elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Sunday we had a Victorian tea to attend at the LeDuc house to celebrate the birthday of one of the costume group gals. I decided I would try some rag curls in The Girl's hair. She just had two little braids for skating but the curls are fancier!

I didn't want to make her sleep in them so I started them during morning cartoons. I dampened her hair with half and half Lottabody setting lotion and water, and wound up locks of hair on strips of muslin. I tied the muslin in knots to keep it on. I remembered reading something about rolling the hair away from the face in front, so I did that. For the rest of her head I was just winging it.

tea 028

She wore them all day, even on errands and to play in the yard. At around 2:30 I gave them a just-in-case blast with the blowdryer, let the hair cool, then unrolled them, nervously. Aaaaaand... they turned out okay! Not perfect, but if I'd wanted perfect I would have used rollers instead of rags. And gotten someone else to do it.

tea 030

I tied a nice cotton sateen ribbon around her head. She chose white. The curls stayed in very well and felt so very soft and touchable. I kind of couldn't stop playing with her hair.

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She wore the red plaid again, her only currently-fitting Victorian dress. I think this may have been the last wear for this one. Our next Victorian event is probably not until summer, and I doubt this dress will still fit when cold weather comes around again.

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And her new tweed coat. Hopefully not the last wear for this!

tea 033

I decided to wear my green calico. Everything else I have seemed either too summery (the Renoir or the seaside) or too dressy (the green and blue taffeta ruffle dress). So it was down to the green calico or the brown wool, and I am getting a little tired of the brown wool. Plus I feel very like myself in the green calico, and I guess yesterday I just wasn't in a mood for fussiness.

I spruced up the calico with a new ribbon, another one of the cotton sateen ribbons from work. I tied it in a bow and pinned it in place with this antique pin my HB gave me. It's very dark green glass in a gold-tone setting. I also had my winter bonnet and buff-color gloves. I took this photo at home afterward so it's a mirror shot!

tea 046

My HB wore his 1840s suit that he bought from a company in Canada. He also wore the new top hat which I need to remember to re-shape a little with the hat jack.

There were 8 of us total in attendance. I didn't get photos of everyone but here is the tea table!

tea 041

I made two plates of sandwiches: egg salad on soft whole wheat (we don't keep white bread in the house, generally) and smoked trout spread on very dense, very thin German pumpernickel. One of those loaves that comes vacuum-sealed like a little brick. You know.

There were also deviled eggs, raw vegetables, brandied carrots, crackers with goat cheese, apple crisp, three kinds of cake, lemon tart, and a cold joint ("for the men," as Mrs. Beeton puts it). With so many sweets I wish I had made more sandwiches! Or even just bread-and-butter! There was also tea (of course) but mostly we drank champagne, and a teeny pitcher of orange juice was arranged for F.

The Girl behaved very well and her good manners were remarked upon by the tea guests. She LOVED exploring the LeDuc house and pretending we lived there. And she sat very nicely at the table and said please and thank you and was very nice about the food, even for being as picky as she is. I was very proud of her. Of course, she did get restless by the end of the day but that's okay because we knew it was time to leave! So, overall, a lovely event. SO glad we all went.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Ok, so here's the dress post to wrap up all the details.

18th c picnic 6 2015 086

The dress ended up fitting quite well, so yay! The front closes with pins. The back poofs are created by tying two twill tape ties together on each side. One is at the side back waist and the mate is about 12" up and 24" in from the front opening. I tied them with about 6" distance. I liked this method because I didn't have to worry about having a pretty cord that matched, and also I can wear it in the future as a plain open gown if I like.

lots more! )

Ok, so the hair. I relied heavily on Kendra's 18th century hair book. I more or less followed the directions for Miss Nettlethorpe, though mine turned out shorter and wider. And some of my front hair fell back and down instead of going up, but since the rats were all covered I didn't mess with it.

She tells you to make two tiny buns as anchor points on your head, but my hair is really too long to do them easily, so instead I made a tiny little micro braid at the back of my ear to ear crown part, then coiled that up into a tiny oval braided bun. That seemed to make a solid anchor for the rats and things.

18th c picnic 6 2015 004

hairdo details )

In fact, I was very pleased with the whole look. I think this is the most "complete" I have ever felt in 18th century costume. I had appropriate hair, hat, shoes, and accessories. The only really off thing was my glasses. I had planned to take them off for a few photos but I completely forgot.

