Sunday, 25 April 2010

Summer Project Ideas

So i have had a few ideas of things that i want to do once my exams are over (in just over 7 weeks) and so far these are the main things i definatley want to do before i go off to art college (to do performance costume!! eeek! excited).

Georgian dresses;
1. Sleepy Hollow riding dress
2.Sleepy hollow stripey dress
3.Blue saque back dress (Robe a la francais)
5. Chemise de la reine
6.Military influenced riding jacket
7. White jaquard travelling dress
8. Caraco jacket
9. blue stripey zone front

Tudor dresses;
1. Blue velvet with cream underskirt
2. Gold with embroidered flowers

1. Alice in wonderland
2. New pirate costume
3. Frock coat for mum
4. Waistcoat for my brother.
5. I would like to try and make some form of dress that would have been worn in Charles II reign, because i really love that off the shoulder neckline, i think its reallypretty :)

Hmm...i have a few more ideas but those are my favourites so far. i hope i can get them all done.....

Chemise fabric

This is the white fabric that i found that i am planning on using on the white chemise dress...

Chemise De La Reine - Underwear to outerwear....

The Chemise began as underwear, worn beneath a women's dress, but nearing the end of the Georgian Era the Chemise De la Reine was the height of fashion. The fashion was started by Marie Antoinette who, whilst visiting her private get away the Petit Trianon, insisted on wearing loose fitting simple gowns, in stark contrast to her ostentatious extravagant styles from her early years as queen. This new style of gown was made of cotton lawn or muslin. The early versions of this gown were much like an actual chemise, made of four rectangular cotton yardage, gathered at the neck and waist and tied with a broad sash. Sleeves were full and gathered, stopping just below the elbow. The dress also frequently had a gathered fabric or lace collar.
Portrait artist Vigée le Brun scandalized the masses in 1783 by producing a painting of Queen Marie Antoinette in what appeared to be merely her underwear. However, the queen and women of quality had been going ‘en chemise’ for many years and not just in the privacy of their boudoir. However, as the classes didn't mix, the masses had not been exposed to the new styles of the aristocracy. Ironically, the shocking aspect of the portrait was the lack of formality shown by a monarch, one who had already become infamous for flouting tradition. The Queen was shown without any of the outward symbols of her position and status and, to the culture of those times, naked before her people. At the time this was taken as an insult to her position as queen and the mother of her people, however it also influenced the changing styles of the Georgian era.
Le Brun was forced to remove her painting from the public eye, but like all scandals, it inspired rather than deterred and the Chemise became the symbolic frock of the 1780’s

Chemise dresses

This morning i was sorting through my fabric that i have stored in my garage, most of it is just scraps of leftover fabric from previous costmes, but i came across about five metres of self stripe really light white cotton fabric which should be just enough to make a costume from. I cant remember buying it or why i originally got it, although i must have only got it this year, but i have now decided that in the summer i would really like to make a chemise de la reine.

Introduced by Marie Antoinette, they are generally white, simple dresses and i think they are really pretty. I would like to make some for me and my friend esther possibly. I want to make mine with a more fitted bodice, 3/4 length sleeves and gathered neck trim (like the one shown in the screenshot from the duchess) out ofthe white striped fabric that i already have. Then i want to make one with the gathering on the front of the bodice out of some maybe muslin/cotton lawn fabric.

I cant wait for summer! so many ideas that i want to do!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Stripey fabric

So after much searching i have found some stripey fabric that i can use for the stripey dress.

The black stripe is slightly lighter than i wanted, but it was the nicest black and white striped fabric i could find. The only other fabric i found was made from a cheapy stin polyester and would have looked terrible, so i plumped for this one. The stripes are each an inch wide, which i think it about right, and it is a cotton fabric but it still has a slight lustre. It has a subtle floral pattern woven into the fabric, almost like jacquard, that doesnt really show that much. I know the original costume didnt have this, but i think its alright to use, and it will creaet an interesting texture to the finished dress. It also doesnt really show up that much. so its fine.
Here is the fabric that i have gathered fro the riding jacket and stripey dress all together in the box;

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Fabric has arrived!

I now have almost all the fabric and stuff that i need to make the grey riding jacket, now all i need to find is some blue fabric that looks vaguely like the blue fabric to make the stomacher and underskirt out of. I think its going to be impossible to find anything too close to the original fabric or pattern, but i will try and find as close as possible.
Anyway, here are some photographs of the grey silk, wine velvet, wine lace and buttons that will be used on the jacket;

They all go together quite well i think?

The grey fabric has a slightly more slubby texture than i realised from the photograph on ebay, and its a bit too light, but its still really nice fabric and to be honest i quite like slubby textures so even if its not exactly the same i think it will still work out jsut fine ;)

The buttons are slightly thicker and heavier than i was expecting but i think they will work okay anyway. Maggie from the Costumers Guide (link at the side) thought that maybe the buttons were abolone buttons rather than mother of pearl, which might be right, especially seen as abolone is lighter and so wouldnt be as heavy. These will do though :) aesthetically they still work :)

So the lace is exactly the same colour as the velvet (yey) so that will all work out fine and it looks like if i use the thinner side of the lace (as shown in picture) it will work to edge the jacket with this lace :)

All in all a successful result :)

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Sleepy hollow sketches

Just some quick sketches of the two sleepy hollw dresses.
(click on the pictures for bigger version)

The back of the bodice is slightly wrong on the stripey dress i think but i havent had a chance to have a closer look at the back stripes on the bodice yet.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Riding dress fabrics

I have been working for a few hours on my schoolwork so i decided to have a break and look for fabric and stuff on ebay for the sleepy hollow riding dress, and happened to be very lucky!

