Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Edwardian Ball

Captain Goofball reporting for duty!
Given Valentine's day is always a clustercuss in terms of planning this year we bypassed it all in favor of celebrating early on Saturday and going to the Los Angeles Edwardian Ball. (There is a San Francisco one as well as a New Orleans one too.)

It's not really Edwardian, it's really a sort of Edwardian-1920s/steampunk/fantasy electro-swing costume party. And this year for some reason I felt very meh about costuming.  Since I've been watching Agent Carter and daydreaming about the Lee Miller cosplay I'm going to do for  Costume College I was in more of a 1940s mood, so I decided to pull together a dieselpunk look from my closet and I have to say I was pretty happy with it!

The ball was at a new venue this year. While Downtown LA is very convenient for us I have to say I liked the other theater better. This seemed a lot more crowded and didn't have the lovely rooftop dancing area that we'd had in the past. Nonetheless we had a good time.

Main floor

Hilarious clown DJ
The top hatted and monocled audience

They had hilarious Gorey themed cut outs and speech bubbles in the hallways.


and the always fabulous Dark Garden Corset Fashion Show

We found and lost friends and cell service was terrible so we ended up just hanging out in the basement where the excellent jazz was.  Get a load of The John Brothers Piano Company!

A thrilling time was had

Monday, February 13, 2017

Jane Austen Evening 2017

This is one of my favorite events of the year.  Everyone always looks dressed to the nines, the music and dancing are wonderful and the company is the best.

This year some friends decided to skip the tea at the event and go to the Huntington Gardens for tea instead.  The tea room at the Huntington is under new management and I'm sorry to say they still have some kinks to be worked out.  But the food was good and we had fun.

And it was all worth it because when we came out it was the "golden hour."  You know, that time of day when everything looks like a Maxfield Parrish painting?  We got some amazing photos at the gardens as a result.  Take a look and see for yourself!

We were all so giddy with the golden light  we hastened back to change for the ball in high spirits.
I hadn't managed to get to any of the dance lessons this year but remembered enough of that dances that I made my way through 4 easy ones without injury or falling on my face.

 I can't wait until next year!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Film Noir Hair

I have very, very hard to curl hair!  When I was a child it was stick straight and now is has a slight wave, but one thing has been consistent - it hates a curl!

So over the years I experimented with many many different methods and, after trying a lot of tutorials and watching a lot of You Tube video, I think I finally have something that works for me!

First I'll say I tried a quite a few different types of rollers and nothing quite gave me the look I wanted. In my searches I ran into quite a few people extolling the virtues of Conair hot sticks.  I think I first heard about these on Vavoom Vintage. These were popular in the 80s for that big 80s hair look.  I was more of a crimped hair girl back then so I'd never used them until recently but they definitely were key to my finally getting the curls I wanted.

I have long, thick hair so I actually bought two sets of these hot rollers and frankly, I could maybe even use more!  So keep that in mind if you have very thick and/or long hair.

I roll my hair inwards towards my face very tightly into small curls.  This works best for me since I like that Veronica Lake look. I use all of the hair sticks and roll the small ones with slightly more hair than the ticker ones so  they are all basically the same.  If you run out of curlers, don't worry, just use a narrow barrel curling iron on those back, underneath bits, no one sees those anyway!

Let them sit until they are completely cold then spray with a light coat of heavy duty hairspray and let that dry.

Unrolled but not brushed out
Then I unroll and brush it out.  It become an insane mass of frizz which I then can tame into 1940s curls by brushing the hair around my hand.   (Incidentally, I neglected to take a picture of my hair frizzed out but I think the brushed out curls would work great for this type of disco look.)

So this crazy frizz
Becomes this unified curl!

I also usually use large clips to create finger waves in the front and hairspray the whole thing again and voila, film noir!  If you like watching tutorials here are a few on using hairsticks for 1940s hair.

