Monday, 29 December 2008

Baby it's cold outside

There are a lot of things that I ought to be doing right now, like answering my email, instead of doings those things, I get sucked into prjoects that I have been wanting to do for a long time but never have time for during the re-enacment season.
Here one of them, socks in the style of Klas-Brita, from a description in Larry Schmidts Lots of Socks. The description, especially the beginning took some time figuring out, but that's probably because English is not my native languauge.

The socks are made with bulky and super bulky wool, the stitch is the Oslo stitch, and took two evenings and some time during the day to complete. The blue wool is woad dyed and purchased at Hedeby Viking market, the white wool is bought from friends, and the red (madder) and fuchsia pink (cochenille) I dyed myself and was purchased in Denmark while at a viking market in Moesgard, (Muddgard that year!)
I am not complety happy with how the socks turned out, don't exactly know why, may it is the model, maybe the color scheme or that the brilljant idea I had while making them seems much nicer, will be continued...

On another note I am finally working on my husbands website, the one I promised to make him about a year ago but never got around to, and it's almost finished! Will also be continued...

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Knitted scarf

Around this time of year, I just love making things that do not have to be authentic, just fun to make. Like this very easy knitted scarf.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Seasons Greetings!

The pictures of the Anton Pieck Parade have been added to my websites, with many thanks to Peter Kroesen.

De Zwarte Zwaan, website is in the Dutch, for pictures click on galerij.
A Victorian Wardrobe, website is in English, click on Photoalbum.

Remko and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Fantastic day!

Carla, Remko, Me and Jurrian.

Here we are talking to Carla's parents and I am showing off my muff.

Here are the first photo's of the victorian event we did in Haarlem called de Anton Pieck Parade. Hopefully more will come, that is if the friend that made the pictures can get them of his sisters digital camera...

We had a wonderful time the 7th of December. The weather was great, dry, no wind and even a little sunshine now and then. There was a lot of public, most of them where friendly and interested. So everyone was happy.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Mit nadel und faden

Mit Nadel und Faden,Kulturgeschichte der klassischen Handarbeiten. Written by Marianne Stradal & Ulrike Brommer. Published by Verlag Herder, Freiburd und Heidenheimer Verlaganstalt 1990. ISBN 3-451-21608-6.

A great book for anyone into (historical) textile crafts, it has information about the historical background of embroidery, knitting and crochet. It's in German which makes it a little bit harder to read for me especially the more technical words. The info on knitting is a little bit dated as it says that the so called Coptic socks are knitted. A few years ago Dorothy Burnham, author of Cut my Cote and Warp and Weft, proved that these sock are actually made with nalbinding.(ref. p 31, A History of Hand Knitting written by Richard Rutt.) And the "knitted" pouch on page 142 is probably made with nalbinding as well. Aside from these flaws due to it's ages, it still has a lot of valuable information and great pictures of historical textiles.

For more information on nalbinding and knitting I strongly recommend; A History of Hand Knitting written by Richard Rutt. Reprinted by Interweave Press. ISBN 1-931499-37-3.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Finally Finished !

My 1885's costume is finally finished.

And here are the pictures to prove it. I tried to keep my face out of the pictures as much as possible. I am ill, not seriously so don't worry. It's just a very annoying sinus infection with severe headaches and dizzinous, but I do look like death warmed over...

Monday, 24 November 2008

Red Velvet scarf part 2

The lady with the muff in this lovely victorian winterscene is wearing something that looks like it could be a scarf.

Here a close-up of her. The image comes from Groot Handwerkboek uit Grootmoeders Jeugd. No date given.

Two young ladies wearing scarfs, the image is taken from Victorian and Edwardian fashions from 'La Mode Illustrée' and dated 1878.

Lady wearing lace hood and a scarf. Victorian Fashions& Costumes from Harper's Bazar 1867-1898, dated 1883.

Detail from the red velvet scarf of Mina Harker in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Detail of my velvet red scarf. Which is about 2.70m long and 14 cm wide with black lace detail at both ends.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

The Dramatic Red Velvet League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Scarf

Due to the current cold I have decided that I need a scarf to wear on the 7th of December as well. I haven't found, have looked to be perfectly honest, images of victorian women wearing scarfs with their winter outfits. But I am inspired by the red velvet scarf Peta Wilson wears as Mina Harker in the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. A character whose costume was also the non-authentic inspiration for my black velvet redingote.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Coat finished, muff has arrived.

I am very relieved to be able to say that I finished my black velvet coat (sorry people no picture available yet). Especially because my red cuirass bodice isn't finished at all. The hook and eye closure didn't work, probably because there is not enough tension on the fabric on the upperpart of the bodice. This means back to the drawing board with only little time left to go and lot of other things to do. It is save to say that I am not happy at all. The current plan is to alter the fit of the upper part of the bodice and close the jacket with 15 buttons and buttonsholes.

