Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Very Curly Vintage Style Tutorial

Today we're using sponge rollers to get a very curly vintage style! Small sponge rollers are great for when you want loads of curls!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Striped Italian Dress: The Details

Today we're getting into the nitty gritty details of my striped Italian dress. Missed the reveal? Start here.

Fabric: 4.5 yds striped polyester ($4/yd), left over black linen and printed cotton for lining (stash), 5 yds muslin for lining ($2/yd)
Pattern: The bodice is self drafted and the skirt is based off of Henrician lady's petticoat in the Tudor Tailor
Year: 1590s
Notions: ~20 yds green velvet ribbon ($10), ribbon for lacing ($3), zip ties ($5)
How historically accurate is it? Definitely not in the fabric department but I'm very happy with the overall look
First worn: Ohio Renaissance Festival October 2014
Total cost: $46

I moved the lacing to the side back on my bodice pattern which was pretty easy since I had a seam there already. I also made the back neckline square. Each piece is made in the normal way-a piece of canvas covered in fashion fabric and then lined in cotton or linen. There are zip ties stabilizing the edges of the opening and also three in the front to help keep the bodice lying nice and flat.

The skirt is lined in muslin. The skirt seams didn't line up with where I needed an opening so I made a facing and made my own slits where I needed them.

I really wanted 1/2" velvet ribbon but apparently no one makes 1/2" velvet ribbon. Originally, I had 5/8" black velvet ribbon but it was too wide and looked too harsh. So I picked up 3/8" green velvet ribbon instead and it looked much better! I stayed pretty true to the portrait trim layout except I left off the little loopy bows at the waist.

I pretty much mirrored the front trim placement on the back since the portrait only showed the front of the dress.

The back caused me some serious trim placement issues. The original bodice back was way too narrow at the back for this trim arrangement, but since the whole thing came out too small and had to be remade anyways, that helped out a lot! On the front, I managed to get my eyelets to come out between the trim but on the back I had to make a hole in the ribbon so I could get to the bottom eyelet.

I ended up not using any hem stiffening since my kirtle had a stiffened hem. But I did add three rows of trim to the bottom. The portrait didn't show the bottom of the dress but it makes sense to me that a dress with that much trim on the bodice would have some on the skirt as well. These rows of ribbon actually helped stiffen the hem a bit so I got a very nice silhouette on the skirt. 

For the sleeves, I started with my self drafted sleeve but made it a bit narrower for a more fitted look. It is also lined in muslin. I searched high and low for a tutorial on the sleeve puff and found just this one. I started out with and 8" wide strip but ended up going down to 6" so it wouldn't lie straight out. I probably should have interlined or stuffed the puff to get it to behave better.

I used a 54" long strip and gathered it to the sleeve. After playing around with it a bit, I sewed the bottom edge down 1.5" from the top of the sleeve and the top edge .5" away from the top. I finished the raw edge with a strip of straight grain fabric. Bias might have behaved better but I didn't want to make any and bias + stripes makes some crazy looking bias tape.

While making the puff, I added 4 strips of ribbon to help it behave.

 Each sleeve ties to the bodice with 3 ties. Just make sure that you have someone to help you dress who can tie bows. Otherwise, you'll be running around before faire trying to find someone to tie your bows since your husband apparently never learned how.....

I also whipped up a new partlet since I wanted one without a ruff. It's made from cotton voile that I had lying around from my wedding dress. I used my same ruff pattern (forget where I got it from) but made it straight front instead of slanted to meet in the middle. I started out hand sewing it, but got bored and finished the rest by machine. I decided to use bias tape to finish the bottom and make ties all in one go. By this time I was in a rush to get everything finished and I was not about to make tiny ties and turn them by hand.

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?