Friday, November 29, 2013

Green Swallowtail Jacket

I made a quick 18th Century jacket last weekend for a winter-themed photo shoot at Colonial Williamsburg.  I was already planning on making it to complete the outfit I wanted to wear for my Christmas card pictures this year, but American Duchess's photo contest moved my deadline up considerably.  I'll post the pics from the shoot after the contest is over, but for now here are pics of the jacket.

I borrowed the pattern (with permission, of course) from work, and put it together with no alterations.  I'm wearing it without stays, as I still haven't finished the ones I started a year ago.  I did finally finish my shift, though!  I've worn the red petticoat previously for photo shoots featuring my Lowe's curtain cloak, along with the mob cap.  My new muff cover did get a first wearing, though!  So look for those pictures after December 6, when voting is over.

P.S.  Vote for my photo!  It's called "In a holly daze."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

HSF Gratitude Challenge - Smocked Muff Cover

As previously mentioned, I have fallen very far behind on the Historical Sew Fortnightly.  I haven't given up, though!  I knew I couldn't let the Gratitude Challenge pass by without participating.  I owe too much to the online costuming and blogging community.  I know I would not be where I am today without all the help I've been given along the way, both directly and indirectly.

I would like to pay particular thanks, however, to Maggie of Costumer's Guide and Padawan's Guide.  It's the latter website that helped me immeasurably in my early days of making Padmé costumes, before I really got into historical costuming.  So it was only fitting that I again used the Padawan's Guide for this challenge.

A new muff cover of smocked velvet

The Challenge:  #23 - Gratitude
Fabric:  30" black velvet
Pattern:  No pattern, but tutorials from Padawan's Guide and The Fashionable Past
Year: 18th Century
Notions:  1 yd black bias tape, 2 yds black cord
How historically accurate is it?  I haven't been able to find any information on how old the lattice smocking technique is, but muff covers were certainly around in the 18th Century
Hours to complete: The smocking took four hours, and assembling the cover took probably another three.    
First worn:  Not yet, but I'm planning to use it for my Christmas card pictures.  
Total cost:  Stash project!  :D  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

October Accessory - Regency Reticule

Deadlines.  They are not my friends.  You may have noticed that I fell off the Historical Sew Fortnightly wagon somewhere around oh, April.  I made another brave stab at it in August when I finally posted about my Challenge #1 project... which I had finished in June.  Then in September I stumbled across the Accessorizing Head-to-Toe Challenge and immediately decided to take part!  What could be better than more deadlines?!  :p  I completed the first challenge - Hats - by the skin of my teeth, and although I actually started the second challenge - Purses - at the same time, I only finished it this week.  So without further ado, here is my October Entry:  A Regency Reticule.

The Accessory:  Regency Reticule/Purse
Historical Period:  1810-1820ish
Outfit It Accessorizes:  Either my Apron-Front Gown or my Blue Day Dress
Materials Used:  Striped upholstery fabric, satin, muslin lining, cord
Techniques Used:  Hand and machine sewing

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Costume Design Center Open House

Friday, October 25 was this year's annual open house at the Colonial Williamsburg Costume Design Center, where I work.  From 9:00-4:00 we were open to the public, completely free of charge.  We had dressed all of our mannequins in costumes produced by the CDC, and set up displays of accessories and special projects all over the building.  My job for the day was to demonstrate handmade buttonholes and covered buttons.  I'll blog about my part of it soon, but for now here are all the pictures I took on my break!

Caution:  There are a LOT of pictures!  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

More Hair Adventures

I tried something new with my hair for the Austenland showing, and I am very happy to say it worked!  I was finally able to create perfectly perky little face-framing curls to peek out from under my bonnet brim, which had always been a challenge since I have rather long hair.  

I had debated cutting bangs, especially after seeing Dames a la Mode's recent fabulous Regency hairstyle, but I know me when it comes to bangs.  They just end up annoying me until I grow them out long enough to get back into a ponytail.  Thus began the experiment to simulate short curly locks without actually cutting my hair.  

First, I gathered my materials.  This particular bottle of hair gel has lasted me several years, but the curved bobby pins are new.  It was one of those things that I didn't know I needed until I found them, and they are so much better than straight bobby pins!  (For the purposes of this experiment they don't do anything special, but for normal usage they are fantastic.  I'm just excited about them.)  

So!  I started by sectioning off a very narrow line of hair around the edge of my hairline, and put the rest up in a bun.  I did this while my hair was dry, unlike previous Regency hairstyle attempts.  I decided this would be better, as I only wanted to curl a small portion of my hair, so I wetted one strand at a time with the little spray bottle of water hiding behind the hair gel in the above photo.  Then I added gel to hold the strand together.  My hair curls great with just water, so I don't need the gel to hold the curl, but in this case I wanted the hair to stick to itself because I was folding it in half:

And wrapping it around my finger to make a very tight, short curl:

Then the bobby pins held the curls in place until dry:

And when I took them out they looked like this:

I was very careful when removing the bobby pins to not disturb the curl, but I did have to pin a couple of them up because they started to separate and hang too long on my forehead.  But all in all it seems to have worked!

Friday, November 1, 2013

No New Fabric Challenge - 3 month Recap

Let's see now... 10 months down and only 2 left!

Sorry for not updating on this challenge for two months in a row.  I still haven't bought any fabric, I just haven't gotten around to posting about it.