This project reminded me that I am still kind of a beginner sewer in a lot of ways. This is the first garment I have hand sewn in silk; it's the first time I have made Big Hair. I have a lot farther to go! But I have this feeling that I am finally starting to get there. If that makes any sense.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
A few local folks organized a very informal Victorian tea outing for yesterday, just a meetup at a cozy local place for a snack and a chat. Of course, I needed something new to spiff up my brown wool.

I desperately wanted a nice wintery hat. I have a couple of cute little summer straw ones, but nothing even close for winter. I realized I could never make a whole new hat that quick, so first I tried to cover an old straw frame with velvet, which failed, because I was trying to do it the cheater's way, which, for me, always fails.

Then I remembered I had a tiny little round hat I made years ago for something 1560-ish; it had a small, narrow brim and a soft, pleated crown. I made it but never wore it because it didn't work out perfectly and came out a little small. So I thought I could trim it up to look Victorian.

First I bent the brim into a nice curve. This is basically the "before" shot.

hat (1)

Then I started adding trims. I had a very small piece of striped silk in a taupe-y grey with black stripes that I wound around and crunched up around the base of the crown. A small remnant of wide, chalky brown petersham became a bow, and I sewed several white feathers with a couple black ones and stuck them behind the bow. I had some wonderful picot-edged black velvet ribbon (that someone gave me) to make chin ties.

I forgot to take a picture of it on the styro hat head but here it is on me.

hat (9)

winter (1)

I had a little bit too much fun taking backyard tripod photos.

More! )

I have realized that these tiny 1870s hats really don't look right unless you have the right mountain of hair to prop them up. Since I generally fail at hair, I wasn't optimistic but set aside an hour to try anyway. And I think I came up with something okay! Here's what I did:

Hairdo details )

The "tea" turned out to be drinks, dessert, and champagne. My kind of tea! It was fun and I was glad to get out in costume. I am really enjoying doing more costume events but of course it does make me feel like I NEED MORE DRESSES NOW!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
You guys, it's just sad how much I love this.

glinda progress 003

I'm wearing my stealth earwarmer and I pulled half the length of my hair up into a small bun to fake the short hair.

The back has velcro and no I don't really care that some of it shows. I needed it to be adjustable for when I am not wearing the earwarmer.

glinda progress 004

Laid flat.

glinda progress 007

Here's the goofy fake-short-hair hack. Please ignore the crazy eyes.

glinda progress 005

Right now I have my hair set in bandana waves so hopefully it will look a little nicer for photos. But you get the idea.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I got my hairdo book today! Yay!


It has been so hard the past few days seeing all you west - coasters get your copies, and imagining them slowly trickling across the nation in the mail.

Today when I got the mail I just sat down on the porch and read for half an hour without moving. So far I am really liking it. Of course I knew it would be awesome, but I did fear that there wouldn't be enough info on styling your own natural hair. I know a lot of you love wigs, and I think they are great, too! But if you have met me you probably know that I have a lot of hair, and I also have a certain vanity about it. I want to let it show! Not to mention the trouble of stowing it all somewhere if I did do a full wig.

So I was glad to see so many of the styles using so much of your own hair. I really ought to try some earlier, simple ones, but I am dying to try something huge! I think I could do Miss Nettlethorpe with just my own hair and a couple false buckles. But I don't mind adding wefts or pieces as long as I can still show off my own hair!

My one regret is that I did not donate to the cause beyond the price of the book. I wish I had! Now all my friends' names are in there and mine is not. That's what I get for being a cheapskate.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I want to preface this with the reminder that I tend to be pretty lame at doing historic hair. For many of you, setting hair in curls is old hat, but I am just starting to learn about this, so it's all still new to me!

That being said, here's what I did for my Regency hair.

Read more... )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Spent some time playing with my hair this morning. This is the least embarrassing picture that resulted.

The part on top is all mine, braided and loosely arranged. The curls are fake. I set them the other day from a piece of straight hair on a weft.

I was inspired by this image and this one for the headband + curls look. The headband nicely covers the additional hair's weft, plus it is cute. I have some pink silk I might use, or I might use some of the green dress fabric.

After I got it on I realized the curls need to be much tighter and shorter. I'm going to set another piece with smaller sections and smaller rollers.

And here is the progress on the bright green dress. I now have the sleeves hemmed and skirt attached as well.

