Friday, January 28, 2011

Circus Costume Etc.

My circus costume is now almost completed. As usual, before I started, I said 'no problem! this won't take long'. But, sewing this crazy petticoat (red and white gingham taffeta with matching and red silk dupioni ruffles) took a week. So. Many. Ruffles.

The circle skirt to go over it also took a week. I made it in red silk satin with gobs of sequin trim and giant antique red glass sequins. It took almost the whole week just to sew on the trim.

Mid-way though on the skirt, before the rhinestones came on board:


I'll be wearing these with this red satin corset. It's currently back at the shop (i.e. Dark Garden) for a tune-up: they're kindly adding shoulder straps for me, and making a matching stomacher that I'll bling out to match the trim on the skirt.

I need a feather headdress of some kind to go with it, but haven't had a minute to think much about that yet.

Thankfully, since finishing those pieces other things are moving along more quickly now. I've finished one linen 18th-century style shirt (originally intended for John, but it turned out too small, so now it's mine) and have cut out the pieces for three more. Also, I have three skirts and some giant red and white striped harem pants cut and ready to sew this weekend. Production line makes things go faster. Only 47 outfits and hats to go!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Venice Costume Update

The last few weeks have been crazy! I thought I would get a bit of a break after the new year to do my taxes, etc., but no dice. If anything January was even busier than December, mostly due to the ramp-up to the Edwardian Ball (making hats for other people, and getting my own self ready). Here is a photo of my husband John from the ball. The photos are slowly rolling in as everybody recovers from the weekend, so I'll post more soon.

John in his white tie tux best, on Saturday.

We've been spending more and more time on our costumes for Venice Carnavale over the last few months, but now that the Ball is over, it's going to be all Venice, all the time until we leave in late February. I'm trying not to freak out about the fact that there is only one month left. I still have to find time to finish my bookkeeping and taxes somehow, and to finish up some orders I have in process, but I'm breathing, eating, sleeping, dreaming, and living prep for Venice otherwise.

The breakdown of costumes we are trying to get through include:

--Venice dominos (the classic carnival look: a black cape and hat with a mask)
--1790s outfits (a striped jacket and skirt, and a yellow 2-piece dress for me, and a red cut-away tailcoat for John with a black shirt, waistcoat, and breeches)
--Some kind of Arabian Nights-themed get-ups
-- An 18th century outfit for me in plaid
-- Circus outfits
-- of course, hats for each outfit
-- Undergarments (shirts, shifts, etc.)

Written out that way, it doesn't seem so bad, but I feel like I'm swimming in a sea of project. We have a got more ideas, but these are the ones John & I are focusing on trying to get through right now.

We'll also be taking a lot of things we already have in our closets, heavy on the Dark Garden corsetry of course.

I haven't been taking many photos of costume prep along the way, because that would just slow me down, but will be posting a few as I finish things. Please excuse the not fantastic quality of some of the photos that follow. We'll have time for really great photos later, these are just documentary.

Here are some inspiration pictures for the Domino outfits. These were standard street wear on the streets of Venice during carnavale (which last 6 months out of the year, for a few hundred years until Napoleon conquered the city in 1797).

Our Venice Domino capes are done, done, done. I made them in a beautiful black wool broadcloth (surprisingly warm and dense for being so thin) from Burnley and Trowbridge, edged in black satin bias tape. Used a pattern (slightly modified) from Reconstructing History. We've decided to buy masks, if we want them, there, I hear Venice is crawling with mask shops and we can undoubtedly find nicer ones there than here. John is really close to being done with his waistcoat and breeches (which he'll wear in several different outfits), and his shirt will be starting shortly. I have plenty of black dresses to wear for this outfit, but am hoping to making a black kind of a riding outfit with jodhpurs to wear with the cape if there's time (for rainy days).

Everything else is either in process or will be started shortly. More updates to follow.