Costuming Plans for 2013 Part the First

To Do List.  Copyright www.squid-bits.blogspot.com

To Do List. Isn’t it cute?  Copyright http://www.squid-bits.blogspot.com

Now that Gallifrey is over and the clown is complete (mostly), I can start to work in earnest on the other items that need to be completed for this year.  My calendar is full right up until the first week of September – then the rest of the year is to be filled with Slacking Slackerdom, and Pondering of My Navel.

Until September it is go, go, go, and sew, sew, sew.  I have 4 events over the next 5 months and I don’t have enough outfits to wear for them.  This is due to the double-edged sword of weight loss and boredom with my clothing.  I need to start making items that are more adjustable and that I want to keep.  Otherwise it is the Dr. Who bustle till the end of time, and that isn’t really appropriate for the Renaissance Festival, is what I am saying.

Consequently, I present my list of outfits I have to/want to/should probably complete by the events I am scheduled to attend, if I don’t want to be dressed as the 4th Doctor, or Lady Godiva – The Menopause Years.

1.  The Annie Lennox “Walking on Broken Glass” video dress:

From the album "Diva."  Copyright Annie Lennox, BMG, Arista.

From the album “Diva.” Copyright Annie Lennox, BMG, Arista.

It is a 1770’s style robe a la francaise in red velvet with a stomacher, trim and underskirt made of an Indian sari.  After looking for (seriously) 2 years for a suitable sari that wasn’t going to cripple my bank account, the lovely Sabine suggested I search for a Banarasi sari.  After trolling eBay for several months, I found a suitable candidate that actually matches the red velveteen from Ikea that I am using for the exterior of the gown.  It is not silk, but it has some body to it, has a similar enough pattern, and I am declaring the Sari Hunt DONE.

The next problem was the lace.  I could find 1-2 inch lace well enough in gold, but couldn’t find anything longer for the cuffs.  I got lucky in the L.A. Garment district and found both sets of lace for the dress in coordinating colorways.  So now that I have the pieces for it I really can’t procrastinate making it any longer.

My favorite item of this costume?  The hat.  I know it is a Turkish style, but it just resembles a bath towel to me.  And what that also means is A)no wig, B)no serious hairstyle and C)comfort.  And those are things I can get behind.

2.  Steampunk clown umbrella:

Haven't been able to track down the origin of this photo, but she is rather flexible, isn't she?

Haven’t been able to track down the origin of this photo, but she is rather flexible, isn’t she?

I was not able to get the umbrella done in enough time for the YWU costume contest, but I have plenty of time prior to Costume Con in May.  The lovely DangerKitty is going to embroider different circus folk on the different panels (which will be alternating pink and blue) and I believe I am going to put a crown of some sort on top, and hang little horses or such from the bottom.  Because if you say you are going to go big or stay home, you pretty much have to live up to the statement.

3.  Italian Renaissance gown in pink:

I’m torn between a couple of different styles.  First is the Venetian:

Domenico Robusti (Tintoretto) Portrait of a Lady with Child Private Collection ca. 1590

Domenico Robusti (Tintoretto) Portrait of a Lady with Child Private Collection ca. 1590

The second is from an earlier time period and is Florentine:

1517 Florence "Portrait of a woman with basket of spindles" by Andreo Del Sarto

1517 Florence “Portrait of a woman with basket of spindles” by Andreo Del Sarto

Or I could just say “Screw Historical Accuracy!” and go for something like this:

Holiday Granger as Lucrezia Borgia in Showtime's "Borgias."

Holiday Granger as Lucrezia Borgia in Showtime’s “Borgias.”

There are parts of the dress that are more historical than others, but it is just so PRETTY.  I think what it is going to come down to is A)comfort, B)suitable trim and C)TIME.  If I have enough time, I will make something more complicated.  If I am running out of time, I will grab my Simplicity pattern and a bunch of wild trim and go to town.  I have a beautiful pink brocade fabric that is the inspiration for all of this.

4.  Salome Saxon gown:

Salome, Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1530.

Salome, Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1530.

I love Saxon gowns.  LOVE THEM.  I have only ever made 3 of them, and I have wanted to make another for a long time.  I needed a dress from a portrait that I could replicate exactly, and this one seemed to have the coloration that would work with my hair and skin tone.  A lot of the Cranach portraits focus on burgundy or red or orange, and there are only specific shades of those colors that I can wear without making myself look ill.  This one also had beadwork, embroidery and a BIG HAT with feathers, and really, why would you make the outfit without the big hat?

This needs to be done by mid-May, so I need to get my embroidery hoop out now and get started.  I am still wavering on whether or not I want to do the dress in wool or velvet, although velvet is in the lead right now.  The coif/caul will likely be in silk.  I am excited that you can’t see the bottom of the dress, as it allows me to come up with my own interpretation, which will likely involve embroidery in gold bands going down the dress mimicking the embroidery on the bodice.

After Costume Con in May I am going to take the time to make a smocked chemise to go underneath the dress, and I think this might end up being my State Fair entry for 2013.

5.  Steampunk Mary Poppins:

Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins.  Copyright Disney.

Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins. Copyright Disney.

I love the idea of a Steampunk Mary Poppins.  I can’t really decide between the regular outfit or the fantasy white and red outfit from the dance with the penguins.  Either way I am going to make my own boots again via the spats pattern, and there will be a carpetbag, an umbrella, etc.  I am going to try to shop my own closet for this one, since I have a ton of fabric in there that could be suitable.  I also bought a very similar hat at an antique store last fall.

6.  Betsy Tacy Dress:

Maud Hart Lovelace and her best friend "Bick."  Copyright Betsy Tacy Society.

Maud Hart Lovelace and her best friend “Bick.” Copyright Betsy Tacy Society.  (And doesn’t Bick look like a young Carrie Fisher?)

I had mentioned in a previous post that I was donating my Anne of Green Gables dress to the Betsy Tacy Society in Mankato, MN.  I am also making a dress based on one actually worn by Maud Hart Lovelace and referenced in her books.  I think the one I am going to start with is Betsy’s birthday dress, from when she meets Tacy.  I think it is the dress in the photo above.  After that I might tackle Betsy’s wedding dress, provided charmeuse is not involved.  Because charmeuse is universally known as a pain in the butt.

I just hope I can find a suitable matching tartan for the dress.

This lists covers through mid-May.  Part the Second is going to cover through the 4th of July weekend.  I may need a Part the Third to tie up all the loose ends after that.

But more importantly – I really should go sew something and not just talk about it…

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