Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Chemisettes and undersleeves

The last three or four months I've been working more hours, something that makes me really happy because I love my work. I work with childeren which I think is the best job in the world(but maybe also the most tiring)! The only down side is that I have less time to work on my costumes and blog. Which is the reason why I haven't posted for so long. I have done some work on costume projects but progress is painfully slow.


I had made this cotton batiste chemisette some years ago. I had some fabric left over and decided to make a set of undersleeves to go with it. For both the chemisette and the engageantes I used Truly Victorian 104, the bustle era Collars and cuffs pattern. The set will (also) be worn with my crinoline era dress but I was too broke to buy the Truly Victorian 149, 1860's Chemisette and undersleeves pattern. Which I think is really lovely, so good chance that I will end up making another set of undersleeves for this costume one day! If I do this set will still be of good use as I have several 1880's costumes to wear them with anyway.


I also made another set of cotton chemisette and undersleeves, with the same pattern, earlier this year. I repurposed the antique/vintage lace from my very first Victorian collar and sleeves. The red flannel petticoat in the picture is also new. I don't like the drawstring, too much bulky fabric beneath the waistline of my dress, so I will change it into a petticoat with waistband and maybe add some tucks at knee level, eventually.


I also added a set of sleeves to this chemisette. Something I had been wanting to do for three years now! The sleeves still need to be overdyed with black dye to (hopefully) match the colour of the chemisette.

I still have one lovely antigue lace collar waiting to turn into a chemisette but this will have to wait. I have other costume projects which have a higher priority. Among them are making adjustments to my son his fantastic beast coat, making a Victorian coat for my husband and a red woollen pork pie hat for myself.

I had planned to make myself a Belle Epoque outfit this year but I just don't think I have the time or energy for it and my husband and son practally begged me not even to think about starting working on it this year. Something to do with a November/December without having to deal with me having costuming stress. (I actually think it's the same thing as me not wanting my son to game 24/7 when he has a school holiday. Not gonna happen!) So this means that I will have to wear the same outfit to both my Victorian events this year, can you imagine the horror! 😉

And this is what happens when you have a day of, it's nice weather and you can't decided between sitting outside and enjoying the sunshine or working on your costuming project.

Hurray for my Singer 99k from 1952!


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Day at the Park and Pentecost

This winter I was seriously considering quitting early and late medieval re-enactment. I just didn't seem to enjoy it as much as I once did. And I was more than fed up with all the stuff that comes along with it, taking over our house! The last two events, one late medieval the other early, proved me wrong. I love being in the company of the creative, funny, wierd, sweet, passsionate and authentic people that populate our re-enactment world. I love the discussion about authenticity (when both sides respect each others opinion, even when they do not agree). I love learning new things and sharing my knowledge. So I guess I am not going anywhere.

Here are the pictures to prove it! And I guess the good weather did it's part in making it wonderful events.

Dag van het Park. (Day at the Park), Capelle aan de IJssel. 28th of May 2017




Pentecost event at the Archeon. 


Repairing our son his cloak

Sharpening his arrows

I notice I have to work on my posture.






Friday, 10 March 2017

Full Circle (part 3)

This is my new crinoline cage, it was made with Truly Victorian pattern #142, the 1856 Walking Crinoline Cage.  The circumference of this pattern is 110", 16 inches smaller than my original crinoline. After experimenting with different hoop sizes, from 110 inch down to 90 inch, I decided to go with a 100 inch circumference instead of 110 inch. Unfortunately I had already sewn the bag for the bottom hoops so I couldn't alter the size of it anymore. That is why it looks like the top ring of a slightly deflated round child's swimming pool. All in all I went down a total of 26 inches from my original crinoline and do feel happier when I am wearing it. My husband refers to it as my lamp shade but the former version he called my tent... So I guess I did make some progress. 😉

I only needed to make my old top petticoat shorter. Which I did by adding a row of tucks. I always regretted not adding them in the first place but I didn't have the time the first time around. I really like how it looks now and as a bonus I can also wear it over my 1840's quilted petticoat now! That is what you call a win-win-win situation.

The skirt still needs to be hemmed and some other small things to do before it is finished but I think it is starting to look very promising. 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

1917. Romanovs & Revolution. The End of Monarchy

A while ago I went to the 1917. Romanovs & Revolution. The End of Monarchy exhibition at the Hermitage in Amsterdam with a friend. It's about all the factors that lead up to the Russian revolution in 1917 and gave a lot of insight into the personal live of the last Russian Tsar and Csarina and their family. From a young age I have been intrigued by their story and seeing the exhibition made quite an impression. For my own reference and hopefully your pleasure I made pictures of the costumes on display. As Amstedam looked especially charming and fairtale like in the snow I've added some pictures of the city as well.








































Thursday, 16 February 2017

Full Circle (part 2)




When I made my first crinoline day dress I left out the boning and chestpadding. This time I want to try and do everything as authentic as I can. Just ingnore the fact that  I used my serger when flatlining the fashion fabric to the lining fabric.😉

The boning center back.

The chestpadding it was quite hard to figure out where to place them.

Looking at lots of pictures of original dresses
like this one found on the  All the pretty dresses blog
helped a lot! 
You can find my collection of images here:


The Chestpadding and front boning in place.



The sleeves are sewn in, the button holes and the black glass buttons are in place. Next on my to-do-list is sewing in the band in the waist.

When I tried the bodice with the sleeves sewn in on I felt like I looked like a football player. The poufs on the sleeves make my upperbody look huge. That combined with the width of the crinoline skirt will hopefully make my waist look tiny. A very neat optical illusion trick, but for now I have my reservations about the poufs!

The first version of this costume
without the poufs. 
To pouf or not to pouf, that's the question!

I didn't like my original crinoline it was too big for little me. So I am going to alter it into a smaller version which will be "only" 110" in circumference. I will be using the Truly Victorian pattern TV142, 1856 Walking Cage. Which is more the size of a crinoline cage for daily use according to the information on the History of Fashion and Dress website: " When it comes to the crinolines of the 1860s, bigger is not always better. Contrary to popular belief, the crinolines worn by women of this period were not as wide as folklore (or Scarlett O'Hara) wants us to believe. While the largest period crinoline I have found documented measures a whopping 225" in circumference, the majority of 1860s era extant cages only measure between 90-105" in circumference."


 The larger TV141, 1858 Round Cage is better suited for use with a ball gown if you ask me. At least when your as short as me!



The difference between the circumference is only 16", I hope this is enough to make me feel more comfortable and less like a battleship.