Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - Two better than One

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - Two Better Than One

1900 Silk Brocade Gown w/Day and Evening Bodices
More is More..and when you have more fabric, consider making two bodices, just like they did back in the Victorian and Edwardian times!  This Pretty Dress of the Day has two bodices, the High Neck and long sleeved bodice for Day, and the low neck with full sleeves for Evening.  Also note on the Evening Bodice the Black Corselette - so feminine!  Figure four to five yards for the skirt (no train), another 2-3 yards for day bodice, and 2-3 yards for the evening bodice.  Eleven yards of 54" fabric should work.  Buying in bulk online, or at your local textile market, gives you some bargaining room.  Do not forget your lace, buttons, and detail work.  Enjoy. 

Details: Blue Silk Brocade Gown with Matching Beaded Day and Evening Bodices c. 1900 Blue silk decorated with pale blue abstract sprays, high neck bodice with beadwork and evening bodice with short puffed sleeves and attached Swiss waist.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - So Worth it!

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - So Worth it!

1900 Dinner Gown by Worth - Met Museum
This beautiful ensemble is located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  A "Dinner" Gown designed and created by the House of Worth.  What makes this a ""Dinner" gown you might ask?  Well, while it does not have the traditionally lowered neckline, it does have a train!  So, while a lowered neckline, shorter sleeves, plus a train would indicate an Opera or Ball Gown, the lack of  said neckline and sleeves leaves one to draw the conclusion that is should be a "Dinner Gown"!  Click on the picture to open it up to a large size to truly appreciate the detailing. 

What drew me to this gown first was, of course, the color.  It is my favorite color - Coral.  This color is considered one of the most complimentary shades any woman can wear as it is flattering to all skin tones.  I also truly enjoyed the peplum on the bodice, plus the great looking cuffs, as well as the overall "tone on tone" embroidery.  Another great detail is the gold fabric used as contrast - brilliant! There appears to be extensive gold embroidery work as well.  Actual gold thread and beads were certainly used during this era.  Lastly, there is just a hint of a cream lace insert at the front bodice leading up to the collar.  So simple, so elegant, and yet a timeless design.  Enjoy!

Ten into Six - it's Pleated Magic!

Okay, so I am posting up a quick picture of what six yards of pleated 4" lace looks like.  From start to finish was approximately two hours of work time.  I rather like the way it turned out.  I started with ten yards, after pleating, I ended up with six.  I used a four-to-one vinegar to water ratio for pressing to help hold the pleats.   This is for a future project I am working on.  I have another ten yards to get through, wish me luck!

Six yards of 4" pleated Lace created with "The Perfect Pleater"


Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Touch, The Feel, of Vintage Accoutrements

Unless you are the perfect size two, finding and wearing true vintage Victorian, Edwardian, or 1950's ensembles can be almost impossible.  I left my size two days behind when I was fourteen!  So, I search for vintage items that I can incorporate into my outfits to give it that extra "vintage" look and feel.

Late Victorian High Necked Lace & Beaded Collar

This is a lovely High Necked Lace Collar.  Late Victorian Era with silk moire ribbon, decorative black bead work, and hand-made lace.  I picked this up on Ebay from a seller in England.  It needed some basic reworking to make it wearable, and I think it turned out perfect! 

Some tips for finding vintage goodies on Ebay - start with a general search word grouping like "Hand made Lace" or "Vintage Lace" or "Black Bead", once it pulls everything, you can start narrowing down the results using the detail notes on the left hand side.  If you find an item, always going into "see other items" for that seller.  Chances are they  might have more of what you are looking for!  Lastly, to cut down on search time make sure to "save this search" and have email notifications sent when something lists up that matches your parameters.  Ebay can do the searching for you and will save you time!  Good luck!

