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Lady Windermere’s Fan – Blow out!

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In case you thought you could get tickets for the SITU Spring Event, ( “Lady Windermere’s Fan” ), you’d be “late” to the party.  Although the play happens in May and the due date for the final payment is due in April, SITU has SOLD OUT all the tickets we reserved, 2 FULL MONTHS before the play!

This is fair forewarning that future gatherings and events for SITU, will be posted and advertised well in advance.  Don’t be surprised if each of the offerings blow out prior to the final payment date.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop a line to Treasurer “at” SITUSeattle “dot” com

Posted in All Blog Entries, Costumes we're workin' on!, Exciting News!, Lady Victoria of Essex

“Phryne Fisher” Wanna-Be

What does it take to look like Phryne?Pinterest #2_e22bb57d35235ff862bac9a5ffcb95fb

I wanted to know, so I started to research “the look.”  The historical costuming club to which I belong, frequently has held, or participated in 1920’s era gatherings.  This was special however.  My well known twin, Lady Victoria of Essex, was asking me to look into the possibilities of getting something together in time for summer.  She was coordinating attendance with The Brits for the All British Field Meet in July of 2018.

This is no minor activity.  This is a distinguished showing of classic thru contemporary British motors.  Her image was likely to be captured with Bentley, Rolls, Jags and more.  Whatever I came up with, needed to be suitable for my famous twin.

With limited sources for fabrics in Seattle, either a trip to California or New York seemed to be looming in the future.  NOTHING I had checked on from etsy or ebay had enough yardage for the pieces that need to be created.  Now what?

A road trip to Oregon seemed my next best choice.   A mutual friend of ours had mentioned a location near the state line.  The she and hubby were heading there to shop in preparation to gather fabrics for a King Henry VIII outfit.  Good golly, surely a 1920’s outfit would be easier?

So early in the day, I hopped into the carpool for the 3hr ride, arriving to a magnificent warehouse.  Oh the delights found indoors!  Within the hour, 2 entire garment sets of fabric had been cobbled together – top and matching pants, fabric for a duster, silk dress and matching silk lining with handkerchief bottom hemline, plus another duster.  Amazing fabrics. Wonderful colors.  Prices not to be found anywhere in the Seattle area.  The efforts of our friends and the king outfit… still a work in progress.

The trip was well worth it!  When does sewing commence?  When an inspiration pattern arrives by mail.  Should be soon.  I will post efforts as we go along.  Can’t wait to see Lady Victoria all decked out as she strolls with her bodyguard at her side.  Should make for some stellar images…

Posted in All Blog Entries, Exciting News!

Historical Costume Sale – In Seattle!

 Historical Costuming Sale in Seattle!!!!! 

Somewhere in Time, Unlimited has been generously offered the costuming estate of one of our members who passed away last year. There will be oodles of “finds” one can use, including… accessories. We will have other vendors there who are members, also selling their garments and accessories. Sound good so far?This is a MUST ATTEND gathering, and it’s FREE to get in! Be sure to set aside the date on your calendars.Additionally, the following weekend, we will be holding a special “tea” where you can bring your finds and/or fabric, to ask a panel of seasoned costumers and folks in attendance, how you might be able to improve on what you bought, re-muddle it, make something terrific out of what you bought, and in general, spend a delightful afternoon with friends! See you soon…. Lady V.

http://www.situseattle.com/12_Garage_Sale_Invite.htm

Posted in All Blog Entries, Exciting News!, Patterns we've used or reviewed...

Titantic “Flying Dress” – Gets a work-over

It needed it.  Something.  A little “bling” as it were.

As many of you know, Sir Harry of Essex and I are historical costumers and belong to Somewhere in Time, Unlimited (SITU).

A few years ago, SITU held a Winter Event called “Titanic – The Survivor’s Ball”.  There was a 13-piece orchestra, 7-course Edwardian dinner, the lady guests came in beautiful Titanc inspired gowns, while the gentlemen arrived wearing swallow tail tuxes.  It was very elegant indeed.

In time for this event, I had designed and put together the same navy blue velvet top that Kate Winslet had worn in the “Flying” scene.  Mine is very pretty with the heavy lace center piece, but the collar looked rather naked.  I think I’ve solved that problem.

Top of collar with lace flower vine.

The Butterick pattern calls for this contrasting lapel area to be beautifully set apart from all the velvet.

I found some interesting vine patterned stitching which was attached to net backing.  Probably intended for a VERY expensive gown (the product was $60 per yard), I chose instead to stitch the vine carefully by hand onto the lapels, removing the the netting as I worked.

