Tuesday 30 December 2014

A Victorian Ladies Winter Hood.

I had fallen in love with the pattern and had bought it but wasn't planning on making it soon. That was until the school that I work at borrowed some of my victorian/ edwardian costumes for their Christmas play Father Panov. The setting of the play was nostalgic with a russian feel. One of the costume pieces was a red cape and I thought it would look magnificent on the actress and have a more "russian feel"  with a hood.



The pattern I used for the hood part was Kay Fig, Ladies Winter Hood 1860, copy of an original pattern.

The school play was great and both actresses looked wonderful in their costumes which made me very proud! Dressing them was also a lot of fun and I loved being involved in the play.

After the play I added some extra black velvet decoration and wore it to the Deventer Dickens fair.The plan was to make it detachable. So I could wear the cape with or without it but if I have enough fabric left I might make the original attached cape from the pattern. Worn over the cape it's an extra layer for warmth but it will also be a nice costume piece on it's own.

Here is a good view of the front 
Photograph made by Benne Solinger

Sunday 28 December 2014

Creative Christmas

My family by now knows that I can't sit still and that I am a much happier person when I am doing something. When I am forced to sit still for long periods of time I get grumpy, bored, or sleepy.

So I made these...
  Christmas Eve

This was a felt diy kit given to me by a friend.
It is easy to do but I am not used to working with a glue gun.

Finished these on Christmas Day
These two broomstick lace neckwarmer had been
lying around nearly finished for quite some time.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day
I had bought the yarn and the crochet circle vest pattern 
to make myself a vest for fall.
I never got around to it....

Monday 22 December 2014

Dickens festijn (Dickens fair) Deventer 2014

After looking at the weather forecast we decided to go to Dickens festijn (a Dickens fair) in Deventer on Sunday. It turned out to be a wise decision. The weather on Sunday was not too bad at all, while Saturdag was horrible. They even closed earlier due to the weather conditions.

On Friday, two days before the event, I decided that I really needed a pair of early victorian stays. Last year my back really ached because of the weight of my quilted petticoat. So when I finally decided which costume I was going to wear. Yes, first world problems I know... I ment making a pair of stays or having to deal with a serious backache all day.

I had bought Past Patterns pattern #705, Early to Mid Nineteenth Century Stays earlier this year. Not having enoug time for a "real" pair of stays, I made a mock-up of view A in some coutile I had left over.
view A (R) 1830-1860 Sensible stays
Although it's not pretty and some extra tweaking still has to been done. It did the trick and distributed the weight of the petticoat. Which made walking around much easier!



I don't have many pictures of yesterday and the ones I do have are not great. They have been taken at the end of the day when I was already really tired and it shows.

And here is our christmas card for all of you !

Monday 15 December 2014

Anton Pieck Parade 2014

The weather forecasts had been frightfully bad the whole week. With horrid tales of heavy rains and storms. So when  it only rained a little for a short while last Saturday. We felt truly blessed! 

This year our son came along. It's doesn't happen often
that we have a picture with the three of us in it.
Two of my girlfriends joined us as well.

My 1840's dress looks better on her than it does on me!

This year the lady in the middle didn't need to borrow
one of my costumes. She made her own and
I think she did a splendid job!

This picture is taken in our "living"room.
My husband is teaching our son how to write 
with a dip pen.

It was his first time writing with a dip pen
but he got the hang of it almost immediately.

All three of the ladies where doing needlework.
A proper activity for fine victorian ladies.
Added bonus was that I got some work done.

I added some braid decoration to the 
1860's winter hood that I am currently working on.

Me at the end of the day, tired but happy.

Tuesday 2 December 2014

One day victorian chemise

When I tried on my black victorian bustle costume I noticed that my white chemise was a visible at the neckline. Only a little but enough to annoy me! So ofcourse I just had to make a black version...
The pattern was Truly Victorian #102 and it took only one day to make.

I also added an antique veil to my top hat and a strap to my victorian purse. There are still some small things on my to-do-list  but I almost finished preparing for the Anton Pieck Parade.

Next year I would like to be completly dressed in black from the skin up. This means making a pair of black drawers and a bustle. I already dyed my white petticoat, originally the mock-up for my bustle skirt, black. With some small adjustments this could be used to complete the set.

Next year I would also like to make this hat from patterns of time.

It reminds me of the hat worn by Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler in Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Thursday 27 November 2014

Black bustle skirt aka the Frankensteins bride skirt.

