gwendolyngrey: (Dreaming)
I figure I should probably write something about the 1812 reenactment I was at last weekend, the Siege at Old Fort Erie, before life rattles on and I become distracted by something new and fresh.

I planned on taking things easy in terms of prep work, and had decided not to worry about making anything new for the event... except for a straw bonnet.  Oh god, that bonnet.  I blithely imagined it would take a day, perhaps two days tops, to stitch the straw once it had been pinned and formed.  Instead, I was at it during every spare moment of the week leading up to the event, and spent the majority of the six+ hour car ride  sewing like mad.  As it was, I finished the bonnet form in the car, and added the basic trimming Saturday morning sitting outside our tent while the guys were off doing drill and other militaristic things.

It ended up looking a little wonky though, as I had dampened the straw so as to sew it more easily, and it dried not-very-flatly overnight in the tent.  The trimming around the edge has wire in it though, which helped the bonnet retain some sort of decent shape.  Still, I think it turned out all right in the end, and after all the hours I put into it, I'm determined to enjoy this bonnet... at least until I make a couple more.  ;)


   

All that aside, I did have a very good weekend.  I've always had a soft spot for the 1812 period, probably a result of watching and reading too much Sharpe and Jane Austen during my impressionable teenage years, and it was somehow intensely satisfying to look around and see all the men in their dashing regimentals (most of them, anyway...) and the women in empire fashions.  We were with a very good group of people, the 1st Regiment of Volunteers, most of whom I'm very much looking forward to seeing again at future events. 

I'm too tired at the moment to go into much detail, so I'll just put up a couple pictures.
    See?  Doesn't the 1st Reg look fabulous?
 

The thing that seems the most strange about the weekend, when I stop and think about it, is that is was actually in a foreign country.   I'd driven through bits of Canada before, but had never spent any time there, and I couldn't help but be struck how very much like home it was.  It shouldn't have been a surprise, Michigan and Canada are near neighbors after all and share a lot of history, but as someone who's never traveled down south or out west, I imagine that many parts of the US would feel far more foreign to me than Canada does.

Now, however, I have to concentrate on THIS century, as I have a black denim jacket to finish for my brother before I can go on to anything else more fun.  There are lots and lots of plans though... mostly 18th century and regency... I need more fabric.  ;)

gwendolyngrey: (W&D Cynthia and Molly bright)
I am *tired*.  If I could curl up here in the computer lab and sleep through my shift at work tonight I'd be... well, not happy, but at least asleep!

This is partially because I stayed up quite late last night taking decent portfolio-worthy pictures of the stuff I've finished recently, and partly because I haven't been sleeping well for a week.  I lie in bed and my mind whirs and whirs frantically, and it's all I can do to STAY in bed and not leap up at 3am and sew that seam or look up that detail or do anything.  But still, I just have three more weeks to push though... it'll probably go much faster than I would like anyway.

Sent in applications today for several summer-season jobs... we'll see if anything comes of it!

And thanks to my self-timed photo session last night, I have pictures of the 1830 dress, the 1810 spencer, and the new Victorian corset! (plus decent-er ones of the 1810 and 1820 dresses)


I quite like the shape of the skirt (which you can clearly see in this photo).  I just have a (fairly skimpy) corded petticoat and little ruffly bustle underneath, but it seems to work really well! That, and I think my stab at 1830's hair wasn't too terrible either.  I have no hairpieces (need to remedy that at some point...) and my curling iron is, at a 1" diameter, too large to make cluster-y curls.

And here's everything else! )
I'm in the middle of updating my website(s) with everything. Official "portfolio-y" website has everything up already, but I'm still working on Behind the Tapestry. 

Any you know what?  In spite of being exhausted, I am somehow enjoying all this.  We'll see how I feel in three weeks though!

I just have to make the 1840 dress now, and then finish the paintings.

gwendolyngrey: (W&D Cynthia and Molly bright)
Item #1:  I have a new camera!  Actually, "new" isn't the right word here, as I never had a camera of my own before... I finally HAVE a camera!  It's a Canon PowerShot SD1100 and is blue.  The family camera is a large and clunky Canon PowerShot of an earlier vintage, but the menu and buttons are laid out pretty much the same way on mine as on the old one.  I'm very grateful for this as it means I didn't even have to take the shrinkwrap off the instruction manual.  So yes, I have a pretty, petite, blue camera.  Did I mention it's blue?  It's blue.  :)

Item #2:  I used this nifty new camera to take some pictures!  Unfortunately, there are no nice, neutral backgrounds anywhere in my house and nothing looks very 1810-like at all, but I guess it's the dress that really matters anyway.



And before you ask or wonder, no, I am not wearing any socks.

More pictures under the cut... )

I'm afraid my spencer is in the same condition I left it in at my last post; that is, in the state of being a fitting muslin.  I'm getting together with Mike and Katie tonight with the idea of actually working on the spencer, but seeing as how we're also planning on watching The Duchess (which I haven't seen yet), I'm not sure if I'll get much of anything done.
gwendolyngrey: (Default)
Yesterday involved standing on a table in my senior project class, and demonstrating to everyone just how exactly you get in and out of a drop-front regency dress.  I don't think there's any experience quite like starting to take off your dress in front of everyone without telling them you have three layers on underneath...

And I know I say it about everything new I make, but I really, really love my 1810 dress.  (I especially love the kicky little ruffles at the hem.)

If all goes well, I'll be buying a camera of my own this afternoon once I get out of class, so hopefully I'll be better at taking pictures of things soon.  If nothing else, it will be smaller than the family one and will stay close at hand.

And I haven't stopped!  I have the spencer all muslin-ed up and the velvet cut out, and if my lining fabric would arrive already I could start actually putting it together.  And then last night I fixed my regency corset so the waist and hips would fit (I just added another seam up the side, took things in, and rebound than section along the edge).  And later today I'll be buying wood and masonite for my "real" paintings (practice is over!) which I've been planning out and sketching thumbnails for.

As astonishing as it may seem, I think I might be developing a good work ethic.

gwendolyngrey: (SBP- air is filled with exclamation poin)


I CAN STILL PAINT!!! 

Ha Ha!

Okay, so I didn't seriously think I'd forget how to paint, but I did think that after months of not painting my next attempt would look like crap.  It doesn't.  :-D  Um, so far, at least.

And the three little ruffles on the hem of the 1810 dress are Terribly Cute and, in my opinion, make it look much more real.

Now, if the lining arrives in the mail tomorrow I just might get a spencer out of this weekend as well...

gwendolyngrey: (Default)
On the bright side, I have the 1810 dress pretty close to finished, and barring any emergency I ought to get it done tonight.  The skirt needs attaching to the bodice, and I need to sew three little ruffles onto the hem, but that's it.  I keep getting the odd feeling that I've made this dress before, which I patently haven't.  I've never made a white dress, or used dotted swiss, OR made a drop-front regency before... but at every step felt like I'd done it already, and seeing the dress up on my form seems intensely familiar.  I suppose I can chalk it up to having always enjoyed regency clothes and having watched umpty-million Jane Austen movies in the past few years of my life.

It's still a very strange sensation though...  kind of like this dress has always existed and I'm just bringing it to light.

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