Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Late 1830s Striped Dress

Victoria gives the stink-eye
I've come to really like the crazy hairstyles and the puffy sleeves from 1830s dresses. I hadn't really looked at this style until seeing the movie Young Victoria (2009), which was costumed by Sandy Powell, who won an Academy Award for the costuming. Maggie at The Costumer's Guide to Movie Costumes has a great spread of the various costumes in the film. I realized that I had a great striped silk in the stash for making a dress from this period. Since I wanted to wear the dress to the Dickens Faire I decided to style it towards 1838-1840.

From the Stash:
  • 6 yards striped silk (Joanns red tag clearance)
  • 8 yards piping, dyed green
  • 1 yard mint green canvas
  • 1 yard green leaf trim
  • various notions (bias tape, hook & eye tape)
  • Partially finished corded petticoat (purchased from Carol Wood at the Costumers Bazaar)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Simplicity Steampunk

My favorite of the "Big 3" pattern companies for costumes is Simplicity. I think they consistently have the most on-trend new costumes and have had some great historical costume patterns over the years. I hit up their pattern drawers whenever my local Joanns has a 99 cent sale.
Their recent steampunk patterns caught my eye, particularly Simplicity 2172, because the styling on the cover was great and it seemed like a fun outfit with pieces that could work in various combinations for different styles. I really liked the red taffeta look on the pattern cover, but since the pattern called for a lot of fabric I didn't think I had enough in my stash.

From the Stash:
  • 3 yards green suedecloth with embroidery and metal sequins
  • 1/2 yard synthetic organza
  • 2.5 yards of synthetic brown polyester lining
  • Interfacing
  • 4 fancy clasps
  • 1 yard embroidered rust colored taffeta for bustier (not finished yet)
  • 4 yards of embroidered brown taffeta (at $3 a yard)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Herjolfsnes Hood

The Herjolfsnes textile finds are a fantastic collection of medieval garments from a Norse Greenland colony. There are two great books on the finds, Woven into the Earth, and Medieval Garments Reconstructed, by Else Ostergard.
Medieval Garments Reconstructed takes a selection of some of the best preserved garments and gives specific instructions about reproducing the garments. I enlarged the pattern of one of the hoods and made it into small, medium and large sizes for use in my SCA collegium class. The pattern is interesting because it has a gusset in the front of the shoulder cape, rather than one the side where a lot of modern hood recreations put the gussets.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Couture techniques class project

This semester I took Couture Techniques taught by Lynda Maynard, who is the author of The Dressmaker's Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques: Essential Step-by-Step Techniques for Professional Results.  It was a short course, and lecture only, but was filled with great techniques for finishing garments.  The whole class was worth it for the reminders to staystitch curves and steam & stretch bias strips before use.
From the Stash:
  • celery silk dupioni (from JoAnns)
  • synthetic organza (from my sister)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Alexia Tarabotti Steampunk Ensemble

Friday night at Renovation (WorldCon) had a great Steampunk dance lead by the wonderful James and Cathleen Myers who run PEERS.

Having recently read and enjoyed the first 3 books of Gail Carringer's Parasol Protectorate Books, I decided I wanted to dress as the main character Alexia Tarabotti. These books are set in an alternate Victorian London with supernatural characters and some steampunk technology.
In Souless, in my opinion the best of the series, Alexia is described as wearing a green ballgown with a cuirass bodice and carrying a brass handled frilly black parasol with purple satin pansies. She also wears wood and silver hairsticks in her hair.

From the stash:
  • silk organza curtain (dyed green, purchased from Goodwill at least 5 years ago)
  • 3 yards green polyester lace (White Elephant Sale)
  • purple satin ribbon (from The Hobby Shop when I took Candace Kling's class)
  • brass sheets and metal findings (Pearl, before it closed)
  • Chopsticks (takeout)
  • aluminum tape
From the costume stash:
  • long black brocade skirt
  • black leather and "lizard skin" effect corset
  • black polyester organza shirt

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Victorian Parasol Recovering Part 1

This past weekend the talented Claudine taught me how to recover parasols. I have a few Victorian parasols and several vintage umbrellas in the stash that I would like to recover and use. Since this was my first foray into recovering I chose my simplest parasol. A medium sized parasol probably from the 1870-1880s with a bamboo handle and seven metal ribs.

