Saturday, October 24, 2009

Apple Green Bliaut

It is officially Saturday, and I am waiting for some friends who are driving in from out of town. Everything is packed for Fall Harvest and I have finally made up my mind about what I will wear. I have chosen my Apple Green Bliaut (which you have already seen in a picture in the Elizabethan Gentleman post).

Gwenyver in her Apple Green Bliaut, Feast of the Hare 2006

About this dress: one year (2004 to be exact), having nothing special to do between between Christmas and New Year, (I was unemployed at the time) I decided to make myself a new Medieval dress, to wear at my grand father’s for New Year dinner. Usually, I don’t wear many medieval clothes around my family, because they like to comment on everything, sometimes mockingly, and I usually do my best to give them as little to work with as possible. But after all, I thought, if Nancy-Raven can get away with it, why can't I?

So with one week to go, I went through my stash of fabrics and got this lovely apple green material out to make the gown I had planned for it. I had also bought a gorgeous jacquard trim with gold, green and red design to go with the fabric. Not exactly authentic Medieval (more in the Medieval-Fantasy category) but you get what you can, and I liked the combination). The result: a beautiful princess line dress I just love and that actually got me some nice comments (after being thoroughly mocked, of course). To this day, I always get complimented on that dress whenever I wear it. I guess I say it often about many of my costumes, but it is one of my favorites.

Gwenyver in her Apple Green Bliaut and sleeveless fur overcoat, Feast of the Hare 2006

I used McCall’s 3817, view D as a base. This is officially my favourite universal pattern (for princess line dresses). I modified the neckline to make it wider, the sleeves (obviously) to make them large, long and pointed, and the skirt to make it wider and floor length. I even made it longer in the back to make a train. I also, as usual, replace the zipper with eyelets and tiny gold satin cord to lace up the back.

With it, I sometimes wear the sleeveless fur overcoat you see in the second picture. It was once the detachable lining of a really ugly pelisse that belong to my grandmother. When I inherited the coat, I kept only the fur (I can't remember right now what kind of fur it is, sorry). It is incredibly soft. One of these days, I would like to replace the satin lining with suede so I could wear the fur facing me instead.

There. Now you know what both me and "My Lord" will be wearing the the event. Pictures to come tomorrow!

Friday, October 23, 2009

16th century Gentleman

I don't know about you, but I like to make myself a new outfit for every event if I can, but my Sweetheart only had his Purple Elizabethan ensemble, and I wanted to make him some more. So for Christmas/Yule 2007, when he said he wanted his present to be something I had made from material I already had, This is what I came up with:

Blue-Gray 16th Century outfit

It is made from the same pattern as his Purple Elizabethan ensemble, except that the sleeves are not slit on top. The pants are also made differently: each leg is a rectangle piece with a piece cut out at the center top (for the crotch) and pleated into the waist band and knee cuffs.

But here is the funny anecdotal part of the story: the fabric I used served as a Christmas present for two boyfriends, five years apart. Originally, I had bought the fabric to make curtain for my Ex's apartment. I just wrapped the fabric up and gave it to him for Christmas 2002, and he then left it with me so I could make said curtains. A month later, our relationship came to an ugly end.

A few months later, I met my Sweetheart. I offered to make him curtains for his apartment, for his office window, for his dad's new place. I tried to convince him it would make a nice slip-cover for the futon. Nothing worked. So when I used it for his garb, I thought I was very clever! And although my Grand-father made a few remarks when the present was unwrapped, he loved it.

My Sweetheart, Fall Harvest 2008

Doesn't he look good? I meant to make him a white shirt to wear with it, but I never got around to it, so he wears the off-white shirt I made him to go with his Purple Elizabethan ensemble.
As that is what he wants to wear tomorrow, at this year's Fall Harvest, I though I would tell you about it today. I still have to make-up my mind about what I will wear though...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Green Brocade Sideless Surcote

You've already heard about my SCA persona, Mórag filia Scayth. Mórag lives in 14th century Scotland. Being from a good Noble family, she speaks Latin and French (hehe!), hence the use of "filia Scayth" in her surname (I wanted the Gaelic originally, but it would then be "inghean Shitig", or something like that, and, well, you can read, you know what it sounds like). And so, while I was making my Sweetheart his 16th century Court Garb, I also made myself some period appropriate clothes.

