Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer Vacation

I’ve decided to take a bit of a blogging break for the next couple weeks – I know you’re thinking I don’t post much (that’s what I was thinking at least), but according to my Google stats I’m holding strong at over 2 posts per week! July was busy busy for me, and I need a little vacation – I’m not as young as I used to be. Did I mention I turned 30 last month? We had some friends over for a luau party – it kept me up past my 9:30 bedtime, but it was worth it. J

I've wanted an Alfred Shaheen inspired dress for years, and finally tracked one down!

Chris worked the grill like a champ all night - he barely took a break!

Some of the Dollar Store decor. Festive, yes?

My folks came out to help celebrate. Now you see where my good looks come from! ;)

Unfortunately for Chris, my idea of a “blogging vacation” means that I’m planning to work on all the little projects that never get finished. Like my Make & Mend projects – over one month past deadline, and the rest are still lined up, looking at me sadly whenever I pull out a fresh pattern to start. Chris was hoping for a trip to the Bahamas! Or to Palm Springs, at least.

I am taking him on a local outing to the Queen Mary Art Deco Festival over Labor Day weekend, though! I’m so looking forward to it – dressing up, live music, dancing, all in a fantastic setting. I’ve slated to wear a couple Make & Mend projects to that event, so I promise to take some pictures of them there. Don’t you think they’ve earned a fun night out?

See you on the other side of September!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Costume College 2011 - Classes

I only took 4 classes at Costume College - despite signing up rather late, somehow I got into 3 of the 4 limited classes I requested (limiteds are the hand-on workshops, and unlimiteds are lectures). Each class was long and took up most of each day, but I didn't mind - I got to make some new pieces and try things I'd wanted to learn about for a long time.

I think that most of these classes will be offered again in the future, so I'm going to recap them in case you want to know more. I know I'm a bit effusive about them, but they were all great - the teachers all volunteered (many MANY) hours on their classes, and their hard work showed.

Friday I was in an all-day class on Pocket Hoops. J.P. Ryan herself came out from the East Coast to teach the class, and we used her pattern. It's an excellent pattern and went together quickly, but there were a couple parts that I didn't understand from the instructions, and I'm glad she was there to answer questions. The pattern is correct, but a couple of the construction illustrations could be reworked for clarity. IMO, the best part of the class was that she brought all the materials for us, so I didn't have to worry about which weight of linen or reed to buy, or how to handle the reed in the hoops. That saved me many hours of research and guesswork! (And yes, they do collapse for storage.)

On Saturday, I got into a very popular limited class on Regency Bodiced Petticoats, taught by Mela Hoyt-Heydon & Martha Davis. The first part was an unlimited lecture on the construction & materials, and they primarily referenced Hunnisett's Period Costume for Stage & Screen. In the second part they did fittings on us and made a bodice pattern so that we can make our own at home. I'm very curious to see how the shape will compare with my Regency Stays...once all those projects are finished. ;) We sent our measurements in advance and they had muslins ready for us, and tag-teamed the fitting & pattern work. They worked really hard, and I'm looking forward to having proper undergarments for the next Jane Austen Evening!

Finished bodice pattern after fitting - it's tiny! High waisted AND low-cut.
Gusset size, shape and placement were determined during the fitting -
so much smarter than using the generic placement in a pattern.
Sunday I took a 3rd limited - Beginning Embroidery with Catherine Scholar. I've tried to teach myself embroidery several times previously, but there's no substitute for a real person showing you technique and giving tips. When it's finished, I'll stitch this up into a little Regency-style reticule (purse). I was so excited when I saw the project - it's exactly the kind of purse I'd pick to make. Have I ever mentioned how much I love monograms? And did you notice that it's GREEN? :)

Sunday afternoon I attended the unlimited lecture "What Real People Wore - 1930's and 1940's" by Lauren - she had a ton of info, and I just wish the lecture had been longer! I think she's going to post some of her research material on her blog, so keep an eye out!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Costume College 2011

Bit of a change up, now - last weekend I got away from swing dancing for a little bit, and headed up the 405 to my first Costume College! As I've mentioned before, usually this event is on the same weekend as Camp Hollywood, but this year they were back-to-back weekends instead (and next year too, it turns out, so I can go again!). It's funny how similar the two events were - both in Los Angeles Marriott hotels, with classes during the days and parties at night. Tools of the trade vary though - Costume College is full of sewing machines, and Camp Hollywood is full of sweaty t-shirts! 

It was fun being a newbie at an event, and I was lucky to have a couple of regulars to show me around! As excited as I was, I was still worried about doing things "right" and not looking out of place, as I don't have a huge wardrobe of historical costumes. I needn't have worried though -- it was a low-pressure atmosphere, where everyone was more supportive than competitive.

Things I was worried about going into Costume College:

1. Not having any costumes that matched the themes.
There were nominal themes for different events (Friday night social was Steampunk, the bonus class track was medieval, etc.) but it turned out that everyone just wore whatever they felt like, whenever they wanted.

2.  Not having enough impressive historical costumes.
There were some a-MAZ-ing historical gowns, but I was surprised at the wide variety of costumes and clothing at the event. There were fantasy outfits and costumes made from non-traditional materials, with a wide range of skill levels. Dressing up during the day was the exception, not the rule, and there were even jeans and t-shirts at the Gala on Saturday night. I'm all for dressing to the nines, but all efforts were appreciated, no matter how small.

3. Only knowing a couple people going into the event.
This was probably the silliest thing to be worried about! Everyone was was incredibly friendly and supportive, and I met lots of new friends in classes and just roaming around the hotel.

Even though I knew I was going to CoCo several months in advance, I didn't have time to make any new outfits for it. I decided to go with what was already in the closet, and just focus on the classes instead of worrying too much about what to wear. Glad I did - I loved my classes, and I was glad I didn't have to change clothes/redo my hair several times a day.

All photos courtesy of Lauren of Wearing History

At the blogger meetup on Thursday night, wearing a vintage 60's dress
 - Me with Lauren of Wearing History and Jen of Festive Attyre

Friday night at the Ice Cream Social, I rewore my most recent Regency gown. The theme was Steampunk and they had great props and table decorations!

Saturday night at the Gala I busted out my Prom dress! I felt like a cheater because my mom made this instead of me. :) It was from a 30's Vintage Vogue reprint, and 12 years on it still looked pretty good. Now I want another one in green...

Fun stuff! I can't wait for next year - the bonus track for classes is Hollywood Glamour, 1930-1955.
Wonder if my mom is up for sewing a green satin gown?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...