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - Pretty Patterns

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - Pretty Patterns

Okay, I just received these in the mail today and am very excited!  I love the 1950's suit with the "Bustle" back!  Oh yes!  I said "Bustle"!! I am thinking to make this suit in a Black Linen with a White Linen Collar.  I think it would be great to wear to work or for an interview!  Hats, veils, and gloves optional of course.

This was the second pattern.  How cool - a one piece wrap around pattern!  Perfect for a 1950's event.  I was able to pick both of these up for $6 total!  Will keep you posted on the future progress.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - Revers Challenged

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge:

What drew me to this sharp little number first was the color of the dress and the smart little hat.  What kept my interest were all the little details.  At first glance, it looks like a light taupe, but is actually a "Fawn tweed checked w/Black" - interesting right?  Then the bodice lining is listed as a "Cream Cotton Satin" - really? Satin?  I was thinking Sateen in todays fabrics, but in vintage fabrics - Satin to me was always silk.  So, again a very interest little detail.  But what sold me forever on this beauty were the "Bias cut revers" with a note that the "corners of revers boned" - Wow!  I love the attention to detail in vintage clothing construction.  In a modern society where we have nothing but "throw away" clothing, seeing something like this vintage dress, so simple and elegant, with such attention to detail never fails to intrigue me, and I hope it does for you as well.  Enjoy!

Description:  1893 Two-piece Dress in fawn tweed checked with black. Bodice lined with cream cotton satin. Centre front opening fastened with twenty-one small buttons. Bias cut rever tapering down to centre front. Corners of revers boned. Standing collar fastened with one hook and loop. Long sleeves narrowing from elbow to cuff. Separate skirt lined with brown tabby cotton, opening to right of back, fastening with two hooks and eyes-one clip and eye. One pocket to right of centre back. 

Manchester Art Gallery writes:

This outfit is on view in the Gallery of Costume in an exhibition called "A Suit of her Own", focusing on the new avenues available to women in sport, work, and travel from the late nineteenth century to about 1914, and illustrating the range of new garments developed to facilitate these activities, usually by male tailors working with woollen cloth, rather than female dress-makers using lighter fabrics. Four other outfits from the display are shown below, as is the pattern for a woman's jacket of the 1890s (like the brown woollen suit), as well as a Punch cartoon showing a cyclist in a matching tweed suit."

D'Nalof Design Donation to FIDM 2012: Beaded Vest Bodice

This is an excerpt from a Facebook Note I posted up in February of this year.  Hope you enjoy it:   

