HSF/M #1: 1895 Hug-able Skating Costume

This is one of my favorite outfits of all time. I just want to hug myself, with all the fur, and I love the trim on the back! The whole thing is so cozy and so hug-able and the skirt has such a nice drape and the accessories work so well… and I actually got to go skating in it! I am just utterly chuffed (to use a British word) with the whole thing!

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I was on the fence about whether this outfit would apply to the Historical Sew Fortnightly/Monthly Challenge #1: Foundations, but then I read Leimomi’s teaser post about her foundation entry in which she reminds us about different interpretations of foundations and the intent of this challenge to create loose guidelines open to interpretation.

I was convinced (or pushed off the fence, if you prefer to think of it in that amusing way). I’m claiming my all new 1895 skating outfit for the first challenge of the new year! It does rather stretch the idea of foundations. Is the skirt a foundation because it is literally worn below the jacket, thus being a foundation as you would think of one in a building? Or is the bodice a foundation, because my direct inspiration is a lonely jacket without a skirt and therefore it is the foundation of the outfit because I wouldn’t have made the skirt without having the jacket? Either way, there is an element of a foundation in there.

Just the facts:

Fabric: 5 yds of ivory wool, about ⅓ to ½ yd of dark brown faux fur, probably about 3 yds of scrap muslin for flat lining the jacket, a bit of scrap canvas to stiffen the collar, and a bit of ivory flannel to line the inside of the collar.

Pattern: Made by me and based on my inspiration jacket as well as patterns published in Authentic Victorian Fashion Patterns (a Dover book).

Year: c. 1895.

Notions: 5 yds of brown braid, thread, a bit of high loft polyester batting to keep the sleeves puffed out, about 1 yd of ivory hug snug to finish the bottom of the jacket, hooks and bars for the skirt, and thread.

How historically accurate is it? Pretty darn good. Definitely recognizable by someone in the 1890s. The construction is accurate, aside from the use of hug snug instead of bias and faux fur instead of real fur. So, 95%.

Hours to complete: Um… As usual, I did not keep track. I definitely spent at least 15 hours the few days before the event sewing on my braid and fur trim… Plus full days of pattern making, fitting, cutting, and sewing. Maybe 30-40 hours? I care so much more about the finished project than the time it takes to get there! And I loved sewing this, so I didn’t mind that it took time!

First worn: To a skating party that was part of the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers‘ 1890s weekend in January.

Total cost: $75 for the wool, probably about $8 for the fur yardage I used for this project, $4 for the braid, and the rest from the stash = $87

My accessories were a matching fur muff that I made a few years ago and wore once for caroling (with my as-yet-undocumented 1860s winter cape) but more often with my 1917 winter ensemble and a revamp of my 1883 wool hat. I didn’t have time to make a new hat because of all the last minute fur and trim sewing, so I pinned a fur scrap around the 1883 hat and added some feathers to stand up a bit more like 1890s hats and called it good. My main inspiration (and the reason I feel it was an acceptable looking style to have the squashy fedora hat look in the 1890s) was this image.

For good measure, here’s my Pinterest board for the entire project. And here are pictures of us skating (with ice skates: all our snow and cold weather does occasionally come in handy here in Boston)!

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Yes, we just crashed a local outdoor ice rink on a Sunday afternoon. One of the attendees even wore vintage skates! Turns out they can be hard to skate in because they’re not very supportive… but they looked fantastic! We got lots of comments from people asking what we were doing, why we were dressed up, and that we looked good. I was asked by multiple groups of young girls why I was dressed up and one group in particular asked what the swirly thing was that I had, which I got to explain was a muff to keep my hands warm!

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Here’s our skating group. People came in a variety of late 19th century and early 20th century winter outfits as well as modern clothes.

With my skating ensemble I wore fleece lined tights (modern, but warm so I didn’t care), knee high bamboo socks (modern again), my 1903 silk petticoat (super useful for the 1890s, also), a modern tank top (instead of combinations, because I needed to go to work later in the afternoon and change out of my outfit in the back seat of my car without being indecent…), my 1895 corset, and a long sleeve modern waffle tee (mostly to shield my skin against the wool seam allowances and also for warmth). And I was perfectly warm wearing this out for skating on a day that was sunny and right around freezing. In fact, with the muff and wool hat I actually was too warm at times.

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Pleased, chuffed, and smiling all afternoon! So fun! Maybe we will get to go skating again this winter!

