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Outlander Dinner Party

Last night I went to a lovely Outlander-themed dinner party at the Sequoia Lodge in Oakland. The wooden building surrounded by trees definitely contributed to the mood!  We were greeted by a bagpiper as we entered. Later, as part of the dinner entertainment there were also musicians signing and playing instruments, and some dance demonstrations.

I wore a gown I made for the occasion out of cotton plaid. I am also wearing a wool petticoat, 2 under petticoats, a double-bum pad, a pair of stays, a chemise, a fichu, and a pair of beautiful black 18th century Dunmore shoes from American Duchess.IMG_2029

It was my first time using pins to close an outfit instead of hooks and eyes. I bought some reproduction 18th century gown pins from Larkin and Smith. (I am using a combination of the medium and fine pins). I am still figuring out how to do it without stabbing myself or putting weird wrinkles into my dress, but I am getting better! (Hint: the stays are for safety as much as they are for support). You can read about construction details in my previous post.IMG_2037

My hair is rather short at the moment (even too short to braid properly) so I put it into a tiny bun on the back of my head and covered it with a large fake braided bun.IMG_2034

My fichu is actually a small vintage cotton organza tablecloth. It has lovely floral whitework, scalloped edges, and best of all, zero effort on my part! (For those that are curious, it is about 35×35 inches wide. If you are tall or broad-shouldered I’d recommend a larger square).IMG_2006

As usual, I was too busy chatting and stuffing my face with the delicious meal (puff pastry wrapped asparagus with prosciutto, roasted fowl with buttered leeks, roasted blue and gold potatoes, haggis, and sweetmeat cake with marzipan) to take as many pictures as I should have, but here are a few more!

You’d never realize that Christina of The Laced Angel and Natalie both finished their jackets that afternoon. Christina started the same day! IMG_2024

The tables were set up in  large U in the lodge. This was the side I was sitting on.IMG_2050

There was a range of social classes and decades at the dinner.IMG_2060IMG_2064

I especially loved the variety in jackets! (You can catch a glimpse of the bagpiper to the right of the photo).IMG_2015

I had a delightful time, and I think everyone else did too. (There was even a couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, and they were married 25 years ago in the same location!)IMG_2032.JPG

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GBACG Tissot Bustle Picnic

Yesterday I had a very lovely time at the Greater Bay Area Costumer’s Guild Tissot Bustle Picnic, held at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, CA.

I wore my dress with a pouch made from matching fabric, a parasol from Angelic Pretty, and a top hat made by Triple Fortune. I ran out of time to make a matching bonnet, but I have the black straw base started at least!

ImageFrom the front you can start to see a bit of my baby bump. =)

ImageThere were many beautiful outfits at the picnic. (Click on the link to view lots of ruffles and colors!)

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Recycling a Polonaise into a Bustle Dress

In June I am going to the GBACG Tissot Bustle Picnic, but I do not have time to make a new bustle dress from scratch.

I am going to recycle an old dress into a newer one, which will hopefully leave me time to make accessories like a matching hat and reticule.

A few years ago I made a simple polonaise-inspired dress. It was a little sad and limp. I think I may have only wore it once because I am having trouble finding decent pictures of it. Here is one my friend Kim took:

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I recently realized it might have a fresh new life as a bustle dress. I experimented with 3 different sizes of bustle pads and decided on a medium one:

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I tucked it up on each side, added a petticoat and it’s already looking more bustle-y!

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I did not have enough of the linen toile fabric when I made it to do pattern-matching, but I still have a few scraps left. (I had about 2.5 yards of 45″ fabric). I am going to do some fiddling around with the leftover pieces of fabric to add some more frill to the back, and also experiment some more with tucking and pinning.

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