Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A different kind of costume...

Rhinestones galore! And a plume up there, too :)

Okay, so, not my grandest costuming moment, but it was still fun!

I originally had big plans for the circus girl costume (costume party at the barn). They involved glittery spray paint and tons of rhinestones and 1930's makeup and hairdo with sparkly head band and perhaps some feathers... 

Well, I was at the civil war reenactment up until an hour before so by the time I ditched the hoop and got to the barn, I was like, eh. I was also up until four the night before at a ghost hunt, EMF's, EVP's and all... But that's a story for another day.

I did the bare minimum and didn't bother with hair because it just went up into a helmet anyway. Pony and I had a good time, though! I think he liked his costume.


Happy Halloween all!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day Two at Spring Mountain Ranch and a Green Silk Dress

On flat terrain, the dress hangs about an inch
above the ground.

On Saturday I went back to the ranch for a few more hours spent in the 1860's (I also had another costume party to attend the same day!). So far, my thoughts: I love love love the sewing, I very much love the wearing, but wearing out in the foot high grass, stepping over cow mess, roasting in the sun... Not my favorite thing in the world. I guess I'm more of an indoor girl.

But I totally still had fun, don't get me wrong!

So anyway, the most important part: the outfit. I wore a green silk dress with black velveteen trim. I accessorized with the same jewelry as the day before, though I swapped the brown silk belt for black and switched to another whitework collar. I had planned on a pretty cream silk bonnet, but it was quite hot and sunny, so I stayed with the straw hat. Ah, shade. 

I love the buttons! Antique black ball buttons.

A good pic of the buttons, collar, hair and piping.

Pattern shopping!

In other news, thanks to Sandy I have rethought my Burnley and Trowbridge mantua workshop plans this weekend. As bummed as I am to have to cancel, I'd rather just go another time, than chance hours in airports and delays and ick. Though I must admit, the possibility of sewing with no power did sound intriguing. Haha authentic! Ah well, another day. And best of luck to everyone on the east coast. Stay dry and safe, folks!

Next up for November: bustle era! Stay tuned.

Friday, October 26, 2012

At Day at Spring Mountain Ranch

At Spring Mountain Ranch
Photo by Lisa Coffey

This morning I put on my 1860's layers and headed out to Spring Mountain Ranch, which is here in Vegas, and right next to Red Rock Canyon. Today is Nevada Day (Nevada was admitted to the Union October 31st, 1864 - "Battle Born") and this weekend is the Civil War reenactment put on by the Southern Nevada Living History Association.

A view from Spring Mountain Ranch

Today was kind of a prelude to the weekend, which was awesome for me because I have never been to a reenactment before. Kind of an introduction for me. Today, lots of school kids and homeschoolers came out and there were presentations with cavalry horses, cannons, artillery and we civilians. It was such a blast. I especially love all the little girls who have endless questions about our outfits. I totally relate!

Stables across the pasture - ahem -  I mean, battlefield.
There was a cow mooing away!

I chose to wear my yellow cotton 1860's dress. Under it I had all the bits: stockings, knit garters, boots (Robert Land), original pantalettes and chemise, corset, three petticoats, a 108" hoop (Originals by Kay) and organdy undersleeves (remade from these originals). I also wore a pocket, which I reached through a convenient slit in my skirt (perfect for iphone!). One thing I was missing was a corset cover, which I just didn't get around to making yet. Next on my list!

To accessorize, I wore an antique brooch, belt buckle pin and watch chain. I found a nice little pocket watch for it on Amazon. The baste in collar is a beautiful white work piece I found for only $5 at an antique store! What luck!! The belt is brown silk over buckram lined with cotton. There are great directions for making a belt in Elizabeth Stewart Clark's Dressmaker's Guide. I also switched out my modern wedding rings for a plain "gold" one I found on Amazon. It looked great for being so cheap! I had taupe leather gloves, too, but they're in my pocket for the picture. 

Accessories! Undersleeves, hankie, belt, buckle pin, brooch, ring,
watch and chain, straw hat and hat pin.

All the jewelry is antique except for the watch. I think it
 is more common to wear the buckle vertically, though I
have seen a few CDV's with it worn horizontally.

Antique store steal! A whitework collar, basted in.

Robert Land side-lacing boots.

The batiste handkerchief I made has a wavy hem, much like the ones mentioned in Juanita Leisch's book, Who Wore What?: Women's Wear, 1861 - 1865. Apparently a fancy shaped hem gave ladies the opportunity to show off their fabulous narrow hemming skills.

I chose to wear a sun hat (it's bright here!), which I bought from Abraham's Lady. I took off the black cloth ribbon that came with it and replaced it with a brown silk satin one from MJ Trimming.

Shady face! The hat works just as
good as sun glasses!

And a sneaky modern cheater tip...