A friend nicknamed this skirt the Frankensteins bride skirt because it is made with pieces of leftover fabric from my fabric stash. Usually I buy the fabric I need for a costume but this time I challenged myself to make a costume from my stash.

The pattern I used was one of my favorites TV 261, 1885 Four gore underskirt. I have had it for several years so I have the old version of the pattern not the revised version.

I didn't have enough fabric for the wide ruffle like in the old version so I made the ruffle smaller, like in the new version.

I used four different types of fabric; velvet, wool, small pieces taffeta with velvet flock print  same as my bodice and plain taffeta.


For a marriage of so many fabrics I am quite happy with the result. If I had had more fabric I would have made the knife pleats smaller and closer together. 


And I would have added an extra row of decoration to the back. The fabric is easy to come by and it's cheap. So I might consider adding a row next year.

 I am done working on Victorian costumes for the moment because I have to get started on  St. Nicolas poems and surprises (funny way to pack presents).  They have to be done for St.Nicholas evening on the 5th of December. Also there is my son his thirteenth birthday this sunday!

I am really looking forward to this years Anton Pieck Parade in Haarlem!

Monday 17 November 2014

Progress report on my black bustle costume.

I see that it is a month since my last blog. I apologize for neglecting you my dear readers but I've been incredibly busy. Not only with working on my costume but also doing volunteerwork, studying and household chores. A day often just doesn't have enough hours to do all the things I want and need to do.

A project is always more work than you think when you start. This time it is no different. The problems started when I decided to work with the fabric left over from last years bustle overskirt. The original plan had been to make a tail bodice from this fabric but when I ran out of time I decided to make an overskirt instead. I thought I would be able to get more of this fabric but unfortanetly this ended up not being the case.

As I didn't have enough fabric to make a long tail bodice I decided to make the short version instead. Unfortanetly I had the old version of the Truly Victorian pattern without the short tail and different neckline options. This meant making quite a lot of alterations to the pattern, Something I hadn't really done before. The upside was that I could adapt the pattern to fit the amount of fabric I had left!

After sewing the pattern pieces together and hand sewing all the seams allowances flat. I found out that my seams where weak and falling apart. My sewing machine went to the repair shop for some tlc. Unwilling to start all over again I reinforced all the seams by hand and ended up with numb fingers. The fabric is satin with a velvet flock print and the flock print was very hard to get through. When I was done reinforcing the seams my machine still wasn't back from the shop. So I started work on sewing my boning in. 

When my machine came home I could finally set in the sleeves and work on the button closure. The antique (victorian?) black faceted glass buttons where purchased a couple of years earlier on Ebay.
In the picture you can also see my black chemisette. 

Getting the neckline to fit properly and the black satin piping in neatly in place was a real challenge. Lucky for me my husband was here to help! 

The final step was sewing the collar and the chinese frog closure on. I am really happy with how the bodice turned out! I already started work on the skirt to go with it. It has been nicknamed the frankenstein's bride skirt because it has been made from several pieces of fabric from my stash as well. 
I try to spend as little money as possible on this costume and make it with thing from my stash.

Thursday 16 October 2014

Black bustle tail bodice inspiration.

I am working really hard on my tail bodice and I could use some inspiration!

1888's dress designed by Emile Pingat.
found the image on Pinterest, original source unknown.

1880's black silk and cut velvet dress,

Sunday 5 October 2014

Black 1883's Bustle Tail Bodice

I have been busy making repairs and alterations, not only to costumes but also to our everyday clothes. Most of it was quite boring work but necessary.

Replacing my velvet collar with a fur collar and adding fur cuffs was a lot of work. But I am really happy with the end result so it was rewarding. The fur was donated by one of my husbands aunts and came from one of her old coats. 

You can find more information and pictures of the coat here.http://historicalcostumes.nl/

I also started with a new bustle bodice. I fell in love with the Truly Victorian pattern #462, the 1883 tail bodice after it was revised.

Unfortunately I didn't pay enough attention when I ordered it on-line, not at the Truly Victorian website. And ended up with the old version of the pattern! 

:Lucky for me that my pattern drafting skills are good enough to make the necessary adjustments to achieve the look I want. A short tailed bodice with 3/4 sleeves and a keyhole or diamond shaped neckline. 

Yesterday I made the mock-up and this morning I tried it on over my victorian underwear and corset.
And started with my corset training for this year by keeping it on for 30 minutes.

The two main inspirations for this project are:

 this dress from 1887,

And this dress sold by Augusta Actions

I love the strict look of the neckline and I am thinking about keeping the decorations on this costume to a minimum, but we'll see how it evolves.