 Last year I was searching around on Ebay.UK and located a wonderful black beaded Vest.  I missed the end of the auction, and surprisingly the item went to "zero bidders" and closed.  I sent an email to the owner inquiring if she would be willing to sell the vest at her opening bid price, plus shipping and handling for a total of $50.  Amazingly, she agreed!  I knew it was a unique piece and could not wait to see it!  The vest was even more impressive in person.
I then contacted the FIDM Museum Conservation department about donating this item possibly for their permanent collection. I selected FIDM for several of reasons, first  being that one of their specialties is the conservation of vintage textiles, second that they offer their items online for research to both the general public as well as the professional design and film industries, and lastly that their museum is free to all to enter and enjoy.
I emailed them pictures at their request and set up an appointment.  They wanted to review it in person!  How exciting indeed!  Arriving at the security desk in the rotunda, I signed in and received my guest badge and was directed upstairs for my meeting.  Walking down the halls they are lined with breathtaking original colored fashion sketches by all the major designers, all behind protective Plexiglas.  There are vintage couture gowns in the reception space, and it was just amazing to walk through the sitting area.  I can only guess at what treasures the rest of the building must hold!
I arrived at the conservation department and met with the Associate Curator-Collection Manager.  Handing over the little bag with the fragile box inside, she carefully lifted the lid and simply touched the item with her right hand.  She then slipped on some white cotton gloves, lifted the vest out, and placed it on a white desktop.  She leaned in with both hands on the desks, took a deep breath, and then said "please excuse me" and walked quickly off.  She returned a moment later with the Head Curator, he was also pulling on white cotton gloves, and they both had large magnifying glasses.  There was a palpable excitement in their manners and glances.  I was feeling a little bit nervous, but was also picking up on their nervous excitement!  After approx ten minutes, they both looked at me with smiles.  "You have a wonderful piece here.  Quite Charming.  May we move it over to the mannequin for further examination?" asked the Senior Curator.  "Yes, of course.  Please tell me what you are looking for and what your thoughts are thus far."  I asked.  They had concluded that the beading was actually Whitby Jet, late 19th century (1880/1890s), and of English construction.  They then carefully draped the vest on a perfectly sized white mannequin.  I could then truly see the 3D beauty and construction by contrast!  I must say that looking at it on a table compared to seeing it on a "body" made a huge difference.  It was simply breathtaking!  They could easily follow the Princess seaming, confirmed it was all original; that the net lace was fully intact and had never had alterations or repairs.  What seemed to be most exciting was, upon examination, they could determine it was a custom made piece, which you can decipher when you look at the pictures, in that there are what they called "Mirror" images on Both Sides that line up perfectly at all seams on the Front, Back, and Sides!  After another few minutes or so of inspection, the Senior Curator turned to me and stated that "This is an important piece and we would love to add it to our permanent collection!  Out of the 15,000 items we have in our collection we do not have anything like this!  It is an amazing piece to find as so many of them did not survive due to the net fabric and the weight of the jet beading.  It is a very unique piece and we are excited and appreciative of your donation to FIDM"!  Smiles and handshakes all around then everyone was just standing back admiring the beauty of this wonderful little piece of Victorian history.  He stated it is actually a "Beaded Bodice" not a vest and would have been worn over a fitted silk gown to add sparkle.  They could not confirm if or when it would be on display, but did state that were an exhibit to come up to which it would be appropriate, it could be used, and possibly photographed for online reference.  I told them that was what I was earnestly hoping would occur as there was such little information about these "beaded bodices" available.
I took a moment to sign all the necessary paperwork, gave a quick look around, taking in the lovely black jet beaded bodice one last time, and left knowing that it was where it needed to be so that it could be properly cared for and preserved.  If I am lucky, perhaps at some future time, I will be able to come back and see it on display!

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Day at The Races - Anna Karenina Gowns

 A Day at the Races - These are two more dresses I have been able to locate from the 1997 version of Anna Karenina movie.  The detail work on these gowns is amazing!  You will see these dresses being worn at the Horse Racing Scene - Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - Lady in Red

Wow!  What a knockout this Evening Gown must have been that first night she stepped out wearing it!  Drop-dead Red!  While the color is bold, the attention to detail is also of interest.  Note the scalloped hemline on the overskirt, as well as the pintucked silk chiffon overskirt over the underskirt - LOL!  There is a feminine ruffle at the neckline, and some additional chiffon decorating the sleeves.  What I also found of interest is the seam at the waist/hip on the skirt.  Fabrics were not as wide then as they are today, and this looks like a workaround due to the fabric constraint.  Enjoy!

1898 Evening Gown by Worth - Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Love That Fits Like A Glove...

What is it about a pair of beautiful gloves?  That look, the feel, of a wonderful pair of gloves?  That feeling of excitement when slipping on a pair of opera length white kid gloves to compliment your Ballgown?  There is just something magical about gloves.  I know I have created entire ensembles around a pair of gloves, and I am sure several of you reading this blog have done the same!  Gloves are one of the many accessories that are just not as fashionable in today's main stream fashion as they once where, but I certainly find myself wearing a pair at least two to three times per month!  Sound familiar?  But how do we buy a pair of gloves online?  Well knowing your sizing is key!  Here are some tips!

