Sunday, October 30, 2011

Edwardian recap


Once again, I am horribly late when it comes to post-event blogging.  *eek*  Where does the time go!?!  But back in mid-September, the costumers from the DFWCG had their semi-annual gathering at the Antique Elegance Show, and I whipped up a sunny linen gown to wear to it.  I used two vintage 1910's patterns from my stash to make the dress, which was a ton of fun.  It practically makes me giddy to use real 100 year old patterns to make something new!  I really like the way this transitional style still has the slightly poochy bodice and A-line skirt of the Edwardian period, but it is combined with the short sleeves and streamlined shapes of the 1910's.  It's a very fun style, and so easy to wear.

1910 - Peerless Pattern 5771 1912 - May Manton's 7174

The body of the gown was made with a dollar's worth of estate sale linen, and the windowpane linen for the top of my bodice was a curtain from World Market that my husband brought home for free since it was damaged.  The hat was also from an estate sale and only cost $2, and the ribbon is made from a decorator sample piece of silk that I also got from free.  I did buy some vintage mother-of-pearl buttons for the back closure for $5, and the buckle on my hat cost around the same, but all together, the whole outfit cost me under $15, which might be a record for me.  I love cheap costumes!

One of my favorite parts of this costume has to be my hat. It was vintage straw hat with a shallow crown that appeared to have come from some Asian country, but I stretched the crown to make it wider, and then cut it off and raised it a few inches to make it deeper. It still doesn't have the massive crown size that true Edwardian hats usually have, but at least it is closer now. I covered the extension in the crown with fabric pieced together to look like wide ribbon. I am proud to say that there is not one drop of hot glue in this hat, which might be a first for me!

The super-sheer fabric at the top of my dress scared the bejeezus out of me at first because I couldn't figure out if should line it or just let my undies show (*gasp!*)  I eventually solved the problem by buying a pretty 1910's brassiere, and I just let it show through the fabric, which is exactly what the Edwardains would have done.  I learned a ton about period brassieres in the process, and I even went on to write a two-part article about them for Foundations Revealed, which will come out in December and February. The first article covers the history of Edwardian/1910's brassieres, and the second one will teach you how to make one yourself based on the vintage brassiere that I am wearing with this outfit.

Other than being neck-deep in writing articles this past month, the other reason why this post is so late is because I really wanted to do some faux-vintage photos with some of the pictures that we took that weekend.  I finally found some time to do that today, and I am really pleased with the results.

Edwardian self-portrait

I've been experimenting with faux-vintage photography for years, but I now teach a digital photo class at work, and my Photoshop skills have improved drastically.  I finally have some better skills for making the pictures do what I want.  I figured out that the biggest issue is to try and duplicate the shallow depth of field that you see in old photographs where you have a blurry, light background and foreground.  Modern point-and-shoot cameras try to keep everything in focus, and it's a dead giveaway that the the faux-effect is a fake.  It's amazing what a difference that makes!  I also have some more sophisticated photoshop actions to create the sepia look now, and I overlaid the photo with a scan of paper foxing to give it a slightly speckled look.  Here are a few original pictures that I was looking at for comparison when making my photo.  

christy and me

I also tried my hand at copying the look of a different style of period photography, inspired by this fun picture of two Edwardian ladies showing a bit of ankle.  (oh-la-la!)  I didn't have a suitable glass plate frame to use around the picture, so I used one of my scanned tin-types for the border instead.  It gives it a slightly different look, and I don't think this fake is as convincing as the other, but I still like the results.   My friend Christy and I had entirely too much fun posing for this picture!

You can see the rest of my flickr set from this event here.