Thursday, March 8, 2018

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Caroline had a Big Bustle party for her birthday in October, held both at the Arboretum in DC and at her lovely Capitol Hill house.

I don’t have a bustle gown, and I was also a month from my due date, so I was unprepared to sew one! She kindly let me wearing 18th century since it was kinda bustle-y. It’s a stretch, but I appreciated it, since I wanted to see everyone, especially Merja who came all the way out from Finland!

I wasn’t sure what I had that would fit, but I was inspired by Chelsea wearing a Francaise when she was very pregnant, and mine totally worked. I just let out the back laces and worked great! I did wear stays, but I wore them unlaced. Mine are sorta permanently laced and I just have a very very long single spiral lace that I knot so it doesn’t come undone and I can loosen it a lot to get in and out of them. So I just wore them like that, totally untightened. I actually found it they provided nice belly support without squeezing.




I was so happy to see Merja, and to get to see this lovely costume in person!



There was a gorgeous picnic spread of delicious things:






Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Costume Year in Review

Yeah, I got literally nothing done this year. In my defense, I was still suffering from my general costuming malaise and then I actually had a successful pregancy, so between changing sizes and being dead tired, I didn’t really do any sewing.

I started a waistcoat for Doug when Gloria and I had a sewing day, but it’s still sitting on my dress form.

I did got to a bunch of events, but I just rewore old stuff to them. Not a big deal since I have a closet full, but I would like to feel like making new things again at some point. We’ll see what 2018 brings!

I went to 12th Night at Riversdale in January. I made the dress in 2016 though. :-) I do love the 12th Night dinner they offer. Sometimes at these events people can be weirdly pushy (about dancing, or correcting one’s dancing) and we were trying to get a few pics, and someone was trying to boss me about going in to dance, and I ended up in tears because things had been really stressful. So that kind of sucked, and after that I felt like I needed a break from the Gadsbys and Riversdale events for a while. It’s going to be harder for us both to go to them in 2018 because we’ll need babysitters, but we’ll be back. I was glad to have a break though - going to events in old houses can be so magical. And I love being there with friends. But I need some of the stronger and weirder personalities need to leave me be!


The Francaise dinner was small this year, but I enjoyed seeing everyone who went. I actually have reworn the francaise gowns I do have many times, so I once again decided to pull something else out of the closet that hasn’t gotten worn much. So I pulled this, the second 18th century gown I ever made, out. I had to take it in, but it fit fine, and I wore it with a green quilted petticoat I’d not worn before. And added sashes and jewelry.




And yep, pregnant here - but not very.

In April I went to Jenny-Rose’s lovely Big Ass Hat tea. I rewore my fav yellow jacket, this time with the petticoat I’d intended to pair with it, though I ended up liking the francaise gown petticoat better with it (wore that to a different party in 2016 accidentally). At least I got a wearing out of this one!


I did go to Fort Fred this year, but it was extremely warm (unseasonably so) and I didn’t wear a costume.

Gloria and I did go twinsies in our League of Their Own costumes to AwesomeCon - and it fit, yay! I’m like 5 months pregnant here.



Carolyn had a Big Bustle Birthday Party at the Arboretum and back at her house. I don’t have a bustle and if I did it wouldn’t have fit since I was a month away from my due date at this point. Nor did I want to make one since I wouldn’t have known how to do it for maternity. Anyway, Carolyn very kindly let me wear a non-bustle and a francaise was something I knew I could get to fit and was sort of floofy. I was glad to be able to make the party, though since Merja came in from Finland and there were so many lovely friends attending.

The francaise worked great - I did wear stays, but I left the laces untightened (they are knotted so the lace won’t come fully out, so I could wear them without tighening them). And they actually gave me some nice support on my stomach. And the francaise is flexible size- wise. It worked out well, even if I was slightly off theme.


For Halloween, I decided to wear an Episode III Padme costume I had made, never quite finished, and never wore anywhere. All I had to do was hem the undergown (I sewed!) and I pinned some fabric in the back since it wouldn’t zip up all the way. Padme is pregnant when she wears this, so it was nice to have the right natural shape for it! And that is all my own hair!


The last costume event of the year for me, was the Candlelight Soiree/Pumpkin tea! I rewore my black sari drawstring gown:


There were actually four of us pregnant this year at the tea, which is a record. This was 10 days from my due date. The hat is from Etsy - I didn’t feel like fussing with wigs.



Last year I said I would attempt the following. Let’s see how I did, ha ha.

Finish Doug’s new jacket nope

Finish Doug’s new vest

Mrs. Russell Green Gown
No, but I did some research on this at least, and determined that, well, it’s not really straighforward what she is wearing, and I’m not really sure where to start with it.

Windmill gown

nope, but I’ve saved links and photos for a bunch of her costumes. Maybe this year?

20s dress
nope, though I acquired a few vintage ones that fit, so I do have something new I can wear to the next 20s event.

20s coat

A regency gown I have cut out of a cotton flowered sari

A regency gown out of the cotton silk I bought at Fort Fred.

Ok - what shall I attempt in 2018?

- a new francaise gown
- Rey (The Force Awakens)
- Windmill gown
- regency gown out of the cotton flowered sari

Let’s leave it at that and hope for the best!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Fort Fred

The 18th century market fair, Fort Fred, was, this year, at the end of April, exceedingly, unseasonably hot. I was pregnant and didn’t want to put myself through wearing a costume with stays, which may not have even fit. (Stays aren’t meant to squeeze the waist, Victorian hourglass style, so I could wear them very loosely laced - but my costumes weren’t likely to fit with them like this anyway.) So I wore muggle clothes, and a lot of my friends ended up changing by the end of the day anyway. Still it was fun to go and see everyone, even if it’s more in in costume.












Saturday, November 18, 2017

Big Ass Hat Tea

I was invited to Jenny-Rose’s Big Ass hat tea in April and it was a lovely time. The food was fantastic, as were the costumes, and it was so nice to see so many people! Thanks for the invitation, Jenny-Rose!

I rewore what is now one of my fav jackets - the yellow and white silk I got in Germany. I also wore a petticoat I made and then never got around to wearing with it. Funnily enough I like the jacket better with the cream petticoat that goes with my francaise, which I wore accidentally the another party, thinking it was this petticoat.







Did I mention how good the food was?

Friday, November 10, 2017

Francaise Dinner 2017

A small affair this year. But it was a date and location that were easy for me to go, so I was glad to be able to make it! We were in Annapolis this time - the room was nice, but had some weird red lighting, so my pics aren’t great.

I really need to make a new Francaise gown - I have 4 of them, believe it or not, but I have worn them multiple times. I decided to go anglaise again, and pulled out something I haven’t worn in years, mostly because it’s too big and I had to take it in, plus a quilted petticoat I’ve never actually worn.

I also wore a pin on my sash that my lovely friend Gen made for me, featuring my girl, Mary Russell. And I wore an antique cameo bracelet (Victorian, not Georgian), a Dames a La Mode necklace to match my late Georgian earrings. And some of my Georgian rings.





Angela, who is incredibly sweet, had made Doug a gorgeous embroidered vest as a thank you for something, and since the poor guy has worn the same outfit to like every event because I am super lame about menswear - so even Doug had something new to wear. Thank you Angela - this vest is stunning!


The Annapolis Capitol Building:


A muff made by Stephanie:


Loved this mural:


Chelsea found a cat!




Thanks to Gloria for processing the group pic and removing most of the red light!






Gloria’s photos:






Chelsea and her sonic screwdriver!