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2009 Plans

Even though Dickens Fair is about to suck my life’s blood until Christmas, I’m starting to think about 2009 sewing — and I’m strangely unsure what I’m going to do! Do I want to rush to make a Tudor dress for the GBACG Tudor Family Reunion in late February? (Well, yes, I want a Tudor dress, but do I want to commit to a huge project in two months? Not sure). I know I want to make my 1660s Nell Gwyn dress (but the cost of the fabric is making me drag my feet), and a soon-to-be-unveiled plan for a really rocking late 18th c. dress — both of those for Costume College.

Really, if I’m going to noodle on something, I should pick back up one of my in-progress costumes (particularly my Edwardian suit), but it’s hard to want to work on those with no specific place to wear them coming up. I could be ridiculously practical and work on my Gatsby dress, so I’m ready with months to go and actually GO to the event this year… Hmmm! It’s not like I don’t have a huge list of plans for costumes I want to make. Really, I should go look at the stash and see what I can make without buying more fabric.


Getting Organized – I’m Back!

I swear it – I’m back! I’m organized! I’m sewing! I have plans and accomplishments to report! First, I was getting depressed reading everyone’s lengthy lists of what-I-accomplished-in-2007, but then realized I wasn’t a total slacker ALL year (just the last few months – performing at a billion faires sucked all my energy). I made:

  • Recovered my 18th c. stays
  • 1860s Meg March dress
  • 1780s gaulle à la Polignac
  • 1870-71 evening gown
  • 1540s Florentine gown
  • 1850s lower class ensemble (Bet’s Dickens Fair costume)
  • This year’s costuming priorities are:

  • Secret Costume Con historical masquerade entry
  • 1760s mourning robe à la française for the GBACG exhibit at Costume Con (and will be posting an update about this today).
  • 1560s Venetian gown – finally found fabric for this! Yay, as Caterina sorely needs a new dress after wearing the same one for three years. Haven’t decided on a design yet, though.
  • After that, it’ll probably be the 1909 suit and a Tudor dress, but I’m not committing to anything.

    In site housekeeping news, I’ve added the Bet costume to the Victorian gallery, and finally gotten off my butt and added an RSS feed to the main page. Boring info for RSS people — that link should work if you are logged into your news reader, or using Explorer/Safari, but it won’t work if you’re in Firefox AND not logged in to your newsreader. You can also just copy & paste that link into your news reader. Because each project page is technically a separate blog, you’ll get the posts made to the main page, with the read more links to the full project posts. Let me know if you find any problems with the RSS feed.

    Costume College, planning

    Costume College Thoughts

    Got my limited class confirmations — I’m in Sarah’s French hood class, and the burn testing fabrics classes — yay! Got both of the ones I wanted. I’ve so scaled back on limiteds — I’ve found that I don’t really enjoy making things at College, and signing up for a limited commits your time. I’d rather be free to run around to whichever classes suit my fancy — plus the all important socializing!

    I’m starting to think about my classes. I want to tweak the 18th c. overview class. In the past, I’ve done it very chronologically, but I’m thinking it might work better to show the basic elements and how those changed over time (ie sleeves, for example). Not sure if that’ll be more or less confusing! And I need to figure out how to work the models for the hair & makeup class (thanks to those who’ve volunteered, I’ll be contacting you soon!).

    And then there’s the all important what to wear question! I’m thinking about something for Thurs. night, Fri. night, Sat. night gala, and Sun. tea — although crikey, that’s four costumes! Definitely the Daniel Deronda dress for the Sun. tea. The Gala dress could be either the Florentine or Lady Maud dresses — depends on which one turns out more fabulous. I don’t think I have time or money to get more done than the Florentine and Daniel Deronda dresses by August… So that means I need 2 more costumes. I love the bonnet on my Meg dress, but I don’t really want to deal with a hoopskirt so that one may be out — or I could wear it over my crinoline instead? Hmm, that’s only three costumes. Maybe I’ll make an evening bodice for the Daniel Deronda dress, and so get more wear out of that?

    planning, research, shopping

    Random Ramblings

    Whitaker Auctions is starting to post photos from the upcoming Tasha Tudor auction and WOW is there some great stuff! I am particularly in love with this later 1860s dress (you know how there are eras you think you’ll never get into, and then suddenly you go OHMYGODIMUSTHAVEIT!? Well, I am having that lately about late 1860s. Weird. When I have enough money, I’m going to make an elliptical hoop and then…). There will be more pictures (hopefully soon!), and as I posted previously they will be publishing a catalog (yay!).

    In other random news:

    I’ve found THE PERFECT FABRIC for an 18th century stripey francaise, and another PERFECT FABRIC for a stripey pet-en-l’air — only to realize that we are flat broke and there’s no way I can afford to spend $150 on fabric. Sob.

    So I am thinking about what I can make out of my stash — most obvious is the 10 yards of black silk duchesse satin that I scored last year from Trim Fabrics. I am thinking about a natural form evening gown, and am poring through tons of images trying to find something that I want to make. The question is whether to go all black with black beaded trim, or to use this gorgeous antique purple brocade that I got at Lacis a few months back (but is in lots of little pieces, so can only be used as an accent). I can’t decide!

    I did, however, find the perfect fabric — a super sheer silk/cotton voile, which goes perfectly with the vintage accent fabric I had in my stash – for The Come Hell or High Water, I’m Going to Have a New Dress for Gatsby if it Kills Me Dress! at Stone Mountain. Purchased, thank god, before I realized how broke I was.

    And I am woefully behind on movie reviews. As a note to myself, I need to write reviews for: The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton, The Painted Veil, and The Ruby in the Smoke. And I really need to find time to watch: the new BBC Dracula, new ITV Mansfield Park (still trying to find Persuasion and Northanger Abbey), Amazing Grace, and Miss Potter. Shocking!

    Costume College, planning

    Costume Depression

    Agh! I simply CANNOT find anything I like to make for the Costume College gala/GBACG guillotine picnic! Yes yes, I have a few 18th century options so it’s not like I’d be naked at the picnic. The real focus is having something fabulous to wear to the gala, but I literally can’t find ANYTHING that’s making my toes curl. I’m pretty settled on 18th century (last night I went through my image files on all other eras that I like, and they BORED [gasp!] me!). What I really need is to find a portrait that I really love and want to reproduce (but they’re all white, blue, pink, and yellow — zzzzzzzz) or some fabric (STRIPES??!!) that knocks my socks off (but so far, no go). Sob. Is this the end??!! And I’ve actually been working on my Meg dress, but my husband went off for four days with the camera, so I have no proof!

    This post brought to you by Whine(TM).

    Costume College, planning

    Because I’m Just Not Going to Get Anything done Until I Decide…

    What to make for the Costume College gala (and probably the GBACG Guillotine Picnic)? Some kind of stripey 1760s/70s pet-en-l’air (too similar to what I wore last year?), one of these 1772 robes a l’anglaise (pretending that the greenish cast to the blue dress makes it green, or the orange [is orange too close to the peach I used for my francaise?]), or this 1790 stripey redingote/anglaise ensemble (might have some red/white left over from my candy cane dress, but is it too boring to make another ensemble in that fabric?). CADD strikes again! Must decide! Mind consumed with thoughts of ruching and big hair!