Monday, March 30, 2015

I Call it Macaroni

I was all set to make the J.P. Ryan Anglaise, I cut out the bodice and had it fitted and then thought, "Is this the light as air, Easter egg, Montgolfier air-balloon look I want?" No. I have left it for another day.
Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow... but someday.
And I had gone to the FIDM museum exhibit and saw this dress which was an inspiration.
It is every kind of lovely. But the stash was calling and I found I wanted a macaroni jacket, I know you know the one.
Although I thought I'd make it waist length. Who doesn't love cunning little tails? And cross barred silk. Yes, I know it's plaid but we'll agree on crossed barred.
 The J.P. Ryan pattern with back extended to make tails.

Strips of fabric fringed to make self trim.

That's what I'm talking about. I had the copper colored buttons over painted in Testor's iridescent model paint and I loved how they turned out.
Sink Me! I'm an air-balloon! (Maybe two)
I have to put a curve in the center front, laying it on the strait doesn't work for me. I'm not really built for this period although I love it. I'd like to add that this pattern is great and easy, I'll definitely use it again.
I was in the company of a bouquet ladies and we had a lovely time. Delicious savories and sweets and did I mention the Champagne?
Kim, our lovely Hostess, Loren D. And Jenny S.
Rivals to the flowers!
As you can see, it was the perfect afternoon. The absolute definition of Conviviality.

Picnic season is coming, to the throne of parasols!

Ever Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

In Which I Learn from Failure

Not all fails are epic, sometimes they are moderate and land in-between I could talk myself into it and NO.
I have a lot, I mean a lot of vintage patterns,  20's, 30's, 40's and so on and I LOVE to actually make them up. Sometimes they sew up like a dream, I love the little design quirks, clever seams, cunning folds, little tucks. They may require carefully taping the fragile directions  and copying them, usually crumbling into scraps as I handle the paper. The patterns are generally in good shape, I use them as is or transfer them onto something a bit sturdier if I need to enlarge them. I'm not such a purist that I won't use the original.
I have had this pattern in my stash for years and wanted a quick, cute and satisfying project as a palate cleanser.
The bow details! The gathered hemline! The shoulder pads!
It was fun to sew and should have come out to better effect, but the fabric was not really rayon and didn't have enough drape. The thing came out rather boxy. And no one wants that, especially if you are gifted in the bustular area.
The ties are just scraps of fabric, once I saw how this was going I didn't bother.

Cute neck detail, and who doesn't like a novelty print?

I am a sucker for a novelty print, I thought this was rayon when I bought it. It washed up very soft, I thought it would have enough drape.
Hem detail
I think this may require a do-over in a softer fabric. It looks much better on the dress form than on me. I did try and take a selfie (and even put on lipstick) but my arms are not long enough and you couldn't see any detail. The skirt which is already made will have to remain an orphan and be worn with a sweater.

Now I have to get going on a J.P. Ryan pattern, which I have never attempted but am told make up beautifully.
That would be view  "A"
Wish me luck!
Ever Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tweed Rides and Hail Stones

Last Sunday Jake and I went on our first Tweed Ride. They started in London a few years ago and have spread slowly like a woolen virus. The LA ride is in late February or early March and has a different route every year. We ride  together in a peloton of politeness about 100 strong I think. It's all knickerbockers and plus-fours, jaunty caps and spats. We ride, but mostly we see and are seen. There is drinking at the end.
Looks like he's going on a caper

Storming the gates of Heritage Square

Dashing Frank Hall and lovely Sally Little

With the always gorgeous Karin McKechnie. Notice the lowering skies!
Pardon me, but is this 1905, or did we miss a stop?
There was every kind of bicycle, really old Raleigh's, swell Schwinns and runcible Rudges (actually I didn't see any Rudges, cuz if it doesn't budge it's a Rudge!) Some fancy Pashleys and Flying Pigeons too.
And finally a sudden hail storm of epic proportions. I know, most of the country is up to it's mutton chops in snow, but we don't usually get "weather" and sudden weather too.
Sure it's all "Good day to you Sir"  in fancy knee breeches until you get soaked.
Luckily, Jake had a Mylar emergency blanket which I tied around my neck and flapped behind me like a super hero cape. We rode like the wind and didn't spare the horses (mixed metaphors intended).
We loved it.
You would have worn it too, had you been there.
 A few people asked me about my riding skirt, it's a Truly Victorian 1901 split skirt pattern, bicycle length.
So many shenanigans. I think it's time for a breather.

Ever Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine