Monday, July 30, 2012

Civil War Sheet Music!

For those who are musically inclined, I have discovered a most exciting resource: Duke University's online Civil War Sheet Music Collection!!

I was looking for some original sheet music to Battle Cry of Freedom when I stumbled across this goldmine. Finding scores of digitized original sheet music that can be downloaded freely and legally was beyond exciting. Since then, I've been jamming on the piano to such classics as When This Cruel War is Over, Marching Through Georgia, and The Bonnie Blue Flag. So what are you waiting for? Head over here and join me in Civil War-era musical reverie!

A few delicious sheet music covers. Even if you
don't play, you've gotta at least take a look at them!

Note: They also have sheet music from many other eras and on many other topics. I just happen to have a little bit of an obsession with the Civil War era, and therefore was drawn exclusively to that part of the site.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hastings/Charlton Park Report

Well, it would seem that blogger ATE the Charlton Park post I put up before, so I shall write another. The internet cannot prevent me from proclaiming my love for this event!

The event last weekend was one of my favorites of all time. Great company, epic battles, a short appearance at a barn dance, varietous scenarios, and a more relaxing atmosphere than usual made it more than memorable. Out of the photos that have popped up on facebook, here are my favorites! They were taken by TGDavison Photography. Check out the rest of his Hastings photos here... they're amazing!

Here's my newly trimmed blue plaid in action! You can't see the sleeves very well, but get the general idea.

This is my favorite picture of the weekend--it shows my dear friend's nephew-to-be impressing me with his ability to spot colors. I'm wearing my green linen weave striped dress with the pagoda sleeve day bodice. (It has an evening bodice too, for less formal parties and dances that don't quite warrant a ballgown.) On top is... THE APRON!! It still needs one star, but close enough was close enough... I wanted to wear it! I donned it for almost the entire weekend, and it generated a not inconsiderable amount of comment. It was the only patriotic apron I saw at the event, which was surprising given that there was quite a rash of them last year. Either way, I am quite in love with it!

All in all, it was a more than successful weekend. I'll definitely be back... thank you Charlton Park for a great event!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Last Pre-Hastings Post!

Whew! Tomorrow morning, I leave for Charlton Park! I'm very excited (like, ASDKJHASKJHD!!) as it's my first time to this event. I still haven't completely packed but wanted to check in with the promised photo of the trimming on the plaid.

Half done--here's what the dress looked
like before and after the new trim.

It looks better finished (believe it or not, it's rather slimming on, too) but here's a feel for what I did. After the event, I'll post a photo of the finished dress and a more detailed description of the trimming process.

I sadly did not finish my new hat quite yet... it still wants some wiring on the brim, and some trim and ties. I'm not too distressed, though, as I have my straw bonnet.

The hat as is, chilling on my dresser.

And now... TO PACK!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Museum Work and Trimming!

Sorry for the blah post--it's just a short update to tide over until tomorrow, or whenever I can get pictures up.

Today was a museum day, and after cleaning and vacuuming in the morning, I got the exciting job of helping to reorganize the clothing collection in the afternoon! We started with the museum's Civil War era dresses, which was right up my alley. Our historical clothing expert gave me interesting tidbits about the dresses the whole time we were working, and I picked up a whole handful of new techniques and trims to try from the stunning originals and the accompanying commentary. The extent of her knowledge is truly astonishing--I feel like I learn a month's worth of information every time I talk to her!

As for sewing, I've almost finished the trim on the sleeves of the blue plaid. I settled on a very simple geometric pattern, to compliment the existing clean lines (although I've seen some amazing intricate soutache patterns over plaid, I still lack the patience/confidence to give one a shot.) I'm pretty happy with it so far, and plan to put some very simple trim on the bodice to finish it up in what will hopefully be a very timely fashion.

Back to sewing and cleaning my room now... tomorrow, before and after pictures of the trimmed blue dress, and a final update before Charlton Park!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Stays and a (Quickly) Upcoming Event!

I just got back from a trip up north with my family. Last week, I threw a few posts in the queue, grabbed a few projects, and off I went! So for a sewing update: I'm getting dangerously close to being done with the patriotic apron--only two more stars to go, attaching the bib to the skirt, and adding pockets (?) and I'll be finished! As a result, I'm going to wait until it's actually finished to post a picture, since it will be anticlimactic otherwise. The most notable progress of the week, which I will show you, was on my teal stays. I've never made anything 18thC before, whether a pincushion or a Robe l'Anglaise, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Minus the insane tedium of sewing approximately 27,316 channels, I haven't had any real problems as of yet.

Sorry for the pretty nasty photo quality--it was taken on
my iPad in the absence of my real camera. 

I used a stiff-ish moire fabric with pillow ticking for lining. And, in a move of grand experimentation, I went horribly unauthentic and attempted to use extra-large zipties for boning. I'd heard of others trying it, and thought it was worth a shot. It seems to be working so far... when they're done, I'll review it as a material. (Not that I have much to compare it to, as I don't own any other stays...)

18thC must wait a while now, though, because HASTINGS is THIS WEEKEND!! It snuck up on me like nothing else... at this point I am madly trying to finish up a few things, including the apron, the hat, and some trim on an old dress, which I'll post about next. Whew!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hobby Lobby!

I recently made a trip to Hobby Lobby with my mom (love that place!) and did not end up broke! I got some glass headed pins which I've been needing for reenacting, and some much-needed large skirt fasteners. Then, skimming the fabric remnants, I discovered a whole bolt of my favorite lace sitting there. "What?" I thought. "They can't be clearing it out, though..." A speedy trip to the trim section confirmed that they didn't have it in stock, which was quite alarming. At $15.75 for 11 yards (which later measured out to be closer to 12), it was a great deal anyhow, so I picked up the whole thing and now am quite stocked up for lace! Now if only I can find the right wide lace for my pink ballgown...

The coup of the day.

This stuff is ridiculously soft.
If I run out anytime soon, there will be the additional problem
of my having used 12 yards of lace in a short time frame.

I've been working on the apron and the stays some more. I'm also on the lookout/hunt for pink silk, as I am planning on making this next!

*fireworks and dramatic music*

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July, everyone!
And most importantly, God Bless America.
George Washington also wishes you a Happy 4th.

On another note, I am quite shamelessly working on my secessionist apron today. haha I guess there's no accounting for some people! If anyone at the parade asks, I'll just say, "It's a flag apron!" Which will be true, and they can see the stars and stripes and draw their own conclusions. I think I'll be safe.

Lastly, I'm so excited for the fireworks tonight! I've always loved them, and they never get old. Definitely one of the highlights of summer!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Miracle Corset!

I just had to share this piece recently featured by "Two Nerdy History Girls" that totally rocked my world--a corset that laces itself! Too good to be true? Ha! Not anymore!

Front: Strings are attached to tabs,
which then get together tied in front.

Back: A string per pair of holes,
wrapping around to the front.

Genius? I think so! Despite the fact that it's later (the museum dates it to the 1830s-1840s but the lacing was probably installed afterwards), I am going to try this on my teal stays (if I ever finish them). It may not be accurate for that time, but if anyone gets close enough to tell... well... they shouldn't be so close. In the meantime, I will be able to dress myself, and will not get stuck in my stays if there's no one around to free me! I'd try it on my Victorian one too, but that one laces up a little differently every time I wear it, and thus would not be as efficient.

Check out the original post over here, or see the LACMA Museum page for more images and higher resolutions here.