Nahant Grand Ball

Back in August at the Nahant Vintage Dance Weekend, I was able to attend a soiree at Egg Rock (see that post here) as well as attend the Grand Ball of the weekend. I wore my 1893 bronze ball gown that I made back in 2012.

Unfortunately, I have to say that the crowds and the August temperature without air conditioning conspired for a very sweaty evening, which was not to my liking. However, everyone was very nicely attired and tasty refreshments were provided. In fact, sorbet was brought out at one point and was a tasty and cooling treat! (Hard to imagine being that warm as fall settles in and the air outside is crisp and chilly! I’ve been slow to get to posting about this event.)

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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
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Dancing a waltz, I believe.
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This time I’m smiling!
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I happened to be standing in front of a fan while explanations of a dance were going on and I have to confess to laughing more at my flying shoulders than listening to the explanation…
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A view of the crowded ballroom.
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Another view of the room.
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Everyone looked fabulous for the event.
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This was my favorite new dress I hadn’t seen before. It was quite sunning, with the bi-colored sleeves and tall aigrette. And in complimenting the wearer I was able to meet someone new, which is always nice.
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TNG. That’s that.

The entire Nahant weekend made the New York Times via the delightful Bill Cunningham (who was in attendance taking pictures for the weekend). I can be spotted in a few of his pictures in the Evening Hours section from August 15. There was also an afternoon of events that I did not attend, but which you can see pictures of here and watch a video with Bill’s narration of here.

Problem Solving In 1893

It’s been over a year since I attended an event that allowed me to wear my bronze and pink 1893 ball gown. The last time I wore it, at Newport Dance Week in August 2012, there were a few minor problems: it was  wrinkly and the shoulders kept falling down. I was able to solve both of these problems for this wearing. Ironing was easy and to solve the shoulder problem I did as one of the readers of a previous post suggested and ran a drawstring through the bias neck binding. The drawstring is sewn down in the back and exits the casing at center front, so it’s easy to adjust while I’m wearing it. The technique worked wonders! The shoulders stayed up all night with no problems. I look like so much more put together when my dress isn’t falling off!

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I had fun doing my hair in a different way than last time, too. This time I opted for a more poofy style with a small high bun in the back rather than a more severe style with a poofier bun behind the tiara as I did last time. I really like how my hair turned out. I think the poof on the sides helps balance out the dress. And with a suitably haughty/benevolent face, the overall effect is quite regal!

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Here’s a side view. It took a lot of sections to make this happen. Side, and back, and top of the head, and front top… lots of sections.

Unfortunately, the lighting in the venue was very low and not good for taking pictures, so this is it. A brief post.

First Picnic Of The Summer: Part I

Last weekend was a whirlwind of events and that means I’ve got lots of pictures to share! The pictures will be coming in small-ish groups. I do hope you’ll be able to vicariously enjoy the nice weather and fun through them.

The first event was a low-key turn of the 20th century picnic in the Boston Public Garden. You might remember that last year we did a Regency picnic in the same place? We were out to have a good time and get some fresh air without worrying about 100% historical accuracy, hence the low-key part of the description. So without further ado, pictures!

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Taking a turn about the garden.
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There are lots of ducks in and around the swan pond in the center of the garden and this time of year you can also see baby ducks! There were 9 of them in this bunch. Aren’t they cute?
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There are also swans around the swan pond. These ones were nesting in a fenced off area. Pretty, but you wouldn’t want to get too close. Swans are big, and mean.
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There are lovely old trees around the garden as well.
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The trees make great backdrops for photos.
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Walk a bit away from the swan pond and you are likely to encounter George Washington, who happened to be showing off his Bruins spirit this past weekend. (I love that the city, presumably, had a custom all-weather jersey-cape made, since Washington can’t actually move his arms to put on a jersey, given that he’s bronze…)
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All around the statue of Washington are lovely flower beds. The flowers get changed out pretty regularly so they’re always blooming and pretty. These flowers are my favorite though! They’re called allium, and I love the colors, and the size, and the circle-y-ness of them.
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I believe I have a weakness for circle-y things. And, my outfit matched the flowers! I think my gibson-y hair turned out pretty well, too.
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I know this picture is similar to the last one… but I can’t decide which one I like best. I’m hoping maybe you have an opinion that will sway me one way or the other?
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It got warm promenading about the garden, so we returned to the blankets in the shade to play cards.
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After the rest, we broke out the croquet set we had brought along. Apparently we were more interesting while playing croquet than we were at any other time during the day, because we actually gathered a crowd of people who were watching us play.
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Contemplating my next shot. I was getting out of the metal panel obstacle…
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I was the pink ball! I think it was supposed to be red, but it looked awfully pink to me!
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My outfit choice was inspired by an image in the KCI collection. I did my best to imitate it in spirit, despite my lack of a boater.
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When revisiting the image I realized that it does not include a croquet mallet. Be that as it may, I tried, and I think the inspiration is clear, even though my memory is not!
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Picnic-ers!