In this photo, you can see the lapel top area, as well as the dupioni white silk which I had over laid with heavy bridal lace which I found at JoAnne fabrics.  The vine lace, which BTW matching perfectly in tone with the outfit, I found at Nancy’s Sewing Basket (a specialty store for the discriminating seamstress), located on the top of Queen Anne hill in Seattle.

Lapel area at bottom with lace vine.

Why did I want several years before I attached the lace?  Well, in the beginning I didn’t have time to get the lace onto the garment in time for the event.  I just kept the lace handy so I could put it on later.

 Well, “later” finally showed up.  Sir Harry and I were invited to a swanky cocktail hour with the French-American Chamber of Commerce.  They were holding a Belle Epoque event at the Arctic Hotel in downtown Seattle.
 
The organizer, Madamoiselle Casey, had seen Sir Harry and I at a Port of Seattle Centennial Celebration, where we appeared in 1910 attire.  There, Sir Harry wore a frock coat and Banker’s hat, while I wore a custom designed and made 1910 day attire. 
 
The large blue hat I wore, I personally replicated from an historical photo I had found some time ago.  Each of the ivory fabric roses on the hat were hand crafted and sewn into place.  There are a few Swarovski crystals which have also been selectively sewn into place on the roses in order to reflect some sunlight when worn in a parade.
 
These are the same outfits we wore in a documentary movie directed by Vaun Raymond for the Port of Seattle.
 
Fun clips of this documentary are available on the SITU Seattle website if you have interest…
 
I digress.  Back to the French event –
 
Sir Harry and I were requested to arrive “fashionably late” at 7 pm.  We did so.  Upon our arrival, we stepped off the elevator and were “announced” to the massive crowd who had gathered for the evening’s entertainment.
 
At the event, we also spotted our local friends, the Baron and Baroness Von Kleinschmidt.  We chatted briefly and then began circulating about the room greeting people.  Several members of the French Chamber expressed how delighted they were in our appearance at their event, stating how we lent such color and classy flavor.  Several of the gentlemen had arrived in tuxedos.  The Baron and Sir Harry were both wearing swallow tail tuxes and white tie, along with the obligatory top hat! Very classy event put on by the Chamber!
 
Here are a couple of photos of my finished “Flying Dress” work-over, an image of Sir Harry, and then one snapped indoors on an iPhone by an attendee of the event.  If you’d like to learn more about Lady Victoria and Sir Harry of Essex or Somewhere in Time, Unlimited, please visit the website.  We look forward to having you “come dress up with us” soon!!!
 

 

Posted in All Blog Entries, Exciting News!

Victorian Tailor

In case you haven’t heard the news, there’s a new guy in town.  Literally.  He’s moved to Seattle from the UK.  Quite exciting actually.  Just how often do you get to meet and work with a cool, hip, “Bespoke Tailor” anyway?

Jason MacLochlainn’s the name and Victorian or Edwardian Tailoring is his special game!

What’s especially newsworthy is that Jason is not only an accomplished Victorian Tailor with a long list of satisfied clientele, but he is also a published author.  Impressed yet?  Should be.

Available both in the U.S. and in the U.K., is the bea-uuuuuu-tiful book called The Victorian Tailor.  It has hit the stands in a big way.  Not limited to interested females who sew, men are buying this book as a “bible” for tailoring and techniques for menswear. 

Yes, you can snag your own affordable copy thru Amazon.com or Borders Books and other sources.  But, if you happen to be in the general area and shoot me an email, we might be able to “hook you up” to get your copy autographed by the author himself.

P.S.  On April 3, 2011, Jason will be teaching a Tailoring 101 Workshop in Seattle.  VERY affordable, lots of one-on-one time, small class of people, located in Seattle.  Hop out to the Somewhere in Time, Unlimited site to see all the details.

Come on.  What you waiting for?

Posted in All Blog Entries, Exciting News!

The New “Victorian Calling Card”

Calling card avail at Victorian Trading Company!

In Victorian days gone by, when a respectful person went to someone’s residence, the person would  hand the maid or butler a beautifully printed (sometimes embossed) calling card, in order to be announced to the resident of the home they were visiting.   The resident would then decide if they had the time (or inclination) to invite the owner of the calling card, deeper into the residence for a chat.

What would a Victorian lady or gentleman use today? 

That thought crossed THIS Victorian Lady’s mind when reviewing that wonderful old courtesy of the calling card.  It occurred to Lady Victoria, that nowadays people tend not to do as much visiting in person any longer.  The lack of time, due to family, work and church obligations, together with the great distances in this great nation we call the United States, makes it a particular challenge.

