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GBACG, planning

La la la…

Okay, so I got distracted and busy over the weekend, but I am so getting back to my Little Women dress tonight! Saturday Sarah and I geeked out watching Marie Antoinette, and my thoughts are filled with making SOME kind of exciting 18th century fabulousness for the Costume College gala. But I’m being hampered by my desire to reproduce some sort of period portrait (I want the challenge of doing hair/accessories/etc.), and needing to get over my aversion to blue and pink (everything is blue, white, and pink! aaaaaa!). Could I handle a white with groupings of narrow pink stripes? Would I look like a total dork? Is there a reason most of my costume wardrobe is green and burgundy (yes)? I’m also thinking about making one of the dresses from Marie Antoinette, but most of them are either in a color I don’t like or have something inaccurate enough about them to stop me…

Sunday was Costume Academy — I taught a class on bustle era hairstyles, which included a demo that went very well! And I took a class on working with feathers, and successfully was able to curl an ostrich feather, which made me unnecessarily happy.

In the meantime, I was randomly inspired to take a photo of my 18th century pocket, made years ago when I was in the mood for some embroidery. More interesting updates soon!

events, GBACG, planning

Planny McPlannersons!

GBACG has announced our list of events for next year in the latest issue of our newsletter, although most of the info isn’t on the web yet. Of course, being on the board gives me the inside scoop, which has helped me plan my projects for next year. Here’s what I’m thinking:

Open House – 1/28 – of course! I’ll wear whatever is itching to be worn and doesn’t take up much room.
Queen Elizabeth I & the Pirate – 2/24 – I am so going to this fancy shmancy Elizabethan banquet (at the same location we did Lord of the Rings last year). Bella Donna may perform a few songs. I’ll wear my courtesan dress, of course.
GBACG Goes to the Gaskell Ball – 4/21 – I’m organizing this as have for the past 2 years, so I’d better go! Our theme is Victorian fantasy (fairies etc.). Not sure what I’ll wear — probably add wings and my butterfly mask to one of my bustle evening dresses?
Little Women picnic – 5/20 – again, I’m in charge so I’d better be there! I’ll be going as Meg (I get to be the girlie one!) and I’ve been on the hunt for the right fabric for MONTHS. Apparently it IS really hard to find a sheer cotton lawn or voile with a white ground and small lavender flowers – who knew? Grr.
Hogwarts End-of-Term Celebration – 6/23 – unless I’m randomly in Europe at the time, how can I miss a Harry Potter party? I’ll probably be going as Professor Trelawney, unless Bellatrix Lestrange’s costume is so good that I get a strong yen to throw something together. Trelawney rocks, because she has hilarious hair.
Surviving the Guillotine: A French Revolution Picnic – 7/14 – again, I’m organizing this. I’ll probably wear my anglaise or my polonaise, unless I miraculously become a faster costumer.
Bustles and Baseball – Aug. (date TBD) – although this sounds fun (going to a vintage revival 1880s baseball game), I doubt I’ll have time to make anything for it, and I don’t have anything 1880s in my closet. Boo.
Gatsby picnic – 9/9 – I’m so there (pink drinks! yay!) and I’m going to have something new this year, come hell or high water!
Walk/picnic at Cypress Lawn cemetary – 10/13 – totally depends on my mood whether I go. Costume era is 1850-1942, so that’s easy.
GBACG Goes to Dickens Fair – 12/8 – of course!
Edwardian tea – 2/9/08 – I am SO there, and so will my stripey 1908 suit.

So that means the docket is, in order of how I’m planning to tackle them:
1. Gwendolen’s 1874ish day dress – so I have something fabulous to wear to the Costume College gala!
2. Meg March’s 1860ish day dress – design contingent upon finding the right fabric.
3. 1924 day dress for Gatsby – made on my newly acquired vintage 1924 Singer (how can I not?)
4. 1909 suit

I’m sure other projects will sneak in there, of course.

FYI, I’m slowly integrating a new form of commenting on the site – those who’ve commented on recent projects have seen the new format (hosted by Blogger). If you have a Blogger account, you can sign in — otherwise choose Anonymous and you can put in your name and website/livejournal (if you want to). Let me know if you have any problems with it. This means that comments posted previously on main page posts are gone, but hopefully those discussions have ended already. This sucks, but there’s no other option.


Getting Organized

I know it’s boring, but it’s been driving me crazy. The fabric bins were starting to overflow, projects were getting shoved randomly into shovable corners, it wasn’t pretty in there. Earlier this week I cleaned the bedroom (also the sewing room), last night I got organized (mentally and physically).

