Monday, December 28, 2015

A Christmas trip to the seaside

It was a chilly, wet and windy weekend. Just the perfect time for hitting the beach! Well, it was in my 1900s replica swimsuit. The weather was rather reminiscent of England.


For our Australian Costumers Guild Christmas bash this year, we decided to make it a period trip to the beach. It seemed a fine idea at planning time and the weeks leading up were hot and humid—perfect beach weather. But the weekend of our seaside trip dawned drizzly and cool. Those of us committed to partying it up made our way out to Scarborough. It was a pretty relaxed affair. We enjoyed conversation, lunch (both packed and from the nearby caf├ęs) and spent some time posing on the rocks between showers of rain. A successful event all in all, and at least there was little danger of sunburn. It seemed that vintage was the order of the day, with two ladies sporting their 1930s beach pyjamas, and four in vintage seaside attire.


Leaving myself dressed in an Edwardian onesie swimsuit. As it turns out being covered in jersey is by far warmer and more sun smart than most modern swimsuits, a blessing on a wet day at the beach. Both the suit and the swim cap are based on museum photographs of originals. The suit was quite an easy pattern to draft up, I simply butchered a yoked bodice pattern and added on my boxer shorts pattern (with quite a bit of tweaking). The hardest part of the costume was finding a modern jersey that was somewhat similar to a period Jersey. I settled on a navy blue with a herringbone weave and very little stretch. It’s cotton at least, so I won’t swelter in the heat should I bring it out for other occasions. The braid trimming though comes from my stash, I am happy to say. And the swimming cap comes from some left over fabric scraps of cotton sateen and silk. It’s simply a circle gathered up to a thick band. The band has two casing with ribbon red through to draw it up. I did attach a little elastic in the middle of the ribbon drawstrings just for comfort. And then I simply added the crazy fabric yoyos to decorate it up a bit. I adore how this costume came out. I think though that I would love to make a swimming corset to wear with it instead of my late Victorian one.

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