I had a truly delightful day yesterday at Kat's Victorian Picnic. Bridget came with me (so happy I had something she could wear that she liked!) which of course made it even better! :>
Bridget wore my Poe Dress, which looked amazing cute on her. It fit really well except for being a bit short in the skirt and the sleeves, Bridget being my younger but taller sister. So I added a ruffle to the bottom of the skirt and moved the top ruffle on the sleeves to the bottom.
Luckily for me the new skirt ruffle was already cut out, the result of running out of time the last time I wore the dress. The plan was to add a total of 9 ruffles to the bottom of that skirt but I only got two on. That was in 2009 so it felt good to get that lone half-prepped ruffle out of my pending bin.
I still have the fabric for the remaining 6 ruffles although as I was working on it last week I remembered why that hasn’t happened yet. What a pain! This fabric is a rayon-poly-something and while it moves nicely on the body it is slippery and shifty to work with when cut on the bias as these ruffles are. Oy. I still say "someday" to the ruffle madness (it will be such fun to wear!) but probably not someday soon!
I wore my Black & White Bustle. Thanks to the twill interlining with silk taffeta combo that I used (I was silly enough to actually follow pattern directions for once, silly girl) it's definitely a cold weather outfit so I haven't gotten to wear it very often. It was fun to wear it again and it was perfect for this autumn outdoor event.
It also looked awesome with my very un-Victorian RED hair. I do love this hair color - and all the compliments I get on it - but of course the disadvantage is having to start all over with hair pieces.
Ebay was good to me in the form of some cheap Cosplay "dark red" wigs that were a great match. So the wigs were taken apart and I used some of the resulting wefts of hair to assemble and curl into Victorian submission. In the end I was really happy with my hair styling but I do need to refine the pieces a bit. Which is good for you since I'll be taking pictures of the process along the way next time. This time I was too busy trying to figure out what I was doing!
After the drudgery (overly dramatic sigh) of the shifty ruffles and the seat-of-my-pants hair piece making I decided to have fun by trimming a new hat. This 18th century hat from the National Trust popped up on my Pinterest a couple of weeks ago and I fell in love right away. It then occurred to me that I had a small black straw hat & striped ribbon in the stash and could wear the resulting cuteness with both 1870s and 18th century frocks. Sold!
Originally I was going to use some black & white striped ribbon I have in the stash but when I pulled out my ribbon bin I found this tan and stripe ribbon that is almost an exact match to the original photo. Clearly this hat was meant to be.
The black straw hat blank is very nice quality but rather floppy for my taste so I added some millinery wire to the edge of the brim before covering it with the ribbon.
The pleating along the brim was done by just eye-balling it and pinning it on the brim as I set the pleats to make sure I got the shape right. All of the ribbon was sewn on by hand using a straw needle and silk thread.
I'm really happy with the results! It's a little plainer than I usually go for with my hats (my philosophy being one can't put too much crap on an 18th century hat - I've tried!) but it's charming and will go with so many of my costumes. It helps that so I'm tickled with the fact that I saw a picture on Pinterest and was able to recreate it from my stash on a whim! It totally makes me giggle inside...