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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