Sunday, December 28, 2014

New York Society Tea 2014

Yesterday the Greater Bay Area Costumer's Guild hosted its not-quite-annual New York Society Tea at The Palace Hotel, San Francisco. This event is often also called the Bustle Tea, since the time frame is late Victorian. No fewer than two of my sewing buddies have birthdays between Christmas and New Years, and both of them wanted to be costumed for their birthdays. So we decided to make this year's tea a bit of a birthday party.

An afternoon spent with my gal pals, in costume, is always a blast, even more so after going nuts for weeks on end getting a new frock ready. More on that later.

But who wants to read me talking? Just enjoy the photos!

The two birthday girls, Ms. G and Sahrye.
Noelle and Mia.
Ms. D and Ms. H.
Total attendance was something near 50.
Mr. Hal and your friendly neighborhood blogger.
Birthday girl, Sahrye.

You may recognize Sahrye's dress as Mina Harker's dress from Bram Stoker's Dracula. Sahrye did an awesome version of the dress. She blogs over at It Came From the Stash! Head over there to read more about this fantastic dress.

I love Mia's dress above for how absolutely period it looks. Small wonder, here's the dress she used as a model:
Victorian Wedding Dress  Date: 1879 Culture: American Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Thomas W. Hotchkiss, 1939
Dress, 1879, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Ms. H provides our obligatory anachronistic moment.
Tea was followed by shenanigans in the bar.
Lastly, here's yours truly.

More chit-chat on this dress (and what is up with my hair) will come later. Right now I need to rescue my house from multiple weeks of frantic sewing.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Button Confessions

I confess: I love covered buttons.

Well, truthfully, I love all fussy, hand made buttons. But since I have an embroidery machine, covered buttons are the easiest for me to make quickly.

Here's a set I stitched up last weekend:

Embroidered covered buttons, ready to cut out. I made more than I think I need because there was space in the hoop. And it never hurts to have spare.
My plan was to make these up using the technique I learned from Nancy Nehring and her book, but I only had twelve period accurate bone button molds. In the above photo you can see that I planned for twenty buttons. So I got a bunch of who-cares-what-they-look-like, slightly domed plastic buttons and went to town. Best to save my bone molds for when the center hole matters.

Instead of more authentic bone molds, I used cheap plastic buttons to cover.
I've used the packaged covered button kits in the past, with both fantastic and disastrous results. The old-fashioned technique, though, has given me consistent results, so I stuck with that.

Clip, clip, stitch, stitch. These go together pretty quick, for me at least.
It took me less than a day (stitching around my full time job) to make all 26 buttons.

Seriously awesome, right? And really easy.

These buttons are going onto my current project, which is getting its first wearing at the GBACG New York Society Tea next weekend. A full post on the outfit will come. Stay tuned!