Tags: historic costume


My weekend in 10 bullet points or less

1. Train to Lindenwold to get a ride to Mostly Waltz. Always fun, but the band was trying to do some kind of Sinatra/Mad Men cool-jazz that's not that suitable for waltz.. I hope that's not a trend.

2. Over to Kathy's house for marathon sewing session for her Newport Vintage Dance week trousseau.

3. Meet the new dogs and bonded instantly with Ike, who is supposedly afraid of men.

4. Meet the foster kitties.

5. Go for a walk with dogs through the farm fields and see the most spectacular sunset ever.

6. Alter my daughter's black and silver 1890's gown to fit Kathy.

7. Alter bodice of Kathy's 1880's day dress to fit.

8. Give opinions on lots of combos of 1890's thru 1918 day looks to decide which ones go to tea, seaside excursion, etc.

9. Alter the sleeves on Kathy's 1850's ball gown. (5 hour project). Note to self: it's easier to just remove a leg-o-mutton sleeve and start over from scratch than it is to make one try to look like it belongs on an 1850's gown.

10. Help Kathy finish the 1890's petticoat. She is delighted when she sees how it makes the skirt move!

11. Give opinions on various thrift store combos for Ragtime ballgown potential. The hands down winner: A combo of a beaded chiffon, bias, spaghetti-strap, handkerchief-hemmed tango dress with a lace bathrobe and a sash. You would think someone spent weeks sewing it from scratch instead of it being assembled from rummage in 5 minutes! Priceless!!

OOPS! Couldn't do it in 10. Also, didn't have time for any pics, it was a marathon!

Machine Sewn Eyelets

I usually make a few cotes for my roommate before she goes to Pennsic, but my arthritis and my time budget do not allow me to hand sew the eyelets. She's so cute, she thinks she can sew and she says she will do the eyelets herself on the trip out. Well I finally got annoyed with making dresses that don't get worn till next year, so I figured out how to do functional (that means not pretty) eyelets by machine.


I was inspired by someone's description of their expensive, modern, european machine and how it does eyelets by rotating the fabric around a spiked jig right next to the needle. I wanted to see if I could do it without the jig, and after a few (12) trials I got a respectable, functional, if not pretty, eyelet going. It took me about an hour and 40 minutes to do 38 eyelets, compared to about 8 hours to do them by hand. As you can see in the next pic, they blend in OK if you use matching thread, and they will have lacing going in and out of them, so I think they work fine for utilitarian garb.

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Weekend update

Had to skip two-stepping on Friday night to get up way early on Saturday and go to Cape May to give a partnering lesson to a dance group down there. Got to drill pivots, polkas and gallops for 2 hours. So much fun! The dance floor was a little too small to be able to go full-out, but given the age of some of the dancers, that would have worn them out.

Had a visit in Cape May with a friend of a friend who collects Victorian garments. She loaned us an 1880's or 1870's wire bustle hoop to use in a friend's fashion show. Will post before and after pictures when I reinforce the strapping to make it strong enough to wear.

Went from Cape May to Ewing to try on antique clothing on one of the models (who is also a member of Mercury Dance Ensemble, along with her husband). She made it a social occasion by cooking a wonderful Lithuanian meal for us. Lithuanian food seems to consist of pork, pork, and pork wrapped in bacon!!! What's not to love? Also had pickled herring with cranberries, cabbage rolls, brussels sprouts, pickled beet slaw, salad, the most perfect roasted potato wedges ever, blini, and home-made multi-berry liquor.

A very long, but most enjoyable Saturday.

Known World Costume Symposium

KWCS symposium comes to Philadelphia in October!!!! WOO HOOO!!! Signed up to teach two classes.
Efigy Corset Pattern

1. How to Make an Effigy Corset using your GFD pattern to get a head start on the fitting and using straw from a $5 household broom for boning

Kremlin Armoury caftan

2. Charted pattern and analysis of the Kremlin Armoury Caftan, which has unusual sleeve and collar construction.

I'm also tempted to teach my houppelande theory class.