Tuesday, August 19, 2014

HSF challenge #15: The great outdoors...indoors

 Every December, my family visits the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. Victorian London is recreated (streets and all) inside San Francisco's Cow Palace, and the sheer volume of people generates a considerable amount of heat. My plan this year is to wear the Bright Copper Penny Dress with it's newly made over-sleeves, and I needed something that will cover the dress's low neckline when I'm out in the "streets" without roasting me alive. 
So I de-stashed some claret colored velvet, bought some spicy green cotton to line it with, and voila!

Claret and spicy green is my favorite winter color combo and luckily, they both go well with the dress. Another plus is that I don't have to make a bonnet to wear with the dress (although I may make one at a later date.)
 It is, I am aware, In desperate need of trim. But I thought I'd wait until a little later in the year to sew it on.

Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014 thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: The Great Outdoors
Fabric: Silk velvet, green cotton and cotton batting
Pattern: KayFig 1860 winter hood pattern
Year: 1860
Notions: Thread
How historically accurate is it? Machine and hand sewn
Hours to complete: About a week
First worn: Not yet, probably to Dickens fair in December
Total cost: $15

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A bright copper penny, or: HSF challenge #14: Paisley or Plaid

Since I'm not attending Costume College this year (except for a quick turn about the marketplace,) I find myself at leisure to write about my newest challenge entry. I've been working on some non-HSF related projects and given my utter ambivalence towards paisley, there was really only one thing I could do. But first a little back story:
The "Bright Copper Penny Dress" (so nicknamed because my friend saw the fabric and said I'd look like a bright copper penny in it) was originally made to wear to my reenactment group's Hogmanay celebration earlier this year. I trimmed it with lace and piping and added a pair of sheer silk under-sleeves, which work well for evenings, but I wanted to wear the dress to day events as well.

I had bought the last four yards on the roll and I didn't have enough for a separate day bodice, but fortunately I came across some extant 1850's convertible dresses in my ramblings on pinterest. I adore the idea that with a pair of detachable sleeves and a pelerine you can go from day to evening with the greatest of ease, To my astonishment and very good luck, there was just enough left of this beautiful silk to make a pair of over-sleeves:
                            They'll eventually be basted in under the cap sleeve of the bodice, although I've also seen versions that tie.
                                                                          The lining

                      The sleeve is piped around the edge with brown cotton bias piping.

  • Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014 thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: Paisley or Plaid
Fabric: Plaid silk dupioni, cranberry cotton
Pattern: Drafted by me
Year: Late 1850's
Notions: Thread, bias piping, green buttons, cranberry bias tape
How historically accurate is it? Machine and hand sewn
Hours to complete: about a day
First worn: Not yet, probably in December
Total cost: ??