1875 Autumn Plaid Bustle Dress

Well, I did it! I’ve now made everything that was on my historical sewing list for 2017 – and I still have a couple months to cram in a few more makes, ha! This dress was the last on the list and was made for my recent Big Bustle Birthday Bash. And last week I was able to do a dedicated photoshoot of it courtesy of Taylor of Dames a la Mode.

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My BIG BUSTLE BIRTHDAY!!!!

My birthday is right at the end of September and this year was a milestone/slightly depressing one (though I’m really not that fussed about it, thankfully). My actual birthday was a little over-shadowed by the wedding of very good friends in Toronto (my husband was best man and I made the wedding dress – yes, there will be a post about that in the near future *winky face*). So, I decided to throw myself a big birthday party down here in DC a couple of weeks later; and to make it even bigger and better I made it a Big Bustle Birthday Bash! The main idea was Victorian bustle dresses but I also allowed late 18th century ones so as not to be *too* restrictive.

The party was set in 2 locations. First, we had a picnic together at the National Arboretum; then cake and champagne/cocktails at my house on Capitol Hill.

It was a pretty big undertaking but it was such a blast! I highly recommend costumed birthday parties if you can get the people together for it!

So now, without further ado, I’m just going to post a whole pile of pictures of the day!

Note: Photos with the watermark “In the Long Run Designs” in the lower right-hand corner were taken by Gloria of In the Long Run Designs

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Sesquicentennial Ensemble: Making the Dress

This dress is old news now but in case you’re interested in how it went together I finally got my construction post for it done and up!

For most of this dress, both skirt and bodice, I used the draft from Patterns of Fashion for the 1870-71 dress – the one with 3 bodice options, I used the day bodice. Although this pattern is from a few years after my date, in looking at lots of fashion plates and extant garments I realized that pattern piece shapes from the early 1870s were largely the same as those of the mid-late 1860s – it was fashion evolution not revolution going on at this time!

1871-73 I think this is the dress from the Patterns of Fashion 1860-1940 by Janet Arnold

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Sesquicentennial Ensemble: Skirt Foundations Trials and Tribulations

Quick re-cap of this project:

This year is Canada’s Sesquicentennial – aka: 150th birthday. I went to Ottawa for Canada Day this year (or Dominion Day for those who go old school) which was on July 1st when some friends and I celebrated in 1867 style. If you’re just tuning in you can see the finished outfit in this post.

The silhouette and style I went with is more 1867-ish than straight on 1867 because, to me, the whole 1840s through 1860s is such a snooze fest fashion-wise. I just do not like 1860s fashion; so I pushed mine more into 1868/beginning of the bustle-era. What’s the point of making something that I’m just not interested in, right?

I’m doing a whole post on just the skirt supports because, lemme tell you, this was a whole journey in itself!

For reference, this was my primary inspiration for the dress overall:

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Raspberry Mint Sorbet Bustle Dress Part the Third: The Hat – Both the Making and In Action!

This is the third and final post on the construction of my Raspberry Mint Sorbet bustle dress completed back in May

If you’re just joining now, here’s the first post, about the skirts, and here’s the second, about the bodice.

I started thinking about the hat while I was finishing sewing the dress. In looking at mid-1880s fashion plates I quickly knew I wanted to do one of those small-but-tall crowned hats from the period. They just look so pert and jaunty – and have such ridiculously fun trimming!

Some examples:

the upper and lower left-hand ones here

Illustration of bonnets and hats - 1887

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CoCo 2017 – (some of the) Awesome Costumes I Saw!

I’m probably one of the last people to finish getting the CoCo posts up but, hey, better late than never, right?

There are quite a lot of photos in this post and it still represents only a small fraction of the wonderful things and people I saw and met!

These photos were all taken by me and I’ve made the decision to not credit/tag people in them because it would take FOREVER and also because I didn’t necessarily get everyone from their absolute best angle or expression, so they may not want to be tagged, lol. If anyone particularly wants to be tagged or would prefer I remove something I’m more than happy to oblige if you could let me know!

