Sunday, August 19, 2018

A Little Desultory Progress

You know how you stare at the blank canvas or blank page or try to move the line by inches, cuz inches is all you have in you? Half Hearted Or a Meh-Summers Night Dream.

Yup, I know this isn't the get-up and go that crossed the prairie and built the Hoover dammit.
 Modern grit-less, moon launch  much?
I did have a plan, and have wandered over and sewn a bit. I made a 30's frock for the Gatsby Summer Afternoon. Which looks decidedly frumpy, it's not helping. Could be the frock, could be me,  I even made a belt....
Had a zesty plan to start my fancy dress for our ball in November. Yes, November, I like to be done with time to spare (unlike book reports of yore).
These are the dogs days, I guess, why be so sirius.
A little from the stash and the corselet returns and returns again.
All held together by pins and good intentions.
This will be my Thpanish costume, I was considering "The last Rose of Summer" all green and pink and brown around  the edges. Fitting, but it would require too much explanation.
Maybe I'll post the 30's frock after I've worn it. Could always be worse.

Ever Your Thimble Servant
Miss Brilliantine

Monday, July 9, 2018

Round up the Eulogy Suspects

I bid farewell to my armless comrade in arms.
She was a stalwart if tipsy helper. Padded out, squeezed in, a little janky in the understructure. At the end she needed a lot of ballast, in the form of sandbags, just to keep upright.
But didn't she see a historical timeline!
Bustles, day and evening, corselets and petticoats, Turque(ish) jackets, Art Deco frocks and a few Gent's vests. She helped franken-pattern and was stuck with pins innumerable (which revenge was enacted by falling over on me). If I could, I'd set her alight in a boat, or give her coins for the ferryman. I'd array her with goods for the afterlife and mix up more funerary practices (maybe bury her in a large earthenware jug).
Now it's for the trash day recycle. 

Amid the triumphs, whisper softly "Remember you are metal".

Ever Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A Sublime and Silly Compact

 When everyone agrees, to be Hussars, Medieval Pikemen, Rococo Courtesans, Renaissance Washerwomen, Hollywood Pirates, Art Deco Swells, Civil War Surgeons, Victorian Doyens of the ballroom, Queens, Knaves, Necromancers, Roman Legionaries and Regency Heroines.  We agree to the collusion, fierce, frequent, friendly, we nod and suit up.
I Am In!

Delightfully silly, we sew it, are shod in evocative footwear, with hats and stays or boots and spurs (for the imaginary horsemen).  Unshaken in the playful delusion.

The Wonder of It!
Impressionist picnic, yes Ma'am

The singing "ladies" of the House of the Rising Sun, at Nor Cal Pirate Fest

Pi-curious and windblown

The Lanterman House Summer Whites Picnic, choose your era.
Our resident plein air painter, he makes us respectable.
The wonder of it.

Ever Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Jump(s) Cut to the 1780's

"Where are my neoclassical buttons"?
"Rare are my neoclassical buttons!"

Actual 18thc. buttons and my neoclassical hoard. 
Here are my neoclassical buttons! If I had a nickel....
(If you know what jumps are and what a jump cut is, I will give you that nickle. I know there are a few of you, you will have to share.)

I'm going up to the Pirate Festival in Vallejo / and thought since I already had the silk stripe out (left over from the 1880's) and it was just enough and I do love a scrapy project. I made a little Pierrot jacket, it beats having to put it way.
A flirty tail to tell the tale of the tell tale... oh never mind
Yoyo is optional.

Never in the course of dress-up events have jackets had a bias front opening....

I used to know why they were called "Pierrot" but can't recall, I'll leave it to the Historians or make up something totally feasible. The yellow stripe is actually the bodice of a polonaise, but I hold it up as documentation of the bias front opening. I used the J.P. Ryan Robe a l' Anglaise bodice and just grafted on a little tail. Like a modern meddling Mendel.
I got really crafty and printed the bottom of the skirt with a stamp that looks like a block print (to me). 
Soft cotton vole printed with roses. See if you already have all the supplies...
It came from the stash, which is always a good thing.

