Julie's Dress Diaries

Herein lie my attempts at both blogging and creating period clothing for various locations and times of the Renaissance. Enjoy

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fairy Wings

As I did in 2007, I will be helping the HMHounds group at Spoutwood Fairy festival come May. I have to say...I'm still embarrassed by the last "costume" even though I really like the crazy color combo.

This year, I wanted to try to be at least a little better. I still have no idea what outfit I'll pull together, but I've been wanting to experiment with dreamcatcher-inspired fairy wings for a while now, and figured I'd give it a go. The frames are coat hangers (4 total), straightened and reshaped, covered in black ribbon, then bound together with black cord and more ribbon. The cob-webby silver (~ 4 yds/wing) is woven from a travesty of a trim I bought for historical costuming based on a very nice looking picture--there was much disappointment when this actually landed on my doorstep. I'm glad that I found an alternative use for it.

They're certainly not perfect, but I think the experiment at least proved that the theory of dreamcatcher fairy wings is sound. And that's one less costume-y bit that I have to think about come May...

I need to think of some sparkly spider-inspired fairy name. How very Goth of me!

Damn, that window needs some windex action!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Pretty Pirate

Wednesday, Sept 19th is "talk like a pirate day." And since I happen to have a handful of eyepatches from my eye surgeries lying around, I thought I'd cover one and make a fancy eyepatch. I figured, what the heck, might be fun...

Of course, I'd not be content without a wee bit of historical research on the topic, right? To my delight, I found information on Ana Mendoza, a spanish noble lady complete with embroidered eyepatches:

Her's is a rather small patch, smaller than the bases I had at home, so mine is obviously larger. I liked how she wore the strings up towards the middle of her head, rather than across her whole face. I rather think she may have pinned it into her hair, given the slackness on that top string...

Anyway, here is my bit of pirate fun for the day:

The design is a stylized pirate dagger, taken from some of the old jolly rogers, like the one used by Stede Bonnet. And I added swirlies, since I can't seem to resist them. The embroidery is pretty shoddy, but it was a fun little project for a day. ;)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Orange is my favorite color!

Anytime someone asks me my favorite color, I think I give a different answer. But this weekend, at VARF rehearsal, for the purposes of filling out an "about you" form, I decided it would be orange.
And seeing as I deemed orange to be my favorite color of the moment, I'm posting a small homage to orange.

First, my new hat:

Its supposed to look like a spanish style, not quite a flatcap, but similar. Its a buckram and wire stiffened brim with a large circle of fabric pleated to it for the crown. And a beautiful huge ostrich feather courtesy of Auntie Tina, of course. Thank you again! Its comfy, stays on my head nicely (okay, its a bit tight, but nowhere near as tight as the mad hatter creation), and provides a bit of shade unlike the heart shaped bonnet. I'm going to reserve the bonnet for overcast days. I got tired of squinting at the NC faire.

Second, Beth and I have been talking about decorating our parasols for faire. The original plan was to cover in silk/fabric of some sort, but as faire starts next week, the quick fix was a bit of (orange, of course) paint and a period-ish looking stencil:

Not sure if you can see the stencil design well, so here's a closeup. Of course, I learned that I'm a fairly blobby stenciler. This is actually one of the best ones. ;)

I also worked on some jewelry bits last night, but those'll have to go up later, since they're not orange. ;)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Utter Silliness

The HMHounds group is participating in the Spoutwood Farm Faerie Festival this weekend.

The problem: I found myself fresh outta fairy gear. Fairies just aren't my speciality, and I've never made a fairy costume in my life. Its probably pretty obvious that I enjoy doing reasonably well researched and somewhat documentable costumes, so this is really out of my realm. I'd love to do some research on fairy stories and look at some great fairy images before doing a project like this, but with about 6 hrs to devote to making a costume for this event, that'll just have to wait. Maybe if we do the fairy fest again next year.... I'd love to do some sort of water nymph.

The solution: My fearless hounds leader, Jen, lent me a wonderful chemise-y dress. Its that wrinkly cotton material, the bottom is two layers, cut jaggedly for that nice fairy effect. Its frilly, fun, and oh so comfy. But I needed to have at least a bodice for supporting the gals, if you know what I mean....
I used the corset from my venetian days (its never getting worn again, seeing as i have the spiffy and lighter weight effigy now) for a bodice. I added an oh-so-stylish orange strip to the neckline.
The problem then was that the tabs weren't very stylish.

To the rescue: an old sheer curtain and some changable silky fabric that was gifted to me were what I had on hand (okay, I have plenty more on hand, but this was what I was willing to sacrifice to a quick and sloppy project). They colors don't match at all....um, unless I'm some sort of "dawn" fairy....

So I made skirts for covering the corset tabs--there are two skirts, one that is two layers of scraggy cut periwinkle sheerness (thank you old bedroom curtain), and one shorter skirt that is a layer of firey orange with a little scraggy-cut periwinkle tutu. Its well...fluffy and silly. I also made arm cuffs with frills on it, cuz, well, whythehecknot? ;) Here is my best attempt at looking like a playful frilly fairy ballerina person:

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Avoiding Smocks

Oh, how I hate sewing smocks. That is what I SHOULD be doing, but just couldn't stomach the idea. I was gonna distract myself by making a hat, but I couldn't find my wire, so I finished up a project that I'd started in NC--a little caul made out of leftover jacobean jacket fabric (lined in wool--perfect for summer-wear, right?).

I was also having an ugly day, so I found a more attractive model (thank you beth, for the inspiration):

Friday, March 23, 2007

Whelp Book

As Beth mentioned in her last post, she and I will be joining Her Majesty's Hounds and playing in the Virginia Renaissance Faire for its 2007 season. This was the same group that we volunteered with last fall, and it clearly made a good impression. I'm very excited to be joining them and their cause full time. Since Beth has already covered this, you've probably guessed what's coming...the decoration of my charge book for the group:

Its a pretty simplistic little book, covered in lambskin and bound with embroidery floss. I'd like to decorate the leather, but couldn't get hold of my dad's leatherworking kit before this particular assignment was due (procrastinate, me?). I might try to posh it up in the future, but i'm so in love with the texture of this lambskin that maybe I won't... I do still have to braid and bead the second bookmark string, but I figured that'd be good car-work for later.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More Underwears!

Just finished the red silk petticoat that I've been wanting. Its red silk dupioni, that I machine washed, so its not crisp silk anymore, more flowy. I kinda liked it better crisp, but I think having it be easily washable will make my future easier. The guards are a wine wool gabardine. I really like it paired with my jacobean jacket:

It looks pinker here than in person. The front has a bit of a swoopy wrinkle in it (funny how i'm ommitting that picture, eh?). I'm not quite sure how to fix that, and i'm also not sure if it bothers me enough to try. We shall see....