I always wear Shellac for my manicure. It's a gel that goes on like a nail polish, but it cures under a light. It lasts for like two weeks, which is great, but it's very time consuming to remove, just to dress up.  So I discovered this great polish: Essie's "Matte About You." It's a matte nail polish, so I put a coat over the gel and the shine is gone. At a casual glance, it looks like you have natural, costume friendly nails. Then just a quick wipe of non-acetone takes it off and I'm back to the 21st century!

Essie's "Matte About You" nail polish

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Versatile Blogger


In a recent post, I wrote a brief thank you to all the ladies who gave me the Versatile Blogger award. Now, I finally have a chance to sit down and write up a proper post. Yay!

First off, thank you again to Teacups Among the Fabric, Thread-Headed Snippet and Sew 18th Century. Thank you, thank you!

Next, seven things about myself. Let's see... I'll stick to sewing related.

1. I have loved costumes since I can remember. Costumes and horses. Now I ride every day and, well, you all know about the costumes. I could probably die happy ;)

2. I started mentally costuming long before I ever knew sewing was an option. As a kid, I would probably drive my mother crazy, going "today I'm wearing this and this and this..." And it went on. All imaginary of course. For example, "Today I'm wearing a 1910's white walking skirt etc etc... the jacket goes like this... the hat... the gloves..." It would get quite detailed, actually. Costume nerd at eight years old.

3. My best friend and I used to "call" dresses for our "closets," when we watched movies. Titanic was a favorite. As in, "I call Rose's yellow and white dress." Then a battle would ensue... "No! I called that last time!" At least I had a partner in crime. We used to play dress up, too.

4. Sometimes - often - I go on a fabric binge and shopping for modern clothes takes a back seat. This is very handy, because my husband doesn't seem to realize that fabric adds up just as much as clothes, and I get a pat on the head for not shopping too much. Teehehe.

5. It all started around Gone with the Wind. I was in preschool and I had the flu. Couch for two weeks, watching it over and over again. As I got older, panniers outshined the hoop skirt, and I have gone years not giving the 1860s a second thought. Recently, while working on outfits for a civil war event, I have a new appreciation for the era. I think I'm falling in love again.

6. My very favorite 18th century extant gown is this one from the Dewitt. When I was in high school I actually attempted to paint zillions of silver dots to recreate the fabric. I was all gung ho about it until about two yards in, when I gave up and tucked the fabric away. I still have it, though it's poly silk and so it will probably never get used. Oh well.

7. My very first vintage purchase was a pair of black velvet 1940's boudoir slippers, with peep toes and self fabric bows. I am still in love with them.

And third, fifteen other blogs, who I would like to nominate. I think they're supposed to have under 200 followers but I couldn't find the amounts on every blog so I will just nominate some of my favorites. Of course, leaving out the three ladies who nominated me, each of whose blogs I follow and love.

1. 18th Century Stays - not frequently updated, but great resource for extant stays.
2. All the Pretty Dresses - tons and tons of extant dresses.
3. An Historical Lady - gorgeous photos and her house is sooo lovely!
4. Before the Automobile - just beautiful!
5. Enlightened Age - interesting tid bits of history
6. Festive Attyre - her curtain along has been a blast
7. Kleidung um 1800 - lovely c. 1800 costumes
8. Madame Modiste - ooo Victorian...
9. Passion for the Past - By a man! Lots of pictures.
10. Romantic History - lots of beautiful mid Victorian
11. Saltpetre and Pins - lots of 18th century reenacting
12. Stay-ing Alive - lots of 18th century sewing
13. Stuck in the 18th Century - even more 18th century!
14. The Quintessential Clothes Pen - she goes to the most gorgeous events!
15. The Virtual Victorian - I just enjoy it!

And honorable mention goes to American Duchess, who has like a bazillion followers, but I just love her blog. Like, a total favorite!

Cheers, all!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Catching Up and Thank You's

Oh gosh, I had a big bout of costuming burn out last month and so now I am catching up. A whole month without picking up a needle and thread - I don't know the last time that has happened!

On the bright side, I caught up with everything else in my house, like the giant laundry pile... and other things I usually, conveniently, tuck aside and put off.

But on the downside, ahhhhh! I have so much catching up to do for the end of the month: 18th century, 1860's and Halloween. Stitch stitch stitch.

I haven't had a chance to get near blogger recently, but I just had to pop on and thank two lovely ladies who bestowed awards on my humble blog.



Thank you, thank you, thank you to the ladies from Teacups Among the Fabric and Thread Headed Snippet for thinking me worthy of The Versatile Blogger award.

Once you have been given this award you must:


- Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
- Paste the award to your blog.
- Tell 7 things about yourself.
- Nominate 15 other blogs.

Since I don't have time to do justice to this at the moment, I just wanted to say thank you and I will promptly post in the near future!

Thank you again and hope everyone is having a great October! Yay autumn!