The way a crow Shook down on me
The dust of snow From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart A change of mood
And saved some part Of a day I had rued.
~ "Dust of Snow" by Robert Frost
Happy Friday, dear readers! As of late, I've been rather uninspired to blog, focusing my writing rather on the plethora of papers for my college classes. (In fact, in my script analysis class, which has quickly become my favorite, we just wrote about "Moony's Kid Don't Cry," which is one of Tennessee Williams' early, but brilliant, one acts. I highly recommend it to those looking for a quick and deep read - fans of The Glass Menagerie will especially like it!) Anyways, onto the 1820s Mad for Plaid Photo Shoot (paired with some Robert Frost poetry, of course) that I've been promising for the last few posts!
I was almost not going to post this photo shoot, feeling a little displeased with the results - not to mention the lack of snow - and the departure from historical accuracy. However, I couldn't bring myself to delete the post. SO, please keep in mind that this outfit is not meant to be a purely historical creation, but rather a fun, historically inspired costume piece! Knowing what I know now (a whole year after the project was initially planned), some of the materials are wrong; though, for the most part, the construction techniques are on the right track. Regardless of its inaccuracies, I still like wearing and twirling around in it, and it's become one of my most fun - and certainly most time consuming - outfits that I've made yet!
|Silliness! I believe at this point that I was spinning around the hallway|
& giving the little sister, my photographer, a hard time...
Also, a special note on the plaid trim: it's actually recycled, err upcycled, from what I consider the first garment I ever made - a 100% machine stitched "Civil War" skirt with a zipper and all...I've come a long way since. You can read more about the outfit's bonnet here, the creation of the accessories here, and the initial planning & inspiration (way back in January of 2015) here.
Completed Project Shots
*Photographs all courtesy of and thanks to the great talent of my younger sister and budding photographer, Maria M.*
Nearly the day before leaving for Pittsburgh, Maria, my favorite sister & photographer, indulged her older sister with one last photo shoot 'till the summer. It was absolutely frigid at our location, once again the East Garden of the George Eastman Museum, despite the rather green surrounds for it being early January in Upstate New York. Since neither Maria nor I tolerate the cold well, our shoot lasted all of maybe 15 minutes before we moved to find an indoor location.
From the inside-out, the outfit includes the 1820s inspired dress and belt worn over a shift, mid-century corset, white silk stockings, strapped petticoat and ruffly chemisette. The costume is further accessorized with a matching bonnet, furry muff, reticule, pashmina shawl, vintage gloves and pointed-toe slippers.
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
~ "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost
Along with a few more hallway shots, just because...
|My best attempt at the "Dreamstress" pose :)|
2016 Historical Sew Monthly January Challenge: Procrastination
While, unfortunately, with college and all, I won't be officially participating in the 2016 Historical Sew Monthly, hosted by Dreamstress, this project (specifically the dress and bonnet) coincided so nicely with the first challenge of the year that I couldn't resist one more entry! Left an abandoned u.f.o. (or "un-finished object") for an entire year, completing the 1820s Mad for Plaid project at the beginning of January was oh so satisfying!
The Challenge: #1: Procrastination - finish a garment you have been putting off finishing (a UFO or PHD) or make something you have been avoiding starting.
Material: For the dress - 5 yards of black cotton broadcloth, navy blue cotton (for the bodice lining and hem facing), dark red cotton (for contrast piping and bias tape) & plaid cotton for the trim.
Pattern: A combination of experimentation & an 1890s balloon sleeve diagram
Year: Late 1820s
Notions: Again for the dress - thick wool yarn for the piping, hooks and eyes, twill tape for the interior waistband & matching threads
How historically accurate is it? All right, this is where you should not look too critically...this outfit was made for fun, rather than historical accuracy. While I would say it's overall look of the costume would definitely be recognized in its time period, its materials and and perhaps some of the construction methods are unorthodox. Points could be awarded, however, for being mostly hand stitched with only a few machined interior seams. So...how about 50%?
|Tulle summer gown, c. late 1820s to early 1830s.|
(Kerry Taylor Auctions)
|Carriage Dress, December 1824.|
(LACMA Fashion Plate)
Hours to complete: Lost count!
First worn: For the photo shoot
Total cost: Unfortunately, I did not keep track...but my best estimate for the outfit would be $45-50 total.