Thursday, July 31, 2014

HSF '14: 1880's bustle

I mentioned this project almost a month ago with the Shape and Support challenge, where I made the petticoat that goes over this bustle.  The bustle wasn't yet finished at that point (no waistband), and it's made out of paisley fabric, so it fit perfectly (almost as if I planned it) into this fortnightly's Plaid and Paisley challenge.

Full disclosure:  I'm really not sure about my fabric choice.  It was sold along with Civil War prints in a small shop that I believe knows what it's selling, but I think the blue may be too bright, and I'm unsure about the shapes in between the paisley designs. I did find this fabric that has the same feel but one fabric doesn't really constitute a pattern, and I'm not even sure of the date of that garment.

The desire for a paisley bustle started with Jennifer Rosbrugh and her red paisley one.  How could you not want one when you see hers??  So I ordered Truly Victorian's Imperial Tonure pattern and bustle wire and got to work.  Well, it was actually about a year later, but I wanted to from the first!



The Challenge: Paisley and Plaid

Fabric: Pashmina by Moda fabrics (cotton)

Pattern: Truly Victorian's Imperial Tonure (Regular size) - TV163

Year: 1887

Notions: Thread and cotton bias tape.  I'm waiting to add a closure until I make a new corset.

How historically accurate is it? Pattern and sewing method, good.  Fabric, unknown.

Hours to complete: Maybe 10?  I haven't really been tracking my hours lately.

First worn: Just for photos, and a bit of prancing around the house.

Total cost: About $20 for fabric, the pattern was $14, and the wire was $16.  So one really expensive bustle.

Doesn't it look like a lobster??

My mistake.  The short story is that I cut the wrong size.  The long story is that I cut the Imperial (more prominent bustle) size but had the wire for the regular size, but didn't realize this until the channels for the wire were sewn in.  Instead of taking out all the channels, I just cut it down the middle to re-seam all of it, but because I had flat felled the seam, at the top on one of the sides I cut a bit too much off.  Thus the triangle.

Possibly the most awesome part of a bustle is the size difference between folded and open.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Day in Venice

We've been doing quite a bit of travelling lately.  Back to the states in May/June; Trieste, Italy in early July; and Manchester, UK last week.

While we were in Trieste (Dan had a conference so I mostly explored and played tourist) I went to Venice for a day, it being only two hours away by train.

I'd have to say that my expectations going in were rather low.  Dan was there for a day two summers ago, and apart from getting really lost at one point, he mostly came back with stories of how hot and a bit smelly it was, and how many people there were.

Mostly I went to be able to say that I've been to Venice.  And on the train back to Trieste I really did have a couple moments where I was like, 'holy cow, I've been to Venice!'.  But I don't feel the need to go back. Though my day was lovely enough, there simply were too many tourists and not enough places to sit and relax for my liking (and don't suggest that I could have taken a gondola ride to sit and relax, at 80euro (about $100) a ride, there was no way that was going to happen).


It seems like most of what you do in Venice is either take a photo of a canal, or take a photo of yourself by a canal.


Lots of canals, fewer sidewalks, and no streets.  No streets means no cars, a fact I didn't realize until I got there.  I think I'm most baffled by how emergency services get to citizens.  I think an "ambulance" would have to use a motor boat to get as close as possible, carry a stretcher the rest of the way and then head back with the patient, boating to wherever the hospital is.  I guess it's worked for about half a millennium now, so why not?


The Rialto Bridge, which I've heard is famous.

Yep, here I am, in Venice.


San Marco cathedral in the photo below--it looks like a hodge-podge of architecture, but it's really beautiful inside.  Mostly mosaic works instead of frescoes, which were done by dozens of artists at various time periods.  Some are excellent, and some aren't so great.  I don't have any photos of those though, photos inside were discouraged.
One mosaic, in the entry way, has wavy lines defining its edges.  It depicts the time before creation, before God defined the world.  It's the only mosaic in the entire church without a solid border, because after God created the world, order was the thing, and order is of course rectilinear, not wavy.  I found that really interesting.

And I'll end with the bell tower across from San Marco.

And that's Venice!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

HSF '14: 1880's Petticoat

HSF '14 is half way over.  And I think I need to slow down a bit.  My costume closet (that I created in January) is already getting full, and I keep having to shove thoughts about shipping all this stuff when we move again to the darkest recesses of my mind.

So, for the 3rd quarter of challenges, I'm going to build an 1880's ensemble, piece by piece, challenge by challenge.  This doesn't always work quite right, as a piece needs to fit in to the theme of the challenge, but I think I've figured most of it out.

The challenge this time is called Shape and Support: Make a garment that changes the silhouette of the human form through shaping and support.  My entry is a bit light for this challenge, the bustle underneath the petticoat would be much better as an entry, but that's going to be finished for the 1 August challenge.  A petticoat, in its own small way, definitely changes the shape of the body.  Many historic dresses would be obviously wrong looking without a petticoat or two or five under them.  And you can add pleats or ruffles or cording to a petticoat to change the shape of the body even more.  Mine has both pleats and ruffles and is made of very stiff cotton organdy which all help it hold its shape and support the skirts that will eventually be worn over it.



The Challenge: Shape and Support

Fabric: Cotton organdy from Vogue Fabrics

Pattern: Truly Victorian's Victorian Petticoats - TV170

Year: late 1880's

Notions: Just thread, I may add a drawstring or button to close it later, but I want to complete a new corset first.

How historically accurate is it? Really accurate.

Hours to complete: About 10?  Ruffles take forever.

First worn: For very quick photos (it was raining), and probably not again until I complete the ensemble.

Total cost: About $20.