Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Texas Living History Association Conference

Wow! What a great conference. This passed weekend I attended the Texas Living History Association's first annual conference held in Huntsville at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum. It was a great success for the first time out! It started Friday with tours and workshops. I attended "What is Interpretation" presented by Jim Lauderdale. Saturday was busy with sessions on developing living history programs, developing interpretations, costuming and sewing. At the board meeting, yours truly was elected as the communications director! Saturday night everyone dressed up in their favorite period and enjoyed a buffet dinner and auction. The auction raised over $1100.

Sunday was another workshop and more sessions on interpretation and impression development. Hal Simon presented a wonderful session on 19th century mourning customs.

The association is currently in the process of developing a website and membership procedures but in the mean time visit the Facebook page. Picture from the conference can be found here.

Speaking of pictures here is the blue check dress...finally.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Kids' Patterns

This is just a quick post to introduce you to a friend's blog on her experiences developing period patterns and clothing for her little girl. She is very talented and will make the patterns available to the public soon. Plus the blog includes some adorable pictures of her baby!

Thistle + Lily

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Silk Fringe

In my previous post I shared the small cuts of silk my friend and I bought from a fabric warehouse going out of business in Houston, Texas. My friend started experimenting with what to do with these small cuts. Bonnet ties and trimmings first came to mind, but then she started picking threads and made fringe! Here is the fabric she used.

And a sample of the fringe shown on different backgrounds.

Here are images of the fringe against the same fabric and how it might be used.

Fringe is easy to make and can really add to the look of a dress. If you are interested in this particular fringe, my friend is willing to make some up for sale. Contact me if interested.

My friend may also make up some ruching trim and bonnet finishings from the small cuts she chose to post here, so check back for simple and inexpensive ways to add interest to your period creations.

Fabric Finds!

This past weekend I paid a visit to a Houston fabric warehouse that is going out of business. I have always enjoyed this store and their selection of period appropriate 100% silks. I am very upset to see them close, but that didn't keep me from taking advantage of the tremendous discounts--50% off or 75% off if you buy the whole bolt. We found several silks that were wonderful and that we wanted, but only one had a reasonable amount on the bolt to take advantage of the 75% discount.

I have about 25 yards of this fabric! I'm selling the amount over what I need for my dress.

I've been looking for dress samples using similar checks and have a Pinterest board with lots of inspiration.

We also picked up much  smaller amounts of a few other fabrics. These we are going to use as trims and bonnet finishings. The two below are the ones I bought. The darker plaid I plan to use for bonnet ties and curtain or as trim on a black paletot. The lighter plaid I was thinking a mantle as I have 3 yards but not sure about the pattern so this may change. But first the black dress and the red plaid; stay tuned for updates. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Black Dress Prep

I'm still working on the pattern for my black dress and have a fitting weekend coming up with a friend. All my fabrics are in. For the chemisette a nice, light-weight cotton. The edge of the lace will be used down the front of the chemisette, and the flat will be used on the band collar.

The black silk(?) will be the base of the dress and the silk velvet the trim. I'm not quite sure if the silk is 100% silk. I did a burn test and it seemed to melt but didn't form a gooey plastic mess. Then I soaked it in bleach and it eventually dissolved. So it's a blend, or is treated with something or who knows. But I like it and it will make a beautiful dress.