Details Of The Bronze And Pink 1893 Ball Gown

I’ve been meaning to post about my new 1893 ball gown since Newport Vintage Dance Week back in August… Well, I’m slow about getting it done, but but this is going to be a post with mounds of great detail, so I think the wait was worth it!

At the 1890s Soiree during Newport Vintage Dance Week in August.

This gown is constructed of bronze shot silk shantung with pale pink slightly slubby silk satin. It is flat lined throughout with ivory waxed cotton. It is stabilized with cotton canvas at the hem and in the waistband. The bodice is trimmed with ivory net and bits of metallic bronze/gold net that have sequin motifs on it (in fact, it’s the same metallic net as the top sleeve section of my 1912 burgundy silk evening gown, which I also wore at Newport). The sash is trimmed with the metallic bronze/gold net. The sleeves have layers of ivory tulle inside them to help maintain the full shape.

I wore this dress with a combination, a corset, a slight bum pad, two petticoats (one silk, one cotton), stockings, and shoes. Exterior accessories include cotton/poly elbow length white gloves (I have lovely leather ones that come up above the elbow, but they are getting soiled from being worn while dancing with men who are not wearing gloves (breech of decorum on their part!), so I chose not to wear those to this ball); my handy Battenburg lace fan; my faux pearl drop earrings; a long strand of faux pearls (originally bought to be worn with my 1928 green silk evening gown); a nice bling-y necklace borrowed from a friend for the evening; and my fabulous almost-Victorian tiara from eBay!

My tiara shares a general design with the Lover’s Knot Tiara, below. Both tiaras have round elements connected by jeweled arches above a second row of round elements, both rows of which are surmounted by tear shaped pearl elements which are set above a final row of further round shaped elements around the base. Additionally, in both tiaras there is a high point in the center which then diminishes toward each side. Obviously, the two are not exactly the same, but I think they’re similar. Of course, wearing mine for an 1893 look is slightly earlier than the given date of the Lover’s Knot Tiara, which is c. 1913. But isn’t that excusable, when the tiara looked so wonderful with my dress and accessories? There’s a closeup of my tiara below so you can compare.

Lover’s Knot Tiara by Garrard c.1913.
My eBay tiara.

It took a bit of work to come up with a hair style I liked that also worked with the tiara, I can tell you. I wanted to have a puff of hair not directly behind the tiara, but close enough that it would provide a dark background for the tiara to stand out from. Unfortunately, I don’t have any great pictures of my hair. Oh well! It also took A LOT of bobby pins to secure the tiara. I  think I used about 20 for the tiara alone. I put one between each of the base pearls, then another to cross the first one. I also secured the ends of the tiara with extra pins. It was really stable and didn’t move at all during the entire night, so that part was successful!

Here’s a closeup of the jewelry.

In the picture above you can see the jewelry better. You can also see the one major flaw in this dress. The wide neckline wasn’t shaped quite right, so the sleeves started slipping off my shoulders, making the sleeves look slightly less impressive. This is one of those things that was perfectly fine in all my fittings. It’s during those pesky balls, when you move and sweat, that you really discover the flaws in your clothes! I’ll have to do something about that before I wear the dress again.

A full length view. This was the end of the night, and the end of the week, so that’s why I look tired.
A full length back view. Again, you can see how the sleeves just didn’t want to stay on my shoulders.

Now on to the specifics of patterning. The bodice (and especially the sleeves) of this dress are from Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion 2, as is the skirt. The decorative sash and bodice trim were inspired by an image in Norah Waugh’s The Cut of Women’s Clothes. I looked at many images that had similar sashes with bows, so I’m sure I was influenced by those as well.

The next thing to discuss is the construction of the dress. It is in two pieces: a plain bronze silk skirt and a decorative bronze and pink silk bodice. The wonderful thing about this arrangement is that I can make other bodices to go with the skirt (I’ve got extra bronze and pink silk). For example, I plan to one day make a day bodice to go with the same skirt. Since the skirt takes the biggest bulk of fabric, this is an economical and practical plan in addition to adding to my wardrobe!

