söndag 4 november 2018

Edwardian Vampire

I was invited to a "haunted board-game night", which gave me the opportunity to do a costume I have been wanting for a long time: a white lace ca 1905 dress, here used for a vampire. Those dresses are fabulous, but a bit daunting - to source and sew on all that lace in a decently historically accurate way seems expensive in both time and money. So, I made a "quick and dirty"  version!

The skirt is my 1905 underskirt, and the overskirt is a lace curtain pinned in place. The belt is a new, as is the blouse. I used the pattern I made for the 1905 blouse, and lengthened a bit in the waist. The sleeve got a pouf at the wrist(as typical for the time) and I cheated with the cuff - it is just wide enough for me to get my hand through without buttons (remember, this was supposed to be a quick make - fastenings takes a lot of time at least for me). As I happened to make the blouse too wide over the shoulders, I put three pin tucks on each shoulder - much easier than ripping off the sleeves and re-cut the bodice, decorative, and also historically plausible. There is only one hook and bar at the neck, and then the collar is pinned. I also omitted all kind of finishing fabric edges. The cotton I used is not too fraying, and I don't expect to use this more than one or a few times.

The facts:

What is it? An vampire dress inspired by 1900-1910 lace dresses.

Material: cotton ( bed sheet for skirt, duvet cover for blouse), silk/hemp fabric for the belt, dead dino (a k a some random synthetic fabric) lace curtain, cotton embroidered lace.

Pattern: skirt from Truly Victorian, belt and blouse drafted by me.

How historically accurate is it? Not much!  The skirt is good in construction for an underskirt, but would typically have been silk, and obviously not seen. Overskirt is not even following the shape of the skirt. Blouse have the right shape and the pin tucks are ok, but the lace placement is not. Also, is way too sloppy and in too cheap materials for a dress of this kind. Good it was never intended to be historically accurate, or even to be worn in good light conditions!

Hours to complete: about 2-3 h for the new parts, that is, the blouse and belt.

First worn: at a haunted board-game night with some friends.

Total cost: 0, as everything was remnants of other projects, from my stash (and the lace curtain is still usable as curtain!). 129 sek if I add the cost of the red lipstick...

Finally: this is the kind of dress I was inspired by.  You can see why a proper one is not something that one makes without quite a commitment!

lördag 1 september 2018

Steampunk at Jädersbruk Fair

I was invited to join a small group of Steampunks for Jädersbruk Fair near Arboga, Sweden. The fair is a lot about old vehicles, but this year the theme was "old and new", which goes well with steampunk. We was mingling, enjoying beautiful and weird cars and other vehicles, and got to explain what steampunk is quite a few times. Also met some other very nice steampunks. I wore my new hat for the first time.

Daughter and parents.

I found a Scania V8 engine and an old truck, and after all, I am a decently proud Scania employee nowadays.

The proud inventor of the vocal teleport, the slightly mad ghost detector box inventor, and the certainly not a spy technical attache of the French embassy.

Intense discussion of the two inventors.

torsdag 30 augusti 2018

The crown of the First Speaker

A very short story.

Over 30 years ago, long before First Speaker Amantha had managed to rise to her present office, she and her mother were visited by a stranded Time Lady. The Time Lady soon got involved in an intense romantic relationship with Amantha's mother. Eventually, the Time Lady left. The small family was left with tales of the possible and imossible things in the universe, and a knowledge of the Gallifreyan alphabet. Since then Amantha has been obsessed by the thought of time travel.

Eventually she rose to the title of First Speaker, through a combination of manipulation and actual skill. Since her election, the Council has put a considerable amount of its money into research on time travel. So far no progress has been made on the actual problem, but the country has become leading in both navigation and clockwork mechanics - a fact that does nothing to attenuate the First Speaker's fervent search.

(This is the story of the persona of my latest steampunk costume, that I am making for SilwerSteam. There will be lots of more pictures of the full costume later, after I have finished it.) 

torsdag 9 augusti 2018

Steampunk White Rabbit

A while ago, I was invited to a Alice in Wonderland themed party.  I decided to make a steampunk version of the White Rabbit. The coat is based on a 1890 walking dress that I made earlier, but never really liked. The fit was a bit odd, and as historical wear, it was painfully apparent that I bought polyester fabric with a slight stretch, in the vain hope that it would work anyway if I flat-lined it. (it did not, really)

Here, I shortened it and wore as a coat. With the fake leather parts of the tights, it almost looks like high boots in this picture. I wish...

Under the coat, I wore a vest and shirt, and a Victorian-ish high
collar, Steampunkishly combined with a 18th century inspired stock. Two watches, for the poor hurried Rabbit.

The hat is a very cheap one I bought from a shop with party accessories. The ears I made myself from fake fur, fabric, sturdy metal wire, and lots and lots of hot glue. I then added some gears to make it clearly recognizable as steampunk.

All in all, I am very happy with the result. It was comfortable to wear (except for being a bit hot since I was so covered up), and I have wanted a menswear steampunk costume for a while. And it feels good to give the coat this second life!

måndag 2 juli 2018

Jacket for work

I made a jacket for work. It is based on my most commonly used pattern: Truly Victorian 460, 1885 bodice. By now, I have adapted that pattern to fit me, so I did not want to redo all that work that for pattern for a fitted modern jacket. I just made it smaller in the low back, where the bustle normally is.

On the back, I made a griffin using hand braided soutache braid. Some of you might recognize the logo of the truck company Scania. Yes, I do like my new work...

It took some time to sew: since I wanted as sleek and minimalistic look as possible, I made most of the finishing by hand, to avoid visible seams.

Now I look forward to wearing it for work tomorrow!

torsdag 21 juni 2018

Bow-tie blouse

A while ago, I made a bow-tie blouse. Swedish readers may recognize why, but here I just say that for some days, it was a feminist statement to wear a bow-tie blouse. I made the blouse quickly and improvised in an evening, just to be able to wear it as a manifestation. I did not even bother to serge the fabric edges, as it did not seem to be fraying. It is not a type of garment I normally wear, so I was quite surprised when it turned out both that I really liked it and that it was very comfortable. The fabric is from my stash. Apparently,  the slightly stretchy polyester fabric worked better for a loose modern blouse than for the 1890 dress - who could have guessed! The pattern is my own.

tisdag 10 april 2018

First International Random Turn of the century Meetup

Last Saturday, I went to the First International Random Turn of the century Meetup. Or was it the Swedish-Russian Costumed Small-town Walk-and-talk? Or just the smallest meeting you could have without talking to yourself (which I often do, but that is not the point here!)?

But let me start from the beginning. Since some weeks ago, I had gotten desperate for a costuming event. As almost all costumed events around seems to be in the late spring or summer, I had to fix it myself. I decided to just ask in the fb group for Svenska 1800-talssällskapet (Swedish 19th century society) if someone wanted to dress up and come to Nyköping and have fika (coffee and sweets). Luckily for me, Daria Romanova answered, and we arranged to meet last Saturday.

We started at a nice Caffè, and soon discovered that we had lots to talk about.

Except for nice company and very sweet sweets, they also had very very large tea cup - my cup was so large that it took me a while to realize it was a tea cup and not some bowl put on my tray for a mysterious reason... But I guess it goes well with my quite large hat.

We then took a walk, on the look for beautiful houses. Daria lives in St Petersburg but are moving to Stockholm, so I was honored to show her a small Swedish city. (But I guess most Swedish cities are small, if I remember right St Petersburg in itself have a larger population than all of Sweden.) We found nice houses, cold wind, and got quite a bit of attention. Nyköping is proud of being a very old city, and tend to focus on the medieval times, when King Birger imprisoned his brothers Duke Magnus and Duke Valdemar and threw away the key. I definitely think our small "reenactment" was more civilized. This also means that the people of Nyköping probably see some 14th century dresses in the summer, but very few 1905 and 1910 ones in April.

The day passed quickly and we hardly had time to go home to me and look in some costuming books.

All in all, I am glad that I asked, and that I dared to meet up with a stranger, although it was a stranger with the same interest. Costume event does not need to be large or have lots of things planned to be fun! Have you made or been to a small informal meeting? How was it? Please comment and tell!

Also, check out Darias work on Instagram, nickname Romanova_art  - she is a very skilled costumer!