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Hello again!

'Tis the time for summer projects y'all!   I've been toiling away working on various costumes and clothing pieces, as usual. I've just finished making a rockabilly pencil skirt with a pleated insert in the back, in the most fabulous gray / black leopard print cotton chintz fabric! Huzzah! (pictures to come...)

Recently, my aunt gave me a bunch of patterns which had belonged to my grandmother...  my grandmother wasn't the sewing type, she hired people to do that for her. But I'm sure glad someone kept the patterns anyway! There are some superb ones in the pile, and I can see where I get my taste in clothing from. It's like I'm her clone...

(click on the images to see a closeup)


In other news...  an 18th century gentleman's costume!!!
Yes, it's true. Since January, I've been oggling pictures of early 18th century men's costumes, waistcoats and frockcoats. I've been so smitten with every embroidered piece of delicious clothing, that I decided to make my very own, to wear to this year's Fêtes de la Nouvelle France, in Quebec City. 

Ever since I saw this illustration on Deviant Art, I've been wanting to make something similar, so I decided to make it for this summer's festival.

This amazing illustration is by  Fyodor

 My work so far on the costume...
 Here is a picture of the waistcoat (1750s style); It is made of gunmetal gray Chinese brocade featuring a lovely chrysanthemum design. The braided trim on the waistcoat was white, and so I dyed it pink. 
At first, the trim turned out hot pink, which just simply would not do. I had to dump the dye, and added fresh water, re-boiled the trim about three times until the trim was a more acceptable darkness. It was still candy pink, so I threw four tea bags into the water. After a few minutes, the trim turned a perfect shade of dusty rose!   I'm so pleased at how the trim turned out!!!
Closeup view of the pink trim on the bottom of the waistcoat, and the pocket flaps. I think I need to add more buttons to the pocket flaps.....

View of the back of the waistcoat; Design as per several images of actual waistcoats and their ties. (Some had from 1 to 3 ties in the back... I opted for 2)
View of the frock coat sleeve; The frock coat is made of antique-rose Dupioni silk, trimmed with black beaded lace.
View of the Frock coat pocket flap, trimmed in black beaded lace and braided trim.
So that's what I've been up to... Stay tuned for future developments on my outfit!

Hope everyone is having a fantastic summer so far. Mine's been insanely busy so far... I'm also working on five bridesmaid dresses and a wedding dress for my cousin's fiancée....

Earlier in May, I recreated a dress from James Jacques Tissot's paintings. This dress has been a source of fascination for a while. It can be seen in as many as eight or more paintings. 
(Here are some of them...)
Here's my rendition of the dress!
It's made of a lovely, breathable striped cotton in gray and white. The bodice front features fifteen pearly buttons, and four buttons on each sleeve cuff. The neckline is trimmed with knife-pleated fabric. The bustle is removable for ease of care, but also it's fun to change the bustle, if you happen to have another detachable one around.

Photos by Laurie Foster

Photos by Mike Arnold

Here is a photo of my friend Taylor and I at the recent Steampunk Ottawa Science Fair
(the Tissot skirt was perfect for my Steampunk costume!)

Here are some more pictures of the Science Fair - some of my creations:

Some of these fabulous items are now available in my Etsy shop!

Anyways... I think that's enough for now... 
Take care guys! I'll be posting more pictures as soon as I can.