1947 Hermes Suede Gloves
To find out your glove size, measure your hand around the palm (do not include your thumb) with a tape measure. You should use your dominant hand, the right if you are right-handed, and the left if you are left-handed.
  • Measure around the hand at the fullest part
  • Measure from the tip of the middle finger to the base of the hand
  • Use the largest of these two measurements for the correct size gloves
  • If you are Right handed, take the measurement from your right hand
  • If you are Left handed, take the measurement from your left hand
  • The number of inches measured equals the size of the gloves
(A 7" measurement equals a size 7 Glove which is S)
  • S - 6 1/2" - 7 1/4"
  • M - 7 1/2" - 7 3/4"
  • L - 8" - 8 3/4"
  • XL - 9" to 9 3/4"
What I found interesting, was that my dominate hand was just a little bigger than my other hand, and that my length measurement was smaller than my width on both hands.  So, make sure to take all the measurements to insure your best fitting glove.  Of course being able to actually TRY a pair of gloves on will certainly tell you if they are a fit, but sometimes you find the most wonderful pair online, and you hesitate to make a bid.  Well, with proper measurements, and a good seller/return policy, I would say "go for it"! 

1830 Net Lace Mitts

1892 Embroidered & Ribboned Kid Gloves
1900 Silk Gloves

Vintage, date unknown; Ladies Gloves

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge

Bustle Ensemble ca. 1885

I have always enjoyed the bodice design on this one.  I like how the striped fabric was placed & cut to add visual interest, and how the beading up the front of the bodice plays off the fabric placement.  I might even have guess a later 1878 date for the year with the asymetrical apron front.  Not a color I could wear, but I still love the overall design.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

When Aluminum was Worth more than Gold!!!

History has forever been a passion of mine and I am sure for many of you reading this blog as well.  Looking back at past fashions from Regency to the 1950's has always fascinated me.  But, looking at fashion is fun and easy, and we all know that however good our gowns are recreated, it's the accessories that add the finishing touches to the vintage look we all strive for.   

With that thought in mind, while "Gold" has always been the standard of value, and still is today with Gold at an all time high in cost, did you know that Aluminum was once valued higher than Gold?  Yes!  Aluminum, the stuff we wrap our leftovers in!  However, when it was first discovered in 1854 in Europe, they did not have the tools necessary to mine it cost effectively.  It was the shiny NEW metal that everyone loved!  It is reported that at that time Napoleon III proudly displayed his aluminum cutlery at his special state banquets, saving his gold cutlery for more casual events!  He also commissioned aluminum parts and equipment for his troops, and even had an Aluminum and Gold baby rattle made for his son!

For a gentleman to give his wife or sweetheart a gift of Aluminum, from 1854 to 1885, was to give her a gift as valuable as Gold!  So, look at your older Aluminum Thimbles, Sash Pins, Coin Purses, and Sewing Boxes and see them in the context of the time in which they were given!  What a Gift that must have been to receive, and now YOU are the proud owner of this most valuable item!

Also, did you know that on top of the US Washington Monument there is almost a 3kg pyramid of Aluminum as a shining symbol of how strong and wealthy the US was?  It's True!  So, when dealing with vintage textiles, we need to remember to compare "apples to apples".  Something as common today as Aluminum was not always the case in the Victorian Era.  It was not until 1886, when two young scientists figured out how to product Aluminum economically, that Aluminum became affordable to the general populace.

The Aluminum Sewing Box has a date stamp from around 1885.  The thimble is also vintage, but no identifying date marks.  The sash pin is vintage with a c-clasp closure.  The vintage coin purse is an Aluminum composite.  For more research information on Aluminum please click on the following link:

and search for:

Commercialization of Aluminum

It should be the third one down on the results page.  The link was just to big to drop in here for some reason!  Enjoy!

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge

1825-30 Regency Gown

I found this beauty on sale on EBay recently, it was a museum de-accession piece.  Wish I could have bought it, but Pinterest is the next best thing to owning it!  Description: Lady's brightly printed muslin dress with a separate muslin fichu collar. The bodice is lined in linen, piped at the top of the shoulder seams, the armscyes, waistband, and at the curved seams of the back of the bodice. Fashionable full sleeves that taper to the wrists. The unlined skirt has a directional and box pleated waistband, and one tuck above the turned hem. A front opening with no fasteners, as made. A recent museum de-accession. Offered on EBay

Thank you..

