Dienstag, 10. Mai 2016

Costume craziness...

How do you guys choose your next sewing project?

For the next event?
Because you always wanted *that* dress?
Or because you just like to sew a challenging project?

And how did you choose that exact dress? Was it instant love?

Or are you more like me, seeing 1890s sleeves and think "ugh... No Way".

Day Dress c. 1895
10 month later you see the same sleeves and think "I want those NOW!!"

In my entire life I have never been to a real costuming event. My choice of sewing project usually comes from my brain saying "I like this. Let's make it". When friends and family ask what I am making all this "stuff you'll never wear" for, I have no satisfaying answer for them. (At least not what they expect to hear)

I sew, because I am fascinated by historical fashions!
I sew, because I can see and feel the direct results of my hard work right after finishing a project. That is a very rewarding feeling!
I sew, because it makes me happy!

Do you know this feeling of instant happiness when you open the doors of the wardrobe?
With sewing I found my peronal way on the road to happiness and right now I just want to go foreward and find more of it!

 Last week I spend a week of vacation at home. Since I catched cold I didn't really enjoy it, but still managed to do some ebay online shopping. For my costuming hobby, of course...

I ordered a bunch of old umbrellas and parasols for peanuts and intend to recover some of them. They arrived last saturday; so at the very end of my free time.
Why is it, that my costuming spirits rise on the last day off work every single time I am off? It's like my brain does not realize, that it will be back to "real" work the next day.

Here is where the costume craziness starts...

My step by step brainstorm towards my next sewing project(s)

On saturday bespoke umbrellas and parasols arrived. This bunch...

- Two walking sticks went back into the box to get tossed
- One super heavy old crab went to the box as well - a broken spoke I couldn't fix
- The red one gets tossed, too. Unfortunately beyond saving
- Two umbrellas are in fairly good condition and don't need much fixing to be reused
- Three are good to get a new cover and I already removed the fabric

My first project is to recover the former beige one and the plan was to use white cotton combined with florentine net lace.

I cut our the matching pattern piece from Truly Victorian TV570 Parasol Covers and soon realized, that I don't have enough lace to do the job.
The fabric is missing 40cm.
So I went back to ebay to search for new fabric for this parasol.

And fabric I found!
Only not for the parasol... 10m of black silk taffeta! I couldn't resist. A total bargain! What to make from it??? (notice how my parasol project is beeing pushed aside to dream of some hypothetical dress?)

Got it! I desperately need a Robe a L'Anglaise. Don't I?
Like this one

And it has to be all black so I can use it for choir concerts. 10metres are enough. Perfect! I even have a pattern flying around.

OR I could make a cute Polonaise...
Louis Carrogis, Madame la Comtesse de Vauban (1776).

I absolutely LOVE this painting. The pink silk for the Polonaise has been in my stash for two years already. Time to use it!

Wait a minute, didn't I plan on making a handquilted petticoat lately? like this one?
Aaaw! 1770-80 Polonaise, Illustrated in Patterns of Fashion 1

It would have to be super accurate, of course. Silk satin, wool batting, woolen backing. Where do I get wool batting?
Back to ebay!
And sure enough there is a supplier not too far away from home from happy sheep! Hurra!
Aaaw, all those pretty quilted petticoats!

"Off to bed and dream of petticoats" was my next thought on sunday evening and I took Nancy Bradfield's "Costume in detail" for good night inspiration. I remembered some quilts in there...

After some woolgathering I continued to browse a little more for good measure...
And found this:
Costume in Detail p. 56
Hold on! Didn't I toss this very umbrella a few hours ago????
It is half past midnight already, but out of bed it is!
Remember the super heavy old crab umbrella? Now that I see this drawing I am stunned of the similarity to my version. I directly pulled it out of the box to have a closer look:

Nearly all measurements are the same and the spokes are whalebone!!! Real baleen in my home! The possibilities! OMG!
The only major difference is, that my umbrella has 8 instead of 9 spokes...

This thing must be really old since baleen has been used for umbrellas between 1750 and 1850. The cover is not original; it is machine sewn. But still fascinating...
Details of the nearly tossed treasure (Baleen!!!)



One spoke is broken. Hard to believe actually - that stuff is really strong.

I want to boil the spokes and make stays of it!!! Hurra!

But can I really destroy this witness of fashion? Imagine the pretty dresses this umbrella saved from rain (hold by a gentleman, of course).

What would you do?

Next time:
Really happening projects:-)

fashion plate