Posted in All Blog Entries, Upcoming Workshop

Parasol Re-covery – How To

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If you always wanted to know the technique for being able to recover a parasol, the historical costuming club, Somewhere in Time, Unlimited (SITU), has held classes over the years for the historical costumer.  

This year, SITU is “revisiting” the training of parasol recovery.  We noticed that several costumers who had taken the initial Workshop, had not completed their parasol.  So, a follow up Workshop was scheduled, the original participants invited to come back, and we are headed for a day-long session!

Stay tuned to view results from the Workshop.  If you’d like to learn more about Somewhere in Time, Unlimited, view images, see our upcoming gatherings, visit:
www.CostumingInSeattle.com

If you have questions about upcoming Workshops or a Design Studio, feel free to email our Workshop Coordinator:  Karen “at” SITUSeattle “dot”  com!

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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, 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…