Monday, August 4, 2014

My Birthday at Rippavilla Plantation (Marian's First Historical Event)

On my birthday in July we attended an event at Rippavilla Plantation. It was Marian's first event in historical attire, so I was definitely very excited. Rippavilla was having a big fancy craft/antique sale on the front lawn, and they requested that some living history people attend to populate the house and grounds for the day to give visitors a more authentic experience. That was our role.

Here we are in the back courtyard.

Marian and I spent a good part of the day sewing with the other ladies in the sun-room.
Some of the time she played happily in her basket.

We also got to hear some wonderful period music.

 Marian was such a show-off that day, she wore herself out smiling at everyone. 
She finally fell asleep on Dad's shoulder, and then napped in her basket.

 Several people thought she was a doll at first.

 More pictures of the inside. It was a beautiful house! I wish I had gotten pictures of the upstairs.

 This is a new sheer dress I made for myself. Finished it the morning of the event, actually. lol. 
(Not the most ideal thing for your sanity.)

Some of the time we spent outside, admiring all the neat booths and antiques, 
and enjoying the shade of the front porch. Marian was quite the star attraction wherever we went.

Marian and Mommy in the rose garden

 We wondered our way home that afternoon via back-roads looking for old houses, it was quite a fun day!

Marian's First Historical Dress

Marian's first historical outfit! A little 1860s petticoat and dress. I made these for an event we planned to attend on my birthday back in July. It was so fun making her tiny little things! The dress is sheer dotted swiss cotton, and has little puffed sleeves and a gathered bodice. It closes in back with two buttons, at neck and waistband. The skirt is gauged and very full with two decorative tucks.

Below is a picture of the little full petticoat, its made the same as the dress, the only difference is it has plain un-puffed short sleeves, and is from cotton batiste with three skirt tucks. (Sorry its not a better picture!)

The two pictures below were my main inspiration as far as style. See how the sleeves are 'raglan' style? Those were my 'aha' moment in making the pattern. I pulled out an old chemise pattern that had the same type of sleeve seams, and it was no time until I had a tiny version for Marian's bodice.

And, below an original dotted swiss dress...

Originally I had planned to make Marian's dress with the long infant skirts like above. But then I realized that she will be crawling very soon, and is already so wiggly and active, that perhaps that wouldn't be the best idea. So, I started looking to see if I could find pictures of babies Marian's approximate age (5 months) that had shorter skirts. Sure enough, it seemed quite common. (I'm very new to baby wear, so forgive me if everyone already knows this!) I know there are probably some basic do's and don'ts of baby wear and skirt lengths, but I am so far quite ignorant. If anyone is knowledgeable about Victorian baby wear, please do chime in.

Examples of shorter skirts on infants:

I was also glad to see that Marian wasn't alone in the 'poofing bodice syndrome' when she sat down.

Pictures of Marian at her first event to follow...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

World War II Reenactment this Fall! 

A really neat event is taking place this fall in the town of Linden, TN - a World War II reenactment - the entire downtown will be transported back into the 1940s complete with soldiers, miliary vehicles, and civilians. It looks like its going to be lots of fun, we are planning to attend (in 1940s attire, of course) and are very much looking forward to it. If any of my readers are close enough to attend, do please put it on your calendar! Click the link above for more info.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Young Victoria Dress the Second

Do you remember the Young Victoria Dress Replica I made fall of 2012? The one that got displayed in Blenhiem Palace? Well, I just completed the Young Victoria Violet Dress 2.0.
This version was a custom dress for a client in Italy. I had a lot of fun with it, and only made a few variations from my original design.

The fabric was a luscious pink/blue shot silk taffeta. 

 A double ruffle of English netting lace at the elbow.

The flowers were a combination of silk irises and velvet lilacs.


I just love the way this fabric plays with the light.

 I did change the back fastening from lacing to hidden hooks and eyes.

Also included was a matching floral headpiece.

I've go a lot of neat dress commisions coming up in the near future.
 Interestingly they are almost all silk. Fun stuff!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Refashioned Dress for Marian

What do you do when you have a shirt that is too small for you, and a cute little baby girl? Why, make a dress for her, of course! Mom had sent me this lacy top she had found at a thrift store, and it was too small for me, but had a lot of cute detailing. It struck me that it would make a cute dress for Marian, and as I started looking closer, it was the perfect shape for changing into a little empire waist dress for her.

 I took the stretchy straps of the shirt off, and started playing with the shirt, seeing how it would be best to cut it into a dress. Soon it became obvious that by overlapping and sewing the two points over the bust of the shirt to make little shoulders for the dress, and by bringing the rest of the lacy part to a point in the back, it made a perfectly shaped little bodice, and all I had to do was create armholes in the sides. 

The ribbon bow in front was a little big, so I took it off and retied it and tacked it back on.

I cut out the excess in the back, hemmed what was left, and added a button and ribbon waist tie.
The pin tuck details on the shirt were perfect for the back of the skirt!

The shirt was somewhat sheer, so I also added a sewn in petticoat of white cotton batiste, with extra laces that peeked out from under the dress hem.

When I got all done I tried it on Marian, and she seemed to approve!

She even got to wear it to church the next Sunday!

I really like how it turned out, all the lacy details were so perfect for a Marian! Its like a little Bohemian princess dress!

The back view cracks me up, because of her poofy diaper it almost looks like she has a tiny bustle!

Marian seems to like modeling Mom's creations - hopefully it will stay that way! I'm afraid there will be a lot of that in the years to come!


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