The last days I sewed up another little in-between, one I had wanted for a long time to help my sewing efforts. Meet my Sweet Caroline:
A Bootstrap DIY dress form that reacts to the corset almost as my body does. She doesn’t squish so much tissue up into the boob area so I’ll have to pad extra there, still it’s great to have a dress form whose waist I can put my corsets on and that I can lace down the same eight inches I can be laced.
Eight inches, isn’t that tightlacing? Or super unhealthy? Not really, I don’t train, I don’t wear my corsets more often than once or twice a month. I merely happen to be somewhat plush, fat can be more easily re-distributed than muscles, and I happen have a body with a wide gap between lowest rib and pelvis bones which gives me a wide squishy gap to lace down into.
While finishing the piping on bolero jacket and Swiss waist, I’m pondering which evening dress I want to base my design with my steel blue velvet on.
How often did I read this on other blogs and now it feels just the same for me. I‘m already thinking of possible costumes for next year (or next time), I‘m thinking about classes to teach, thinking, planning, sketching.
Right now I managed to discipline myself into finishing all the outfits, that didn‘t properly get finished before CoCo.
The first and most important finish is my elliptical hoop skirt. Right now I am seaming my linen petticoat for the sheer dress. This is my model dress:
When the sheer dress is done, I will finish the winter jacket for my Bicycle Outfit. Also in the pipeline and needing only some finishing up are the sleeveless Zouave and the Swiss Waist to go with my Garibaldi Blouse to the 1860ies check dress. For that ensemble I will need to finish a blue short mantle and a bonnet as well. Then I can pack these outfits away with the good feeling that they are wearable.
Oh, and the bubblegum bathing costume of course. That too needs finishing.
Also on the to-do list are the red wool paletots for our steampunk uniforms, though they are not on the urgent-list.
My further plans for the 19th century category (all fabrics already in my stash) are:
a tea gown from the dark blue Ikea Nässelklocka
a seaside dress in white pique fabric with soutache decoration
a bustle dress from maroon and grey cotton satin
a ball gown from steel-blue velvet combined with blue-copper silk dupioni.
a 1890ies walking dress from light green wool accented with dark pink velvet trim.
a 1900 white summer dress incorporating the yoke and lace from the cape veil I wore three years ago at our second wedding, the day our registered partnership became a marriage for real.
a bustle dress from the incredible saree silk from the fashion district based on this example:
Not to forget then 18th century… there still is something to finish to have my milliner, Madame Juliette, nicely equipped (also all fabrics on stash…).
a robe a‘l anglaise from a nice green printed cotton I have
a riding/travelling costume from a nice dark green linen
a jacket and petticoat from berry-coloured linen
an ensemble from my dark green silk saree, probably Pierrot and Petticoat
a jacket from a light-blue and brown striped silk taffeta
a petticoat from the blue wool I already have a gown of
a jacket from the cream coloured worsted damask I have a petticoat of.
And then there‘s all the garments a gentleman needs
a suit in a light blue cotton damask with silver goldwork embroidery
a red wool suit in a nice deep red colour also with silver goldwork embroidery.
Considering the list, I will be non-stop sewing for the next years. Not counting the cosplay costume for the court jester.
Am I mad? Possibly. Still I‘m looking forward to fill my historical wardrobe.
So I‘m back from my very first Costume College ever. To make a long story short, it won‘t be my last.
On a number of costuming blogs we‘ve read a lot of things about Costume College. If you believed them, it was THE thing if you were costuming. Other voices said, it was the thing in the past but changed, it had become too Cosplay-y, whatever. Still, we‘d decided to go.
On Thursday we arrived about four-ish at the hotel for check-in. The rooms were spacious and we had our own iron and ironing board just as promised. About two hours later we went downstairs for a snack at the hotel restaurant followed by the check-in. In my opinion check-in was handled professionally and was very fast. The first glimpse at the portrait studio was as promising as the first view of the DIY photo spots. After changing into our costumes, we enjoyed the pool party a lot, although I think it was just a little crowded
Friday morning then my first workshop: Silk shading and goldwork with SFSNAD was excellently taught. I learned a few nice shortcuts, the kit was very, very good.
In the afternoon we did a workshop on headdress for the ball with Donna Scarfe from Fyne hats by Felicity.
She told us it was meant to be fun, despite achieving period-looking results.We were handed a number of fashion plates for inspiration on head-dresses from the 1860ies to about 1900. Then we took glue guns, she set the table with a ton of ostrich feathers, a variety of ribbons, glitter stones, artificial flowers and other whatnots, plus the necessary bases of hairbands, combs and barrettes. Donna would help with the choice of base as well as design if we asked for it.
Friday night social was a fun scavenger hunt with lots of opportunities to talk to people.
Saturday we had an afternoon class with Shelly Johnson from Clockwork Monster Millinery, breaking down the three part buckram hat. A workshop on basic hat construction, making a boater, which will enable us to do any kind of hat we want to in the future.
Saturday night is gala night. There were a lot of wonderful and unusual gowns, everyone was dressed up in their finest.
On Sunday we had the final workshop for this year‘s Costume College, beginning bead embroidery with Elizabeth McCrary, where we learned a number of basic techniques while working on a little white Elefant. Meet Nellie:
Fantasy Tea was wonderful and so much fun.
Monday we took part in the tour to the garment district where we hunted down silk at incredibly low prices.
So, how was the experience? It was fantastic. Everyone we met was so friendly and easy to talk to. Our costumes were admired and we were just as often asked by others for a pic as we asked them, and I don‘t consider my wife and I to be in the top percentage of costumers.
The mingling of all kinds of costumers, historically accurate, historically adequate, cosplay, mere fantasy-fun, was a lot of fun for me as there is a lot of technique we all share, there also is a lot of passion for costuming we all share. The open atmosphere, concentrated on learning from each other, valuing every attendant just the same, that‘s absolutely priceless.
I will travel there again, and I absolutely can recommend Costume College to everybody interested in Costuming