Saturday, November 19, 2011

I received my copy of the bandana I mentioned in the post below.  It's quite something, and while chatting with others, I've been asked for references.

Well, I know there are more of these floating around, but it's difficult to find them mentioned so prominently anywhere else than Williamsburg.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Exhibit A, Exhibit B

Printed handkerchiefs are not a new thing. They've been a clever and wearable way to express your opinions about sports, hobbies, music, politics, fraternal organization allegiance, and more.

And somehow, they are still current:

(In case my clever HTML doesn't work, you can order one here: )

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A confession

I think one of the things that is currently appealing to me about doing 1940s costuming is... That I can still buy the undergarments at the store!  Or at least online.  I just bought a lovely Rago long-line girdle for about $50. It's not *the* most supportive thing ever, but it gives the approximate shape and will anchor my garters.  (I'm actually thinking I need to sew in a waist tape, because it's rather more... tubular than is properly period.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

On Names

At this point I feel it's probably worth mentioning why I gave myself such a pugnacious title here. (Well, really, the URL for the blog should give it away.)

When I first started costuming, some poor long-suffering soul told me that I shouldn't worry too much about the details, and I should just trust their advice. However, I can never let someone do the learning for me, so I spent a goodly amount of time double checking their work. I was not impressed with my findings, which were to wit that (most of) the "authentic" costuming at Renaissance Faires was only a half step above the bizarre polyester confections peddled by (most of) the vendors. I then took a college level course on costume history, and got really into experimental archaeology.  So let's just say that nearly everything I see over the course of my research ends up filed away in some corner of my mind, to be trotted out later to answer a disagreement.

And then I got into making trimmings, and the whole thing went to hell.  It started out innocently enough with lucet cord, and then I took a class in Native American finger weaving.  I did blackwork and more traditional embroidery to keep myself awake during my college classes. I learned about natural dyestuffs. Then came card-weaving. And finger-loop braiding. Macrame. Lacemaking. Pinking, punching and stamping. Needle felting.  I think the only things genuinely missing from my repertoire at the moment are spinning and plying, drawn thread work, knitting, crochet, inkle weaving, and actual stand-loom weaving.

Recently, I spent a good amount of time collaborating with friends online to look at the bone eyelets in late Regency and early Romantic (c 1818 to 1835) corsets. Once we had a profile, I had a gentleman in the UK turn a bunch for me out of Corian on a weeeee lathe used for dollhouse things. I still haven't made the 1820s corset I promised myself, but a test run inserting them into the holes in some sample fabric was mightily instructive.  I'm tempted to try picking up bone carving just to see how hard the little blighted "french holes" are to make.

I used to joke with Kayta that someday I'd have a nice big estate and I'd grow my own flax, and raise my own sheep. I'd harvest, ret, comb and wash the flax into linen tow. I'd shear the sheep, wash, card, comb, and spin, and in the end make my own linsey-wooley cloth.  I sort of have an inkling that I might still end up doing this... someday.