Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fabricville Contest - Project: Sherbet Striped English Dress

My favourite fabric store is having a sewing contest: buy fabric from them, keep you receipt as proof, make a garment, take pictures and send it in to win a dream sewing room.

It just so happened that I recently bought fabric. I know, I know, I said I would not buy any new material, but I’m an addict. And I had been dreaming of this particular fabric since I first spotted it on my Fabric shopping trip with Nancy-Raven last summer.

Sherbet Striped Fabric

Guess what I intend to make with it? Come on, guess: what is one of my favourite Era? No, it’s not a Medieval. Nor is it a Victorian dress. So what’s left? 18th Century! Come now, doesn’t it make you think of all the pastry coloured dresses from Marie-Antoinette (2006)?

I’m thinking of making it very simple. The fabric is a woven upholstery cotton blend, but it is lighter than is looks and just spells “Summer’s day in the Country”. I can wear it with my pink cotton skirt and straw hat (from my
Pink and green ensemble). I’ll use Simplicity 4092, which is the pattern I used for all the dresses I made for the play Le Tzigane au Croissant d’or (see Gypsies and Nobles: costumes from "Le Tzigane au Croissant d'or" posted on February 5, 2010). I can make one of these dresses in six hours, so I know I’ll find enough time in the following month to manage it.

And if I don’t win, at least my dress will be ready in advance for the
Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France and Free Patterns

We have the dates for this year's Fête de la Nouvelle-France people: they will be held from August 4 to 8, 2010. It's time to start getting your outfits ready!

Not sure what to wear? Well first of, let me tell you I'm a little disappointed, considering the number of times I've mentioned 18th century clothing. What is generally considered New France period (history is always somewhat opened to interpretation) is from 1608, the year when Samuel de Champlain founded Québec City, and 1763 when the Treaty of Paris ceded New France to Britain. Meaning New France went through kings Louis XIII, XIV and XV, which is important to know when planning the style you intend to wear. Of course, you might want to keep in mind that there were not many (if any) noble ladies in fancy dresses in 1608, but by 1750, Bourgeoisie had settled in.

You knew all that but you meant you did not know what style to choose? Fiou! You had me scared for a second. Fear not: the festival's website has thought of you. In the costuming section, and only in French for some reason, under Confectionnez, you will find a list of nine Free Patterns drawn by Fashion students from the 1997 and 1999 classes of the
Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy - École de Mode.

Le jeune bourgeois (The Young Nobleman) by Sonia Ruel, Class of 1997

La Jeune Bourgeoise (The Young Noblewoman) by Sonia Ruel, Class of 1997

Le Bourgeois (The Nobleman) by Davy Gauthier, Lyne Lachance, Nadine Cagné,Catherine Webster & Jennifer Boily, Class of 1997

La Bourgeoise (The Noblewoman) by Isabelle Pouliot, class of 1997

L'habitante de Stadacone (Woman of Stadacona) by Nancy Boissonneault, class of 1999

For those who might not know, Stadacone or Stadacona is the name of the Iroquoian village where Champlain decided to establish the settlement of Quebec.

Isabeau by Marie-Josée Rioux, Class of 1999

La Paysanne (The Peasant) by Yannick Auclair, Class of 1997

Katherine la Paysanne (Katherine the Peasant) by Julie Castonguay, class of 1999

La Servante (The Servant Girl) by Amélie Lacasse, class of 1999

Okay, so some are not terribly historically accurate, but a little fantasy never hurt anyone, I guess. (So says the person who wrote a post about bad LARP garb...) Besides, did I mention they were free?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Project: 18th century Sack-Back Dress

Remember when I talked of wanting a Robe à la Française? (See Wednesday Weekly Wishlist: Robe à la Française posted on February 10, 2010) Well, the other day, I was at Fabricville and I found the perfect fabric, completely by accident; no, it is not the silk I have dreamed of, but at 5$ a metre, it will do most grandiosely.

It is a blue gray floqué taffeta with a somewhat floral rococo velvet motif which are slightly more sea foam.

Using the pattern from La Couturière Parisienne (How to make a Contouche), the 10 metres I got will be enough for the dress with the back Watteau pleats and skirt.

My only question now is what to do for trims. I still have to ponder on that.