I’ve got some great closeup pictures of the bodice construction, but I didn’t take any close up pictures of the skirt, come to think of it. Honestly, though, it’s not as interesting. The skirt is gathered in back and set into a waistband which closes at the back with hooks. There is a placket opening that is hidden in the gathers. The entire skirt is flat lined with ivory cotton. In addition, the hem has a 12″ band of bias cut canvas tacked between the silk and cotton. The canvas helps the skirt form those wide folds at the hem as well as providing a certain weight and gravity to the lightweight silk. Finally, it also helps provide a clean sharp edge over which to turn the hem. For the hem, the bronze silk is folded to the inside over the canvas, turned again, and stitched to the cotton lining. The hem is about 1/4″.

The bodice, by itself. As you can see, the sash is a part of the bodice.
Here is the net applique on the sash ends. The net is great because it doesn’t fray, so I simply had to cut out the motif I wanted and then stitch it around all the edges to the sash. The sash is a tube of bias finished at an angle on the ends with a slip stitch.
A closup of the shoulder and top of the sleeve. You can see the ivory net trim around the neck of the bodice, which terminates in those cute bows on the shoulder. The bronze part of the sleeves are rectangles that are knife pleated radially at the shoulder, which you can see in this photo. And finally, you can see the gold net applique which is stitched over the ivory net around the neck opening.
Then comes the question, where are the closures on this bodice? Well, the sash is stitched to the bodice from the right side front around the left side to center back. Then the bodice opens up center back.
To keep the sash in place around the right side, there are three hooks that correspond to thread loops on the bodice. This keeps the sash in place. You can see the canvas backing of the sash in this picture.
One of the thread loops on the bodice that holds the sash in place.
The center back closure is hooks and thread loops. I like thread loops better than the metal eyes or loops because you can’t see them when the bodice is pulled tight, like you can with the metal. You can see that I added a placket that extends farther than the loops just in case something pops open.
The inside of the bodice. I LOVE to make the insides of garments pretty, and I think this is one of my finest examples! Aside from the fact that it is modern materials, it looks just like an extant garment from the 19th century. The bodice is boned up center front, the front darts (which create a V-shape on either side of center front), the side seams, and each of the four side back seams. The neck and hem are finished off with self fabric bias with is then nicely whip stitched to the cotton flat lining. The armholes are bound with self bias. Then there is also a waistband, to help alleviate the tension on the center back closure. This waistband is cross stitched to each boning channel and closes with hooks and eyes.
The right side of the bodice. You can see the bias bindings, the boning channels, cross stitched waistband, and hooks. Oh, and I just noticed that I also finished the exposed seam allowances by turning them back on themselves and whip stitching. (The seam allowances under the boning channels are trimmed and left raw.)
Center front. The boning channels were whip stitched to the cotton lining along the sides. It was a bit of a logistal problem to determine how to nicely bind off the edges of the bodice with bias, since there is a sash part of the way around. You can see that there is a separate piece of bias covering the join between the sash and the bodice from the right side where the sash opens.
The left side. On the waistband I did use the metal bars instead of thread loops, since I knew they wouldn’t be seen from the outside. You can also see how the sash was attached. It was flipped up and topstitched to the bodice (avoiding bones!), then flipped down to cover the raw edges and joined to the bottom of the bodice with bias.
The interior of the pink under sleeve. The silk is gathered into a cotton lining. Of course, you can’t see up into the sleeve when there is an arm in it!

It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, to have such a beautifully finished bodice. And I felt like such a princess at the 1890s Soiree, to be wearing an all silk dress with silk petticoat and a fabulous tiara!

Whee!

Sort-Of-New 1895 Blouse: At A Picnic With Teddy And Me

This is another case of the delays… The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers performed at an event in June (cough, cough… I am so slow!) that was called something like A Picnic for Teddy, Mommy, and Me. It was at the Salem Athenaeum, a private library, and was targeted toward young girls, their mothers, and their teddy bears! Cute!

We performed in 1890s whites. I had been dragging my feet about constructing my own whites, so I took this opportunity to go for it.

Dancing “Teddy Bear’s Picnic.” It’s really a ridiculous dance, but it fit the theme of the event perfectly!
It was super hot that day! Sitting, in the shade, was wonderful. As was my fan…
CVD on the steps of the Athanaeum.
After the event we walked across Salem to get some lunch. Of course, Salem often sees people dressed in odd clothes, so we didn’t surprise people, but they were curious about what event we were going to.