I couldn't find a coat pattern when I started work on my coat. So I altered my cuirass bodice pattern. Today I found the new victorian coat pattern of truly victorian.The TV560 1880s Late Bustle Coat

The funny thing is that my coat looks a lot like this coat, so I am happy!

Other good news, my vintage muff has arrived! It is at least a 100 years old, probably older. The original box it was sold in is still present, but has to be repaired. The muff is in good condition, with thick silky soft black fur. It looks really great with my black velvet coat. Only a tiny repair has to be made to the lining.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Cuirass Bodice finished ! (well almost)

Red velvet 1885's cuirass bodice, with black details. The bodice has small mutton sleeves and a manderine collar. The bodice closes with hooks and eyes, the black silk buttons are only there for decoration. All the black details are sewn on by hand. An alteration has to be made to the lining, it's to tight on my left shoulder, and a waistband needs to be sewn in, but I am happy to say it's almost finished.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Crocheted Gloves pattern

I hardly have time to sit down and answer my email or post here, my apologizes to my friends. To make up for it a special treat for all my dutch readers; a pattern for victorian style crocheted gloves.Click on the pictures to enlarge, save to your computer and print. Enjoy!

I hope that someday I'll be brave enough to make them myself ;-)

For those who can't read Dutch you can find a pattern in English here.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Victorian Locket

I saved a long time to buy a cameo but after looking at cameo's for two years I couldn't find one that I liked and could afford. I have seen really pretty victorian ones for around € 325,- . It's not only that I can't afford it, but Í wouldn't feel comfortable wearing one that expensive.
The other jewelley item I always loved was a locket, and I found one on ebay that I really liked. Yesterday it came in and I am delighted with it. I do however want to change the picture. I'd rather wear a picture of my son or husband (pref. both of them together) in my locket.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Tape weaving at Brederode

I had set up some tape weaving at home to work on while at the medieval event at Brederode.

I like doing tape weaving while doing a demo, because it's relatively simple and the result still looks nice. The yarn I used to weave with was dyed with natural dyes (ofcourse ;-) ) The red is from madderroot, the yellow is from weld, yelloworange is from unionskins and the dark orange is made with madderroot/unionskin

This strip of tape woven band will end up as my garters.
I also worked on my friend Audrey's nalebound socks.

The Saturday of this event was windy, wet and cold with not a lot of visitors. Sunday was much better. The public was very nice and interested in the crafts we were doing but I missed the contact with the other reeanctors of most of the choose to stand on the field beside ruïnes, while we where standing in the "courtyard".

Now it's time to finish my Victorian costume!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

I really need a coat!

Yesterday I got a call that the date of the Anton Pieck parade has changed from Saturday the sixth of December to Sunday the Seventh of December and that there is, alas, no place for Remko and me inside. Which means that we will be out and on our feet from eleven in the morning till six in the evening.
It's really a pity because we can't show off all those nice victorian accessoiries we collected through out the year (Remko is getting some really nice authentic and period looking things for Sinterklaas) and that my coat covers most of my costume. On the other side we both like the contact we have with the public when we are outside and I'll try to make the coat really nice.

But I am really happy that I had the foresight to start working on a coat. A lot still has to be done, but at least a start has been made.

I have been working two whole days on my coat, today it was time to clean my house, it looked like it had snowed black snow. That's what you get when you work with velvet :-( And time to start preparing and packing for this weekends medieval event.

Monday, 27 October 2008

I need a coat

I need a coat said the idiot... it's not like there is nothing I have to do. With an late medieval event Middeleeuwse Toestanden coming up this weekend and only little more than one month to go to the Anton Pieck Parade in Haarlem. Add to that my sons birthday on the 30th of November and Sinterklaas. But after looking at my almost finished wonderful and quite expensive costume, and the weather the last couple of years in december, I decided that I need a long coat to protect me from the rain and cold but more importantly my precious velvet costume from the rain.

To stay in style I want to make a long victorian coat, redingote style. Alas I couldn't find a pattern for one. So I have alter the cuirass bodice pattern and merge it together with a 1860's paletot style coat pattern I own. The ultimate goal is to make a coat that I can wear with my 1865's costume and with my 1885's costume.

I purchased black velvet for the outside and black cotton fabric for the inside.
To give it an extra "period" feel, it will have a black braid frog closure. I might add dark brown fur to the collar and cuffs, to give it an extra luxourius look and feel.

Here is my non authentic inspiration for my coat.

It is the redingote Mina Harker (Peta Wilson) wears in the movie the League of Extra Ordinary Gentlemen.

