Tag Archives: Slytherian

Costume College – Day 2

20 Aug

Friday brought the first day of classes. I had picked up my registration packet the day before and had planned my classes for the day.

First up was Dust Ruffles and Dress Shields presented by Bobbie Kalben (who I had visited the Huntington with). The class was mostly images of extant gowns and period advertisements. I learned a lot about a very specific element of Victorian dress making.  Likely I will be able to incorporate some of this info into future dresses.

Next was a hands on class on making Leather Thimbles. I hate metal thimbles and have been looking for something for a number of years. The class was interesting and I walked away with a prototype thimble which will work well for me with a few adjustments.

I sat in on the first half of the Hand-bound Eyelets class. Didnt learn much but its always nice to realize your technique is what other people are doing. I did get the name Hedgehog Handworks as a source for quality tools and supplies.

Slytherian bustle CoCo

Photo by Rebecca Maiten

The last class of the day for me was on modeling for photos. I am terrible at having my picture taken and last year at CoCo really overwhelmed me with the amount of photos and photographers. The really frustrating part is that because I am so awkward in photos my costumes look terrible. The class was directed at people exactly like me. The teacher had some great tips about posture and more importantly attitude. Obviously the way you feel will reflect in your photos. Its such a hard thing to remember when you are filled with anxiety about photos. I did learn a lot but the hands on section of the class filled me with dread. I had to leave. I am never good with group activities. However I think enough sank in that over time I will be come a little more comfortable.

After classes it was time to get ready for the Ice Cream Social. Because of the Saturday night Red Carpet experience last year was so over whelming, I planned this year to my more impressive costume on Friday night and a more subdued costume on Saturday. So, Friday was the Slytherian Bustle Costume. I am very pleased by the finished costume and I received a bunch of compliments. Apparently the color was very impressive. I was able to use some of the info I learned in the modeling class in the numerous photos I stopped for. Some of them turned out pretty well.

Slytherian bustle CoCo 2

Photo by Rebecca Maiten Featuring Adi Harris petting my arm

The Ice Cream Social was ok over all. I talked to a handful of people I didnt know and a few people I had met last year. And of course I saw some BEAUTIFUL costumes. Unfortunately I dont take pictures. I know – shame on me. However a quick Flickr search turns up a bunch if you are interested.

Over all it was a good start to a great weekend.


The Countdown to Costume College

3 Jul

When I was a kid I always loved advent calendars. Each December my grandma would give my brother and I those little cardboard ones with the chocolates inside. I loved hunting for the correct date, the sound of the cardboard and plastic as I opened it and the shaped chocolate hidden inside. Each day that went by came with a treat. The passing of time, as we eagerly awaited Christmas, was exciting, something to look forward to. Oh how things change when you reach adulthood.

Time is ticking away. The count down to Costume College is flying by. Much like Christmas, as a child, I am very eager to get to the end. But oi vay do I have so much to do. I have been working diligently whenever I can. I’m actually pretty proud of my focus and dedication. No (ok almost no) procrastination in this camp! However my main issue has been not enough time. Life events, big and small, keep getting in the way.

Slytherian bustle back

Slytherian bustle back

Each week I get 2 days to myself to sew, clean house and do anything else I can’t do with my toddler around. 16 hours a week of badly needed quiet and solitude. It’s amazing how desperate you become for silence when you have a little kid around all the time. I end up with about 12 -14 hours of actual sewing time. Some days I get so much done in those precious hours. Other days I have just started when it’s time to stop. Over the past month I have also lost a few days to other projects. We are new home owners and predictably have a long list of house projects. One week it was new floors. The next new bookcases and deep cleaning away the dust from the floors. The next week a no school day for my son.  I’ve lost 5 days of sewing time in the past month. No wonder I feel so behind.

Slytherian side bustle

Slytherian side bustle

I have managed a lot of progress however. At night I have been hand sewing my Regency era stays. On sewing room days I have been working on my Slytherian bustle dress. Its coming along beautifully. Underskirt and over skirt need hand sewing only. The bodice is together save sleeves and I am currently working on trim (a mix of machine and hand sewing). I did make a goal this year of hand sewing as much as I could and I stuck to it however if has greatly increased the time needed for finishing work.

For the underskirt I used my grand bustle skirt pattern I developed last year and altered it to fit tightly over the bustle frame. I dont have enough fabric for a flowing skirt and wanted a more tailored look all around. Attached to that are 2 rows of box pleated ruffles. The over skirt is based on the Truly Victorian 1886 Asymmetrical Drape (TV382) with some alterations. I put a cut in the center back and pulled up edges to create a mini butterfly look.


Slytherian Bodice Front

For the bodice I used my bodice pattern from the Frolicking costume with some additions. I found an image of the Ageless Patterns 1887 Corsage Vest and loved the lines. I try not to copy peoples work as much as possible but I knew if I bought the pattern it would not help me more than if I just made it myself. So after a quick mock up I moved on to the bodice. To my frustration I discovered I do not have enough fabric for the bodice and the sleeves. So right now the sleeves are on hold while I brainstorm some alternatives.

Slytherian Bodice Back

Slytherian Bodice Back

Shortly I will need to make some other decisions. The Slytherian bustle has a number of hours left but I believe I will have enough time to complete another ensemble before Costume College. Not a huge one but something. I would like to do a non Victorian project but what?!? On my list of goals is a full Regency ensemble but do I have enough time? I still have a lot of work on the stays and would need to do the chemise, petticoats and gown plus accessories. I had intended to do an open robe so that is a 2 part gown. What to do? Whatever the decision I know I have to use stash fabric. I do have that pewter silk which I am thinking is right for a Georgian gown but would need to research and design it. I have also recently been lured by Renaissance designs especially German. Something about the bright wool dresses and bust line is interesting. But I have NO experience in that era. I also love Elizabethan but that is a lot of details. What to do?!? I have to make the decision soon.