Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving and a Cravat

The title pretty much sums it up. Between going home, the Thanksgiving festivities, a smattering of other events, and still trying to cram in as much homework as possible, I stayed pretty busy this weekend!

As I positively pine away for sewing while I'm at school, I did fit a few quick projects in while I was home. The first was to hem up a little tree skirt for my mom, which emerged out of a remnant from her stash. After that, the sewing machine was out and threaded, so I decided to keep going. I wanted to make a few cravats for my brother (he just started reenacting, and I couldn't resist the irony of giving him "ties" for Christmas) so I went to the great wealth of knowledge that is the internet and tracked down a tutorial. I found a marvelous one from Sarah over at Romantic History (check it out here!), and after tweaking it a little for a different look, here is the result!

I am quite in love with it!

For the fabric, I used a remnant from my Swiss Body project. The burgundy/black changeable taffeta looks quite sharp in cravat form! It still wants a neckband... I'll add one after I give it to him, to make sure that it will be the right length. I'm planning on making a similar one for myself, too, to wear with the Swiss Body of the same color. It was a quick project--I'd say easily under an hour, even though it was my first one. I'll definitely be making more... lots more! I have a whole stack of fabrics that are now waiting to be transformed into a colorful variety of cravat shapes. Stripes, solids, prints, plaids, single bow, double bow, loose ends, small, large, wide, thin... the possibilities are endless! I have a feeling that my brother will soon have a different necktie for every day of the month. I hope he likes them ;)

Monday, November 19, 2012

New (To Me) Victorian Jewelry

I have been on a bit of an ebay kick lately. As a rule, most of the things I put on my watch list either:
A) Rocket up out of my price range, or
B) Are forgotten about on until bidding has already ended.
However, in the past few weeks, I've been lucky enough to snag a few lovely pieces of Victorian jewelry at a very reasonable price.

Piece #1: Signet Ring

I seriously tried 20 times to get a crisp picture.

This lovely little piece was perfect for me. It was re-sized at some point to around a 6, which fits on my pointer/left thumb. (I have tiny little hands.) And, most excitingly, it's engraved with a lovely letter "E"! Usually, my initials are hard to come by. The condition is lovely, and the detail is wonderful. I am a big fan.

Piece #2: Buckle Bracelet

It's more of an oval shape, but looks round from this angle.
The way it's made, the buckle sits off to one side.

I have been wanting a buckle forever, and couldn't believe I won this one for under $20 including shipping! It's in excellent condition, with a working clasp and hinge and good clear engraving. It's also on the small side, which makes it perfect for my little wrists/hands, as most bangle style bracelets slide right off.

I got to debut the buckle at Wolcott, but the ring didn't arrive until a few days later. I can't wait to sport them together at my next event, which at present looks to be the Midwinter's Ball in February. Until then, I can wear them around with my modern clothes. (Which I may or may not be doing already...) I can't even pick a favorite between the two... I just love them both to bits!

They go so nicely together!

Currently occupying the top slot on my accessories wishlist is a pair of original earrings, but those are reaaaally challenging to find to fit a college budget. I'd settle for a solid pair of repros, but those too are hard to come by. I'll have to keep an eye out--that's paid off so far!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Flirtation, Victorian Style

Whew, I submitted my biggest term paper of the semester last night. In Mother Russia, research projects finish you! (I love my Russian History class, but... dang.) 

In the light spirit which this places me, here's an interesting alternative to flirting with a fan. I present to you: how to flirt with gloves, a handkerchief, and a parasol! Darn, if only the guys knew this code too... I would be the biggest flirt in camp!*

The Victorian flirting code. Very useful for spies in love.

I really love the flirting codes, language of flowers, etc. Sending someone ambrosia and celandine or skilfully wielding a handkerchief beats out sending a text message any day of the week.

*actually not true

Friday, November 9, 2012

Corset Cover Research

I really need a corset cover to go under my Garibaldi. The way my old corset was made, it didn't peek up much under my Swiss Body. My chemise served just fine as the underbodice, so I never worried about it overmuch. However, my new corset is cut a good inch or two higher in the front, and consequently shows. Thus, I have been looking for a style of corset cover to pattern something after when I'm on break, and can buckle down and make one. Here are some images I've come across that I really like! (Found on Google images and Pinterest.)

Corset Cover
Cool sleeves! But would they get bunchy?

corset cover
I like the huuuge trim on this one! And also the
wide decolletage.

I like these two a lot, and plan to do something toward one or the other. They both have a nice shape, and the lace adds some nice decoration without adding loads of time.

I'll probably *coughdefinitelycough* go with something simpler that doesn't involve hours of embroidery, but I loved these other examples I found and had to post them.

The corset cover
1869. So, a little late. But super cute!

Corset Cover, 1870s
From the '70s, so it's also a little late,
but DANG! I want it. A lot.