Saturday, April 23, 2016

Truly Victorian Edwardian Underwear TVE02, awkward undergarment photos and the TMI restroom zone

I previously had made the TVE02 combinations in white batiste with the evening neckline. I really, really like combinations. Far more than the traditional drawers and chemise. Why wear two separate garments when you can just wear one! I will pretty much wear combinations under any Victorian era. Sorry, not historically accurate but much more convenient.

The evening bodice is the faster of the two to make. Great for low/wide necklines. After making the evening version I decided to make my next pair with the regular bodice. I found this gorgeous floral batiste online and it was pure love!! Once again not historically accurate, but who cares.

Really what takes the longest on the undergarments are all the facings. Once you pass that point they go together quickly. I recommend using a fusible interfacing or sew in for all the facings. I make my combinations to wear under my corset. So I use my non corseted measurements. I made no alterations. For reference I am 5ft 4in tall. If you are taller you may want to lengthen them, or not. This is a really great pattern and not difficult to use at all. I highly recommend it.

Awkward undergarment photos:

So, something I struggle with, besides body image is reviewing undergarments. I don't know why I feel so self conscious. Because certainly I am wearing MORE damn clothing than I would be at the beach!!!! It probably has to do with the fetishizing of corsets and underwear in general. I guess stockings, bras and garter belts fall into that category. So pretty much anything women wear under their clothing is fair game. Knowing this makes me feel a bit awkward about posting pictures and reviewing. I do recognize that this is my personal hangup. I am making an effort to move beyond it.

You will notice that I only take one picture, unless it is petticoats or a corset. There are two reasons for this. Number one, I am lazy. Number two, Victorian drawers are split down the crotch. Yes, Victorian women used the bathroom. SHOCKING! I know. You are not going to be pulling down your drawers to do this. Not in all those petticoats and skirts plus a corset. It was done for convenience. When you see a pair at an antique store they are not "whore's drawers". Well, maybe they were....who knows. Needless to say I am wrestling with this whole open crotch thing when taking pictures. But I manage to get a couple good shots in. I suppose I could just pin them shut for photos....then lazy happens. ;-)

TVE02 regular bodice, no ruffles.

The TMI zone AKA using the ladies room while in costume:

While we are here lets head into the TMI zone! I had someone ask me once how I used the restroom when I am in costume. Well first you hope for normal restrooms VS a porta potty. Then you also hope they are somewhat clean. When you get down to it, it is quite simple. You sit facing the back of the toilet. Pretty much any bridal Q&A website will spill the beans on this technique. I haven't yet been in a situation with only porta potties. Hopefully I never will. I hate those things even when I am not in costume. Also I was recently reading about the 18th century Bourdaloue. Looks like a porcelain gravy boat but in fact was a small chamber pot ergonomically designed for the female form. Here is the Bourdaloue in action.

Painting by Francois Boucher

Also worth noting women did not wear drawers until the 19th century. They wore a chemise, stays (like a corset but a different shape) stockings, garters (ribbons tied around the leg above the knee to hold up stockings) and a petticoat or two. The 18th century lady in the above painting would not have been wearing drawers.

I do not have a Bourdaloue but I could certainly see the need of one for people doing historical reenactment. Especially in a camp situation. 

I also recently read about this nifty invention called the bridal buddy. It is a sheer drawstring skirt you wear under your dress and petticoats. When you have to hit the loo you just lift up the Bridal Buddy and pull the drawstring. It encloses all your skirts and petticoats. Keeps everything off the floor. Well, you can file all this under "the more you know". ;-)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

2016 Port Townsend Victorian Festival and Plaid Walking suit.

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the 2016 Port Townsend Victorian Festival for the whole weekend. I was accompanied by my husband and our two sons. We stayed at Manresa Castle. It was lovely!

I brought five different outfits to wear. Oh my! Four were from the 1890s era and one was an 1870s bustle dress. The bustle dress was specifically for the fashion show. Needless to say there was a tremendous lot of packing. I kept my shoe choices simple. For regular wear I use my Frye granny boots. A nice practical 1.5 inch heel and almond shaped toe. I can wear them all day with no issues. For the ball I wore my American Duchess Tango boots. I love them! But alas a 3 inch heel means only a few hours of wear. They are very well balanced and easy to dance in. I do think a person who is more used to heels could get longer wear out of them.

Friday night there was a Sea Shanty sing along. It was a lot of fun even though I was sober and didn't know any of the songs. I wore my red 1890s outfit for the sing along. I received many compliments on it.

The lady in red!

Saturday was a very busy day. I started my morning selling tickets for VicFest. I did that for a couple of hours. I then went to see a lecture on watches and how women wore them. After that I had lunch with another costumer and friend. Then back to the hotel to prepare for the Victorian Fashion Show. I also needed a bit of downtime. I am fairly introverted but can be extroverted when needed. But I also know my limitations. In order to take care of myself I need a bit of quiet to recharge my batteries. 

The fashion show was wonderful. Happily my husband also participated in this event. After the fashion show we had dinner and then it was off to the ball! I wore my black silk taffeta 1890s evening gown. I used Truly Victorian's Ripple Bodice (with modifications) and the fabulous Ripple Skirt. I also changed out the sleeve to her  TV495, large evening poof sleeve. Yes, very poofy!

Sunday the guys went home in the morning and I joined my friends for a tea party at The Commander's Beach house. It was fabulous! Here are some pictures of the full adventure!

 In the bar at Manresa Castle. Cheers!

Practical 1890s walking skirt and blouse. 

At the fashion show with The Countess.

 Myself and the Mr. Mimi

Manresa Castle before the ball. 

At the ball getting ready for the grand march. 

Commander's Beach House after the tea. 

1890s puff sleeve competition. Lady Rebecca is clearly the winner. 

My friend The Fabulous Val. 

My turn for silly!

Truly Victorian's TV297 1898 flared skirt and TV496 Ripple bodice using the collar and sleeve from the Eaton jacket. Probably my favorite sleeve design.

My latest project is an 1850s-ish dress for a May event. I don't normally do anything pre bustle except a modest amount of late 18th century. So I am keeping the dress simple and easy. I am using a pretty teal cotton print and I may make a bonnet. Not sure yet. If I do it will be a dark brown. Teal and dark brown are in my top 5 color combinations.