I’m not totally sold on the white skirt I made. It’s a gored skirt and it works fine, it’s just not super eye catching (aka, it’s great for performances, but won’t get worn for other things… maybe it will be a petticoat if needed?). Oh, and I also threw the hat together, thinking that the white and blue would be nautical and good for Newport. But then I totally re-trimmed the hat at Newport because it didn’t have quite enough oomph with the white and blue. But the blouse… I love the blouse! It’s super comfy and lightweight, it closes in front (yay!), is washable,  and I like the fabric. Win!

It is based off of a fashion plate in one of my many books. I draped a basic blouse pattern and adapted the pattern as needed to add the gathers in the front and back. The exterior is mounted on a lining made from the basic blouse pattern so that they gathers will stay where they are supposed to be. It is constructed of cotton with swiss dots for the exterior and a lightweight woven stripe cotton for the base (which I bought for $1 a yard a while ago! Love that price!). It closes up the front with concealed hooks and thread bars. The sleeves are quite large gigot sleeves, but because they are not lined they sort of just droop. Here are some pictures! I think I got pretty close to that inspiration image, don’t you? I love the feeling of success that comes with really nailing the look in reproducing a garment! Don’t we all?

The inspiration image.
Front of the blouse, on Squishy, the mannequin.
Back of the blouse on Squishy.
In the garden.

“Vintage in Vogue” Finds

In August for each of the last eight years, I have been blessed to be able to enjoy an annual trip to Cape Cod. By this point the trip feels just like going home: I know the places I like to go, that I like to eat (and they recognize me, even though I’m only there one week out of the year!), that I like to shop… and I only deviate from these things when I want something new–a sense of adventure.

Well, a few years ago I was encouraged to visit a new store, which I did, and since then I have returned on every visit to the Cape. What store, you ask? Vintage In Vogue. This unique vintage clothing store is run by the wonderfully passionate Maureen Leavenworth. Truly, Vintage In Vogue is a unique vintage store. Maureen really cares about the stories behind the items for sale and she takes the time to share those stories with you when you are interested in an object.

The store is full of fun things like shoes, hats, jewelry, furs, patterns, fashion plates, and of course, dresses. There are some pieces from the 19th century, as well as many items from the 20th century. There is also has a whole area devoted to vintage wedding gowns and accessories. This year as I was poking around looking at the fun things… I found a few things I decided to take home with me.

First, a 1950s vintage Vogue pattern!

Useful for when I find time to make a Mad Men inspired dress. The ruching on the shoulders is an interesting detail in this pattern.
Back of the pattern envelope.

Then, a fur collar, separate from any garment that it once adorned.

I have a vision of turning the collar into a fur trimmed 1860s hat one day.

And, lastly, a framed fashion plate from 1894!

“La Bon Ton Et Le Moniteur De La Mode United” Published by S. T. Taylor Co., New York, October 1894.
A close up of the fashionable lady.
And of the back view of her dress.

I was very pleased with my finds. The pattern and fur collar have been put on the far back burner, but the 1894 lady enjoys a place of prominence on top of my dresser. I  know that doesn’t sound very glamorous, but she has a light above her that I can turn on so it looks like she’s in a spot light, and she’s in a place where I see her every day as I’m getting dressed. It’s kind of perfect for me and my interests, actually, to see an image like this each morning.

Newport Vintage Dance Week Part VIII: 1890s Soiree at Roger Williams Park Casino

Wow! I am so pleased that you are still here with me to share my copious yet fabulous memories from Newport Vintage Dance Week. The end is near, but not here yet… These pictures are from the last formal event Newport Vintage Dance Week will ever host: the 1890s Soiree at the Roger Williams Park Casino.

Built in 1896, the Casino at Roger Williams Park features a brick exterior and verandas…[in the] Colonial Revival architectural style of the late nineteenth century. The interior walls of the first floor are constructed of hand-finished wood panels, the original maple floors are intact, and details such as beveled mirrors and an emerald green tiled fireplace lend a formal and elegant air to the surroundings. Upstairs, the…grand [ball]room, with it’s birch floors, is painted in warm, rosy tones to evoke a sense of well being, a priority during the “Gay Nineties”. Plaster friezes and frescoes of cherubs and musical instruments adorn the 20-foot ceilings.

