Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Victorian Birthday Bash

Back in July, I attended a rather significant Birthday Party for one of my re-enactment / costume friends. She had decided to host a Victorian Tea Party.

The day was filled with sweets and savouries, tea and punch, chatting and croquet. We all had a splendid time and it was lovely to see friends that I hadn't seen for some time. And everyone looked beautiful. We all pulled out the stops and dressed up in our victorian bustle finery for the day. Oh and in case you are wondering, the red tartan bustle is indeed mine (I loaned it to the lovely Christine to wear for the day as she hadn't been able to make something in time).

The croquet battle begins...

For the occasion, I finally finished my late 1860s Bustle. The bodice design and hat come one of my Frances Grimble pattern books. The skirt is of my own drafting, while the apron is butchered from a Truly Victorian pattern. The beauty of this whole outfit is that it was made entirely from stash fabric. The main floral fabric was originally an 1830s day gown that I made a few years back. I hated how the dress looked on but I loved the fabric so much I wanted to re-use it. I pulled the dress apart and it sat there for a few more years until I finally decided what to do with it. I had enough fabric for a bodice, apron and skirt trimmings.

And boy did I go to town on the trimmings this time. The skirt has a pleated trim, and then a gathered rouche (which is straight off the old 1830s dress) with bias trimmings. The skirt is made from a soft hailspot white rayon, which I also carried throughout the costume for it's trimmings. The apron is trimmed with the same pleating from the skirt, blue velvet ribbon, tiny lace and silk ribbon bows. And it's all carried through to the bodice with lace sleeve ruffles, tiny lace trimmings, velvet ribbon and more silk ribbon. I also took the time to make a balayeuse (or dust ruffle) for my skirt. It was the first time making one, but I will definitely be doing them for my trained dresses in future. This one is made of scrap cotton with scrap cotton ruffles and a bit of scrap laces. It's quite pretty but it is also functional. It helps keep the train of my dress out beautifully, and it simply buttons on so. It worked a charm and just went straight into the washing machine saving my skirt from any dirt.

Now, I don't have any close up photos of the costume worn. At the time, I was about 4 days out of dental surgery. I had all four of my wisdom teeth out at once and puffed up big time. There was even some charming yellow bruising going on. Needless to say, I couldn't eat anything at the party, but it was still lovely to socialise. (I'm in the first photo on the very end). But I will definitely be getting some photos the next time I wear this.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Catch-up time

Wow. It's been a while. I've been rather slack in my posting. And to be honest, I really haven't attended many events this year. It's not like I've been taking a break from costuming. There's just been events that I haven't been able to attend, either due to work, other commitments or injury. A few of those injuries are rather obscure. One, I missed an event because as I was getting ready, I managed to throw my back out completely and spent the next two days in bed. Another, I ended up in hospital with chest pain - turned out to be a pulled muscle. But I have been sewing, and here I am posting again. It's time to catch up on the events that I have attended over the last few months as well as a few tutorials I have been compiling. So stay tuned as I improve my posting and get back into the swing of things.