Saturday, August 9, 2014

Costume College Teaser Post

I'm back from costume college and it was fabulous! Before I unload all my pictures and a full summary, here are some teaser pictures

Elizabeth's amazing court gown

The amazing Merja

Breanna flops

Natalie's wonderful 1916 evening dress

20's robe de styles!

Natalie and Lauren being amazing together

Antics at the gala

And I bought a tiara!
More to follow, including: more pictures, my plans for next year, and a whole bunch of catch up on projects

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Bodacious Bustle

One undergarment down one to go! I used the Truly Victorian TV101 pattern and it went together easily. I'm not a fan of how it tilts back but I tried just about everything to fix it and no luck so I'll live with is and compensate with the petticoat
Era: Early 1870's
Materials: Steel hoop wire, Cotton-bamboo blend muslin, poly-cotton blend bias tape
Cost: eh like $50 maybe? The wire was $32 and I bought the muslin by bolt
Time: 5 hours I think. I cut it and started sewing but didn't really do a bunch on it until yesterday
How Accurate is it: 50%. I doubt they had cotton-bamboo blends back then. Or poly-cotton bias tape. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Beauty Blogging: Drugstore Lipstick Review

I'll admit it, I have no self control in the drugstore. I go in for hair elastics and leave with hair elastics, 3 tubes of lipstick and some sponge rollers. There's something about the huge amount of choice in lipstick that makes me want to buy them. So here's some reviews of my newest buys.

From left to right: Revlon Creme Love That Red, Maybelline Vibrants On Fire Red, Wet n Wild Purty Persimmon. So there you have it; two red and an orange

Holy persimmon-orange Batman!
I prepped my lips with chapstick and red lip liner and set to work.

On Fire Red:
Cost: about $9
The Verdict: A nice blue based red. I was a little disappointed because it looked brighter in the tube but overall a good red for evening wear. It's a bit too dark for me during the day. I went on nice and smooth, although it took two coats even over lip liner. 

Purty Persimmon: 
I didn't have any orange liner so no liner here
Cost: $3 so it was an experiment
The Verdict: Meh. I actually applied it once and wiped it off before applying again. The first application it went on really waxy and gross, and I had to press really hard. The second time around it was a little easier to apply although still not the best. I like the color but it really wasn't the tawny 30s orange I was looking for, but I guess you can't expect much from $3 drugstore lipstick. Probably reserving this one for modern outfits. 

Love That Red:
Cost: $9
The Verdict: My favorite of the bunch! It went on smooth and had a really nice vibrant color. Basically what I expected On Fire Red to be. I usually hear people raving about Fire and Ice from Revlon but I have to say I'm partial to this one. Great vintage red. 

Friday, May 2, 2014


I'll start this post off with my big news; I'm going to Costume College! I'm so excited to not wear modern clothing for an entire weekend! I'll be rooming with the lovely Breanna (of Mothball Fleet) and Chris (of The Laced Angel), and we're all CoCo newbies so it'll be a great adventure. I just signed up for my limited classes and the excitement is only building. And now I realize I have gaps in my wardrobe. Even though my philosophy for my first CoCo is "less is more", i.e. just enough really good costumes for events, I still felt like I was lacking something. Enter the early 1870s.

I love this period. I love the 1870s as a whole, but I feel slightly more inclined towards the early years. Possibly because more than half of the fashion plates from this time look like cupcakes.
All cupcakes

The most cupcake dress of them all!
Initially, I wanted to make the dress pictured above because I'm crazy. I've decided to save myself and do something more like this:

A nice, light cotton summer dress. I'm planning to wear it to the ice cream social at CoCo, so I knew the theme had to be somewhat confectionery. While ambling around the cotton section of Discount Fabrics replenishing my muslin stash, I fell in love with a blue and brown striped shirting. Having learned my lesson from the last time I took a swatch and pondered for a week (I went back and the fabric was completely gone) I bought it on the spot. All 11 1/4 yards. At least I got the roll price. Here's my initial sketch:
Note: I decided to make the entire thing in the stripe after finding that the blue was surprisingly impossible to match
To me, it feels very chocolate bonbon meets the seaside.