It’s really been bugging me to have all these half-finished projects, so I really need to start buckling down and completing at least the ones for which I have fabric. Nothing terribly exciting to report, just that I’ve decided to work in this order:

  1. 1780s jacket to wear with ivory petticoat, stripey capote. No more only sewing on BART (although I did finally get coordinating thread and did start sewing this morning on the train!). Just get this one done. 7/15/06 deadline — to wear at the first Lumieres event.
  2. 1910 evening dress over existing undies. 8/4/06 deadline — to wear at the Costume College gala (and misc. balls afterwards).
  3. The Paris dress: 1770s caraco and petticoat over existing undies. 8/20/06 — to wear at the GBACG Let Them Drink Wine event.
  4. 1909 suit, including new fancy embroidered/trimmed undies (specifically, corset cover and petticoat; maybe drawers); make coordinating 1909-10 hat and recover vintage parasol. No deadline — just because I need to finish what I’ve started.

In between all of this, I want to make some modern clothes (esp. a bunch of versions of my favorite below-knee-length A line skirt that I already have patterned), and a repro 1940s princess line coat that is in the beginning stages of assembly (but has been moldering in my closet for about 6 months).

Next year:

  • All I know for sure is I need a sheer 1860-65ish summer dress for a Little Women event I’m thinking about for GBACG, plus I need to finish the coordinating bonnet
  • I have 10 years of black silk duchess satin that needs to be made into something (I’m thinking severe yet smashing 1880s afternoon dress with black beaded appliques adapted from a vintage bodice I got on ebay)
  • And I have this 1890s evening gown all fully mocked up and patterned, but realized I didn’t want to make it out of poly satin… so it’s filed in the back of my mind as waiting for the right fabric

Help Me Focus

AAAAA! Okay. Costume ADD here. So I’ve finished all of the things that I HAD to get done. I’ve got a few things I WANT to get done. But mostly, I’m kind of at loose ends right now. Here’s my thoughts — any opinions?

I definitely want to make the evening bodice to my 1875 candy cane dress to wear to the Dec. Gaskell ball — that’s about 2.5 months away.

In the meantime, do I:
A) Enjoy putting my feet up, watch a lot of costume movies, and leave myself free to start on 2006 projects early?
B) Make the Truly Victorian Talma Wrap to wear to Dickens Fair (will it ever be cold enough? Yes, I’m in California) because it’s smart and I never seem to get beyond dresses to things like outerwear. It would be nice to start building wardrobes, but annoying to make it only to sweat to death. Of course, then I could wear it to the Gaskell ball (for all of 5 min. coming and going).
C) Break out the cream and green striped poplin that’s been staring at me with it’s evil unblinking eye for the past week, asking to become a late 1830s/early 1840s day dress for Dickens? Although I already have at least three options that can be worn to Dickens — the candy cane nightmare, the print 1830s day dress, and the green plaid/fringed 1850s day dress.

Note: the 1780s jacket will still be happening — that’s my public transit only project.

Crikey. Let’s not even get into next year’s projects — there are a bunch of GBACG events coming next year for which I don’t have outfits, but for which I’m not at all excited about sewing.


New Year’s Costuming Wrap Up and Resolutions

An excellent idea from Teresa!

What I accomplished in 2004:

1830s day dress and pelerine (finished from 2003)

1760s robe a la francaise (finished from 2003)

1909 afternoon dress and 1910s corset

1780s robe a l’anglaise and 1780s capote

1560s Nuremberg dress (NOT finished)

1875 afternoon gown

– went to four balls, one ice skating, one picnic, one film festival, one baseball game, two fairs, one tea, and two conventions

– met dozens of fabulous online and in-person costuming friends!

2005 PLANS


1890s brocade evening gown

1911 wings of the dove outfit

Lord of the Rings dress

1796 gown

Not so definite:

– evening bodice for my 1875 dress

– satin and velvet 1880s day dress

– finish my 1560s Nuremberg outfit

– something else from the 18th c.

aaaand, events:

– Lots of GBACG events and local balls

– Either Costume Con or Costume College (not sure which!)


costume in cinema, planning

New Movie Reviews/Random Chit Chat

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I got absolutely no costume sewing done, although I did work on an appliqued skirt to wear to a dinner party Friday night — which I am proud to say I sewed myself into (no time to put in a zipper)! Photos soon.

I did get to see Finding Neverland, so I’ve added a review to my Edwardian costume movies page, plus I’ve added a review of Swing Kids to the 20th c. costume movies page (thanks to those who’ve poked me to review it).

Random thoughts: how many of you get mental costuming fever like I do? I’ll see a movie, pick up a pattern, or just start thinking, and suddenly I HAVE to have something. Late last week, it was a late 1900s suit; then I saw Finding Neverland and really wanted an Edwardian lingerie blouse; then I found a cheap copy of the Past Patterns 1920s step-in combinations and suddenly was lusting for 1920s undies. I’m terrible — I get this costume lust and suddenly am off buying patterns, looking at online fabric shops, scouring ebay… I swear, if it weren’t for online shopping, I’d be a lot richer! It’s hard, because I’m terribly excited about my current and sensibly planned future projects, but then I get totally (mentally) sidetracked into something totally different. Is there a cure? Do I even want one?