Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What's on my plate

Gosh, it has been a long darn time since I did any sort of update that didn’t involve my attendance at an event. It’s been quite quiet for me costume-wise this month. Which is a good thing really, because I believe I just about burnt myself out at the beginning of the year. With all the time available to sew, I did, and it has taken me quite some time to get back into the correct balance of work / relax / costuming. At any rate, I have enjoyed the last few free weekends and have tried to make use of my time whipping up some regular work clothing and getting ahead on my next projects.

In terms of my work clothing, I drafted up a couple of skirt patterns recently. I have a plethora of t-shirts (mainly from tee-fury) in my wardrobe and the fact that I have a lot of dresses, means I just don’t wear them. Coming into summer, the heat has already begun and a t-skirt and skirt is quite a cool option for the day. My favourite of the patterns is a 6 gore flared skirt that I have made two skirt from – a Tinkerbell skirt, and a Van Gough Starry Starry Night skirt. I even added some wonderful pockets in the front so that I have somewhere to stash my phone. The second pattern – a wrap skirt. I whipped it up in red butterfly cotton and a circus print cotton. My mum loved the style so much that she asked me to draft up a pattern in her size as well, and she already has two skirts made up. A success on all fronts. And I have more fabric just waiting to be made into skirts. The best thing, they are really quick to make and only take a couple of hours to complete.

But I know that most of my followers are more interested in the costuming side of things. And the remainder of the year isn’t set to ease up too much for me. So, what’s coming up:

Supanova November 8 – 10
This year, Supanova have scored a few Game of Thrones actors for Brisbane, so my brother and I have decided to go with it and dress up. I am making him a Lord Varys costume and myself a Margaery Tyrell costume. I also have plans to fix up my Sansa costume to wear.
Costumes – Sansa Stark, Margaery Tyrell, potentially Ariel (have yet to decide 100%)

Queensland Museum Exhibition – Treasures from Afghanistan November 24
1920s. The ACG are making another trip to the thankfully air-conditioned museum. I would love to make a new 1920s dress from a piece of fabric in my stash (silk cotton), but if time runs out, I will simply re-wear.

RIFF Christmas Party November 30
At this stage, it looks like another Ancients event for my re-enactment group. I’m planning to drag out the Minoan outfit. After all the work I put into making the thing, I want to wear it again.

ACG Christmas Party December 8
Tis the season. This one is an open theme event (I like to keep our Christmas parties simple), so I have yet to decide what I will wear. Something not too stifling though, because if it is hot now, it’s going to be worse then.

Proclamation Day December 10
Each year, the ACG attend the celebration of the date when Queensland became our own state in 1850s attire. This year is set to be no different. So the crinoline will come out again.

New Year’s Eve December 31
This year, I am again heading to Dracula’s with a few friends, and I want to vamp it up again for the evening. Of course, this will require something new and dazzling.

And that about rounds out my year. It’s not too busy, yet I do have a couple of project in there that I need to complete. I’m planning for success!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Some Like It Hot

It was quite a change, but lovely none-the-less to have a weekend almost all off from costuming. I’ve been feeling a little burnt out lately and needed to recharge my batteries, so the last couple of weekends, I have stayed home. It’s been great for productivity and I am making some good progress on my costumes for Supanova coming up in early November.

But more about that later. I decided a Saturday evening out would not be too much work, and organised a trip with a couple of friends to Cineretro. They are a film society who screen original reels of film on a monthly basis. This one was their 10th anniversary and they were showing the Marilyn Monroe film Some Like It Hot.
If you haven’t seen it before, I highly recommend it. The movie was considered quite racy for its time. The main reason is that it involves full male cross-dressing. But what do you expect when it was filmed in the 1950s. The movie was originally supposed to be filmed in colour, but the thick makeup that the men needed to wear to become women turned their skin greenish, so they turned to black and white. At any rate it’s a great movie, just don’t look at it for any sort of historical accuracy in terms of costumes. It is supposed to be set in the 1920s but everything from zips to figure hugging fashion is present. I tell you know, just look past it and enjoy the film for what it is – a bit of fun.
The event is held at the Old Brisbane Museum on Gregory Terrace. I have always driven past but never been inside. The site was originally built in the 1890s as part of the Royal Show Grounds and was used as a museum, to host social balls and events and theatre productions. It would have been wonderful to be there in its heyday, but right now, the building is maintained to a wonderful standard. It has been well restored but made suitable for modern use. One entry and turret was covered in scaffold at the time of our visit, and we were told to keep out of the zone as there is a danger that the turret might fall. But, I have to say it is a lovely building and I am glad this is still has many uses. I’m just hanging out now to attend an event during the daytime.
Inside the area, a small section up one end was curtained off for our use. Provided was tables of about eight in cabaret style seating. We were greeted upon entry with a glass of champagne and found our seats to sit down to our picnic dinner. We had all brought along a little something to snack on – I tried a new biscotti recipe (chocolate and pistachio). It was lovely to be greeted and chat with the man who started running the events over ten years ago. The evening kicked off with the drawing of the raffle and followed with the film.

While the website for the event says that you do not need to book a seat at the event, I highly recommend it. Every table was full and I would hate to turn up and there not be enough space for a seat.

We decided for the occasion to get in the mood and dress up in our 1950s frocks. I chose to wear my pink and white hibiscus print dress. I went with a light petticoat underneath as I knew we would be sitting for a while. It’s funny how much I have been wearing pink of late – now that my hair is mostly pink. I wonder what will happen when I change the colour?!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tea at Home

On Monday this week, we were blessed with a Public Holiday (the new government moved one from May to October). One of my girlfriends took the opportunity to host a retro afternoon tea at her home. We all dressed up in our retro finery and headed over. The weather had been stifling most of the day, but thankfully cooled off for us to sit down to some tea for the afternoon.
There was a lovely selection of food available (I was quite partial to the meatballs) along with tea, bubbly, punch and fruit cordial. The afternoon turned into a traditional ladies tea. We all sat around talking and gossiping, drinking tea and munching on the goodies. It was relaxing and lovely to be able to catch up with friends in an intimate surround, especially after I missed two events because of my trip to Toowoomba.
And as is the case in most of our retro outings, the camera’s came out. I had accidentally left mine turned on and the battery was shot. Only realising this 2 minutes before I was to leave, my Dad handed over his for me to take. It was nice to be able to play with his camera (about 4 years and 6 models newer than my own) and I tried my best to give him back mine instead.
With my hair deciding to frizz after the pin curls for the wedding, I ummed and ahhed over what to wear. I finally settled on a hat that would cover most of my hair, one that I had been given by Ainead. Thankfully, I had the perfect dress to match with it – one that I had made to wear to see Grease – a pink 1960s wiggle dress. I finished the ensemble with my black elastic belt, black ballet flats and some awesome retro styled sunnies.