Tuesday, July 31, 2012

SLO renaissance fair

. . . was a great event! The fair was very small and tucked back into the hills between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay. It was hot but not deadly hot, and the fair was dry and dusty but yet also quaint. 

We participated with the queens court guild of St. Stephen. Most of the group are friends from other events that we participate in up in SF, so we felt right at home. And of the people we did not already know, new friends were quickly made :)

I wore my usual Elizabethan dress, it was well received, which is always surprising to me because it is so plain :) 
Michaels new sleeves were very nice, I was quite happy with how they turned out. But both of us agree that if we are going to continue doing fairs we are going to need fancier outfits ;)

It's the little fairs like this one where the people are wonderful, the atmosphere is great, and the venue is quaint that remind me why I love renaissance fair and renews my desire to participate in them.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Old Fort Mac Days

Three weekends ago Michael and I attended the "old fort Mac days" event at Fort McArthur. The event was a two day gathering of all military reenactor's from Vikings to desert storm and everything in between. There were lots of WWII groups and plenty of civil war, even some revolutionary war. My favorites were the rev war groups but that's probably because I had so many friends in them :)

Michael chose to wear his most impressive uniform: the 13th hussars full dress kit, it's an original from the 1880s and he has every piece for the kit including all the other modes of dress. It usually only gets worn at the SF dickens fair, so taking it out into the daylight was fun and a rather spectacular sight. 

In the afternoon as it got much warmer, he changed into the Indian service kit for the 13th hussars. It's so good looking with the bright white coat and the gold accents and that pith helmet. 

Just to make my life easier I wore one of my 1850s gowns, it's the era of dress I wear with him at dickens so it was easy to put together. All the pieces I had except for the little bolero which I threw together the week before using a truly Victorian pattern. I was really trying to aim for this look: 

I didn't have time to embellish the dress so that will be for another event, but the general style is there I feel like :)

My favorite part of the outfit, aside from the sweetheart badge I wore for the 13th hussars, was my hair. Using a fake bun and lots of braids in my own hair, I was able to create that very severe hairstyle that was so popular. 

Unfortunately there aren't a whole lot of photos to share. We were so busy having fun with our friends that I didn't take any pictures :( 

But Michael and I plan to do the event next year so maybe more then. We really want to camp out next year and set up a "british officer on campaign" camp, it would ridiculously extravagant and oh so much fun :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

No sleeves for you!

That is no sleeves for me :( apparently I had the dates wrong for the next renaissance fair, instead of it being in two weekends it's this weekend. So now I will be sewing slightly frantically to get michael's sleeves done and not doing anything new for my dress (sigh). This was my inspiration for new sleeves, it can from the same book I'm getting michael's stuff from:

That's okay the fabrics not going anywhere. I can always aim for the next event with this dress.

Monday, July 16, 2012

New Sleeves for Michael

I'm working on making new sleeves for Michael's Elizabethan court suit. Though we both loved the way the original pair turned out, after the event we found out that it was not period correct for mens sleeves to not match the body of the doublet that was more women's fashion. So now he will have sleeves that will match, since we have a renaissance fair coming up in two weeks.

Using illustrations and descriptions from this fabulous little book I found in some old stuff of Michael's, i cut out a sleeve pattern.

Then I made two slits per sleeve, one for the upper arm and one for the lower arm and ironed the slits open am sewed them down. 

Then using the old sleeves I cut long rectangles that had an X centered in the middle which I then set behind the slit so that it would show through. 

I'm now at the point of taking that in and then sewing the lining and sleeve together. And then the whole thing goes into the doublet.

I will say though that it has me thinking about changing the sleeves on my own renaissance dress . . . 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Victorian sweetheart badges

At our event last weekend Michael wore his Victorian uniform for the 13th Hussars (pictures of that to come soon I promise) it is a very beautiful uniform and one of my favorites . So in an attempt to look cohesive I wore one of my 1860s dresses and with my dress I wore a sweetheart badge for the 13th hussars. Michael had found it in a box with other miscellaneous military odds and ends and gave it to me. I had been hankering after one for awhile I just think they are so pretty and the idea of identifying yourself by your husband/brother/fathers regiment is such a neat one. A sweetheart badge was traditionally worn by the female members of a mans family while he was away on duty. Different then a standard sweetheart broach it was usually the regimental badge on a pin back. The pin back on mine is broken so I sewed mine to a ribbon and wore it like a little medal :) eventually I want to have one for every regiment Michael collects! 

Here are some more examples I found on the Internet, they are usually found on auction sites, I don't know of anyone doing reproductions. And they can be quite expensive when they are guilt, I have even seen a few that we're heavily jewel encrusted :) 

Monday, July 9, 2012

What do you do with only one shoe?

. . . I turn them into pin cushions :) I know the horror and blasphemy of permanently ruining vintage or even antique shoes. But seriously theres only one, it's not as if they could ever be worn and there is only so much room in ones house for pretty but useless objects on display. And yet I never seem to have enough pin cushions on hand . . . 

I start by closing up the shoe either by using its own fasteners or sewing or glueing it closed then I fill the form of the shoe with batting or if it's more open like a T strap heel I cut out a foam form like a foot and then cover it with batting and then cover all that with a decorative fabric and tack it down. 

Then its just a matter of creative license to decorate. I try to have a theme, my favorite is one I did for a friend that was a Victorian boot decorated with dozens of cameos and gold bug charms :) this one I was thinking vibrant reds and lace:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy independence day :)

I'm spending my day off sewing of course, I hope you enjoy your day off too!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Some thought on 1860s summer wear

Michael and I will be attending the event at Fort MacArthur this weekend. We're just going out for one day on Saturday to visit our friends who are coming into town for it. 

Since its a military event Michael has decided to wear one of his more impressive uniforms. So to stay with the time period he is setting I will wear one of my hoop dresses.

But I don want to wear one of the dress I made for Dickens last year as they are all very decidedly winter wear. So I have my first dress I eve made for the era and with just a few quick modifications I can wear but how to modify it the questions. So here are some fashion plates I am considering:

Monday, July 2, 2012

Turkish ish costume

Here's a preview peak of the costume I threw together for Labyrinth of Jareth which was on Saturday. I will post up real pictures from the event when they show up as I was bad and didn't take any of my own, an the outfit is so much better when it was all put together complete with make up jewelry and turban :)