Gwenyver, Fall Harvest 2006

I choose to make myself a Sideless Surcote, also known as a Gates-of-Hell. I found this green brocade with a tiny yellow diamond pattern and red accents, and I got 3 metres for 10$! The pattern was eyed and adjusted as I went, my goal being to get the widest skirt possible. The neckline and sides are trimmed in a gold and red trim with small fleché pattern.

Using Butterick #4827, I made a red cote to wear with my Sideless Surcote. OK, it's a princess line dress with a train, but I liked the pattern, and princess line cut is so flattering! My biggest mistake though was using imitation linen (i.e. 100% polyester). Yes it was cheap, but it looks nothing like linen and it does not breath. I hope to make a new red cote out of linen or cotton (I don't mind using cotton for Medieval projects; I know it is not historically accurate, but I can live with it), sooner rather than later.

Gwenyver, Fall Harvest 2008

See how practical a Sideless Surcote is? I wore it last for Fall Harvest year while I was five month pregnant and it still fit!

Bust of Marie de France, 1381

When I wear 14th century garb, I like to do my hair in side braids to try and get the look 14th century look as typified by the Bust of Marie de France. I do cheat and use elastics and bobby pins though. Basically, you split your hair in half, then make pigtails on the side of your face. Then you braid the pigtails, you pin them to your head so they are straight on each side of your face until just below your cheekbones and you bring the end of your braid up, making go around your ear before finally pinning it in the back.

Of course, now my hair is too short for such a hairdo, so I'll most likely just cover my head with a veil,and besides, I won't be wearing that outfit, so there is no need for it. My veil will do fine.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Weekly Wishlist: Anne's Green Gown (The Other Boleyn Girl)

I love green. Not as much as Teal, but close enough. For SCA events, I mostly wear 12th to 14th century garb, but one day, I would like to make the jump and make a 16th century outfit, to match my Sweetheart's look.

Imagine my excitement last year whe I first saw the Trailer for The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)!

My first thought? I want those dresses! If I had to pick only one, and that would be hard, I would go for the Anne's Green Gown.

Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn, Eric Bana as Henry Tudor and Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn, The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Now I know what you are thinking: What? None of the Teal blue for Gwenyver? Who are you and what have you done with our favorite Costumeholic? It's not that the teal ones aren't gorgeous (or that I don't want them too!), but the Green Gown just struck me. It is so rich and beautiful, and it reminds me of the English Folk song "Greensleeves", long believed to have been written by Henry VIII for Anne Boleyn.

Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn, The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

In a few words, this costume is a green satin tudor style dress with a square, almost off-the-shoulder neckline, wide green velvet oversleeves, bejeweled velvet band at the neckline, and green floral brocade undersleeves and underskirt. The costume also includes a matching green satin French Hood.

Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn, The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

To achieve the right silhouette, that is, the hourglass silhouette of Tudor times, one would also need the right underpinnings. That means a square neckline chemise, a corps piqué, or stays, , and most importantly, a Spanish farthingale.

Eric Bana as Henry Tudor and Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn, The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Pattern wise, Simplicity has got me covered with pattern #2589. Sure it need to be adapted a little, especially where the undersleeves are concerned, but if I wait a little, I can snatch it for 1.99$ CAD on sale at my local Fabricville, so it is not worth the paper it would take me to develop the pattern myself.

As for the initial pendant, I'm already covered! I have my "G" pendant already made and test-worn. I just wonder where to find the floral brocade. Hmmm...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Museum Exhibition: Golden Age of Couture - Paris and London, 1947-1957

My, oh my! More interesting costume and fashion exhibitions in nearby museums. This winter, the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec presents Golden Age of Couture - Paris and London, 1947-1957, from February 4 to April 25, 2010, organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, England). This means splendid gowns, shoes and accessories from a number of designers including Dior, Balenciaga, Fath and Worth, to name only those, and all for our viewing pleasure. Now that is eye candy!

Me thinks I might have found the look for my future wedding gown!

