Friday, March 18, 2011

Costume Festivals!

Okay, so I recently became aware that Milton is host to both the Pirate Festival and a Renaissance Festival every summer. I knew about the Pirate Festival and got to attend a little bit of it last year, which was really cool, but I didn't realize there was also second costume-recommended festival as well.

Also, Casa Loma has one, and that would just be absolutely fantastic -- to wander around the castle grounds and gardens while it's been made into a faire.

So that's really all the excuse I need to justify another couple of costumes. And the nice thing is, they can all use the same basic costume, with different elements being changed up as I wish. Given that they're all outdoors in the summer, I'd want to make up cotton or linen pieces, so I think I'd go with the basic wench setup -- a blouse and a skirt with some sort of an overskirt or apron, and then a bodice or a corset overtop. I did used to have a nice little wench costume, but none of the components of it were made of natural materials as I was only going to be wearing it at Halloween, and it's also about 4 sizes to small for me now.

I've sketched out my basic idea for the pirate fest - nothing overly creative here. Probably identical to what everyone else will be wearing, but I don't care. We all need a basic set of peasant or wench clothes in our closets. What I'm not sure of is the colour combination:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Regency Double Period Project

I just got an email today about the double period project put on by Your Wardrobe Unlock'd / Foundations Revealed. Prior to this I've been aware of it and idly thought about those that participated and the dedication that they show to be a part of it -- it's a lot of research, cost, and work. Beyond that, I'd never thought I'd be tempted to actually participate. But...I read the email which detailed this coming year's challenge, which is to create an outfit reflecting or inspired by either the 1812 or 1912 fashions. I then googled the two years and realized that I really love the empire/regency dresses of the early nineteenth century. Those would be the high waistline, puffled sleeves, flowing white muslin embroidered underdresses with an overdress in a contrasting colour and pearl-accented necklines and whatnot. So, while I'm not sure if I'll be taking part in the contest or not...I'm tempted. Tempted enough to set up a new tag for the contest and start planning for it. I may not actually ever enter the contest, but if I do, I'll have some dress-diary entries to support it. If I don't, then I'll have yet another cool costume finished or on its way to being finished.

So, to keep handy my research so far:

By 1811 in Britain, influence of the Middle Ages, termed Gothic crept into dress styles debasing the pure classical lines. The bodice gained more shaping and could be panelled. It was not cut as tight and narrow as in the first decade of the century, so it made the shoulder line broader and the dress more comfortable to wear.

From Romance Reader at Heart:
For evening gowns, bodices were low cut in either a square or a V in front. Shoulder straps were uncommon, with the bodice tightly fitting the figure and trimmed with puffing. Colored velvet bodices were often worn over white satin and muslin. Short slashed bishop sleeves were in, but trains were out for this period, unless the woman was in full dress. Accents of buttons on sleeves and mother-of-pearl clasps were used for added adornment.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tudor Gown

Well, I suppose I should explain the yards and yards of ruffles. They're being sewn onto a farthingale/hoop-skirt to allow me to cheat a bit and kind of make it a petticoat without the need for another layer. We'll see how it goes.

The farthingale is going under a costume I've got on the go (although I haven't actually cut the dress fabrics yet -- I'm waiting on finishing the farthingale). I'm going to make the Tudor dress that Simplicity drafted:

And oddly, I ended up going with similar colours even though my original hope was to do a sapphire or a dark green gown. I'm not going with velveteen, though. My main fabric is a taffeta that shines burgundy or nearly black depending on what angle you see it at: