Wednesday, 26 August 2015

HSM Challenge 8: Heirlooms and heritage

Wow, I've finished a challenge with several days to spare. In June you might remember that I posted about my traditional costume, or you can read it here. For the heirlooms and heritage challenge it was a pretty easy decision for me to try and finally adjust my costume so that it actually fits.

This was the fit before the alteration. Now it's not meant to be a tight laced bodice or so, but you can see that it was way too big, especially at the bust. With some help from my sister, who is the one who actually sewed the gown originally, I ripped up one of the side seams. She then pinned the bodice closer to the body. I then handsewed the side seams and attached the skirt again.
Here you can see how much fabric I could remove. It's uneven because I wanted the stripes in the fabric to still match, even with a tigher fit, so I had to take more from one side than another. Also I didn't want to cut away the excess fabric, maybe someone in the future will want to make it bigger, so I just folded and pressed the extra fabric down. I sewed the pieces together by sewing the two outer layers and one of the linings together, and then covering the raw edges with the other piece of lining.

It's a bad picture, but you can see that the fit at the bust is a lot better now.
Here is the gown on my dressform, and eventhough it's not usable for my corseted measurements it's very cose to my natural measurements.

Now this project was taught me quite a few things. It was the first time I used waxed linen thread, and sewing with nice but not too fine linen fabric. I was surprised to see that I could make stitches that were basically invisible against the fabric. I actually enjoyed the handsewing, and now I'm looking forward to doing more of it.

What the item is: a refitted traditional costume from Vika parish, Dalarna, Sweden.

The Challenge: 8 Heirlooms and Heritage

Fabric: Linen

Pattern: none

Year: This is a hard one. The costume was reconstructed in the 1920's, but is supposedly reconstructed from older fabrics and dress pieces found in the parish, but it's still very much used today.

Notions: Black and white linen thread, bees wax.

How historically accurate is it? It's accurate to how the traditional costumes were done in the 1920's. Over the years they have been made in different ways, this is more old fashioned since it's completely handsewn.

Hours to complete: 3, including the fitting.

First worn: Not yet.

Total cost:

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Plastic phantastique report

So Saturday it was finally time for Plastic Phantastique. Over my greay tuille pannier and organza chemise I gad made a short gold skirt, by simply sewing a tube of fabric and pleating it to a waistband. Over the skirt I had attached more of the black nylon lace that I had used for the sleeves on the chemise. Over that I wore my desert rose stays, with the rose side out. I went with a rose them so I also wore a pair of tights with roses on them. My main piece was the hair though, since yhis meant I was finally able to fulfill a costume dream of mine.
Two or three years ago me and some people joked about the 18th century fashion of wearing miniature warships in the hair and said that it would be fun to show up to an event with a modern battleship instead of  an 18th century one...Now was the time. I found a 3d puzzle in cardboard and a huge wig om ebay. The carrier was assembled, I had to glue some of the planes on, and tied to the wig with the kind of wire that is used for flower arrangments.
There is something about a hairstyle where I had to be careful not to get stuck in tree branches when walking in a park. Still some people jokingly said that my costume was actually looking too good to fit in. And I must say the creativity that had gone into some of the costumes was amazing.

 Thay is a full robe francaise out of plastic bags from a fabric store chaim.
 Plastic pigs for the right Petit Trianon feeling.
 Thr pink and blue costumes in front are made in bubble wrap.
 Another black plastic bag number
 That there are even fabrics made in those colours.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Plastique Phantastique underwear

Even if I'm making a totally non-accurate ensemble to wear to plastique phantastique, I still need suitable underwear. I don't plan to keep this outfit, but I would like to give it to my nieces to have if they are going to masquerades or stuff. For that reason I've tried to make it as adjustable as possible, meaning a lot of elastic that will be easy to adjust for their much smaller bodies.

First I made this chemise of shiny poly organza.
It's made up of two rectangles for the back and front and two wider but shorter rectangles that were gathered to make sleeves. I ended the sleeves by encasing them in a gold ribbon, then I gathered a length of polyester lace to the ends of the sleeves before putting an elastic band in the gold casing. There is a drawstring around the neck.