The original white silk covering was attached to the frame but the silk was badly shattering. I removed the cover and kept it as a reference for the original trimming design.

From the Stash:

  • antique parasol

  • 1.5 yards of off-white silk taffeta

18th c. Shoe Bows

I got my new red leather 18th c. shoes from Burnley and Trowbridge ,but because the latchets are slightly wider than my Fugawee shoes the buckles I was planning to use don't fit. What to do?

Copying from Judy I decided to throw on some shoe bows and a rhinestone buckle!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

18th century Bumpad

Skirt supports are an important part of getting the right look for 18th century gowns. The look I'm going for is like this ca. 1790 Self Potrait with Harp by Rose-Adélaïde Ducreux.

The skirt is rounded in the back instead of on the sides as it would be earlier in the 18th century. Kendra at Demode has written an article about 18th century skirt supports that is available at Foundations Revealed. Kendra tested a bunch of different pad designs that she adapted from contemporary depictions and extant garments. I decided to do a variation of one she created from the a satirical print "The Bum Shop". From the number of similar bumpads on blogs this seems to be a popular option.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pirate Fest!

The NorCal Pirate Festival is held in June right on the San Francisco Bay waterfront in Vallejo. I've never gone in costume, but it is an event where tons of people dress up, so I decided I needed a pirate outfit for this year. I wanted to do something a little different than the usual and tried to go for something a little bit 18th century, a little bit gothic lolita, and a little bit cocktail dress.


From the Stash:
  • Black linen blend in 2 pieces, one 1 yard 45" wide and one 2.5 yards 20" wide
  • Two pieces of black cotton, total ~2 yards
  • 1/2 yard skull and roses print
  • 1/2 yard burgundy duck cloth for interlining
  • 3 yards black grosgrain ribbon
  • Fusible and fusible tricot interfacing

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

1875 Striped Day Dress

1875 Striped Day Dress Re-vamp

From the stash:
1. Remaining scraps of blue dyed pillow ticking from original dress, approximately 1/2-3/4 yards
2. 2 yards of navy blue ribbon
3. 1.5 yards of blue braid trim

1. 3 yards of blue braid trim
2. 3 yards of 2 inch navy blue grosgrain ribbon

Monday, May 30, 2011

1925 Fringe Front Dress

1925 Fringe Front Dress

From the Stash:
1. 2.5 yards black silk charmeuse in 4 different pieces, from the GBACG Open House raffle
2. Fabric flower

1. 1/2 yard burnout velvet
2. 1 yard 6 inch black fringe
3. 1 yard beaded trim


From the stash:
1. Purple taffeta ribbon
2. Green taffeta ribbon for leaves

1. 3 silver ribbon roses

Marie Stuart Cashmere Hood

From the stash:
1. 1/2 to 1 yard of irregularly shaped remnants of brown wool, originally from making a medieval half circle cloak
2. 1/2 yard of bias cut strips of copper silk dupioni, from large uncut piece

The hood was an alternative headwear option of the 1860s. Bonnets were mostly for daywear and hats were something the more daring younger ladies were wearing. Hoods are often seen as a nightime head accessory for things such as attending the opera. There are several hood patterns from Peterson's Magazine that are reprinted in 60 Civil War Era Fashion Patterns.

As for other patterns of the times, women were supposed to already have a basic understanding of the construction of these clothing items. Therefore the text mostly instructs the user on the colors and materials that are currently fashionable, rather than detailed construction methods.

Stash Organization

Almost 6 months since I decided to start sewing exclusively from the stash. It hasn't been going so well. I kept putting off publishing the initial posts so I could delay starting to use my new rules. But no more!

The Stash pre-organization