This semester, I took a course at school called “Costuming: Projects” in which I had to devise and make a large project. I knew I wanted to make an 18th century robe a la Francaise, with all the required underpinnings. These are the photos from the process and photo shoot. I will hopefully publish my documentation later.
Final, Formal Photo Shoot:
For my birthday this year, I decided to attend “Tall Ships” in Philadelphia, PA. I have long followed other costumers on LiveJournal (did you know that still exists??), and someone posted that she was attending this event in costume the weekend after my birthday. I immediately requested to join, to which she agreed. I have been wanting to get to know some of the other non-SCA East Coast costumers I follow on LJ, as they have an annual Francaise Dinner that I hope to someday attend, and I’d like to know someone there already. This was the perfect opportunity.
But first, I had to do some work on my chemise a la reine before I could wear it to the event. A week prior, I dug out all the bits and bobs, looked at my previous pictures of this dress for improvements, and made a list of the things that needed to happen, as well as the nice to haves.
Tighten chemise a la reine neckline
Redo chemise binding so it’s not visible beneath dress
Wash and restyle wig
Finish about 12 inches of binding on stays
Make a bumpad
Make a petticoat
The stays were first, since they had the least work to be done. I have drastically improved my sewing skills and learned many tricks in the two years since I started and nearly completed these stays. It hurts to see how awful the binding looks, the bones are loose in the channels, the tabs are poorly shaped… But it works! It’s effective and feels great. I donned the layers all together and the stays are totally visible above the back neckline. So I won’t be wearing them, but someday, they will work for my Robe a la Francaise.
Then I had to re-cover my shoes. The rubber cement I had genius-ly decided to use when I initially covered them failed miserably. The fabric peeled itself off half way through the day when I wore this outfit, so I used Aleene’s tacky glue this time. Still not the recommended fabric glue, but it was what was handy. I still have enough fabric to re-cover these shoes several more times, if needed.
Lunch was at City Tavern, which apparently has a cool history and delicious food.
We peeked in the Independence Seaport Museum, but weren’t particularly interested. We mostly needed cool air and bathrooms.
Mom and I didn’t even make it onto a ship, as we got there after the others had their tour on the famous L’Hermione, but I wasn’t bothered. I came for the costumes and the friends!
And for the 61 foot inflatable rubber ducky, who looked like this the entire time:
Sadness. After many efforts to fix her throughout the festival, she ended up with a 60 foot tear, and many bad puns in the news headlines. But I did get to see her baby, the 10 foot “Rocky the Baby Duck.”
So, I guess all was not lost.
My new sottana is well on it’s way. The bodice is complete, the skirt is complete and it is currently partially attached. I’ve started the trim, but I have a long way to go there. I compromised and used the machine for much of this dress, with an attempt to hide all machine stitching. Several parts of the bodice had to be finished by hand because of the curves and corners, etc, but it looks good and I don’t *think* it looks overtly machine sewn.
I had to piece a small insertion into the shoulder strap as it was sitting a touch too high overall, then I moved on to the skirt.
I never did post an update on how my orange sottana turned out. I have worn it to two events and am generally happy with it.
The sleeves don’t puff like they should, I get a little bit of a wrinkle at the waist, though my velvet stays helped flatten the front. The hem is still safety pinned, I’ll finish it someday. I felt beautiful and looked like a 1560’s Florentine lady.