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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!!!


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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….