jennylafleur: (nefret)
[ profile] koshka_the_cat I think you have started something!

I've been meaning to put these videos of costumes on my website for ages and have never gotten to it. Enter Katherine & YouTube! So easy.

Now I wish I'd taken more videos along the way. Oh well, expect to see more in future!

My vidoes
jennylafleur: (georgian costume)

I managed to finish my frock, petticoat and hat for the outing to Gunston Hall on Saturday – yay! I’m very pleased with how my hat came out. It’s quite fetching if I do say so myself. :> I broke down and used the lovely lace I bought at Liberty of London’s two years ago on it too. I'll just have to go back and get some more now. *wink*

The day at Gunston was lovely. There is something almost magical about that property. The people there are so nice and because it’s off by itself on acreage with few modern things laying round (no signs or plaques) it’s easy to forget there is a world outside. The Gunston events are definitely my favorites!

The day started out rainy but it turned out to be a gorgeous spring day, if rather windy. We all had a hard time keeping our hats and caps on! It was a little chilly at times so my wool frock turned out to be perfect.

We wondered around both the American and Highlanders camps, watched the battle reenactment and did some demo dancing. Once the park closed we ate picnic lunches and then danced with the soldiers and sailors. It was very strange to be outnumbered by guys, usually it’s mostly girls in our group! It was one of our esteemed musician’s birthday so we had cake and the lady who portrays Martha Washington (at Mount Vernon) and Gen Cornwallis (among other things in Williamsburg) came up for the occasion too. I wish I could have stayed for the candlelight tour of the house but I had to sing at church the next morning and stay awake on the drive home (I drove home). It was a truly delightful, if long, day though. :>

I was very inspired by one of the Gunstonian’s frocks. I was a total ditz and didn’t take any pics of her outfit but it was an almost exact replica of a jacket/petticoat from the Williamsburg collection. It will be perfect for the Under the Redcoat weekend in June. Out of the leftover cream linen from my petticoat, trimmed in black and with a big black hat, perfect I say!! *rubs hands together*

I couldn’t sleep last night so I started on a toile for the jacket. I took my robe a l'Anglaise lining pattern and used that as my base. I cut the front just the same but split the back into two slightly curved seams, like the original. I also lengthened the sleeves.

This evening, while I had all the toile making stuff out, I corrected and recut the second toile for the butterfly gown. So that is all ready for a second try.
jennylafleur: (georgian)
Now don’t faint – I’m actually sewing today!! I can’t believe I how long it’s been since I’ve had a chance to work on my projects. Not that I’m working on any of my CC projects or anything. I’m taking some time to sort out my 18th century wardrobe a bit instead. I have an event the first weekend in April and need something to wear. So here is the plan:

  • make new petticoat
  • trim new hat
  • make new neckerchief?
  • fix green wool:
  • redo hem (shorten & hand stitch)
  • shorten sleeves
  • make new ruffle?
  • sew on hooks and eyes

I have such a cunning little plan for the petticoat I started with that first. :> Inspired by this lovely ensemble from [ profile] tailordrews’s recent soirée weekend, I’m taking my red stripe apart to make a new petticoat.

I’ve been in a quandary about what to do with my red stripe for a while now. It has two issues, the first is that it’s too big – partly from mis-fitting and partly my losing weight. The second, and perhaps more important issue, is that the fabric itself is beginning to break down. It was a cheap, old cotton when I finally got around to using it and it is literally starting to dry-rot. I had thought about taking it apart and refitting it (as I love the gown) but I honestly don’t think it would survive.

I will get much more wear out of it this way and it should last longer too (less tension and wear spots on a petticoat). I probably wouldn’t have thought of it but for that picture in Bjarne’s album. When I saw it I fell in love. I adore the bold stripe as a petticoat – it’s so different. The young lady wears the petticoat with another outfit that I think is charming as well.

I have some more very cunning ideas for summer ensembles to go with the petticoat too. Good thing since I am literally starting from scratch on my wardrobe with no money to spend on fabric. *sigh* I’m spending all my money on events this year (CC & Under the Redcoat) instead. This is a year I will just have to make do with what I have. Luckily I have just about everything I need for my CC costumes and a deep fabric stash to be creative with.

