Sunday, May 15, 2016

Outlander "The Gathering" gown

Claire's gown from the Outlander episode "The Gathering" was one of my favorite looks from Season 1.   I really wanted to make it,  but where to find the fabrics? Because the fabrics are what make the gown so unusual.

I had thought maybe Spoonflower?  But then my friend Natasha spotted a very very close, if not exact tartan. And she did find the exact flowered brocade.

Prepare for some sticker shock.

The final result:

Much much more below the cut:

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Georgian Silver Brooch

I got this on Etsy - it wasn't super super expensive and I put it on a short layaway.

Georgian Silver Brooch Depicting Cherub And Dove, Set With Marcasite

Described as follows:

Lovely sterling silver brooch designed as a filigree pattern of scrolls and bow motif, and finely set with marcasite. A central oval panel is set with crystal and has a rose gold bevel patterned with a zig-zag design.
The panel is painted with a watercolour of a cherub holding a dove. At his feet in gold is a Roman Temple or a Roman Urn.
The back houses a brooch clip typical of the period, and a safety chain.

Marcasite stones are actually made from iron pyrite, a natural mineral which is a hard stable material with a bright metallic lustre that can't be scratched easily. Confusingly there is a mineral called marcasite, but this has a softer structure that cracks and crumbles easily when worked. Perhaps it is this because of this confusion marcasite jewellery is a bit of a mystery to some and finds itself sandwiched uncomfortably between costume jewellery and precious

Marcasites have been used for jewellery since the time of the ancient Greeks but gained a more common use in the Georgian period of the 18th century when cut steel and marcasite were used as a diamond substitutes. Marcasite was a much better alternative as it had a brighter lustre and didn't rust like cut steel and like diamonds twinkled beautifully in the soft glow of candlelight. 

The clasp looks original or near original - the safety chain I suspect is a later addition, maybe Victorian? Adding one doesn't really alter anything, and makes it safer to wear, so hey! 


And the seller's pics:

Francaise dinner 2016

I'm very belated posting about this, but better late than never. This March was the Francaise dinner! Stephanie, Gloria, and I hosted again, and we also again had it at Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria. Next year the torch will be passed to someone else, and we look forward to seeing what the next one looks like!

And now, photos!


Not a great pic, but Angela gave me this lovely cherry brooch, which matched my dress. Which you will note is not a francaise. I have 4 of them, believe it not, but I've gotten multiple wears out of 3 of them (2 of them at past francaise dinners), and I didn't want to rewear the same thing as last year. And I didn't have time to sew a new one this year. And I have a lot of 18th century gowns that don't get much wear because we do a lot of regency. So I decided to rewear my "Scalamandre" spoonflower print strawberry gown that is my replica of a gown from the Marie Antoinette movie.


It was awesome that Beth was able to come out from Dallas to join us this year - I hosted her and it was awesome getting one on one time with her and getting to know her better! Mike and Gloria were nice enough to let us all change at their hotel suite, so we were able to get ready near in Alexandria. Beth brought little patches, which were fun.

I wore my replica Smithsonian Marie Antoinette earrings (the diamonds on the real ones were hers, the earrings a later setting for them), and an ebay necklace which is pretty but was scratchy.




Our raffle prizes for this year: IMG_7327



Beth's photo - BWPW Photography:




Sunday, March 13, 2016

2015 Costume Year in Review

Late, but it is what it is.

What I said I wanted to do this year:

1) Sleepy Hollow Windmill costume

Nope! Still!

2) Finish the jackets I cut out.

Mostly yes! I have finishing stuff to do on 3 of them, one is done. But they are all together. Pics below.

3) If I have time (big if on this one) - a 1790s gown.


4) A new saque for the francaise dinner



5) A 20s dress

Nope! But I did upgrade my 20s outfit, by fixing up a sweater 20s style.


6) Mrs. Russell's green dress


7) Clare's plaid dress from Outlander

2/3 done - the dress itself is together, just needs sleeve cuffs and to be hemmed. Then I just have to do the petticoat and stomacher. I can't seem to get my act together to finish this one. Maybe I should aim to do it by Fort Fred! That should maybe get me motivated?

8) A drawstring dress out of this sheer white with silver fabric I have.


9) Pelisse


10) silk 18th century mantle

Hallelujah, I did this!


11) An Elsa jacket:


I did do other things though!

- 1780 men's waistcoat

Gloria and I had a waistcoat day and she helped me make this for Doug! Poor guy needs another one, so we need to have another waistcoat day soon so she can help me remember what we did the first time!

You can see it here:


- A regency gown with the Laughing Moon pattern

I was happy with how this one turned out.


- 18th c silk jacket

(3 others made, but need finishing touches)

This one was made with just over a meter of changeable silk with a metallic stripe that I bought in Germany in 2006.

And here are the ones that aren't quite done.

I dyed my pale pink drawstring dress, I didn't like the color on me. I like the color it came out though.


No pics on these two things, but I finally moved the buttons on the American Duchess coat I bought ages and ages ago. It was like the first thing she designed, done on a 3rd party site. This is the coat. ( But it's sized very petitely. So I finally moved the buttons and now it fits! Also the faux fur is removable.

I also bought a coat on sale on e-shakti and it was too big, but I liked it, so I unpicked the lining and took it in. And it fits! I wore it this spring. No pics, though, sorry!

I made this 1830s purse:

I made this plaid regency gown for the pumpkin tea, and I also made a plaid drawstring gown for my mom:


I made two muff covers, which is probably its own post. Basically, I found this gorgeous art on Tumblr, a nouveau Padme and Leia. I got inspired to make them into 18th century muffs. So I uploaded them (privately) to spoonflower, printed them on silk, and made myself the muffs. Obviously these aren't for sale or profit, just private use. Made with art credit: il-leone. I messaged her on tumblr to let her know, but she posted these so long ago she's not really active now.



And then I also reorganized the craft/sewing room! Which was its own project!





What I want to do in 2016...

Or at least for the rest of 2016...

1) Finish the Outlander dress

2) Make Doug a regency coat

3) Make Doug a regency vest

4) Finish the jackets

5) Mrs. Russell green gown

6) Windmill gown (what the heck!)

7) 20s gown

8) 20s coat

9) Rey costume

That's ambitious and I'm sure most of that won't happen. We shall see!