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The Ramblings of a Seamstress, Gardener, Chicken Keeper, and Housewife

Proof of My Adventures (and Misadventures!)

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CoLoW Recap and Miss Muffet Pictures

I had so much fun at CoLoW!  It was really wonderful seeing friends, meeting new ones, and taking in all the great information the Saturday panelists shared.  Since I was up so late Friday night, I didn't get there as early as I would have liked and therefore missed the Bustles in Detail panel (darn it!) but I thoroughly enjoyed all the afternoon panels.  I got to fondle some really expensive fabrics, learn all about constructing new covers for antique parasols, ooh and ahh over super soft leather gloves, get way too many ideas for historical shoe hacks using modern footwear (there will be so much eBay and Etsy stalking in my future thanks to jenthompson!) and purge some pattern stash while adding to my trim stash.  What a great way to spend the afternoon!

The evening party's theme was By the Book, and attendees were encouraged to come dressed as a book character or author.  There were some great costumes!

Jen's Grey Lady was amazing!  If you don't entirely remember the Grey Lady or her dress from the movies, take a second to google it.  You'll be even more impressed!  My photos don't really do it justice, sadly.  There's a lot of detail getting washed out by the room's fluorescent lighting.

Lovely Austenites!  Bonus points for being mother and daughter.  These dresses are made from the new Laughing Moon pattern.

Wicked Witch of the East.

jaelie looked lovely in her teal Regency gown.

There are many, many more pictures on my flickr.

I didn't sew anything new for the party, but I did bring cool accessories and add a few new touches to an old dress.  I think I made a passable Miss Muffet!

This is a spider I found at Michaels, of all places!  It's the only brand new thing I had to buy for this costume, and it was a whopping $4.50 with a coupon.  Hooray, easy on the budget!

I wore this ensemble to the DFWCG's Georgian Picnic a couple years ago, but this time I added a fichu and belted the waist with a silk 'ribbon.'

This hat is so silly, but I kinda love it!

Oh, the shock!

Oh, the horror!

This event was just the kind of pick-me-up I needed!  Next year, I hope to have my act together a little more and attend all the Sunday festivities too.

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You look marvelous! Love the posing with the spider-- perfect!

Everyone looks wonderful and looks like they are having such fun. Jen's gown-- I can't even! How did she make such a Cranach in so little time? Mind-bending.

I can think of at least two possibilities, but the first smart-alecky-answer which comes to mind is, "With a sewing machine, of course!"

Possible Explanation #1: Employing a technique for quick production of the repetitive parts, such as the panes on the sleeves operates on the same principle as strip-piecing, using in assembling quilt tops. Those skirts are big rectangles of fabric, so the darker grey could be either pieced in, or appliqued on. The top two darker grey guards or bands look to me as if they had been appliqued, but the panes could easily have been "strip worked."

Possible Explanation #2: that this dress was begun not long after whichever of the Harry Potter films was released in which it appears.

And a third possibility is that this could have been the mock-up for a more luxurious and more detailed either copy of Helena Ravensclaw's dress or a more luxurious and more highly detailed dress inspired by and closely following Helena Ravensclaw's dress.

One more is, all the patterning and toile-ing and fitting and tweaking had already been done in muslin, and this frock needed only to be put together: entirely mechanical. Can be very freeing, which in its turn can contribute to a very short production time.

Of course, I'm not familiar with CoLoW, or any rules or requirements for the "By The Book" theme. I'm used to a "completed within two years prior to this competition" restriction; and a "can be entirely homemade; can be rented; can be an actual historical garment; will be judged in one of those three categories" set-up; "must be made by one person who yadda-yadda-ya;" "must be entirely the work of the person wearing it" and others. For "By The Book" was there a "Must be begun no earlier than________" and, obviously, completed in time for the event?

Perhaps we ought to ask the person in the best position, apart from Jen herself, to know: @kaesha_nikovana, did Jen say anything about the production of her Grey Lady dress?

I did have the chance to get up close and personal with the dress while it was on a dress form, but I admit I didn't want to seem too forward by checking out all Jen's seams and dress guts. ;) I know she's planning to do a post on the dress sometime soon and I'll let her share as many (or as few) details as she feels comfortable with. I will say she's just darn good at this stuff, and this dress is not intended as a mockup for a future Helena Ravenclaw dress; this is the real deal. She used a clever technique with hooks and safety pins (instead of thread bars or eyes) that I thought was brilliant. I'm not sure if that's a well-known shortcut that I somehow missed all this time, but I'll definitely be using it in the future.

"I admit I didn't want to seem too forward by checking out all Jen's seams and dress guts. ;) "
Understood and agreed. And I know how I'd feel if someone thought it was her business to act as Dame Stitchery-Seamchecker with anything I"ve sewn (and by the way, Mme. Nosy Parker, no touching, especially while the garment/outfit is on me!!!)

"...and this dress is not intended as a mockup for a future Helena Ravenclaw dress; this is the real deal."
Fair enough. I've seen it done, though, wearing trial versions of a gown/costume before trotting out the 'real deal,' as you expressed it. I'm bound to say, that doesn't seem Jen's style, and when I put just the tiniest bit of additional thought to the question, I have to wonder why those I've seen do it, do it: wear the trial version out in public before the final,"real" version has been begun.

I want to say I have a faint recollection of having read of the hooks and safety pins method being used in the theater either as a stop-gap measure or for some particular and advantageous reason, such as avoiding damage to or strain on the "eyes" or "bars" side of the dress, but it's faint and I could be wrong even about "remembering."

Thank you so much! We really did have a good time, especially when you take into account that our party room was a no-food-or-drink-allowed space.

Jen is such a rockstar! She managed to get all that done in a short time, during an especially hot part of this Texas summer, and a significant portion of that gown is wool. WOOL!

Personally, ma'am, I find lots of virtues in silly hats. (Yours isn't very silly. It may not be silly at all.)
I like yours so much I hope you'll post a tutorial on it, a very detailed tutorial. Please don't protest that you didn't take in-progress pictures, even if you didn't. I think hats like this one deserve to be repeated just so all your admiring friends who haven't yet made one such can learn how it's done! *whispers* In other words, make another and take careful photos illustrating your process!

Looks like a wonderful costumers' weekend! I'm so glad for you that you were able to attend, and I hope everyone had a marvelous time!

Edited at 2014-07-29 03:38 pm (UTC)

Thank you so much! Silly or not, it's a pretty great hat. You're in luck on the tutorial! I took many pictures as I made it and posted a tutorial on here (this was before we had added each other, probably about 2 years ago.) Here's the link: http://kaesha-nikovana.livejournal.com/15181.html

"Silly or not, it's a pretty great hat."

I couldn'ht agree more! It is a great hat! Love the lines.

Thank you for the link to the tutorial. :^)

You're very welcome! Thanks for the compliments! It makes me feel better about wearing it when someone not only likes the hat, but really gets it.


<3 big and sometimes somewhat silly hats. Actually just <3 hats, period!

Everyone looked awesome! I hate I missed this year.

We missed you. Maybe next year?

You all look fantastic! Thank you for sharing the photos!

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