I will add a pretty shoe and a wide hat, "Properly warned be ye says I". 
Ever Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine

Friday, May 4, 2018

I Contemplate VCL

Visible Corset Line

We know the ideal smooth, round and without a visible break. It should be a cinch (cinch!), but it's more a struggle, fit and fashion v. restriction or as I like to think of it T.Rex arms.  Modern recreators dispute, condemn, rework, let out a seam. Sometimes to effect, but not always.
I present an assuaging collage, 'cause they didn't always get it right either.
A small and easily gathered sample, if you look you can see it everywhere.
Would I like creaseless perfection?  Yes. I would also like penny whistles and pony rides.  I know an extra layer would relieve most of the line, but I just don't wanna. It's one more layer- not gonna do it. So in solidarity with my sinuous sisters, you're going to see my corset.
There it is front and back, I like to think the multi-directional stripes hide it cleverly- but it don't.
I'm pretty happy with it's first run, I may tweak it a bit, the tail needs a weight to keep it from flipping and I forgot to add the stays to the channels in front (I only ever bone the front). It was light and crisp and really fun to wear. And that's the goal.

Children of nature....... and taffeta

The entire point of this dress was a GBACG outing to Roaring Camp. Steam train, BBQ and nature. So. Much. Fun. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, the day was perfection, the weather was fine and everyone looked primped and polished. All in all about 80 attendees, including your thimble servant and my dear friend Todi. 
Lovely Cynthia, one of the organizers and her not so little man.
Afterwards we rambled in the redwoods, the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park  to be exact. 
I contemplate Rousseau and his natural man. Uh-huh.

Heaven in every particular. 
In Super-Blurification! (But you can still see the corset line)
Ah well, I am content.

Ever Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine

Thursday, April 19, 2018

I Go to ALL the Things

April may be cruel but it's also busy.
Since all the things are happening at once I'll not squander them. Opportunity is fickle, who knows when it'll come round again. To that end I'll gather as much joy as I can, while I can and maybe put some aside for a leaner time when joy isn't so thick on the ground. A sort of joy jerky, dried and put by for when I need it.
I heard you, "I'd never partake of desiccated joy". But you would in a hungry time, I know you would.
"Got any of that dried joy left...?"

Thing the First-
Last Saturday was our Spring ball given by the Social Daunce Irregulars in Pasadena. I wore the return of the Swiss Waist and a fine thing it turned out to be, the lace did not shred as I feared. Stalwart yet elegant. Why, I could jump out of a fox hole bayonets fixed and still look elegant. Maybe I exaggerate, a little.
A little repurposed and made over, but serviceable.
Thing the Second-
This Saturday is GBACG "Train Ride into the West". Steam train, 1880's period attire and BBQ, where do I sign?
A re-blocked straw and inspiration ( Antonio Mancini)
I do love to re-block hats, sooo much easier that making them from scratch and very satisfying. ( I fear I may be losing brain cells to the vapor, though.)
I did make a dress from scratch, using a lovely silk stripe given to me by Loren Dearborn of "The Costumer's Closet" blog. Dearborn is the most apt name.
I'll post action shots from the day.
Thing the Third-
Then there is the Art Deco Society's Preservation ball,
Wherein I'll be wearing a "this old thing", but the shoes are pretty.
The right tool for the job, says I.
I think that's enough, I will squeeze in a ramble because it won't stay green forever.
May is starting to look lonely by comparison.

Ever Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine

Friday, March 30, 2018

Not Florence and a Little from Column B

Pastiche is a lovely word which has always sounded like something delicious to me. (Pastiche for dessert? It must be my birthday!) Since it's a celebration, or say a collaboration with the past, nobody's the wiser and we have fun. I finally took my thrifted linen duster out for a ramble in not Florence and not 1905.
With a nod to Eleanor Lavish without her baedeker.
Green, green, green Fernandez Ranch in Martinez Ca. part of the John Muir Land Trust
The cows had churned up the paths so thoroughly, that I couldn't get very far. But the rain is sorely needed and I had boots on. Not pretty American Duchess lace-up oxfords, boots.
Since I had brought all this up with me, and I don't pack light, I was undeterred.
Craftily blurred out hiking boots
"O mio babbino caro"
If the cows stop giving milk, it's none of my doing.....

Column B
The return of the Swiss Waist, or Corselete's revenge.
My brother always asks rhetorically, "Is it a sin to like your own cooking?" No, nor is it to be pleased with an object sewn and labored over.  Since I have only worn the Swiss waist once and it needed another outing, I'm giving it the fancy treatment as a ball gown.
Overskirt of turn-of -the-century satin Ikat, liberated from another ball gown

Corselete's Revenge

OG (original gown) with the unsuspecting Lynne B.
The lace overlay is a silk chantilly so old and fine, I fear it may be a one off. I'm trying not to get too attached and enjoy the impermanence, a few waltzes and it may shatter. I can live with that, it was worth the round and round on the dance floor.
See how we all grow.

Ever Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine