Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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In Progress: Late 16th Century Doublet

Every once in awhile I go meandering off into other centuries.  My love of costuming started with Elizabethan, and it is still a period I adore, though I seldom costume for it anymore (a pity, really).  Of course, with Valhalla Renaissance Festival coming up, uh, next weekend, I realized I've been wearing the same thing for three years.  I mean, I do *love* my red jacket, but isn't it time for something new?
Sketching out some ideas
So this meant, of course, started a new project just before moving house, and making something that looks rather similar to the jacket its meant to be replacing.  Ah, whatever - it's an entirely stash-made project, and when I find decently-priced velvet ribbon I will trim to noodles out of this doublet, but for now, here's what's going on...

A more pinned-down idea
The pattern is a mash-up of several Janet Arnold Patterns of Fashion: The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women, C.1560-1620 examples, and the women's doublet bodice from The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing Sixteenth-Century Dress.
Janet Arnold doublet bodice, from "Patterns of Fashion" 
Doublet bodice from "The Tudor Tailor," which fit my measurements with just a small reduction in the bust
The fabric is a mystery "wool" -ish, probably acrylic, red and black stripe.  I've interlined with cotton osnaburg, and lined with muslin.

The sleeves will be black velveteen, just plain shaped sleeves, though I'm temped to do some slashing or...something.  The hanging sleeves, if I make it that far, will be lined in pinked taffeta, cannibalized from a soon-to-be-replaced ivory 18th century petticoat.

Hanging sleeves - these are late, 1610-20, but I love the style, and the pinked silk peeking out from inside.  I tend to go for late styles anyway, and I'm not bothered by it, when half the Faire is wearing 18th century.
There is some lightweight boning in the bodice, and also used to stiffen to rather large wings.  I also plan to do some pad-stitching on the peplums, as they're a bit floppy.  This in-progress picture is lacking the collar, but otherwise the most basic bodice wearable (yay!)

Getting there - I have a blue kirtle and this yellow skirt to wear with it, though I would much prefer a black silk skirt at some point.
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Friday, May 24, 2013


1790s Musings and Inspirations

I'm back to square one with what to wear to Maggie's wedding in October.  (Nevermind my own wedding, I've got that one figured out, haha)  My ORANGE! sari dress, so now I'm bimbling around back where I'm more comfortable - the 1790s.

Is it totally wrong to wear a dark color to a Regency wedding?  I'm too old for typical Regency white (not my style anyway), and have been partial to black, olive green, purple, and chocolate brown lately.  Silk velvet has my attention, too...

Bah, I can't even sew right now! (buried sewing machine, new sewing room in utter chaos, flying monkeys stole my scissors...)  .... but here's some inspo...

chemise a plis (chemise with pleats) - November 1792 Journal des Luxus und der Moden
Mme Jean-François Heurtier, née Marie-Victoire Jobbé, vers 1790
Dress, Britain, 1795-1800. National Museums of Scotland.
Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey by Thomas Beach (auctioned by Sotheby's)
Vigee-Lebrun self-portrait
Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin 1792
Antoine Vestier, Portrait of Mademoiselle Rouillé, three-quarter-length, at the pianoforte
1794 James Earl (American artist, 1761-1796) Mrs. John Rogers (Elizabeth Rodman)
Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun. Marie-Louise of Bourbon-Sicily. 1790.
Undated (but probably 1792) by Ann Frankland Lewis
I happily already have a pattern for a chemise style 1790s gown, something I fiddled with last Fall, with a mockup made out of the-worst-poly-taffeta-ever.  I've been meaning to make it up for real-real in something lovely...perhaps this shall be it!
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Monday, May 20, 2013

New Historical Shoes Coming Soon from American Duchess

As I dig out from under the *piles* of boxes, here are some new shoes to entice you...

Tissot Civil War Shoes Victorian Shoes
"Tissot" 1860-1880 - great for Civil War, Natural Form, and Bustle Eras.  This is a dyeable satin pump made directly from an original.  Easily dyeable and customizable with the new fabric dye kits we're putting together (coming soon).  "Tissot" is coming up for pre-order in June, 2013

American Duchess Pompadour 18th Century Court Shoes
The new "Pompadour" in ivory damask, with an ivory leather heel, leather sole, and characteristic white rand.  We'll be doing a "re-pre-order" for "Pompadour" this summer, 2013

Claremont 1930s oxford shoes
"Claremont" 1930s suede oxfords in black or chocolate brown, with matching patent leather detailing, and leather soles.  These are great for historical wear, as well as modern stylings - they'll be snazz for Fall, so we'll be doing a pre-order for "Claremont" in July, 2013

Abigail Adams American Duchess Regency Slipper
"Abigail" Regency Slippers, the first of our "Signature Collection," of famous women's shoes.  Designed from Abigail Adams' slippers in the Smithsonian, these all-leather beauties are historically accurate for 1790-1815, but also happen to look awesome with jeans.