Instead, we are “virtually visiting” each other, using email, streaming media over our computer’s camera, posting favorite images on Facebook (either as an update or as a photo album), and now the courtesy of dropping in on your friends has extended to Tweeting on Twitter.

What’s a genteel Lady living in the 21st century to do?  “Facebook” and “Tweet” with the best of them, of course!

Yes, Lady Victoria has now entered the posting of random information on Facebook (look for me as: Lady Victoria Seattle) and the fast “stream” on Twitter under the handle of: @SITUSeattle

It’s so AMAZING what information is readily available and the wonderful conversations that can be engaged with interesting folks world-wide, via these two vehicles.  No longer does one have to submit an email or calling card to only one person in a household, to wait and see if that someone has time in their day to chat.  Now, the whole world is literally listening and willing to jump into the conversation!  What would Alexander Graham Bell have to say to THIS invention????  Party-line to the 3rd power!

Yes, Lady Victoria is very amused and delighted with all the new friends she is gaining, many of whom have historical costuming, Victorian dress, Victorian decorating, 18th century attire, sewing and glittery parties on their minds!

And so, on that happy note, Lady Victoria of Essex would like to encourage you to link, follow or engage via the various avenues.  Be sure to introduce yourself and tell me that you found me from this blog.  I’m sure we will have much to discuss….

Posted in All Blog Entries, Costumes we're workin' on!, Exciting News!, Patterns we've used or reviewed...

What Women Wore in 1910

So you’re doing research what people wore in 1910?  Interested to see what you too, can make as a custom hat, befitting the era?  I’ll show you.  My example is probably intended for someone of a higher status in society, but the results are quite lovely.

To begin with, yours truly has been a very bad reporter in recent months, but I hope I shall be making up for lost time!

In a previous post, I had informed you of a workshop provided by Somewhere in Time, Unlimited, wherein the attendees were encouraged to build a hat from scratch using buckram, wire, beautiful fabrics, trim, and decorations.  The workshop was quite affordable and Miss Mary was a terrific instructor.

My hat’s inspiration came from an image I’d spotted in the New York Public Library collection of images.  Someone had sent me the image, saying how it reminded her of Lady Victoria’s style.  Oh, how I immediately fell in love with the design! 

So, being a good historical costumer, I promptly brought a copy of the image, blown up large, to the workshop to learn how to recreate the hat. 

Now fast forward to August.  The members of Somewhere in Time, Unlimited (a historical costuming group based in the Seattle, Washington area of the United States), were invited stroll the vast grounds of the LeMay Car Museum in early 1900’s attire.  Lady Victoria of Essex chose to represent 1910, exactly.  The LeMay Car Museum is the largest privately owned collection of vehicles.  Although there is a new facility under construction, many of the cars, trucks and unusual equipment are still housed in two locations – Marymount and the LeMay Estate.  I digress.

When I was planning the structure of the hat, I took into consideration that I wanted to have it come out almost to the width of my shoulders.  I’d need a LOT of heavy buckram and at least one pass around the edges with thick wire.  My teacher voiced her concern whether this was a good plan.  I push onwards.  Weeks were now invested into the construction. 

Navy blue ultra suede fabric made the hat plush and gave it depth to the onlooker, as if real suede had been used.  Hand sewn fabric roses were stitched in 2 sizes to mimic the roses in the “inspiration” image.  A super large satin bow created out of fine quality satin and back-supported by 2 layers of interfacing and 1 layer of Wonder Under, gave the bow the stability to form giant loops on the back of the hat.

After having assembled the multiple layers, stiching into place the many fabric roses, the large bow completed the festoons.

My dress is actually a 2-piece outfit, using thrift store found and reclaimed fabrics!  Again, I turned to vintage images for inspiration.  Since there aren’t any dead-on patterns out there presently (for what I wanted to create), I turned to what I had already in my collection of patterns in the hopes of doing some creative alterations.

The bodice of my outfit was fit EXACTLY to my form, first in muslin over the corset, then cut and sewn in the final cotton fabric.  The skirt is a version of a Butterick pattern I used for my alterations.  In the original pattern, it suggests 2 layers of fabric for the skirt. 

I decided that I wanted to have the lower layer to be pleated.  My first attempt was to borrow my friend’s pleater, a cardboard sort contraption which many quilters use.  Didn’t work well with the thickness of the gold fabric.  In the end, I had to hand pleat the entire length of fabric, pinning it at 1.5″ with a 1/2″ or 3/4″ return.   Together with the gray-green fabric over the top, the skirt has beautiful movement when walking, whether at the LeMay Museum, or in a parade!

