Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Green Floral Dress

I first started making this dress for Reptar to wear to a picnic last June that ended up being cancelled due to rain.  I set it aside, unfinished, but brought it out again later that month for her to wear in the Victorian Fashion Show.  I was in such a hurry that day that I had no time to get pictures of her in it until after the show AND lunch, during which she repeatedly dropped strawberries in her lap and got the skirt nicely stained.  That was a bit of a bummer.  Oh well.  She was still cute.

That bib did nothing to protect her skirt, unfortunately.  Lesson learned - put a napkin in her lap!  Good thing the fashion show was already over.

Cute shot of her shoes under the table:

I added leather loops to the inside of the purchased shoes, and threaded ribbon through.  This helped keep the shoes on her feet, and was just adorable!

We were both in the fashion show, representing vastly different time periods!  She was 1810s while I was 1880s.  I kept saying it was like I had traveled back in time to meet my grandmother as a baby!

Even 200 years ago, putting shoes on a toddler was a struggle.  I'm sure.

Oh, and her stockings were purchased at Colonial Williamsburg.  I bought the smallest children's size I could find, and altered them to fit her.


At just a year old, she was not walking on her own quite yet.  But we got some decent shots of her toddling around with my help:

The silk ribbon for her sash and shoes is from Burnley & Trowbridge.

Thank you to Zöe for the pictures, and also for watching Reptar during my part of the fashion show!

I also took these photos after we got home, to show the construction of the dress:

I made it the same way as the Buttercup Dress, with drawstring neck and waist.  The skirt is narrower because I had less fabric to work with, but I made it longer and put growth tucks in.

I added some visual interest to the sleeves, though.  I liked the contrast of this bias tape I found in my stash:

It was pretty much a perfect match for the silk ribbon sash, but it was too narrow to use to bind the sleeves.  So I simply added it as flat piping, with another green bias tape as the sleeve band.

I quite like the finished look.

Happily, I was able to remove the strawberry juice from the skirt with a stain stick and machine washing, so the dress is no longer stained!  And she got a chance to wear it again in November, when she and I attended the Hamilton-Burr duel put on by the Virginia Beach History Museums at the Francis Land House.

But before she wore it again, I wanted to fix the neckline.  I wasn't happy with how the drawstring looked at the top of the sleeves - it was too modern, and also bulky.  So I removed the bias tape casing, unstitched the tops of the sleeves, and added shoulder straps made from the leftover fabric (there wasn't much).  I then reattached the casing, but this time added more of the dark green bias tape as flat piping at the neckline edge.

Since it was a bit chilly, I also added long sleeves - really just tubes of leftover fabric - to the sleeve bands.  They are just basted in so they can easily be removed if she gets a chance to wear the dress again in the summer.

I liked the way the neckline lay much better now.  Here are some photos of her wearing it at the duel:

The cap is an antique, which I got as a baby gift.  She's worn it several times now.

I couldn't find the sash on this occasion, and she had gone up a shoe size in the intervening months.  I didn't have time to put loops on the new shoes, though I did remove the original casing and drawstring and replace it with petersham ribbon binding.

She wore the dress again last Saturday, when we did a little photo shoot in Williamsburg in between a morning and an afternoon event.  This time I got the loops put in the shoes, and found the sash!  And I made a quick little half-circle cape with a hood for her, which is good because it was even more chilly than it had been in November - actually bordering on cold!

I'll post about my ensemble from that photo shoot soon.  In the meantime, there are more photos of her in this dress on my Facebook page, in the Regency Toddler and Mother-Daughter Regency albums.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Hogwarts Tea

I am woefully behind on blogging!  Life with a toddler is leaving me much less free time than I had anticipated, but I've still managed to sew for, attend, and even host events this past year.  Case in point, the Hogwarts Tea!

I had originally planned to hold my Historical Hogwarts Tea on September 15, but that was right when Hurricane Florence was supposed to hit our area, so I ended up postponing to October 27.  This was actually fine, as it gave me more time to prepare!  I had grand plans for food, decorations, and games for the party.  Most all of them I was actually able to accomplish.  :)  It helped that I didn't have to make myself anything to wear, so I could focus on the party details.  And my friend Britney brought even more decorations on the day of!

