Showing posts from August, 2016

Fashion in 1867

Because of the upcoming Dragonrose pattern for an 1867 evening dress, I wanted to explore the fashion of that year. The American Civil War period is very well-explored, and I've done a certain amount of research into the early bustle period, but in between those two, my impression has been comparatively vague. Godey's Lady's Book, May 1867; NYPL 803309 Bodices The most common style of bodice for daywear was, as in the previous period, a front-closing one with a jewel neckline and dropped armscye. White collars were still worn: a standing collar inside the neckline, a ruffled collar also inside the neckline, and a turn-down collar with points. Cuffs were made in similar styles, and worn on two-piece coat sleeves of a moderate width; a decorative hanging oversleeve was a fashionable addition for any situation where a long sleeve was appropriate. In evening dress a broad or squared neckline was prevalent, worn with very short sleeves. Images labeled dinner dress oft

Eating One's Words

This is so  awkward. Some time ago, I wrote a piece on the blogger at This Victorian Life. She had recently been profiled by Vox or Vice or Vulture - one of those online magazine-like sites - and the profile itself didn't seem very fair. In addition, a lot of the resulting internet chatter about the whole situation of a couple deciding to live "like Victorians" (kind of) came off to me as wrong-headed, assuming that nostalgia for history and a desire to experience the past automatically meant thinking that all aspects of the past are better than the present, including historic racism, sexism, etc., and my contrariness and defensiveness kicked in, pushing me to post a rebuttal. Recently, the blogger and her husband took a trip to Vancouver where they attempted to visit a famous private garden, the rules of which disallow costumes and wedding dress. In a blog post, the employees who turned them away were described as cruel, rude brutes who looked down on the couple, the

Kickstarter - Fully Funded!

Hooray! After just a few days, Dragonrose Historical Patterns has been fully funded and then some. I must give a great big thank-you to everyone who supported us, either for a preordered pattern or without reward, and another big thank-you to Lauren of American Duchess for sharing a link for us on Facebook. Look, it really is a Pingat! Our total is still climbing. Julie and I discussed it, and decided to add a few stretch goals. $3,400 - We're already almost to this one (and may hit it while I'm typing). When we hit it, we can purchase a module to allow us to create standard-sized, preprinted patterns, in addition to our custom-sized patterns for individuals. $13,500 - I know, it sounds like a lot! It is  a lot! But the extra $11,000 would allow us to buy a 72" Ioline Flex-Jet E commercial printer, which would let us print Dragonrose patterns much more cheaply and therefore sell them to you more cheaply. We would also be able to sell them to distributors wholes

Kickstarter - Dragonrose Historical Patterns

This is finally happening! Julie  (or should I link here ?) and I have been tossing around these plans for starting a line of historical patterns for a long time. I'm not quite sure how long. I've been merrily taking pattern after pattern for a couple of years so that once the infrastructure is in place, we can start putting them into the computer program and working on the grading, making test samples, etc. But first we need the computer program and associated modules, hence the Kickstarter. Our first pattern, which we're making available for pre-order as the basis for the Kickstarter , is for the 1867 pink evening gown by Emile Pingat in the collection of the Albany Institute of History and Art. Evening dress, Pingat, ca. 1867; AIHA 1972.95.2 Julie actually made the first version of the pattern and took it to the Costume Society of America conference in Cleveland this year, where it won the CSA Designer Showcase. (I'm going to be making my own soon as well.)

Running the Show

This past weekend was the first reenactment that I've actually been in charge of. (Some of you may pause to chuckle.) At last year's Civil War Weekend at Robert Moses State Park in Massena, I attended with the director of the museum as a kind of deputy - running errands that needed to be run, taking pictures so we would have something new to use in publicity next year, and so on. This year, it was all on my shoulders - the preparation leading up to the day, and the on-site work during the reenactment. This is a picture taken of me last year - I wore the same secondhand dress this time, but with all the new underthings I've made for the HSM, so you do not actually see each rung in the hoop, even when the wind blows. I also have a new bonnet: a straw Flora Francine form from Timely Tresses, trimmed with ribbon from Bulldog and Baum . New pictures ... someday, if someone else took a picture of me and I find it! It was definitely an experience . You really don't re