Monday, October 29, 2012

Double, Double Toil and Trouble, Fire Burn, and Caldron Bubble...


Halloween is near

Last weekend, me and my girls (and their friends) took our annual trip to the Circleville Pumpkin Show. We always have a good time (see picture above); I even made it home with a new piece of art glass from Jack Pine Studio (see picture below).

On the sewing front, I have Maria's Gatsby dress cut out and ready to be sewn, and I had just enough crepe to make it - in other words, there isn't any spare fabric left for oopsies - no pressure. (Did I mention the crepe is 39"? Yah, laying out a pattern efficiently on narrower material, it's amazing the difference 5" will make, especially on my patience - lol!). 

And guess what I did? I finally made myself a fun little witch-y costume! I have wanted to make one for Halloween forever and I broke down this week and made it! I had all the material (stuff I accumulated over the years and held on to) so I didn't spend a dime (I love these sorts of sewing projects). The bodice is constructed of a heavy twill lining (boned lightly at the seams) and black taffeta. The skirt and sleeves have a layered construction made from burnt orange bridal satin, black netting, and black organza:

I'm ready for All Hallows Eve - just need to pull my broom out of the closet - ;) Blessings and happy sewing!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Vicky Separates: The Beginning of a Wardrobe

Well, I don't have much in the way of late Victorian costume (I have one suit, two corsets, and some cotton and linen underthings), so I thought I'd create some separates. To begin, I took my wardrobe inspiration from the lady on the right in the picture above. I adore the shape of her jacket, the crisp white shirtwaist, and the tie. A few months ago I happened across a great deal on some plaid cotton and decided I would use it to create my inspiration suit. A dressmaker can do a lot with gray and black fabric, and from here I constructed a black velveteen vest with split lapels as an alternative to the plaid jacket. It's a good beginning and I am pleased with my Vicky vêtements - :)

What's next on the sewing list? Why, mine and Maria's 1920s dresses for the Great Gatsby movie premiere in December (and maybe a dozen or more things in between) - :)

Blessings and happy sewing! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Yarn Bombing & Other Fiber and Textile Art at DAI

~Marie - sketching a Greek statue~
Marie, my youngest daughter, is a fine arts major at Wright State University. And, like all fine arts majors, she has to take a whole host of art history classes and write a whole host of essays regarding various works of art, etcetera. She and I headed off to the Dayton Art Institute this morning, loaded down with sketch books, charcoal, ink, and extra batteries for photographs. While she was sketching her heart out, I slipped away to view the yarn bombing and various other fiber and textile arts on display around the museum. 

Yarn bombing (aka guerrilla knitting, yarn storming), if you are not familiar with it, is a new and fast emerging form of urban street art (or graffiti) which uses "feminine craft" in the forms of knitting, crocheting, felting, sewing, and embroidery rather than paint (or other permanent media) as a means to tactilely beautify a space or object. I love it - it gives such warmth to an otherwise lifeless thing or area. Folky, yes. But we Yanks love our folk art! It is ingrained in the American spirit, so bombs away!

~Artists Nancy Mellon & Jafabrit, "Off Their Rockers" (2012)~

~Artist Jafabrit, "Jafabrit Yarnbomber's Arm" (2011)~

~It did!~

New art cannot have a valued presence without the recognition and appreciation for old art, and like every true romantic of bygone eras, I find myself gravitating toward the marvelous works of the old masters. 

~Flemish Tapestry (wool and silk): The Months of Lucas, March, circa 1650~

~Flemish Tapestry by Hans Geubels (wool and silk): King Abimelech Restores Sarah to Her Husband Abraham, circa 1560-1580~

~Sculpture attributed to Francisco Salzillio y Alcaraz (wood, silver, human hair and lashes, glass, crystal, fabric): Sorrowful Mother, circa 1760-1780~

~Dutch Benediction Veil (linen and bobbin lace), circa 1690-1700~

~American Lafayette Commemorative Coverlet (double weave, jacquard loom, blue and white cotton), 1824~

In the spirit of Good Will and in the name of "feminine crafting", I encourage you to yarn bomb the object or space of your choice. And, while you are in the throws of this softer and warmer form of urban defacement, blessings and happy knitting, crocheting, felting, sewing and embroidering!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Kent State Museum of Fashion: A Pictorial Tease II

~Green and peach silk brocade and leather shoes (European), circa 1780~

When visiting Kent State Museum of Fashion (KSMF) on August 25, I was delighted with their historical costume exhibits. The garments were very well presented and the range and variety of garments were impressive. I spent several hours that day examining their collections, and if I could, I would have spent several more! 

As promised, here are several costumes from the Fashion Timeline Exhibit, ranging from years 1750-1840.

~Embroidered ivory silk waistcoat (American), circa 1750~ 

~Yellow silk faille robe a la francaise and matching petticoat (stomacher installation; American), circa 1760~

~Red silk velvet men's suit trimmed with silver embroidery and sequins (American), circa 1770~

~Printed cotton day dress (English), circa 1810~ 


~Ivory silk evening dress with sheer over-sleeves (English), circa 1820~

~Printed cotton dimity day dress (American), circa 1830~

 ~Printed wool day dress (American), circa 1840~ 

I would like to point out a peculiar (but not uncommon) feature regarding the printed wool day dress (pictured directly above) - it was pieced together, most notably the bodice, from scraps. The needlewoman who created this gown did a very good job trying to match the direction of the print. All the particulars of this garment and the garments featured in this post can be viewed at Kent State's online collection display

Happy October - blessings and happy sewing!