Saturday, August 25, 2012

Is it procrastination if you have a legitimate reason not to do it?

The news on the Dickens Fair outfit is... there is no news. But I have a legitimate excuse! Unfortunately, I find myself in need of a new corset.
The story is this: After my last corset died, I needed a new one quickly for an event and therefore purchased a budget corset online from a suttler for about eighty bucks. While it gave me the basic silhouette I needed while still being comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time and dance in, it's true that one gets what one pays for. It was made of the cheapest material and boned with plastic coated braided cable (which I didn't find out about until one of the seams split. The description had said spring steel boning.) and two years of wear has warped it so that it is neigh unwearable. I am many things but a corsetier is not one of them, and so the short and long of it is that until I have a new one, I'll have to put the dress on hold.
The good news is that I'll be able to work on the accessories while I wait. I'm re-trimming the black tulle bonnet to match the general color scheme of the outfit (purple and black) and I'm going to need a pelerine to go with it.
I'm aiming for an 1840's late mourning dress. Cotton preferably, since Dickens Fair can get pretty warm indoors, in a nice deep purple. The pelerine will probably be out of black velvet since that's what I have on hand.
And now I'm off to see a lady about a corset!

Next post: Accessories

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Costume College 2012

So last week I went to costume college, and it was FABULOUS! And since I have an unexpected but welcome break between projects (shocking!), I thought I might post a few pics.

I actually went to a lot of classes this year. Usually I manage about four because I'm stuck in the hotel room finishing whatever costume I've planned to wear to one of the evening events. But wonder of wonders, I actually managed to get ALL my sewing done with a day to spare! That is almost unheard of for me! So I suddenly found myself with all the free time in the world and you'd better believe I took full advantage of it.  I browsed in the marketplace and the bargain basement and came away with two hats and ten yards of peach-colored faille that will probably get turned into a dress of some kind
 The ice cream social was a lot of fun. I got a lot of compliments on my dress and bonnet. Next Year's theme is Cavalier. Oh Glory! I've been looking for a reason to make a cavalier dress and now I've finally got one.
The Gala theme this year was The Golden Age of Hollywood and people went all out! Kendra Van Cleave went as Norma Shearer's Marie Antoinette!

The lovely Alyxx as the night sky

Wonder Woman

Julius Caesar

A silent film era Cleopatra

There was even a Maid Marian from the Errol Flynn version of Robin Hood, My favorite movie!

I didn't go to the dinner portion of the Gala (you can only eat dry chicken so many times...) but I did go in to dance afterwards. Mercifully, no one seems to have caught video of me doing the time warp, and I  stayed a lot later than I usually do. I think the reason I had such a good time is that I knew more people than in years past, plus there were a few faces that I see on a regular basis:
Reg, my mentor, for whom I minion.
and a couple of my guildmates were there too!

The fantasy tea on sunday was a hoot. The food was delicious and I got to sat next to a lovely young woman who was there for the first time. Everybody got a little card with the name of an actor or actress and the character they portrayed, and at the end of the tea if they called your name, you had to go up and read a speech. I got Kathy Seldon from Singin' in the Rain, and because luck likes to trip me up like that upon occasion, my character was one of the ones called up.  I sang "Good Mornin' Good Mornin'" from the movie and read the little prepared speech and was gifted with a packet of sewing machine needles. 

All in all, I had a wonderful time at costume college and I can't wait for next year!

And now, my costumes for this weekend:

Here's what I made for the ice cream social on Friday night. It's a half-mourning dress from about 1837 and it's made out of some printed black cotton that I found at jo-ann's for a steal. The bodice is the made from the Truly Victorian Romantic Era dress pattern and since I wanted a later period sleeve, I used Period Impressions' 1837 day dress pattern. It's trimmed at the neck, bicep and cuff with black braided lip cord that I found on Ebay.

Oh yeah, I'm REAL mournful

And here's my bonnet! I don't really have any good pics of it on my head, so you'll have to settle for a pic of it almost complete. It's my first attempt at a wire frame bonnet and I think it came out pretty well.  It's made of an old black tulle crinoline that was falling apart and is trimmed with a wreath of velvet pansies and the coolest black and white striped ribbon ever! I'm planning on wearing this bonnet with the dress and jacket I am planning for Dickens Fair in November, albeit with different ribbons.

And here's my dress for the Time Travelers' Gala on Saturday night. It's made of a sheer vintage gold sari lined with yellow silk. It's trimmed with gold fringe and accented with a corsage of pearls and paper roses. I had actually made this gown for an earlier Jules Verne/Steampunk event and found that it translated well to other eras as well. 

And here is my wreath. Proving that Michael's Crafts is a dangerous place when you're millineristically inclined. It's made out of two pearl branches found in the floral section with some sheaves of wheat that  I liberally spray painted gold, and is accented with some more paper roses to go with the corsage on my bodice. I based this off a fabulous wreath that Sigourney Weaver wears in Snow White: A Tale of Terror. I pal to add more flowers to it for future wearings

Here's a less fuzzy pic

I only have one pic of what I wore to the fantasy tea on sunday and it's of my hat. I purchased it in the marketplace on sunday morning and didn't take it off until I got in the car to go home. The great thing about it is that it stayed on my head all day without me needing it to pin it or anything.

Next Post: The Great Dickens Fair Project

Sunday, August 12, 2012

New blog of the brand spankin' variety!

Hi everybody, and welcome to my new journal! It is I, the Ginger Minion; Costumer, babysitter, and nerd wrangler extraordinaire! Since blogger refuses to transfer anything from my old account, I will leave it up for anyone to peruse: Ginger Lily on LJ

I will mostly be using this journal to chronicle and/or bitch about the costumes I make. The majority of the stuff I'm making right now is Romantic Era and Victorian, although you will see a few Elizabethan  (probably not until next Faire season starts, as I'm pretty fed up with the 16th century right now,)17th century (the theme of next year's costume college,) and a few retro 40's and 50's dresses in future. I am also making my first foray into the world of millinery! I have made two bonnets so far, with varying degrees of success, and hope to make more. 

For those of you who do not wish to click the link, here are photos of some of my costumes made for past events:

And there you have it! Next post: Costume College postmortem