The living room had House scarves, a Gryffindor banner, set of wizard chess:

Banner from Britney
 And a trunk full of "robes" - really saris and more scarves:

I hung various saris and yardages of fabrics in house colors in the inner doorways of my house:

Hogwarts sign from Britney

I made these awesome hourglasses for the House Championship!  Seriously so proud of them:

And I made so many bottles of potion ingredients!  I displayed them in the sunroom:

Britney also brought some potion bottles

The bottles with the fancy labels are the ones Britney brought
She also brought a set of Quidditch balls!
More potion ingredients:  

In the library, we had "The Slytherin couch," and an assortment of Hogwarts letters - in the fireplace, naturally:

Letters courtesy of Britney

Brian the Engineer was kind enough to take some photos of me before the festivities began:

And Brian's Hogwarts chess set

I wore my Hufflebustle, of course - in fact, I had planned this whole event specifically to give myself another reason to wear it!  And so many people had expressed interest in doing their own historical Hogwarts-themed garments that I thought it would be great fun to get to wear them all together.  I made the theme open to any historical era, Hogwarts House colors or just straight-up cosplay.  Everyone really embraced the theme!

Back row:  Glynnis, Janine, Conley, Amy, Taylor, me, Britney
Front row:  Jessica, Megan, Maggie
It was fun to see so many different eras represented!  We had quite a bit of Regency, a couple Victorian, and a few 20th Century ensembles.  And several wands, as you can see.

Not everyone knew each other before the party, so the first thing we did after everyone had arrived and changed was introductions.  This gathering was a melding of two main groups of my costuming friends - the RSV (Regency Society of Virginia) and the Fabulosity Club.

After we all became acquainted, I passed out the party favors:

Each favor was House-themed and contained a winged key charm, a magnetic House brooch, and a list for the scavenger hunt:

I set everyone off on the scavenger hunt while I finished setting out the food and preparing the tea.

They searched high and low!

The sharp-eyed among you may have already noticed one or two of the items, hidden in plain sight.  For the curious, here are all of the items I hid:

The Golden Snitch
The Dragon Egg
The Erumpet Horn
The (possibly) Cursed Necklace
The Marauders' Map
Dobby's Sock
The Pygmy Puff
 After Janine was declared the winner of the scavenger hunt, we all had tea!  

Maggie's photo
We had cucumber sandwiches, chicken cashew croissants, scones (with clotted cream and jam), millionaire shortbread, mini fruit tarts, Fizzing Whizbees and Honeydukes chocolates (brought by Maggie), and citrus curds in House colors.

Maggie's photo
I meant to use these curds to fill eclairs, but my eclair-making skills did not manifest in time.  So I just served them alongside my whole wheat sourdough bread.  They were yummy, though!  I had raspberry lemon curd for Gryffindor, plain lemon for Hufflepuff, blueberry lime for Ravenclaw, and basil lime for Slytherin.  The blue and green are artificially colored. 

Maggie's photo
These mini fruit tarts were my favorite part!  I was going for a facsimile of the Hogwarts crest, and I wasn't sure how all the fruits would taste together, but they were delicious!

Everyone else seemed to think so, too:

After we all stuffed our faces, we of course took many House group photos.

We had a plurality of Slytherins, as you can see.

Some were a bit more extra than others.  :p

Megan was torn between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, so she posed with both Houses.

Maggie's photo
Brian the Engineer took most of the photos in this post, but we were able to catch him in a few!

Maggie's photo
And we took group photos, of course!  You've already seen the nice ones, so here are the silly ones:

Maggie, being the only Gryffindor, got picked on a bit.
More House photos!  

Amy and me, being elegant
Slytherins, being extra
Megan and Maggie, being casual
There were also several themed games:

Connect Four in House colors
Harry Potter Guess Who? (Maggie's Photo)
I also had Harry Potter Uno, Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit, and two sets of Hogwarts-themed chess sets.  And people were awarded house points whenever they won a game - yes, those hourglasses were functional!  I wish I had taken a photo of them at the end of the tea, but I forgot.  Anyway, I was unable to declare a winner so everyone got prizes!

They were little bottles of Felix Felicies!
I had even more ideas for favors and prizes that I didn't get to do, so I'll just have to have another Hogwarts Tea next year!  Perhaps I'll have mastered eclairs by then...

More random photos!

All my winged keys, before they went into the favor bags:  

Proof that the hourglasses are functional:

I'm definitely going to do a separate blog post showing how I made them.  It was quite an engineering feat (Brian the Engineer gave plenty of input, as well!)

My potion ingredients, before they were all labeled:

If people are interested, I might do a separate post on the potion ingredients, as well.

Last but not least, the littlest Ravenclaw in her Halloween costume:

These photos are not from the party, as she mostly napped through it.  Also, I only got her little skirt done approximately ten minutes before it was time to pass out candy on Halloween!  She did make an appearance towards the end of the tea, and I put her in her robes for that.

She was a bit groggy.  :p

I might do a separate post about her outfit, later.  It was pretty fun to make.