We arrived after sunset, due to a lot of last minute sewing, thus I didn’t manage to get pictures of the exterior of the building, but here is one courtesy of one of the catering companies that often does events at the venue (found via google).

The exterior of the Casino.

Now, before we proceed any further, I think we must ponder the definition of the word “casino.” To our modern minds, the word evokes a house of gambling, but that is not the appropriate definition for this particular venue. Here is Merriam-Webster’s first definition of the word: 1-a building or room used for social amusements; specifically: one used for gambling. Clearly, we were going out for social amusements! An example of the word in use (and related to our ball!): “on summer evenings dance bands would perform in the seaside casino.” So fitting!

This is Friday afternoon. The ball was Friday evening…
Getting ready to go wound up taking awhile because this decade needed lots of hair teasing and fussing from all of us to compliment the tiaras and bling!
Dressed! And blinged!
Three all new dresses that were finished the evening of the ball!
Another last minute finish.
Luckily, everyone made it to the ball wearing clothes!
I made an all new 1893 silk ball gown for this event. I received many lovely compliments, including some that expressed the feeling that I had achieved both the silhouette of the period as well as the overall style and that I really looked as though I had stepped out of the past. Yay! Goal successfully reached!
Another TNG picture. The bling was borrowed amongst all of us so everyone had sufficient sparkle.
Such a great ensemble! Adorable dress, fabulous feathers, and really awesome shoes!
A little blurry, but aren’t all the penguin-look-alikes fabulous?
Dancers at the ball. This is the upstairs ballroom.
More wonderfully dressed dancers.
A figured dance, I believe. Isn’t the atmosphere amazing?
Directing traffic around a tight turn in the Grand March. This particular Grand March went up and down stairs multiple times!
The Cake Walk. It’s a silly dance that where you prance and posture around the room, or, if you are in TNG, you might participate in the “Zombie Cake Walk.”
The ceiling of the upstairs ballroom.
Some TNG-ers dancing in the downstairs ballroom.
The ceiling of the downstairs ballroom.
The ballroom grew quite warm, but we discovered air vents in the floor!
Then we had people stand on them but didn’t tell them ahead of time about the nice, cool air… (insert sneaky laugh)
Preparing to leave. It was a long, fabulous week.

Final tally: 20 pictures out of 468 from this event.

Bolero jackets of the 20th century: 1900-1909

A few posts ago, we took a look at Bolero jackets from the mid-19th century. Let’s look at them  in another context: Boleros from the early 20th century, with a hint of information from the 1890s as well.

1904 Dress with Bolero

What exactly is a Bolero jacket? The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “A short jacket, coming barely to the waist; worn by men in Spain; applied to a similar garment worn  by women elsewhere, usually over a blouse or bodice.” This definition condenses the influence and origination of the Bolero down quite eloquently (of course, it is the job of the OED to eloquently distill all words down to a concise definition… but still, I do like this definition). The men’s style Spanish Bolero, with elaborate braiding and bright colors, influenced the style of women’s Boleros from the Victorian period. The following quotes from the OED provide more insight into the history of the Bolero (they also mention other styles of short jackets including the Zouave and the Eton).

“1892    Daily News 14 Nov. 6/3   The Zouave is as great a favourite as it has been for some seasons, and though it varies in form—being sometimes a bolero, sometimes a toreador, and sometimes a cross between an Eton jacket and a Zouave.
1893    Daily News 1 Apr. 2/4   The Zouave is quite as popular as it was last year.‥ Sometimes it is pure bolero.
1893    Lady 17 Aug. 178/1   Zouave Bodices are a feature of autumn gowns. (in the Zouave definition)
1899    Westm. Gaz. 6 July 3/2   Robbing the coat of its basque has created‥the bolero corsage, really an actual bodice, though appearing a bolero coat and skirt.”

The flared skirt and small waist silhouette of women’s clothing during the first decade of the 20th century was well suited to the style of Bolero jackets, as they could help to visually balance the figure by adding just a small amount of width across the chest and shoulders.  Here are a few Boleros from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One is silk velvet, elaborately trimmed. The other is lace. Can you imagine the dresses that would have accompanied these Boleros? Clearly, they were intended for different purposes. Perhaps the first was intended for evening wear and the second for an afternoon stroll or visiting friends?

c. 1905 Bolero from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
c. 1905 Bolero from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
c. 1907 Bolero from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
c. 1907 Bolero from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
c. 1907 Bolero from the Metropolitan Museum of Art