Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Empress of India Ball

The Saturday night before we attended the Gatsby Summer Afternoon picnic, we attended a Victorian dance hosted by the group PEERS
All their events are themed and this one was "Empress of India".  So since we were already going to be up in the bay area for the weekend and we both have plenty of appropriate attire to chose from for Victorian English in India we decided to go for it.
Michael wore his mess kit for a British Indian regiment he collects. The uniform is a khaki wool with brown velvet facings and khaki Russia braid passementerie. This is a favorite of mine, aside from the beauty that is this surviving original uniform, it is also the outfit he was wearing when i first met him :)
I wore my Tissot dress as the white cotton lends its self to the idea of being in British India, the shape of the gown is the also correct for the time frame. But the dress was originally made with a day bodice so i made an evening bodice out of left over matching fabric and trim. (oh thank heavens i am pack rat and squirrel away all my little scraps for just such an occurrence as this, the dress having been originally made a few years ago).
we were joined by many of our friends from the bay area that we do the Dickens Fair with and we had a wonderful night of dancing! 
I had my usual girls in attendance so much giggling and shenanigans was had by all ;)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Gatsby Summer Afternoon

Two weekends ago was the Gatsby Summer Afternoon Picnic up in San Francisco, hosted by the Art Deco Society of California. The event is held at the historic Dunsmuir Helman estate. The house and and grounds are simply gorgeous and the perfect setting for this 1920's event. And wouldn't you know it I barely took any pictures! Sorry! :(
This is the second year i have attended the picnic (we missed last year to a scheduling conflict) and it was just as fun this year as the last time i attended. We had a better picnic and food set up this year as we are now more practiced at period picnicking. I made cucumber sandwiches with mint, cold blanched asparagus with lemon, prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe and angle food cake with fresh strawberries for dessert. Michael made the drink of choice which is Pim's Cup, a gin based liquor muddles with cucumber, lemon and mint, and mixed with ginger beer. The drinks were cold and refreshing and the food was just the right amount of munchies for the group. 
And what a group we had! our little party was about 7 people but we were surround by dozens of out friends and their own lovely picnic set ups and food. The event was PACKED!! there were picnic set ups and vintage cars as far as the eye could see  :) and the dance floor was a constant crush. In years past the event has always been well attended but i think this year they broke records and that is likely attributed to the recent popularity of the 20's and Gatsby from the Leonardo DiCaprio movie that came out this spring.
The weather this year was very hot! even by Bay Area standards and that made it a little hard to get out and dance for too long and us from spending too much time walking in the sun to say hi to friends. Instead it was more of a leap frog around the lawn from one covered spot to the next :)
While i had originally planned to wear the green 20's dress i had started a few weeks ago i didn't because i wasn't able to get it finished enough to my satisfaction. . . . it just wasn't quite up to my par to be seen in public yet. so rather then wear something i wouldn't be completely happy with i borrowed this lovely original 1930's china blue swiss dot dress from my friend and paired it with my vintage ladies panama hat.
The dress was lovely and i enjoyed being able to wear it for the day. Next year i will wear the green 20's dress after i have had more time to finish, embellish and accessorize it to my satisfaction :)

Michael wore linen plus fours with a burgundy wool sporting blazer trimmed in white. the blazer has the initials H. B. C. crossed oars and the date 1925 embroidered on the left top chest pocket. Those would be the initials for the Harvard Boating Club and yes it is an original from that date. It is one of his favorite pieces and he loves when he can wear it :)
Despite the crush of the crowds, the heat of the day and my two hour struggle with a migraine mid way through the event it was a wonderful day spent in a beautiful setting with all our friends!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Art Deco Weekend on the Queen Mary

