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”.

 

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.

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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.

 

 

Crazy inspiration sources

I’ve been binge watching the many Star Trek series.  (Thank you Netflix)  And lately, I’m on The Next Generation.  In the second season, Data and Jordi go into the holodeck to solve a Sherlock Holmes mystery.  The doctor goes along and I gasped and hit pause when I saw her dress!holodeck_tng_s02e03

I have a real thing for black on red (old high school colors don’t ya know).

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Cute little jaunty hat too!

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Ooooo, that black soutache is so yummy!  And the broach is lovely too.3a60dae00ee7b40a11b26a6afdd774c4

I’d be lookin’ smug too if I looked that fine!

My first instinct is to say “I must make that!”  But then I realized I have one that looks too much like it already.  Not exactly, but too close to go through the process of making another one.

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Last worn at CoCo’s Circus themed social.

I was also temporarily side tracked by a comment from one of my readers.  She asked if I’d be making a dress for Canada’s 150th birthday, which will be happening next July 1.  I considered it for a second and then decided against it ….for now.  I have two dresses that are 1860’s and one is red and white (and black).  It will do…especially if I can find a pattern for a corset so it fits better.

My plans for this coming year is a complete Edwardian suit (one year to late for women’s vote anniversary and several years past the Titanic anniversary).  Plus an earlier period corset.

CoCo tour and social

Next in my series on CoCo, is Friday.  I went on the FIDM tour during the day and went to the Run Away with the Circus Social in the evening. 40

I was very pleased with this as my limited class option.  It was everything I hoped for and more!

We got a tour of the school itself and we saw behind the scenes where the clothes were stored.

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Marlene Dietrich’s suit

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Mae West’s shoe

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Cute wicker dog purse.

 

 

 

I will use the photographs I took of the Victorian dresses for a later posts.  Got to have fodder for those dry spells!

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I’m hanging with the pussy cat angel waiting to board the bus.  Note the bag.  There will be a shopping post at some point.  Momma has a new project waiting in the wings.

Once back at the hotel, it was time to get ready for the Circus themed social.

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I wore my 1880’s Half Grand Surprise dress because it has a slight military/circus master look and I added a rubber snake so I’d be a snake charmer. 

I named the snake Hector.

To add to the effect, there were acts to watch.

I don’t know how she did that with her back.  I get stiff if I sleep funny or stand to long!

Lots of folks dressed according to theme.

Some wore what they wanted, with equally fabulous effect!141

According to theme or not, we were all friends in spirit!130a

Authentic vs politically correct

This is a light and fluffy debate on a heavy topic: costuming in an authentically Victorian way without being politically incorrect.

Costume College has a circus theme for one of their events and I have been mulling over my options.  To achieve my goals of not laying out a ton of cash for new gowns for Costume College and not needing to hire a military transport plane to get all of my luggage to California, I selected my Half Grand Surprise Dress for the circus event.  (Small bustle to wear with several dresses vs gargantuan hoops and skirts.) t

The red military style works for a circus.  But how to up my game?  I considered being a bearded lady.  It would be inexpensive to get a fake beard.  It would take almost no space in my suit case.  There were bearded ladies in Victorian circuses.  But to my modern sensibilities, it wasn’t sitting right.  It felt like mocking people who have that genetic or medical trait.  And it felt like I was “flipping the bird to transgender folks”.  So wrong on so many levels.  So I coughed up a bit more cash and a bit more space in my suit case and went for the snake charmer option.  img_20160514_160340302.jpg

Only a costumer would understand this: standing in the rubber snake section of the toy store trying to decide which snake would compliment my Victorian dress best.  I was considering the black cobra but the red in this snake spoke to me!  Or would the green snake show up better in photographs?  Gah!  I may have to go back and buy a second snake.  Then I would have to research whether or not a snake charmer could hold these two species at the same time without “Snakeageddon” breaking out.  Over thinking again….

I also picked up a couple of items to tweak my efforts for the Steampunk tea and the Midsummer Night Galaimg_20160514_160344583.jpg

Speaking of the Steampunk thing… I was looking at some Steampunk guns but decided against them because I just can’t imagine how that would go over in airport security.  Let’s not put another brick in Trump’s wall between Canada and the USA, eh?  My Steampunk persona will have to be more bookish and less militant.

Off the grid and on the rails

I went off the blog world grid for awhile.  There has been a death in the family and I just haven’t “felt like it”.  I still don’t feel like it but, hey, routine and structure and putting yourself out there is sometimes what you need at a time such as this.

My opening move back into the blog world will be photos from my last outing with my costume club, Victorian at Heart.  It seems I forgot to post photos of that outing which was held in early July!

We went for a ride on the Prairie Dog Central train again.  It is one of our favorite outings.

We went for a ride on the Prairie Dog Central train again. It is one of our favorite outings.

Shirley wore her new 1890's outfit.  I wore my 1880's Half Grand Dress and Coco wore an 1880's dress as well.

Shirley wore her new 1890’s outfit. I wore my 1880’s Half Grand Dress and Coco wore an 1880’s dress as well.

The train was stopped by masked bandits on horseback.

The train was stopped by masked bandits on horseback.

They robbed us of our loose change (and donated it to a women's shelter.)

They robbed us of our loose change (and donated it to a women’s shelter.)

When the train reached it's destination, I had to head up the tracks to find an item that fell out of the window during the robbery!

When the train reached it’s destination, I had to head up the tracks to find an item that fell out of the window during the robbery!

The item was the head of my parasol (the pretty gold thing to the right of the photograph).  My kid accidentally snapped it off moving his hockey bag.  I fixed it with Crazy Glue but it didn't hold...neither did the emergency electrical tape patch I had done.

The item was the head of my parasol (the pretty gold thing to the right of the photograph). My kid accidentally snapped it off moving his hockey bag. I fixed it with Crazy Glue but it didn’t hold…neither did the emergency electrical tape patch I had done.

Once we found the handle and then had some lunch we toured a little house built in the1880's.

Once we found the handle and then had some lunch we toured a little house built in the 1880’s.

Then it was back on the train to head back home.

Then it was back on the train to head back home.

Now why did I buy that?

I had just finished a quick project (I’ll show you that in a second) and had gone to my pile of future projects that I have neatly cued up in order of deadlines.  I stood there staring blankly at the HUGE pile of black broad cloth with no clue as to when or why I had all this fabric.  There was more than enough to make one adult and one child mourning gown but I had no plans to do that.

photo 1It is a good thing I didn’t go with the mourning gown idea and start chopping because I did eventually remember what I was going to do with all of this.  I’m making 12 square table clothes for an event at work.  The material is not mine.  My work will be paying me back for that!  Thus far, I now have them ripped into a dozen squares and two have been hemmed. I have to get going on that as I have two dead lines that are fairly close to one another (this one) and a Victorian fashion show at my church and I want to whip up a few accessories and petticoats for that.  It is doable if I don’t waste a lot of time with “I don’t feel like it today” and if I keep them simple bordering on down and dirty.

The project that I finished prior to starting this work one is this:

photo 2It was made from this hat that I got at a thrift store.SAM_1676

And it is made for this dress:403893

The bright blue of the hat I have been using seems to clash with the deep dark red of the dress.  I know that blue and red “go” but this blue is too festive.  The red on the hat is pretty bright and festive too but at least it is red.

I’ve submitted this hat as a second entry into HSF’s challenge 7

The Challenge:7 Tops and Toes

Fabric: None

Pattern:

Year: 1880s

Notions: straw hat, feathers, buttons, ribbons, hot glue

How historically accurate is it? Shape and straw hat is good. Feathers are not bad except they were backed with a weird plastic (I ripped them off of a mardis gras mask that was falling apart) One ribbon was synthetic. Buttons were plastic. Hot glue is a no no so I’d say 40-50%

Hours to complete: 2

First worn: for photo

Total cost: the hat was cheap (about $4) the rest is stash.