Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Costume College, Sunday & Monday's trip to the LA Fashion District

Sunday started off with Breakfast belles and Beaus, which was the evolution of the Sunday Undies breakfast.  I wore my 18th century short gown with a new teal petticoat and the white work apron.  Unfortunately, this was another one of those outfits where I failed to snap any personal photos of the completed outfit.  Gina at Beauty From Ashes caught half of me in a photo of someone else, so that will just have to serve as a teaser until the official studio pictures come out.  I am loving what I can see of the shape here and can't wait to see what it looks like in good light from the front.  The teal petticoat was banged out at the eleventh hour when I realize that the whitework embroidery apron I'd been working on in all my spare moments was not going to show up very well on top of the ivory quilted petticoat.  The petticoat was a simple two panels at 56" wide (total circumference = 110" after seams) with 9" side slits for pocket access and a 12" ruffle pinked top and bottom.  I LOVE this teal/magenta/white color combination and I love the teal enough to want to take the rest of the fabric and make a top of some sort to go with it.

In amongst the two costumed meals of the day (omg, so full), I caught a couple of panels. see  There was Tasteful Tints and Textures with the ladies from Truly Victorian.  I had never really paid attention to how many and what kinds of colors/prints/fabrics were used in gowns from the Victorian era.  It makes me reevaluate every bustle gown I've ever made to see how 'proper' my fabric selection was.  And then I cringe a bit when I realize that both of the bustle projects I have lined up to do next break all of those rules.  However, as they are an historical reinterpretation of a super hero and legit interpretation of a satire print, I think it'll be okay.

The 19th Century Accessories talk turned out to be a slide show portrait cram session of over 400 years of history.  While the presenter was totally knowledgeable, it would have been nice to have had a focused hour on a shorter time frame.  However, I did pick up an inclination to do some 1790s Turkery nonsense and I picked up a handful of coral colored beads on Monday to get me started.

Back to the room for a quick change and then I headed down for the afternoon tea, themed after the Ladies Day at the Ascot (big hats, yay!).  I got to wear my chemise a la reine and beregere hat out for the very first time.  I loved how springy it felt.  And also, the hedgehog wig was very easy to style and wear.  Just a couple of pins to hold it and a few of the more rogue sections of hair in place and it was ready to go.  It was amusing to see a table full of corseted women try to reach the tray in the center of the table.  I had trouble keeping the straps of my stays tucked in the dress, though.  I may end up making a pair of strapless stays to get around the issue.  Or perhaps modify the pair I have to make the straps detachable.  

My last programming bit of the weekend was on how to teach at Costume College.  Just something to think about for next year.  Then it was back into my civies for dinner across the street and packing up the room so I'd be ready to head out for Monday's safari to the LA Fashion District.  I had signed up for the con-sponsored trip which provided a bus to take us into town and then waited there for us so that we could drop off purchases or just come hide in the shade for a bit of a break.  This was a nice touch as it was hella hot popping in and out of these tiny little shops packed floor-to-ceiling with all manner of fabrics and notions.

My fashion district hall.
All told I spent $203, which was only $3 over my budget.  Something I was fairly proud of for not keeping very close track.  Trying to make all of my purchases in cash certainly helped, though.  It may not look like a lot spread out on the hotel bedspread, but I bought a LOT of trim, which normally jacks the cost of an outfit up very quickly.  Also, fabrics I do fairly well with knowing how to order what I need online, but I find trims a lot harder.

What I came home with:
- Extra large paper fan (ended up being practical for the trip home, too).
- 8 yards of green silk with lavender, burgundy and olive threads running through it. No idea what I'll make with it, but I'm thinking late 18th century or perhaps Regency.
- Lavender and green ribbon trim to match the striped silk.
- Gold braid that was something like $1.50/yd, because simple gold braid will always find a use.
- 4 dozen gold buttons for the Captain Marvel natural form era gown ($3/dz!!!)
- 7 yards of English net lace for engageants and whatever else needs $5/yd lace.
- 4 yards of white linen for a new chemise.
- 1.5 yds of the most lurid yellow silk taffeta I have ever seen that I cannot wait to make a pair of 18th c mitts out of, plus line a hood and perhaps trim a Brunswick jacket.
- enough red coral-ish beads to deck out a Turkish-inspired 1790s outfit yet to be designed.
- burgundy looped trim for the Regency open robe project that's yet to have taken off.
- 1 yard each of burgundy and lavender tassels for decking out reticules and the like.

Wow.  When I write it all up, that's a LOT of stuff.  I think I'll make it a goal that one half of it needs to be used (at least once, not used up) by the time next year's Costume College rolls around.

Finally came across the PERFECT buttons for the Captain Marvel dress, which is next up on my to do list.

My one real impulse buy was this crazy striped silk and a 12 yards of a complementary ribbon trim.
I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but I'm sure I'll figure out something.


  1. :D Can't wait to see what all this turns into!

    And is the jacket the one you made from a shower curtain? I can't really see it well in the picture.

    1. Yup, it's the shower curtain short gown. I had WAY too much fun getting to point that out to anyone who commented on it. It felt like I was sharing a dirty secret.