1917 Waist Details

I finally put finishing touches on the navy crepe waist I made last November! A few weeks ago, I was inspired at the very last minute to attend an early 20th century picnic and decided to wear my 1917 outfit because it was still a little chilly out and I wanted to wear something practical for walking around. So, literally the night before the picnic, I embarked on buttons and buttonholes because despite the best of intentions I hadn’t actually sewn them in the months since November. I also added a yoke around the bottom of the waist to keep it from untucking itself while being worn. It untucked itself often when I wore it November, but it didn’t matter because I was wearing my 1917 sweater of Angorina over it. But for the picnic I expected to be wearing the waist without the sweater and I didn’t want to worry about it staying tucked in.

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Wearing the waist and coordinating ensemble in November 2013.
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Same ensemble without the sweater and fur accessories.

This is a candid shot, not posed, but I like how thoughtful it is, especially with the natural light filtered by the cloudy sky. You can see the collar with its interesting points which follow the diamond shapes on the lace, as well as the turn back points on the cuffs, which also follow the diamond shapes on the lace. If you look really closely you can also see the buttons down the front, clustered in groups of three rather than being evenly spaced (a detail I pulled from this 1916 image). (Oh, and I added little extensions to the back of my gaiters so that they would stop popping up over the back of my shoes! I didn’t get a picture, but the change made a huge difference in terms of ease of wearing!)

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The points on the collar continue around the back neck, a detail which I love, because it makes an otherwise boring collar much more interesting! Also, my hair was surprisingly cooperative that day, and the natural highlights really stood out in the muted lighting!

The waist was made using Past Patterns #9025, which was originally published by The New Idea Pattern Company. “Waist” is the word that was used in the early 20th century to describe the garment we would now call a blouse. Past Patterns lists the date as c. 1915, but the pattern actually has a specific date stamp on it: ” Nov. 19, 1917.” How cool is that? It’s perfect for my 1917 outfit! You can see that I mixed and matched elements from both pattern views, and that I adapted the collar shape to suit the lace that I used for it. The pattern is intended for at 36″ bust (which I am) but it’s pretty roomy. I wouldn’t mind the front being a little bit less full if I decided to make another similar garment one day.

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Past Patterns #9025: Ladies’ Waist c. 1915

As a bonus, here are some other picturesque images from the picnic.

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As usual, playing croquet caused lots of onlookers to stop and watch our fabulous picturesque-ness. I suppose I might stop, too, if I was totally unused to seeing us…
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We couldn’t resist taking this perfectly un-posed shot!
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Bunny ears! Hee hee hee…

The skirt isn’t quite finished yet, as I still have closures and some decorative buttons to sew on. So for now I’ll leave off posting details about it. Hopefully, I’ll finish it soon and get pictures… sometime? It’s going to be too warm to wear a wool skirt soon!

HSF #24: 1917 Fur Hat (And Revised Muff)

The theme of this HSF challenge is Re-Do, in which you re-do a previous challenge for a second time or you re-do a challenge you didn’t complete the first time around.

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The muff and hat are super soft. In addition to keeping my hands in the muff, I also spent a fair amount of time hugging and patting it.

I’m using my recently completed 1917 fur hat and recently revised matching muff as my entry for this challenge. I think the hat and muff best qualify for a re-do of Challenge #20: Outerwear, which I did complete with my 1822 Walking Dress (so this would be a re-do of a challenge I already completed). So, the facts:

Fabric: About 1/4 yd of faux fur and about 1/4 yd cotton flannel.

Pattern: Created by me.

Year: 1917.

Notions: Thread, polyester batting.

How historically accurate?: 90%. Tall round hats of this sort were popular in 1917, though they were likely made of real fur rather than faux fur. The revised muff has a great shape for lots of periods, including this one, and is pretty accurate, aside from the fact that it is also faux fur. Oh, and neither hats nor muffs were insulated with poly batting… but it is so warm! And no one will know except me, and those of you reading this!

Hours to complete: Unknown. I was pretty tired while working on the hat, so I know it took longer than it should have. The muff was quick (like 2 hours) but that’s just the revision. I don’t remember how long it took to make it originally.

