elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Ok, so I'm a little late to the party, but who cares!

I should mention I've only read this book recently. Everybody here was talking so much about it and I love a good novel with magic, so I got a cheap used copy last January and read it. I have to admit I had to persevere a bit to get into the story. The footnotes drove me crazy, and the text felt very small for my tired eyes at night. But after I few chapters I fell in deep, and loved it.

My vision for this costume is very earthy, like mold and moss and slightly rotted dead things in the dark undergrowth of the forest. That's how I pictured the fairies in the book. The Gentleman is also described as wearing green.

Anyone remember this annoyingly bright dress? Well I decided I could sacrifice it to the cause. I did really enjoy the brightness, but I'd already worn it twice for two different events, and I really doubted I'd wear it again. So I dyed it to make it more earthy and mossy. One pot of Procion bronze later, I had this:

dyed dress (1)

To make the wings, I bought a big sheet of fancy mulberry paper from the art supply store and did some paint. First a mottled layer of brown watercolor, then a sponged layer of metallic bronze.

After this I coated the back in Mod Podge to stiffen, which was a total fail. It's actually softer now, instead of stiffened! It's heavy and soft and floppy and thick. Probably you real artist types are saying "duh," but usually when I Mod Podge things they get stiff, almost crispy stiff, like they stand up on their own.

I am really not much of an artist, so please know this is really the best I could do. It's not quite what I envisioned, but oh well. I will go with it anyway. I have a wing template, sort of a dragonfly's wing shape, that I will use to cut out wings from my painted paper. I plan for them to hang down, like they are folded, not stick out to the sides.


The twirly sticks are for my hair, which I plan to braid up and then cover with moss and twigs.

Finally the overbodice. This is still in progress, and it's a little ambitious for me, so we'll see how it goes. The plan is to glue a layer of moss to a tulle foundation to make a bodice made of moss. Here's the sample I made.

moss (2)

It worked pretty well, though I had to absolutely saturate it with glue (Fabric Fusion). I put freezer paper below and on top and weighted it with a book until it dried.

I have a bag each of brown and green and another bag that's more peat-y. I'll try mixing them a bit. I hope this ends up looking like what I am imagining.

moss (1)
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
So I have the bodice of my Little White Regency Dress sewn. I am doing it all by hand. I need to try it on before I keep going (because I am paranoid, and I screw up a lot) but I HATE having to lace my stays up constantly. It's not like an easy-on, easy-off Victorian corset. It takes ages.

So I figured I would make it count by fitting my spencer mockup at the same time. But that means I have to figure out what the spencer will look like...

I know I have a couple wools in my stash, a mustard yellow and at least one deep teal blue. Right around the turn of the century the look is kind of loose, unstructured, with flappy bits everywhere and so on. I am going for a little later look, 1810-15-ish, when things became a little more tidy.

Here are a few plates I am looking at.

Fitted, nice collar: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/229894755952894174/

These sleeves are too crazy but I like the front: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/490188740669191893/

I probably won't do this trim, but I like the shape: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/268456827762195310/

A little fussy but cute: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/131589620337526759/

Love the fitted-ness, the collar, the color: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/178032991493300959/

The shape, the yellow, the bow! https://www.pinterest.com/pin/431501208018223050/
elizabeth_mn: (winter)
4 yards of dotted swiss and a yard of handkerchief linen for my LWD!


I know, I am not going to sew this for months, and the fabric is one we almost always have at work, but I know what happens to she who hesitates. So I thought I would snap it up just in case.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
So, it's Tuesday, and I feel like I am the last person to get my weekend photos up. How weird is that? Modern times.

We went to the Netherfield Ball this weekend organized by the Historic Recreation Society. I wore my green voile from last year. I had big plans for a new yellow silk dress but after making Glinda and the purple plaid I was a little burned out and postponed it for another time. I also had plans for the HB but I decided to wait until I have the new-ish Laughing Moon men's regency tailcoat pattern so I can do it right. So her wore his blue 18th century suit from last spring.

It was really cold and snowy that night, and my HB asked me if I was sure I would be okay wearing that thin dress. Silly man! At least I didn't dampen it, like a certain hardcore reenactor in attendance.

Anyway, pictures!

A goofy selfie was required.


The ball was pretty well attended. Lots of lovely ladies and dapper gents all dressed up! Not everybody was perfectly in period; a lot of the men were in their Victorian evening wear, but who cares because they like to dance!


Lots more! )
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)
I'm being nagged by the thought that I don't have a target year I am basing any of this project on. While I love the way my green dress is coming out, it's a little bit poofier than I expected, which pushes it to an earlier date than I had supposed. So instead of 1810-ish, I guess I am now looking at 1799-1800? It's definitely got that fullness and higher back waistline, as opposed to the utterly slim columnar look that came a bit later. But the waist is so very high I don't want to say 1790s. . . am I wrong? I fear doing a 20-year-span mish-mash.

Remember the aqua blue "something" I alluded to, to go with the bright green dress?


I want it to be a spencer. I made a mockup and fitted it (once again, La Mode Bagtelle) and cut out the real fabric last night. I'm not sewing it up until I can finalize the details.

Here's my dilemma:

I don't want a collar. I don't have enough fabric, and my fabric choice is too limp to support a collar anyway. Plus I am running out of time. However, I can't seem to find examples of collarless spencers with long sleeves after 1795-ish.

There are loads of sleeveless ones with plain, collarless necklines, but would it make me hopelessly mish-mashy to just make up my own concept like that? And if it doesn't have a collar, how do I shape the neckline?

I definitely could've made my decisions easier by just choosing a single fashion plate and copying it exactly! Alas.

Any words of encouragement, ladies? Am I overthinking this?
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)

Thank you all for the nice comments about my hair progress! I am trying to be very good and sew instead of post and hang around online, but i just had to drop this photo because I am so excited with how it's looking!


So, done except for hooks and eyes and a hem. I realize this is kid stuff compared to some of the amazing things you guys are sewing, but for me, it's pretty good!

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.

a petticoat

Mar. 5th, 2014 08:17 am
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Made this from the La Mode Bagatelle bodiced petticoat pattern (thanks again, [livejournal.com profile] undycat!)

Here are small and crappy pictures.



The pattern is actually meant to function as bust support with a canvas interlining. Ha! I am wearing it over my stays, of course. I added some tucks at the hem for skirt support.

While I had this getup on, I also convinced my man to pin me into my bodice mockup. Looks good, so today I really want to get the dress cut out and put together.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
So far, so good?


This is all the cording I've done so far, but I've got all the gussets in and the other back half assembled. 
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