So this is basically just like a photo album with little text, broken down into the days of Coco.

Without further ado……

Thursday:

I was still wrapping my head around this whole CoCo thing at the Thursday evening pool party and so this is almost my only photo from it.

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Costume College 2017 – What I Wore!

If you wondered at all why it’s been so quiet around here the past month the answer is simple: Costume College!

This year was my very first time attending Costume College, the annual 3-4 day costume conference in California. And, whoo-boy, what an experience!! I had a fantastic time, met lots of awesome people, got all kinds of inspiration from both them and the classes I attended and have come home with my mind in a frenzy of possibilities for CoCo 2018 and the year in between!

But, for those of you who didn’t get to attend, you’re probably really just mostly interested in what everybody wore, right? There were so many good outfits, on a wide range of themes. However, to make things more digestible I thought I’d start with my own CoCo 2017 wardrobe.

I had 6 outfits/costumes in total. Three come from my costume closet and three were new makes.

Things kicked off properly on Thursday evening with the Pool Party. The overall theme for CoCo this year was to do with the 1960s so I paid my one homage to that at the pool party:

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Celebrating Canada 150 in 1867 Fashion(s)

I’m posting about this project in a backwards manner, showing you the finished ensemble being worn before the construction post(s) – and before I’ve finished with the Raspberry Mint Sorbet. But I wanted to get this up as close after the July 1 weekend as possible, and so you get the good stuff first!

So, as you may have guessed from the title of this post this year Canada celebrated its 150th “birthday,” maybe not such a big deal as a centennial or bicentennial, etc but still significant for us as quite a young country; plus, I wasn’t around for the centennial and will have to live to nearly 90 to see the bicentennial, so I’ll take it!

For the occasion a few friends around Ottawa and I decided to make historical dresses inspired by the year of Canada’s confederation, 1867, and get up to some shenanigans around the capitol over the holiday weekend. We initially intended to have picnics throughout the weekend but the weather ended up being just about as un-co-operative as could be and rained heavily, thundered and lighteninged most of the time. So we had to make some hasty re-arrangements and I’m quite pleased with what we managed to throw together last minute. I also actually quite like that we ended up doing something different each of the 3 days.

For the Friday we found a teahouse to accommodate the 4 of us who could make it (Me, Sarah, Liz, Catherine):

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Raspberry Mint Sorbet Bustle Dress Part the Second, aka Adventures in Bodice-ing

If you’re just joining, this is the second in a small series of posts about my most recently completed project, which I dubbed the Raspberry Mint Sorbet bustle dress, for probably pretty obvious reasons.

Here’s where we left off (because I haven’t shown this image enough already, lol) – which is where I left off last summer (post covering the skirts here).

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My initial inspiration for the bodice was this fashion plate that I also liked for showing a similar colour combination to my own, which still feels a little too, I don’t know, for HA.

Le Salon de la Mode 1884:

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Raspberry Mint Sorbet Bustle Dress – The Skirts

If you saw my post about this year’s historical sewing plans then you may remember my mentioning this UFO that I started on a whim last summer. I got as far as having the skirt mostly finished before it was time to start fall sewing, at which point I was all about fall colours (which I love SO MUCH) and this make instead of summery ice cream-like colours.

Fortunately, it did not have to languish in the UFO pile for terribly long. In the winter I received an invitation to a Victorian picnic in May. I ended up not being able to go as I was attending a conference in England over the same weekend. However, as luck would have it I received an invitation from another friend for a Victorian picnic in June so I didn’t lose my incentive for finishing this ensemble! Hooray for UFO-busting!

I’ve decided to do a post for each component of this ensemble (skirts, bodice, hat, everything together and “in action”) to keep it manageable.

Here’s where I had got to last summer:

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