• Beauty and Fashion

    Jane Austen Festival 2018: Part 4 Regency Accessories and Festival Wrap-Up

    I’m on Instagram now, so I’ve been searching #JaneAustenFestival and finding lots of new costumers/historical fashion sewists to follow as well as some of the vendors. I will probably be featuring lots of articles here. I’ve been pinning tons of historical fashions lately too if you want to see my Pinterest board.

    Also, this blog post features a lovely selection of excellent photos of the stunning fashions at the festival.

    Here is the last of my shopping. A cotton print scarf and silk stockings from Burnley and Trowbridge. Two silk scarfs/shawls from 96 District Fabrics. A perfume vial from LBCC Historical (they carried several elegant styles), and a coral set (I’ve wanted one since I saw some in Williamsburg, again, harkening back to Felicity) from Design’s by Lady Anne.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Jane Austen Festival 2018: Part 3, Regency Patterns and Planning for Next Year

    I’ve always loved historical fashion mainly pioneer (or prairie) girl with some Victorian and Colonial as a child; my knowledge stemmed from Little House and the American Girls, so the Regency period was an unknown time until I was introduced to Jane Austen. I sewed quite a bit for a child, but struggled to progress because of work-ethic and perfectionism problems.

    I’ve wanted to make a dress ever since the first time I attended the festival. I bought a beautiful silk antique sari, blue cotton velveteen, and various silk ribbons at the festivals. I still have these along with the silk ribbon flower kit my grandmother bought me the first year. But time, maturity, finances, knowledge, discipline, and will-power never came together. And now I’m not sure I really want to use the sari for a regency dress, but rather for something more timeless; however, I would like to incorporate the other items into my ensemble.

    I thought that I maybe could this year, and so I started researching and planning; I had to relinquish this idea out of practicality, but the planning has stood me in good stead. I had more purpose shopping and now planning for next year. I found three patterns that I had been looking at for quite a while plus a dress pattern that was featured in the style show. The rest of my patterns and materials as well as the actual construction, I can space out over the year.

    The stay pattern is Past Patterns #038 Transition Stay Pattern and is based on an American garment. The shift/chemise is Kannik’s Korner although I’m sure I technically could have drafted this myself, but the wonderful thing about all this patterns is all the historical background and techniques included in the instructions.

    The dress from Fig Leaf Patterns was new to me and is based on an American garment. While it is nice to try to find American garments, I’m not sure many people in my family would have worn them or worn them when they were at the height of fashion. I would like to do more research on what my ancestors would conceivably have worn, but I still want a fashionable regency dress as well.

    At the first Jane Austen festival, I first heard mentioned that very young unmarried ladies often wore white, so I’d been planning on a white dress as most accurate. I realized to my chagrin, that I wouldn’t really fall into the category of young (I’m Charlotte Lucas’s age, and she wore colors while the younger Lizzy and Jane wore whites, creams, and pastels), but I had trouble finding prints I wanted. A lot of the block prints are more Georgian and Colonial (I have my eye on one I want for a Poldark inspired gown; I love the gowns I see on Pinterest from that show, the slimmer silhouette). Anyhow, I don’t think I’m terribly too old although white is a bit boring. I definitely want plenty of trimming and color in my accessories. The fabric I bought from Regency Revisited.

    While I think I’d heard of Timely Tresses ages before, I first fixed on The Lucia pattern via this post because I’ve long loved Marianne and Lizzy’s hats of these styles the best of all the hats and bonnets in the movies.

  • Learning and Exploring

    Jane Austen Festival 2018: Part 2, Regency Food and Regency Beauty

    Because of a goof on my part, I wasn’t able to sign up for the teas on the first day, and so they sold out, but I put our names on the waiting list as soon as I could and received a call about openings just a few days before, so I was thrilled.

    We had four types of teas from Bingley’s teas. I am by no means a tea connoisseur; I don’t often like it, period (I prefer cold, rather plain beverages of the milk, water, and fruit juice/lemonade variety). I have Emma’s Perfect Match and Marianne’s Wild Abandon which I bought at one of the earlier events, and I don’t care for them much (although I think perhaps the blending of the teas has improved since the early days?). I also tend to “need” a lot of sugar to enjoy them which is off-putting; I’d rather have a less-sugary sweet treat I like better.