I just wanted to make a quick post to say "Thank You" to all of you that check back to my page on a Daily basis.  It is very much appreciated.  Members from all over the world - how cool is that!  Thank you again for your support, and feel free to share this page/blog with family and friends.  Don't forget to click to become a "member".  Also, leave a comment now and again.  Would enjoy hearing from you.  Take care!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge - Costumes

Reposting:  There was so much interest in the "Day at the Races - Anna Karenina" post, that I thought to bring this post back for another review for everyone.  Enjoy!

There was a new adaptation of "Anna Karenina" recently released.  They are going to be hard pressed to rival the gowns from the 1997 rendition.  These are just two gowns of the many that were showcased in that movie, and each one is a work of art.  Make sure you open the "detail" picture to truly appreciate the amount of workmanship that went into each gown.   Of the dozens of gowns used, each was just as detailed as these.  Plus, the main Ball scene, when they dance the Swan Lake Waltz, is classic! 

Gown #1 from Anna Karenina

Gown #2 Anna Karenina 

A Blast to the Past - 1950's Style

Well, this year at the 2012 Costume College the theme was "The Golden Age of Hollywood: 1930-1955".  So, you guessed it, I needed a new dress of the era.  Now 1930 to 1955 is WAY out of my regular milieu, so I needed to do some research.  After a few weeks of checking Pinterest Boards, EBay, and other resources, I decided I like the 1950's best.  It was the last year that "petticoats" where being worn.  I found a vintage 1950 Tea Length Garden Party Dress pattern online for $6 on EBay.  I needed to resize the pattern pieces, which I did very carefully, and then worked from my copies to create the dress. 

1953 Vintage Pattern

Now, every re-enactor knows that wearing just the proper gown is not enough.  It's the small details that add the finishing touches to a convincing vintage look, no matter what era you are wearing.  So, off again for more research on accessories of the 1950s.  I found a fantastic vintage White Lucite Purse, vintage cutout glasses, a great pair of gloves, a pair of clear Lucite heeled pumps, and the perfect 1950's straw hat!  The hat needed a complete rework when it arrived.  Soaked, blocked, and replaced the vintage flowers and trims in the exact same manner.  However, I did paint the roses in shades to match my dress fabric.

White Lucite Purse and Vintage Cutout Sunglasses

Vintage Mother of Pearl Buttons

I also used some vintage mother-of-pearl buttons I had been saving.  I thought these were just perfect for my 1950s looking ensemble.  (see my prior blog post on Buttons for more details)

1950's Tea Length Garden Party Dress
The fabric was a vintage Waverly print cotton sateen that I have had in my stash for a really long time.  I thought that the print and the fabric itself was simply perfect for a 1950's Hollywood Glamour look!  Lastly, the petticoat!  OMGosh - that was a struggle!  I cut down a full-length ballgown tulle petticoat.  I finally got it somewhat under control after removing more than forty-five yards, yes yards, of 8" tulle ruffles.  Add in a smart looking vintage silk scarf plus a "cool" cockade fan, and this was the complete ensemble!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Drawing the Line from Extant to Wearable Vintage Gowns

Vintage Fashions from the Victorian and Edwardian times have always intrigued me.  They symbolize the height of femininity in a bygone era.  The lace, the frills, the tiny waists juxtaposed with the huge hoop skirts or bustle skirts, what could be more elegant?  That's why when this vintage ensemble came up for sale on eBay as an "Extant" piece or "for study", I knew I had to have it, and hoped that I could save it.  Now, I am at best an intermediate seamstress, so taking on something that was going to require some refurbishment made me a little nervous.  The seller was a lady in England.  She had found the pieces in a truck of her neighbors house that she was clearing out as a favor, as her neighbor was elderly and was moving into a nursing home.  There was no designer name on the petersham, and she knew of no past provenance.  She stated it was "filthy, dirty, and had lots of holes", and she thought it could be used as a study piece at best.  So, I was thinking extant pattern pieces when I won the auction.  

