Woo Woo Wedding memories

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 It has been exactly a year ( plus a few hours) since we walking down the forest path to take our places  amidst other folks in a beautiful glade, and eagerly awaiting  the arrival of the Bride.

 The Bride was a friend of ours, Becki Thurston, and her husband to be, also a friend, Wayne Lawrence. The fabled WooWoo Wedding was a long expected and a beautifully prepared affair, mostly relying on a DIY skills of all the people involved. and, oh my, didn’t it work!

 The invites were handmade and explained clearly the ceremony and all festivities – including dress inspiration -midsummer night dream, in a very eclectic form, was the key, in short, it was encouraged to wear’ the one thing you always wanted to wear and didn’t have a suitable occasion to do so..’

 The venue – a field and a glade near Tournament Stud in Brackley  again,  run by friends). the decoration etc were mostly a joint effort – everybody helped. we contributed with about 60 m of silk bunting…

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making the bunting

 The party has been going on since Thursday, with a registry ceremony Saturday morning, if I remember well – but the great reception, with the hand fasting ceremony was taking place in the glade, on Saturday afternoon.

 We arrived just in time to see  Sarah and Lizzie finishing the bridal and guests hair styling, and the guests were slowly starting to make their way towards the Glade. we quickly pitched our tent, changed into our glad rags and joined the guests

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the groom, slightly nervous, but looking dashing!

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guests getting ready for the ceremony

 When the time came, we all entered the woods, walking along a lovely path, taking in all the sights…

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the first glimpse of the bridesmaids and the bride…

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 the ceremony…. we were a bit at the back, so please excuse the poor quality pictures!

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 and all done,  the happy couple leaving to all of us singing ‘ Over the fields and far away’. the si.nging must have been pretty poor as the couple climbed onto their carriage and legged it… closely followed by the rest of the  crowd

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 and on the main filed  – mostly colourful tents with lovely surprised in them

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we loved the quest book and managed to sketch  our entry too:-)

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 and in the main tent – food! and the CAKE!

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The speeches were moving and funny, food good, company divine –  in short a fantastic time was had by all!

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Corsetry fun – Stitch and Bitch July 2013…

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 I love a good stitch and bitch – alas I do not have a lot of people with whom you get the balance of stitching and bitching just right, not too much bitching, and just enough stitching is usually pretty elusive. Well,  with Julia from Sew Curvy, we can do it perfectly well. We chat , we sew, we compare patterns, techniques etc – and we enjoy ourselves a lot.

 We come from different sewing backgrounds  – Julia’s is predominantly corsetry, including bridal, mine is mostly historical costuming, including bridal and steampunk; which mean that we have enough in common to connect and enough differences to learn from one another. A perfect mixture.

 I have visited Julia’s studio before  on other occassions – i taught classes there and we already enjoyed a sewing session there, when Julia was kind enough to assist in making a 1884 Higby patent corset  ( a nice adventure, recreating an authentic pattern 🙂  and going from this:

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 through this:

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the mock up

 and finishing with this:

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 This time I was also on a mission – I wanted to have a go at the prototype of an underbust that Julia created. I wanted to make it entirely from the scratch, using the components available from Julia’s online shop. There was some debate about which fabrics to use – I do love the broche and sateens, ans was spoilt for choice – but in the end we settled on the luxurious red sateen, with an even more luxurious black lace.

 Having made up my mind, I set to work,tracing the pattern and cutting the fabrics, and Jlia was busy finishing some waist training samples  for her Etsy shop.

 I have to admit that apart from sewing and chatting a lot of lacing in was going on as well –  over the day both of us tried the waist training corsets, underbust samples, oversbust and the Edwardian ones. Obsession?

  we started with one of the corsets from my recent bridal collection

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too small for my bra size, but still looking pretty good….

And then Julia tried on my edwardian  number…

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Just by comparision, here is both of us, in our natural, uncorseted forms…

 me:

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and Julia:

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 and then on goes the waist training sample in black sateen…

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And another sample, this time in broche.

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It was interesting to see that the same corset created a slightly different silhuette on different body types – though it still fitted fairly well.

 

 

It was even more evident when we put on Julia’s personal underbust – a lovely piece in broche, with distinctive flossing.

