Monday, February 20, 2017

Sequins on a Saturday

There was always something missing from this Lindy Bop sweater I picked up last year, so I recently sat down with a needle and thread and fixed it up! (Don't worry, DIY coming later this week!)

I don't have nearly enough sequins in my wardrobe anyway, so it was high time to add some sparkle somewhere! This plaid skirt however is a drop in the sea of plaid in my closet, but plaids are such a snap to style with all of those colors that I can't help but welcome ever more into my wardrobe. I do have some rather loud yellow plaid taffeta that I should probably turn into a crazy dress sometime soon. I do fear whether I would look okay in so much yellow however, as I'm not sure it always agrees with my skin tone even if I love it. I felt strange wearing so little jewelry with this outfit, but now the sweater has a sort of built in necklace, more jewelry just wasn't necessary!

As you can see by the lack of snow on the ground in these photos, we are still experiencing oddly warm weather for February. Still, it was rather windy, which is always a bother when you have your curls just so! On the projects front I am still experiencing a bit of a sewers block unfortunately (like writers block? yes? hmm...sure) which has made progress on my to-sew list so slow this year. I think part of it is just all the trouble with my regular bodice pattern holding me back mentally from wanting to fix that hurdle and be able to perfect the pattern. I have to dive back in sometime though, as I do have some deadlines (due to upcoming travels (!)) coming up that I want to have lots of things finished for! More coffee perhaps? Always.

Sweater: Lindy Bop (Embellished by me)
Skirt: Made my me
Shoes: Modcloth
Tights: Amazon
Gloves, Earrings, & Handbag: Vintage

Friday, February 17, 2017

How I Made a Simple Victorian Bustle Petticoat

Which bustle era you may ask? Well I think this rather simple petticoat could work for either the 1st (1869s-1876) or the 3rd (1883-1889) bustle periods, as I made it to wear over my Truly Victorian Imperial Tournure which is described as being good for either period as well. 

Though many petticoats (throughout history really) were made with linen, I used plain old bleached cotton muslin for mine. The nice thing about costuming in the 21st century is that you can choose how accurate you want to be, and for me I don't mind if my historical undergarments are perfectly correct, if they do the job then that will do! Inspired a bit by Merja's petticoat from this post and this example I decided on a simple shape with an A-line front and a gathered back. So what did I come up with in the end?

from the side and the back
The pattern is pretty straightforward to draft by yourself if you find yourself in need of such a petticoat. Perhaps you might want some experience making patterns, but I really think anyone could cobble this thing together. To make the pattern for the front I knew I wanted some waist darts to shape the top and then the rest of the shape was an easy A-line flare. The back was even easier, as I simply used the 44" width of the fabric and then cut a rectangle to the length I wanted (in this case 41 inches).

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Winter's Web

Spiderwebs are not only for October, oh no, they are a year round motif! At least I think so, and this flocked velvet and taffeta skirt seems perfectly suited for the middle of winter.

I know I just wore this jacket a few weeks ago here on the blog, but here it is again because a black velvet jacket is super useful! I find it goes with everything and I am so glad I picked it up. This velvet hat on the other hand does get worn so much that I think it might be time to invest in a second black velvet hat to introduce a bit of variety on that score. I did add another spider brooch to my collection this past Christmas, and it is contained in quite a large web! I'm always on the lookout for spider web vintage things, so I am happy to have this brooch as my first web themed piece of jewelry. I'd love a 1940's dress with a spider web motif fabric, or a solid colored dress with sequin spider web embellishment, perhaps I will have to make one!

As you can see, we are in peak winter dead-twigs-and-no-snow right now. With all of the tan/grey dormant plans I wish nature would have the decency to at least snow and render the world sparkling and charming at least. I haven't been able to capture any photos in the snow this year and I'd really like a nice dusting of white to wander about in. Then again, it can snow as late as May here sometimes, so there is plenty of time left for a more wintry backdrop to appear.

I spent all day yesterday working on the Victorian Petticoat for my bustle dress, so I'll talk about the process and show you all the results tomorrow :) Till then have a fantastic Friday!

Skirt: Made by me
Jacket: Vintage (Overattired)
Shoes: Urban Outfitters (painted gold by me, also from like 2007!)
Hat, Scarf, Brooch, Earrings, & Handbag: Vintage
Tights: Amazon


Monday, February 13, 2017

The Flecked Tweed

The flecked tweed sounds a bit like the title to a mystery story doesn't it? Like a short story in an old newspaper. Well in this case the flecked tweed is the most lovely vintage fabric that I found on Etsy and snagged to make a winter worthy pencil skirt.

I am always on the look out for flecked fabrics, especially when they are particularly pronounced like the "atomic fleck" 1950's varieties. This tweed is a nice blend of tan and green but with dozens of colors of fleck in light blue, rusty brown, yellow, light green, and even a few berry purple. I just love this fabric! It wasn't the most fun to work with being on the thicker side, and of course I had to line the skirt and I am always loath to do linings, but it all worked out in the end. I am even pretty proud of this skirt as the vent in the back turned out very nicely and the fit is spot on. I paired it with a black slash neck top (yep, more slash neck tops, I got a few you see!) and my Banana Republic trench as though it was sunny and quite warm for winter the wind was quite chilly! I found that this black colorway of the slash neck top fit better than the last one I wore (the light brown) and had less excess around the waist even though both are a size large, further confirming my suspicion that these vary a bit even within one size. Other accessories included orangy-brown (I believe they call this shade apple juice?) plastic brooch and earrings, and leopard print pony hair shoes.

This skirt is the second project I've finished this year! Just crazy, I have so much sewing to catch up on eeek! The to do list goes on and on, you know what I mean?

Top: Vivien of Holloway
Skirt: Made by me
Trenchcoat & Shoes: Banana Republic
Jewelry, Glove, & Handbag: Vintage
Tights: Amazon
Scarf: Souvenir from Ireland

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday Spotlight: 1870's Petticoats

As I mentioned last week, I need to make a few more pieces of Victorian undergarments before I can finally make a huge ruffly white cotton bustle dress. The first thing on my list is a 1870's petticoat to wear over my Truly Victorian Imperial Tournure bustle. I may actually have to make more than one petticoat actually since my bustle is a dark color and the end gown will be crisp and white so I won't want the bustle to show through.

Though Truly Victorian does make an early bustle period petticoat pattern, I think I'm going to try and DIY something. The plan is to pick up a bunch of bleached muslin at Joanns this week and go to town. Lets look at some extant petticoats from museum collections to give you an idea of what I'll be going for...

It seems like most examples for the 1870s are a 50/50 mix between the fullness of 1860s styles and the slimline natural form shape of the late 1870's and early 1880's. They aren't completely dissimilar from the A-line + back gathers/fullness of Edwardian petticoats, which I have made before so it won't be completely unfamiliar territory. It seems most essential to include enough fullness in the back to lay over the bustle and to plan for a bit of a train. Most petticoats above have a ruffle or two around the hem, so I plan on including a long ruffle all the way around plus perhaps a few additional ruffles in the back. I don't think I'll be including any fun lace or eyelet trimmings for my petticoat as it seems a bit of a waste to buy trimmings for something that won't be seen in the end!

Have any of you ever done any Victorian costuming before? I know a lot of people do Regency era costuming, which I have also never tried before. One day I'd love to have made something from each major fashion era, it's a long term goal of mine!

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