Sewing plans

Summer is nearing it’s end, and it feels like a good time to take stock, and look ahead.

At the beginning of the year, I only had a couple of concrete plans. The historical one’s have been realized. Of the two vintage dresses I had planned, one has been started.

So far so good!

At the moment, my plans for the coming months are quite settled.

First up is finishing the 1780’s round gown. It only needs a hem at this point to be wearable. I’ll be wearing this to an event in October, and I’m thinking of leaving it untrimmed until then, and finishing the look with a sash and fichu and a fabulous hat instead. I’m currently working on those!

One of my inspirations for the hat is the top one:

Hats from 1787.

 

I’ll be re-wearing the gown in November, for a ball with the theme being 1773. My dress is a little later, so I thought I’d add lace flounces around the sleeves and neckline to put it a bit more into the early 1780’s at least. That would also mean it gets a ‘new’ look compared to the October event, which I like.

Something like this?

"Portrait of N.A. Buksgevden, wife of Count F.F. Buksgevdena", 1789, by Jean-Louis Voille (French, 1744-1803/05)

 

After that, the first event will be in January. The theme for this ball is 1830-1860. I’d first planned to wear my black velvet 1860s dress, because I’d never worn this to a ball before. However, with the impromptu visit to Brussels last month that has changed, so I’m reconsidering my options. The 1830’s have been on the list for quite some time, and I already have fabric for a possible dress, and a design in mind. So I think I’ll aim to make that instead, and if I run out of time (as I also need to do underwear), I can always wear the 1860’s dress.

This is the design. I love this, so might try to actually copy it as closely as possible.

Evening dress (with pelerine), ca. 1836; MMA 1988.105.5a-d

 

For next year, plans are also lining up! There’ll be a Victorian Fancy dress ball in April which I want to go to. I have some purple/gold changeant silk organza in stash, and it would work really well for a fancy-dress outfit. I’m thinking of doing something 1880’s style, with a shorter skirt as you sometimes see on fancy-dress fashion plates. The design hasn’t been quite settled yet, but I’m thinking of doing something lavender/queen/fairy like. Ideally, I’d be able to ‘remove’ the purely fancy dress parts, add an underskirt to make it longer, and wear it as regular 1880’s ballgown as well. Because I’m all for re-usability!

Maybe something like this fairy, design wise.

Mrs Bertin's Jewelry Box: Fancy Dress Ideas Victorian Style

Victorian Picnic

At the beginning of the year, one of my goals was to visit more costuming events. So far that’s been quite successful, I’ve already been to three historical balls, which is two more than last year!

However, I figured that I could, of course, also contribute myself by organizing something. I needed to be relatively easy to organize due to time, so I settled on a picnic. And, as there seems to be a bit of a lack of Victorian events, it became a Victorian picnic!

The location was the castle de Haar, where I’ve been a volunteer for years. Having contacts at the location helps for letting them know of your plans, as just showing up with a group in costume isn’t always welcome. With advance notice though, we were welcome to picnic in the gardens!

It’s a very beautiful place, the castle was rebuilt from a medieval ruin around 1900, and the gardens stem from the same time.

Castel the Haar at Haarzuilens at Utrecht

 

We held the picnic halfway through August, and were quite lucky with the weather. It’s been very hot all summer, and right before and after the weekend there was some rain. However, on the day itself, it was a bit overcast but dry, and overall, the temperature was comfortable.

We’d decided to include the 1830’s as those often get lost between the Regency and Victorian era, and we nicely spanned the whole time period. Everyone looked really wonderful!

So we had some lovely 1830’s people.

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Picture by Nikki

 

Some 1870’s bustles.

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Picture by Nikki

 

And some representation of the very end of the century.

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Picture by Nikki

 

Everyone brought some food, we chatted, some walks were taken, and even some tennis played.

Pictures by Martijn, Jessie, Martijn, Nikki, Martijn & Jessie resp.

 

At the end, a group also decided to visit the castle as well, which was a perfect closure of the day.

Pictures by Nikki, Jessie & Nikki resp.

 

Also, Nikki made a vlog about the day, which you can find here!

 

Thanks to everyone who came for the lovely day, everyone looked fabulous!

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Picture by Nikki