Monday, April 30, 2012

A Few Good Things

My qualifying paper has been accepted!  There are a few additions I need to make to it (patterns), but I am basically finished with grad school now, and someday this summer I will get my DIPLOMA.

I have also gotten an internship at the Chapman Museum in Glens Falls for this summer.  It is temporary, so I'll need to start looking for either another internship or a job fairly soon, but for now I am secure and doing all right!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

From Close-Up ... Update

 Schuyler Mansion, taken by Matt H. Wade, published here under Creative Commons

Well, I have to admit that I didn't take any pictures - but honestly, there wasn't as much to see as I expected.  From the description, I thought that the first talk, on "the painstaking research and construction methods behind reproduction period clothing made especially for site staff", would be aimed at people who were already familiar with eighteenth century dress; however, it was much more basic than that.  There really wasn't any discussion of specific methods of construction, and the research shown didn't seem to include examination of extant garments.  There were three ensembles on dress forms (nice Wolf forms): one upper-class Dutch colonial, one RevWar, and one ca. 1790.  Now, they weren't bad, but they each had significant issues that made me think they should not have been presented as reproduction garments.  I think the reason the term was used as an alternative to "costume", with its theatrical connotations (though I tend to use it in the older sense myself, "a set of clothes in a style typical of a particular country or historical period"), but the trouble is that "reproduction" implies that a garment is a copy of a specific extant one.  If a gown isn't made from an Arnold-type pattern or based directly off an extant piece, I don't think that it ought to be called "reproduction".


Friday, April 27, 2012

Tomorrow's Activities

Tomorrow morning, I'm going to be going over to Schuyler Mansion in Albany for From Close-Up to Afar: Historical Clothing in Museum and Media

Explore what it means to create historical clothing - both in the creation of reproduction period clothing for museum exhibits and staff, and the less-than-perfect costumes quickly assembled for museum film. Participants in this singular program will begin at Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site, where seamstresses from Peebles Island Resource Center discuss the painstaking research and construction methods behind reproduction period clothing made especially for site staff. The second part if the program moves across the river to Crailo State Historic Site, where staff member and seamstress Erica Nuckles examines the whirlwind environment behind creating less than accurate costumes for Crailo's award winning film, "Keeping Order: A Fort Orange Court Record."
 I'm excited!  I've never actually been to the Schuyler Mansion (though there is a Schuyler House down the road in Schuylerville) or Fort Crailo.  I plan to recharge my camera battery tonight and take as many pictures as they allow.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Worthy Attachment

I'd like to take a little break from writing about sewing for a little self-promotion.  Back in very early 2011, I submitted a short story to the Jane Austen Made Me Do It story contest.  I didn't win (and didn't even check to see how many votes mine got, because I am a coward), and I didn't do anything with the story afterward.  Recently my mother published a book she wrote on Amazon, and I started thinking about all the writing I used to do, and my old dreams of being a full-time writer - well, I have a lot going on (if that can said to be the case when one is unemployed) and the direction my life's taken means that it's a unlikely career!  I tend to write shorter fiction, anyway, so it occurred to me that using Kindle Direct Publishing might be a nice way to go. 

So I decided to put up my Austenesque short story, A Worthy Attachment, as a 99-cent ebook, with a few days of promotional freeness for anyone who'd like to take a look.  I think it's cute?  If you're looking for a little something Regency you might like it as well!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Quite a Lot of Gown Progress

It's so nice when one finishes a foundation garment and gets to move forward on outer clothing.  The latter moves so much faster!

For the most part, I used the pattern I took from the sacque at the Albany Institute - the lining would be the same for either a sacque or a gown, in this case, since the saque lining has no lacing or ties beneath the pleats.  Fortunately, I scaled it up well and it turned out well right off!  Although I did make the back go a little too high up my shoulders, as you can see by the placement of the shoulder-strap seam in the picture below.  (I need to unpick the topstitching on the pleats and cut it down soon.)


Today, I sewed the lower part of the armscye, but did not get around to pleating the top of the sleeve. Here you can see that I messed up a bit when pleating as I forgot to include a CB reverse box pleat.  Next time!  The skirt pleats (done by my wonderful mother) are just pinned to the outside, but I'm going to sandwich them between the lining and blue linen once I have the shoulders finished.


Monday, April 16, 2012

The stays are done!

No pictures due them looking pretty much the same as before minus about 3/4" off the top in the back.  I still think they're too small in the front, on both edges, but they're not unwearable.  I was actually feeling a bit down about them until I looked at Edward Penny's The Profligate Punished by Neglect last night - the original from 1774 and the print from 1775. 


The maid, who isn't wearing a gown, has stays that only reach to mid-bust - she's got to wear that kerchief for modesty's sake.  (Though I'm not really sure what the kerchief is tucked into, since the stays seem to lace in the back.)  The shape of her stays is kind of closer to tubular than conical, too, more practical than fashionable.  Although I think hers are probably leather as they're so smooth, they look a lot like mine in shape and size.


She is also, I'd like to note, wearing a quilted petticoat and heeled mules with buckles.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Great, Strange, and Rarely Seen Preview

Tonight is the reception for Great, Strange, and Rarely Seen: Objects from the Vault at the Albany Institute of History and Art.  Please come if you can!  Or come later, but you really should come.

To whet your appetite, I've taken a few pictures of my area of the exhibition (and have permission to post them).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Little Genealogy

New York History Blog gave Great, Strange, and Rarely Seen a nice promo!  If you're in or near the area, please drop in at the opening reception on Thursday or at least come by to see it, it's wonderful.

When I went to my grandmother's for Easter, I picked up a couple of boxes of family photos to scan so that everyone can have them, they'll be recorded if anything happens to them, etc.  And of course that also means that I can post them to the internet!  I'm in the process of putting them on Ancestry.com on the off-chance that anyone related to us will come across them, but let me take a few minutes (procrastinating from editing!) and share some with you all.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Breaking News

I just wanted to alert everyone to the wonderful news that I have completely finished editing my qualifying paper, and will be mailing it in to the committee as soon as possible.  One project down, two to go for April!

(The other two being a paper, I am Now in my Turkish Habit: Orientalism in Eighteenth Century Women's Dress, for an academic journal, and of course my Revolutionary War ensemble.)

ETA: Oh gosh, forgot to say - right now I'm at my grandmother's for Easter, and I'm taking a few boxes of antique family photos home to scan.  There are certainly a few that I will be posting here!