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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.)

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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”.

 

Year in review: outing addition

My goal this year was to wear every dress I have made.  How can I justify making more dresses if I can’t manage to wear the ones I have already?  How did I do?

1838- 40 Green Queen V dress

I wore my Green Queen dress to the Dickens Festival.

I wore my Green Queen dress to the Dickens Festival.

1840’s Copper Penny dress.

Also worn at the Dickens Festival.

Also worn at the Dickens Festival.

1850’s Tea Dress

This is what Shirley and I wore the first night at the Dickens Festival.

This is what Shirley and I wore the first night at the Dickens Festival.  I also wore the 1870’s shawl so kinda two for one.

1860 Silky Skies dress

Dickens again. I got a lot of mileage out of this outing.

Dickens again. I got a lot of mileage out of this outing.  Two for one again as I wore the 1871 mantle with it.

1860 Sontag.  There is a miss there.  I wanted to wear it with the dress above but it was too big.  But strictly speaking it isn’t a dress so we wont count it against my goal.

1870-90 Pineapple Shawl.  I still don’t have anything to wear that with so another miss, but again, it isn’t a dress so that doesn’t count.

1872 Basque in blue.

I wore this to our Halloween event.

I wore this to our Halloween event.  I also wore my 1871 Mantle with this so it got used twice this year (after lounging in my closet for a couple of years!)

1872 Lilac Dream

All aboard! The Prairie Dog train ride.

All aboard! The Prairie Dog train ride.

1873 Polonaise

First outing with our tiny groups newest member Lottie

First outing with our tiny group’s newest member Lottie

1880’s Half Grand Surprise Dress-Doh!  This is a definite miss!  I did have plans to wear it but an event or two got cancelled because of weather and this is one of the dresses that didn’t make the cut.  It has gotten a lot of wear other years.

1880’s travel outfit-dang!  Another one that got missed.  Also due to weather.

1882 Tea Gown (aka Ugly Bag of Tea Gown).  First time ever.  That is a win right?

Me in my Tea Gown reading how to be a Victorian. It got worn but didn't see the light of day or other humans other than Shirley.

Me in my Tea Gown reading how to be a Victorian. It got worn but didn’t see the light of day or other humans other than Shirley.

1890’s swim suit

Halloween costume for work.

Halloween costume for work.

1895 dinner gown

Out for dinner.

Out for dinner.

1895 Summer Ensemble

To my favorite house museum

To my favorite house museum

1895 walking outfit

Again, at my favorite house museum.

Again, at my favorite house museum.

1900 Widows Weeds

At the old jail.

At the old jail.

So not too bad.  Two dresses that got a lot of wear in years past, didn’t get worn because of cancelled events.  I think I can justify making two more…

The plan is one like this black one.tv242colorfin

The black will be done in reds and the blue will be cream and black.  I want to use my vintage treadle machine for this one.  The challenge will be to use as many of the attachments as possible.

And the paisley material I bought at the Dickens Festival will become something like this…1840-49 dress day a Augusta AuctionsI hope to make more accessories as well and I hope they will get some use!  I also hope to wear the two dresses I didn’t get to wear this year…we have to keep it fair after all.

 

It is hard work to be a lady!

Shirley and I decided to be like a real Victorian lady who wore several outfits throughout the day.  But before that, we had our little Christmas morning.

I gave her the gloves I made for her.

I gave her the gloves I made for her.

Mine was a birthday/Christmas combo with a little tiara, a cabinet card, a vintage wallet with some funny coins for "ladies of the evening."

Mine was a birthday/Christmas combo with a little tiara, a cabinet card, a vintage wallet with some funny coins for “ladies of the evening.”

Then we dressed for a morning of shopping.

Then we dressed for a morning of shopping.

We found an excellent deal at a fabric store. Shirley is getting hers measured out and mine is in the bag.

We found an excellent deal at a fabric store. Shirley is getting hers measured out and mine is in the bag.

This is my fabric. I think it will be a day dress for a more common woman in the 1840's.

This is my fabric. I think it will be a day dress for a more common woman in the 1840’s.

There were some lovely photo ops all over the place.

There were some lovely photo ops all over the place.

While walking around, I found this quote and I think it suits me just fine!

While walking around, I found this quote and I think it suits me just fine!

We went back to our hotel at lunch time and the sun in the window made a lovely photo!

We went back to our hotel at lunch time and the sun in the window made a lovely photo!

One for Shirley and one for me.

One for Shirley and one for me.

After a quick meal and a very Victorian rest we got ready for the afternoon.

After a quick meal and a very Victorian rest we got ready for the afternoon.

As you can see by my taped shoulder, I am the walking wounded.

As you can see by my taped shoulder, I am the walking wounded.

We went to the local church for a high tea.

We went to the local church for a high tea.

And then enjoyed a carriage ride.

And then enjoyed a carriage ride.

I love carriage rides.

I love carriage rides.

Then it was back to the hotel to don our evening wear. Isn't this the prettiest outer wear!

Then it was back to the hotel to don our evening wear. Isn’t this the prettiest outer wear!

I wore my Green Queen dress.

I wore my Green Queen dress.

The Queen and her Lady in Waiting.

The Queen and her Lady in Waiting.

All in all, an excellent time!

First event of the season part two

Okay, I got some permission from more of my models and for the one I did not get, I decided to “conceal her identity”.SAM_2059 - CopyHere is the crew in order of decades and appearance.  There was a 90’s dress and a bathing suit out on mannequins as well.  My dress is sitting funny because we were too close to the wall and that made it sit oddly.  Glory be, the dress fits.  I still find the sleeves to large and I must remember to make note of that on the pattern for future reference.  But, it doesn’t bother me enough to take it apart again to fix it.  The sun fading is there but again, not bad enough to remove the panel and try to make another with the left overs.  I made the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 80’s dress and Shirley made the 30’s and 70’s (which she wore for the show).

