Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall for Cotton (and a bit of rayon too)

I had big plans for the Fall for Cotton sew along but I only got one project done and it was the most simple! I do have two more started so maybe October will be a better month for cotton.

Tada! Gray corduroy skirt circa 1940!

The blouse is also me-made and making it's blog debut today.

Fabric: cotton corduroy (skirt) and red rayon (blouse)
Pattern: DuBarry 5909
Year: c. 1940
Notions: Buttons, gray zip
First worn: September '13
Wear again: Yes! I've worn the blouse loads already and the grey skirt is a great early 40s shape and a perfect basic.

The blouse fabric was a lucky LA garment district find that just screams 1940s! Eeep! I do have a small amount of yardage left that I'm hoarding for a contrast/color block project down the road. The print is too perfect not to keep.

I was also in quite a 40s mood and decide the night before that I just had to see if I could eek out a set of Victory Rolls from my short hair and growing out bangs.

Success! I'm planning a youtube tutorial for this sometime in October since I used a different technique. It worked great!

This project really made me eager to get back into some 40s styles! They really are so practical and use much less fabric. I love my 50s but sometimes they are just too much fuss.

Photos courtesy of Will Thorpe Intelligent Design

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Youtube: My Red Peasant Dress

I've been wanting to do some costuming related videos for a while now and I finally got a dress for so now I can make these videos!

Monday, September 23, 2013

On My Sewing Table

I have been sewing a lot this month, but instead of working on one thing at a time, I have a couple of projects going on at the same time. So progress is occurring. It's just that nothing is finished yet.

Lightly boned hand sewn wool kirtle

So, I ordered some wool flannel online for a petticoat to wear under my Elizabethan court dress. But when it arrived, it just screamed that it needed to be a full kirtle. Then I got carried away and decided to hand sew the whole thing..... More on that later but so far so good.

Eyelets! I've sewn half (12) so far but still have 12 to do. They are not super pretty but I'm ok with that.

The skirt has a black guard made from some mystery stash fabric. I did a burn test which said it was some sort of animal based fabric (wool, alpaca, lama, etc) which makes sense since you can actually see hairs in the fabric.

Gold Bullion Pearl Embroidery

I've also been doing a lot of embroidery lately too. I'm trying to finish off this piece from a class at Costume College so I can make it into a muff. I've even got some rabbit fur to line it with.

50s Halloween Dress

Instead of doing a Halloween costume this year, I've decided to do a Halloween themed dress instead and here's my fabric. I'm keeping the pattern and final design under wraps for now but I'm super excited about this project!

What's on your sewing table right now?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Separates for Fall

Fall brings chilly weather and layers! Pretty dresses may be fun for summer but fall layers are so versatile!

I wore a new 3/4 length blouse made up for the coming season.

Fabric: white rayon
Pattern: Advance 5900
Year: 1950s
Notions: Buttons
First worn: September '13
Wear again: Yes! You can never have too many white blouses!

I paired this blouse with my favorite cardigan. It's just the perfect length for 50s styles! So many modern cardigans are just way too long!

My embroidered circle skirt and seamed stockings are so much fun to wear!

And I couldn't pass up an opportunity to wear my American Duchess 23skiddos!

I was crazy happy with my hair! Hot sticks work wonders for revitalizing pin curls for a night out.

And, of course, the perfect accessory-a glass of wine!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Even More Time Traveling

This weekend was a Ren Fest double header for us. Alas, after my sun burn and dehydration on Saturday because the chilly weather made me loose my head and forget about things like sun screen and drinking enough water, I was not up for a costume on Sunday.

The weather forecast was for a high of 75 but chillier in the morning and evening so I opted for a corduroy late 40s dress.

Also, I was too tired to set my hair the night before (see above) so I just stuck in some hotsticks in the morning. I was actually pleasantly surprised that they held up this well.

This gentleman is a favorite performer. My husband always has him play a love song for me. :)

If you want construction details, check out the original post for this dress.

I went simple with accessories-vintage black belt, purse and belt plus pearl jewelry.

Per usual, I got more comments on my vintage dress than I did on my costume, but that's ok. I appreciate when other people appreciate any of my me-made pieces. They are all my lovelies!

I also stopped to chat with one of the belly dancers. This girl can dance! I'm good at sitting there and looking pretty but belly dancing is something else.

One thing I've really liked about this faire season is getting to know some of the performers, vendors and cast members. You have to be a pretty interesting person to work at the faire and I've yet to meet an exception to this rule!

One of the swordsmen! Love their show!

At the end of the day, costume or no costume and sunburn or no sunburn, the faire is all about having fun. And I sure had fun!

Photos courtesy of Will Thorpe Intelligent Design.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Back in time

I made most of this costume last summer when I was planning on going to the KY Renaissance Festival which is earlier in the summer than the OH one and much warmer. Then it was 107F the weekend we were going to go so we skipped.

Then I wore it to Costume College '12 but it was on Sunday and I was much too beat for photos.

So we're skipping from WIP stage right to version 2.0 with new coif, sleeves and petticoat!

I had a lot of fun wearing this costume despite the fact that it was quite packed at the faire. There are still a couple of things that need to be tweeked here and there but mostly I'm happy.

