1894 Yachting Outfit

I picked up an all-consuming, expensive habit in the past year: historical costuming. I joined The (Im)Propriety Society, a group of historical sewing enthusiasts with an Ottawa-area chapter and we get together in our historical get-up and nerd out on sewing. This past long weekend we had an outing at the Brockville Tall Ships festival where we went for a sailing cruise on the Empire Sandy and posed for a million photos (that’s because everyone looked fabulous). I debuted my 1894 yachting outfit, which I slaved away on for approximately 2 months in the evenings and weekends. I am very pleased with how it turned out. I’m especially proud of achieving the right historical shape and how the skirt drapes so well (thank you flatlining and hair canvas facings). And the gold accents don’t hurt either.

For the dressmakers out there, here are the specs:

Shirtwaist – cotton voile with a swiss dot, finished with bone buttons (and a mother of pearl at the collar), pattern is Truly Victorian Shirtwaist (TV494)

Vest – quilting cotton, flatlined with white cotton and a white cotton lining, bound in white twill tape. Buttons are vintage brass and the anchor embroidery is my own design (based on historical examples) and done in gold thread on my embroidery machine. Pattern is Truly Victorian Ripple Jacket (minus the sleeves) (TV496)

Skirt – quilting cotton flatlined with cotton sheeting and faced with hair canvas, bound with twill tape (which frayed like mad during the day). I designed the pockets based on the same source Bernadette Banner did in her video. Pattern is Butterick 6537.

And of course everything is worn over the proper underpinings (chemise, drawers, corset, corset cover, petticoat). My boots were Oakhill Farm granny boots and the hat is an original Edwardian straw boater from circa 1910.

Timelapse video

I’ve been wanting to make a timelapse video for years…but it’s always been complicated; first to film with a decent video camera, then find the editing software that will accelerate the frame speed, teach myself film editing, etc. And then the iPhone 6s came along with timelapse built-in! And the app for iMovie is free. How simple it now is! It condensed a two-hour process into 1:37 minutes. Technology is crazy amazing sometimes.

I thought it would be fun to film myself drawing one of my Victorian Ladies. All my illustrations are basically a five-step process: pencil, ink, watercolour and finally pencil crayon with gouache accents. Hopefully you get a sense of that from this video.

music credit: The Cello Song by The Piano Guys

Final illustration

New Year, new illustrations

I had some time over the holidays to work on more illustrations, including a portrait of Florence Welch, the lead singer of Florence and the Machine. I’ve always thought her look was reminiscent of pre-Raphaelite paintings, so here is my homage. I also made an illustration that celebrates the history of printing (yes, my letterpress modelled for this one).