Thursday, May 7, 2009

Site Updates & Bastille Day Plans

Did a bit of updating to the site. Not everything is finished, but I added a new section where I'll have photo galleries events and such. The first gallery is up, and it's from Scarborough Faire this past weekend, celebrating 500 years since Henry VIII was crowned King of England. Enjoy!

In other news, Bastille Day is fast approaching, and plans are moving along just swimmingly. After spending a day watching two Marie Antoinette movies (the 1938 version and the Kirsten Dunst version), Valmont, and Dangerous Liaisons, I can definitely say that I am in the mood to get things done. Chance has graciously offered to help cook for the evening, and we've settled on either duck or pheasant as the main course. Mom suggested savory pastries (I forget their proper name) as an appetizer, and I'm going to have cream puffs and eclairs for dessert. I found an estate sale where they were selling off silver serving dishes for between $1-10/piece, so I'm glad to say that I'll have a nice place setting, and I plan to make a sort of canopy with pvc pipe that I'm going to spray paint an appropriate colour and drape with inexpensive white fabric. And, though it means deviating a little from the French menu, I want to try my hand at making a German mohnkuchen, like what I know from my visits. You could translate it as poppyseed cake, but it's absolutely nothing like the lemony yellow pound cake speckled with seeds that you get over here. It is this :
The recipe I have calls for 250 grams of ground poppyseeds, and you'd probably fail drug tests for months after just a single slice. It tastes so good. I love this cake, and I must attempt to make it.
So, anyway, things are moving along quite swimmingly. And, to top it off, I found yards and yards of orchid coloured satin in the stash when I was going through it the other day, and I've decided to use it to make my new gown for that evening. I really want to make a polonaise gown with an en fourreau back, like this blue striped one from Marie Antoinette :
I fell in love with it the minute it came on screen, and it's time for me to make something from this period that isn't a Robe à la Française. I've only ever made one polonaise, which is strange considering how much I love the look of them, and it was hardly accurate, so this will be a fun project. And I love en fourreau pleats, I think they are such a beautiful, subtle detail. Here's a closeup of Elizabeth's gold gown from the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which had en fourreau pleats :
They eat fabric, but the are soooo pretty.
I took out my old Rococo stays that I made ages ago and gave them a quick inspection. Results were...disappointing. I remembered that they were torn in the back, but after inspecting the rip I found that the damage was worse than originally thought. The fabric itself is torn, not a seam or something that can be fixed quickly and easily. On top of that, the fabric is very deteriorated and loves to fray, so I think I'm just going to make a new set. I had started on two new sets of stays some time ago, one a pink embroidered silk and the other a brown and gold brocade, and I think I'll finally finish one of them up. Probably the pink ones. My panniers need to be fixed, too, but I found an old 3-bone hoop in the garage that I can salvage the boning from, so that shouldn't take too long at all.
I'm also finally going to make myself a wig to wear with my rococo gowns. I haven't decided on whether to make Demode's Pouf or Vivien's Pouf, though.

In completely unrelated news, yes, I did attempt to make a new court gown in the four days before Henry's coronation. No, I didn't finish it all. But, I did manage to finish it to the point of wearability, it just didn't have any sleeves to it. (I wore an Elizabethan shirt under the bodice, so I was still decent.) I'm still rather proud of all the progress I was able to accomplish considering that I actually embroidered the front of the bodice with flowers since I don't have any period trims in my fabric stash. I'm also amazed that I could squeeze an entire gown out of the fabric I had, since I butchered an old Lord of the Rings style Elf dress to make it. It's now an ice blue faux silk gown, with gold embroidery, and I wore it with my black and gold forepart. Unfortunately, I had to wash it after the coronation because of the mud, so most of the metallic gold paint that I used on the overskirt washed off because I neglected to heat bond it like I was supposed to. I'll probably put off finishing it until after A-kon since I still have three costumes to finish before then, but then I'm free and won't have any other costuming obligations. I'll have some pictures up soon of the dress in its current state and how I wore it to the faire, but I want to re-paint the overskirt first.

Chance has been talking about starting a historical dance group, and I've been helping him by doing research online. It'll be just the four of us at first - Chance, Amanda, Mel, and myself, but maybe we'll eventually have more members. We also want to have more costumed events like Bastille Day. Any excuse to dress up! Now all our little group needs is a name and we'll be set. :D

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