Wednesday, September 4, 2013

HSF: #10: Literature

Now that my dress is finally finished, over 3 months late, and I have pictures, I shan't keep the juicy details from you any longer ;)

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The Challenge: 10: Literature
Fabric: 5m? (I lost count) of bronze faux-silk, 3m of mushroom? maybe real silk?, 1/2m of brown cotton velveteen
Pattern: Truly Victorian's Vest Basque, 1870s Underskirt, and Side-Draped Overskirt
Year: 1875-ish
Notions: plastic boning, thread, buttons
How historically accurate is it?: All machine-stitched, hand-hemmed, largely modern materials. Patterns and overall look, like 70%?
Hours to complete: Too many... around 30.
First worn: WorldCon San Antonio (August 31, 2013)
Total cost: The bodice materials were all given to me as gifts, so for buttons and skirt materials, around $20 CDN.

As mentioned in the inspiration post, I'd had the skirt languishing in my to-do pile for over a year when I read Gail Carriger's Timeless. On page 43, Alexia's dress is described as an "ecru [dress] over a bronze skirt with brown velvet detailing." I laughed quite hard as it was the second time she'd managed to write about my wardrobe, and I thanked her (publically) for giving me an idea on what to wear with the skirt, whenever it was finally finished (turns out I just need to remove and reattach the waistband; I made it too small). I'd been on the lookout for a material that would go with faux-silk ever since.

My aunt gave me some possibly-real silk for my birthday earlier this year and I was VERY excited to see it was a neutral-enough colour to match bronze and brown velvet quite nicely. Then I procrastinated forever, as I always do (man oh man, did I regret it though), and my mum gave me enough of the brown cotton velveteen to finish the bodice off. Add some funky buttons, and I was set.

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What's missing is the hours I spent at work, worrying about how I would get everything done, making myself physically ill when I was at home and not working on my costumes for WorldCon (yes, even when I was making supper. You can't sew when you're fainting from hunger!), and sewing until late in the night. It didn't help that I caught a sinus cold 2 weeks before I left and needed several days to recover my brains. THEN I decided to make a new skirt, since the one I already had was a "late" bustle and the outfit was, generally, "early". And I still had to get up early Saturday morning to hem my new skirt (I'm glad I made it, it swished nicely) and attach the rest of the buttons. I ended up being ready for the day exactly when I said I needed to be.

I got some lovely compliments on it :3 San Antonio was very warm and humid, especially for this Canadian girl! The AC worked very well inside, however, and I was quite comfortable for most of the day. The times when I felt overheated was when a room was very crowded and I was surrounded by people. These photos were taken at the end of the day, with the timer function on my camera.

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Road to Costume College 2018

Gosh, where did the first half of the year go? (I know where, winter was unusually long and dark and cold, and it's effect lasted longer...