So I don' know when I'll get to it, but I just had to share my fabric find with you.had

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday Weekly Wishlist: Mina's Green City Suit

Before you say it, just because this dress is green, doesn't mean it is in anyway related to the Irish Holiday I've been talking about for a week. No sir, no way.

When I originally saw
Bram Stocker's Dracula (1992), I was about 11, and being squeamish from a young age, I only managed to watch it until Vlad III stabs a statue and it starts pouring blood. That's in the prologue. So really, it took me years before I could actually watch it from beginning to end.

One of my favourite scene's is when we see Mina walking in the street and Dracula stares at her from behind small sunglasses and he says "See me". The stalker thing is a little freakish, but the dress she wears is amazing!

Winona Ryder as Mina Murray, Bram Stocker's Dracula (1992)

It is a Victorian day suit in a lovely shade of green. The front of the jacket is partially opened so we can see the shirt underneath and holds with a front belt piece.

Mina's Green City Suit

The whole movie is set in Bustle Gown era, but skirt is not only bustled, it's train, which hides the bustled fabric, is made of pleated fabric pieces, making it look like a waterfall.

Winona Ryder as Mina Murray, Bram Stocker's Dracula (1992)

One of the most beautiful recreations of Mina's Green Bustle Gown was made by Christine Hall for

Mina Harkers Green Walking Gown from Bram Stokers Dracula by Christine Hall -

The work and details are amazing. I'm impressed and in love with that dress.

You have to admit, it would be perfect for St. Paddy... I mean a certain March date.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Châteauguay St. Patrick's Parade

This is the last of the Irish Dancing posts, I promise... Well, at least until Montreal Feis (it's on May 22nd, so you get, oh, about a two months break).

Sunday was the Châteauguay St. Patrick's Parade. I was cold, but it did not rain. It snowed. Due to the weather, I went with my Teal Velvet dress, meaning I wore all of my three Irish Dance Solo Dresses in the course of one week.

Dancers from the Young Academy of Irish Dance - Châteauguay St. Patrick's Parade 2010

At least the parents of the younger dancers, who carried our banner, got to keep their coats on.

Parents of Dancers from the Young Academy of Irish Dance - Châteauguay St. Patrick's Parade 2010

Of course, we are dancers, which means we actually have to dance the whole time.

Dancers from the Young Academy of Irish Dance - Châteauguay St. Patrick's Parade 2010

Everyone was a trooper, including my daughter and my dance teacher's mom, who pushed the stroller the whole way (I had no babysitter that day).

Gwenyver's Daughter and Mrs. Young - Châteauguay St. Patrick's Parade 2010

She looks so cute in that pink snowsuit of hers! (Let's hope it still fits next year, at the rate she is growing!)

Okay, I mean it, this is the last of the St. Patrick's Day posts. We will now return to our regular subject*, costumes.

*Well, you know, whenever I have a dance event, I have to wear a costume, so technically, it applies - which is why I tell you about it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Movie Monday: How To Train Your Dragon

Cartoon movies are always fun inspiration for costumes. This spring, we are getting a couple of interesting ones, including How to Train Your Dragon (2010).

So what does one wear to train a dragon? Apparently, a fur vest is a must.

Night Furry and Hiccup, How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

General Viking (inspired) garb is also recommended.

Ruffnut, Snotlout, Astrid, Fishlegs and Tuffnut, How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Okay, loosely-based-on-Viking-garb would be more precise. But hey! There are choices for both genders here; aren't I generous?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Veggie Dresses

Didn't your mom ever tell you not to play with your food? Good thing the people responsible for this PETA campaign didn't listen or we would not have these gorgeous evening dresses... made entirely of vegetables!

Okay, so I know the campaign in question isn't new, but in case you missed it, I wanted to showcase it here. The outfits made from these greens are incredible.

Note: this is not an endorsement.I'm all for humane treatment of animals, but I am a proud omnivore. These creations are presented here only for their originality.

Alyssa Milano for PETA

Have you noticed how the corset part of her bodice is made of asparagus?

Cloris Leachman for PETA

Is that what one might call a Cabbage Patch Granny? Love the pretty colour though!

Elizabeth Berkley for PETA

I wonder if it is possible to walk at all in these things? And how do they hold in place?

If I could find or make some silk cabbage leaves, you know that I would want to make myself one of these (but in durable and washable format), right?