Thursday, June 23, 2011

History is Alive in 2011

It's been a weekend ago now, and I have yet to put up my photos from History Alive. For those not in the know History alive is a Queensland Living History Foundation run event that encompasses all periods of re-enactment across Queensland and is provided by the re-enactors. As one myself, I camp out for the weekend in full style. My group, RIFF, covers a wide range of eras. This time, we decided to again go as Regency gentry and set our encampment up as a picnic.

We headed out Friday afternoon to set ourselves up, so that come Saturday morning, we would be ready to open our day with a full regency breakfast.
My parents also came out with my Aunt and Uncle for the day to see the sights and enjoy the shows. I handed over my camera to my dad and told him to take some photos for me. So you can get a good idea of what is on offer.
The main display that we run at the moment is on the Saturday afternoon, we hold a tiffen (tea) for the ladies, gentlemen and officers of the other re-enactors in our period. It is always a smashing success and wide have a great variety of food, all historical of course. Macarons, a pineapple, cupcakes, chocolate cake, scones, ginger cookies...
There were only four of us ladies on the Sunday with our two boy helpers. But we still managed to have a nice time. It had rained overnight, so everything was a little damp in the morning, but the brisk wind and a smidge of sunshine dried all our tents and shelters out nicely.
It also proved the event for me to use the new table that my father made for me. It is based off an actual historical table that we found on an auction site. I love how it turned out an am extremely proud of my dad for putting it together for me (it was my Christmas present from him). We stained it a lovely dark mahogany colour which has come up as a deep reddish tone. I also made a tablecloth for it as I was loath for it to be ruined by anything - plates, hot teapots, cutlery.
Thankfully, I re-wore a lot of my costumes for the event. The only new garment that I had for myself was a pelisse. And I am supremely happy that I managed to get it completed on time. It was very cold and windy out on site for the weekend, and many of my regency costumes are made for warm Australian weather, so not really up to the chill. My pelisse is made of a deep purple faux cashmere and lined in blue flannel. It stops the wind and is very warm and cosy. It also has a hood (I managed to find a fashion plate that had a hood). The other thing that I whipped up was a muff. It is made of fake fur, lined with flannel and the bottom half is stitched up to act as a bit of a pocket. I really kept me warm for the weekend. The the hem of my white muslin dress in not so white any more - deep in mud. I am planning to dye it a different colour to hide the dirt that didn't bleach out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cigarette Girl

For a change, I only have the one event on last weekend, I attend the Birthday Party of a Lolita friend. The theme for the evening was "Naughty by Nice". Now, I am not the sort of person who you would really put in any sort of costume that was Naughty but Nice, and I certainly would not feel comfortable in some skimpy outfit. For a start, I just don't have the legs for it. So, I really struggled with what sort of costume would be appropriate for me to wear along. I tossed around a couple of ideas, but ended up coming back to a Vintage ensemble. In particular, a cigarette girl from the 1940s. Granted I didn't have the cigarettes as I am against the horrid things, but I did have the candy.

It was essentially a very quick ensemble to pull together. I already had the corset from my Sister of the Dark costume earlier this year. The only components of my costume that were missing was the skirt, hairpiece and candy tray. The skirt I put together from a vintage pattern using black cotton sateen. The hairpiece is a small base with velvet leaves and flours stitched on, and the candy tray was the box from one of my dolls that I arrived from Japan not long ago. I simply glued it up, painted it black and attacked it with the hot glue gun for decoration. It has a lovely ribbon strap and fabric covered foam to hold the lolipops in place, along with two plastic trays for loose candy and an open section for the rest.

Add in the victory rolls, curled hair, seamed stockings, platform shoes, gloves and makeup and there you have it. My version of a cigarette girl.