One thing on my list for next season is a pair of more historically accurate shoes! Also to re-hem this petticoat. Somehow it ended up about 2 inches longer than my kirtle and it's supposed to be an inch or so shorter! Eeep! So I hastily pined up a new hem and sewed like mad in the car on the way there. I'm sure it's not a great hem job but it was functional.

It was sort of odd being at faire this year. My faire does NOT emphasize historical accuracy, particularly in the lower class. So I was a bit out of place being so covered. But it was a blessing in disguise because the lovely fall like weather made me completely forget about sunscreen and my poor face got all burnt! Yay for the new coif which protected my ears!

And can I just say how crazy comfy this dress is! It really makes me want to do more lower and middle class costumes and less court dresses!

Dress Diary: Red Peasant Gown

General Inspiration

Photos curtsey of Will Thorpe Intelligent Design

Friday, September 13, 2013

An Opportune Moment

This week, my hubby and I set out for a nice photoshoot. A field of sunflowers was in bloom so we rented an antique couch prop and hurried over there.

These lovelies only last a week or so before they are done for the summer.

Unfortunately, even though we shoot early in the morning, it was still hot and sticky so my hair wasn't so great.

The secret to faking good hair is a great hat.

And the secret to not blinking in shots is to take pictures where you are purposefully closing your eyes. Or wear sunglasses.

For the shoot, I wore a me-made dress and vintage hat and gloves.

Love these yellow gloves! They make me feel so lady like!

It was so much fun to get to shoot with these lovely flowers!

Monday, September 9, 2013

HSF: Re-make, Re-use, Re-fashion (sort of)

This Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge was 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.

I'm in serious Ren Faire mode so I whipped up a set of reversible, detachable sleeves for my Elizabethan kirtle.

Now, I had every intention of making them out of these 40s pants which are too large for me. They happen to be linen which was perfect. Alas, the legs were too narrow to fit the pattern by about an inch. I could have pieced them but decided not to. I had about 3/4 yd of the same fabric leftover in my stash so I used that instead. The inside of the sleeve is lined in the same linen/rayon fabric as the kirtle.

So while this isn't technically a re-make, re-use, re-fashion project, the challenge did motivate me to get a project done!

The Challenge: Re-make, Re-use, Re-fashion
Fabric: 3/4 yd brown linen, 3/4 yd red linen/rayon
Pattern: Self-drafted
Year: Elizabethan-ish
Notions: none
How historically accurate is it? fairly, I did machine sew them and the rayon content isn't period, but it's a basic sleeve so there's not much to mess up.
Hours to complete: 1-ish
First worn: Not yet, but hopefully to the Ohio Renaissance Festival this weekend
Total cost: $0 all leftovers from stash!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Faire Time

Huzzah for a wonderful Renaissance Faire opening weekend!

We had a rather large group going to the faire this time and it was a blast!

It was supposed to be hot and possibly rain and I was still having serious costume blah from Costume College so I decided to go in a non-historical direction. I wore my leather corset, a modern peasant top and a 50s circle skirt for a retro Renaissance vibe. My friend Kat also purchased a leather corset from Brown Cow! We've decided that we need coordinating outfits with our corsets now.

At the faire, you never know what sorts of characters you are going to meet-including one mud show performer ready to pose with four lovely ladies!

Despite not being to excited about costuming this weekend, I'm so pumped for things to do now! I don't have a ton of sewing time (or funds!) this year, so I'm focusing on small, mostly stash projects. A lot of these projects were inspired by a wonderful class I took at Costume College on Lower/Middle Class Englishmen/women c. 1570-1580.

1. Reversible sleeves

One of the things that I learned in the class was that most sleeves were attached during this period and even if yours weren't, you'd be wearing them in public. Since sleeves were on my to do list last year, this should be a pretty easy project to finish.

2. Fur lined partlet

Here in Ohio, faire season is during that wonderful time of the year when it can be 90 and humid one weekend and 60 and windy the next. So I need some cold weather gear! 12 yds of polyester isn't as warm as you'd think.... Anyways, I knew that wool partlets were often worn over a dress like a sleeveless bolero and then I found some images of fur lined partlets so that's what I'm going to try. Especially since I just so happen to have some faux fur in my stash.

3. Warm Petticoat

Again with the chilly faire weekends! Instead of wearing jeans under my dress, I'd like a wool flannel petticoat. This one would have to be non-stash but I really do need one!

4. Apron

Aprons are another must for lowerclass women. Plus they are crazy easy to make and I think I have some leftover material from my shift that would work for this.

5. New coif/caul

 Coif made from an embroidered shirt! (source)

I've decided that I like this style of caul better so I might try making one of these.

6. Embroidered blackwork partlet

I think blackwork is so pretty! Here are some of the pieces that are inspiring me right now.

Embroidered partlet with ruff (source)

Embroidered black partlet (source)

I've been pondering doing some posts and videos on Elizabethan costuming things other than just finished costume posts. Is this something you guys would like to see? Any of the local-ish readers want posts specifically on the Ohio faire (where to shop/what to see/etc)?