Finished painting!

Yay! It's finally done! Here are a few progress pictures before it was at this point

Detail of Shawl

Detail of Face

Original with my version!
 Tada! Now I am able to choose another painting to copy. Anyone have any ideas?

Snow White

This year for the Athens Block Party I dressed up as Snow White!

 I set my hair about 2 hours before with roller pins. I did exaggerated fingerwaves at the front and barrel curls at the back, alternating direction with each row. After I combed through it with my fingers it was extremely easy to put up.

I already had the skirt, which is a corduroy circle skirt, and I made the rest the day before-day of. I wore the costume with my Blue Stays and made the bodice + stomacher out of Navy moleskin upholstery stuff (with a piece of yarn to give the yellow line at the front). The sleeves are tiny little puffs of light blue poly lining fabric and tufts of red chiffon. The Ruff is a piece of stiff curtain lining (from the drapes I used for my Ophelia 1910's bodice) with a small channel sewn in to house wire from a white wire hanger. My apple was a ball of yarn with a scrap of green fabric for the leaf

Photo Friday

© Bridgeman Art Library / Rafael Valls Gallery, London, UK
Painted by J. Mulnier
Today's Photo Friday is going of an 18th century woman with a ridiculously huge hat.... but I want it.
Have a great weekend!


Hooray! I finally got my fabric in for Harriet's gown!

Its first emergence from the box! SQUEEEE!!!!
It's little more teal in color than I was expecting, but it'll work beautifully, nontheless. I purchased this beauty from Nicole at silkfabric on Etsy. It is a silk velvet, very soft and light hand and is really just great. I love the sheen it has to it. 

This is a more accurate depiction of the color of the gown
Harriet Foster Carr Wedding Gown, 1888
Athens County Historical Society
Here is my fabric! As you can see, a little more teal, but almost spot on!
For the lining of the jacket, I purchased a Silk Dupioni in an Almond-Beige color from ThreadrareDestash ,also on Etsy. It's pretty similar to the original lining, but I may have to purchase more, as I entered the wrong amount on my original transaction... :(

Lining of jacket
Harriet Foster Carr's Wedding Gown, 1888
Athens County Historical Society
This is the picture from Etsy, I couldn't get a good picture of it myself
I'm excited to be working on the project in the coming weeks! It has to be done by Dec 17th!!!!

1885-1887 Cotton Corset

Along with working on Harriet's gown, I am going to be doing a living history presentation at the Athens County Historical Society in February. For the living history project, I am going to interpret for a middling class seamstress, as Harriet was. I have no garments suitable for the time period so I have to make them all.
Cotton American Corset, ca1885-1887Metropolitan Museum of Art
I have decided to undertake reproducing an American cotton corset from the 1880s. This corset is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and I fell in love with it on the first glance. I love the blue tambour-work on the front panels. It is from a little earlier than when Harriet made her gown, but it's safe to assume that being in "rural Ohio", even with Ohio University, that everyday styles were a little behind (probably no more than 5 years) for practicality reasons.

The only measurements given by the Met are the corset being 13.5" long at center back. So I decided to make it my own measurements, which are: 33" Bust, 28"Waist, and 35"Hip. My other corsets bring me down to a 23-24" waist, but it's sometimes uncomfortable because the smallest measurements result in complete closure at center back. I also know I could go a couple inches more (with proper training of course)

So, this corset will keep the same silhouette as the original garment, while allowing there to be some wiggle room for my waist sizes. Here was my process: I decided what size I want my waist to be at its smallest; I chose 22". Then I deducted around 2.5" from all my measurements (with the new waist measurement) to allow for whatever room between my laces that I want to maintain. This made the measurements of my corset to be ridiculously small: 30"B, 19"W, 32.5"H

Pretty Pattern Pieces
 I flat patterned the corset, using Corsets: Historical Patterns and Techniques and Corsets and Crinolines as visual reference. ^Here are my pattern pieces looking all pretty^

I hadn't been able to find twill fabric in the color I wanted for a good enough price, so I improv'd. I found a pair of $3 Goodwill khakis (size 12) and went from there.

yay $3!
You can kinda see the nestling I did with the pieces.
After the pieces were drawn onto the fabric, I did some embroidery. I did tambour work using a doily hook.
Then I put some pieces together!

I wasn't able to keep the exact number of bones or cording channels as the original, mainly because I think the one I'm making is significantly smaller than the original. The overall effect of the corset seems to be on the right track, but we'll see when I have the front and back pieces in. My busk hasn't come in yet, and I've not made the grommets in the back piece. But here are some pics of my progress:
Woo back!
The Front!
(and only held together with the waist-tape)

Photo Friday

An interesting bunch of photographs have been floating around on the web and I just had to share them.

"part of a collection of 2500 mugshots taken by New South Wales Police Department photographers between 1910 and 1930 - give a fascinating glimpse into the role of women in the seedy underbelly of early 20th century Australian life"
                 ~The Daily Mail

I'm going to a couple of the most interesting ones.

