Monday, August 10, 2015

Renaissance Waistcoat and Black Kirtle

This outfit was started back in March of 2014 when I had big plans of completing a new outfit for the Southern California Renaissance Festival. It wasn't finished in time so I ended up wearing a "This old thing" costume. It did allow me to continue working on it throughout the year, and what I had started doing by machine so I could finish it faster I was able to finish by hand. I'm tempted to go back and rip out any seams you can see that were done by machine because I like the look of the hand finished seams better.
For both the kirtle and the waistcoat, I used The Tudor Tailor as the basis for my patterns. The main complaint I had with my last kirtle was that it buckled in the front. To prevent this from happening again, I added reed in boning channels to the strength layer of the kirtle bodice. It was a perfect fix. I also wanted a fuller skirt so I put 5 yards into the skirt alone. 

            I love the swish in the skirt!!!! The kirtle is made from black linen and black cotton drill.
The waistcoat is made from a silk my husband had gotten me in Thailand. I am not very good at guessing fabric types but if I was to guess its a dupioni.  There are some minor slubs and color variations. It has a little body to it but is not as stiff as most taffetas. I used silk ribbons for the center front ties.
I wanted to keep the trim on this fairly simple so I used an antique gold border lace I had gotten at The Ribbon Store in Las Vegas.

I wore it with a low necked black worked chemise, coif, straw hat, and American Duchess Stratford shoes.
Nottingham Festival - Simi Valley
Kitty approved

Monday, December 29, 2014

Regency Corset

My first project completed after my long sewing hiatus, was a Regency Era Corset. I have big plans for a year filled with Regency events, but I can't make the gowns until I have the proper undergarments.
I used a custom drafted pattern from Red Threaded on Etsy. I had heard great reviews from others who had used her patterns. I was told to skip the mock up because the custom patterns went together so fast and smoothly I wouldn't need the mock up. It ended up being good advice. The pattern comes clearly marked, with easy to follow instructions. I have always struggled with sewing in gussets but following the patterns instructions these gussets went in smoothly. I plan to use this method from now on.

I could have easily finished this corset in a day if I hadn't done my eyelets by hand or had to wait for my boning to arrive in the mail. The only complaint I had with the fit of this pattern was how it bunched in the bust. But a testament to how good the customer service is at Red Threaded, the owner saw a comment I made about the bunching and offered trouble shoot if I sent her a picture. I'll update later with the results after I implement her suggestion. If I'm honest though, I can live with the bunching. Being plus sized and pear shaped, corsets are evil.
The only changes I made from the pattern was to add the diagonal boning channels, and used a machine embroidery stitch over several of my stitch lines. I was trying to make it look a tad fancier because I had visions of pretty embroidered ones.

Maybe for the next one I will attempt a true embroidered and corded corset. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Vernet's 1814 Merveilleuses and Incroyables

I enjoy Historical costuming for several reasons. The obvious reason is it allows me to dress up and pretend I am a pretty pretty princess. I also enjoy it as a creative outlet. But another reason, that most people don't hear about, is the academic reason. I love history, and because of that I enjoy finding out the whos, whats, and whys of the garments I make.
Recently I was given the opportunity to join a new group.

But WHAT ARE Merveilleuses and Incroyables? 
The Merveilleuses or the Marvelous Ones (women) and the Incroyables or the Incredible Ones/Unbelievables (men) were part of an aristocratic youth (young adults) movement during the French Revolutionary War.
I already knew that the fashions during this time had taken a drastic turn. The more elaborate and ornate styles, of a century earlier, that included lush fabrics, jewels, wide skirts and over the top hairstyles were now out. This style reflected the earlier regime's extravagance that the Revolutionist were against. Instead a new style was adapted that borrowed from the simpler fashions of the past. The main influences can be seen in the flowing tunics and gowns that were worn by the Ancient Greeks.
The Merveilleusus and Incroyables rebelled against the simplicity of the new fashions. 
For the Merveilleusus their rebellious outfits went in two directions. One direction was to take the thin flowing garments that were fashionable to the extreme. The fabric of their gowns was so sheer it was transparent, and their legs could be seen through the skirts of their dresses. They often increased this "naked look by dampening the cloth of their dresses to make them cling more closely to their bodies. Many gowns displayed cleavage and were so tight the wearer would not be able to carry things in her pockets. One source said that even a handkerchief would disrupt the lines of the dress. This can be seen in many caricatures made during the time period.

Caricatures tend to show fashions in extreme but paintings done at that time,of Merveilleuses, show the same trends.

The other trend that both men and women followed were to wear eccentric clothing that was a comical exaggeration of the new simple fashions. Young men wore what was essentially a English Country Suit that had been Caricatured-ized. sums it up nicely. Men wore:
"Skintight pants with extremely short vests, often made of flowered fabric, were topped with a jacket made so long its wide flared tails reached the ankles. The coat sleeves were so long that they hid the hands from sight, and the lapels were so large they often stuck out several inches beyond the wearer. The back of the bulky coat was bunched in folds, and the front was cut to look uneven when the jacket was buttoned. The jacket collar stood up high behind the head in back, and a huge cravat, or neck covering, was wrapped so high around the neck that it covered the chin and mouth. Incroyables cut their hair raggedly, and it hung long and shaggy on the sides of their heads, in a style called "dog's ears." They wore large, two-cornered hats, carried over-sized eyeglasses, and often wore two watches."
The women's outfits were much more varied to sum up nicely in one paragraph. But starting in January of 2015 many of Vernet's Merveilleuses and Incroyable fashion plates will be coming to life. There may not be a lot of dampening of our gowns, but there is plenty of over the top caricature-ized crazy and fun gowns.
If you'd like to learn more or to follow along, you can find us on Facebook, and I promise to share all the parts I find especially intriguing in Mundane Monday links.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Just a brief, I'm still alive post.