Monday, April 28, 2014

1838 Spring Green Ballgown

So the biggest, most expensive project I've ever undertaken is done! This gown was my contribution for the Hopeless Romantics group for the April Gaskell Ball. Our theme was the entire romantic period. but most people stuck to the 1830's. I was on the later end of the group.
The Facts:
Era: 1830s
Materials: silk taffeta, cotton twill, cotton cord, silk thread, steel bones
Cost: too much, but I'm guessing around $300
Time: I lost track but it was a lot
How accurate is it: 60%. I used a sewing machine and serger on this, as well as machine eyelets and totally modern linings. 

Oh the hair. I did an Apollo's knot using all my natural hair but it seems there aren't any decent photos of it. Anyhow, I used all my natural hair and some wire and almost all my hairpins. I just winged it because it doesn't show in my inspiration pic. The curls stayed intact even after dancing thanks to LottaBody. The flowers are a random assortment of spring silk flowers from the craft store with some branches. Cameo is a family piece. The gloves I'm wearing are from Lacis. 

The inspiration
Pretty much the only departures I took from this pic was that the dress is green, has lozenges, and a plain skirt.

photo credit: Natalie

A rainbow of floofiness

Shoe pic! photo: Vivien
I can safely say that I fully broke in my Gettysburgs. They're great for dancing but after a night on my feet in them I will definitely be putting in some arch support.

All the ladies in green!

The whole group as cupcakes

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A 1940s Blouse

First finished object of my giant 1940s sewing marathon!

Era: 1940s
Materials:  Reproduction quilting cotton, plastic buttons
Cost: about $25?
How accurate is it: 80% I used the serger a lot seeing as it's everyday clothing that need to get thrown in the wash and the fabric is a bit heavy

The front- pardon the messy sewing area

Not really true to color but yay buttons

Bonus Shot:
A very blurry selfie of the blouse with my Vivien of Holloway pinafore swing trousers

What's Up Next: My finished 1837 ballgown + plans for Costume College

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Great 1940's Sewathon!

I recently decided that I'm sick and tired of modern clothing. And I lack the funds to buy all the amazing vintage clothing I want. But what I do have is sewing skills, a pattern budget and a large stash!

The Goal: Sew as many 1940's garments as I can before heading off to college.

The Materials: Vintage patterns, repro patterns, stash fabric, repro cottons

What I want to make (This list will have items checked off as they are made)
3 Blouses
Landgirl-esque overalls
A playsuit
3 Skirts
2 Shirtdresses
1 dress TBD
1 Slip
2 pairs of tap pants

Patterns I plan to use (thus far):

Vogue 9405

Simplicity 4356
Wearing History "Dahlia" 
Wearing History Overalls and Pants
Wearing History "Smooth Sailing" blouse
Wearing History 1940s panties

Apologies for the Silence + Updates!

My apologies for the lack of posts! I have a huge amount of catching up to do so this post will mostly be a huge photo-dump.

photo by Chris Knight
A Cotton Ballgown?!?! I was so sick and tired of fighting with the cartridge pleats in my Romantic Era that I went out and bought a bolt of muslin and created an 1860's ballgown based on a dress I saw on Pinterest. 
The finished Lady Sybil Pants
The Pants a.k.a. I didn't know what I was doing but suddenly there were pants, pants.
Most of the pattern for the bodice was taken from the Laughing Moon pattern and the pants themselves are just large rectangle with the crotch shaping from some bloomers. The bodice is pretty heavily boned and closes in the back with hooks and eyes. The decoration on the bodice is actually where most of the work is. The costume on Downton was made using vintage trim, so I did my best to replicate it with a bunch of appliques cut from a larger lace-y panel. The belt is a strange metallic ribbon and there's beaded edging on the bodice.

I ultimately decided against lace
Progress on the Romantic Era: It has a bertha now and a bunch of other things. At this point I just need to sew on a lot of hooks and eyes and then starch and iron ALL the underthings.

Bonus shot of my and my totally intentional twin at the ball