Here are two victorian inspirations for my coat:

1. is from La Mode Illustrée, winter 1882, description: Redingote with braid frogs.
2. is from Harper's Bazaar, winter 1885, description: fur trimmes winter costume

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Just back...

Just back from an medieval event, we had a wonderful time !

Here a small impression.

Nalebinding and dyeing with natural dyes as usual. The lovely scarf I am wearing was a gift from a friend, who has woven it herself. It kept me nice and warm on sunday morning when it was really cold and it goes really well with my costume.

The socks for my son are finally finished! But as always a next pair is waiting to be made.

Fooling around with my friend Audrey :-)

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

About blood, sweat, tears and frustration....

Finally I got the boning in, sewing it on to the demin interlining literally took blood, sweat and tears. The lining is in as well(not in yet when I took this picture) and I even sewn on some braiding, only to find out that the back of my bodice doesn't look right. Some alterations have to be made and a part of the jacket has to be taken apart again.
There is a big difference how the skirt part of the jacket hangs on the mock-up model of the jacket and the way it looks now in the velvet stiffened with demin and boning. Very frustrating, even more so because I can't work on my jacket this week. I have to prepare for the medieval event "Kermis tussen kerk en kroeg" in Hooge Mierde (NB) this weekend.
On the upside, my sleeves are finally in and they look good and they can stay in. Also it probably means that I will have a fresh look on the construction problems when I have time to work on it again.

Also my pocketwatch came in and it looks gorgeous !

After seeing a picture of myself in costume with my top hat I am wondering if it's good idea to wear my top hat. I love the look, but I do think that public at the event will think that my costume is Gothic. That is not the impression that I want to give. So I ordered the late victorian small bonnet pattern for Lynn McMasters, I am not sure that I will have time and energy to make the hat or even will want to wear it when I do make it, but I would like to be able to chose.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

A Little Bit of Background History

My costume is not intented as a Gothic costume, although it could pass for one, as a lot of the Gothic clothing is based upon the Medieval and Victorian costumes, but as a hommage to a group of women know in the Victorian Era as "Lionesse".

Women at this time where portraited as sweet, fragile puppets, their sole purpose in life to be good wifes and mother, with Queen Victoria as their rolemodel.Ofcourse not all women fitted that description, around 1830, a movement begun of women who wore clothes which where an adaptation of the male costume, the only part of the costume which remained the same where the wide skirts. They where independent, often artistic women. Not only did they look more like men they behaved more like men as well, they drank, smoked cigarettes and pipes, had lovers, walked with walking caines, could handle the whip and gun.

One of the better know ladies of this movement is the french writer and poet Georges Sand (above)

A group of women with top hats in a ratpit an activity usually reserved for men. Judging by the costume this drawing dates to ca. 1878, the natural form period.

source: Cultuur en kleedgedrag in de 20e eeuw - Bettie Aaftink en Corlyn Bol

Decorating my top hat

I browsed on the internet looking for inspiration on how to decorate my top hat. Here is a selection of what I found:

Examples of Authentic Victorian Ladies Top Hats.

Reproductions of Victorian Ladies Top hats, Gothic and Historical.

My Top Hat, with black colored Merry Widow netting, a red silk scarf that hangs down my back and two, a black and a red one, feather roses.

Monday, 29 September 2008

New Chemise

I've never been really happy with the chemise I had, I find the sleeves uncomfortable. As I don't like to wear a tight sleeve under another sleeve. This time I made the chemise from truly victorian # 102. It is very easy to make, it was made in less than a day, and historically accurate, I found several victorian pictures which look a lot alike.
I haven't gone any further with my bodice/jacket, I have set the sleeves in, but it doesn't look right and I am thinking of a way to correct the problem. I have another problem as well, some the hemline of my petticoat doesn't hang straight above the ground. In some place it drags on the floor, where somewhere else it's 5 cm above the floor. As far as we can tell now, we have to cut very strange curves in the hemline, in order for it to look straight when I wear it. I know I am a little bit crooked but not that bad!
On a happier note, the millinery I ordered for my hat came in and also a new costuming book Victorian and Edwardian Fashions in La Mode Illustree

This week I have little time to work on my Victorian costume as we have a medieval event in the Historisch Openlucht Museum Eindhoven on Sunday.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Sneak preview

An awful lot still has to be done, like sewing in the sleeves, and sewing the boning and lining in. The bones have to be handsewn to a thick demin underground, so my fingers hurt. But here is a sneak preview.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Working on mock-up for the bodice

Currently I am working on my mock-up model for the bodice. Most of the fit is great, but I have to make an alteration. The bodice is to tight around my hips in front, it's because of the layers of skirts I am sure ! ;-)
And I have trouble getting my sleeves in. I am not sure whether it's an error in the description or just me having problems translating and understanding the description.