Time for the amusing stories.  Myself and the model in the 1850’s dress had some work to get used to the hoops.  For myself, I needed to get used to how far the elliptical hoops stuck out behind me and for the other model, it was getting used to having hoops at all.  Sitting, of course is the biggest challenge.  Poor Miss 1850’s ended up knocking her chair over.SAM_2057 - Copy

And she got it caught in the dress itself.SAM_2058

We were all very supportive and stood there laughing and taking photographs.  She was a great sport about it.

The other amusing story happened to me.   I often get asked what I am wearing under the dresses so I asked the audience if they wanted to see.  They did, so after the tea and dessert (which I thought was the end of the program) I went and striped.  At first I was very pleased, they were interested and I was roasting alive in the dress and therefore much cooler in my undies.  I forgot that these teas always end with small gifts being given to the new brides (the tea originally started out as a bridal shower 20 years ago) followed by flowers being given to women celebrating new babies and major wedding anniversaries.  Guess who had to go up and accept a flower for her 25th wedding anniversary in Victorian underwear.  And yours truly can not keep my mouth shut…even in church…and I said loudly “this is how you keep a marriage fresh!”  Had some misgivings about it later but it seems no one took offence and I shan’t be excommunicated or shunned!

 

There’s an app for that

I’m always a bit slow to get on board with new trends.  When answering machines came in, I hated them.  When cell phones came in, I couldn’t understand why people couldn’t just make their phone calls before leaving home.  I finally got a flip phone when my Dad got sick and I needed to be easily reached.  I hated texting on the thing because you had to hit the number buttons various times while it scrolled through the alphabet.  It would take a half hour to write a message.  Unfortunately, it was the only way my teens would communicate with me.  You can text your mother discretely but you can’t phone her without all your pals knowing.

I finally retired my flip phone last summer (yes it is true, I had a flip phone until last year) and got an iPhone.  Well, dang it all!  I now get what all the fuss is about.  I’m never far from that thing!  It is for that very reason, I don’t have a data plan and rely on wifi hot spots.  If I had a data plan I’d be surgically attached!

One thing I like is the apps.  Especially the free ones.  I’m all about the cheap thrills!  My latest fun thing is Photo Lab.  Oooo the great “WORKS OF ART” I have been creating.  How about me as an oil painting…

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Or me in my husbands pocket watch.

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I can’t remember what this one is called but it is pretty cool too.eab86cc1_o

My favorite is the sketch look.  I did several of these.

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Shirley and I at the train station was followed by me on the beach.

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I think the beach one looks most realistic.  The next one could be a future tattoo…

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Awe!  What is your favorite app?  Would you give up your phone and computer if you could go back to the good old days?

Year in Review and Final HSF Challenge

Happy New Year!  And as every sewing blogger knows, now is the time to reflect on how much we managed to get done.  Wow!  It is really amazing how much I got done once I got out of my slump and there is only 2 reasons I was so productive-Deadlines and Challenges.  The vast majority of those came from The Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenges.

There was crochet fingerless gloves and an 1950’s costume for work.  There was my 1900 widows weeds that includes a petticoat, skirt, bodice with hand-made frog closures, a serious hat and a “scary hat” for Halloween, and a cape.SAM_1466

I’ve knit a modern scarf and a Victorian shawl.   I have worn the shawl with my 1840’s Copper Penny dress and that includes 3 petticoats, the dress, bonnet, reticule, hand-made lace collar, and a muff.SAM_1559 (2)

I upgraded a hat for my 1890’s walking suit and made several pieces of jewelry.

I made a complete 1890’s swim suit which includes the suit, the skirt, the hat and shoes.

15I’ve made my first corset and I’ve made a handkerchief to give away.

I’ve made an ugly 1880’s Tea Gown…twice.SAM_1619

I’ve made my 1873 Polonaise that includes skirt bodice and hat.SAM_1371

Now for the final challenge I give you my new 1870’s mantle (that may or may not be worn with the above outfit).

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The Challenge: 26 Celebrate

Fabric: Unknown, likely a synthetic blend

Pattern: TV501 1871 Mantle

Year: 1871

Notions: buttons, trims, thread, hooks and eyes.

How historically accurate is it? The pattern is accurate, the print is plausible to my eye, it is half machine sewn, half hand sewn which is plausible as well. The fiber content of the fabric is not. 70%?

Hours to complete: 15

First worn: just for this photo.

Total cost: $90

What to wear, what to wear…

I have an event this weekend…a Victorian High Tea.  At first I thought of wearing my 1840’s Copper Penny Dress because it is very Dickens.SAM_1559 (2)

But, Shirley pointed out that it is a Victorian High Tea for Christmas and not a Dickens High Tea for Christmas.

I could wear my 1873 Polonaise because Shirley is going 1870’s….

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I could wear my 1850’s tea gown to the tea event…SAM_1356

Gads, no!  It is not fit for human consumption.  Unless you are talking about the illness consumption…in which case one would not care what one looked like.  Thankfully, this photo is very “cell phone camera” blurry!

I could wear my 1880’s Half Grand Surprise Dress as it is a nice Christmas red.

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I could wear my 1895 Dinner gown as I haven’t worn it in ages.SAM_0238

Actually, I don’t think I have worn it in public since I have finished the cape and the muff.  Might be a bit over the top for an afternoon tea but what the heck…. Okay, decision made.

Even if I do look like a linebacker in it…

The cape over the sleeves brings to mind a football player standing on the side lines.

The cape over the sleeves brings to mind a football player standing on the side lines.