Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Eye Candy on a Wednesday Morning

Or, day dreaming about my sewing wish list...

American, mid 1880's.
 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A frilly, satiny, gorgeous corset has been on my wish list for a while now. 

So far, my only Victorian corset (that fits) is a basic, white coutil, 1860's version. I've never been super into the 19th century, but after the last few outfits I've researched, made and worn, I've developed more of an appreciation for that long stretch years, and fashions, spanning Queen Victoria's reign. 

Honestly, I think I've been a little daunted by the complexity of garments and the frequent changing of shapes and silhouettes, during the Victorian years. The 18th century is so safe to me! I'm so comfortable there. But ooo I like a challenge. And change.

In the 21st century, I dress really quite neutral. A lot of black, a lot of grey, not a lot of frill. Some of this spills over into my costuming. As in, I get more excited about the plain brown wool than the gorgeous pink moire that's been hibernating up in my stash for the past two years.

But I do day dream about frilly... 

Right now, I'm salivating over the idea of a fabulous 1880's corset to go with my brown wool gown I am so loving right now. 

I am especially loving this cream satin corset from the Met. And see what I mean, monochrome off white is my fabulous! But really, I love this one! Click the link and check it out with the zoom feature. Drool.

I am in love with the bust cording! I think I have some satin ribbon I
can use for the bow.

Next month I'm headed back to England.
I'm planning on visiting my favorite lace seller and hunting down some
nice 19th century lace edging and beading for the top.

I'll have to find some nice, matching perle for the flossing.

So far, I have a pattern to start with. I think it's Truly Victorian. I have a couple yards of ivory silk satin from Pure Silks, as well as some good coutil to flatline the silk to. 

Ivory silk satin from Pure Silks. In person, it looks
much more rich and heavy and has softer looking folds.

I have a busk and boning that's waiting to be cut, and some nice ivory silk satin ribbon for the bow. Next month, when I'm back in London, I'll go visit my favorite little lace stall at Portobello and I hope to score some nice antique lace for the top. Aside from the lace, which is just frosting, I have pretty much everything I need to get started. Once the busyness of Christmas is over, I hope to get started on this. I'm really excited!

I'm especially excited for the challenge of working with a satin weave. I think a lot of testing will have to go into the techniques, like the cording and the exterior boning channels. I've never worked with satin on a project like this. I hope it's not too fiddly.

Have a happy Wednesday all!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Little Trip to The V&A

For those of us who stayed home this holiday weekend and did not travel, I thought I would suggest a little trip across the sea to one of our (yes, I'm sure anyone who reads this blog loves this place - how could you not!?) favorite places: The Victoria and Albert Museum.

The V&A is one of my very favorite museums for costume research. I haven't yet been to Kyoto, but I'm sure the Kyoto Costume Institute will tie for first if I ever get to go! But back to the V&A. 

Top five reasons why I love it:

1. It always has some kind of great costume exhibit going on.
2. It's in London
3. It has a huge shop
4. The shop has amazing costume books
5. You can take pictures!

Ok. Let's go!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

An 1880's Outing

1880's Wool Dress, photos by Lisa Coffey.

Pouf! A new dress!

I haven't posted anything about the progress of this new dress because I had to make it so darn fast. Last month we (as in the civilian ladies of the Southern Nevada Living History Association) decided to do a bustle era outing, which coincided with an SNLHA "timeline" event at the Old Mormon Fort, which is an event where one can portray any era they wish. Very fun.