Cancelled Plans

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My weekend plans got cancelled (for multiple reasons). So I spent today working on altering a blouse. I’ve had this blouse for several years and it has sat in the back of my closet – mostly unworn.

My hips are ~ 14 inches larger than my waist. Which does not fit the current fashion standards of a more, ahem, athletic build that the fashion houses and clothing manufacturers seem to design for.

The fix is fairly easy, I simply need to add a gore to the sides, from the waist down. I have done it before, with other blouses, so I took out my box of black lace and a seam ripper and set to. As you can see in the photos below, the blouse flows much better over my hips and doesn’t bunch up around my waist. Now, I’m much more likely to wear it.

Crossover Apron

2020 April

Rebecca and I found this fabric during our trip to Costume College in 2018, we wanted to make 1940’s inspired aprons. When it came down to making it – I really wanted a crossover apron. I had to alter the pattern by scaling it up… I did a slash and spread method.

ORS Retreat 2020

January 2020

Just before the pandemic became a Thing™, I spent a weekend with the folks of the Oregon Regency Society at the Regency Retreat. Imagine it like a immersive Regency House Party. Hosted at an overnight out-of-season camp, rooms are small and sparse, but the location is gorgeous. The food is amazing. One set of public spaces is for pre-modern activities, with a card room and a gathering room that doubles as the ball room. Another set of public space is set up for modern lights, but they do request that you keep electronic devices to your room. Letters are shared and there is a lot of passing between rooms to talk and help each other dress. I’m an early bird so, I spent the wee morning hours with a cup of coffee watching the sun come up over the mountains.

1920’s One hour dress

I got this fabric from my grandmother’s stash in the early 2000’s. The fabric is an embroidered linen. The embroidery is modern but I believe it reads pretty well – and its stash fabric. I did have to purchase about 1/2 yard of the green linen.. I first wore it to the Kimono in Fashion Exhibit at the Asian Arts Museum in February 2019 and then to the Miss Fisher Con in San Jose in July, 2019.

New dress

While I have lots of projects planned once I get settle into the new house (and unearth my sewing machine).  I’ve been shopping for fabric – I want to make a dress out of this fabric, but cannot decide what era to do it in.  I’m leaning towards 18th Century (1780’s-ish) because I don’t have one of those yet.  This is my clan’s tartan, (the weathered ancient version) 8 oz wool 54″ wide.

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I like the dress featured here: http://twonerdyhistorygirls.blogspot.com/2014/09/a-rare-wedding-dress-for-highland-bride.html

This is one of those buy the fabric way in advance because its expensive kind of purchases so while I know I could make a regency with 6 or 7 yards easily, I’m contemplating getting 10 because well, reasons.  Like, I would like to not short myself and I’d like to match the plaid when I can and well, left over fabric is a free project… right?

Florentine at work

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So earlier this month, I was able to help out a few friends at the Cameron Park Renaissance Fair.  Their guild was playing the court of King Henry and Queen Katherine of Aragon.  As I did not have completely appropriate garb available, I was graciously allowed to wear my Florentine dress to serve the King’s household.  I did not get photos of day one, but day two I opened the bodice up and covered my bodies with a bid of fabric that matched the forepart.

As you can see, I was able to re-hem the skirts and make the lower sleeves.  This experience has made me want to make a proper kirtle for this era play.

Me! Holding a hawk!

Me! Holding a hawk! Photo by Lauren Coats

1902 Alameda

When I think Edwardian I think Pollyanna and Anne of Green Gables.  Every summer on the first weekend of August PEERS holds a free picnic dance.  I don’t usually do much dancing but visiting in costume is always fun!  I’m very lucky that my friend Liesl was able to make me an outfit – I don’t sew this era much and with the move/divorce stressing me out I wasn’t up to learning new techniques.  Liesl was also generous enough to lend me her boater so I did get to do a bit of sewing to add the coordinating bands and the cockade.  After seeing the dress in a fitting, my daughter said I looked like an Edwardian version of Captain America – thus the cockade in the shield colors with a star in the center.

Here is the outfit in action:

Jennifer Edwardian

 

P.S. – I can’t thank Liesl enough!  I got loads of lovely compliments!  I can’t wait to wear it again!