It took a couple of weeks to arrive, and it was exactly as described.  From start to finish of this project probably took me about five days of intermittent effort.  Soaking was the first step, as the ensemble really was dirty.  It was actually about three soakings before I was happy.  From there I went ahead with the skirt first.  I removed the existing waistband, as it was tattered.  The skirt had two buttons on the waistband, one front center, and one back center.  The button hooked into button holes on the bodice to help hold it in place.  However, with the overall fragility of the fabric, I did not recreate the button feature, I went with a simple set-in waistband.  I also learned how to hide my fabric darns by tucking them in a fold or a pleat, and there were a lot of them!  By adding on a new waistband I was able to adjust the sizing to fit me by easing out some of the gathered fabric in the back.  I also went ahead and added a vintage white petticoat underneath the skirt to help showcase the windowpane plaid, and also to protect the outer fabric from future stress.  The skirt has a small four inch train. 

Next came the bodice.  Now this ensemble came with two bodices, both "day" bodices, both in poor shape.  One was in worse shape than the other, (probably because she wore that one more than the other?), so I elected to use what I could of the lesser one to help patch together the other one.  I took the first bodice completely apart to make extant pattern pieces before using what fabric I could to restore the other bodice.  My goal is to have Spoonflower custom print out at least two yards of fabric in the future, so I can recreate this bodice again, but that will not be an inexpensive endeavour to be sure!   I was able to let out some of the gathering and pintucking in the bodice, plus add in some extra fabric under the arm to make it a wearable size for me.   After much detailed work, I was happy with my efforts to conserve this ensemble.  I will probably save this gown for the occasional Fashion Show only. 

Saved for extant pieces due to shattering and holes
 Now, I am going to guess this ensemble is late Victorian for a couple of reasons.  First, the ensemble was originally all hand sewn for a larger person, and was then resized for a much smaller person (B32, W21, and length at 40" front and 43" back) at a later date using a machine stitch.  The fabric is a tissue silk in a french blue with tone on tone "window pane" plaid as well as dots woven into the fabric, not printed.  The lace, which I salvaged, was cotton net and all hand made.  Secondly, I found another gown at the University of Connecticut that is dated 1897, that is very similar.  So, while the design is certainly reminiscent of Edwardian, I think it might actually be Late-Victorian, what do you think?

Day dress, 1897 (by UConn Today)

Finished Restored Gown
In conclusion, I found it very interesting to work on this vintage gown.  I felt a real sense of camaraderie with the original owners.  Tracing over their hand-sewing in someplaces and keeping almost all of it intact, and then working through some of their machine stitching as well.  It was a little sad to think that the original owners probably are no longer here on earth, but I hoped it might make them happy to see that one of their gowns had survived and was being appreciated.  What was really interesting is when I was steaming both the skirt and the bodice, the steam would release a fragrance every now and again, and I believed it to be the perfume she might have sprayed herself and her gown with before she went out to dinner that last evening.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge

1882 Summer Day Dress
 Love this cream silk Summer Day Gown.  What I thought was an especially great feature is the "Parasol Pocket" on the side of the apron/bustle skirt.  I have seen these before and actually had it incorporated into one of my gowns on a smaller scale, for a fan!  Another great design that would be fun for the modern day seamstress to recreate.  Found this beauty for sale on EBay.

