Monday, August 20, 2012

Costume College - Friday

Friday was the first full day of Costume College, with lots of classes.  It took me a little longer to get dressed than I had allowed for - 18th century doesn't have many pieces, but it sure takes me a while - so I ended up going with Lauren M. to a class on the movie designs of Howard Greer. I confess I'd never heard of Howard Greer, but I discovered I was already familiar with some of his designs!

After that, Lauren and I headed outside to the one good picture-place at the hotel to get some pics of her Tissot dress, a fluffy white bustle trimmed with lots of pleated flounces and yellow taffeta bows, and my new 1780s pink wool gown.  More about it later, but I have to say I LOVE it. As gorgeous as taffeta is, my favorite thing to work with and wear is lightweight wool. <3

Photo by Lauren M.

Photo by Lauren M.

Photo by Lauren M.

Photo by Lauren M.


I love how it flows!

Then we had a brief lunch break in our rooms, and Stephanie and I headed to Kendra's (Demode) class on 18th century dress variations. What an awesome class!  Kendra covered 20 different types of garment, tracing several primary styles as they morphed through the decades and relating them to their "jacket versions" (So much better than considering them individual garments!), plus touching on some of the weird "new" things that appeared late in the century. I took pretty much constant notes. It was great!

There was a little more picture-taking in the hall, with this young lady in an amazing powder blue flannel suit. Does anyone know who the costumer is? She does beautiful work!

By that time it was dinner. Beth and I - still in my wool gown - made an In 'n' Out run for our little group. I sure made a sensation! And Beth ran into a couple of women who were still flying high after Camp Hollywood the previous weekend. To reverse how Beth explained Costume College for them, Camp Hollywood is like Costume College for swing dancers. ;)

For the ice cream social that evening, Lauren stayed bustled up, but in her amazing giant plaid.  The itty bitty hat is actually a 1930s forward-tilt hat - but it looks perfect.

Beth and Stephanie were both Edwardian pretties, Beth in nautical whites and Stephanie in Lady Mary's garden party dress. Darling!

Picture by Lauren M.

I wore my old-faithful handsewn white trained Regency again, but this time with black and gold accents as gussied up for the DFWCG's Mourning Party the previous weekend.  And unlike on that occasion, I didn't leave the dress and petticoat at home! So I had the full glory of turban, feathers, overbodice, and black and metallic vintage trim all around the skirt. And gold-colored jewelry from India - I love that stuff!

Picture by Lauren M.

Picture by Lauren M.
It was amazing to see what everyone else had done for the social. I really loved the Disney princesses.

And I got to see Megan's "chess piece" dress for the first time in person!

Not to mention photographing the photographers.

Picture from A Factured Fairytale

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Costume College - Wednesday and Thursday

 Backing up a little bit...

Wednesday was spent entirely on last minute sewing and trimming. Unlike last year, Lauren M. and I had determined NOT to do last-minute stressful sewing. So much for good intentions!  But we actually held to the spirit of our commitment, since neither one of us were stressed (unlike last year) and neither one of us had to sew at Costume College itself (again unlike last year).

So we talked and watched movies and compared opinions and dodged cats and watched our last-to-be-completed outfits take shape.

Mr. Charles approves of the Maid Marian dress.

The best movie for marathon sewing days.
Cat trap!

So Thursday morning we picked up Stephanie, The Girl with the Star-Spangled Heart, at the airport and headed straight to the garment district.  After several crazy hours, we left in good time to make it out of downtown Los Angeles and get to the hotel for registration. Apparently we arrived in the "sweet spot" between the beginning rush and the remaining bulk of attendees, since we had no wait in line and one of our rooms had a refrigerator. GREAT!  After taking all our stuff up, and Lauren M. checking her laptop with the A/V gear for compatibility, we found a grocery store and loaded up on breakfast and lunch items. Best way to save on time and money during Costume College. ;) Then we go dinner and headed back to the hotel for the Carmen Miranda pool party.

By the time we arrived apparently some people had left, and it was rather dark and not really at the pool - but it was still fun to see people.  Lauren (of Wearing History)  and Beth of V for Vintage took the theme and ran with it. Beth was amazing in full be-ruffled and be-fruited Carmen Miranda splendor - complete with banana'd turban! - and Lauren was amazing in white, fringe, and gold butterflies.  By contrast, Stephanie and I were country cousins in sports 40s halter bathing and play suits, respectively.

Beth. Photo by Lady Carolyn.
Lauren. Photo by Claudia La Rue.
Stephanie (right) and me (left). Photo by Val of Time Traveling in Costume.

