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”.

 

Apron: I couldn’t resist

A few weekends ago, the hubby and I checked out a few antique shops. We made a stop at The Old House Revival Company, which is a multiple vendor shop that has old house fixtures, furniture, knickknacks and clothing for sale.  I saw many things I wanted…many of which I could afford, but I couldn’t justify them.  Except for one thing.  An apron that was beautifully trimmed and starched to near cardboard crispness.  That I couldn’t resist!  IMG_20160807_121745

I will find a way to make this useful.  Perhaps, dear Victorian at Heart girls, I will host a costumed tea this winter.  You will come to my non-Victorian home and pretend you are my Victorian girlfriends come to tea and a hand sewing/knit session.  May be we will get really authentic and watch a Victorian themed movie!

Are there any apron experts that can tell me what the best time period would be for this apron and if there is anything I should do to make is more Victorian.  Did they have the neck strap or was the bib just pinned on?  IMG_20160807_115725766

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!

HSF 14: Challenge 14

 

SAM_2432The Challenge: Paisley and Plaid

What it is: a reticule for my 1860’s blue plaid dress

Fabric: unknown fiber content velvet silk plaid lining

Pattern: self drafted

Year: reticules were used through a variety of decades

Notions: ribbon, trim

How historically accurate is it? About 50% Shape is plausible. Lining accurate. Outer fabric is an unknown fiber content. Machine sewn.

Hours to complete: 2

First worn: not yet

Total cost: $0 all stashSAM_2433

HSF 14: Challenge #9 Black and White

I’m still rollin’ and finishing ahead of schedule!  I completed the 9th challenge of Historical Sew Fortnightly! For the black and white challenge I decided to make a snood to go with my 1860’s silky skies dress.  (Not on time for its inaugural wearing, alas.)

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Okay, I know, you can’t actually see anything in this photo.  I just kind of liked it in an artistic sense.  Lets try this photo.SAM_2065

Just the facts ma’am:

The Challenge: 9 black and white

Fabric: none

Pattern: self drafted 

Year: 1860’s

Notions: cotton crochet thread, plastic pearl beads

How historically accurate is it? Hmmm.  Good question.  I know that they tended to have dark thread with dark hair but would brunettes use black or brown? According to the Met they did use beads.  Probably not plastic ones though. Would they have crocheted it?  With such thick strands?  I do believe it is plausible that a woman who knows how to crochet might have come up with something like this.  I have no idea if I have the right size  for my amount of hair and I have no idea if I am wearing it right. Should it go up higher on the head?  There is enough of it that I could wear it that way if I decide that is the way to go. I guess I could also argue that the snood was worn over a hair style to enhance and to protect it so it would be worn in such a way that would protect and not damage the style. So how it was worn was dependant on how the hair was worn.

Hours to complete: Lots…may be 50

First worn: for the photo

Total cost: I think the thread was about $7 and the beads were about $3.

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!