Friday 19 July 2019

Our Belle Epoque picnic at the Historical Festival at Museum House Doorn

Two weeks before our first Victorian event during summer I decided that I needed a summer outfit. What followed can only be described as a sewing and costuming frenzy, of the kind I had promised myself long ago never to do again. In my defense I have been working on getting my traveling outfit and my son his Belle Epoque summer costume done, which left me with little time to work on a proper summer outfit for myself. More details on the construction etc of the outfit will be described in an another blog post.

For now I'll just share the lovely pictures of the event.

You can find more photo's and the original colour photo's on our Facebook page:
and here is a link directly to the album but than you will be missing out on all the excellent photo's of others I have shared on the page.

The photo's on this blog have been edited using online editing software, which was easy and great fun. I thought it was a great way of seeing if we had achieved the desired effect/look and I must admit that I am quite pleased with the end result.

Tuesday 4 June 2019

Traveling in style by steamtrains!

I have been dreaming of riding a steamtrain in Victorian costume for a long time. A while ago my  partner in crime found a steampunk group on Facebook we could join on one of their rides! Which led me to finally finish my 1890's /1900's walking/traveling costume. The cherry on top was that I was able to wear my new antique sunglasses for the first time.

Early morning traveling and costume dreams.

Really happy with my sunglasses!

At the start I was not convinced that I would like this oufit. The pale colour, the huge sleeves are both out of my comfort zone but I am actually very pleased with the end result.

Wednesday 22 May 2019

1895 Belle Epoque Bicycle Jacket, a race against time

Cyclists around 1895

Sometimes I forget that making historical costumes is my hobby because it really starts to feel like work. Only far less enjoyable because I actually love my job! This has been the case since the start of the year.

I started off with the Porpentina Goldstein's Grey Coat from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. After that came a pair of Belle Epoque Linen summer pants for my son. I made a black velvet medici belt for fun.

Picture from: Ik kan kostuumnaaien ca. 1911

Made with a pattern part from McCalls M7732

 When that was finished  I found out that I hated the fit of my (previous) Belle Epoque Jacket and really needed a new one before the 30th of May. I know that a lot of people in the costuming community, seem to, enjoy sewing until the night before the event. I am not one of those people! I really hate the frustration and stress and that effects te quality of my work. I can't remember cursing, messing up or bleeding on a project this much in ages.

After not being happy with the jacket I made with Past Patterns #113, 1899 - 1910 Spectator Jacket. I decided to give Black Snail Patterns #0715 Bicycle Jacket about 1895 a try.

Black Snail #0715, Bicycle Jacket about 1895

The pattern from Black Snail looks an awful lot like an original from c. 1896-1898 in the MET.

Brown Wool Cycling Costume with Divided Skirt, c. 1896-1898, American, 2009.300.532a-d, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Mr. and Mrs. Morton Sultzer, 1979

And even more like this original brown woollen cycling suit from 1896 also in the Met.

Brown Wool Cycling Costume with Divided Skirt, c. 1896-1898, American, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; In memory of Mrs. Arthur Rideway Ryan (née Katherine Browne) from her children, Katherine B. Ryan, and Marcella Burnell and Arthur Martin Ryan, 1983

 Althought I loved the strap details on the front and back of the jacket. I decided to leave them of the simplify the jacket and speed the whole process up.

While doing the research for this blog I came across a fascinating woman called Annie Londonderry,
the woman who cycled around the world in 1894. I won't go in to detail, just follow the link above if you want to know more or google her a bit, but I will share some pictures of her.

Here is a side by side comparison of both the jacket.
With on the left the jacket made with Past Patterns #113 
and on the right  Black Snail Patterns # 0715

After having worked with both patterns I think I can compare them a little. The Past Patterns Jacket was finished not too long ago but I started the project years ago and made a lot of modifications. I guess the main issue with the Past Patterns jacket is that I chose a fabric, heavy canvas,  which is too stiff for this project. It ended up very uncomfortable to wear, which probably means that I won't be wearing it, ever. The other problem was that I had a lot of problems with getting in the sleeves properly and that is why it ended up on the UFO pile in the first place.

The Black Snail pattern description was didn't have much pictures, which is for me a big handicap, as I am a very visual person. I find translating words to actions in general quite hard and it gets worse if it's in a foreign language. English is not native language which means that my brain has two types of translations to do at once. So pictures are very helpful for me. The description clearly has been written by someone with a lot of sewing experience because I sometimes felt I missed a step or two. On the other hand I did learn some great sewing techniques and gained some sewing knowledge.

I liked the sleeves from from the Black Snails pattern the best. The fullness of the sleeve is pleated instead of gathered.