First worn: At a Thanksgiving event in Plymouth.

Total cost: None, since I bought the fur and the flannel specifically for the muff over two years ago I count it as a stash project.

Here’s my inspiration for the hat. I was aiming for the exaggerated shape on the right. I don’t think I quite achieved that, unfortunately. I did actually spend a lot of time patterning the hat so it would look right sitting at an angle rather than straight. I think I was so cold when I was wearing it that I pulled it down to cover more of my head and thus pulled it off of its angle. Sad! But also, the thick fur rather obscures the shape anyway. I chose not to do the sticky-up bit, partly because I ran out of time, and partly because I just didn’t know what to make it out of, since the hat was already fur. Oh well. I really like that middle hat, too…

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1915. In the collection of the NYPL.

I originally made the muff for an 1860s event a few years ago. I had a plan to use gathered silk for the two ends, but it turns out it looked cooler in my head than when I executed the plan. Also, the muff was a little longer than I liked, so I decided that for this event I would shorten the muff by taking off the silk ends and folding the fur over to cover the ends. Here’s my Pinterest board of inspiration for this project. You’ll see that there are various shapes and sizes of muffs c. 1917. Mine is somewhere in the middle in terms of size and shape.

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This is sort of what I was envisioning with the silk on the ends, but it is a little underwhelming. You can see the cotton flannel lining in the middle. It holds body heat, so it doesn’t feel cold when you put your hands in!
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This is the other side. It’s pretty twisty and sad.

But as I said, I took the silk off, folded the fur down over the ends, and sewed it directly to the flannel. (I have plans to use the silk for a Regency reticule at some point in the future… yay recycling!) You can see the results in these next few pictures. I’m quite happy with the results! The muff is about 3″ shorter and I like the look of the fur on the sides.

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See the fur on the sides? That used to be the silk part.
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This was our silly shot and it shows off the new muff end well.
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Another silly shot, just for fun. I think maybe I was trying to keep my face warm?

Regency Kites!

Well, it’s June now, and that means summer to me. I’ve been slow to post about my kite making adventures because I was busy posting about other things, but it seems fitting for this post to be the first one of June–summery, somehow.

After the official end of the Regency Dance Weekend I’ve been posting about recently, my friends and I stayed in the Salem area to relax a bit and have some further Regency adventures. We had been brainstorming about what sort of activity we might engage in that was outside of our usual occupations and had settled on the idea of flying kites!

I did some research into Regency kites and spent some of my evening time during the weekend sewing these four silk kites with some help from friends.

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Plaid, green, striped, and pink.

I didn’t find much to go on with the kite making. The best source I found was Jen’s post about Georgian Toys on her blog Festive Attyre. The post includes a link to this kite making how-to as well as a link to this 18th century extant kite. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find more information on the extant kite than that which is on that one page. Jen’s post is great and includes fun information about other Georgian toys as well as kites. The how-to link is a good one as well, though I did sub out modern methods for more period ones. For example: there is no tape to be found, instead there are stitches.

Making the kites was fun. I went to Home Depot to buy the dowels for the kite frames. They were cheap and luckily you can saw the lengths to be what you need while you’re in the store (good for me since I don’t own a saw!). I also bought twine there. It’s a poly-cotton blend (boo), but it’s smooth on the hands, so that’s worth it! The kite tails are bits of the main fabric and a contrasting fabric just tied around the twine. Instead of notching the ends of the dowels after they were cut (I tried, and it failed, because the dowels just wanted to splinter) I just wrapped the twine around the ends enough times that it wouldn’t move. The method definitely worked and sometimes that’s all you need.

Despite the fact that it was super windy by the water, we had trouble getting the kites to stay in the air. I’ve surmised that my kite engineering skills are not super outstanding, because the kites did lots of circles near our head height and then dove into the ground… over and over and over again… It was a bit frustrating. These pictures capture the few times we got the kites up in the air. Trust me when I say they didn’t stay up very long!

