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 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, Costumes we're workin' on!, Upcoming Workshop

Victorian & Edwardian Hat Decorating

It’s that time of year when historical costumers are invited to participate in a number of centennial parades and festivities. 

Can’t much do it easily at other times of year because weather in Seattle is unpredictable, even if we DO settle for “mostly cloudy and partly sunny” forecasts or wind up with showers.  We are after all, talking about The Evergreen State!
Back to hats.  If you are within driving range of Seattle, Washington and have interst in decorating a Victorian or Edwardian or other hat of your choice that you already own, we (of Somewhere in Time, Unlimited) would LOVE to invite you to come participate in a creative afternoon of hat decorating, entirely FREE!
Here is a link to the details:
Would you be brave enough to participate in a parade with us?  I can assure you, it is a wonderful feeling.  The audiences are generally VERY thrilled to see people portraying a different era.  Even my husband Sir Harry and his gentlemen stride happily along side, tipping their hats to the ladies and waving as we go along.
If you like hat decorating, you might also be interested in hat PIN making, also one of our upcoming Workshops.
Stay in touch.  Happy to add you to an email list if you’d like to receive info on the Design Studios or Workshops in 2010.
All the best for lovely hat results!
Lady Victoria of Essex
Posted in All Blog Entries

Titanic – Survivors Hit…

Titanic - Dressed out in banners, Good Friday 1912
Titanic - Dressed out in banners, Good Friday 1912, Courtesy Michael Pocock

…A joyful note this past Feb 28, 2009 when the members and friends of Somewhere in Time, Unlimited held Titanic-The Survivors’s Ball in Seattle, Washington. 

This historic costuming group paid homage to the fallen and the survivors of this noteworthy vessel in our history.  Guests were treated to a 7-course Edwardian-style dinner which was catered by Cindy Madsen of Ravenrook Feasts as a special benefit to the group.  Ms. Madsen dished up sumptuous round after round, while a few senior classmembers of Holy Names Academy provided excellent table-side service.  Thank you to the lovely ladies adorned in Battenburg-lace aprons.

web-63-loveday-fred-cropped1The delightful husband/wife duo of Kleinschmidt and Conquest, dressed in their special formal attire for the evening.

Several times, this couple (along with many other attendees) could be seen about the room chatting with other guests and partaking in the excellent dinner.

Long-time members of Somewhere in Time, Unlimited, they can be seen in several photos on the main website’sPrior Events“.

Guests were encouraged to pose before the image of Titanic in preparation of  “boarding”.


web-713-vanetta-gene-22Always stylish and chic, Mr. & Mrs. Cash stepped out in grand style and allowed a quick snap of the photo lens to capture their dashing image!

Not to be outdone, I hear they were spotted twirling to a tune or two during the evening.  The rest of the time, they were lively company to their tablemates with news of “other survivors” in attendance….

This couple is relatively new to the group Somewhere in Time, Unlimited but have been spotted at a number of events since “coming aboard”.  They are great fun and I hope you get to meet them soon.

Opera Singer - Jeffrey Jordan & The Ragtime Orchestra
Opera Singer - Jeffrey Jordan & The Ragtime Orchestra

World-renowned opera tenor Jeffrey Jordan graced the audience with his brilliant performance of various songs all evening including “Torna A Sorriento”.  (Currently, he performs with Seattle Opera as well as represents the needs of artistic individuals when purchasing or selling homes in the Seattle area as a real estate agent.)  His vocal duet partner this evening was none other than soprano Lady Victoria, also of local Seattle fame.

Orchestra Maestro - Phil Wilkinson
Orchestra Maestro - Phil Wilkinson

Their musical efforts were complimented by the very talented, 13-piece Ragtime Waltz Orchestra lead by Maestro Phil Wilkinson.

The Maestro had chosen musical pieces that reflected the Titanic era such as “After The Ball”, “I Want a Gal, (just like the gal that married dear old dad)” and a number of ragtime, “piano-roll blues” and Castle waltz favorites which his orchestra performed “to a T”.  Well done, ladies and gents!!!

Also in attendance was a young ballerina Miss Madeline Peters who is sure to be a rising star on Seattle’s stage.  We look forward to seeing more of your performances Ms. Peters!  Guests enjoyed the dance instruction of the Castle Waltz as performed by Miss Christine Pinto and Miss Pippin Sardo.  This demonstration was the opening signal that the dance floor was now open for all to enjoy.  Thank you, ladies.

web-p1020668Master of Ceremonies for the evening was the dashing and charming “Captain” Alfred Myers.  His beautiful wife Linda greeted guests as they “boarded” and pinned fragrant carnation  boutonnieres to lapels and dresses.  Thank you to you both for enchanting everyone with your style and grace and making us feel so welcome!

If you missed this Event but enjoy historical costuming, hop out to the website of Somewhere in Time, Unlimited and check out the Calendar to see when you might meet up with us again.  We are headed for Port Townsend, Washington next for their Victorian Festival.  See you soon….


Posted in All Blog Entries

Victorian Santa Train Experience

Somewhere in Time, Unlimited Members
Somewhere in Time, Unlimited Members

It was drizzling.  It’s the rainy northwest afterall.  A stout-hearted small band of members of Somewhere in Time traveled thru the mist and rain to arrive at the historical rail station in the town of North Bend, Washington.  The idea was to greet, mix and mingle with the families who were boarding the various train-loads headed for ANOTHER historical Victorian rail station just up the line in Snoqualmie, Washington.