Don't worry, patient ladies, I'm still working on Regency boots, 18th century mules, Elizabethan shoes, new buckles, spats, and stockings, and other delicious things. :-)
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Bastille Day Picnic Inspiration

Portrait of Madame Emilie Seriziat and her Son, 1795
I've been MIA lately due to moving, yay!  But also nay! because all of my sewing stuff is in complete disarray.  Still, there's always time for pretty pictures, right?

This Bastille Day (July 14), our local costume group is having a picnic in our Nevada-does-French-countryside park, Rancho San Rafael.  The theme is mixed - 18th century and/or Alice in Wonderland, or any wacko combo thereof.

I'm planning to wear my Indienne Robe a l'Anglaise, but here are some other nommy pieces that would be perfect for the occasion too (and yes, I am fighting the urge to make a chemise a la reine):

A sunny polonaise - met, 1780-85
A cotton or linen floral Robe a l'Anglaise. Met, 1775
Met, 1785-95
KCI 1785
A jacket and skirt - matching....or not
A fancy Robe a la Francaise - KCI 1760 - though this is much earlier than the years of the French Revolution,  we're not putting any restrictions on costumes for the picnic.  Anything "18th century" goes
A cotton transitional gown, made 1790, altered 1795, LACMA
A candy-stripe zone-front Robe a l'Anglaise. Met, 1785-87
Now some gowns from the 'Petit Trianon' segment of Marie Antoinette , because...pretttty:

Via Costumer's Guide
Via Costumer's Guide
Via Costumer's Guide
Via Costumer's Guide
Via Costumer's Guide
See more 'Marie Antoinette' inspiration at Costumer's Guide to Movie Costumes.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

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Our "Great Gatsby" Movie Meet-Up Party

So who went to see "The Great Gatsby" last night?!

Our local costume club, Great Basin Costume Society, got together to watch the movie and enjoy some dessert afterward at a local swanky hotspot, The Chocolate Bar.  I didn't take many photos, but here are a few snaps:

Just us girls - there were gentlemen there too, I swear! They looked dapper :-)
The first shoe circle photo I have ever taken.
Liz in an original beaded frock
Liza in an original beaded gown she found at a local thrift store for, like, $30!!
My mumsies and dadsies
My dad and me

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

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"The Great Gatsby" 1920s Extravaganza (and SALE!)

Oh my goodness, Gatsby.  Our little costuming club is dressing up for tomorrow's opening night, and I can't wait to sport my Unique Vintage beaded gown and black/gold sparkly 23Skidoos.  I don't really even care if the movie is a flop, lol, it's going to be so much fun!

In the spirit of Jazz Age party madness, how about a sale?  All weekend long, get 10% off our 1920s shoes - 23Skidoo, Astoria, and Gibson - and shoe painting kits too, with coupon code JGtsB21  (clever, eh? see what I did there? haha) - Go Shop!

Click me, baby, one more time...
Now here are some snazzy images from the movie (squee!):

One of many trailers to get you excited...

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

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Tavistock Button Boots Steampunk Photoshoot at the Sparks Museum

It's been *ages* since Chris, Angie, and I did this Victorian / Steampunk photo shoot for Tavistock, featuring the "Green Acres" gown, and, of course, our new black button boots.  I've been aching to share the pictures with you, and indeed you've probably seen banners and whatnot on Facebook and the website, but just in case you missed the festivities, here are some more...

One of two banners for the website (my favorite one) and a good view of Angie in The Dress
Thought the Green Acres dress is historical, we went with a distinctly Steampunk theme for this shoot, with some excellent accessories from couple Etsy sellers (see below), and, of course, the beautiful V&T train in Victorian Square, Sparks, NV.
My favorite shot of the day - Steampunk in the engine room of the antique locomotive
That "Watch Your Step" stenciled text was serendipity

Model: Angelica Diaz
Photography: Chris Stowell
Dress: Lauren (that's me!)
Shoes: "Tavistock" by American Duchess
Hat: MsPurdy on Etsy
Necklace: Arthlin on Etsy
Shot on Location on Victorian Square, Sparks, NV

Now for some fresh-squeezed news: "Tavistock" is now available to Pre-Order in dyeable Ivory!  This is a LIMITED PRE-ORDER - I've already ordered these boots, they'll be here at the end of May, and the stock numbers are set, so if you want to get in on these, place your order now (you also get a nice discount for being so cool).  Last time, we ran out of black Tavistocks in many sizes before they even arrived! Click Here

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