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Sunday, February 23, 2014

"Show 'biz"

I am a pretty busy student, from September to June my life is taken up by school, from August to November and March to May all my free time is taken up by Field Hockey and Crew respectively. But what about that middle stretch? The long winter months? My life is taken over by "show business"! I am the head of my school's costumes crew and from October to March I costume three or four High school shows back to back. That's right, not just my (all girls school) shows, but our brother school's as well!
Our designs for the original costumes from our Spring Show, a 1920s 12th Night

Now I can see the finish line, I've done three shows and tech week for the final show fast approaches. This last show is one for our brother school, it's Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, a childhood favorite of mine. I'm having so much fun working on it, I especially enjoyed making the dreamcoat (in two days cough cough)! I wanted it to have a full circle skirt so it could do this trick:
and I wanted it to have chevroned stripes on top kind of like this:

So I made this!
Ignore me and my wet hair doing homework in the background.
There are 8 skirt panels, all the stripes meet in chevrons at every (!) seam, it is fully lined in gold lamé and it fits great. Yay I'm so happy with it, it turned out great and the cast and Director love it! Now..... I just have to make all the less fun ensemble stuff.... )-:

Enjoy the kooky fun of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat!

Friday, January 3, 2014

A White Regency Gown

The Regency has always been one of my favorite social eras and not just because I love Jane Austen. Recently I reread Pride and Prejudice for my English class and I was inspired to make more Regency dresses. I see a pattern in my sewing, I love lots of fashion eras but I always end up making more Regency dresses and 1920s dresses than anything else. Why is that? Probably because they are beautiful and yes... probably the most simple construction to do on the fly. 
Anyway I was inspired by the classic white regency look of Lizzy's Netherfield Ball gown from the 2005 film version. 

So I scrounged together enough fine Italian cotton from an abandoned Chemise a la Reine project and started working. I made a simple cross front that gathered and pins or hooks into place. Then the skirt, which sort of drops down in the front, is secured by hooks at the waistline. I took some casual photos the other night, but I really hate being photographed in costume so forgive me if I look uncomfortable or awkward!
My mother put a painting filter over one of the pictures
And then my dog Charlie interrupted

The dress is very simple but very sweet in person. I was restricted by not really having quite enough fabric, but I think I made do! The dress is 100% cotton and completely hand sewed! I'm very pleased with the results and I look forward to wearing it. I also worked on a red taffeta regency dress, but I don't have a good fabric for the under dress so I shelved that project.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

School School School and Costumes Crew

So it's winter break (at last) and I haven't posted since October. I have a good excuse, I promise! I've had ridiculous amounts of work at school, plus sports every day, I've costumed an entire school play, I turned 16, went to the opera in New York, had an amazing birthday party, got my drivers permit, and am now working on a second school play. I do have some projects I have been working on that are near completion though, which I hope to share photos of within the next few days. After Christmas I bet I'll be ready to start some fun new projects! 

For now here are some pictures from the sewing workshop I hosted yesterday for my school costumes crew to get started on our new show. The play is an adaptation of Shakespeare's 12th Night set on long island in the 1920s! Just up my alley! So we started off by making four evening gowns and it took most of Saturday, but we made tremendous headway! Thanks again to Morgan, Maddie, Alex, and Fenian or their awesome work!
My own 20s dresses for inspiration and patterns

Maddie and Alex hard at work

Morgan and I are the heads and partners in crime

I'm making a weird face

Alex had no sewing background but now she is an expert cutter and even patterned one of the dresses!

I love my costumes crew because everyone is a sweetheart with whom I love spending time

Viola's party dress is supposed to emphasize her femininity because she has just revealed that she is in fact not a boy! This is probably my favorite of the dresses we made because it is so sweet and delicate and it reminds me of the fashion shift in late 1910s/early 1920s.

This is the slip for Viola's dress, but it's pretty cute on it's own!

This is Zelda Fitzgerald's party dress

This is Aunt Tobee's dress, she is a female version of Sir Tobee Belch from the original play (I go to a girls school so we try to get as many girl's parts out of a script as possible). She is supposed to be more mature/elderly but elegant and fashionable. In real life the fabric is semi metallic and is really pretty. There is also a scooped neckline in the back and the scarf hangs down.

Friday, September 13, 2013

British Tea 2013

I had a tea party last week and the pictures are adorable so I thought I would post a few!
These lovely ladies on my left and right are my co-conspirators in the costumes club I head at my school. Xx
Thanks to my wonderful friends who made it such a lovely afternoon and we missed those we couldn't make it!

Finished Classical 1912 Dress

So I finished my 1910s classical dress for my Downton Abbey project. But then school started and I had field hockey and no extra time! Hence no pictures or news. So here are a few snaps of the dress, I'll post better photos when I've done a real photo shoot.

This was before I sewed on the skirt or waist band or lace.

I also received the corset materials for my 1912 corset, now I just have to size up the pattern from festive attyre. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tea Time!

I love hosting tea parties. They are so traditional, so feminine, and so British! It's an excuse to dress up a bit and eat lots of sweets and drink many cups of tea. So basically what's not to love. Here are some party inspiration photos and some pictures from a tea party I held last year. (blogger is not working and won't allow me to add links to text so I'll just paste them in bellow the caption)

Rifle Paper company Botanical alphabet  Garlands

British flag bunting

scones from BBC food recipes

My favorite jam recipe from the food network
last year's tea party

setting up in advance

homemade jam and clotted cream

Saturday, August 17, 2013

1913 Parisian dress

So I finally finished the red and white "throw it together" dress for my Downton Abbey Project. When I say finished I mean it still has unfinished insides, needs skirt lining, needs to be shortened, and  is currently closed by snaps which pop open whenever you bend over.

  Hmmm.... I'll just stick to "It's done!"

So once again, here is the inspiration image from la Bibliothèque des Arts décoratifs from the lovely blog Diary of a Mantua Maker.

The one on the left is my inspiration dress.   
So here are some photos I took of it last night. (let me just warn you that it was nearly 11 o' clock and I haven't slept well in a week so I was pretty sleepy and I look it! So basically ignore my face.)

Working on the new dress!

In case you couldn't see, the top and straps are embellished with little round garnet beads.