The first thing i decided to look for were the big mother of pearl buttons on the riding dress, as they are quite unusual and from other peoples costume sites i have been looking at they have said they are the hardest thing to find.

Fortunatley, the first item that appeared were these large circular mother of pearl buttons that look absolutley perfect!!

Along the edge of the front of the bodice and the cuffs on the sleeves is some dark red lace. I found this lace, which at first i thought wouldnt work at all beacause of the glittery waves. However, i thought if i used the lace so that only the side with smaller loops, and no glittery threads in, was showing then it might work. It was a bargain, so if it arrives and isnt what i was wanting at all then i can always find some other use for it

This lace is a wine red colour wheras the red on the original costume is more of a burgandy but hopefully it will still look okay, and as long as it matches the colour of the velvet part of the collar i dont think it matters that its a slightly different red from the original.

The velvet has to be the same colour as the lace, so i found some wine red velvet instead of burgandy. Its a fairly thin cotton velvet which i think will work perfectly as it wont be too thick and bulky and I actually likethe wine red colour.

The main fabric looks to be a silver/grey silk,
I found this which looks approximatley the right colourand as well as being about the right colour as the dress, it will also go well with the buttons.

I have been pretty lucky in finding fabric really, as it was alot easier than i was expecting and everything has been relativley cheap, especially the grey fabric as it is real tai silk that i got for less than 5 pounds a metre which i thought was pretty good considering.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Neckline lace

So i was looking at the screenshots of the riding costume on 'The costumers Guide to Movie costume website to see if i could find a good picture of the lace around the nenckline. Then i noticed that there are two layers of lace, there is one that is actually sewn on top of the bodice and another that looks like it is worn underneath.
Then, after browsing through the images of the other costumes worn by her in the film i noticed that underneath the pink embroidered dress she is wearing a 3/4 length sleeves see through lace 'chemise' underneath it

I think this looks like it could be worn underneath the riding dress aswell, as the lace pattern looks similar. Soooo, when making the dress i iwll hopefully try and make a similar see through chemise to wear underneath, if its possible.

Sleepy Hollow - Riding dress research

The Riding dress is made up of a dress and a jacket.

The jacket has a polonaise style skirt that looks like its made from grey silk and lined in a dark red/burgandy patterned fabric.

The jacket has a zone front that looks like its supposed to be fastened by those large buttons but as there are no obvious buttonholes i would guess its actually fastened with hook and eyes along the front and the buttons are just for decoration.
The buttons look like they are maybe mother of pearl?

The top part of the collar is made from burgandy velvet whereas the bottom part is made from the same grey silk as the rest of the dress.

The bottom part of the collar, front opening of the jacket and cuffs are all edged with a burgandy lace.

The cuffs are buttoned up with buttons that look similar to the bigger front buttons but they are alot smaller.

After looking closer at the front of the jacket you can see that the pieces have been cut out of the fabric unusually so that the grain line is going in different directions, shown by the white arrows on the photo, which i think looks interesting so i will try and do the same.

The skirt is pleated into the bottom of the bodice, with an en fourreau back pleat joining the skirt an the bak of the bodice.

The dress worn underneath is made up of a skirt and a bodice, both made from the same irridescent blue fabric with a leaf/vine pattern printed all over it. The bodice looks like it has a front hook and eye fastening, with lace decoration around the neckline and decorative buttons up the front. I have counted 11 small buttons up the front.

Sleepy Hollow dresses

Although I have my A level Exams in approximately nine weeks and will have no time to make anything because of revision, I still can’t help but think of my next costume project. I recently watched sleepy hollow again and remembered how much I love Katrina’s costumes from that film (Colleen Atwood is definitely one of my very favourite costume designers). Out of her costumes, I think my favourites are the Grey Riding dress;

and the black and white stripy dress that she wears for only a short time at the end of the film.

I would absolutely love to try my hand at making these dresses, so over the next few weeks I will be keeping my eye out for fabric bargains and gathering the different components

So excited! i will have to try really hard not to start these dresses early because otherwise theywill end up being rushed and i wont get all my revision done.

No harm looking at fabric though

First post :)

So i am fairly new to blogging so if at first my posts are a bit rubbish please forgive me.
I have already started a website, but after uploading all the photographs of my past costumes i am already at maximum capacity with no more room for any new projects, which is a bit annoying. So i decided to start a blog instead which i can update as i go along as well as just show pictures, which was all i could do with the website.
So here is a link to the gallery with all my past projects in

please feel free to look and comment, i would love to hear from people
and i will try to update as often as possible :)
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