If there is one thing I’m good at, it’s budget costuming. :>


Feb. 13th, 2006 10:51 am
jennylafleur: (18th costume)
The RCHS event I attended on Saturday made it into the local paper. Not a bad article actually. You can see me in the background of one of the pics and everything. *grin* There is also a nice pic of my "Auntie" Tina's best side. *snigger*

Fredericksburg Area Museum's Mother & Daughter Tea
jennylafleur: (nefret)

May I present your cute kitty moment of the day... My baby Nefret loves to beg and Dad loves to give her scraps. Afterall how can one resist that much cuteness? :>

I also bring you some pics Tina took at Gunston Hall last month. So there I am finishing my cloak at the event. :> *sigh* That was such a fun day!
jennylafleur: (stripe)

Here are some pics from the Gunston Hall event today. I had a really great time. The weather was perfect, the autumn leaves were at their peak, Gunston was gorgeous as usual and the event was a lot of fun. The day was a good reminder of way I bother with this reenacting thing. :>

We set up on the front lawn and demonstrated period dances throughout the day. Attendance was low but the people who came by were genuinely interested and we had lots of volunteers for our mini dance classes. After the grounds closed to the public, we were treated to a candlelight dinner that had been cooked in the period kitchens. The food was wonderful and it was great fun to have the place to ourselves. Gunston Hall is one of my favorite old spots in Northern Virginia. It was such a treat to be there in costume and eat in the courtyard - under the stars no less. Towards the end of the day I took a solitary ramble through the gardens and just enjoyed the beauty around me. I feel like my batteries have been recharged a bit and that is a nice feeling.

I got my cloak made in time - yay! A miracle considering that I didn’t really work on it until yesterday! I just couldn’t get myself to work on it this week for some reason. Luckily the construction couldn’t have been simpler and I was able to put it together in a very short amount time, handwork inculded. I used the pattern from Costume Close-Up as my guide. I ended up shaping the front of the cloak and deepening the curve in the center back – all to avoid gaping at the neck. I’ll be drawing up a diagram with all my finial measurements and such soon. You'll notice some pics show ribbons on the cloak and some don't... I added them on during the event. :> Actually they are just for show, the cloak is really fastened by two large hook & eyes. :>

A couple of websites I found helpful along the way:
New England Life
Southcoast Associates

To save time, I did forgo lining the hood. I plan on adding a lining at some point though. I have another event with RCHS next weekend so maybe I’ll try for that. There is a length of pretty baby pink silk in the stash that I think will work. If there is enough fabric I may try eeking out a muff for next weekend as well - another simple project. A muff, mitts and some decent shoes are definitely the next things on my 18th century accessory list!
jennylafleur: (Default)

Here are some pics from the recent RCHS fall tea. It was a lot of fun, despite my annoying cough. I really enjoyed getting all dressed up in my corset and petticoats – something I haven’t done since July. Mom and Bridget came too and were at my table. I “mothered” a table, serving tea, helping guide the conversation and such. I did have fun but I think I preferred being a servant (carrying food to the table, re-filling tea pots etc.). You are on your feet the whole time but you get a chance to nibble a lot in the kitchen. *hee hee*
jennylafleur: (18th costume)

I've updated my site with Tina's pics from the Under the Redcoat day we went to in June. Here are a few teasers. The rest can be found in the Event Gallery.
jennylafleur: (18th costume)

I was able to snag some pics of myself at the July 3rd RCHS event so here they are for your viewing enjoyment – a few of me embroidering and talking to fellow RCHSer Allison (isn’t she cute?! :>) and one pic of what I was working on. *wink to Elizabeth*

I have a few more pics from the Williamsburg trip in June as well. I’ll try to get those up this weekend if not today.
jennylafleur: (18th costume)

Yesterday was fun. I made it through “Under the Redcoat”, despite being “taken into custody” once and hassled by soldiers all day. :> I don’t think I’ve actually explained this event to y’all, have I? Well I had no idea of what I’d volunteered for until last week and really had no idea what to expect until I got there!

my day in British occupied Williamsburg )

I think that next year I’d like to go as a member of the public, to see what it’s like from the other side. The experience did get me thinking about what it would be like to live in an hostilely occupied city though. I watched a movie set in Nazi occupied Rome earlier this week and thought as I watched how horrible that must have been. Having had a little taste of it yesterday was an interesting experience. It brought home a bit how precious freedom really is and how grateful I am to those who had the will and courage to fight for it and those who are still willing to continue the fight today.

To those men and women, past and present, I lift my glass and offer a most humble thank you.
jennylafleur: (Default)

I finished up the polonaise fixings today though. I was originally going to attach two ribbons to the inside, as illustrated in Arnold pg 36, but that didn't work. I think my skirt is too full for only two pulled ribbons. A look through Costume in Detail was helpful though. I hadn’t realized how many polonaise skirts there are in that book, and of course each one shows how it's done. I love that book, I really do.

In the end I found that three pulls, each with a ribbon attached at the waist, threaded through 3-4 thread loops and tied, created the look I wanted. For the loops I made thread loops out of silk thread in a buttonhole stitch. Luckily the stripe is so busy that no one should notice the tiny tell-tale stitches on the outside of the skirt, unless they are looking very hard of course. In which case they need to be smacked. :>

To test this all out I used safety pins to mount the ribbon and use as temporary loops. That little thought served me well as I was able to experiment quite a bit with the position and number of loops before I bothered to sew anything. I adore safety pins, have I ever mentioned that?

I finished up the neckerchief as well. It's nothing terribly special but it will work. It is hemmed by hand, with a running stitch, but not very well. Ask me if I care. :P

So all that's left to do tomorrow is the sleeve flounce, shopping for our picnic (hopefully the local gourmet shop will have some interesting cheese, oh for a descent cheese shop!) and packing everything up. I think that is do-able. *crosses fingers*
jennylafleur: (18th costume)
*waves hi*

Yep still here. My sewing vacation is going well. I’ve gotten lots of little projects done, caught up with the laundry and dishes I owed Mom, made some good progress on my site re-design (thank you all so much for your impute I really do appreciate it!!) and have been having way too much fun researching future projects. I’m feeling quite refreshed and ready to pick up my needles and plug in the iron again but I can’t quite do that yet. I still have some pressing real-life things to catch up on and my bathroom to paint so I probably won’t get to anything before the weekend. *sniff*

Good news is, Bridget and I have finalized the plans for her pirate costume and I’m very excited about that. I’m also been invited to go with Tina to Colonial Williamsburg to stroll around in costume and, as she said, “ogle the troops” later this month. CW is having their big annual military encampment, so re-enactment groups from all over the country will be there. It should be fun.

I need to back-date my frock a bit for the event though. I’m starting to regret my decision to make a 1780s frock as most events for this group seem to be 1770s. I really designed the striped dress to be versatile for the 1780s- early 1790s. There are certain things I can’t change that are not 1770s (neckline, sleeve length etc) and even though 85% of the people who see my dress won’t know it’s not right, it still bugs me. I need a new dress. *rolls eyes* Yeah.

Anyway, since I have neither the time nor fabric for a new dress right now I’ll be making do with this one. *grinds teeth* I’m going to make that shift (I mean it this time!), a neckerchief, polonaise the skirt and add some flounces to the sleeves. Oh yes and trim another hat in a more 1770s way. Add all the stuff I’ve promised to finish on B’s outfit I should have more than enough to keep me busy this month. :P

Hey I heard that! No snickering in the peanut gallery! :>
jennylafleur: (18th costume)

The tea today was fun. Well the tea itself wasn’t great, most of it cold, with 2% milk instead of cream and blah food, but the experience was fun. Bridget did my hair again for me before she and the parents left for a get together with the grandparents. Above is a pic of my hair straight out of the curlers, before she had done anything to it. Can anyone say Shirley Temple? :> Unfortunately there was no one home by the time I finished dressing so I snapped one shot of myself before I left the house… for posterity. *hee hee*

It was raining when I left the house, but had turned into a drizzling mist by the time I arrived at Belmont. It continued to rain off and on throughout tea (which was outside under a tent) but just before we finished the sun came out so I managed to get a few pics in the garden afterwards (thanks to and with Tina).

You can see the rain and humidity resulted in some really loose curls, despite mousse and hair spray. I had to re pin some sagging curls at the table but I have to say, my hair did look nice throughout. I actually kinda liked it a little looser, it went with the more relaxed looked I originally wanted.

I sat next to and chatted with Tina during most of the tea, she is very sweet. The other RCHS ladies were friendly super friendly as always and complimented me on my gown, hair and hat. Actually I got many, many complements on my ensemble throughout the day and even a few people who asked to take my picture. I hope I didn’t look too pleased with myself… *wink*

I am proud to say that I helped our table win prizes in the hat contest for the best non-red-hat group. (Most of tables were groups of red hat ladies – it was a little scary!) We all had our choice of a selection of handmade bracelets and necklaces. I choose one of the simpler bracelets. :> I toured the house, studio and some of the gardens and then headed home, tired but happy. I really enjoyed wearing my dress. It’s a very fun outfit to promenade and move in, especially with those tiny pleats adding fullness to the skirt. The linen felt lovely too, I’m definitely rethinking my opinion on the fiber. The hat restricted my view more than I anticipated (not that great for touring an historic home and art gallery) but I felt so elegant that I didn’t care. Walking down the wooden stairs in the c1790s house, with my skirts trailing behind me felt great. Yes I’m a silly! :>

Once B arrived home I had her take some more pics of me and I’m really happy with the results. There are some really cute ones there, despite the long day and humidity on curls. Oh yes and a pic of me back in the 21st century! :> Tonight and tomorrow I’m taking a break but Tuesday I begin phase two of the May sewing madness: I have a jacket, shift, cap and apron to make for Saturday. Not only am I a silly but I’m crazy, oh yes indeed! :>
jennylafleur: (l'duc)
That's it, I'm done! While I actually do have time to make that neckerchief and could get it finished with a decent night's sleep, I'm skipping it. I'm feeling a bit mentally fatigued and trying to puzzle the neckerchief out is too much. I'm also fighting another headache. So I'm declaring my outfit finished and ready to go. I still have my pocket/purse to pack and my dress and petticoat to press but those can wait until tomorrow. I don't have to leave the house until 12:30pm, so I have all morning.

Tonight I'm devoting to this yummy glass of champagne, the excellent dinner Dad is concocting as I type and a card game or two with the family . *sigh* Life can be so very sweet. Thanks for your comments, encouragement and support over the past week guys. It's really helped to get me through the self-induced madness with my sanity and humor intact. *hugs* You guys are great!
jennylafleur: (18th costume)
shoe cockades:

I have a series of pics for a tutorial of how I made these, but I’ll post that after my deadline. *grin*

linen petticoat:

Finally finished – yay! The first pic is sans ruffle. After much prodding from the sister I went ahead and added the gathered ruffle after all. It does look nice but what a pain! I’d like to add a band of matching grosgrain ribbon, to cover my stitches but I don’t see that happening today, especially since I don’t have any narrow brown grosgrain ribbon on hand. The petticoat is nicely washed, softened and hanging up to air dry. Once it’s dried a bit I’ll iron it for tomorrow.

hat & hair:

The finished hat! :> I’m very pleased, thinking it turned out quite pretty. It would not have happened without Bridget’s help though. I am seriously millinery challenged but luckily she is not. I pulled together the elements (everything but the silk changeable ribbon swiped from the stash) but could not figure out how to arrange them on the hat in a pleasing way. All the credit for that must go to my long suffering sis. She pinned in place and I sewed it all on. Thanks Bridget!! :>

The hair test also calls for kudos to my talented sis. She patiently curled my hair in soft curlers before bed last night and then worked her magic on the set curls this morning. I’m really happy with the results. It’s not really “me” but it looks period, which is more important. It turned out to be quite easy to do as well. The trick is small curls, fluffed by pulling each curl apart several times to create volume. A few combs, hair pins and a hair extension and viola – big hair! The extension doesn’t need to be curled after all (which is nice) although I do need to tack down that bottom knot…

On to those wretched bodice hooks…
jennylafleur: (l'duc)
Today was nice and productive so I’m in good shape with my deadline. Yay!

I started out today cleaning my room, which was getting out of control with spools of ribbon, pins, thread bits on the floor and other sewing accessories scattered everywhere. *sigh* I feel so much better with a tidy workspace. Today I finished up the hat, the shoe cockades, the cotton petticoat, the bodice bow and have the linen ruffle gathered, pinned on the skirt and ready to be sewn.