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Perhaps a running start?
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Perplexed but still trying.
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Clearly this kite did not want to go up.
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Triumph! (If only for the moment!)
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This kite had the best luck at staying in the air.
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Another successful moment.

There were some adjustments and kite injuries along the way. One of the dowels in the pink kite broke, so I have to figure out how I’m going to fix that. The other kites had things like alternate bridles made and pennies sewn into the edges to try to add weight. Some of those things seemed to work. I guess I just need to do some research about what makes kites stay up. I’m not sure the tails worked very well, either. They tangled easily and were hard to sort out again. If you know anything about kite making and have tips, I’d love to hear them!

This is definitely something I plan to work on and try again. Perhaps at a summer picnic? We’ll see. It was a fun endeavor, despite the diving kites (and I had the opportunity to wear my new Tree Gown again!). Plus, there were pretty places nearby to take pictures!

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Perfect photo opportunity.
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It was pretty windy, so hat holding was totally necessary!

Regency Dance Weekend Part V: Sharing The Train

I’m eager to share pictures of the grand ball with you, but I want to insert this post before continuing to ball pictures. One of my friends had the ambition to complete a Regency court train to wear during the reception I showed pictures of last post. It’s a pretty fabulous train made of velvet printed with golden bees and trimmed with opulent gold lace.

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The actual owner and maker of the train.

It’s not the sort of thing to be danced in, but that’s fine, because it attaches at the waist, so it’s easy to take off. During the course of the evening some of us tried on the train and tried out different poses in it. So nice of Antonia to share with all of us! It was quite grand and fabulous.

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Benevolent royalty face.
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Elegant royalty face.
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Aloof royalty face.
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Exuberant royalty face.
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Pretty pretty princess royalty face.

It’s my blog, and that means I can share as many pictures of me as I want…! Spoiled sounding? Probably… Okay, fine, I’ll return to my more humble un-royalty roots.

There are some absolutely stunning extant court trains out there. Here’s my pinterest page of court gowns and trains from all different periods. And here are some of my favorite Regency court trains to inspire you.

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ca. 1809. The Met.
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1809. The Met.
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First Empire From the Chateau de Malmaison Costume Collection app
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First Empire From the Chateau de Malmaison Costume Collection app

There is an event at Dress U in about a month that requires court gowns or trains. I won’t be there, but I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of other people’s fabulous court trains! I hope you’ve enjoyed these silly pictures. I promise that the next post in this series about the Regency Weekend will be pictures of the ball: no more delays!

Turkey Day Does Moose Day

Well, it’s turkey day, not moose day… but in the spirit of animal-related-sillyness… here are a few more Quinn-does-moose photos! You can see the original one in my Happy Halloween post! Don’t forget to count your blessings and be thankful today! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

There I am, on the right being a moose. It’s hard to lift your arms in an 1860 dress…
Ok, this time I could lift my arms… but I had a fan in my hand. What to do? Use it as an antler, obviously!

Happy Halloween!

I used to dream of going to a Halloween masquerade in an 1860s dress. I’ve never attended a real masquerade, but I do attend a fair number of events in 1860s dresses… so that goal is half completed! I don’t actually do Halloween things anymore. I don’t really like crowds and annoying people, so I tend to stay home in order to avoid those things (not that every person out on Halloween is annoying… but so many of them are, it’s just easier to stay home). Plus, I have that added bonus of wearing historic clothes and costume-y things year round, so I don’t feel like Halloween is my one-and-only-chance to wear something I wouldn’t normally wear. Anyway, for those of you dressed up or just plain getting dressed… or those of you staying home like me…

Making moose antlers is a favorite past time of mine when the camera comes out for silly pictures!

Happy Halloween!

PS. This is one my all time favorite pictures of me! I just think it is hilarious!!!

As an extra note, I’d like to extend my thanks to Caroline, of the blog Dressed In Time, for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! When you are nominated for this award you are asked to share 7 things about yourself and also nominate 15 other blogs. You can read my responses here. Thanks again Caroline, for the nomination! I’m so pleased that you enjoy seeing my events!