I wish I had a better picture of my outfit, but I wasn't fully with it yet. :) The outfit started with the original 1940s chenille bathing cape. Lauren sent me an Etsy link probably 9 months ago and I couldn't resist. She's such an enabler!  It's hard to see, but there are red sailboats with blue sails all around the hem of the cape. It's darling.

For the rest of the outfit, I bought a white canvas/duck halter off Ebay, then found royal blue denim at Joann. I used an out of print Wearing History underthings pattern as a base for a bathing suit skirt, and added bands of blue denim to the halter.  I accessorized with a plastic bead necklace and earrings, a red (and totally invisible) crocheted snood, 1940s telephone cord purse, and Diet Pepsi. ;)

When we got tired we went back to our rooms, where we slowly got ready for bed and chatted way too late into the evening.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Costume College: Shopping!

One of the best of many good parts of going to Costume College (say I, with my lofty two years' experience) is the shopping. Both in the Marketplace at Costume College itself, and in the Los Angeles garment district either before or after. This year I spent most of my money in the garment district, but I did pretty well in other places, too.

I made it to the garment district on Thursday, right before Costume College. This was my third visit, and for the first time I really felt like I knew what I was doing.  I think for most people, their first time they just kind of freeze - sensory overload! Uncountable colors! Millions of yards of fabric! So much stuff everywhere, and no labels or prices to be seen!! But now I knew what to expect. Plus I'd had the benefit of using the fabric district in Dallas.  It's much smaller than L.A. (the district, not the city), but the stores are very similar with their overall lack of careful organization and labeling. This is not Joann's!

Anyway, on my first trip this year, I came away with:

A length of a mystery cotton blend print, for a dress, modern or vintage-inspired.

Light-mediumweight linen for 18th c. and Regency underthings.

A red/white changeable silk/silk blend (haven't tested it) taffeta. It's more an orange-red than a pink-red.
Pale peach/pink silk (silk/cotton?) for vintage undies. I wish I'd gotten more! Lauren M. was right...
Rhinestone brooch to use for 18th c. and Regency, inspired by some of the paste originals on my Pinterest board.

Then, at the Costume College Marketplace itself, I got a few more things.

A really big plastic comb I'll probably use for Edwardian when I get around to making that period. ;)

A vintage brooch that I think imitates paste jewelry pretty well. The big stone is a beautiful clear red.

A length of brocade coutil for a corset, probably Edwardian.
A new book by the author of The Dress of the People, about the fabric swatches from the Foundling Hospital. I bought this from Angela Burnley of Burnley & Trowbridge during her class on 18th c. textiles. So awesome!
Pink glass buttons, for what I have no idea. "Something Edwardian." ;)
Red plastic buttons with compass markings. I love them! Bought with no specific purpose, but now I have a very specific one. ;)
Heavy cotton edging, bobbin lace look.
Lighter weight cotton insertion, also like bobbin lace. One of these will be for finishing my Regency pantalettes.

Whew!  I was intending to leave the hotel on Sunday, but ended up staying another night. And then, naturally, we tagged along with the tour (and other people) right back to the garment district on Monday! I was fired up with a lot more ideas, not to mention motivated by things I'd seen on Thursday.

Mediumweight hymo from B. Black & Sons
Good quality shoulder pads, also from B. Black & Sons
100% white rayon, plainweave, for a 1940s blouse
100% blue (darker than the picture) rayon crepe, for another 1940s blouse
White linen blend (I think linen/cotton) for a 1940s shirtwaist dress, with the red compass buttons.
Purple and white changeable silk taffeta, just for the stash. ;)

Plus some fabric for a Secret Project for next year!

Lauren M. also gave me a couple of lengths of cream-colored cotton lace, some for my Edwardian stash and some for trimming my new vintage undies.

Not as fine, for vintage use.
A lighter/finer weight for Edwardian.

And then we stopped at a random antique mall. I did very good, coming away with only two things I'm still excited about:

Small purse-sized vintage flashlight, just like the big ones you see in movies, but only 5" long. It works!
Vintage necklace - black plastic leaves, clear plastic dangles, and brass dangles on a black cord. I love this style of necklace.

So there, that's what I came away with! I'm VERY glad that I was able to pack a flat, empty duffle in my luggage on the way out. ;)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Well, I'm back.

I didn't really have time to recover from Costumers' Lost Weekend before leaving for Costume College in Los Angeles. I had such an amazing time!  Now I'm finally home now and trying to process my pictures. I've got loads to post, and a lot of costumes to show. For now...