Friday, September 21, 2012

Sewing ADD Or A Full Plate

'Tis the season.
Dickens Fair is just around the corner, and while I thought I'd bow out of any official presence in character, this year, it looks like I will be after all. At least part-time.
My mind was made up as soon as it was known to me that the character I had suggested presenting, was OK'd.
Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Also affectionately known as Sisi.

I'm ecstatic, yet a bit intimidated.
I have a good chunk of *more* sewing to do, but I can breathe a little easier knowing that Ander's will be doing the lion's share of his own costuming/sewing this year. I just want to finish a tailcoat I had started for him last year.

So, I am Sisi.

Being Bavarian/Austrian myself, I have a lot of source material and was practically raised on stories and images of Sisi. I may need to brush up on details of her travels and those she regularly 'hung out' with, but I have a pretty good head-start.

Hair: I'll need to go a bit darker than my current shade, but her dark blond is very close to my natural color.
I'm considering a temporary color, so I don't kill my tresses with a high lift developer trying to remove it after the the holidays.
I'll be investing in hair pieces too, to get that bountiful braided look she was so famous for. hopefully I can use human hair for the majority of it, since I can't stand the overly shininess of synthetic hair.

The outfit(s?):
Oh lordy. Where do I begin?
I already have an idea of what I want to make, but it has to be seasonally appropriate too. No Worth star gown for me (not that I'd want to tackle that project right now. I have, actually and it's been on the back burner).
Skirt, blouse and Swiss waist?
Or an ocean of midnight velveteen?
Do I make one or both given the time I have?
Additionally; it can get stuffy and downright warm at Dickens. Do I want to be wearing 15 pounds of velvet?
Incorporating the two outfits and making it 'convertible' to the blouse underneath the velvet ensemble, might be a good option when the temperature rises.

Images that are currently inspiring me:

The velveteen options:

Excuse the colorized photo below, but this is the skirt blouse combo in question. The level of actual detail on the blouse in this image is lost, but it gives a general idea:


  1. I'd go for the middle one. Finding the fur for the top one would be a pain, unless you go for a fake one. And the decoration on the bottom skirt and waist would be difficult to replicate without much midnight oil and tearing of hair.

  2. I have already found the fur for this, via a vintage mink coat. I would never even think of creating an historical garment that called for fur, unless I could use the real thing. To appease folks that may have 'feelings' against this, I only use vintage fur, and upcycle as much as possible. Even if I don't use this ensemble for Dickens, I still want to take a stab at it. The option you suggest would be a great idea too.

  3. It is a wonderful idea to be Sisi for a while. I was just about to watch all the movies:)

  4. Hi! You've been nominated with the Versatile Blog award... :)

    1. Thanks Sanna!
      I will try to get this posted this afternoon, or tonight xoxo!


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