Year in Review: outings

This hasn’t been the greatest year for outings.  A lot has been happening in my little groups’ lives: work, school, health, family…and that has definitely slowed us down.

But we did get out a little bit. And I did my best to wear things that didn’t get used in the past while.

In May we got out to the old fort.

And I helped out at the old Jail.


In July, Lottie and I made it out for some tea.

Then nothing until October.  Lottie and I took our annual train ride.

And I was Queen Victoria for Halloween.


And finally, the girls and I got together for a Christmas party.

Perhaps after our winter break, things will pick up again.  I sure hope so!  But even though our outings were few and far between, they were still quite fun!

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.


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.


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.


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


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.)



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”.


A little steampunk

Gads, I hate trying to get anything done when I have a headache.  I had 4 projects I hoped to put some time into today and my success rate was minimal.

One project was changing some hooks and eyes into real buttons and button holes on an older project.  Nah.  Didn’t feel like it.

dawn stairs

I want the buttons to be functional, not just decorative

One was getting some knitting done on my Canadian cloud which will be my offering for this months HSF challenge.  It may still happen but don’t hold your breath…the wool is too fine and my eyes are sore…especially the right one.img_20160619_181345106.jpg

I did get some work done on last months really late offering for HSF but I probably should have stayed away.  I corded and attached a ruffle on a skirt but I had to take the ruffle off and reapply because the base skirt was wadded, bunched and pleated under the needle and I essentially shortened the skirt by 1/4 to 2 inches in a very random fashion.  I blame the migraine.  It alters my reality.  tv242colorfin

The second ruffle from the bottom was the devil that got me. It is on now but the whole skirt will sit idle until next weekend.

I had more success on the project I wanted to complete for Costume College.  They are having a Steampunk event and I am basically going to take an existing outfit and punk it up.


I will shorten (temporarily) the skirt, petticoat and bustle.

You will be able to see my feet so I will finally have a use for these things.

photo 2

I will use the “book bag” from my son’s old costume as the purse.


I bought a “bag o’ gears” from the craft store and tacked them onto the hat I will use.img_20160619_134817522.jpg

They will come off easy and not mess up my Victorian hat much.  There were a few gears left over so I made a down and dirty set of earrings to go with it.img_20160619_163512.jpg

My headache day wasn’t a complete bust.

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.


Fright Night at the Fort

Shirley and I went to Lower Fort Garry for their Halloween Fright Night event.  It is great fun but there is almost no light so taking photos is hard.  Since I was wearing my new ensemble, I had hubby take photos at home in the day light.  I showed you the front view in my last post.SAM_3352

Here is the front view with the hat and my star bag….SAM_3357

….and the mantle (which after years of sitting in the closet, finally gets used.)SAM_3359

I’m lovin’ the side view.  It makes me think this is my new favorite!SAM_3353

This is the other side with the hat.SAM_3358

And the back view….SAM_3354


These are some of the accessories I chose to wear.  Note: some of them are from the gift I received a couple of weeks ago.  I loved wearing them!SAM_3355

The only place to take photos was in the modern welcome center…and even there the light was not ideal.  Shirley and I found another visitor who was willing to get a photo of us together.  Shirley is in her newest 1870’s dress as well.SAM_3366

Here are some of the best shots of her dress.SAM_3360

And my favorite one….SAM_3361

There is a statue representing the fur traders that came to this area on York boats and Shirley and I got a bit silly with it.SAM_3364

Watch your hand buddy!SAM_3372

HSF: Challenge 10 Secrets

What the item is: BodiceSAM_3352

The Challenge: Secret

What’s the Secret?: hidden pocket for a watch
SAM_3356Fabric: cotton

Pattern: TV 405 Vest Basque from Truly Victorian

Year: 1872

Notions: buttons, bones, trim

How historically accurate is it?:  The buttons are quite modern.  But, other than that it is as close as I can get it!  80%?

Hours to complete: I never keep track….sigh….? 50?

First worn: Halloween outing on October 24

Total cost: @ $40

Tomorrow I will post photos from our outing.