Sir Harry of Essex waves to families boarding the train.
Sir Harry of Essex waves to families boarding the train.

Would the familes come despite the rain?  Would the train be on time?  What would the children say when they saw a group of men and women in historical Victorian and Edwardian attire?  We didn’t have long to wait. 

Two lovely Edwardian ladies who've come to ride the train
Two lovely Edwardian ladies


Auntie Judy & niece prepare to see Santa.
Auntie Judy & niece prepare to see Santa.

Mingling to the happy Christmas songs transmitted by a local radio station (Warm 106.9) on a non-Victorian boom-box, the SITU members took photos of families waiting to board the trains.  “Did you bring your list for Santa?” or “Would you like me to take your photo of y’all together?” could be heard up and down the platform.  “Say candy cane!”  Children wiggled and giggled.  Parents tried hard to sip their warm coffee to get that jolt they needed to keep up with the energy level of their children.

Suddenly, “I see the headlight!!!!”  Oh, the thundering of the vintage engine as she rolled into the station area was tremendous.  Wow, real 1913 and 1915 rail coaches too!  The interiors were delightfully and joyfully decorated with holiday lights (What am I saying?  These are CHRISTMAS lights!  We ARE bound for Santa after all), stuffed toys, vintage wood or velvet seats, along with wicker chairs filling in the void spaces where more seating could be arranged.

Inside each coach "Mr. Bells" leads us all in song.was a volunteer from the railway.  The men were always friendly and happy to share the history of the train, from the coaches to the engine pulling us, to the stations we were visiting, to the what-it-takes-to-be-a-volunteer.  It was all interesting indeed!  The men were dressed in all sorts of costumes.  We had Mr. Bells in striped overalls and a cap with 3 large bells on the brim.  He lead us in Christmas songs.  We had two guys in festive “Reindeer noses” and one wore a hard hat when he had to clear the walkway “for safety’s sake”.  There was a Conductor in vintage attire who walked thru the cars smiling and talking to folks.  There was the official conductor who had the priviledge of shouting “Aaaaall aboard!” and waving the high-sign to the engineers up in the locomotive.  Riders were even happy to meet a very young volunteer who was about 10 yrs in age and already, a good representative for the vintage rail line.  He’d joyfully walk thru the coaches asking, “Does anyone have a question?”  We tried to trip him up with trick questions.  We found out he was related to at least 2 volunteers helping out this weekend.

Queen Anne-style Snoqualmie Rail Museum
Queen Anne-style Snoqualmie Rail Museum

Once at the historic Queen-Anne style station in Snoqualmie, we were given a tour of the station itself, a visit with Santa, a self-guided tour of the medical coach under reconstruction where the little ones (okay and the not so little as well), were given a chocolate chip cookie, cocoa or coffee.  There was even a renovated caboose on-site.  Wow, the men riding the rails back when, sure had tight quarters to get around in if they went to the caboose.  At least it had a table, some seating areas and two great look-out benches located high up near the top of the caboose for some great views!


Suddenly, it was time to board the train for the quick trip back to North Bend.  Aaaaaaw, the day should’ve gone on longer cuz we had such a great time!  If you’d like to see photos of our adventure, hop out to the website and click on “Past Events”.  I’ll be loading up a webpage very shortly with the photos.  If it’s not there when you read this, email me and I will send you the link when the page is ready.

If you, as a reader, would like to volunteer or donate to help this worthwhile cause, please, DO consider contacting the rail museum.  It is a worthwhile cause.

Many thanks to Miss Susan, Head of the Marketing Dept for the Snoqualmie Valley Railroad Museum and to the many, many volunteers who made this day such an enjoyable adventure!  We appreciate you and your efforts to bring the love of vintage railroading to the next generation.   Merry Christmas.  Aaaaaaall aboard!!!!

Posted in All Blog Entries

Do you enjoy historical costuming and parties?

I am looking for other like-minded people (men and women) who enjoy costumes, historical types in particular.  If you live in the greater Seattle driving area and like parties, costumes and fun events, you will want to contact Somewhere in Time Unlimited!

Hop out to the website: and take a look at all the various photos.  On the “About” tab, you will find email addresses.  For a mere $10 a year, what other source of entertainment have YOU found recently?

Smiles, Auntie Rita
P.S.  If you have a costume blog, could you let me know?  I am very interested in hearing from you too…

Posted in All Blog Entries

What did 1908 look like in the Pacific NW?

Are you a history buff?  Do you like antiques?  Do you love clocks?  Do vintage fashions interest you?  Then you’re in for a treat!


On July 5th, the Kitsap County Museum in Bremerton is hosting a Grand Opening of their “Main Street” exhibit.  The street running in front of the museum will be blocked off so that celebrations have room to spill out onto the street.  There will be a ribbon cutting, hot-dog vendors, music, and people dressed in 1908 style attire from Somewhere in Time, Unlimited (SITU).

If you are interested in hopping the ferry with some of us and enjoying the late morning in Bremerton, please feel free to email: LadyVictoria at  She will be able to fill you in on the details and potentially help you with some costuming ideas too!