Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Regency/Victorian Bonnet & Regency Gown

As I wrote the above title it reminds me of postings on eBay, "Victorian, Wedding, Goth, Steam, pin up look alike" they cover every angle to get you to "look". However bare with me and see how this bonnet works for both. Originally I made the bonnet to go with an early 1860's gown

Me, 3rd one from this end - side profile of bonnet

Pictures of bonnet and the book I received inspiration from.


My reference book

Love the Mary Stuart hood look

Since the back of the Mary Stuart bonnet can not be seen I opted for this loose back

Another dress I made that I liked the bonnet with. The bonnet is a later date than the dress. I have since made a bonnet to go with the time period of the dress -- but liked the colors

Now for the Regency look. I did not like the bonnet I had to go with my Regency gown. I was bemoaning the fact to my daughter. I had the above bonnet out on the table. I liked the way it went with my down & dirty brown Spencer I had made using American Duchess tutorial but wrong, wrong, wrong time period. My daughter picked it up and plopped it down on my head like a muffin cap, tied the ties in back, tucked the tails up in the bonnet and voila a Regency bonnet.

Vintage trim from the stash - outside brim

Inside brim - vintage trim fr stash

Cunnington's book - style reminds me on the one I repurposed :)

The Regency Gown

 The gown was made several years ago. I used several gowns as reference to get the V neck however I did get the neck a little wide so I fill it in with a kerchief. Although I've noticed on several fashion plates they seem to bare a little more than I am comfortable doing. I choose the V neck over the typical Regency rounded neck, puffed sleeve look. I feel I'm too old for puffed sleeves and wanted a neck a little more flattering to me. 

May be more a "scarf" type ruffle - but liked the look

Slight V

This one a little earlier time period - but liked the V

#'s 10, 16, 19 all have V necks

This is a riding habit - said was embroidery, but liked the V neck look

So now you see where the V neck came from, the rest of the dress I used left over scraps of material. Again I complied the sleeves and bottom from several fashion plates to get the Rengency look.

Back of dress with another bonnet I made, which I love but sometimes it's too bulky to pack, especially on a cruise.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Learn to Gig in a Working Guild

This past October I went back "home", home being the renaissance guild of The House of Swindon. It's been a long time since I have been able to play, however "play" is a misnomer as we are a histoic guild and expected to work. We are the household of the Rutland family, living in Queen Elizabeth I's time period. The Dowager Duchess of Rutland, Bridget Manners,  is on the prowl for a new husband and the newly widowed Francis Russell, Earl of Bedford is enticing. 

If you want to hone your skills to work with the public find a good historic guild and learn how to gig or improv. Work with the others in the guild and build your character as the public watches and asks questions. There are guilds out there who mostly "play" and then there are guilds that base their characters on history. Do your research on each guild, interview them, go and see how they work together in the guild yard in front of the pavilion and in back where the public is not allowed, go tho their meetings. Find one that fits you, join, have fun and learn history!

Left, Ashley Deering, also my step-Granddaugher, Elizabeth Manners, Center, Moi, Dowager Duchess of Rutland, Right, Erika Jahn, Ladies maid to my step daughter-in-law

Laura Chilcott - musician

Margaret Collins - g'daughter's tutor

Kat Deering, Isabel Manners, Lady Rutland

Chris, the cook and her helper that weekend

Lord Rutland on left and the public

Along with being with your guild you always run into old friends.
Susan Denson

Paige Mattern

Sherry Grund

Michael, Paige and Lisa


Friday, November 2, 2012

Neon Signs and the 50's

The Nevada Museum of Art opened their current exhibit, The Light Circus": Art of Nevada Neon Signs . They asked me to model, I asked what to wear, they said "whatever".  Now the interpreter in me was telling me the history of the really cool neon signs for Reno, Nevada would be from the 1930's-60's. Now I've been tagged before as Mamie Eisenhower. Yep this is the hairdo and clothing style of that period. I chose this dress to fit into the time period of the neon signs.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Reliving the 1950's & 60's, Comfort Clothing!

