The Ladies' Tea Guild

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge #1 for 2014

Production photo of female
Hobbit for inspiration.
Challenge #1: Make Do And Mend.  So, I thought I would actually finish one of the challenges within a reasonable time period from its due date ... Besides the replacing of the waist drawstring on my hoop petticoat (detailed in the last post), I also spent some time arranging some items to make my 1580s Elizabethan working-woman costume into something Hobbity for the GBACG fashion show on Saturday.  I put my hair in curlers and asked my friend to lend me her pointy ears and everything!  And then (while at the fashion show venue) ... I read the fashion show script that the narrator would be reading, and had to "make do" to change it back to (relative) historical accuracy!  

This is pretty much how I intended to look.
Photo: Elizabeth Urbach
The script -- unlike in the past, where the fashion show was a means of publicizing the upcoming themed costume events, and each person's costume description was accompanied by commentary relating it to the event it was supposed to represent -- didn't talk about the upcoming GBACG events, or relate anyone's costume to any themed event.  So much for my being asked to represent Bilbo's Birthday Bash, which is coming up in September!  

The quickie stomacher -- front.
Photo: Elizabeth Urbach. 
I'd left my linen Elizabethan shift at home and brought my poufy cotton camicia-ish shift instead.  I'd left my linen coif at home.  I'd taken off the wool sleeves that matched my bodice and skirt (but still brought them, thank goodness!).  I was wearing my Victorian corset and a print petticoat that was supposed to show when I pinned one side of my skirt up, 18th century-ish style.  I'd worn my softer bum roll to give my flat backside some 18th century-ish volume.  I'd made an 18th century-ish corded stomacher of a gold-colored brocade that was supposed to show behind my bodice lacings.  I'd made an 18th century-ish neck band. 

this is how I ended up looking in the show.
Photo: Elizabeth Urbach
When I saw the script, I considered asking the narrator to change my costume description, but then I read the rest of the script and saw that nobody else's description referred to any upcoming events!  She'd have to change everyone's description in order to make the script make sense ...  That's when the "make do" challenge came into play: "quick, hide the Hobbit!"  I twisted up the tangled Hobbit curls and pinned them into a loose bun at the back of my head, and then tied a flour sack towel (that I'd brought to cover my purse in my bag) into a head wrap to cover them.  I removed the Hobbit neck band.  I put my sleeves back on and pinned them in place.  There wasn't enough time to take off my corset and the extra petticoat, so I just left them.  I didn't put on the borrowed pointy ears.  Thankfully I brought the shoes I usually wear with my Elizabethan costume (I knew the building would be cold), because I was planning to go barefoot for the show!  

Of course, I can see that the shift is wrong, and that the pleats in my skirt are pulling in a weird way because of the extra volume underneath.  Also, my hair is sticking out from under the head wrap instead of being neatly covered, and the extra petticoat is showing a bit in front.  But all in all, it wasn't a disaster, and I actually got people taking photos of me!  Usually people only photograph the glam and fancy costumes, so I never know what I look like in my own costume because I don't get a photo!  I also got to meet a few people that I only know on Facebook, so that was fun.  

1 comment:

Steph said...

You made do very well!

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)