I kind of dove into this dress without a plan. It's the first time I'm doing Regency, so there is a lot more information than I can soak up in one project. Meaning, I'm doing this by the seat of my pants and I know there are parts of it that are not right, but I'm not going to rip and re-do forever to try to make it perfect. It's my first one and there are going to be mistakes.

That being said, here's the dress non-plan so far: it closes in back with hooks and has drawstrings in casings at the neckline and waist to snug it up and create the full gathered front. The skirt is gathered all around, with the most fabric concentrated in back. I'm handsewing everything that shows on the bodice, but I will probably machine-hem the skirt, simply for speed.

Hopefully I can get the dress done today. I plan to leave it plain so I can use the next few days to focus on accessories.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
We ended up going to the ball despite my lingering cough. I brought a handful of throat drops and just hoped for the best. Overall, I did okay. Five dances is an acceptable minimum!

As usual, I am terrible about taking event photos. I will keep my eye on the group facebook page and hopefully some will turn up. I need to promise myself to make a bigger reticule that actually fits a camera! But here is one from home. I wore the pink cupcake dress again.

ball (6)

I did end up getting it together enough to make my HB's new tailcoat. Now he finally has somewhat proper evening wear!

tailcoat 009

More about the Coat Adventure )

The other new thing is my hairdo. I’ve been unsatisfied with bustle era hair for a while. People kept telling me “Just put it a little higher,” and it took me until now to realize that “higher” means literally ON TOP of your head, like the tippy-top-top. So I tried, and it worked out much better!

I took these when we got home, so it had slid a bit, but still not bad!

hairdo (4)

More hairdo shots )
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I thought I'd better do one last hairdo practice where I put all the elements together.  This, more or less, is going to be my ball hairdo.

I used flash, but even so, with my dark hair, the detail is hard to see.  It came out a little lopsided, but I don't mind.  And yes, I am in my jammies. 

hairdo 003

More views )

Here's what I did:

I used only my own hair, no additions, and frankly, it was kind of dirty.
Center parted, then parted from ear to ear over top.  Clipped the front sections aside.
Put the bulk of my hair in a high ponytail with an elastic.  Separated this into 3 sections and 3-strand-braided the outer 2.
Took remaining section and twisted it into a figure 8 on top of my head.
Looped left braid around the back/bottom of my head, then coiled the right braid around to fill in the space.
Then I took the front sections, pulled them back and pinned them under the braids, and curled the ends.
Added flowers!

Here are the hairpins I used, from left to right:

Pins )

The Bunheads and the knitting needle pins are my most useful.  I used the short pins only to secure the flowers.  The spin pins are good to add for extra security after the do is mostly done.

Feedback?  I like the shape a lot, since I usually find it hard to avoid a lot of bulk at the nape.  But are the curls too long?  Is it too lopsided?  I'd like to think I can make it better later but I'm also trying to be realistic about my hair skills.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Saturday was the Pirates & Njnas event, and I wore my riding habit.

I'll say this: I loved it as a pirate costume.  It didn't need to be perfect or clean or nice for a pirate.  I just didn't love it as a versatile go-anywhere costume.  I think this one is permanently stuck with the pirate label.

However, nobody could see the black splotches (they were mostly at the back/bottom of the skirt, at the underarm, and on the facings) and my buttonholes didn't look too crappy at arm's length.  But thanks for the sympathy on my last post, y'all!

Here I am at the event with my hair all crazy and not paying any attention to my photographer-husband (I was looking at how pretty the trees were).

More photos! )
So, in list form:

I got a great pirate costume
I have a well-fitted jacket pattern I can use again
I learned about drafting shapes of this era
I learned a new sleeve placket
I got to practice handmade buttonholes

I don't have a versatile riding habit
The pattern I now have is really different from the next jacket I want to do

I think the pros win, making this project mostly a success.

The event was great fun!  I'll be posting about it at [livejournal.com profile] tccostumers later.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I'm having a hard time finding good, plain hair pins lately.  Does anyone know of a good source for them?

I'm looking for 2"-3" black wire, and they need to have smooth ball tips.  All the pins I've bought lately are so crappily tipped they might as well be bare wire, they rip at my hair so much.

Sidenote: does anyone know why it's so hard to find good hair pins and so easy to find bobby pins?  I mean, I still haven't figured out what you can really do with a bobby pin, besides pin a very small stray lock to your head.  You can't make a bun with them (at least I can't). 

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