I have been awarded the Liebster Award!
A big Thank You to Little Mothball of the Mothball Fleet blog:
So, as per the rules, here are the questions with my answers, and nominations:
1. When/how/why did you start sewing/costuming/crafting?
When: I was about 10 or 11 when I began making little clothes for my dollhouse dolls. I had seen some 17th and 18th century dollhouses, at a museum in Amsterdam. When we returned home, I instantly set about trying to turn my own humble colonial style dollhouse into an 18th century manor house. I made tiny stays and panniers, even tall wigs for them from mohair. If only I had pictures!
How: With anything I could get my hands on; scrap materials, et all. My mother and my grandmother's all sewed, and taught me how to do the basics on a machine later on. I began my sewing with hand sewing the doll clothes, so I already had a good foundation for real clothing construction later on. I would also repair my dress up clothes, which were often vintage 1950s stage costumes, prom dresses or 1970s Gunnie Sax (sp?) dresses from my grandparents estate auction finds. I still have some of these repaired dresses in my vintage clothing collection, only now I've grown into them ;-)
Why: I'm just going to quote some of this from my website;
I have always loved anything to do with costuming, makeup, dance, art, burlesque/theater history, and music. Along with 15 years of classical and modern dance, I spent countless hours listening to works by composers like Handel, Scarlatti, and fell absolutely head over heels in love with the music of Mozart. When my father and I would travel to Vienna, Austria to visit family I would spend hours wandering Schönbrunn Palace until I knew the maze of gardens by heart.
What does Mozart and the palaces of Austria have to do with my sewing & costuming, you might ask?
It was sort of the key that unlocked my love of history and all its forms of artifice and embellishment.
I poured over old family photographs, and practically devoured books on fashion history and construction starting at a very young age. I attended operas in some of the original opera houses and watched films like Amadeus, Dangerous Liaisons and various BBC productions. It was, and still is, an attraction to an aesthetic from past centuries you simply don't have now. I wanted so badly to go back in time when I was a kid so as I grew up, I continued to sew and experience the past through the historical clothing I recreated and wore.
2. Do you have a favorite era/genre? What is it?
Like picking one favorite color, this is a tough one. I love many, but my top 3 are;
1. Mid to late 18th century (Georgian)
2. The 1930s Deco Era
3. Victorian natural form (1876-80), and mid (1874-75) to late (1883-86) bustle years.
3. Your favorite piece you've made?
Currently, I have two favorite pieces.
1. my reproduction of a velvet and fur winter ensemble worn by Empress Elisabeth (Sisi) of Austria.
2. my raspberry silk faille 1880s ballgown, with optional daytime bodice.
4. Best sewing tip(s)?
Make a mockup first!! Even if you have a pattern.
Don't give up. Put the project aside for a week or two (maximum) if it's frustrating you, and come back to it with 'a fresh brain' as my grandmother would say.
5. Favorite fabric(s)/material(s) to work with?
Silk taffeta is number one, silk organza/organdy, cotton, wool, rayon, linen.
6. Favorite color?
It's always interesting when someone asks me this question. Creative individuals have a hard time just picking one ultimate, unwaveringly favorite color. They usually never pick one and keep it, or if they do, it's their favorite one for that moment. Right now may favorite color is a rich lavender shade, like the kind you see on lilacs. Next month, it may be Tiffany blue ;-)
7. Sewing pet peeve?
Twisting thread when doing hand sewing, so that it knots up.
My biggest pet peeve right now is too many other obligations (self inflicted, of course) that get in the way of sewing more 18th century items; like a pair of stays.
8. What new project are you working on/planning that you are most excited about?
My Lagertha costume (from 'Vikings').
9. Going to Costume College this year?
I never make this event, sadly. This is due to my calender always getting too full to make space for it. I'll also admit that I forget about it, until it's too late to plan for it.
I'd love to try and go to the next one, though! I just need to block out that weekend waaay ahead of time.
10. What do you listen to/watch while you sew/craft?
Haha! This one might confuse people.
I listen to everything from classical (Mozart, Wagner, Beethoven, Handel, etc), to croony 1930s music from Germany and the UK, to Scandinavian/folk/"Viking" metal bands such as Arkona, TYR, Korpiklaani, Einseferum etc. There might be some Lana Del Rey in there sometimes.
11. Favorite mythical animal?
I think it's always been mermaids, but dragons are a close second.
11 random facts about myself:
1. I dyed my hair black for about 10 years, until 6 1/2 years ago.
2. I developed a taste for dried seaweed (the sushi kind, seasoned or not) at age 5. I still crave it, maybe for the iron content?
3. My first Disney character (what would now be called cosplay) costume, was the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio, at age 6
4. I taught myself how to use a bullwhip, with no injuries
5. The first 'corset' I ever made was actually a pair of early 18th century stays. Learning experience, but hey were a success.
6. Went to my prom with a big group of friends, all of us dressed as Victorian vampires
7. My first corset was a white satin ribbon corset from Amazon Drygoods' mail order catalog. I was 14 or 15.
8. I'm an Aries but with more Pisces tendencies.
9. I've been doing burlesque for almost 11 years
10. I've sat in what was Mozart's studio window in Vienna, and heard a singing lesson a few windows over. It was a time travel moment.
11. I've performed on stages in Paris, that you can see in famous artworks by the likes of Toulouse-Lautrec
Now for my nominated bloggers:
Not nominating anyone yet, as I've run out of time today. I'll save that for a follw-up post
Future questions for my soon-to-be nominated bloggers: