Only two weekends before costume college...

And only slightly terrified. I really need to crack down and seriously work on my costumes. I think my original idea of no visible machine stitching was a bit ambitious. I think I may stick to hand-sewn finishes for the gown itself, but machine on the chemise and petticoat, that way I can switch them out for handsewn at a later date if I choose to.

I also tried on my blue and white striped polonaise, and it actually does still fit well so I may bring it as an option to switch into on Saturday night. It's not a big deal to squeeze one more dress into my luggage when the underpinnings are the same. Part of my current job as a sewing teacher includes taking kids on a trip to the fabric district, so tomorrow I can buy some white voile for my petticoat and new chemise. So far the plan goes:

- Arriving late - no costuming

- Day: floral 1780s polonaise
- evening: blue and white striped polonaise? maybe?

- Sunday Undies: 1920s bra and tap pants
- Day: Gatsby garden dress
- Evening: Maybe something vintage 50s?

Ruffle hemming ACHEIVED

I spent today and yesterday hand-hemming all the ruffles on my 1780s gown. AT LAST I AM FREE!

I also added loops and tapes for a polonise back, and just to make it extra froofy and girly, two red silk bows on the back.

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I'm hoping this evening I can add the sleeve ruffles and stitch the bows on. I am already so excited for what a pretty pretty princess I'm going to feel like in this.

I've decided to go with a white cotton voile petticoat, and I MIGHT be making myself a new voile chemise with a ruffle around the neckline. Because I am crazy, apparently, and my current chemise is just not girly enough. I'm going to be in the fabric district on Tuesday so I'll see if I can find a good deal on any cotton voile.

A tiny 1780s dress update

Seeing it was the weekend, and I have a full week of work awaiting me, I went gung-ho on the floral 1780s dress.

I decided a while ago that I'm much more of a theatrical/hobbyist costumer than a 100% historical accuracy one. I do like to make sure my foundation garments and accessories and everything else suit the era, but when it comes to construction I'd rather use the tools modern day has given me. So I whipped my bodice together entirely on the machine, using all the modern techniques like under-stitching and what not.

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As always, apologies for my hideous basement apartment lighting

That said, I am going to try for no visible machine stitching. And since I decided to make this gown ruffle-tastic, that will be a LOT of hand hemming. But since I discovered that my machine comes with a foot that gathers and sews on ruffles in one go, I am willing to do that little bit of extra legwork.

I did, unfortunately, discover that I don't have enough fabric for a matching petticoat, so I might either go with a white muslin one, or maybe some blue linen I discovered at work that might off-set the flowers nicely. We'll see!

A very late update on the Gatsby picnic

I had a great time at the Spadina Museum 1920s garden party! The weather turned out BEAUTIFUL (if very warm). Had a great time having my picture taken, playing croquet, eating ice cream, and touring the house and grounds.

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I also got started on my 1780s flowered gown for Costume College. I decided to make things easy on myself, and buy the Sense and Sensibility Ladies' Portrait Dress pattern. I got the e-pattern, and for $6 it was a hell of a good investment. I've long since lost my pattern from my striped polonaise and this went together easy with minimal fitting.

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All registered for Costume College

EEEE I got my costume college registration booklet in the mail today! I am so pumped now its slightly ridiculous.

I also didn't realise that the Saturday night gala opens for people who didn't buy a ticket at 8:45. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. But that would be great, since I didn't have enough money to buy a gala ticket when I registered but I would LOVE to see everyone in their gala finest.

I'm still miffed I'll be missing the Thursday pool party and all the Friday programming, but oh well, have to work. Now that I have a better idea of the schedule my costume plans are:

I arrive around at ten at night - so probably just getting settled and passing out. Maybe one drink.

- Printed cotton 1780s
- White and blue striped 1770s for the gala?

- 1920s Silk undies and kimono (Sunday Undies)
- 1920s garden party dress

A few updates on the Gatsby dress and some costume college ideas

I have actually been breezing through this 1920s dress!

I totally lucked out and get a huge load of beautiful vintage print cottons at a church rummage sale. I did a haul video this-a-way if anyone interested, there's some fun vintage prints in there. I was JUST under the amount of fabric needed for the 20s dress in my desired print, so I decided to do the neckline binding, front panel, and underskirt in contrast fabric.

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So far my projects for costume College are:

- 1780s printed cotton gown (not started)
- 1920s silk underwear (started)
- 1920s printed summer dress (started)
- 1950s playsuit or dress (still undecided) (not started)

The universe really is feeding my 1920s kick this year

By chance I was flipping through the newspaper today and say a notice for a Great Gatsby Picnic at Spadina House Museum. And just in time, since it's coming on fast at June 23!

Just enough time to whip up a new frock, I think.

My new 20 undies won't be done in time, and I'd really rather not rush them, so I'll stick with my cotton voile step-in and pink brocade bandeau (although I would still like to swap out the laces on that one for a more period-appropriate elastic and hooks and eyes). I already have some back-seamed stockings and nice little mary-janes that work well for the 20s.

As for the dress I'm hoping to draft something based on this 1926 McCall pattern available reprinted through Past Patterns. If I had time I would order the pattern since it is in my size (the chances!), but alas in under two weeks might be a bit tight. So tonight I will be whipping out the newsprint and see-through ruler and going nuts. If it doesn't work after one muslin fitting then I'll ditch it and just do a basic drop-waisted dress with a sash. I get my first pay-cheque from work this weekend. Just in time for fabric shopping!

There's also an antiques and vintage show in the city this weekend. Should be great to look for accessories!

Sunday Undies - 1920s bras for the busty girl

So it's forever since I've done this. The few and far between costume I've done hasn't had much blogging process with it, but I'm keen to get back on it.

I'm planning on making a 1920s dress to wear to Costume College this year. While my previous set of 1920s undies certainly did the job, I had a dream of a lovely silky matching underwear set that could double for the Sunday Undies breakfast with a kimono robe. A friend of my mothers had given me a beautiful piece of pale yellow silk satin that I've been dying to turn into some vintage underwear. So it all started coming together.

I still adore the silky step-in undergarments, but as far as I can tell from my research these were intended to be worn on their own without any brassiere or corset (someone correct me if I'm wrong!). At 32E, being braless really isn't very comfortable. So instead I was charmed by the idea of a silky brassiere and tap pants set like this darling one on Pearl from Boardwalk Empire.

I finally found a bra to base my pattern on, the Fairy Health Bra, dated 1915-1925. Unlike most 1920s brassieres I've seen, it has curved seams over the bust which allows more room and support for those of us of the busty persuasion.

After a little futzing I finally have a well-fitting muslin.

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Instead of the front closure and laced back, I believe I will just use hooks and eyes with elastic at the back. Next time, tap pants!

Hello again!

I know, I know. These entries are getting farther and farther apart.

I've been taking a bit of a costume break over the last two years to focus on finishing my fashion diploma. And guess what, I did!

Alas something a little less stellar happened directly after that. While at one of the Jane Austen Dancers ball (which are fab by the way if you're ever in Toronto come check one out) I stepped on the hem of my dress while twirling and popped out my kneecap. On top of that I chipped some bone off my femur and fractured by kneecap.

I'm in the recovery stage now, but it's been a long six weeks between then and now. Warn your friends, everyone. English Country Dancing can be very dangerous! I didn't get many pictures, obviously, since the knee breaking happened pretty early on in the evening, but I will try to get up the pictures I did get soon. I made new dresses for my cousin and her friend who attended, but the same dresses as last year for my sister and me.

But again moving forward into much better news, I have something very exciting coming up.


I was promised a graduation trip by my parents to they're going to help pay my way. I am so excited, I can't believe it. I've been dreaming about attending Costume College for YEARS. And afterwards I'm going to be spending a week in San Francisco, as has also been my dream for years.

Because of this, however, I won't be packing any big hoops or bulky costumes with me. The idea is to bring my costumes in a garment bag (only one!) and then mail it home to myself before going to SF so I'm not schlepping them with me the rest of my holiday. Because of this I think I'm going to be going with largely 20th century costumes (and my blue and white polonaise with a little re-tooling because I've had so few chances to wear it). I dream of wearing my hoop on Saturday night, but maybe next year!

So watch out for some projects popping up. I'm going to try to be good about costume blogging more, I have missed it!