Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cheerio! We're Off to England! Cruising and Jane Austen Festival

Celebrity Constellation

Next week Cody and I board the Constellation in Southampton. After a marathon of sewing new ensembles, repairing a couple of older costumes, new power point presentations and getting clothes ready, I'm coming up for air.
As most of you know on board ship, I always dress in a costume of the era I'm doing the presentation. On the last cruise with Lauren, American Duchess, we dressed, translate to dressed in Costumes or Vintage, every night for dinner. Not only did we have fun, but the other passengers seemed to enjoy our clothing as well. Of course Lauren is about 35yrs younger, that may have had something to do with everyone's enjoyment, she was beautiful and classy. We enjoyed ourselves so much I'm doing the same thing this cruise, but this time I've got a 22 yr old male (son) with me dressing in costume.
Dressing in Vintage takes less room and weight in the suitcase. While I was at Costume College a month ago, I bought a couple of patterns from Decades of Style. I had made her Sweetheart Coveralls for the last cruise. For this cruise I made the Katharine Hepburn Trousers. I will pair these trousers with a couple of 1940's blouses that I have, put the sides of my hair in Victory Rolls and voila - 1940's revisited.

Earlier in the month I made a new 1838 costume for the interpretation of Ellen Coolidge's 1838 travels in England. This dress is posted in an earlier blog on Ellen Coolidge's dress.
After the cruise we will travel to Bath for the day and partake of the festivities at the Jane Austen Festival. On Friday we will meet Lyzee Lynch, The Mended Soul, and her mother for tea at the Festival.
For a Costumer and an Interpreter of the Past this trip is promising to figure in the Top 10!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Interpreting the Past

I loved going to Costume College, in LA the first weekend in August. Wonderful costumes from historically accurate to fantasy. But as historically accurate as some of the costumes were we cannot be 100% accurate. Our own experiences will color our interpretation of the past.  As a Certified Interpretive Guide I find those outside of NAI like Jennifer Rosbrugh, who wrote a article on this subject refreshing. Her article in Historical Sewing hits the proverbial nail on the head.

If someone could be praised as being historically correct in her patterns, color choices, sewing techniques it would be Jennifer. But even she is realistic regarding her "100 %" accuracy. I appreciate her honesty.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Interpreting Ellen Coolidge Requires New Ensemble

On September 5 I leave for a 11 day cruise, out of  Southampton, then to France, Spain,  and Portugal. I have three presentations on this cruise. One of the presentations I thought the passengers might enjoy is the journals of Ellen Coolidge. She was the granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson. Most of her growing up years was living at Monticello, she and her siblings were partly schooled by Thomas Jefferson.

I thought the passengers would enjoy seeing London through her eyes, a new monarch, British culture, the architecture and meeting the Lions of the day. She writes in a witty, humorous and sometimes catty style. Wonder if her writing style is a result of Thomas Jefferson?

But, alas, I have no 1838 costume. Nor do I have anything remotely near an 1838 costume I could tweak. So back from Costume College last Monday, Tuesday down to the Dungeon and chain myself to the sewing machine. Here is the result of the past week.

I love the Bishop Sleeve - I love sleeves

With or without fichu/collar? were they called fichu in 1838?  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Costume College 2012

Most of July was a frenzy of sewing, mending, putting together outfits for Costume College. Sure it's an awesome opportunity to attend top quality classes, learn great tips, gold nuggets of information on how to do it better, faster and neater. BUT it's COSTUME College and what better place to wear and see some of the most fantastic ensembles.

Eight of us from Nevada went to LA for Costume College. For Gala on Saturday night we all decided to wear Nevada colors, silver and blue plus carry a little Nevada Flag. Here are a couple of pictures from the Gala where we walked down the red carpet,
Nevada Brigade

My gown for Gala

There are several albums on Lady Carolyn's facebook. Friday night was the Pool Party which was a vintage, Hollywood Glam party. Friday evening the Ice Cream Social. Saturday evening, Gala and Sunday afternoon the Tea, someone said I looked like Mamie Eisenhower

I also taught two classes. A demo on Undressing the Victorian Lady and a presentation/Chautauqua on Honoring the Titanic and Margaret Brown.