Vintage Ladies Cuff Links - then and now

Vintage Ladies Cuff Links

I was working recently on a Civil War ensemble.  In reviewing the pattern instructions, I ran across the details for the under sleeves.  The pattern requested "Cuff Links" (see item #49).  I had just happened to recently pick up these vintage Victorian Ladies Cuff Links for $1 at a flea market I had attended!  While I did not make the sleeves this time around (see my prior blog post "Flirting with Civil War Fashions), I will certainly incorporate these great vintage cuff links into a future ensemble!  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pretty Dress of the Day Challenge

1875 young woman's day dress. (William Benton Museum of Art - Press Images)

I love the vibrancy of the color here with the contrasting Black accents - just perfect for a Spring Ensemble.  The simple design is something that would be easy to duplicate for today's seamstress.  Also, if you can look closely at the front of the bodice, I believe the apron front has a button hole and is looped over one of the bodice buttons to help keep it in place.  This would necessitate a very light fabric - probably silk.  As a side note, I have a vintage Edwardian gown that used this same "button" concept to connect the skirt and bodice.  I thought  it made for an interesting share for today!  Enjoy!

Those "In Between" Projects

Before; showing MOP buttons and decorative inserts
 As I have been struggling through the Lutterloh project, I stopped to work on this project when I would get too frustrated, which was pretty often.  I purchased this vintage fan maybe five or six years ago from a museum deacessioned sale , telling myself I would get around to refurbishing it.  Well, I did, but not without some delay.  It is an amazing gold silk satin with hand painted flowers and vines, and then silk embroidery as well.  The outer edge had shredded and was hanging open, the same for the inner edges.  I opted to sew the edging closed then added on a couple of layers of vintage hand made Valencienne Lace, again something that I had purchased maybe four years ago.  Now, Valencienne Lace is a sort of "bobbin lace" from France.  I purchased this lace from a vintage lace vendor living in France.  It is cotton, and is approximately 1/2" wide.  I added two rows, one front, one back, in a "layered" look to help close the outer edge.  I then used some basic "dries clear" fabric glue to help stabilize the bottom edge.  I wanted to keep as much of this fan intact and original as possible.  The end result was satisfactory, and the fan is usable once again.   Overall length is 12"; staves are a medium colored wood; and there are mother of pearl accents on both end points as well as mop buttons closures at the bottom with a silk tassel. 

After: Valencienne Lace, layered, at outer edge

Close-up of silk embroidery and hand-painted leaves and vines

Mother of Pearl decorative end inserts and  new lace edging

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Victorian Tea Society Fashion Show

Some of the Models from this weekends Fashion Show, which covered 1870's to 1920's

One of the fun things that comes with being involved with an Historical and/or Re-enactor group is being asked to show support of an event via a Fashion Show or Costumed event.  This weekend I was asked to be one of the several participants involved in a Fashion Show hosted by the Victorian Tea Society, which is the fundraiser arm of the 1898 Kellogg House.  This was a public event to raise awareness within the community in regards to both VTS and the Heritage Museum, of which the Kellogg House is associated.    As a participant, I had a great time talking about VTS, the Heritage Museum, and the Kellogg House, plus answering questions about my ensembles after the fashion show.  This is the link to my photos: 

However, it is challenging to be in the show and also take photos - LOL!

1898 Kellogg House at The Heritage Museum

The VTS New Member table was busy!

This event served dual purposes in that it showcases the need to support Historical Buildings such as the Kellogg House and Maag House, and also to generate interest for New Members for the Victorian Tea Society.  Of the sixty-five attendees, VTS had thirteen new members sign up!  Quite the success!  VTS hosts three to four "Victorian High Tea" events per years as a means of supporting the Heritage Museum.

Finishing touches for one of our big Fundraising teas seating 110 attendees

The 1898 Maag House is till under renovations.

Oval Dining Room of the "Kellogg House"
Sharing a love of "All Things Victorian" and preserving our "Historic Homes and Landmarks" for future generations is a wonderful way to support your community.   Check your local cities for opportunities to volunteer and show your support of these amazing vintage locations.  Sharing knowledge with children and adults while dressed in period correct attire is always fun!