August 4th, 2016

Did you see that chain mail bikini?

Plans plans plans!

Now that I'm back home and all afire with CoCo inspiration, I've got to get to sewing!

I have three biggish projects that I need to complete by the end of September, which unfortunately all have just about the same due date.

The first thing:

Reproduction 1790s Yellow Silk Jacket.  Earlier this year I was asked to create some jewelry for an upcoming exhibit at the DAR Museum in DC (I know, right?  I still can't get over how amazing and humbling that is).  It's going to be about Federal fashion and it is going to be awesome.  One of the benefits of doing the jewelry was getting to see all of the pieces and there are some that are so, so special and unique.  It runs from October-April 2017, and I hope you'll get a chance to see it.  MEGA SUPER BONUS: There will be an exhibition catalog WITH PATTERNS.  I couldn't be more thrilled!

 The curator for the exhibit, Alden O'Brien, actually lives just a few blocks away from me, and I ended up absolutely loving her, so it's been really fun to get to know her.  She's asked me to come by a few times and help style the mannequins they are using in the exhibit (they did photography for the catalog a few months ago), so it's been a real joy and learning experience to get to help with that aspect.  In fact, I actually did the hair on both of these two girls:



  It's made with wired taffeta ribbon, which I curled on dowels and pinned down to fosshape skull caps.  I'm really excited about how great they look!  The turban is a whisper-light antqiue kerchief that was so delicate I was afraid to handle it!  The quality of the cloth back then...wow.  And it's also covered with the most beautiful whitework.  I also made the necklace for the girl on the left, which is based off one in a portrait held by the DAR.  The one on the right is an original piece in their collections.

My partner in Crime in all of this has been Carolyn (https://themodernmantuamaker.wordpress.com/) who is ALSO my neighbor (all three of us live within 6 blocks of each other!), who put me in contact with Alden in the first place.  She's also the one who did all of the patterns for the catalog.

Alden invited us both to attend the opening night gala and suggested that we wear period clothing.  Carolyn was already planning on making that absolutely adorable vest that the girl on the right is wearing, so it only seemed fitting that I would make the yellow.  I mean...it's yellow!  It seems really simple from the front, but what's really cool about this is that it was re-made from an earlier gown, so it still has some wacky pleating in the back.  I have some photos (but none at work...where I am right now), so those will have to wait.  It's going to take some thinking to figure out how to reproduce it perfectly, which is definitely my goal.  Not only is it kinda weird and very yellow, but it also has giant armpit sweat stains...lol!  This thing is so ME, ha!

I'll also need a super sheer light petticoat to go with it.  I got some amazing cotton/linen blend fabric in LA that was bought just for this purpose.  I'm really excited to sew with it!

Things 2 and 3 are two wacky 1820s or 1830s dresses, but I haven't nailed down a plan for those yet so that post will have to wait!