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A whirlwind adventure in Regency costuming

Alright peeps, there is one recent costume I haven't even mentioned anywhere yet, for a couple of reasons: 1) I did not have any good pictures of it yet, 2) it was such a spur-of-the-moment thing that I couldn't even really announce I was working on it, and 3) I wanted to make some adjustments to it before sharing.

What it is, is a Regency outfit! As it happened, the weekend after Elfia Haarzuilens a friend mentioned that the Keukenhof would be having a Romance Day on 7-8 May, and people in 19th century costume would get in free. (Romance as in the musical style/philosophical leanings of the 19th century, not just being romantic.)

Since she mentioned this a week before it would take place, at first I thought, "I shouldn't, I've just been to Elfia, and I don't even have 19th century stuff to wear!". But then again, well, why not make something? Regency outfits can be fairly simple if you don't embellish the hell out of it and cheat a little bit with the pattern.

Sooo, on Saturday I was invited to go, on Sunday I raided my stash for fabrics to use and worked out the construction, on Monday I cut everything, then didn't do anything on Tuesday and Wednesday, and sewed non-stop on Thursday and Friday.

Then on Saturday morning I finished up the final hem, put everything on, and off I went!

In the Keukenhof I met up with the friend and her husband, who were technicallly in late-18th century stuff, but then again they are quite a bit older than me and even in those days older folk tended to hang on to the fashions they were familiar with. So we strolled through the park (I had never been to the Keukenhof, even though Castlefest is held each year in the castle grounds nextdoor), getting stopped for pictures every couple of minutes.

There were a few other groups of people in costume, though some of them had taken the 19th century instructions a bit loosely. There was one group, though, who were just picture-perfect. They clearly used authentic patterns, very lovely fabrics, and had parasols and good shoes and great accessories. I think they were a costume performance group to start with.

Some construction notesCollapse )

Now, then, on to the pictures: after wearing it in May I decided I'd wear it again at Castlefest, which was two weekends ago. I added some lace to the lining hem and the neckline of the white dress for some extra detail; I was debating also adding pearls or beads or something to the overgown, but in the end felt that perhaps less was more.

As a nice surprise, the photographer who took my Regina Verdi pictures in 2014 emailed me the day before Castlefest to say he'd got a last-minute ticket and would I be up for an improvised shoot. Given how much I love his pictures of Regina Verdi, I wasted no time in saying yes, so now I have these amazing pictures of the Regency dress!

Some other photographers also joined in at some point, and a girl I know from Tumblr came by to say hi so we had her join in as well. It was a lot of fun!

This style is very comfortable to wear, and there's something stately about the empire waistline, but people will think you're pregnant, haha. (Ask me how I know.)

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This weekend I went to Alkmaar Kaeskoppenstad, which is a historical festival in the city of Alkmaar. Specifically, the late 16th century, when the Dutch were fighting the Spanish, and an important victory was won in Alkmaar, I think.

So, I made a 16th century outfit! That is, I reused the skirt from my Sacharissa cosplay and the shirt from whatever this is, and made a bodice and apron to go with it. I used the tutorial and pattern generator on this page to make the bodice, though I will probably have to make another as I’m not 100% happy with the fit in the bust area.

Pics behind the cut!Collapse )

How about another costume?

Remember the sideless surcoat I made last year for Elfia Haarzuilens? Well, I juuuust realized I'd never posted pictures of me wearing it. >_> And all the while I'm complaining I don't have anything to post about. *rolls eyes*

So, recap: I made a sideless surcoat to wear with a modified version of my Skyrim dress, along with a matching outfit for my niece. We wore our getup at Elfia last year, and she absolutely loved it! Unfortunately it was too cold for her to wear it without her coat, though she wanted to try it without her coat at first.

Back then, I just wore it with the Regina Verdi crown, though I had plans to make a veil and/or wimple for it. Later in 2015, at Elfia Arcen, I did wear it with more accessories, though for Elfia Haarzuilens this year, I changed those up a little.

Anyway, enough chatter, on to the photos!
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Oh my, it's a costume!

Soooooooo

...

I suck at journals, and keeping in touch, and well, none of this is news, really.

Anyway, part of my silence is that I don't really like blogging about sewing or writing unless I have something finished, and... well, I think you can figure it out ^_^

However! I've actually got something finished!

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Skyrim outift update

Excuse the crappy selfies down below, but this weekend I adapted my Skryim outfit to work without the leather corset (for better comfort - both to wear and to put on!) and I was pretty chuffed with the results! ^_^ I added rings to the sides of the apron and laced them with ribbon, and wore my belt under the apron instead of over it. It works very well! For an extra layer of comfort I could also ditch the belt and bring a bag to carry my stuff, but then I'd be worrying about losing it.

Also, I used a hairpiece to create a long braid, braiding my own (short) hair into the start of it. Unfortuately it had sagged out almost completely by the time I arrived and taking it out tangled it so much I couldn't make a new braid. :( I did manage to reattach it, just kept the hair loose except for some smaller braids I had made to create more elements in the big braid.

The less than ideal method of attaching this has confirmed that I need a set of clip-in extensions for more elaborate hairstyles, so I ordered some today!