    However, I did enjoy my syrups teas more this time. We tasted Captain Wentworth (least fav, too strong for me), The Dance of the Musgrove Sisters (second fav, I think), The Patience of Miss Price (my favorite and one I want to buy), and one other (a rose, cherry, and green tea blend, I believe). I don’t know if only two of the teas were Bingley’s and the other two were one of the other company’s (Hellinger Kurtz Kaffeehaus or The Blessed Bee Herbals) or if Bingley’s had new blends that aren’t on their site yet. While perusing their site just now, I realized, I found several more I want to try! Although, sacrilege of sacrilege, I’d probably prefer them iced.

    On our early wanderings we discovered the Half-Crown Bakehouse (Mom went back later and bought some bread for Sunday) which featured foods with names that were a blast from my childhood past such as Sally Lunn bread and Queen’s Cakes (Felicity cookbook anyone?!). I’m in the mood to research about historical foods after discovering The Townsends, a historical food YouTube channel, via Brijee Pattern’s post.

    I really appreciate the delving into historical aspects beyond fashion. My mother mentioned that this time it reminded her of Colonial Williamsburg (I adore that place, I’m wanting to go again, but I’d like to go for an event in historical dress now). The Living History feeling.

    Another aspect to that was the beauty/apothecary place: LBCC Historical. Historical beauty recipes . . . sans heavy metals, lol.

    Since I’m decidedly Marianne, I bought the Marianne set although I’d love the Jane one (rose!) as well; I hope they make the sets again, they were a special thing for the festival, I think.

  • Learning and Exploring

    Jane Austen Festival 2018: Part 1, My Festival Background

    Because I apparently don’t document anything, I had to rely on a comment I left on another blog to determine my festival attendance. I attended 2010-2013 festivals.

    Some aspects of the earliest festivals

    • Contained to the back yard (I think the porch is the back side of the house)
    • Only two days
    • Smaller (and it was more local/regional while now it is THE national JA event, I think; according to this year’s handout, the first year had 660 and last year over 2400, and I’m assuming this year was even larger?)
    • Fewer venders
    • Less serious costuming (I know some people dressed in regency at the earlier ones, but my grandmother says not the majority while in 2018 it was the opposite; and the quality of the “regency” outfits tended to be far lower earlier while now it seems to be far more accurate and detailed)
    • The majority of the activities were the teas and the talks in the big tent

    I feel that around 2013 the size and attention started to explode, and I got overwhelmed plus rather done with the event (too often plus waning interest in the era and author).

    Here are some posts from bloggers who attended some of the earlier festivals: 2012 (one and two) and 2013 (one, two, and three).

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Link Love: Historical Fashion

    I think that a post on historical fashion goes well with the month of Halloween. This is often the route for those of us not interested in ghoulish costumes. Last year my sisters and I dressed in the fashion of a decade of the last century for Halloween.

    My love of historical fashion began with an obsession with pioneers as a child. All thanks to The Little House Books and the computer game Oregon Trail, of course. I had sunbonnets, aprons, “calico” dresses, etc.. My sister and I had a few American Girl dolls, and we loved pouring over the American Girl catalog every time it came.

    Then came the Jane Austen period. I’d never known about the historical fashion period between the huge dresses of the Colonial and the Civil War eras. I was fascinated by all the costumes in the JA movies, and later, all the reproductions from bloggers and Jane Austen festival attendees.*

    While I don’t make historical clothing myself, I do still appreciate the work of others.
    Someone pinned Angela Clayton’s work on Pinterest, and I’ve been following her blog ever since. Her historical fashion work is stunning.

    Lily at Mode de Lis posts quite a bit of retro inspired clothing as well as a few Colonial and Regency dresses.

    I found this interesting video via another blogger’s link post. The re-enactors show all the layers and pieces an upper-class 18th-century woman wore. So many layers and tools for the correct form. And people pinned their clothes on!
    If you love pouring over and analyzing the historical costumes of period films, check out this archived blog.

    *Speaking of Jane Austen, I think I’d seen someone mention this game, but thought it was the board game I played years ago. After another blogger posted the link to this hilarious video of the LBD cast members playing the game, I realized it was a different and far more clever game.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Regency Hairstyles

    I wanted to join in the fun with another post besides the tag for Period Drama Fashion Week, but without photos from the films. Disclaimer: I in no way recommend all content on these sites; I just found the tutorials via Google and some are on YouTube.

    I decided to try to find some tutorials. I would imagine that most Regency ladies had long and super long hair since they probably avoided wigs since Regency fashion came about as a reaction to the excesses of the Georgian era.

