sunburst coco dreaming

Seeing all your Costume College pics (and how cool is it to see so many of you in one spot!!!! I mean really:) ) has made me slightly sad, but only bceause it would take a massive fundraising effort to get there and I dinnae think it’s going to happen. But it’s also been great because it has spurred me into action to start my Worth gown right now. Plotting of the beading and patterning and working out what dyes to use…

But also it’s set me to dreaming. What would I do if I did get to CC.

Well I think the only class I could really teach is German Frocks, going beyond the Saxon Court Gown because it’s an opportunity to talk about that style and all the wonderfully quirky styles elsewhere in the region.

For the Gala it would the Worth Gown of beaded doom, so I would have to stay away from food and anyone eating food or anyone with makeup… 😉

I’d make some pretty speccie undies to go with it, corset and petticoat and knickers and have some fancy stockings… and hope to find some louis heeled cream stain shoes…. in case the underwear gathering happens again;)

The day dress I’m currently working on, as it’s rather severe and quite a contrast to the Worth Doom dress. And would use the same support.

Or… Maybe I’d get to finally make that 1830s dress in the windowpane self check fabric in stash for about 5 yeras… and 1800s frock could be light to pack as well…

And what classes to attend would depend on what was on offer. But honestly, just being around so many people interested in the same thing would be incredible.

So off to hunt through stash for linings and dyes and the like.

pearled skirts

You do not see this. You understand? I am not linking to this because I do not want anyone to see it.

So there.

And I’m taking the hint. “My” pearled lattice net skirt is/was back on ebay* and now there is another netted gown. This dress is vaguely sort of-ish like the Worth gown I’m looking at. Certainly as mad with the beading. And the soft ruffles.

I want a print just to make this 1850s dress.

But could I wear it to the SCA?

That’s it I’m making a morning gown/wrapper.

17thC lace set used later?

The material of this gown is very similar to my late 40s/early 150s coat. I should get photos of it really. I love it. Huge flared sleeves, nipped in waist and very full skirts.



satin arrived


The fabric sample from Cindy arrived today and I have been playing with it.

The warp face is pure silk. It’s totally disintegrated in bleach in less than 10 minutes;) The warp weft. I’m not quite sure. It appears burnt (has gone golden brown) so I’ll do a proper burn test once the gas heater is on. Using tongs, a bowl of water and a metal plate as safety precautions.

I still need to test to see how it will hold up to cutting out sections and turning them under.

sunburst resources

Team NZ is still doing well…


Yesterday I managed to get to the library to pic up the ILL copy of The Opulaent Era. *happy* My dress is in black and white in there. But now I need to hunt down another photo I snaffled as it’s not in there. I may have to email the museum and find out what publications the images appears in. Luckily they have a smaller version of it on the web.

The Opulent Era describes the dress as 1887-1890, I tend to think it’s the later end as the skirt is rather flared compared to dresses of 1887. The dress pattern in Cut of Women’s Clothes for an 1893-4 dress has a very similarly shaped skirt. But there isn’t a similar bodice pattern anywhere. It’s the same as he used for a few with just a single dart under each bust that tends towards the centre front rather than the side. It also has a side bodice panel.

Now materials:
Satin, possibly from ELDAWEN345, fingers crossed, or else I’ll hunt around at Global for fabric.
Chiffon, I can dye it to the right colours from my chemise. I need to cut it down to make a single less full chemise anyway (after Coro!) and then I can use the rest for other projects.
Gold beads, I should have plenty, but if not I can buy some more a jar at a time. I think they are foil lined in the original
Gold sequins, yes, from the same source for my Stickelchen. I have plenty of them left and even more on other bits of the saree. I remember fromt he Worth to Dior exhibit here years ago that sequins were made on gelatin by now. Platsic is perhaps a safer option in Auckland humidity!
Pearls… yes… if I can bring myself to use plastic ones. I have heavily embroidered lace covered in three sizes of pearls that would be perfect. I do know the originals were glass, definitely not real… These are really lovely pearls though, I think I can bring myself to use them;)

Now to make myself a large enough frame to do all the embroidery on…

This is a seriously mad dress to make..

francaise and worth


I have my stupid mad Worth gown I am desperate to make, and I’ll start work on it after Coronation (fittings and such) but now I’m being distracted.

