October was kind of a sewing nightmare. I really, really hate sewing. Like, I’d rather stab myself with a rake than have to deal with the cutting, the pinning, the seamripping, the rumpled fabric (right, I don’t even OWN an iron)…yeah, can’t stand it.
Well, since none of my beautiful Regency wardrobe fits (still), I had to pull together an 1814-ish evening gown out of my trusty-dusty purple silk sari (not a very period color, I know) for the Bay Area English Regency Society’s Congress of Vienna Ball. I had a role – Princess Bagration, the White Pussycat and Naked Angel – so I needed something that looked lush. At any rate, the job’s not TOO bad for a rush. I didn’t have time nor a proper pattern to make period stays, so the silhouette’s not the best. Oh well.
For Halloween, I made myself a Patrick Nagel “Rio” outfit, perfect for “dancing on the sand.” This image was apparently the alternate cover image considered for Duran Duran’s legendary sophomore album.
Cindy wore a mid-Edwardian dress she made herself. I wore my 1912 tea/luncheon gown (made by Tracie) and the 1911ish “Lunardi revival” hat I’d put together for the GBACG “My Fair Lady” event last August.
A new gown! Or is it? Actually, it’s a new variation on an old theme of mine: Winona Ryder’s Newport archery ensemble from Martin Scorsese’s 1993 Age of Innocence adaptation.
The ensemble is fiercely cute, with little faux pannier-looking things radiating out over the hips from a shirred panel on the skirtfront and layers of eyelet ruffles cascading down the skirt. It’s a little reminiscent of the gown on the left in this French fashion plate from the early 1880s:
My friend Tracie Arnold of Past & Present Creations made the fresh iteration of my original, beloved version of this gorgeous natural-form era ivy dress. The first dress – constructed by Victoria Riddenour, hand-embroidered by me, and photographed beautifully by Lani Teshima – had become too small to even THINK about wearing.
I wore the new ensemble to San Juan Capistrano on Halloween weekend, where my pal Cindy and I had tea and generally caroused around the old town area. Cindy wore a beautiful, embroidered black velvet ball gown that she’d made for Bat’s Day.
Outfit notes: The straw skimmer is a Victoria Riddenour original. My corset is Denise Nadine‘s late Victorian “Nettie” style. I made the combination undergarment (which you can’t see) from Truly Victorian’s 1876 combination pattern (TV105). My garnet earrings are from Lacis.