Summer Update


Hello everyone!  School is finally over, and now I am (relatively) free to do lots and lots of sewing!  I have a few major projects planned, plus some other exciting things happening this summer.

L'Hermione L’Hermione

My first big project this summer is an 18th century outfit.  The twist: I have exactly a month to make it!  The Hermione, the replica of the tall ship that the Marquis de Lafayette sailed to America during the Revolution, is going to be in NYC at the beginning of July.  They have a traveling exhibition and a “Heritage Village”, and they’re calling for civilian reenactors in each of the port cities to help create atmosphere for the event.  I’ve been meaning to make some 18th Century clothes for a while, so this is as good an excuse as any – and it falls right in time for the HSM June challenge, Out of your Comfort Zone (I’ve worn a lot of 18th century clothes the last few years, but I’ve never actually made them!).

For my 1780 outfit, I’m starting completely from scratch, working from the inside out.  I’m already working on a linen shift using Sharon Ann Burnston’s instructions.  Then I’m using JP Ryan patterns for stays and a caraco (long skirted jacket).  I have undyed linen canvas for the stays, and a beautiful printed cotton from Colonial Williamsburg for the caraco.  I’m also going to make a false rump for a nice 1780s silhouette, and I have a lovely olive linen for a petticoat.  For accessories, I’m in the process of painting and decorating my American Duchess Pemberleys according to her late 18th Century tutorial, I need to do a bit more research for caps, and I’ve gone on an 18th century internet shopping spree ordering stockings and kerchiefs from Burnely And Trowbridge and a few other places.  So we’ll see how this goes!

Fitted Gown from The Tudor Tailor

Fitted Gown from The Tudor Tailor

My second major project this summer for the month of July is making an Elizabethan fitted gown from The Tudor Tailor.  I’m hoping to wear it with my red wool kirtle for the New York Renaissance Faire, where I portray a member of the Queen’s court.  I’m going to make it out of the same black velvet that I used for the Tissot portrait dress, of which I still have several yards, and I’m planning on trimming it with gold satin ribbon and as much bling as I can find.  I’ve also acquired about 100 gold sun pins from a production of The Magic Flute I did wardrobe on this year that I’m hoping to decorate this with.  I don’t think I’m going to have a lot of time to make new accessories for this look, but if I do I’d like to make a matching purse and a new coif.

Also, last week I attended Alamo A La Mode, the annual Costume Society of America symposium in San Antonio, and had an absolutely FABULOUS time.  I made some lovely new friends, and met this hilarious dude at the hotel:


I wore my Tissot portrait dress for the historic garment showcase, and got a lot of great positive feedback!  There were some fantastic conference sessions, including a talk from Abby from the Colonial Williamsburg Millinery about 18th century hair care that makes me want to start using 18th century hair products, and a session called Thin Is In, Fat Is Out: Changing Ideas of Beauty in the Early 20th Century which sparked some really interesting discussion about corsets.  Valerie Steele of the Museum at FIT gave a great presentation about the Queer History of Fashion exhibit, and freaking Deborah Nadoolman Landis was there and gave a talk about the Hollywood Costume exhibit, which I saw at the V&A when I was in London a few years ago.

(For those of you who don’t know, because apparently people don’t know this, Deborah Nadoolman Landis is a very famous costume designer who among many many things designed the iconic Indiana Jones.  So…big deal.)

So that’s the plan for the summer, in addition to working and getting ready to start working on my thesis in the fall.  And I’m hoping to blog more regularly, so yay!


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