The Ladies' Tea Guild

Friday, April 13, 2012

Working on a Titanic costume project.

ca. 1911 day dress
Well, as everyone around here knows, this Sunday marks the 100th year since the tragic sinking of the Titanic, and I'm planning to attend some of the memorial events in the Bay Area.  While the Titanic dinner sounds fabulous, it's way out of my budget, and I didn't have anything to wear to the Titanic Ball last weekend.  A few friends from my costume guild are meeting for tea at a local tea room, and going to see the 3-D version of James Cameron's "Titanic" immediately afterwards.  I don't plan to join them for the movie, because 3-D movies always give me headaches, but I'll be there for tea!  That means a costume from 1912 ...

my vintage "pneumonia blouse"
I made a ca. 1911 shirtwaist and skirt for the California Woman's Suffrage Centennial last fall, so if I don't get anything else made, I can wear that.  I also have a 1912-ish blue lingerie gown that a friend made and passed on to me when she could no longer wear it, and it's just barely big enough (if I pull my corset laces tight!), but I need to put the hem up so I don't trip.  I've also been working on a ca. 1910-ish linen skirt and jacket, and I have a vintage ca. 1912 lingerie blouse that would be perfect with them.  However, the skirt is in the Edwardian high-waist style and I discovered that I don't have the right materials to make the fitted under-waistband that will keep the skirt waist at its proper position.  I haven't even cut the jacket out yet, and the vintage blouse is damaged and needs restoration, including the removal of rust stains.

Then, on top of that, I need the accessories, in particular the hat and hairstyle.  I have white stockings and T-strap pumps that will do, as well as vintage (1950s) elbow-length gloves and a modern handbag that sort of looks Edwardian, but I just have no imagination when it comes to trimming hats.  My hair, while it's very long, is also thin and fine, and won't hold a curl or wave even if I coat my hair with products and sleep in curlers, and it disappears to nothing when I pin it up.  So much for a full, luxurious, Gibson Girl marcel-wave hairstyle!  


Triannas Treasures said...

Here are some hairstyles from around that time...maybe they will inspire you?

Bernideen said...

This looks fabulous - I so enjoy your blog!

South Bay Ladies' Tea Guild said...

Glad you like it, Bernideen!

Trianna, I'll take a look at those hairstyle photos! I always have a hard time doing my hair in a new historical style; it's so thin and fine, it doesn't do what I want it to do, and then it falls out of the style after a while. I've only got about 2 styles that I can do quickly, and neither of them are from the Titanic era!

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)