HSF: Challenge 8 heirloom entry #2


What the item is: small beaded bag

The Challenge: 8 Heirloom.  I’d call this an heirloom, not because any of it is old but because I imagine such a bag would have been cherished as long as it held together.

Fabric: cotton for lining.

Pattern: The Lady’s Assistant for Executing Useful and Fancy Designs in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work (1847) by Jane Gaugain as adapted by this blogger.

Year: 1847

Notions: silk thread (size F) seed beads set of five 2 mm double pointed knitting needles. NOTE: use silk.  It gets heavy with the beads and I think the silk will hold up better in the long run than other fibers.

How historically accurate is it? 80%?  I think they would have lined it in silk not cotton but I had the cotton in my stash.  The beads are glass and I’m not sure they would have had glass SILVER beads.  I think their silver beads would have been metal.

Hours to complete: Counting the 3000 times I dropped stitches and had to struggle to save them….about 50.

First worn: Not yet

Total cost: $4 for the beads and $10 for the thread.  I had to buy the needles but I don’t count that as they will be used for many more projects.

1872 Basque in Blue “meh” hat

I completed my hat.  I think.  It could be another entry into the HSF accessory challenge but I feel lukewarm about it.  It may need some tweaking.  Perhaps, once the bodice is done I will know what needs to be done, if anything.  I may also scan some museum samples for inspiration.  But, here it is for now.

Left side

Left side

I don’t mind the left side.  The tuft of tulle in the front hides the fact that the brim isn’t stiff enough and wants to buckle.  The wire and buckram that is easily available to me tends to be flimsy.  I usually double up on them but I didn’t this time.  Lesson learned.  SAM_3086

I don’t mind the back either.  Except I will have to go back and figure out what that weird little bunching on the left side is caused by.  I only noticed it in the above photo.

Here is where I feel ambivalent about the hat.SAM_3088

The tulle that is hiding the weird buckling of the brim seems odd.  I like the way it is thin in some spots, showing the blue, and solid white in others.  But, it sticks up oddly on the left side of the photo.SAM_3087But the part that sticks up on the face side of the photo, looks okay at this angle. Sigh.  But at this angle the tail of the tulle seems to be too much.  And the little bow gathering the tulle isn’t enough.

Perhaps it would look better if I hadn’t used a cotton as the base fabric.  A velvet would have been better.  But the cotton was in my stash.

What do you do when you feel “meh” about a project?  My usual treatment is to walk away from it for a bit.  If it sits in the back ground of my life for a bit (meaning: I see it as I walk by it but I don’t study or play with it) I either grow to like it or I get the inspiration I need to fix it.

Challenge #7: Accessorise


What the item is: over skirt
The Challenge: #7 Accessorize
Fabric: cotton

Pattern: side drape over skirt TV303SAM_3077

Year: 1872

Notions: hook and eye, trim

How historically accurate is it?: I’m not sure the trim would have looked like that and I’m fairly sure the fibers are incorrect.  I liked it though, and I think Victorians would have too!  Pattern and construction of the over skirt are accurate.  Fabric is plausible.  I would think the color would be as well (the flash on the camera makes the color a bit more “neon” than in real life.) 70%SAM_3080

Hours to complete: 10, with most of that hand sewing the trim on.

First worn: not yet.  But when I do wear it, I hope I will have need of the mantle that I am building this dress for!  See it peeking out from under the mantle?SAM_3082
Total cost: @$30 Canadian

Sewing room to guest room

I’ve done some mad sewing this past week because my sewing room will be a guest room for the next few weeks and I wanted to be at a stage where I could still work on a project without a sewing room.  Actually, it wasn’t mad sewing.  Everything fell into place easily for the apron/over-skirt part of my next ensemble and it only took a couple of hours to get to the trimming stage, which is all hand sewing.

Best view!

Best view!  Love the waves of folds.

Love the waves of folds.

Back view.

Not sure if those sashes are supposed to be tied to look like an apron tied on.

Not sure if those sashes are supposed to be tied to look like an apron tied on.

Front view.

Boring as all get out.  But will be better once the trim is added.

Boring as all get out. But will be better once the trim is added.

I need a name for this dress.  The bodice will be a basque so lets go with 1872 Basque in Blue.  It rhymes and I like that.