Thursday, January 10, 2019

A January Carol

All ghosts have visited and toasts drunk.
It may be time to make some plans, and as my friend said, they don't have to be big plans, maybe a little plan will do. And stitching a seam from here to there is the littlest and most immediate plan I can think of.
I dove into the boxes and came up with some rayon crepe in my teeth. Shocking pink rayon crepe. Shocking pink is the cyclamen pink Elsa Schiaparelli re-branded in the 1930's. Just the thing for a 1930's meet up with friends in February.
Moire, satin, wool, even perfume can be shocking pink.
Then I remembered that I have a box of shocking stockings and the stars aligned.
My rayon with the stocking box.
I ordered a new pattern from  Lady Marlowe, because ALL the patterns I have from the 30's original and reproduction just wouldn't do.
It's a simple dress, but I'll bling it up a bit and make it long.
Little plans worthy of an Even Tinier Tim. The year turned, time to look up count the stars and rename the consternations.

Ever Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine

Thursday, December 20, 2018

A Re Do-Over

Why Hello!
My apologies to all six of you.
I have been scrabbling over scraps of time and fabric. The result is that I have built very little but did do a do-over. It satisfies in its own way and is a very historical practice. Like re-trimming a hat to the current fashion or turning a dress to get more wear. I wanted something festive for the Great Dickens Christmas Fair and decided to tear through the closet. Because taking apart can be as fulfilling as stitching together. I took a dislike to a particular ball gown through no fault of it's own. And since I had a day vest to go with it, just needed to add sleeves and some fripperies and done! Easy-peasy, just like that, two hours max.
How we self-delude.
Ball gown bodice, day vest, day vest with harvested shirred front.
It seemed like a quick re-fashion, remove the shirred front from the bodice and add it to the vest front, but honestly the design stalled me. Sometimes the creative process takes as much time as the actual stitching. You'd think I would know that by now.
I stared at the thing for weeks, weeks. It did look nice on the dress form. I finally just got to it. It needed a little more adjusting since the front piece was higher on the day bodice, duh. With the addition of vexatious sleeves (that hardly ever happens to me-one fits with more ease in the armscye. See how I care) I was done.
With dear friends Todi and Sheila


I see the VCL, it's period. I like a close fit.
The Dickens Fair was as much fun as one can have in plaid pants, real or metaphorical.
These young men were spot on in their impression
and so happy to talk about the process, such dandies.
And the happy convocation of the Hatefish crew! In memory of a dear, genius friend.
I should also mention the splendid 1830's contingent with Lauren and Abby from  American Duchess.
1830's! Bonnets, gigot sleeves, ankle length skirts!
 I may be converted to this silliness.

 This was only a part of the 1830's group which seemed to expand and contract at will, part of the delightful effect. Were there 50 or 15? We may never know.

Ever Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine

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

And
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 /https://www.norcalpiratefestival.com/ 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....https://www.vintagetextile.com/new_page_431.htm

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