Added bonus, the hairsticks are GREAT for Regency curls too!  Only in this case you do NOT brush the curls out.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Historical Sew Monthly #1: "Miss Fisher" Jodhpurs

I'm a little late in posting this.  Although I finished a while ago, I just hadn't had time to get some pictures taken.  I became sort of enamored of the new "Miss Fisher" jodhpur pattern Butterick had come out with and decided I need a pair myself!  

I thought it was a pretty good pattern,  it looks dead on the outfit Miss Fisher wears and is fairly similar to many of the early 20th C women's jodhpurs I've found.  

The waist is pretty high for modern ladies but again, I don't think that was all that uncommon for the time.  And of course this hips are MASSIVE!  You can get a good idea of how large in the photo below.  Ironically I've seen a lot of women in 20's era jodhpurs with even wider hip flares!

The pattern had a lot of nice little details that I appreciated like these tiny front pockets

 A the little "V" in the center front back.  There is a fair amount of shaping done to keep this fairly fitted.  I was between sizes measurement wise and sized up.  I think if I made these again I'd chose a stretch twill and size down for an even better fit.

The Challenge: Firsts and Lasts.  This is the first piece of a "Miss Fisher" inspired equestrian ensemble I plan on making. While I threw a few things together for this photo shoot I plan on making a 20s jacket and blouse to go with it.
Material: Cotton twill and ultra suede
Pattern: Butterick B6433
Year: 19teens/1920s.  The Miss Fisher series is set in the 20s but these looked a little more like the teens jodhpurs I've seen.
Notions: Buttons, thread.
How historically accurate is it?  70%?  Most period jodhpurs I've seen were made of wool twill and would have had real suede patches, but I'm allergic to wool and wanted something washable and a little cooler for the LA weather.
Hours to complete:  Sorry, I don't keep track of things like that.
First worn:  Today!  I plan on wearing the whole outfit during the day one day at Costume College this summer.  Anyone else interested in joining me in wearing "Miss Fisher" for Costume College?
Total cost: Twill $18, Ultrasuede $15, Buttons $10 - $43 total.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Assassin's Creed Movie Costumes

I got a few photos of some of the costumes from the movie Assassins Creed I thought I'd share.  I haven't seen the movie yet but they were on display in the lobby of the Arclight Hollywood when we went to see Rogue One.

Sorry about the glare!

Cal Lynch/Agular costume

Maria Costume

Soldier's costume 

 Ojeda Costume

Friday, January 13, 2017

Getting ready to ride...

I'm making progress on my Miss Fisher inspired jodhpurs.  I need to do a bunch of hand-sewing of little things like the belt loops and facings, and then I need to do the buttons and buttonholes  -- and I'm done!

It's a pretty nice, well-fitting pattern.  Often, with the big commercial patterns. there is just oceans of ease but this pattern actually runs true to size.

Because I live in Southern California I made my jodhpurs out of cotton twill and ultra-suede so they would be both cool and washable. But if you wanted to be more historically accurate you could use wool twill and real suede.

The hip flares could even be larger if you want. Many of the photos I found of ladies in riding habits in the 1920s had even more of a flare on the sides. Also most of the 20s examples I found had two small diagonal pockets in front instead of the straight across ones hidden in the waistband seam of this pattern.

Nevertheless they look very close to the ones in Miss fisher.  This pattern actually looks most similar to this 1910s era pair of jodhpurs and this 1920s pair.  Because jodhpurs didn't change all that much in the early part of the 20th century, if I'm not too picky about historical accuracy, I think I could get away with wearing these from the 1910s to the 1930s if I just switched out different jackets, shirts, hair and hats!

Meryl Streep in Out of Africa
Madame d'Ora 1926
Jack, Janet and Jackie Bouvier 1930

Into jodhpurs?  Check out this article on the Pattern Vault blog for a nice overview of equestrian wear patterns in the 20th century and this pinterest link for more historic pictures of jodhpurs.