Monday, April 23, 2012

Another blast from the past...

Here's the Star Wars costume & props group at Celebration III. Fun!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Vintage Glee dress

Rachel has been wearing a lot of vintage on Glee this season. Though the show is kind of hit-or-miss for me, I've been enjoying seeing how the costume designer has dressed Rachel in a lot of 60s outfits.  When I saw her in this one:

I realized I had the same dress in my closet! I got it on Etsy a few years ago. Fun!

It's not a great pic, but here's my dress below:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A fun pic from the past...

Here's a bunch of us at the Star Wars FIDM exhibit:

Pretty picture

Regency gown

This gown reminds me of the pink drawstring dress I made recently! From Dames a la Mode. the image is originally from Gallery of Fashion, July 1796.


Monday, April 16, 2012

A neat ebay find

I keep an eye on Victorian name brooches, especially my own name. The round, silver pins from the 1880s can run $75 and up to almost double that.

When this item popped up with a Buy It Now of $27 bucks and change, I grabbed it! Ok, it's not my name. And ok, this name has kind of been tainted by Twilight. (Though it seems to have been really popular in the 1880s.) Not only did the auction come with the pin, but with this interesting looking antique wax seal. It's amethyst with a fox or a horse or something, and a silver head with a loop. The base is crystal of some sort. It has a few chips. So it's not in perfect condition. But I thought it was pretty cool. I did a cursory google search and haven't found anything like it. Anyone out there have any idea?

(ebay pics)

Friday, April 13, 2012

1776 at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC

1776 is one of my favorite musicals. I had a childhood friend who introduced me to it, and basically it's been watched a lot of times since. We watch it every Fourth of July. I know pretty much all the lyrics and the dialogue.  (An aside - it's actually fairly historically accurate as a lot of the lyrics are taken from actual letters. Near as I can tell, John Wilson's character was completely made up. He doesn't seem to gel with the real guy at all, which makes me feel a bit bad for him.)

Doug got us tickets to see it when he saw that it was playing at Ford's Theatre, which we'd never been to.  On the night we picked, they had front row seats available. I did some googling and saw that sitting in the front did indeed get a favorable review, so that's what we got. 

I wish we'd had more time to look at the downstairs museum, but we did get to see the gun that shot Lincoln and a bunch of other artifacts. Like John Wilkes Booth's boot, which the doctor had cut open to get his injured foot/ankle  out of it.

Our seats, once we got to them, were terrific.  We had a great view of the pit (something I enjoy, having done pit orchestras before) and the stage and it was almost like the show was being performed just for us.  

Being so close, I also had a great view of the costumes, which (unlike other shows I've seen) were fantastic.  The men's outfits were so well done. I loved that the southern gentleman as well as some of the richer mid-Atlantic ones (like John Dickenson) were made of silk, and the New Englanders were generally in wool or linen.    Edward Rutledge from South Carolina was had green velvet breeches, and embroidered vest, and a gorgeous green silk jacket.  I noticed Lyman Hall of Georgia's coat was lined in a shot blue silk.  All the men wore repro shoes with real pronged buckles. 

The two women in the show I was very pleasantly surprised by - they both appeared to be wearing stays!  They had the appropriate shape and also had bum rolls and/or hip pads.  Abigail had a cute green jacket and striped petticoat and later on, a gorgeous Indienne print gown with a (faux) quilted petticoat.  The fact that the costume designer actually put her in an Indienne print amazed me! Well played, Sir! 

Martha Jefferson wore a gorgeous gold (satin?) gown.  You could tell the garments were theatrical, because you could just make out a zipper - but I can forgive a lot of things if they're fitted properly and have the right shape.  The gold gown was really pretty. She had a pretty pink cloak in her first scene too, which appeared to be a shot taffeta with ruched trim.

Both ladies had repro shoes - and after spending way too much time looking at them, I decided that they had to be American Duchess shoes!  Martha's were pink silk  and I'm pretty sure the top of the tongue is the same shape as the American Duchess shoe.  And there aren't that many (or any other?) dyeable silk options out there!  After decided Martha had to be wearing Lauren's shoes, I checked out Abigail's again - hers were definitely leather, but they were  gray.  I decided she had the leather American Duchess shoes and they painted them.

Both ladies had cute little pinner caps too.

I was just so pleased that the women's costumes were so pretty and appropriate, from head to toe!

The show itself was spectacular. The acting was amazing, the singing was amazing. I loved the set design. And the pit (which was tiny, I think only 8 people) sounded fantastic as well.  I was blown away by how good the whole production was.

I also mouth along (silently, don't worry) to pretty much the entire show. Which apparently the woodwind player noticed.  During intermission (since he was sitting only a few feet from me) he actually asked if I'd been in the show!  Nope, just a fan! Being in the front and having the actors be able to see your reactions was so fun.  I would swear that the messenger who sings the sad "Hey Mama" song was singing it to me!

If you're in the DC area, go see it - it was wonderful!

I found this interview with the costume designer online:

I did find a few pics of the costumes online too - I couldn't find one of Abigail's first costume, but you can see the Indienne print dress and Martha's gold gown.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Miniature of me!

My mom painted this as a gift! It's me in my aqua 1790s gown! Didn't she do a great job? Especially since it's only 2" big!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New 18th century stays!

I've been needing a new pair of stays for a while. I love my old ones, they're comfortable and for my first pair, I'm happy with how they turned out.  But they've stretched and they're starting to look their age, so I've had plans for a new pair.  But I'm not someone who really enjoys making stays, so I kept putting them off. I've been trying to tie up old or half-started projects lately, so it was time.

The fabric is silk taffeta I bought a few years ago at a little 18th century market I went to with Bauhausfrau.  It's a teal/orange shot fabric if you look at the threads.   I found the gold striped bias trim on etsy and I thought it would be really cute.  The ribbons are silk, also from the stash.  I used cable ties like I did for my first stays, except for two spring steel bones used near the lacing.  The pattern is the Diderot one from Corsets & Crinolines. I didn't make any changes  to the pattern since the first pair of stays worked so well.  Hopefully these will too! Forgive the wrinkles in the taffeta - they really show up in the pictures.