For the underskirt I of course wanted some nice side action, but if you don't want to use steel and linen, there is always polyester tuille and interlock.

First a simple foundation to add the tuille to.

Then the first layer of tuille, and this is actually what I unpicked from my Edwardian hat when I turned it into the Daisy hat. There were some holes in the net, but those aren't visible anyway.

I added yet another layer of tightly gathered tuille, there is around 2 m of black tuille on each hip. Hopefully this will hold up even when I add fabric over it.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Plastique Fantastique Pique Nique

When I heard about this event back in spring I knew that I had to go. The description, loosely translated from Swedish is as follows:
Worried that you are not historically correct? Have ever dreamt about that gorgeous Marie Antoinetee Creation in white, shiny nylon? Now it's time to throw away the stays and silk. Dress in polyester and velcro!
Dresscode: 18th Century, with at least shiny nylon wig, preferably white our pastel coloured. Crushed velvet is underated as a fabric choice, and if you use natural materials make sure that you hide them well.
I'm looking forward to emptying my stash from some of those shiny satins that I've picked up over the years, and I want to go totally overboard with this.

As it is now my colour scheme will be gold, black and red, but we'll see what happens.

And just for inspiration here is what you get when you google "Marie Antoinette Costume"

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Costumekullan on Facebook

I have now started a Facebook page for Costumekullan. I'm hoping that will lead to some more interaction with people who are interested in my costumes. I will be very happy for every follower, so if you would like to like it, I would be honoured.

Costumekullan on Facebook

Sunday, 9 August 2015

18th century hair styling

So over the last days I've tried to style my hair in 18th century styles. I can do a decent pouf, as seen here, but that has never been my favorite hairstyle, and at least at the moment my 18th century wardrobe is a bit later than when the pouf was fashionable. Of course I am dreaming of one day having a huge hedgehog hairstyle, but in order to achieve that I would need to style a wig, and now I only had my own hair to work with.

One day my hairstyle will rival the Duchess of Devonshire's.
For the photoshoot at Staberg I started the evening before that and put my hair in a lot of pincurls.

I did the pincurls by first wetting my hair and then rolling it around my fingers. I didn't really have a strategy so I just rolled and pinned the hair up. When all the hair was up I dampened it some more, and then I put it all under a buff so that I would be able to sleep on it without the curls coming loose.
The reason why I prefer pincruls is because when they are pinned up and under the buff there's no problem sleeping on it. I've tried to sleep with the hair bound up on both foamrollers and hard plastic rollers, and it's been so uncomfortable that I haven't slept much at all.

This is what my hair looked like the next morning, when I had removed the pins.
My hair naturally falls in a very visible part, if it's allowed to fall by itself, so to avoid that I pinned the middle section back, and then I simply started to tease the hair as much as I could. I actually think my hair is a bit too long for a really good bushy hairstyle, because it tends to droop down. I tried to solve that by pinning the end of the hair up under the rest of the hair.

This close up from Staberg is the one that shows off the hair best. It's quite nice, but it's not enormous enough. I want more hair. I also think I need to practice teasing the hair better.

Now today I dressed up in 18th century style again, but today I wanted to use my gaulle and go for a 1790's look instead. The event was a small scale affair, and since I went there alone I don't have any pictures from it. I did try out driving in stays though, and since I hadn't cinched them totally that was no problem. the last few kilometers when I had stayed, cinched the stays and put on the gaulle was no fun though.

Anyway for the hair today I realized that after all I have the wonderful 18th century hair & wig styling book, so why not use it. What I really like about this book is that it has both an extensive chapter with photos of portraits and what the hairstyles actually looked like, and then it also has the instructions on how to achieve them. For this hairstyle I mostly followed the instructions for the "Adela - simple short and long hairstyle".  Working with my own hair I knew that I wouldn't be able to achieve the full style, but looking at the reference pictures in the first part of the book I felt that I could achieve something quite good anyway.

Just like with the previous hairstyle I started the day before with rolling the hair up. The main difference is that I was more thorough with how I parted it, making two distinct sections of hair (back and front). I also rolled the curls in front with the help of roll form, it's a spoonhandle from the kitchen. This made the curls a lot more uniform. In the back I used larger foamrolls for the hair. Unfortunately I ran out of foamrollers so I had to braid the hair and hope that I would be able to heat set it with my curling iron in the morning. The curling iron didn't give anything like results of the wetset curls though, so in the end I simply took those bad curls and pinned them up under the rest of the hair to give it some volume.

When I took out the foamrollers and the pins I didn't brush out the looks. I simply used my fingers to shake the out a bit and added a hairband.

I'm quite pleased with this hairstyle, but when I do it again I would like to use a bigger roll form and see what difference that would make to the hairstyle.

Friday, 7 August 2015

An afternoon at Staberg

Today I had the opportunity to get some photos taken of me in my costumes. I Went to my favorite photo Place, Gamla Staberg, with its 17th Century mansion, early 19th main building and 18th century garden. Now the houses are private property so it's the garden that you can stroll around in. I of course wanted to use my new Daisy hat, and with that I felt that the navy Anglaise was the only matching choice. I quickly made a new petticoat for it, so I wouldn't have yet another photo of me in the navy Anglaise with the yellow skirt.

In front of the early 19th century house

Looking out over the garden, with the 17th century mansion in the background

By the hop garden
By one of the outhouses
The daisy hat is definitely a hat where you need to be aware of the wind direction

Sunday, 2 August 2015

HSM 15: Challenge 7 - accessorise, or the daisy hat

For the accessorise challenge I decided to make a hat. I've also decided that I need to stop, I don't need more than four 18th century hats. Well I started off with my Edwardian hat from May.

It worked quite well from a distance, but I was never happy with it on close up. So I removed everything from it and was back at the base hat, which is a straw hat that I've shortened the side of the crown and added two rows of millinery wire along the brim for stability.

Then it was time to find some fabric to cover it with, and I found a last remnant of the silk from my sister's wedding gown.

Since this was a scrap piece I needed to be a bit creative with how to get the pieces big enough to cover that hat. For the top I pieced two pieces together, hoping that the edge wouldn't be too visible when I added trim.
For the underside of the hat I cut the longest piece that I could get out and pleated it into shape.
Since the fabric is a silk charmeuse, and very soft, the pleats didn't get as crisp as I would have liked. If I ever cover a straw hat again I would also add a layer of fabric between the top fabric and the straw base, to hide more of the straw structure from showing through.  Here is the hat covered in fabric.

Then it was time for the trim. I have a piece of very bright yellow silk. I bought it as a test swatch when looking for fabric for the golden handmaiden, but it was too yellow. I had to buy a yard, but at the same time a yard isn't really enough to make anything out of. Now I cut it up into strips, a narrow strip for the crown and a wider for the brim. I didn't want to hem the strips, both because I hate hemming and the fact that it would look to bulky. So I brushed the edges of the strips with watered down wood glue, which also has the benefit of making the edges a bit stiffer and holding the pleats better. Then I box pleated the trims and tacked them down to the hat.

With its pleats, and its bright white and yellow colours I definitely thought of a daisy when looking at it, so from now on this will be called my daisy hat. If I fnd a suitable fabric or ribbon I might like to add some white trim on top of the yellow, but for now it's done.

What the item is: An 18th century bergére hat
The Challenge: 7 accessorise
Fabric: 0,5 m white silk charmeuse, 0,5 m yellow silk taffeta
Pattern: none
Year: ca 1780
Notions: A straw hat, millinery wire, regular sewing thread for the fabric, buttonhole twist for attaching the millinery wire.
How historically accurate is it? The final look is, but the assembly isn't, so maybe 20%.
Hours to complete: 4-5 days
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: Even if all was from the stash the cost of the hat, the millinery wire and the fabric when bought new would have put it at around $40