Tuesday, 2 June 2009

April and May sewing

With our house renovations finished in late March it was time to set up the sewing room again and get into the costume sewing. The Dancing Studio booked 4 circus costumes in the Cirque de Soleil style.
A fortune teller,

a strongman

a Pierette clown

and a hooped clown (before oversized beret was made)

were needed for a club circuit talent quest heat in April. I was given fabric and a couple of photos for the clowns, and a brief for the other 2. The costumes were very successful and the group has progressed to the finals.
I don't think house model Bron enjoyed this photo session, it was a bit cold !!.

Then straight after finishing with the Circus, I started the 1870's costumes for a gent and his partner from Bathurst. He owns a restored original Cobb and Co coach, and his partner wished to dress suitably for a Colonial Day display at the end of May. We had a few issues, mostly that the gent is extremely tall, about 6 ft 7 inches tall and the lady has an ample figure and failing eyesight. I chose a Truly Victorian pattern, the polonaise gown for her. It doesn't really need a large bustle, which L. couldn't cope with, and was not so fitted over the front area as some styles. She left it to me to choose fabric and trims. After she approved the colour I decided on black grossgrain trim with some lace bows and a lace neckline trim. I blocked a felt capeline hat for her in proportion with the outfit and her figure, adding some vintage veiling and a pouffed fabric band. Then on the front a white feather and a beaded flower over a lace bow which were also featured on the dress.

R. needed a Victorian style shirt and a waistcoat with watch pocket for his drivers fob watch. He supplied his own Moleskin trousers and brown lace up boots, and a felt hat to complete the outfit. On the day, they were both much admired and had lots of photos taken, and the local newspaper took photos as well I think. L. was very tired by the end of the day, and had to be helped into the car with her bustle and hat because she had forgotten to take a change of clothing. I hope she'll wear it all again soon, but before then I need to make a few minor adjustments to the frill at the neck and add another bow down the front. We only had the one fitting in early May so I think we did quite well. I'm pleased with the resulting photos anyway.

The golf umbrella isn't very 1870's but necessary due to intermittent drizzle on the day.

A rear view showing the bustled polonaise, the petticoat underneath it all

and a final closeup of the very happy lady herself !

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

My birthday gift to myself

On a recent car trip to our nation's capital between Christmas and New Year, we stopped at historic Berrima in the Southern Highlands of NSW. Peppergreen's Antiques is one of those shops a true collector cannot pass by without going in to see what's new. My antique and vintage underwear collection has a few gaps which I hoped to fill from the Peppergreen's inventory. I wandered around for a while before spying a few likely containers of clothing, and since signs everywhere asked us to call an assistant, I did just that.

I sorted through a bin of salmon pink 1920's and 1930's bras and corsets just out of interest, after all they are a little later than my focus area of pre WW 1 back to the Victorian era. Then I asked for the bin labelled pantaloons, where most of the stock was cotton and similar to those already owned. Then in the bottom of another bin some interesting knitted combinations. 2 pairs, one with longer legs and very cute slit gussets for accomodating milady's bosom.

The other pair was shorter, with a lower neckline and the more traditional gussets let into the neckline. Both were in good condition, possibly unworn which is called "new old stock" in the trade. Not really sure of the exact age as they have some chained flatlocking type stitching on the gussets seams inside, but they are divided crotch. This says pre WW1 to me, so until I can prove otherwise with an old advertisement or such, I'm assuming this to be true.

Then in a display case I spied some stockings which were brought out for me to inspect. 3 pairs were mine by the end of the transaction. I'm really spoilt, aren't I? Photos of stockings will appear in my next post, please come back again?

PS Many thanks to House Model DD#3 Bron, I think she enjoyed modelling these more than Pooh, see previous post, LOL.