Monday, April 21, 2014

*Gasping For Air* Too Much Cosplay!

I need a small mental break from the cartoon and Sci-fi costuming, so here's something to appease my historical leanings.

With Summer nearly upon us, and my closet still devoid of 18th century items (save for one, very old one), here are some of the things in no particular order, that I absolutely need to get done. With examples in pictures, I will attack these after the Dragon Con madness is over.

Absolute #1 on the list: 18th century/Georgian Stays

I can't even begin to tell you how badly I need these right now. They are the one thing I need to start very nearly my entire 18th century wardrobe. Perhaps not this particular set with the strap arrangement, but the cut of these is what I'm after for most of the Georgian period items I want to make. I wouldn't mind a slightly earlier pair of stays either, for doing earlier decades.
With that said, I could add a huge rundown of all the 18th century things I want to make to this list below, but I'll hold off for now. This single pair of stays is what will make it possible, and without that, the rest is a moot point. These are all the things that I *need* to do first.

The 1830s froufy, poofy fabulousness.

I'm toying with the idea of not taking part in Dickens Fair this year, instead opting to attend as a patron or at least go part time on a Pickwick pass. We shall see, but if anything, the above will happen and will make appearances at Dickens along with two others ;-) We have plans. I'm thinking a lilac or a pale blue. And a current Victorian corset of mine will work for this too, however...

A mid-century Victorian corset, cut similarly to this one here.

Again with the undergarment that is needed to create further projects. I have plans to make an early/mid bustle era gown, and the bodice requires one that is meant to be worn underneath clothing. As many of my corsets are meant to be seen and give a nice silhouette, the thicker fashion fabric binding tends to create a ridge at the bust line that shows on the outside of my bodices. I want to wear this under 1850s to early 1870s ensembles that are sleeker, and don't have a bunch of trim going on around the bust to hide such a ridge.

An 1850s ballgown for the Twelfth Night and Gaskell's Ball

It seems I am always off by a decade or two outside Dickens Fair when it comes to the more fancy events involving the same era. I have plenty of day wear, but nothing fancy for the Twelfth Night Ball held as our post-Dickens Fair cast party! So I end up in bustle era ensembles, and while pretty, I feel out of place. I think I want something in a pale blue organdy, perhaps with metallic gold brush trim. The neckline and sleeve on the pink one is appealing.

A bustle (for an 1874 two-tone tailored gown).

Yes, I need the corset mentioned above first, but I have a Victorian corset I can currently use to at least do the fitting. Yet here I am again, needing the proper undergarment first. The gown style I speak of is inspired by one above from the V&A; I adore the buttoned revers on the skirt and the men's suit look of the bodice. Sure, I don't "need" this particular bustle to get the effect, but it's just such a fantastic shape that I want to try my hand at it. Plus, I saw another seamstress use this Laughing Moon version under an early bustle gown with fabulous effect.

So, that's my final list of more realistic proportions.
Time wise, I'm going to need to start the 1830s ensemble by early October if I want to wear it to Dickens.
I'll need to work on the 1850s ballgown during Dickens Fair so I have it for Gaskell's and Twelfth Night.
I'm sewing on various items for Dragon Con right up until the con itself at the end of August. So that doesn't leave much room for the 18th century stays, or anything else on this list.
If I can focus and bust my butt on getting the DCon stuff done sooner than August, that leaves me a good chunk of extra sewing time. On one hand I might burn myself out, but on the other, when I sew on varying projects that are nothing like each other, it can also open up the floodgates and make me want to just keep going.

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