Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Costume tiaras

I have many titles...The Beguiler, The Ruiner, Tiara Pusher

So in that vein I would like to share my source for all my tiaras.  Seperwar at Ebay.  Hands down the best collection of affordable historically inspired tiaras I've ever come across.

Here is the Gloucester tiara c. 1913 for the Duchess of Gloucester

Here is the tiara available for $33.95 from Seperwar:

Here is the Queen Mary Fringe tiara:

Here is the tiara available from Seperwar for $35.95:

The Prussian tiara given to Princess Victoria Louise in 1913: 

Here is the tiara available from Seperwar for $29.95:

There are a dozen more, so go get yourself some affordable bling.  Even if the only place you have to wear it is in your living room while watching Downton Abbey!

Speaking of Downton Abbey, doesn't that tiara on the Marchioness of Flintshire look familiar?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Kat Does the 1860s

Remember how I said "never say never"?  Yeah, I used to say I'd never do 1860s...until I met a group of ladies who love 1860s and wanted to go to Gettysburg for the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.  A whole new era means weeks of research to see what fabrics to use and how gowns were shaped and constructed.  Whew!

I had to start with the undies.  I bought a hoop online because it was cheaper than making it...shhh!

I made flannel drawers using Simplicity 2890.  Went together very easily!

The chemise is the Simplicity 9769.  Let's just say I found the sleeves and gusset VERY challenging.  I need to take good care of this chemise as I will never construct another using that pattern.  Turned out super cute, though, and was very comfortable.

I needed a cold weather day dress as it was in mid November and mostly outside.  I chose a mulberry moire bengaline with a curly lamb's wool trim and used Simplicity 4400 View B.  Lots of hand sewing and pleating in that skirt!  The bonnet is Butterick B4210 in black velvet lined in white silk.  Green moire ribbon from Timely Tresses, and paper flowers by the wonderful Damesalamode on Etsy

We were attending a ball, so I needed a ballgown.  I bought the Past Patterns 1860s ballgown bodice, but had too much trouble trying to get the back and side back pieces together, so I ended up using the Truly Victorian 1860s ballgown bodice with the Past Patterns double sleeve, the Simplicity 5724 for the bertha (altered to fit the neckline of this bodice) and Simplicity 4400 for the skirt.  Black embroidered lace on sleeves and bertha from Marynotmartha on Etsy.


Pink and white striped Natural Form Era gown

Every year my friends and I go to Belvidere, NJ for the annual Victorian Festival in September.  You never know if it's going to be hot or cool at that time of year.  I took a gamble and made a warm weather gown.  I got lucky and the weather cooperated!

Using all Truly Victorian patterns

And one of Dashwood, who came to sit on every project I worked on for 11 years.  This is the last gown he "helped" me sew before he broke my heart and died a few weeks later of cancer.  Good bye, my Darling Boy.  I love you now and forever.

1880s Court Presentation Gown

Last June I was attending the Dress U Court Dinner.  I needed a Court gown!  For fun I had been researching late Victorian Court etiquette and dress, and decided upon an inspiration gown from The Met:


I found some champagne satin and matching tulle and set to work using Truly Victorian patterns.  Since the TV trained skirt pattern wasn't out yet, I had to wing the long court train, which was typically 3-4 yards long in the mid 1880s (!!!).  Mine is detachable.

I had to hand pleat and hand set sequins on the net trim.

The train is 4 yards long and made of white and silver brocade lined in champagne satin.  I even made the requisite court feathered headdress and carried a feather fan and bouquet.

The New York Times, 1902:

Mrs. R.J. Kennedy in Court Presentation attire, 1898
Courtesy of Lafayette Studios, V&A Museum