I was recently asked by a friend to recreate her grandmother's apron. She wanted a unique gift for her sister's birthday. Maybe it's me being nostalgic as I turn the years over, but it seems several people my age and the age of my daughter long for the good old days. There is resurgence in knitting, crocheting,  planting gardens, canning and having "comfort clothing" in our life.  By comfort clothing I'm talking about a phenomena that is similar to the cliche "comfort food", we are all familar with that phrase. But "comfort clothing" is that connection to the past and several sites, pattern companies and craft companies have aprons such as our grandmothers wore.

Grandmother's apron in foreground

I love it when I put on this type of apron. I wipe my wet hands on the apron, not jeans, I stuff pins and pens, rubber bands from the paper, penny off the floor into the apron pocket, not jeans. I feel this pull to past memories of my mom and grandmother doing the same type of activities, I'm at peace, my life is full, I'm wearing jeans, tee-shirt, flip-flops, and an apron. As long as I don't have the housedress with my hose rolled down around my ankles like grandma I'm a housewife fashionista.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Little More on Travels and Sewing Finds

Back on hubby's computer to pull off a couple of pictures of the cruise. I did download pictures on to the computer as we went along the trip. Unfortunately I dropped the camera,trying to get it out of my cute little purse that matched my ensemble for dinner. Note to self, DO NOT try and handle camera with gloves on. This was an expensive trip for equipment: computer crashes before leaving, left my Kindle on plane, drop camera and break it.

But while in Portugal walking down a back twisty, curvy street I came upon a small fabric and trim shop. In the window they had a set up for bobbin lace. Large language barrier, I speak no Portuguese and they spoke little English, but apparently in Portugal the practice of bobbin lace is still being done on this colorful bobbin pillow. This art form made me think of Jo Graden in the states who makes beautiful bobbin lace.

Bobbin lace pillow
 Also added another night that Cody and I dressed for dinner. This is a fun opportunity to dress. Dinner is an Event on a cruise ship. It seems in our society today if we go out to dinner, the mode of dress is jeans, maybe dressier pants, cute top and jacket, but certainly no dresses or tie and hat for men.

When we returned to Southampton, England, we traveled up to Bath for the afternoon and met Lyze Lynch and her mother, Donna, for tea. The Jane Austen Festival was concluding that weekend. Unfortunately we not able to attend the other festivities but was able to absorb the flavor of Bath and the Jane Austen House.

Lyze Lynch and moi
There is a chain store in England called Allsaints, they decorate each store with antique sewing machines. This is ONE store! A little gal working there said she thought there was about 200 in this store. The seamstress siren was calling out to me!

Monday, October 22, 2012

ARRRGG Technology, Cruise and Life

Upload, download, copy, upload, download, download, upload  and  me on overload or make that overwhelming - My life 36 hours before the cruise and after the cruise. Right before leaving on cruise, 36 hours to be precise my computer crashed. It would open files but Windows Office was gone, so no PowerPoint. Guess what I need on cruise to run presentations, yep you got it PowerPoint. My files were saved on flash drives and the big computer in the sky. Thank goodness I could use hubby's bigger bulky laptop, no complaining though, I had a computer to take with me! Then after I'm home a couple of weeks I get my computer back and the power cord is not charging unless I push it in reallllllly hard. Bless the invention of duck tape!!! Now to get caught up on some posting.

Nice bright orange duck tape to hold in plug

A couple of comments on the cruise. We left Southampton, traveled to France, Spain, Portugal, back to Southampton. We then spent a few days in England. What I enjoy the most and others who travel with me is the depth of history in Europe. I mean a lowly Wool House in Southampton is older than the discovery of the Americas. In the Reno area our oldest building is from the mid-1800's. But that Wool house or English wool had such an impact on fashion, costuming and history, all things near and dear to my heart!! To the interpreters of history, what a Story, the impact of sheep on fashion! One of my presentations was "Textiles and Fashionistas through History, Broad Edification of Portraits, 900-1800's" This Wool House went so well with my presentation I put it into the presentation.

Wool House, Southampton

Love the outdoor cafes in Europe

Just One of the Many cathedrals in Europe, this one in Le Harve

One of our dress up nights, Cody (Step-son) loved this this outfit