Yeah, she was a bad cat, but look at those shoes!
"Fay Watson is listed in the New South Wales Police Gazette from 1928. She was arrested in a house in Crown Street, Darlinghurst, and subsequently convicted for being in possession of cocaine for which she was fined ten pound"

"Man-woman murderer: Harry Crawford, above looks like a man but her real name was Eugenia Falleni (right). She spent most of her life masquerading as a man.  In 1913 she married  widow, Annie Birkett, whom she later murdered. The case whipped the public into a frenzy as they clamoured for details of the 'man-woman' murderer. "

"Stealing: Doris Poole appeared before the Newtown Police Court charged with stealing jewellery and clothing. She had previously been convicted on a similar charge in North Sydney and so received a six-month sentence with light labour"

Auction Bounty

Recently, I started going to the auction with my Grandmother near her hometown. I certainly didn't go "hog wild" but I did get some cool/useful stuff

Roll of 1881 Barbed Wire

The wire itself is a lot thicker than I'm used to.
First, I got a roll of 1881 Barbed Wire for a dollar. I think I'm going to use it as fall decorations for my front yard. It's a bit too big to make a wreath out of, sooooo Idon'tknow.

A neat picture with the corner burnt off

Then I got a really cool picture frame for Devin to put in his computer room, also for a dollar

I'm really excited about these
I got a whole bin of drawer pulls for 4 bucks. I'm going to use them as pegs to put about in my
sewing room

And finally, I got some good fabric; or curtains, rather. A nice ivory silk with slubs (I love slubby silk) that I can use for some cool projects.

Some fun with painting.

I'm taking an art class at the theatre department and we're working with gouache. I'd never worked with the medium before, so it's been a new experience. What's nice about gouache is that it has a higher pigment than watercolor, but you can layer it like watercolor.

We're recreating a painting for our project, the theme being "Orientalism." I chose one by Jose Gallegos y Arnosa, a painting called "The Yellow Shawl" painted in 1881.

photo from
 Here are some progress pics thus far.
 ** the flash makes everything washed out, the pigments are far brighter in person**

Photo Friday!

Before the wedding started, I promised to have "Photo Fridays" then didnt deliver. I'm making an active effort now, and planning ahead!

This week's photo is one of my favorites of all time! It's a photo from the mid 1880's and she's holding a puppy. A TERRIER PUPPY! Adorbs.

Photo snatched from FeefeeRN

Harriet Foster Carr

I'm very excited to let you all know of my latest project! I am currently working with the Athens County Historical Society to replicate a gown they have in their collection, for my senior capstone project. The gown belonged to a woman named Harriet (Hattie) Foster, who was born ca. 1860 in Athens, Ohio and married Albert Carr in 1888. Harriet made this gown for her April wedding using a pattern from the Godey's Lady's Book/Magazine. The gown is made of teal silk velvet, lined with an almond-beige silk dupioni.

I plan to make this gown using my White Treadle Sewing Machine and replicate it as it was made originally by Harriet (more on that later)

Here are a few pictures of the gown on display. More to come as the gown and research get underway!

Wedding Gown, 1888, Athens County HistoricalSociety
Wedding Gown, 1888, Athens County HistoricalSociety
Wedding Gown, 1888, Athens County HistoricalSociety

Photos courtesy of the Athens County Historical Society, Wedding Gown exhibit.

Photo Friday

This week's photo is a two-fer for a couple of reasons.

1) I enjoy pretty photos
2) I enjoy pretty music

This post is about an Italian woman named Lina Cavalieri (1874-1944). She was a very famous
operatic soprano who died in 1944 during a bombing raid on her home in Italy. Apart from being a famous soprano, she also worked in early films, made a few recordings and was considered by some to be "The World's Most Beautiful Woman".

Her gown is stunning, too

Here is a recording of Cavalieri in 1910, singing "L'Altra Notte" along with a few other images of interest. Enjoy!

A portrait of Lina painted by
Giovanni Boldini in 1901

Vintagey Shoes

I'm a pretty frugal person. Well, no. I lean more on the "cheap" side. I hate to spend good money on things I really want. I normally think "I can get 5 shirts for that!" or "$15!!! I would pay $10 but not $15". And this happens all the time. Regret is the norm when I pass up things I really needed or wanted. This is especially bad with shoes.

I wanted a 20s or 30s look to the shoes but I could not find any within my price range or were still available. The ones I really wanted I found on Pinterest but they're from Nine West like 2 years ago. I perused ebay and etsy to no avail and gave up. I'd have to find something else. I still adore them:

Imagine me as Gollum right now

Since I couldn't find them to purchase for myself, these ^lovelies^  became inspiration for the shoes I would finagle. JCPenney had something that worked!
They fit great, are very comfortable and were on clearance for $15! I decided I'd make these beauties work and brought them home.

Other than having an inner Tim Gunn "make it work" attitude, I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but seeing the magic Deborah conjurs on Figgie Shoes, I was determined to paint my own.

I found some paint similar to the nifty aqua/ ice blue I liked and went to town

Yay Blue!
I washed it over with some pearl paint to make the ivory a little lighter then started to add some detailing that resembled eyelit leather. It didn't look a ton like real ones, but they turned out pretty cute.