Thursday, May 5, 2011

A crinoline outing...

Sunday. What we like to call the day of rest. For a costumer, not so much. It is the day of last minute sewing projects and events. I am just glad that Monday was a public holiday - I needed the rest.

But what it all boils down to, is that on Sunday I attended the Redland Heritage Festival with both the Australian Costumers' Guild and the Kaleidoscope Dancers. First up off the mark was the performance for the Australian Costumer's Guild. We did a reverse strip. For those not in the know, this is wear (as a costumer) we start in out undergarments and put on each layer. It is a bit of an education as a lot of people just don't know what goes on underneath all out skirts to get the shapes. It tends to be pretty popular and we seem to do at least one per year. For this, I wore my gold Natural Form bustle ensemble.
After our little performance, I changed into my brand new crinoline set. I need to be in crinoline as this was the chosen theme for my dance group. Last December, I had made an evening ensemble with some lovely purple/yellow/teal tartan silk. So, to get some use out of it all, I decided to whip up a day bodice that I could wear with my skirt. I dug around in my stash for the purple velvet I had bought some time ago and got cracking on drafting up a bodice pattern. I used the Truly Victorian pagoda sleeve bodice pattern as my base and just started adjusting. I wanted a built in skirt from the bodice that was a bit fuller than my crinoline and fitted sleeves instead of bell sleeves. I ended up being a little bit limited on the amount of skirt I could build into the bodice. This was just because of the width of my fabric, and I probably didn't have quite enough to successfully be doing what was in my mind. In the end, I folded back my pattern so that there would be an v opening at the centre front. It works though, because it shows off a bit more of the skirt..

I went very simple with the construction, just flat lining everything. I tend to go this way with Victorian as it allows me to either let out the bodice or take it in if my body decides to change shape. To finish it off, I bound the hem, neckline and sleeves with a bias cut of the tartan silk. I was originally tossing up doing fur trimming, but thought that it might be too much. I'm glad I went with the silk though, it really carries the colour through the outfit. Next on the list though is a new corset. My current one is worn to the point that bones are poking out, I have busted one of the seams and the lacing is worn from being pulled. It's not very comfortable. I did have every intention of getting it done for last weekend, but 3 days of lying on the couch with a cold kind of set that back.
At any rate, I had a lovely but exhausting day. My bodice was finished in time and wearable, and I finally got to wear one of my mantillas in my hair. I have a couple of them but just don't have the appropriate gowns to wear with them. We had a lovely picnic on the grounds, did a bit of dancing and finished the day off with a quick look at the heritage museum. All in all, quite successful.

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