Thursday, February 28, 2013

Safari at the Zoo

On Saturday I went to a DFWCG event, Safari at the Zoo.  I drive past the Fort Worth Zoo all the time, but haven't ever been to my knowledge.  So this was my first excursion! And I made it in style. (All pictures courtesy of Jennifer Thompson. She takes the best pictures!)


Everyone else in our small group went the perceived traditional safari route, with pith helmets and shades of brown or khaki. (Although one lady did a multi-colored corset and peacock bustle!)


I love pith helmets, and actually have two of them, which I've used for costumes in the past. And for working around the yard, too. They work!

Trying to remove a stump, with my cousin's help. After several hours we resorted to the towing power of my neighbor's pickup truck. ;)

I got a major haircut (over 8") a few weeks ago, and for the first time my hair is short enough to do real 1940s curls. I love how they look with the hat.  The day of the safari was the third day after my first all-pincurl set. Although it had fallen out a lot, I still like how it looks.


This blue felt Western hat, probably from the 1940s, is one of my very favorite vintage hats, and I was dying to style it in a vintage-style adventurer outfit with my new hair.  Besides, any wide-brimmed vintage hat looks like Indiana Jones, and I'm an Indy fangirl from waaaaay back. ;)


I did a safari outfit for Halloween a few years ago, using some jodhpurs in won on ebay, one of my pitch helmets, ebay boots, and a me-made 40s blouse.  Saturday was shaping up to be a fairly chilly day, though, and I don't have adventure-y outerwear yet. I checked for some inspiration and found that breeches/jodhpurs were often worn with shirt and tie and pullover sweater, tucked in.

Even Amelia Earhart, whose relaxed style didn't usually include a knotted tie, tucked in her pullover.

The final outfit:

Green jodhpurs: ebay, vintage (1940s?), cavalry twill (possibly cotton), possibly homemade
White long sleeve shirt: Kohl's, I think Apt. 9, a few years ago
Brown pullover: Old Navy, lambswool, a few years ago
Navy tie: a hand-me-down from my youngest brother
Brown belt: appropriated from my father
Brown boots: ebay, Nine West, probably 1990s


The difference between jodhpurs and breeches is that jodhpurs are ankle length, worn over short boots, and held down with a stirrup strap.  Breeches fit to below the knee, and tall boots are worn over them.  Mine are jodhpurs, but I am significantly taller than most 1940s women and they are ridiculously short. So I wear them as breeches!  I plan to take a pattern from them and make some that fit better, though.  They're perfect in the waist and hips, but need 6-8" more length in thighs and calves.  The knees on these have to pull up too far, so the fullness is out of proportion and my knees are very tight.  Anyone have a source for cavalry twill??


My brother gave me the tie, and a couple others, when he was cleaning out his clothes a few years ago. They're little boy ties, one step up from the clip-on kind, but too small for a large teenager. They're perfect on me for tucking into a pullover or waistcoat. It was surprisingly easy to learn how to tie a four-in-hand knot. I really liked how the outfit came out, and I think that the tie in particular is one element that makes it look more real.


I don't remember how long ago I got the belt from my father. It's reversible, black on the other side with a lot of paint splatters. I really like it because it's very flexible and long enough to loop the end.  My jodhpurs don't actually have belt loops, but the waist is high enough that the belt looked good and didn't go anywhere.


The only thing I would have added was gloves. The sun was bright and we weren't uncomfortable, but my hands were cold! Ah, well, I can't think of everything.  It was a lovely day at the zoo. The company was great, both the ladies and Jen's little boy. I grew up with three younger brothers, so it's fun to play with him. A great idea for an outing!


Monday, February 25, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnightly #3: Under It All

I've been seeing a flurry of HSF #4 posts, which reminds me that this is the last day I can post about my HSF #3 entry. You do all realize that while the challenge needs to be done by the deadline, the post doesn't need to be written for up to another fortnight?  It's a good thing for people like me who are working up to the literal last minute and don't have time to make a post as well!

Under It All: Eighteenth Century Pockets

In establishing my ambitious sewing plan for 2013, I realized that for several years I have been neglecting some important non-essentials.  Essentials are, obviously, gowns and the "hard" underpinnings necessary to give me and the gowns their proper shape. Stays and hoops; and for me, usually shoes.  Accessories are non-essentials that add to the look of the outfit, and may or may not serve a functional purpose.  Important non-essentials, though, is a tricky in-between category that includes loads of things not strictly necessary, but it's awkward to get along without them. They can be either unseen or outside, too.

One of my important non-essential needs is a way to Carry All The Things.  At Costume College last year I found myself using the same little tapestry reticule with half of my outfits, including Roman and Maid Marian. I simply didn't think it through, and that was my only option.  For my pink wool 1780s I at least had a pocket, but that was very small.  It even developed a hole!

So like HSF #2 for me, HSF #3 was another easy, but important, challenge. Not only did I replace my little holey pocket, but I made two big ones!

DSC06228 cropped

I didn't want any more trouble with too-small pockets, so these are on the larger side of extant examples. I cut them at 18" long, if I recall correctly.

Everything came from my stash, too. The front fabric is printed cotton left over from my first 18th century dress.  It's not strictly accurate, if for nothing more than subtle opalescent accents.  It's very pretty, though, and I have a yard of it left. The rest of the fabric - front facings and backs - is more pale green linen. I have a petticoat and stays made from it, with still more left.

The binding is navy cotton twill tape, and the ties are gray ditto. Like the pale blue tape I used on my other 18th cent. underpinnings, these also are from Costume College.


Since my materials aren't completely accurate, I didn't take time away from HSF #4 to hand sew these pockets.  I did all I could on the machine, including sewing on one side of the binding. Everything visible is by hand, however.

The Challenge:  HSF #3, Under It All

Fabric:  Indienne cotton print in blue and green with opalescence, on white. Green medium-weight linen. Navy cotton twill tape, 1" wide. Gray cotton twill tape, 1/2" wide.

Pattern:  An amalgam of the diagrams from Costume Close-Up and Fitting and Proper

Year:  Most of the 18th century.

Notions:  None

How historically accurate is it?  The cotton print isn't perfect, I didn't bother with cotton thread, I machine-sewed where I could, and the tape ought to be linen. But the shape and construction is accurate.

Hours to complete:   Maybe 4, including waffling over design and size.

First worn:  Just for pictures.

Total cost:  None; everything came from the stash.