Saturday, August 8, 2009

Reminiscing - Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France 2005

Today is Saturday of the Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France, the day I normally go. But this year... (Oh, you know the story by now.)

So let me share some pictures of me in my first 18th century dress, taken at the Fêtes in 2005 (I also went in 2006 with
Nancy-Raven, wearing a different dress, but I can't find any decent pictures, so I guess I'm due for a photo shoot).

Gwenyver, Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France 2005, Québec, QC
(Trying to hide her inappropriate shoes - Sneakers *shrieks*)

So here I am: I'm wearing a pink jacquard dress made from Butterick 3640, view B. View B looks like it has panniers or some kind of skirt support on the picture, but it is in fact some clever gathers which gives that impression, and I didn't do them (although I now think I might - either that or I should make some sort of padded skirt support as the skirt was not hemmed for large panniers).

A word about the fabric: I had found that jacquard at a bargain 1$ a metre and had gotten 21 metres of it, 13 of which went to make that dress (it is HEAVY). It is a horrible puke-beige colour, so I dyed it to get to that pinkish red - anything is better than the original colour, and again, at that price, it's well worth a little dyeing (four batches in fact, on the stove and in the bathtub, in my old apartment - I haven't been allowed to dye anything since we moved to the house). For a little variation, I used the right side of the fabric for the dress and the wrong side for the skirt.

What's really funny is that somehow, the store eventually purchased more of that fabric but they marked it at the original retail price of around 12$/metre. I've often wondered if my buying so much of the fabric made them think it was suddenly popular.

The Original Fabric

The Dyeing Process
("Honey, what's for diner? Fabric soup again?")

Recently, I found this painting which very much reminded me of my dress:

Mary, Countess Howe by Thomas Gainsborough. C. 1763-4.

All I need to add is a lace shawl (which I actually now have), a hat (which I also have) and an apron (which I would have to make) and I'd be good to go!

One last picture from the 2005 Fêtes:

Gwenyver with two Natives, Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France 2005, Québec, QC

By the way, I have to say, these guys are the coolest. They just setup a whole Native camp (there are more than two of them, obviously) and answer questions and take pictures with tourists.

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