Mrs Victoria Woodhull

I have a small carte de viste that was sold as a collectable originally.  People not only bought and gave away carte de visites of themselves but they bought ones of famous people.  There was often an advertisement on the back.  img_20161211_182217717

I have one of Mrs. Victoria Woodhull who was a suffragette and the first woman to run for president. img_20161211_182154973

Originally, I had no idea who she was so I Googled her.  The first hit was the full name Victoria Woodhull.  Which led to a description of her life as well as a picture that “could be her”.  I Google search images and got this page with this photo.51mg8c658xl-_sx331_bo1204203200_It is the same photograph.  I haven’t read the speeches to I don’t know if she was or was not a eugenist.  I wouldn’t be shocked though.  Nellie McClung is a well know suffragette in Manitoba but she only wanted white, upper class protestant women to have the vote. The rest were not capable of understanding politics according to Nellie’s thinking.  After getting over the shock of learning that, I wouldn’t be surprised by a eugenist being in the mix of suffragettes.

They know me and love me

I got many good gifts this year.  Here are some of my highlights.

Old clothes and coloring!  Double hit!img_20161225_170734214.jpg

Inspirational quotes and coloring-double hit again!img_20161225_170757949.jpg

A 3D puzzles that looks like my dog.  It was hard so it is never being taken apart! EVER!img_20161225_170515575_hdr.jpg

Be still my Trekkie heart.img_20161225_170617191.jpg

I didn’t know what this was until the hubby explained it.  You put balls of wool in it.  You are supposed to hang it near where you are working so that it dispenses easily but really it is to keep my dog, who thinks she is a cat, from playing with it.img_20161225_171507294.jpg

An elephant watch and necklace.img_20161225_170918842.jpg

There were many more fabulous gifts but less photogenic.  Who wants a picture of a bag of coffee and gift cards?  I hope your haul was equally wonderful!

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish you all a fabulous Holiday!  I’m enjoying what works out to be a 4 day weekend and  I intend to spend most of it in my PJ’s!  Woot Woot!

I thought you might enjoy some inspiration that I got from the local house museum Dalnavert.

The Origin of the Christmas Tree by Heather Mousseau

In 1841 Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, husband of Queen Victoria, imported a small Christmas tree from his homeland and the fashion quickly caught on. Called German trees at first, they generally stood about 4 feet high and were placed on a table as we have done in the study at Dalnavert. They were decorated with small presents, sugared fruit or candy as we do in the cornucopias on our parlour tree, little toys, and other tiny items. Children might string garlands of cranberries or popped corn to trim their tree. They were lit by small wax tapers and must have looked quite lovely when all lit up.

As often happens, after being overwhelmed by the prep for an event, I find inspiration to add to my stress level for next time!  The above paragraph inspired me to have a bit of Victorian Christmas in my home.  This would mean having a 3rd tree!  I have my big tree with ornaments purchased or given over the years…many with sentimental meaning behind them.img_20161224_090726691.jpg

Then I have a little tree of elephant ornaments because I love elephants.img_20161224_090807821.jpg

This is the latest acquisition.

img_20161224_090814633.jpg

Now I want a Victorian Tree.

To have this Victorian tree, I will need to find a 4 foot artificial tree. (1 step away from authentic but no need to kill a tree every year). I will scan the shelves this Boxing Day and see if the stores can produce one for a decent price.

The tree needs to be on a table, which I have.  The trouble is, that table already has decorations on it.

img_20161224_090746947.jpg

These decorations will have to find a new home next year or be pitched into the donation bin.  Then I may have to move the table because the 4 foot tree might be a bit much on a 2 foot table in the middle of the room.

The small presents would be easy enough to do…make some ornaments with small doors in them to put small things in. I think I’ve seen a blog that has instructions for Victorian ornaments like that. The candied fruit…well I could learn to do that but likely I’ll take another step away from authenticity and by the fake ones.

I could give the cranberry popcorn chain thing a try again.  I did it once…and hung it up outside for the birds and squirrels.  (Don’t tell the hubby I feed the squirrels.  He hates them.)  The waxed tapers seems a bit like a fire hazard so I will take another step away from authenticity and see if I can find the battery operated kind and then come up with a way to attach them.  Perhaps glue some alligator clips on them…very authentic!

Then I will put the gifts for my costuming chums under it.  All wrapped in brown paper or tissue paper and tied with ribbon or lace.