There is the prettiest shot taffeta in the local store right now. It reads as pale blue and is an aqua shot with white (the weft is white and of a slightly heavier thread.)

I just had inspiration hit for what it would be.

And I have no idea if or when it would happen. It’s an 18thC dress in Fashion. I’m not sure if anyone could guess what it is. The original is not blue;) In my printing the colour doesn’t match the description either. I prefer the colour in my printing.

If I was to say insane amount of hand sewing, it may not help either;) Though it is more than if I wanted regular self trimming. I couldn’t use my fly fringe on it though, and I have wanted a fly fringe covered dress since I bought Historical Fashion in Detail.
Oh heck. I may as well see how much fabric it uses. The fabric is 137cm wide and $NZ 12.99/m Not silk, but an absolutely well made poly. Visually because, of the white, it reads as at least partly silk. It’s only the sound that reads as man made. Well when you exaggerate the rustling.

I’ll have to think on this, and see what Global has in stock as I’m sure their midwinter sale will hit around the time of Coronation.

ebay sightings

Wanna buy some early lace?

Wow,the catalogue is full of interesting pieces. Especially swatch books!

Argh! Who ould do that to a Worth gown??

ooh, funky, Private Collection ballgown



I told KOSHKA_THE_CAT that she was inspiring me to make my dream Worth gown….

And I am. As soon as I get my hands on some reasonably priced silk satin, it’s mine!

I have a feeling with the amount of work involved that it’ll wind up being my 40th birthday dress, but hey! I will make it.

Hmmm I wonder if I should tweak it… I was reading the other night about how he eventually let money talk and copied previous designs for other clients


I need to remember to use pearls in victorian gowns.. oooh actually, I will do my worth gown in plastic pearls. I know boo hiss right, but with the new wedding bodice I bought I will have enough of various sizes to actually do all the beading. I don’t see me getting enough glass pearls of that small size to be able to do it.These are a nice quality too, I only see them on custom pearled lace never in the shops.

This is also very nice. Definitely useful for finding creative ways to work with rectangles.

ebay finds

ooooh, lovely turn of the century skirt
I love the textures! Now *that* I would consider doing.

Ooh it’s for sale here now!
This is what I used for my 1850 Voile dress sleeves.

Another lovely 1840s dress
Sigh, a perfect example of what I love about this period.

Amazing cream coloured silk satin late 1880s gown
I’d like to see the other side though.

Moire and crepe gown
Two shades. 1889?

Yellow! Bodice very late 1890s.
Love it. It reminds me of two of Worth’s Sunburst gowns. The earlier one I think used yellow.

The fabric!!!
It give me an idea for what I can do with my Chinese feather brocade. I was thinking of soemthign like this, but wasn’t sure about the boldness of the pattern. The other inspiration is of Sarah Bernhardt in one of her Frou Frou costumes. The brocade has a smaller more repeating motiffe though.
There is something about this one… I’d say it’s later than the date given, but I can’t be sure of it.

Star burst hair ornament!
Add authenticity to your Sisi costume;)

Zoave Jacket.
We wants. I once saw a wonderful vintage coat that was quite similar but all in black. Ideas for a winter coat are forming…

I admit to a fondness for this style as well

Gold reception gown natural form
The shaping of the train is wonderful

Very cute fluffy polonaise


I just ordered The Opulent Era and Cut of Women’s Clothes by ILL. CoWC is not available until I get back from Coronaton anyway, so I can happily wait for that. But Opulent era is available now so I should get it by the end of the week:)

I’m interested in CoWC as I have only read about what it contains, the book is hidden in the Auckland City Library basement. I honestly thought they only had Cut of Men’s Clothes at that. I know some of the patterns overlap History of Costume and possibly Patterns of Fahsion, but it should still be worth the $5 charge?

I’m a little disconcerted as it says I have an outstanding charge for the Coppola and Eiko book. But I paid for it before I left the library, and it would have shown up as I picked up the second book. I’ll pop in tomorrow and see if I can find out what’s going on.

ooh! And I just spotted in Historical Fashion in Detail there were indeed spangles applied with a fastener type thing. Except in the examples, it’s not a bead but several loops of wire! They are early 17tHC though, but still.