Two weekends ago we attend the 9th annual Art Deco Festival on the Queen Mary ship in Long Beach. 
The event takes place over three days and is packed full of events, the events include a cocktail party on the fore deck, a pajama party with an original vintage betting game, a grand ball, lectures, vintage shopping, a tea dance and a couple other opportunities to gather in a lovely setting, listen to vintage music and visit with friends.
This year included a few new small events as well many new exhibits of original ship accessories pulled from archives and restored, such as the red velvet curtains and dinnerware from the starlight lounge which was an exclusive dinner and dancing venue for passengers that was held on the first night of departure.
We had a lovely room again this year and enjoyed wandering the ship and spending time with friends! 
In Fact this year i had two of my very best friends join us for the event for the first time. it was fun to experience, through their eyes, the ship for the first time, in all her beauty and grace :)
Michael and i both had a few new outfits and accessories to showcase this year which is always fun. As is seeing what everyone else is wearing :)
I wore my favorite dark green wool suit and black tilt hat to arrive in. which is the same as last year. 
though with the heat wave we were suffering through that wool suit was trial. The black crepe evening dress for the cocktail party was much more comfortable and when the sun went down the deck cooled down and it was very enjoyable to be milling about outside.
For the pajama party that first night i wore my new floral robe with these very fun cream silk Daniel Greene slippers. 
Michael wore an amazing blue and Chinese silk embroidered robe, that sadly i didn't get any pictures of it.
Saturday was mostly about shopping which Michael and everybody else did a fair bit of but i didn't grab anything. 
I spent the day in my green bowling dress, no joke the label calls it a bowling leisure dress :) that green dress is a favorite of mine and i wear it fairly often because it fits so well and is in really good shape for its age. 
Saturday evening for the ball i wore my blue velvet 40's evening gown that i had worn previously in the year for the Avalon Ball. 
Michael looked very handsome in his white tie and tails and top hat!
The girls in blue :)
The group all got together for photos after dinner and while many were lovely we quickly dissolved into very silly!
Sunday morning i wore a new hat and suit. The hat i had found at a vintage store in San Francisco last winter and just had to have it and, therefore i had to build a whole new outfit around that hat which lead to getting the pink linen 40's suit. the pink in the suit matches the pink in the ribbon on the hat perfectly. the suit had these fun ruffles sleeves and pepulm skirt, a style feature that i don't have on any of my other vintage pieces. 
At the last minute i ended up buying new shoes to wear with this outfit because the original black shoes i had brought and worn on Friday with my green suit and torn badly when i slipped on stair and fell :( i of course was fine (being a klutz and falling is a fairly common occurrence in my world) but the shoes did not survive sadly.
Sunday for the tea dance i was originally going to wear a dress that i had worn two years ago to the event and has remained a favorite but due to a wardrobe malfunction for a friend we ended up switching dresses at the last minute so she could wear mine and i wore one of hers.
 luckily it was still in the same color scheme and style so all my accessories matched and it came with those fun organdy gauntlet gloves!

All in all it was a lovely weekend and a ton of fun!! Cant wait till next year

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Gatsby Dress

While I should be focusing on the finishing touches on my wardrobe for the Art Deco weekend on the Queen Mary this coming weekend, I am instead working on a new 1920s dress for the Gatsby picnic in SF in two weeks :) creative procrastination at its finest!

I'm making the dress based on an original I saw come up for auction on eBay recently.

For the foundation of the dress I'm using this pattern:
Which I have made once before and really love the look of!
The fabric is a mossy sagey green in silk chiffon. 
The fabric has the perfect drape for the 1920s. I'm going to add detail and decoration using a silk velvet in the same color, that's the next step :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

HSF Challenge #17 - Robes and Robings

The Challenge: "Make a robe-shaped garment, from a biblical robe, through a medieval robe, an 18th century banyan, a Regency evening robe, a 19th century wrapper, or an early 20th century kimono.  Or, make one of the frocks called robes by modern English speaking fashion historians, such as a robe volante, robe battanterobe à la coerrobe à la françaiserobe à l'anglaise (+ turquespolonaises, & circassienne), and the 1920s robe de style. "

For this challenge I am going to use the Robe Battante I made in the spring.
Fabric: six yards of light blue silk taffeta 
Pattern: a combination of the one in "the cut of women's clothing" and the Reconstructing History pattern
Year: first half of the 1700s
Notions: the usual thread and some white cotton bias tape for ties.

How Accurate: aside from the machine sewing this one was very close. I give it an 8 out of 10.
Hours to Complete: I think the whole thing was done in about a week, I'm not sure how many hours total at this point.
First Worn: earlier this spring for the SF pirate Fair 

and then again recently at Costume College.

Total Cost: the silk was $11 per yard so  $66 and the rest was all stash :)