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?

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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…

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Seattle’s AYPE Celebrations – Paging Henry Ford…

One-hundred years ago, Seattle held its “Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition”;
a World’s Fair, on the grounds of what would become the University of Washington.

Fair-goers showed up in droves, dressed in their Sunday best, from what photos depict.
Many women were attired in “walking skirts” and beautifully flowered hats, while the men came in what was fashionable for them at the time, “sack suits”.

Preparations for this post-Victorian era event (really the Edwardian era), was a HUGE thing for the then, relatively young, Seattle.  People traveled along the Pacific coast as well as across the country to come and see the exhibits.  The weather that year was favorable.  Folks stayed in town for a very long time, just to be able to get thru the exotic and extensive exhibits.  Many stayed at the newly built and fashionable Sorrento Hotel on Madison Street in Seattle.

Flash forward 100 years to 2009.  The City of Seattle launched a massive effort to celebrate the centennial of a momental event in our city’s history.  Renowned organizer, Michael Herschensohn, was hired by the city and was up to the challenge.  In addition to the years of planning, he was tasked with bringing the many, many local ethnic and art community groups together to represent a portion of what was to be their cultural representation of centennial celebrations.

One of the ideas was the world famous cross-county car race called “Ocean to Ocean”.  Participants in the race accepted the challenge of leaving the east coast of the US, drive across the country, to end their journey at Seattle’s AYPE 1909.  Several car manufacturers jumped at the chance to prove that their vehicle could make the arduous trip, traversing terrain where no formal roadbeds had been installed, let alone contemporary freeways. 

One of the participating challengers was Ford Motors.  To cut a very long story short, it was Henry Ford’s Model T (after having several “bits” replaced along the route, including an engine) which rolled thru the gates at the AYPE and accepted the winner’s wreath at what is now “Drumheller Fountain” at the University of Washington.  Ford might’ve taken the wreath, but it was weeks later that the news came to light of the replacement engine, thus disqualifying the vehicle from actually winning.  The second place finisher, was the awarded the title of winner.  Alas, that company never made a production vehicle, and it was because of all the positive promotions and marketing, that Henry Ford’s Model T’s generated from the intitial “victory”, a full blown production of Model T’s then rolled out of the factory.  It became the best selling vehicle of its day.

The Model T Club of America decided to recreate the historic Ocean to Ocean Race, complete with following the original route.  A massive undertaking, considering the age of the vintage vehicles being used, the size of contemporary human bodies (taller, heavier, wider) who were driving the vehicles, requirement to have “chase vehicles” stocked with replacement parts and engines, and then there’s always the issues of weather and terrain.  However, the club was prepared and motivated.

Lady Victoria of Somewhere in Time, Unlimited, contacted Michael Herschensohn to ask if there might be a possibilty of the historical costuming group (SITU) to appear in 1909 costume at the reenactment on the UW’s grounds – in time to watch the centennial arrival of the vintage Model T’s (and some Model A’s) complete their race.  It was agreed that whomever from the costuming group wanted to attend, they would be warmly welcome at the celebrations.

The members and friends of SITU met Model T Club participants and guests from across the United States and literally all around the world.  The skies over Seattle opened to let the proverbial showers fall onto the waiting crowd.  It was a good thing to have a “‘brolly” handy!

  Want to see beautiful color photos of the cars, people in historical late Victorian or Edwardian attire?  Want to read more about the race?  Head over to the website of Somewhere in Time, Unlimited.  You’ll be amazed and delighted!

Hope to see you at the next “Dress-up Opportunity”…

P.S.  Special thanks to the UW for the historical photo.

 

Posted in All Blog Entries, Exciting News!

Horseless Carriages & A Victorian Connection…

WEB Horseless 1Wouldn’t think they would have much to do with one another, but on a fine Spring day in 2009, these prized beauties met up with the members and friends of Somewhere in Time, Unlimited to participate in the “Quilted Tulip” up in LaConner, Washington.

WEB P076Now, SITU has been doing historical costuming for a long while as a social group.  Most favorite is probably the Victorian era or the Edwardian period.  So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the group had co-hosted with the docents and management of the famous Quilt Museum, an afternoon tea.  Refreshments were free to the public with the paid entry to view the museum which just “happens” to be a Victorian home!

WEB Horseless 3Ah, enter the carriages.  The owners of these fine specimens were invited to come out and get all gussied up in their finery and join in the fun.  Mission accomplished!  These ladies and gents did a wonderful job of recreating historical attire, complete with hats.  Their cars weren’t bad either….(wink)

WEB Horseless PhyllisWEB Horseless Donna

 

 

 

 

 

 
WEB P040So, you have a soft-spot for Victorian clothing or dressing up in Victorian dress?  Come along.  SITU holds a number of Events and Dress-up Opportunities which cross a wide array of eras, including Victorian/Edwardian. 

We even hold workshops to help you learn how to put together an outfit, whether sewn or thrifted.

 Men are invited to participate in our Events as well.  This is not a “Ladies Only” sort of social group!  Lady Victoria will also give you sage advice on how to find suitable gentlemen’s attire for whatever Event or Dress-up Opportunity is in store.

WEB P072Contact Lady Victoria directly from the SITU site to find out more about the various eras we costume.  Be sure to visit our website’s Prior Events to see more photos of this particular Event.  We would love to have you come along for any of our Events or Dress-up Opportunities during the year.

These may include centennial celebrations, parades, parties, Kirkland Concours, murder mystery outings – virtually anything that  is centered around planes, train, cars and boats, provided we can put a historical spin on things!

Come, join the fun. You’d be surprised how much joy you will find…

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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!

Aaaaaall-aboard!
Aaaaaall-aboard!

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!!!!

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Gypsy Caravan Arrives – Bellydancers too?

European gypsies.  Middle-eastern gypsies.  American gypsies. They were everywhere I looked and all amassed in one place!

Okay, so I’m remiss in my sequence of storytelling.  The day began at Country Village in the city of Bothell, Washington, USA.  They have a delightful collection of old houses/shacks which positioned together, create themed retail storefronts.  In the middle of the cluster, one can find an outdoor “stage” of sorts with a large patio or “square” which turned out to be ideal for under-tent-seating on this 90F day.

The members of Somewhere in Time, Unlimited had gathered together for a picnic lunch followed by “gypsy dancing”.  Oh my!  I hadn’t seen such talent all in one afternoon anywhere else in the Seattle area.  Of course, I don’t go to Hemp Fest or other bellydancing sort of gatherings, but I did find it interesting none the less. 
Guests were also treated to traditional Flamenco dancing performed by fellow SITU member Miss Pippin.  The Event was organized by fellow bellydancer and SITU member Miss Marion.  She did an awesome job to bring everyone and everything, together.  Participants had a delightful, tho hot, afternoon!

Photos will be posted out on the regular website of SITU.  Click HERE to see photos of this event.

If you’d like to hook up with us for some other Event or Dress-up Opportunity, please let me know!  We’d love to have you come along!  See our Calendar if there might be something of interest to you….

Fond smiles from the NW corner of these GREAT United States,
Auntie Rita