Monday, October 20, 2014

When Bloggers Meet Up

There's something wonderful about meeting someone in real life that you've already gotten to know online. It's like being instant friends! And last weekend, I got to meet up with Kate of Adventures of a Fashionista Geek and some of her friends for a fun day at the Ohio Renaissance Festival.

She wore a lovely ivory and purple dress she made herself!

 It was rather chilly in the morning and she came prepared with a great faux fur wrap.

 Kate also made all of her friends costumes! Don't they all look sharp!

 I had such a great time hanging out with them all day! It was a blast!

Photography by Will Thorpe

Saturday, October 18, 2014

La Vita Italiana

I finally finished my Italian dress! Woot! This was the dress that really didn't want to get made but I finally did it.

The story of this dress is rather a long one. I bought the fabric way back in 2012 to make a dress to wear to the Kentucky Renaissance Festival. Of course, after I got home and thought about it, I decided that polyester was a bad choice for a summer faire. So I scrapped that idea and the fabric was added to the stash.

After making a few kirtles, I knew I could squeeze a dress out of the 4.5 yds that I had in my stash, if I could find some evidence for stripes from this period. So I searched high and low and finally came up with some inspiration.

So 16th century Italian it was! Luckily, the shape of this dress was very similar to English styles of this period so I could use my kirtle pattern as a base. I decided to go with a side back lacking to minimize any interruption to the trim. (And there was a lot of trim!)

The sleeves were a big hurdle since I'd never made sleeves like this before. I started with my self drafted sleeve base and then experimented until I got a poof that I liked. It took a few tries but I'm pretty happy with the final version.

On the actual day of wearing, I had some issues with the lacing so it did some loose but there's always a few hiccups the first time you wear an outfit out to an event.

I also got to wear the jewelry I bought last year. I think the set definitely has a more Italian feel than an English feel. And I also whipped up a new partlet for this outfit since Italians weren't into the ruffs and ruffles the way the English were. And one can never have too many partlets.

The hardest part of figuring out this ensemble was what to do with my hair! It is easy to pull off short hair with and English look since they were all about having your hair covered. Italians were more ok with showing off your hair. So I played around with my fake hair and came up with this look.

Overall, I'm quite happy with how this dress came out! And I definitely want to make some more Italian costumes. I've got a few more posts on this dress coming up including a construction post and some pictures of a blogger meet up from last weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hair Dilemmas

So my hair is finally getting long(ish) and I'm trying to decide what to do with it. All I know is that it's not working for me right now. But, as usual, I'm very indecisive! So here are some of the ideas I've been floating around.

A cute 20s bob!

A soft modern bob with bangs.

Another cute modern bob.

A softer 20s bob.

When I started growing out my pixie, I really was excited to get back to pin curling but now that it's grown out long enough for pin curling, I just can't be bothered. Pin curled hair just doesn't work with my life right now. I can't wear vintage style clothes to work and I need something easy to do everyday. Plus, I adore having sort hair.

Part of me already yearns for my pixie back but I'm trying to convince myself to stick to something a bit longer. So I'm day dreaming of bobs.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tarte Makeup Review

Today we're talking makeup!

Have you ever tried any Tarte cosmetics?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Preparing for a Florida Winter

With the big move fast approaching, I can't help but thinking about adapting my current wardrobe to a drastically different climate. So instead of giving into my desire to sew all the wool things, I'm trying to prepare myself for a Florida winter which I'm hoping is sort of like an Ohio fall. (Or rather what an Ohio fall would be like without the roller coaster temperatures but with a beach.) So here's a look at some of my favorite fall outfits that I'm hoping to rock this winter.

My late 40s corduroy and wool dress.

My favorite sweater and atomic circle skirt.

This great 1940s chartreuse dress.

My sassy 50s velvet suit.

My "On the Town" dress.

Do you have some favorite fall pieces that you're planning on transitioning into your winter wardrobe as well?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Borgia Dress Project

A while back, I posted about my dream to sew a dress based off of the costumes in the show The Borgias and it's going to happen! I spent a lot of time researching and looking for fabrics and such and I found some stuff out.

The first thing I needed to know was how period accurate were the costumes. They were gorgeous but costumes on film (especially on tv shows) have a tendency to be rather unperiod. And these are no exception.

Actually 1490s garments- note the curved bust, center front lacing and over gowns they are all wearing.

 The Borgias dress- straight front, side or back lacing, and no over gown. But they do get points for period appropriate prints, chemises and period appropriate hair.

So even though they are not 100% period, they are gorgeous and they aren't that far off from what would have actually been worn (especially when compared to some other "period" tv shows that have come out lately). And I love them so I'm going to make one. Plus I'm feeling in the mood for a pretty pretty dress.

Despite being set in France, the costumes in the movie Ever After are also based off of this period also and it's one of my favorite movies. So double score.

Originally, I was really inspired by this dress that Vanozza, the mom, wore. I really loved her outfits because they were higher cut and lower waisted than most of Lucrezia's more fashionable dresses. Being a chesty gal, I needed some space so I wouldn't be popping out everywhere.

But I ended up deciding on this dress, but in purple since I'd already fallen in love with some pretty purple fabric researching the other dress. And it will be silk because I want to sew the pretty things!

On the left, purple silk doupioni and on the right, black and gold silk damask. Most of the gown will be the doupioni and the contrast trim will be the damask. I also snagged a gorgeous dark purple silk blend velvet for the bodice.

Of course, the first step in a new period is period appropriate under garments so it'll be a while before I can start working with the silk. (So I'll just pet it for now....) The corset is mostly done and the chemise is up next on my list. Thankfully, I can do a pretty period accurate shift for this dress so I can use it for other more historically accurate dresses.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How to dress warmly for the Renaissance Festival

Much of Renaissance Festival is spent tying to stay cool and hydrated in clothing that was never meant to be worn in 90F weather. But thanks to the wonders of Midwestern weather, here in Ohio we also have to battle chilly weather as well. I hate being cold, so I've come up with several ways to battle the chills at the end of faire season.

1. Embrace a historically accurate number of layers

Usually, we plan on skimping on layers to beat the heat. But now it's time to enjoy all of those layers. Add extra petticoats and lace on your detachable sleeves. Don't forget all of the little pieces like a head covering, wool socks and gloves. These things add to the warmth factor. Also, opted for lined garments rather than unlined. All of those extra layers add up!

2. Wool is your friend

Wool is a nice cozy fabric. It might be tempting to reach for those thick home dec fabrics when it gets chilly but polyester (or cotton if you are lucky) won't keep you warm even if it is thick. A nice wool kirtle or petticoat will go a long way towards keeping you warm.

Remember this photo shoot from January? My wool flannel kirtle was keeping me nice and toasty. To be fair, I wasn't outside for hours on end but the only part of me that was chilly was my chest where it was open to the air.

3. Don't forget outerwear

Outerwear is definitely under represented in the costuming world thanks to modern heating but it's a must for outdoor events. Again, try to stick to wool for some extra cozy. Cloaks are an obvious, easy to find option but not the only one.

Try a great doublet style jacket like this lovely one by Asa of Fashion Through History.

Or a you may enjoy an English fitted gown like this one I made.

Lastly, there is a loose gown which is perfect for an upper class look by Laurie of Daze of Laur.