Here are the images taken at the LeMay Car Museum grounds. 
 

I hope you enjoyed these images.  If I can be of any help to you or answer questions, feel free to contact me.  Very best of luck in creating your own beautiful outfit!  LadyVictoria “at” SITUSeattle.com

Posted in All Blog Entries, Exciting News!

Bootleggers Spotted in Skagit Valley…

Bootleggers – Runners of illegal, home-brewed hooch.  Makers, sellers and/or transporters of alcoholic liquor for sale illegally.

Early one Sunday morning, cars of various makes and models descended upon a church parking lot in Snohomish. 

 From these vehicles, the occupants stepping out were wearing Fedoras, plaid caps, boater hats, and the ladies in cloche or straw hats.  The garments were short daytime dresses on the ladies, while “knickers” and gangster-looking attire on the men could be viewed.

Why were they entering the lot and leaving every minute and a half or so? 

 Well, one could guess they were avoiding the local “coppas”, but in actuality, the participants were gathering maps and instructions for “The Bootleggers’ Run”, the Spring Event for the historical costume group Somewhere in Time, Unlimited (SITU). 

This gimmick rally was orchestrated by Somewhere in Time, Unlimited. The group is based in the Seattle, Washington area.  The actual route was laid out and planned by Lady Victoria and Sir Harry of Essex to be simple enough for people to enjoy, yet challenging enough that Drivers and Navigators would need to pay attention to the surrounding countryside as the route wound its way north into the Skagit Valley.

Drizzle fell from the sky at Marysville.  Reports of brilliant sunshine on Fir Island gave everyone hope.  The end of the rally would be an indoor picnic at a beautifully maintained 1898 Victorian home. 

The owners of the property (George & Don)  prepared the setting well for all the Bootleggers who were to arrive in the early afternoon.  Even their friend John (owner of the Foxglove Guesthouse in Seattle), was on site playing 78 records on vintage phonographs, the sounds floating across the yard and into the house lending an air of vintage charm .

The food selections were incredible, from savory to sweet.  Champagne flowed, as did small shot glasses of Absinthe.  Looking around, you would swear you stepped straight into the era of Prohibition.

The vintage cars which appeared for the day’s festivities were driven by members from the Skagit/Snohomish Horseless Carriage Club and NW Speedsters.  We were all honored by your presence and willingness to participate in the fun.  We hope you had a good time too!

Looking for an excuse for adult dress-up and you’re looking for a fun bunch of folks to share your passion?  Then consider coming along to our upcoming events: “Summer by The Lake” (late Victorian or early Edwardian) and “Stage Door Canteen” (the war years of 1938-1945).  Lady V and Sir Harry would love to welcome you to the next event!

Check out our website at: www.CostumingInSeattle.com  We even offer free or very low-cost classes for those interested in learning more!  All ages are welcome…

Posted in All Blog Entries, Exciting News!, Menu Ideas or Recipes

THE Best Cheesesteaks in Seattle

Have GOT to be created by the famous Italian chef, Ronnie Santone in his little deli called Hey Paison! just 12 minutes out of downtown Seattle.  Lady Victoria and Sir Harry have become ardent fans of his cheesesteaks.

The deli itself is a delightful sight to take in.  It’s hip and cool (if one is inclined to speak thusly), or “quaint” if you are more of our generation.  It definitely has ambiance.  Step thru the doorway and you’ll be greeted with a hearty “Hey, Paison!” (friend) from those behind the counter. 

 Overhead, you are just a likely to hear Frank Sinatra crooning a tune as you are to hear ol’ Dino singing “That’s Amore!”  Oh, and singing along is perfectly fine here.  You’re amongst friends.

For the next event that Somewhere in Time, Unlimited plans around having catered in food, I intend to suggest Hey Paison.

In the meantime, if you’re in the area, swing by.  Ronnie’s got ready-to-go, out-the-door meatballs and gravy (just make your own pasta and dump the heated product over the top), fabulous assortment of man-sized sandwiches (oh, they are SO tempting!), homemade salad dressings, KILLER desserts – must I go on or do you have the idea now?

If you call in advance, Ronnie and crew will have everything packed up ready to go for you if you’re in a hurry to get home after a long day at work.

Speaking of which, Hey Paison has a new blog that was just started!  Ronnie posted up an incredibly tasty and easy Chicken Marsala.  I can’t wait to try it out.

Ciao, mi bellos…. Lady Victoria