Now the pragmatic part of me is saying, “yes, that seems like fun but, you didn’t put out all of the decorations this year (or last) because you didn’t feel like it.  What makes you think you’ll want to put out more next year?  And where will you put it hmmm?  And if you can’t find places for it all without resorting to little used rooms and step ladders…”

img_20161224_090834445.jpg

“…what makes you think there will be room for it all when you DOWNSIZE in a year or two? And the idea of starting to collect those little Victorian buildings and creating a town is stupid.”

Oh shut up pragmatic side.  You are spoiling my muse.giphy

 

The missing outing

I have gone over and over my blog trying to find the outing that I wore my 1860’s Silky Skies dress.  I can’t find it.  So I’m hoping I am showing you new material and not boring you with a repeat!

According to Facebook, this event happened days after I started my new job which may explain the total brain fart that seems to have happened.  And according to these photos, I wore Silky Skies and Lottie wore her 1880’s ensemble.

2

Shirley wore an 1850’s ensemble.

10

It was a lovely summer day, perhaps a bit bright, so we took a lot of photos outside.

14

It is cold and white out there so I am missing all those flowers!28

Before going inside, a nice fellow passed by and offered to take a group photo.39

Then it was inside to view all the pretty things.65

And learn a few things about our local history.51

I always find staircase photos fun!71

Perhaps I like them because I know how challenging it is with our modern stride to look graceful on stairs!

Year in Review: costumes worn

I had big plans to wear all my dresses this year but that didn’t happen.  I blame my new job…not having vacation time, Shirley and I were not able to go to Saskatchewan for the Dickens Festival.  That trip alone would have had at least 4 dresses out and about.

But lets see how well I did.

1838-40 Queen V dress.  Check. That was worn at the Coco Gala.172

1845 Atessa dress was worn for Halloween.

img_20161031_205736490.jpg

The 1860’s  Silky Skies dress got put on for this photo but I can’t figure out where I wore it.  I wouldn’t have put all that on for a chance to try on the apron!IMG_20160807_121745

Oh, wait!  Good ol’ Facebook!  According to Facebook I wore Silky Skies to the 7 Oaks Museum.  For some reason, those photos didn’t get posted here!  I will remedy that next post!

1861 Senora dress was worn to the St Boniface Museum this year.

5c

1872 Basque in Blue was used during Coco’s Steam Punk Tea.  200

My 1872 Lilac dream was worn to a play (I had almost forgotten about this fun event!)SAM_3652

1873 Purple Polonaise went to Little Britain Church.53

1880’s Half Grand Surprise Dress was used during the Circus themed social at Coco.

129

My 1880’s travel outfit was chosen for our annual ride on the Prairie Dog Central Train.

21

The 1882 Tea Gown finally got a real wearing during the Sunday breakfast with the artists at Coco.  I still don’t love the gown but I no longer loath it.189

My 1890’s swim suit was worn by the pool Friday night at Coco.29

My 1895 Summer Ensemble made an appearance at the Steam Punk wedding.img_20161022_130710981_hdr.jpg

1900 Widows Weeds got worn twice.  Once by myself at a celebration and fashion show at work…img_20160930_153444423

…and once by another person at the Vaughn Street Jail event last spring. (Serious nip tucking needed on the dress for this event.)

13330877_1092582557469665_5472724140805134247_n

 

Four dresses didn’t make the cut this year: 1840’s Copper Penny, 1850’s Tea Dress, 1895 dinner gown, 1895 Walking outfit.  It is probably best that I have only one dress on the docket for 2017.  If I can’t get them all worn, then I have to slow down production.  Or I have to part with some of them (gasp!)  Trouble with that is, if I am disenchanted enough to be willing to part with one of my babies, I am disenchanted enough to feel that no one actually would want it!  Then factor in size…nah.  I’m just going to have to find more times to wear them or set my goal to “wear once every two years”.

 

Big success, little success.

I attempted the leg lamp cookies.  They were a little success.  They tasted fine and my “older guests” recognized the reference but I’m not totally happy with them.  Problem one, I couldn’t find black pre made icing nor black food coloring so that I could make my own icing so I settled for blue.  Meh.  And when I iced the fish net stockings, I forgot the garter.  So here is my “nailed it” photo…what it should have looked like and what it actually did look like.

I also made Grinch Popcorn.

grinch-popcorn3

It turned out PERFECT!  I even found the EXACT Grinch doll to display it with.  And I was sure I took a photograph of it but it seems I didn’t.  Drat.  You are going to have to believe me when I say it was PERFECT!

Leg Lamp

My two favorite Christmas movies are not in the Victorian genre.  Go figure.  Number one on the list is The Christmas Story.  My favorite scene is when the father gets his leg lamp.  Slays me every time! So as an homage to my muse, I am taking one of my Pintrest Pins and attempting to recreate it.  See the site here.

The first step is printing up the recipe and the stencil for cutting out the leg. For some reason, my printer printed up the stencil way too small.  Not only would they be annoying to try and make and disappointing to try and eat, visually the lamp shade (made from Resses peanut butter cups, would be out of proportion.img_20161214_095846827.jpg

My printer wont enlarge and I was unable to free hand the sketch so I just enlarged around the printed stencil.img_20161214_094221464.jpg

I traced that onto clean paper and cut it out.  I then used that shape to trace out a stencil in cardboard.  Much better proportions.

img_20161214_095856865.jpg

I followed the recipe and added half cup of flour to store bought sugar cookie dough.  I have no idea why they wanted that.  I can only assume the straight dough is too soggy.

I rolled the dough out and pressed the cardboard into the dough.  I wanted 24 legs because I had enough peanut butter cups for 24 lamp shades.

img_20161214_094150634.jpg

Then came the tough part…cutting the shapes out with a paring knife and then smoothing and shaping once they were transferred to the baking pan.

They baked up fine, but did take longer than the recipe suggested.  Is my oven not hot enough?  Did I make them too thick?  I don’t know.

The next step is cooling.  Dangerous in my house.  So I took the left over dough and baked that up and left this behind before heading off to work.img_20161214_102008847.jpg

I taped my cardboard stencil and the icing diagram onto the recipe for future attempts.  The cardboard got greasy so my plan is to use it to make a new cardboard stencil for the next batch.  Seems the best way to avoid food poisoning in the future.

I will attempt decorating next.  Sure hope this doesn’t turn into a “nailed it” post for next time.

Yes! Filler!

Joy! I discovered a stack of carte de visite and cabinet cards that I have yet to post here.  Whew, material for my blog!

I don’t know about other bloggers but I need “filler” material.  This is a costuming making and wearing blog and when I’m not making or wearing, I need filler.  My volunteer work with the Costume Museum frequently provided excellent material, but that has been put on hold as my new job schedule doesn’t work with the volunteering schedule.

So without further ado…let me fill you up.img_20161211_182245003

This is a cabinet card of an older woman who is obviously well off!  She has plenty of jewelry and a finely beaded and lace filled bodice.  I like her hair style and if ever I get bangs again, I will copy this style when in 1890’s costume.  There is no photographer name on the back of the card but there is 1895 stamped on the back.

 

Sewing/knitting plans for HSF 2017

The new list of challenges for HSF has come out on the Facebook page.  Generally, I attempt to match up my own plans and ideas with the challenges rather than trying to come up with something to match the challenge.  That, perhaps, defeats the goals of the Dreamstress and her Facebook moderators but it keeps me from creating something I will never ever use.  The role of the challenges in my life is not give me ideas for things to create but to keep me moving forward and FINISHING things.  My life is full of UFO’s that sit idle because I got really excited about starting a project so I abandon a project that I started to get bored with. You should see the bags of unfinished projects behind my couch and in the storage cupboards in my laundry room.  Pitiful!

So here are my plans:

January: Firsts & Lasts – Create either the first item in a new ensemble, or one last piece to put the final fillip on an outfit. Edwardian Chemise because I want one Edwardian outfit.  If there is time, a Victorian Chemise (because I only have one and it is good to have a wear and a spare) 

February: Re-Make, Re-Use, Re-Fashion – Sew something that pays homage to the historical idea of re-using, re-making and re-fashioning. Turn one thing into another. Re-fit or re-fashion an old gown into something you would wear again. Re-trim a hat for a new outfit, or re-shape a modern hat to be a historical hat. Re-purpose the fabric from an old garment (your own or a commercial one) into a new garment. Attach black needle tat trim to Half Grand Surprise dress   In a past challenge, I made some lace with needle tatting. (Great pastime and I want to make more…time, time, time, I need more time.)  I had planned on adding it to my red and black 1880’s dress.  This will be a fast project which will give me time to work ahead on future projects.

March: The Great Outdoors – Get out into the weather and dirt with an item for outdoor pursuits. Arm warmers I have seen knit patterns for something like these…5b60a444dd9211ac82061bdc1ae5ec2d

I don’t think I will make these…I’ve seem something more fitted but I can’t find the pattern just now.

April: Circles, Squares & Rectangles – Many historical garments, and the costumes of many people around the world, use basic geometric shapes as their basis. In this challenge make a garment made entirely of squares, rectangles and circles  Canadian cloud.  I have been working on this puppy for months.  It is slow going and a tad boring so this could take awhile.  Having a goal of “April” seems reasonable.

May: Literature – The written word has commemorated and immortalized fashions for centuries, from the ‘gleaming’ clothes that Trojans wore before the war, to Desdemona’s handkerchief, ‘spotted with strawberries’, to Meg in Belle Moffat’s borrowed ballgown, and Anne’s longed for puffed sleeves. In this challenge make something inspired by literature: whether you recreate a garment or accessory mentioned in a book, poem or play, or dress your favorite historical literary character as you imagine them. Gambeson. My younger boy used to be into knights and I once made a chainmail coif for him.

untitled

It seems the interest died shortly thereafter.  But, I might enjoy going as a knight to the Medieval Fair that happens every two years. So I will make a Gambeson that could fit either one of us.

June: Metallics – make something in silver, gold, bronze, and copper, whether it be an actual metal, cloth of gold or silver, or lamé.  Corset 1850 The busk will be in metal.  Total cheat.  Perhaps I will find a fashion fabric that will meet the criteria but I doubt that would be very authentic!

July: Fashion Plate – Make an outfit inspired by a fashion plate, whether it is a direct replica, or a more toned down version that fits the resources and lifestyle of the character you are portraying. If you want to stick to a period prior to the 17th century advent of fashion plates, either re-interpret a Victorian ‘historical’ fashion illustration as period accurate, or use an image from your period that depicts and idealized and aspirational fashion. Pink/grey/black/cream 1898 flared skirt and ball gown bodice for pineapple shawl I haven’t found the fashion plate for this idea but I will.  I have this shawl I made years ago that I have never worn and I need to create a dress I would wear it with.  This is a big dream project so it may not (i.e. probably wont) come to pass.  Dream big. The back up plan is some sort of accessory that could go with the Edwardian dress.  A fan?

August: Ridiculous – Fashion is sometimes a little silly, and historical fashions can look particularly odd. Make something that was considered outrageous in its own time, or is just utterly ridiculous to modern eyes.  Edwardian hat. As I mentioned, I want one Edwardian outfit and there is nothing so “out there” to our modern eyes as an Edwardian hat!  I wouldn’t mind a Bloomer Dress but that just isn’t in the plans for this year!

September: Seen Onscreen – Be inspired by period fashions as shown onscreen (film or TV), and recreate your favorite historical costume as a historically accurate period piece. Bloomers and corset covers in Victorian and Edwardian styles.   The Edwardian ones are needed for my Edwardian dress and the Victorian ones would be done if there is time.  I have some already-I just want my “wear and a spare”.  The “onscreen” part of the challenge will be easy…just about every period movie has an undies scene…”show the audience what they wear under all that.”

October: Out of Your Comfort Zone – Create a garment from a time period you haven’t done before, or that uses a new skill or technique that you’ve never tried before. Corset Edwardian. This goes without saying.  Corsets are a mental hurdle for me.  I’ve done one that stretched badly in one wear so I only use it when I wear my bathing suit or my tea gown.  Looser corsets were considered acceptable for active or lounge wear.  I will tackle a Victorian one earlier in the year.  Hopefully, it will go well and I will gung ho to try an Edwardian one.  The challenge will be the different aesthetic lines from my usual Victorian era.

November: HSF Inspiration – One of the best things about the HSF is seeing what everyone else creates, and using it to spark your own creativity. Be inspired by something that has been made for the HSF over the years to make your own fabulous item. Edwardian Coco suit. The suit will be called the Coco suit because I bought that fabric while at Coco.  My Inspiration is the many bloggers and costumers I see on line and at Coco.

December: Go Wild – You can interpret this challenge as an excuse to make something that incorporates animal print, or wild animals in some way, or to simply make something wild and over the top. Knit petticoat. A knitted petticoat is different!  I have yet to see any one make one of these!e4890f80a30fb38258693b97224dbf71.jpg

On top of these challenges, my goal is to get some of those modern UFO’s done and perhaps think about getting some small gifts made in time for Christmas.  I also have some ideas for the craft sale my girlfriend has a table in and some ideas of modern clothes for myself.