattern pieces (Barbie and I are very similar in shape after all!) and 2) Allow me to figure out how these piece go together as there is limited instruction that go with these books.  I’d rather screw up on a foot of fabric than on 10 meters!

This is where the day gets weird.  I have my 1850s dress on display on my dress form.  It bugs me that there is no head on Trudy to properly display the hat.  So I made one.  I found a styrofoam head to put on Trudy’s empty neck.  There is a hole in the head (the styrofoam one…not mine) so I just needed a stick  and the two shall become one.   In true Canadian ghetto fashion I used a hockey stick (there is only about 500 in the garage.)

Ooooh How Canadian of me!

Want to see how I got the stick there?  Not for the faint of heart….

Ohh the humiliation of it all.

It ended up not working and  I was a bit concerned about damaging her gears and springs anyway.  So I hacked off some of the head’s neck…it was too long and made Trudy look like a giraffe.  Then I drilled holes…right about where Frankenstein had his posts inserted.  Through those holes I ran some ribbon.

And tied the head on.

Then I added some hair.

Not historically accurate. But, it does cover the head, it was cheap and I can use it for my Igor costume at work.

Then I put on the hat.

That's not too creepy is it....standing over my bed....looking at me...

About me…my prides and joys.

I have two boys who are fabulous boys.  They have never truly tried my temper or worn me out with worry.  They are not perfect but they are very, very good.  The oldest boy is soon to be 21 and is now an apprentice electrician.  Since he has started working he has fixed my range hood that never worked, fixed a hall light that only worked sometimes, put a light in the dark part of my laundry room and added a light switch to the fourth bedroom.  Now granted, that light switch was added so that he wouldn’t have to get out of bed to shut the light off but, he did it himself!  The other 3 things really only benefited me and it was nice to not have to pay someone $50 just for the privilege of having an electrician come through my front door-never mind actually work!

The other boy is soon to be 19 and he is my artistic one.  His dream is to be a comic book artist one day.  The trick for him right now is to juggle a full-time job, friends, family and time to work on his on-line comic.  I think he is gifted.  Here is a random drawing he has done (on the computer) that is one of my favorites.

I have no idea what he calls this picture but I like it.

If you want to read his on-line comic go here.  (Yes, I know…it is a shameless plug!)  The first few pages are a prelude and are in black and white but once the story gets going there is color.  You also can see how his drawing improves as he goes along.