Wednesday, 19 September 2018

1920's Downton Abbey Garden Party style outfits

Some months ago we were invited to a wedding of friends with a 1920's Downton Abbey Garden party theme. On one hand I was thrilled I love any occasions to dress up especially in a historical outfit. On the other hand I was a little bit scared I wasn't going to make the deadline. It was an era we didn't have in our costume closet and I didn't want to cut corners by buying or renting costumes. The couple getting married are two of the people who inspire me to set the bar high on authenticity and quality. So I wanted us to look really good to honour this fact.

Last Sunday they got married and my husbands 3 piece suit was finished the day before around 17.00 pm. It was a nerve recking experience but this was the end result.

I could bore you to death with a the things I think that a wrong with my husband his suit. The whole thing was a challenge and a learning experience, and boy did I learn a lot! 

As I am not particularly fond of this square lowered waistline style dress chances are I won't be wearing my dress again any time soon and I took that fact in account when I made it. My husbands suit however is a whole different story. It cannot only be worn as a 1920's suit but could also work as a 1890's summer suit. This is the other reason I put so much time, energy, money and affort in it and I think he looks really smart in it!

I would like to make some changes to the costume before he wears it again. The trousers have to be taken in and (flat)lined to stiffen the horrible stretchy and saggy fabric. The linen/viscose mixture was a true nightmare to work with. I only found out it had viscose in it when I had washed the fabric but if we had know on forehand. We would still have bought it, it had the exact look my husband was looking for. Also I would like to make some changes to the vest and the lining of the coat. Eventhough it still needs work we both we really happy with the overall look.

I had purchased a roaring twenties dress pattern (butterick B6399) but found it needlessly complicated and time consuming. So I used a version of the 1920's one hour dress pattern on-line. I took more than one hour to make the dress but that was due to the lace inserts. The top dress is blue batist cotton with a separate blue silk sash and a (unfortunaly) synthetic lace overlay. Which had been part my stash doing nothing and looked really amazing with this costume so how could I resist.  Underneath I am wearing an off-white silk slip dress, which I also made with fabric from my stash. 

More information on my costume can be found here in a previous blog.

My husband his three pieces suit was put together with three separate patterns. The coat has been made with Butterick B6503 (aka Fantastic beast or Peaky Blinders suit). The vest was made with Folkwear #2222, Vintage vests and the trousers were made with Laughing Moon Mercantile #106, Late 19th century California pants. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

1920's garden party dress

What do you do when friends ask you to attend their 1920's themed wedding? First of all I was very touched that we were welcome. Second came excitement for a wonderfull reason to dress up in a nice historical outfit. Third came with doing research and a bit of aprehension. When hearing the 1920's my mind went to Great gatsby style flapper evening wear but the happy couple was looking for a Downton Abbey style garden party. I never watched Downton Abbey, hangs head in shame. Please understand that I live in a male dominated household both of them bored out of their skulls when I only mention costume drama tv series.  So i had to start from scratch, luckily for me the bride had made a mood board on pinterest so that was an easy start.

Mmmh, I must admit it looks really nice on those ladies but I am not that young anymore not that thin...

When my first inspiration is from a television or movie I always try to translate it to authentic dresses and costumes or fashion plates from the era.

The dress on the far right in the second image is my favorite.

Being short on time, two complete outfits where added to my already full costume for-2018-list. I thought it would be wise to buy myself a pattern to save time. Butterick B6399 looked a lot like the look I am going for so I decided to order it.

While I was waiting for my pattern to come in, I made the slip dress in off-white dupoin silk, the top of the dress is decorated with a broad band of antique lace. I used the instructions for a 1920's slip dress on the Fresh Frippery blog.

When it came in I immediately looked at the pattern pieces and the description and decided that both were really to complicated for a dress that was basically a t-tunic. So I used the instructions I found on the Closet Historian blog for the one hour 1920's dress instead

I had found some lovely aqua blue batist fabric for the overdress, the color is a little brighter than I would have liked but I am not in the mood for pink or peach this time. So it will have to do!
I am not a big fan of the gathering of fabric on my hip so I decided to make a separate bodice and skirt version with a v-neckline to make my torso look a little longer.

To add some visual interest to the dress I added some vintage lace insertions. 

Without it I am afraid the dress will look suspiciously much like a blue bin liner (just sayin').

Than we had a sort of poll on instagram, (synthetic) lace overlay or no overlay.

The votes weren't unanimous, so I made a compromis, the overlay will be (semi) detachable.

More lace!

It's al fun and games, that is until your modern sewing machine breaks down and has to be taken to the repair shop. Luckily for me my old Singer 99k came to the rescue!

Voilà, the finished dress!Still think this is a dress style for younger and thinner women! Not really certain how I feel about wearing it. 

Monday, 9 July 2018

Medieval Tournament at the Ruïn of Brederode.

When a friend asked if we could join her at the Castle tower of the Ruïn of Brederode. We just couldn't say no. This is the place where we started doing re-enactment almost 15 years ago! In fact she was the one who gave us our first chance and after that magical event we were hooked.

If you look very closely you can see 
my Lady and me on the field.

As you can see there are not a lot of photographs with us in it. This is because we try to keep the camera out of sight of visitors and it was a really busy day!

And this is us at the Ruïn in November 2003

Monday, 11 June 2018

Vlaardingen 1018

This was by far the largest event we ever attended!
As the number or participants was also very large we got to see friends we hadn't seen
in a long time. So it felt like a reunion party and I had such a great time that I now
suffer from the post event blues.
Well at least we still have the photographs:

In a slightly different outfit than normal.
As the saying goes when in Rome do as the Romans.
When in Holland in the year 1018, dress as a Dutch lady from 1018.

Although we love my oak raven chair it is really heavy.
So my husband made a chair based upon the 11th century chair from Lund, Sweden.

My son working on a sheath for leather working tools.

Chatting with our neighbours.
Photo by Paul Meuldijk

Photo by Vlaardingen1018

Photo by Paul Meuldijk

Photo by Paul Meuldijk

Still from a video made by a reporter of the AD.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Day at the Parc, Capelle aan de IJssel.

We've been going to this event since 2010. 
It's always well organized and it's a great way to meet some of our late medieval friends.
Most of them we only see here, so I always look forward to it.

fingerloop braiding.

Learning to spin on a drop spindle; discussing the technique
(photo Jan Trouwborst)

Learning to spin on a drop spindle; actual action!