Tag Archive | regency

Exhibiting at Gore Place

Three of my regency reproduction gowns on display in the historic c.1793 Gore Place carriage house.

I’m super excited about today’s #CoBloWriMo prompt of Current Project for Day Two!! (And while it doesn’t exactly include tassels – yet – it will likely have some by the time I’m done.) So what am I working on these days? A costume exhibit at Gore Place, currently planned for display during their Fall Festival on September 23rd and then to be updated and re-displayed through the end of the year. This has actually been in the works for some time and I had the opportunity to display a few of my gowns and accessories during their Mother’s Day Tea, held in the Carriage House earlier this year.

For those not familiar with Gore Place, it’s a gorgeous federal mansion seated on fifty acres of beautiful (and walkable) grounds in Waltham, Massachusetts, just outside the bustling downtown area. Built for Governor Christopher and Rebecca Gore and completed in 1806, it has been painstakingly cared for and restored and is now operated as non-profit museum with wonderful events, farm programs, indoor tours, and outdoor activities. It’s one of my all-time favorite historic houses, can you tell?

For a number of years, a group of costume-minded friends have been attending their Holiday Tea held inside the mansion shortly before Christmas. I have to give a shout out to the fabulous J.L. for my initial invite some years ago! Here’s our merry band from this past December:

And a very merry bunch were we! How can you not enjoy hanging out in a room with peacock wallpaper?

So… back to the project at hand and the upcoming exhibit! It’s still in the planning stages but I had a great meeting and walk-through earlier today and my head is filled with all sorts of ideas. Current plans are for a scaled down version of the display to be shown in a limited number of rooms on the first floor during the Fall Festival as a way to entice visitors to take a self-guided walk through the house. Once the Festival has ended, we’ll be adding to the display and moving dressed mannequins into more rooms of the house on both the first and second floor. There’s also the potential for my reproduction work to be displayed along side or in combination with original pieces from Gore Place and that’s about as exciting as things get for this costuming-loving and exhibit-dreaming girl!

As I get back in the blogging habit, more details will be making their appearance. And yes, the tasseled parasol will likely be included in the exhibit… and if it’s not, then other tasseled pieces will surely take its place!

P.S. Anyone in eastern Mass area that is free on September 23rd and wants to come hang out (in regency dress or modern) during the Fall Festival, I’d love to see you there! Live music, craft beer, games, and a pumpkin drop… what’s not to love? Tickets go on sale August 23rd

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Another year, another CoBloWriMo

Jumping back on the bandwagon that I seem to be so good at falling off… With a year’s worth of thanks to Mem of Star and Scissor, I’m very excited to making a fresh attempt of blogging this August with the start of CoBloWriMo. What’s that you ask? A month-long spin on NaNoWriMo but just for COstume BLOggers.

The upside of not getting around to writing anything since last June (as in 2016) is that I truly have plenty of costuming attempts, events, and successes to catch up. As am often writing at the midnight hour, and logic may or may not be a factor, I’m going to work backwards through my costuming endeavors as I do this catching up. And if I get lucky, everything will make an appearance and perhaps I’ll even get some new costuming done this month, too!

Doing my best Anne Elliot at Lyme impression, since I happened to have a picture-perfect sea wall available!

So… first up, some details from a Dress Like a Georgian Day outing with friends M.J. and E.S. in historic Newport, RI in very early July. The lovely Mrs. S of Sew 18th Century invited some friends to join her for a picnic and tour of the historical neighborhoods and it was such a treat! We picnicked at Battery Park which was overlooking the water and adjacent to a boat ramp that allowed us to walk in and get our feet wet if we wished. In an odd turn of events, the weather was unseasonably cold for July … a mere 74 degrees or so, and as luck would have it, I had decided to wear my favorite ivory wool gown.

What I was especially thrilled to show off was my newly recovered antique parasol… with tassels! I even made a matching reticule. Now to understand how exciting this was for me, you must realize that I am terrible about finishing accessories. Terrible, I tell you! I’m happy to make undergarments and gowns all the day long… but bags, bonnets, and bunches of other little things? Who has time?

This particular parasol most likely dates to about 1870-80s – as it’s not quite so tiny as many mid 50s & 60s examples but not as large as later versions either. I’m still not sure what the handle is made from – it’s not wood, plastic, or bakelite but the jury is still out on other possibilities. It was purchased via ebay with a matte black silk cover in poor condition and fringe of 4″ deep black lace. I do plan to recover it in black and reuse the lace, which was in near-perfect condition, but wanted to try a temporary cover first.

I’m not one to use muslin very often so I dove right into my box of silks and found a remnant of peacock blue silk taffeta. After a few tests, I drafted a triangle shape that was close to the original black cover pieces and set about sewing eight pieces together to try the fit on the parasol frame. The first attempt was absurdly small, but the second attempt yielded a better fit and is what you see in the photo. The best part? TASSELS. Dear me… tassels are my new everything! Eight tassels on the parasol, one on the reticule – all handmade, and in fact I think the last two on the parasol were finished while picnicking.

But all this tassel and parasol excitement has me a bit tired, so I’m stopping here and will be back tomorrow with more details on the peacock parasol and reticule in all their glory!