The Past Patterns jacket has box pleats in the back which I like a little bit better than the V shaped pleats of the Black Snails Pattern.

If I had to choose between the patterns, I would choose the Black Snails pattern but that is mainly because it has the look I was trying to achieve in the first place. In the end both patterns have their pro's and cons. A combination of both would be great but I am not going to make one anytime soon.

And this cute little soutache braid decoration...

Is there because I accidently damaged the fabric after the whole jacket had been sewn. "Sigh!"

With only the buttons left to be sewn on this project is nearly done. Time to start sewing and costuming for fun again! Oh but son still needs a vest (gilet) to go with his new Belle Epoque linen summer suit and a jacket and  they need to be finished before the 13th of July. I am not allowed by my husband and son to try and make the jacket before the deadline. Probably has something to do with my unlady like behavior when I was working on my own jacket.

And because I am this corny and this big of a Queen fan:

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Porpentina Goldstein's Grey Coat from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

One of my sons friends deciced she wanted to do a (Porpen)Tina Goldstein cosplay and asked me for help.

I was only happy to oblige but soon found out that unlike Newt and Doctor Strange there is no Tina cosplay pattern available. So I started to search for a pattern that without too much work could be modified to make a Tina coat. We choose Burda style 6462:

It turned out to be quite a gamble as I had never used a Burda pattern before and hadn't realized that the pattern description was quite different from what I am used to. This actually turned out to be my biggest problem, maybe that is not a smart thing to says as the project is not finished yet. We turned the single row of buttons in a double row by adding 7 cm to the front piece. The other modifications to the pattern were adding flaps to the pockets, turned up cuffs to the sleeves and changing the shape of the collar.

Although pictures like these  are very helpfull I prefer photographs of the actual costume. You can find some here:

same blog but a blog post of a different date.

Here you can see some great details of the collar.

Great view of the shape of the pockets, pocket flaps 
and turned up cuffs.

And with some work this turned into, this:

Collar is done, sleeves are ready to be sewn on.

This is our progress so far. I let the my son and his friend to most of the work. Copying the pattern on to pattern paper, cutting the fabric and sewing the long and easier seams both the collar and sleeves are my work. Although my son is has some experience he still has a lot to learn and although his friend is a quick learner she is a novice. So due to time concerns I'll be doing most of the stuff from now on. Currently I am fighting with the sleevils !

The rest of the costume will be store bought. We found some very nice things that will look great at H&M. We are lucky that this classical look is currently in fashion. She got my husband to make her a wand, so this cosplay truly will be a joint effort. 

Wednesday 6 March 2019

A post on UFO's, alterations and repairs.

Hello Everyone, I haven't been bloggin for a while. That doesn't mean I haven't been sewing but I have been busy doing some costume maintance (repairs, alterations etc.) aka the boring stuff! Also I've been trying to reduce my UFO Pile also known as costume time-out pile. I have this bad habit of losing interest when a project takes too long or when I didn't make the deadline (event) for it. To prevent the UFO pile from becoming a hill I start each year with finishing/altering/repairing at least one costume.

Rescued from the UFO pile:

Past Patterns #113, 1899-1900 spectator jacket

Beige canvas jacket (made from our old Ektorp Ikea couch cover) based upon Past Patterns #113, 1899-1900 spectator jacket. I modified the pattern, didn't really know what I was doing and didn't write down the changes that I made. So I guess it's save to say that the problems I encountered where all my own fault. Overall I am happy with the result, although I wouldn't recommend using this thick quality canvas for clothing. To be honest I can't even remember when I started this project! I started working on it because we where thinking of doing a steampunk event. I got stuck at the sleeves and found out that I was not cut out to do steampunk. As I wanted to stay authentic, I couldn't come up with any original idea and I was afraid to end up with a "let's glue some gears on it and call it steampunk" costume. So the whole idea and the jacket got abonded.

Repairs/alterations (the boring stuff):

I have several chemisettes and pairs of undersleeves but I have to admit I am not a big fan of wearing them. So I sometimes sew the collar and cuffs to the bodice. This set I now also have tacked to the outside of the bodice to keep them in place. I don't know if it was done like this in the victorian era but I think it is a very practical short cut.

Same style bodice, different kind of job. Repairing a boning that is poking out. I once bought a synthetic fiber boning casing as it was all I could get in time. It's stretchy, hard to work with and the boning is poking through it. I don't think I am buying this stuff ever again 

There is this one project I am working on, but I am not doing it alone and it's not for me. Last year I helped one of my sons friends make a Doctor Strange costume. This time I am helping another of his friends make Porpetina's Goldsteins grey coat from the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. My son already has a Newt Scamander costume and now they want to Dutch Comic Con together as Newt and Tina. More on this project in the next blog post.