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Summer dress in action

First off, sorry for not responding to comments for a while! ^_^; I kind of, er, forgot about LJ for a while... *coughs*

Anywhoo, on with the regular programme!

Summer dress in actionCollapse )

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So about a year ago my sewing machine broke down in the middle of making a maxi summer/party dress I was intending to wear to a big work party, and I had to abandon the project. After buying a new (and fancier) sewing machine I continued on the dress, though I never quite finished it.

Until now.



Drafted and made using a combination of Medieval methods and some tutorials for tunic dresses I found online. It. Is. Glorious. The skirt is wonderfully full, the waistband is tight but comfortable due to the elastic in the back, and the sleeves will protect my shoulders from sunburn. And in the back I added some lovely beading to hang in the deep V. It doesn't show up nice against Josephine, but it looks gorgeous on me. ^_^

(The right hem appears to be shorter than the rest in these pictures, but that's just disortion from the hem measuring tool attached to the pole which I never bothered to take off. Also, Jopsephine has a bit of a lean to one side for some reason.)

Now if only I'd thought to add pockets. I know, I know, adding pockets is half the reason you'd make your own dress in the first place, but no - didn't think of it until I had all the seams done. Luckily I have a pattern to add an accordion pocket to any dress, and enough fabric left to make one, perhaps even two. That'll get done... eventually ^_^;

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More sewing room upgrades

It feels like only last week that I redid my sewing room, but already another overhaul feels in order! I'm pretty pleased with the light I get with my cutting/sewing desk against the window, and the lack of glare behind my laptop now that it faces the wall, but one thing I am still missing is a taller cutting station. Ideally, one on wheels so that I can position it wherever I want, including in the middle of the room, so that I won't have to cut my larger fabrics on the floor anymore.

However, adding another table is out of the question because it would make the room far too crowded, with the entire south wall of my room in fact being our wardrobe / my costume storage.

So, my plan is to take the table that is already my cutting table, add some taller legs and wheels to it, move my sewing machine to sit entirely on the other table instead of straddling both tables in the corner where they meet, and moving the small supply cabinet on the cutting table to the windowsill (and probably the larger cabinet on the other table as well).

Then, I can move the taller table around, keeping it against the window when I'm not working on anything and/or only in the cutting stage of any projects, and wheeling it aside when I'm doing sewing or if working with large fabrics. There is a space on the west wall where I can park it out of the way - it will block my mirror and the part of the wardrobe where I keep my costumes, but the chance of me or my hubby needing access to all three of those at the same time is nonexistent.

Ideally, I'd also make some kind of sliding storage baskets underneath the taller table, where I can keep my big ruler, pattern paper and other cutting supplies, but I haven't figured out how yet. I thought Ikea might have something suitable, but I haven't been able to find it yet.

I have a week's holiday coming up in a short while, and we're not going away this time (because we're also renovating our attic which is demanding all our holiday cash), so my plan is to get the necessary materials then and spend a day or two rearranging my room. There are a few spots that need weeding out / reorganizing anyway so tackling those should also help with allowing enough room for a movable, taller table. I can't wait to get started on this, really! :)

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And another one done

Well, I'm cheating a little bit because I'm not quite done with some of the buttons on the sleeves, but if I wait until that's done I might not have time to take pics before I have wear this and then it won't be new and shiny anymore.

Anyway, my sideless surcoat is done! And the full outfit, and the outfit for my niece as well (minus aforementioned buttons). I also created some extra lower sleeves for my underdress, which you might recognize as my short-sleeved Skyrim dress, because it looks better with the surcoat.

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GNU Terry Pratchett

It’s been over two weeks since Terry Pratchett passed away, and this is my third attempt to write something about it. Everything I thought of before either felt too rambly or too… too self-important to publish, so I’m taking a different course.

Terry’s writing is one of the best things in this world. That, at least, has not changed even though his passing has made the world a lesser place. More specifically, his writing has been an important part of me for about half my life. The Discworld series is as old as I am, and I will always regret not discovering it even earlier.

I’m not a hugely fannish person - my forte lies in creating new things. But Discworld is one of the few things where I’d call myself a Fan, and mean it, caps and all. It’s the only thing in the world I ever wrote fanfiction for.

We knew he was living on borrowed time, and that he wanted to say goodbye to us in his own way if his condition became too much. But also, that he was not ready to quit while he still had words and worlds inside of him to share with us, so he kept writing, indefatigable, and every new book was a treasure. Still, part of me did not expect the end would come so soon.

So I cried when my husband called me with the news as I was going home from work, sobbing in the middle of the street, and I am still mourning. As luck would have it, I had already been planning to talk about Discworld during a team building excercise we had on the 16th, and I debated leaving it out instead, but I kept it in even though I choked up again when I mentioned he had passed away. I would like to do something more than write this… confession - write some new fanfic, do some fanart - but somehow I find that even more difficult than writing this post. Maybe I’m just not ready yet.

In the meantime I’ll be rereading most of my collection and eagerly awaiting the final Tiffany Aching book.

GNU Terry Pratchett. You gave us Discworld, and in doing so shaped our own Roundworld just as surely. We will not forget.