8 months ago I decided to finally go back to school and try and get my degree. I mentioned a couple times how hectic I felt over the summer but that was nothing compared to this semester. I've only accomplished two creative things since the semester started 2.5 months ago. The first thing was sewing two gussets into my lab coat and the other was creating 14 death head buttons for a friend. That's it and it does make me a little sad. But it won't last forever, and I promise I will be back to a more regular posting schedule by the end of the Semster!
Things to look forward to:
1. Mundane Mondays will be back and hopefully every Monday. You all still inspire me, its just I am approximately 2 months behind on my blog reading.
2. The Death Head button tutorial is 95% done. It frustrating how close to done it is, but there are a few more pictures and details I want to make sure to include and then I need to do a final edit. SOON I promise.
3. My next big event is a Renaissance festival. I hope to have my kirtle done. No promises though, Anatomy comes first.
4. I get a kick out of dressing in Vintage styles while site-seeing. My plan is to have a new ensemble for when I go to see the Grand Canyon.
A week after that trip, my semester is over. I will have two whole months off, which I plan to fill with sewing. And I have big goals. Sleep the first week. *smirk* And then an entire Regency ensemble from the skin out. I also plan to get started on my GoT cosplay.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Motivation for fighting Mundane Mondays

Mondays can often be downers. It’s the beginning of yet another work week. That’s 5 whole days before you’re free, be it to craft and create or to attend the next event. But instead of letting the weight of a new week stifle my creativity or energy I’ve collected some links to use as inspiration. I’m sharing them here to give you a little Motivation for fighting Mundane Mondays.

Week of September 8, 2014

1. Do you use Pinterest to do research, gather inspiration or costume ideas? The Pragmatic Costumer brings up some very important points about doing your research and not automatically trusting the facts on the pin. I'll admit to having pinned the first picture myself. There was enough about it that didn't seem right so I pinned it to do further research. After I did the research I found out they were photoshopped pieces.

2. Klaire de Lys shared a real life Disney princess makeup for Rapunzel. One of my favorite parts of this post is that she shares how she created the light through the hair look in her pictures.

3. Diary of a Renassiance Seamstress posted about her Rococo Dorothy. She starts from where she got her inspiration, takes your through her entire process, and at the end she links to the group's presentation. I think the whole group was extremely clever!

4. I was impressed with the Diary of a Mantua Maker's 1670's 780lgown. This era is grossly under-represented.

5. Robin from In the Long Run showed how she made her Stephanie Brown Robin's Belt

6. Over the weekend I attended Salt Lake Comic Con. I am impressed with the amount a big name stars and quality of the panels from such a new Convention. Unfortunately they are feeling some growing pains and were NOT ready for the amount of people that did come. Hubby and I will be adding this Convention to our Con List. It may not be a yearly thing but we plan on going as often as we can.
Below are the pictures I took at the Convention. As usual so many costumes got away before I could get a picture.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Motivation for fighting a Mundane Monday

Mondays can often be downers. It’s the beginning of yet another work week. That’s 5 whole days before you’re free, be it to craft and create or to attend the next event. But instead of letting the weight of a new week stifle my creativity or energy I’ve collected some links to use as inspiration. I’m sharing them here to give you a little Motivation for fighting Mundane Mondays.

Week of  September 1, 2014

1. Samantha shared some up close ups on her Riding Habit Construction. I am interested to try the Center back seam construction where she put all 4 pieces together and sewed them at the same time. I have a feeling I will have a 'mind blown' moment.

2. Lauren of Wearing History launched her Kickstarter. I would love to see her vision come to life. I love everything about it, from the Vintage Ready to wear clothing, to a company that is trying to keep everything domestic.

3. Fashion Through History posted about the Prom dress she made for her sister. I think I like it better then the dress she used as inspiration!

4. I've had Regency on my mind lately. In my search for Sari and Shawl dresses I stumbled across this one from The Laced Angel Blog. 

5. Speaking of Regency research. I started looking into the underthings. Its been years since I last attempted anything Regency. 

Not only do I need bigger ones but my skills have increased and I want these to reflect that. I think I am going to use a combination of these two site for making a new chemise. This one and this one.

6. Peryn-wn on Livejournal shared her recreation of the Louisbourg Gown. LOTS of pictures and info on how she did it. My favorite part is her close ups of her embroidery. 

7. Dragon Con pictures are starting to roll in. I am sure there are tons more pictures out there but here are just a few sites I've found., and Flickr.

8. Trystan made a book themed dress for the Costume College gala. What a fun way to show support for your friend's endeavors.