Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I live!

It's been a few months, and I promise you a blog update on the other blog, for those of you who're interested in hearing about the what/where/why.

But I am *entirely* remiss in posting, and so I have to tell you that *tonight*, I am reprising my talk from Odd Salon last year at Nerd Nite SF. It's sold out, so my apologies for anyone who reeeeeallly wants to see this and didn't hear about it in time, and to anyone who expects me to be much more than a giant bundle of nerves tonight.  (Debating changing my LinkedIn headline to something like "Independent Researcher and Lecturer in Historical Dress and Fashion". What do you think?)

 So how about some costuming updates? That Tudor jacket came out well, and Noel lent me a ruff which made it look *amaaaaazing*.
Damn, it feels good to be.. like 1601ish.
So, remember that cotehardie that I cut out? I was going to make a woolen overdress to go with it, and indeed, I still even have the woolen (a lovely silver-blue heathered suiting from the 1960s) standing by, but for Halloween, inspiration struck late and I ended up using the pattern (with several rounds of modifications) to make a Game of Thrones dress over it out of the same silvery-blue silk that I made my Athena costume out of last year.  It turned out pretty well, all things considered! (Though I'm told it's not "screen accurate". Screw those people. I made this in less than a week! No fancy embroidery here!)

A lady of King's Landing
The other thing, was that the 2014 Holiday Party turned out to be "The Future" themed.  I joked that this was a test by the Events team after the 1930s dress for the last event - they know that "the future" is the one period I don't do.  But I looked at the inspiration boards that they provided, and I spent time drawing and browsing art deco resources and then had a sale on metallic lame.  And I was hooked.

Unfortunately, it turned out that the metallic lame was two-way stretch metallic PVC.  But dangit I'd bought the stuff and designed a dress around it, so like hell was I going to give up now!  I spent a good while patterning it out, and was stumped temporarily by the cowl-neck.  Searching for patterning images for the thing, I ran across a snapshot of a 1930s tailoring treatise, currently running for something like $100 on eBay for a broken down copy. But it turns out that Michelle had a copy, and was able to point me in the right direction.  Game on.

I patterned, I cut, and when it came time to cut the big side panels, I couldn't find a space in my apartment large enough. Whoops.  So I took them to work, and cut them out on the floor of the office between two desks. Then I took the whole thing home and started serging it together.

Now thankfully, I'd made a few knit material tops before, so I wasn't entirely surprised by working with this stuff. But man, if I thought doing French seams on a geometric pattern block was stupid, trying to serge a geometric pattern in *stretch knit* was stupider.  In the end I'm still not 100% pleased with the lay of the front stripe, and it ended up much more rounded than the art-deco steps I'd envisioned. But as is the case with so much in the costuming world, nobody sees the flaws but you.

I also wore this for New Years (because why not?) but sadly neither venue lent itself to photographing the material. And yes, I have an "updo mohawk" in both wearings. :)
Art Deco meets Art... Futura?

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