I also managed to run out and find a pair of stockings to wear. I have several pairs of lovely reproduction stockings from Williamsburg but unfortunately they are too thick for my shoes. The shoes are temps, snagged from Mom whose foot is slightly smaller than mine. (I’m still saving up for a proper pair of repro shoes. :<) So I needed some thin colored tights instead. I found the perfect thing in the clearance bin of a department store; above the knee red stockings for (get this) $.99. The perfect thing, in the perfect color, for an amazing price. *sigh* I’m so blessed, it just isn’t even funny. :>

I do have pics of the cockades, hat and such but I’m super sleepy so they will have to wait until tomorrow. As much as I hate these last minute fiddly bits, it is fun to see this outfit really come together… it’s looking very cool if I do say so myself!
jennylafleur: (18th costume)
Yeah, shifts… I don’t know why but this is a garment I really hate. I avoid making them and then don’t really enjoy wearing them. If only they weren’t so necessary. I sewed up the toile this morning and tried it on. *sigh* You know I don’t even want to go into it right now.

Lets just say it could be worse, and I can make do, but I’m not happy. Thing is, because I’m not using a pattern and I don’t really know what I’m doing, I don’t actually know how this thing is supposed to fit/work. My problems may just be things inherit in the garment and not my fault at all. I have no idea.

After a counseling session with Bridget, I’ve decided to simply not worry about it at the moment. The shift is the easiest thing to fake in my ensemble, should I run out of time. So I’m going to work on something that will actually show and procrastinate about the wretched object. I’m very good at procrastinating.

Oh yes, I tried my gown on… and it’s too big. A wearable too big but by no means trim and figure hugging, as it should be. *whimpers* Maybe I should have waited to re-start my diet until after the tea…

Wish me luck on my next project, the cap. I do not need another issue today… I’m just not up for it.
jennylafleur: (18th costume)

Despite a nasty sinus & allergy day I managed to push through and finish the handwork on the gown. *yay* Well, practically finished… :> I still have to add some trim and inner ties for future polonaise occasions. A few of the hooks & eyes may need to be redone as well - I may have put some too close to edge making a gap. Not good when one has bright green stays underneath! I’ll try the gown on before I rip out any stitches though to be sure. Sewing hooks and eyes is definitely not on my list of favorite things to do.

Oh yes and a pic of all that is left of the striped fabric. The largest piece is laid out flat there, the rest are much smaller. The interesting bit is that most of what you see was trimmed away after the basic pieces were cut. Now that was close!! *grin*

Items still to make for Belmont & RCHS teas:
  • shift
  • cotton petticoat
  • linen petticoat
  • cap
  • neckerchief
  • hat
  • jacket
  • apron?
  • necklace?
  • second cap?

Most are small, easy projects but with a good deal of handwork involved in each. I guess I better get busy, huh? Tomorrow’s project – the shift!
jennylafleur: (nefret_2004.07)
I didn’t end up getting too much done after all. Cleaning, dishes and cooking dinner seem to have taken up most of my day. Oh well.

I finished up the skirt, finished one sleeve and attached some of the hooks and eyes. Still, it’s progress. Now I’m sleepy and can feel another headache coming on so I think I‘ll make it an early night…
jennylafleur: (bother)
To echo [ profile] elizabethsdress last week, I have one word: sinus.

The spring here in Virginia is gorgeous but it is reeking havoc on my sinuses, causing those lovely week long migraines. *sigh* I was laid up most of yesterday feeling quite ill with a massive headache. I'm feeling better today but now I'm behind in everything I was supposed to have done yesterday. That means my sewing must be laid aside until I catch up. Okay, maybe not quite that long! :>

Even though I’m not working on it I have been doing a bit of thinking about the project. My problem at the moment is that I can't decide how I want to wear this outfit to Belmont. I purposefully made design choices in this frock so that I could utilize several looks, making it versatile. I can't decide if I want to go with:

a) late 1770s, with polonaise skirts, sleeve ruffles, an egg shaped hair style, cap that covers more head and a tilted shepardess straw hat
b) a mid 1780s, with simpler trim, no polonaise, the wide curly hair, smaller cap and wide plumed hat.

*sigh* I'm getting to the point were I actually have to decide where I want to go with this. Trouble is I like them both, both are appropriate for the occasion and I'll have the opportunity to do either later on as well. Other events with this group will probably be more 1770s but I could go all out for the 1780s at the October ball or Twelfth Night.

I hate decisions.

I do have a quick question for [ profile] koshka_the_cat though. I was thinking covering my straw hat in silk using your excellent directions would be fun. I know you used China silk, but how much of it did you need for the hat? Thanks!

July 2014

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