    Several years ago I think I found a Lydia Bennet tutorial (it could have been Lizzy, but I tried it on my sister to look like Lydia’s hair style), but I have no idea how to find this again. I know that it involved doing a French twist without tucking the top in and then arranging the hair to fall in a waterfall and then curling that waterfall. I tried the 2009 Emma hairstyle in the last few years or so. With practice I think I could do it pretty easily (I am probably delusional).

    Here is an article on regency hairstyles with comparison to classical (this period inspired regency fashion).

    Here is a chart showing different hairstyles for different years of the regency.

    These tutorials are for those with super long hair (mine is almost to the tops of my hips) and decently thick hair:

    Here is a bun with braids around it. Something Jane Bennet might wear. The girl had curls, but she could do them because she had what she called regency bangs.

    Here is a style with bun, curls, and braids.

    A whole set of posts of different styles from various Emma adaptations.

    Here is for medium to longish hair:

    This is the 2009 Emma hairstyle.

    General regency.

    Lizzy Bennet.

    For short:

    Here is how one lady mimics a regency look.

    I do believe that the short almost pixie style, which Lady Harriet Cumnor in Wives and Daughters (post Regency) sports, is in vogue with a few in the Regency. UGH. I do not like or advocate this style then or now (especially not now) as it is VERY unfeminine.

    Anyway I hope you enjoy these hair style tutorials. I think I will definitely try some soon . . . and I will try to post photos.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Period Drama Fashion Week at For the Beauty of the Earth: The Tag

    It is not like I don’t have drafts that need to be published (or school to be done, but who is asking about school?), but how can I pass this event up?! The Literary Heroine Blog Party and Tag was soooo fun!

    1. Tell us five random things about yourself.

    ~ I love italics and I am sure I speak in them (see Emily of New Moon).
    ~ I have a problem having just one project (of a particular a craft) or one book started.
    ~ I have tried to make some of my own cosmetics and treatments and such. I think the deodorant worked. The foundation/concealer needs more ingredients to be more than a greasy tinted moisturizer.
    ~ I hate coffee and don’t like hearing about how people “cannot live without it.”
    ~ I am taking Latin at the university for my language. Dorky much.
    2. What are some of your favorite dresses from period dramas? Pick three.

    I have trouble thinking of favorites much less picking them. I want to make an outfit like Harriet’s purple ensemble from Emma 2009; it is a spencer jacket and dress, and I cannot find a photo. I like Felicity’s purple dress with the gauzy neckerchief (I don’t think that is the right term) and Elizabeth’s ball dress.
    3. How would you describe your own style?

    I will pretend that I have it all together and say elegant and frilly.
    4. List (up to) five of your favorite period drama wardrobes.

    I like some of Lizzy’s dresses in Pride and Prejudice 1995. I like several styles (not always the colors) in the Emma 2009. The Inheritance clothing was lovely. I love the dresses in Felicity: An American Girl Adventure. Some of the dresses were pretty in Ever After.
    5. What are some of your favorite fashion eras?

    Regency, Civil War, later Victorian, 1950’s.
    6. What are five things that make you happy?

    Books, sugar, whole milk, real lemonade, pretty shoes.
    7. Do you like to wear hats?

    I would like to like to wear hats, but they make me feel really self-conscious and stupid.
    8. Do you have a favorite fictional character who has the same name as you?
    (Edited)
    9. What is one of the ugliest dresses you’ve ever seen in a period drama?

    I don’t know if The Secret of Moonacre counts, but those dresses with exposed hoops like skeletons were both bizarre and ugly.
    10. What is the most-worn color in your wardrobe?

    Grey this winter. I am getting tired of it; I prefer not to wear neutrals much.
    11. What are your sentiments on the subject of tea?

    I like some types with lots of sugar. Part of my problem is that I squeeze the tea forcing out bitterness into the tea. I just don’t like many drinks (whole milk, water, some fruits juices, real lemonade and occasionally hot cocoa for me); I am horribly uncultured.
    12. Do historical inaccuracies bother you?

    Mightily usually.
    13. What are some of your favorite eras of men’s fashions?

    Regency and well most of 19th century, retro.
    14. Have you ever read any books on historical fashion?

    Yes, but I think they were all juvenile. The adult ones are HUGE . . . or feel that way.
    15. If you could pick just three fictional characters to have over for tea, who would you invite?

    I will stick with period dramas. Henry Lennox to see what was wrong with him, Laurie for laughter, and Jo so that I can MAKE her marry Laurie.