This is what one might call an exotic bird dress!

I. Love. Shoes! I have a similar pair in silver, though they are not from the 50's.

Worth is always worth it! Oh I crack myself up.

I guess this means I'll need to day trip to Québec city sometime next winter!

Note: The pictures shown in this post are borrowed from the Golden Age of Couture - Paris and London, 1947-1957 for illustration purposes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Movie Monday: Amelia

Ever heard of Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean? This Friday, Amelia (2009), the movie about her story, will open in theatres. Now that was a true role model!

As her exploits happened in the 20's and 30's, this means historical clothes for us costumes lovers!

Virginia Madsen as Dorothy Binney, Hilary Swank as Amelia Earheart and Richard Gere as George P. Putnam, Amelia (2009)

Go on, put on your Cloche hat and go see that movie!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

An Elizabethan Gentleman

There is less than a week before Fall Harvest, Barony of l'Île du Dragon Dormant's autumn event, and I, your favorite Costumeholic, is in charge of Arts & Sciences, that is anything that is not Martial Arts. I will be teaching classes (Irish Dancing and T-Tunic making) and running an A&S display.

With my Baby keeping busy, I haven't had time to make anything new to wear (*sigh*), but it's OK. The one great thing about being addicted to costumes is you end up having enough to pick from for any occasion, just like a regular wardrobe (actually, costumes take up the most part of my closet).

I'm not the only one in this house who needs to dress for these event: my Sweetheart does too! When I first joined the SCA in 2006 and I dragged him back (he played with them maybe 20 years ago), I asked him what he wanted for to wear to Court. Amazingly enough, he choose late 16th century as his persona's era, and so it is Elizabethan menswear for him.

Charles de Baste, Fall Harvest 2006

Before Fall Harvest 2006, I dragged him to the fabric store to find a brocade he would like and he picked a lovely purple and gold tone brocade with diamond pattern. From it, I made him a Doublet, using McCall's 4695 (i love that pattern, I have used it for myself too; you just have to adjust the darts to fit a feminine figure), and a Tudor Flat Cap, from McCall's 4805 view B. Then, using black panned velvet we had bought the previous year with the intention of making him a Drow costume, I made him sleeves for his Doublet, also using McCall's 4695 (in this case it is view D), and breeches which are really just puffy Bermudas gathered at the waistband and knee cuffs. My Sweetheart choose not to wear a codpiece (I don't blame him!), so the pants' fly simply laces up (this way, I could add a codpiece if he changed his mind, though I doubt he will). I also made him a shirt out of off-white cotton using Butterick 4486.

Of course, I had enough of each fabric to make him a full set, and I have cut the pieces already, I just haven't gotten around to it (actually, I had forgotten about them until I started typing this post).

By the way, I would like to point out that in this first picture, he is actually wearing black tights, which he never did again afterwards. Apparently, he found the seam to be irritating. Nowadays, he wears black leggings under his breaches.

Mórag filia Scayth and Charles de Baste, Feast of the Hare 2006

When I first made the Doublet, I had only used six frog closures to close the front, as the pattern suggested, but my Sweetheart felt that, being that the Doublet is meant to be tight, the gaps in between the frog closures were unattractive. So on our way to Feast of the Hare 2006, while he was driving, I sewed another five frog closures to close each gap. It takes forever to put on, but it looks good!

Side view of Charles de Baste, Feast of the Hare 2006

From the side, you can see how the Doublet's sleeves are tied at the shoulder only.

Back view of Charles de Baste, Feast of the Hare 2006

It's always nice to be able to see a costume from every angle to better understand it.

Mórag filia Scayth and Charles de Baste, Baronial Investiture Anniversary 2008

Another view, without the Doublet sleeves this time. It is a very versatile garment!

(Yes the beard was distinguished, but it also made him look way older, and yes, I have lost weight since then. 25lbs to be exact, and I feel very good about myself, thank you for asking.)

Eventually, I'll finish the pieces I have already cut and he'll have both a full black velvet set and a purple and gold set. What stopped me back then was that I needed to get more experience before tackling the purple and gold breeches as I want to make them paned. Now that'll really be something!