Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Ubiquitous Blue Coat of the Regency Era

Hello everyone!  In preparation for making the beau's regency items, I've done a lot of research regarding men's Regency fashions (with a lot of help from my friends BrianMaggie, and many others).  In case you couldn't tell from the blue cravat and blue vest I made Sam for the 1860's, Sam barely wears anything but blue.  I had originally planned on making him a black tailcoat from some suiting-weight wool that I had in the stash, but through researching I found out that isn't quite the weight we're going for in the Regency.  I kept finding more and more blue tailcoats in the era, and I came to the conclusion that 1. hopefully this tailcoat would last a very long time and I wouldn't have to make a new one for a while and 2. if they had blue tailcoats, then why the hell not?  I searched and searched for the correct weight of blue wool, but to no avail.  I came pretty close on some of the places I looked at, but either they didn't have the right weight of fabric or they didn't have the right color.  I even went to Joann's, of all places, but that fabric struck out on both accounts.  The night before the Market Fair at Locust Grove, I was talking to Maggie and mentioned my search, and she ended up having the perfect wool for me!  I can't thank her enough, especially because there will be enough left to make a pretty little something for me!  Anyway, enough talk, here are some of the many fashion plates and extant images that show this classic look.

c. 1817

Thomas Cooke, English actor (1786-1864) by James Warren Childe (1780-1802)

Incroyable et Merveilleuse

Costume Parisien 1804

Costume Parisien 1814

Le Beau Monde, 1807

Costume Parisien, 1804

And finally, the tailcoat and waistcoat fabrics I'll be using to achieve this look.  Wish me luck!

Edited to add: thanks to Betsy Bashore for helping me out on terminology.  Anywhere that I referred to a "tailcoat" with the words "frock coat" has been fixed!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Lydia Fast Bonnet Workshop

Whew!  What a whirlwind!  I had such a great time at the workshop and learned more than I could have expected to learn about millinery.  It's not so scary now!  I'm very pleased with how my bonnet turned out and surprised that I finished it this quickly.  Here's how it all went down...

First, I drove three hours to Ft. Meigs, where the workshop is held each year.  I had a bit of time to kill so I hung around the historical district.  Then we set up and went to dinner and to pick up some supplies, back to the classroom just in time to start work.  I chose to do the Pip, a style with a short crown and a curled brim.

This was one of the more difficult options, but I decided that I'd get my money's worth and do it anyway.  I chose a very pretty pink silk for the brim lining and a yellow for the crown.  This was my inspiration piece:

Ackermann's Repository 1814

Anyway, we received pre-cut pieces of buckram and mulling and a few other supplies.  We started by assembling the crown of our bonnets.

I half-attached my brim before we decided that it was time to turn it in for the night.  My friend Julie graciously let me stay at her house, so we went back there and stayed up a bit longer talking :)

Once we got back to the classroom the next morning, we started back to work.  I finished attaching my brim.  Since I chose the Pip, I had to steam-form my brim in order to give it that cute curled look. 

Here it is before steaming...

And after!

Once I finished this, it was time to take a little break and head to a great store called the Ribbonry in Perrysburg, Ohio.  It was intense!  Some of the ribbons were more per yard than a lot of my dress lengths of fabric!

As soon as we walked in I found the perfect plaid ribbon for Julie and helped my new friend Alyssa find a ribbon for her poke.  I promised myself I wouldn't buy anything but I laid eyes on the most perfect ribbon for my bonnet, and knew I had to get it.  Alyssa was so thankful for my help in picking her ribbon that she bought the ribbon for me!  It was incredibly generous of her and I am still floored.  So, you all should go to her website and buy her books, as she is a Regency author!

It looked perfect with my colors!

Once we were finished with the Ribbonry, we returned to the classroom and put our noses back to the grindstone.  Finally it was time to touch fashion fabric!  I first attached the crown tip, followed shortly by the brim fabric.

I then attached the brim lining--in my pretty pink silk!

I only got halfway through attaching the lining before my back started hurting and we decided to call it a night.  We went back to the house and had some laughs, and I slept like a rock that night.

Bright and early Sunday morning, we started again.  I finished attaching one edge of the brim lining and then attached the inside edge.

Next up was covering the crown.  I could taste the finish line! Thankfully, I was able to attach the crown before the end of the workshop.  Yay!

After I finished attaching the crown piece, I packed up and headed for home.  Today, I was able to put in the lining and attach the ribbon, and I'm very happy with how it turned out!  I might add a feather or some flowers, but here it is in its present state.

I struggled with the bow, but I really like how it turned out.  I'm planning on wearing this to the Jane Austen Festival next year, but hopefully some event will arise that I can wear it to, as well!  The workshop, all in all, was very fun and informative, and I will definitely be going again.  And now I can honestly say that millinery doesn't scare me anymore!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Delicious Bonnets of the Early 19th Century

As an early Christmas present, next weekend I'll be going to Lydia Fast's Bonnet Workshop!  In preparation I've been collecting digital images of the gorgeous bonnets of the Regency era.  Here are only a few of the images I found!  If you would like to get an idea of what I'll be doing at the workshop, please read my friend Julia's recap of the 2012 workshop.  Enough talking, now pretties!

The one in the top right is one of my favorites.

Ackermann's Repository 1809--I love the one in the bottom right!

I'm planning on making the one in the bottom right corner, because I love the gorgeous simplicity!

All of these bonnets are gorgeous, but especially the one in the bottom left.

Ackermann's Repository 1815--I am completely envious of this woman's entire outfit, but especially her bonnet!

And finally, this is the bonnet I'll be reproducing in the workshop!  It will have a light pink brim lining and a yellow crown, with dark pink flowers and feathers.  This is from Ackermann's Repository 1814.