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.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Victorian sewing box

This is my antique victorian (ca. 1850) wooden sewing box. It's is a very simple version with a green velvet pin cushion on top. It is a really nice place to store the sewing things I collect. Some are authentic victorian, some where from my grandmother and have a great sentimental value to me and others are replica's. When we do the Anton Pieck Parade in december we use a window of a store or hotel as our livingroom. It is very nice to be able to put this on box on the display there, and even use it a little for an authentic Victorian feel. I bought the two big wooden bobbins at the vikingmarket at the Archeon last weekend. The ligth one is made from wood of a peartree, the dark one is made from ebony wood. I love them because I can also use them in my medieval sewing kit, although I am not sure that they used ebony back then.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008


When trying to wash, sort, clean up, etc. all the things we had with us last weekend. I started to notice how much nalebound things we have lying around in our house.

These are alle thing that I have made and all the wool is dyed with natural dyes by me. Guess who is the only one with just one pair of sock in the house, that's right, me! And this is just the nalebound things we have in our house, I've also made socks for friends. All nalebinding is done in the Oslo stitch and almost all the socks are made with "the simple sock" pattern from Larry Schmitt. This winter I would like to learn at least one new stitch and make a pair of socks in the style of klas-brita. Which is slightly more complicated.

But first I have to finish the new pair of socks for my son that I have started on last weekend and ofcourse my 1885's bustle dress.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Vikingmarket Archeon

It was a very rainy weekend and I couldn't do much more than sit under our rainshade. So I deciced to make myself useful and start on nalebindig a second pair of socks for my son. The orange wol is dyed with a madder, unionskins mixture, the beige wol is dyed with walnut shells he has collected himself.

A picture of my good friend Aud doing some tabletweaving.

(top) his other pair of socks,(bottom) socks in the making and natural dyed woollen yarn.

I had a lovely weekend, thanks to all my friends who where there, no thanks to the weather ;-). But I must admit that I am happy to be able to continue work on my 1885's day dress.

For some more pictures of the vikingmarket at the Archeon visit our website

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

I feel pretty

From the waist down, that is ;-)

I have sewn my skirt together and couldnt't wait to see how it looks over my bustle and with my overskirt over it. It still needs hemming as you can plainly see, but I like the first impression.

Next stop sewing on the hook and eye closure and sewing the hem, then on to the bodice! But first I will attend a vikingmarket this weekend, something completly different.

Back and front of overskirt worn over the red velvet skirt