Sunday, October 24, 2010
Last weekend I spent some time in the Milliner shop. (Disclaimer: all photos below are from the Milliner shop's Facebook page...I apparently was enjoying myself too much to take any photos).
I found out that there is an AMAZING symposium coming up on colonial accessories. I'm dying to go, but the cost has prevented me from rushing to the website to sign up. The conference alone is $300...without any of the fun tours and workshops that I would definitely want to add on. I would also have to take three days off from work...and I'm trying to save my vacation days to go see my nephew in Vegas. That being said, there are talks featuring Linda Baumgarten (curator of costumes at Colonial Williamsburg) and Susan North (the curator of fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum). There are lots of other amazing talks! I may still talk myself into this event...
There will be a new exhibit at the Williamsburg museum on 18th century accessories opening in January. The Milliner shop worked on recreating some amazing gowns and then produced a film featuring the gowns and accessories for the exhibit. When Dave and I went in to Williamsburg in September, we watched the ladies work on the yellow silk jacket and black Calesh hood from this image (they even had the image on display at their work table):The Milliner's facebook just posted pictures from the film production. Isn't this reproduction amazing?
Saturday, September 18, 2010
So above is my French hood, and below is Anne Boleyn in her French hood.
This shot shows that the hood isn't really sticking straight up...it slopes back gently.And here's a side shot of the hood...Compared with an early portrait of Princess Elizabeth (later Elizabeth I).
I'm pretty pleased with the final version. Now I just have to get my hair to cooperate and tuck up into the hood. Copious amounts of gel will no doubt be required to tame my bangs into submission.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
My silk arrived from Thailand this week. I cut out the black silk pieces and basted it onto the buckram base. Then, I cut the same pieces out in white linen, and sewed the linen on the inside of the crescent and base. This secured the taffeta in place, and I could remove the large basting stitches. With the two pieces finally completed, I sewed the crescent to the base, and the photo above is the result.Next, I took a long strip of gold organza silk, ran gathering stitches, and then steamed the gathered silk to set the pleats. Then I sewed the strip in place. This part of the hood was referred to as the 'crepine.'Finally I sewed the veil to the hood. The veil is essentially a tube of black silk that's attached along the top edge of the crescent.
So what do you think so far?
Sunday, August 29, 2010
And then I sewed millinery wire around all the edges of the pattern pieces. Here's the crescent pattern piece:And here's the brim:Next, I sewed baby flannel to smooth the surface of the pattern pieces. The Tudor Tailor book called for using something called 'domette,' but I couldn't find any. It's apparently a British fine flannel. I had some leftover baby flannel from my Gainsborough hat project, and it was just enough to cover both the hood and the crescent.Next up will be covering the pieces with black taffeta, sewing the crescent to the brim, and then sewing on the veil and decorations.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Since I'm waiting on fabric to arrive, I thought I'd get a head start on the hood and start drafting the pattern. I used the Tudor Tailor, and transferred the pattern using one-inch grid paper. This is the first time I've ever transferred a pattern from a book instead of using a full size pattern. I think it went really well. Here's a copy of the pattern next to the book:I've gone ahead and ordered the buckram/silk taffeta/silk organza that I'll need for this project as well. I already have the felt and millinery wire.
In other very old and unrelated news, I went to the Gettysburg reenactment this year back in July. I'm not that interested in reenacting...I was really just there for the sutlers. To my delight, one of my favorite sutlers from Gettysburg was there: Abraham's Lady. They had a reenactor on hand to display this wonderful confection of a dress:I'm not sure how many yards of ribbon it took to trim this dress, but it's pleated by hand with a pearl hand stitched at each pleat. I believe they said it took something like 20 yards of silk to make the dress at a total cost of $2000. They described the silk as "oriental" and that it had red and blue threads woven together to give it a changing purplish hue. I thought it looked like changeable silk taffeta, but I was rather firmly informed that there was "no taffeta in the fabric." I always thought taffeta was a weave vs. fiber content. Anyone else care to speculate on the fabric?
Monday, August 02, 2010
I'm working from the Tudor Tailor Pattern that my in-laws gave me for Christmas a year ago. This is without a doubt the most expensive pattern I've ever owned...almost $80 to purchase. It does have the patterns for three garments: petticoat, kirtle, and gown - but still, that's pretty expensive. The pattern is MASSIVE. Kendra at Demode had warned that the pattern pieces were very unwieldly, but it wasn't until I had the pattern spread out accross the entire living room floor that the sheer size of the pattern struck me.
First impressions on the pattern: well, the fact that there are no seam allowances included is very frustrating for me. I normally trace the pattern pieces rather than cut them out so I can reuse the pattern which makes adding seam allowances a bit easier, but these pieces are so big I can't use my tracing paper (some are wider than 60 inches). I'm at a bit of a loss on how to proceed: I'd really like to make more than one gown style from this pattern, but I have no way to transfer the markings. Any ideas?
Another first impression is that the instructions kinda suck. I had to read the kirtle instructions six times before I felt I had a vague notion of how to proceed. The instructions aren't illustrated at each step which makes it challenging for me - I'm a visual learner. I've decided to be on the safe side I'm going to completely make up a garment using scrap fabric. I normally just fit the bodice using muslin and then move on. This time I'm going to bone the muslin, work the eyelets, and finish all seams. I just really need to understand how this garment is made before cutting out the fashion fabric.
I'm doing a mid-Tudor style, like the portrait of Princess Elizabeth above. I really wanted to have the massive sleeves and bell shape that comes from wearing a farthingale. Someday I'll probably make an earlier Tudor gown with a train, but for now this is what I want. I already own a farthingale, so I'm moving strait to the kirtle. I'm ordering black taffeta to go with a golden upholstery fabric I snagged from a bargain table in Dutch country Pennsylvania. For the gown, I have a cotton velvet I'd like to use. The velvet is a peachy color that's all wrong for the Tudor period. I'm going to take my first jaunt into dying fabric for this project, and try to acheive a nice deep red.
I'd like to get to wear this outfit at the Maryland Renaissance festival this year, but that might be a bit ambitious. Each garment is very involved, and I don't have all the fabric I need yet. We'll see how this goes. Wish me luck!
Monday, March 08, 2010
Now we come to the worst dressed category. Yes, I'm puttying Rachel McAdams on the worst dressed list. A tie dyed gown is just not pretty, no matter how flattering the shape and cut of the gown is.
Ah, Demi Moore. This could have been such a pretty dress in any other color. I just don't like dresses that are the same color as skin tone. It makes people look washed out.Maggie Gyllenhaal's dress just didn't do it for me. I've looked at the pattern on the dress up close, and I guess it sort of has a kimono pattern to it, but to me it just looks like splotches of color from far away.
Chalize Theron nearly made worst dressed this year. Putting roses right over her chest was a guarantee that no one would be looking at her face, or the rest of the gown. Very poor choice.Ah, Zoe Saldana. This year's worst dressed. I have to say I adore the actress, but this dress is just a mess. Way too much going on, and not flattering. It looks like a barbie dress gone terribly wrong.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Now I'm sitting here thinking about the Renaissance festival and an upcoming Jane Austen tea. I have everything I need to make my fabulous Tudor gown, and everything I need to make a Jane Austen Spencer to really spice up my Regency outfit. But all of that stuff is in the back of a storage unit. I am one very frustrated costume diva.