sunnuntai 24. elokuuta 2014

Better late than never...

I'm shamefully late on writing about my only summer costuming event! Two weeks ago I attended the 18th century fair in a village called Isokyrö which is about 30-40 minutes drive away from where I live. The event has existed for years but I only managed to go there for the first time last year and decided then that I would return. Together with some costuming, history enthusiast and reenactor friends we had decided to take a booth at the market to sell accessories for the 18th century ladies. This year was also special historically because it marked the 300 year anniversary of the battle of Napue (a place in the area) between Sweden and Russia in the beginning of the 18th century. To commemorate this momentous event there was a big battle reenactment with participants from Finland, Sweden, Russia, Norway, Latvia and Ukraine. It was all very exiting and I had a lovely time even though we didn't really sell that much of our wares. The weather was... well, let's say there was weather. It was generally warm, with spells of pouring rain every day and strange muggy, sticky weather the rest of the time which is very interesting with an outdoors event. At least I didn't have to wear the woollen uniforms that the soldiers sported... :)

I feel that in connection to the event and this post I must point out that I don't consider myself as a reenactor as such. I don't strive for the absolute historical correctness in my clothes or accessories. That being said, from the materials readily available to me I try to look for those that will at least look somewhat authentic, even though they might not be that 100%.

Right. Onwards to the pictures!

At the church door. The old Church of Isokyrö is very unique. It was built in the 16th century and all its inner walls are decorated with fabulous murals from the same era.

The Swedish Caroline soldiers preparing to march off to the battle.

I think these guys were the Ukranian extraction.

On the battle field. There was quite a lot of standing still before anything at all happened.

Kaari Utrio, a well known Finnish author giving a lecture in the church. She writes historical novels, specialising in the Medieval times in Finland. She's also written more lighthearted novels on Helsinki in the 1830s.

The market was packed on Saturday

Sanna of Rococo Atelier, repenting in the stocks. I can tell you, it didn't help :)

Returning from the battle. I loved the fabulous elf hats on these soldiers!

Part of us (that is the booth people) took part in the battle reenactment.

The soldiers' camp in the evening.

Ladies fashion boutique

This was the first day, we then moved the table to the front of the booth to encourage the shy market goers to come and take a look.

Me weaving a heddle ribbon.

The church in the background


Some impromptu mourning

My clothes matched the berries so well that some pictures had to be taken.

No, I didn't dive in :)

In the raspberry thickets

Arranging the garters

"Madam, I do believe your behind could use a bit of extra volume. Here, purchase this handy enhancer direct from Paris!"

With Maija of Couture Mayah
Preparing to dance Le Pistolet. The lads in red are Russian soldiers.

Clap, the gun is loaded.

Oh, I'm slain! *dies*

Random standing around. I had to draw the hem of my anglaise up through the pocket slits because I was wearing so flat shoes that the hem dragged in the mud all the time.
Some posing.
With Sanna, she wore my swallow tail jacket on Sunday.

keskiviikko 13. elokuuta 2014

The Courtois dress: Finished and photographed!

As you might remember, I finished the Courtois dress sometime in July, but because I've been busy and because we've had about the hottest summer in ages, I haven't got around photographing the dress and writing a post about it. Today, however, my friend had time to join me in a nearby park to help me photo my first finished late Victorian, natural form project.

The dress is based on a portrait by a French painter Gustave Courtois; in 1880 he painted Anne-Marie Dagnan, his father's cousin and the fiancée of his good friend. I fell in love with her dress and even though I had never dabbled with Victorian fashions before, I wanted to give it a try.

I took the dress pattern from The Fashions of the Gilded Age, Volume I by Frances Grimble. I modified the bodice fronts to match the portrait dress and took inspiration for the front closures from this extant dress. Also, I'm indebted to many of my readers for giving me advice and encouragement during the project; one of my friends even took the trouble to book a study appointment in the costume museum in Bath and photograph a dress from the same era for me! How nice is that?!

Under the dress I'm wearing my late Victorian corset (the pattern of which I took from Norah Waugh's Corsets and Crinolines), chemise and a petticoat. I think I might want to make a corset cover, a balayeuse for the train and possibly some natural form supportive garments for the skirts that were so expertly researched and produced by Festive Attyre.

That's all, really. I'm reasonably pleased with the ensemble, though there are things I'm still going to tweak. Also, there's the evening bodice to make!

Pictures? A word of warning, there are loads. A plethora, if you will. Not for the fainthearted :)

All the photos here by Suvi Saraste.

Practicing my regal wave. Apparently balconies make me feel very queenly.

A gentle breeze caressing my cheeks...

Graffitis, very interesting, my dears.

On the pier

The building with the tall chimneys is the local university, my current place of employment. It used to be a cotton mill from the 1850s to the 1950s.

A bit of unladylike galloping

So windy!