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and me in the same piece – the corset closes at 22″ waist and I can only dream of such a number – but it looked pretty good at 26″ – just an inch less than my normal, comfort corseted measurement.

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After all that excitment of lots of lacing, it was time for lunch…

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well…..

just joking – what we did have was this:

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Julia’s superb egg mayo sandwiches and fruit as my contribution.

 After lunch it was time to get some work done in earnest…

 The red sateen was constructed ( i loved the eyelet setters there so much, I bought them straight away!)

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  Julia kept an eye on my frolicking wiht the corset, just to make sure everuthing was up to scratch…

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 and then helped me lace into half finished piece…

 

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Not too bad! a few minor corrections and I was able to get enough done before leaving the studio. I took the lace with me to stitch it on the corset in the evening though…

 The evening continued with more chatting, and a rather nice meal – with Pimms, obligatory for British summer! 🙂

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great local takeaway!

 Marley, Julia and Paul’s greyhound was his usual charming self too…

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 Next morning, it was time to get back to the studio – with a few hours to go before I had to leave, it was just enough time to finish the underbust. Here trying it on, without flossing…

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the back…

 that’s what the underbust looked at that stage..

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inside…

 Quick consultation resulted with choosing simple Vs as flossing pattern, and the result!

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nice and comfy!

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close up

 Very happy with this sample, not sure whether I want to keep it or sell it on –  but we did take stock of all the components that were used for it – and I think Julia and Sew Curvy might have a surprise for you – a ready made corset kit, everything you need to create your own piece!

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 At that point I had to pack up my toys and leave – but something tells me it is not the last of our sessions… 🙂

 useful links:

 Sew Curvy shop and facebook page

Clessidra Couture – Julia’s bespoke corsetry, page and website

 and my own humble bits, page, and website

  hope you enjoyed the corsetry oveload…… 🙂

The Summer Bride Collection part 1 – the dresses

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And we did it again! The Syummer bride collection is done and shoot – and while we are awaiting the professional images from Mockford Photography, I thought I’d treat you to some more info on the dresses – the story behind the dress,fabrics used, estimated cost etc. the photos used here were taken by my ever patient hubby, Lucas, in a spectacular location of Gosfield Hall

Once we have proper photos, I will put a post giving credit to all our contributors, suppliers and models:-)

To start with, I must admit that summer is not my season at all – so designing a summer collection was a bit of a challenge – especially, since they are smaple dresses, one has to make do with primarly the fabrics etc in stock. still, I hope you like the finished products!

1. Athena

The first thought that springs to my mind when you say ‘summer’ is – sea, beach, destination weddings –  and I tried to wrap it all up in a dress that woudl say it all – with a hint of a classical goddess thrown into the mix…

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the original design

and 15 metres of silk chiffon later, the final product…

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full view of the underbust corset…

fabrics used:

15m of silk chiffon and gold braid for the dress – for the corset, silk taffeta, coutil, steel boning, lace applique, cotton perle for flossing. Estimated cost of the sample, £400, bespoke dress in this fashion will start from £500

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2.Arabella

A proper Disney princess gown, with a 17th century inspired bodice…

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the original design…

In the end I desided to do away withthe underskirt and keep the dress plain, with just gold braiding…

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the gown with the sleeves…

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and without the sleeves…

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the back view…

Fabrics used: 10m of duchess satin and lawn for lining, 12m of gold braid, coutil for the strength layer in the bodice, boning. The dress is worn over Victorian cage crinoline in satin, but modern hoop skirts can be used instead. Cost of the sample – £600,  bespoke dress will start from £700, depening on the fabrics used – and it can be rendered in any colour, with a customised decoration.

3. Alexandra, the Edwardian Bride

This one was a bit special- I fell in love in a 1905 wedding gown from LACMA collection, and wanted to recreate the feel – perfect for summer garden party. Since  I wanted to keep it, or at least most of it, i decided to do it the proper way and stick to the iogiginal layers and design, so that i can use it later for re-enactment purposes.

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Original design included a bridal corset based on the Edwardian ashions – in the end  I didnt have time to make another corset – but dont worry, it will happen :-). no time for florrs on the skirt either, they will be added at a later stage – once i make a proper, historically correct bodice to go with the dress. but for the time being, this is the result…

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 and there is a whole story what is underneath… first, an antique chemise and my brand new split crotch drawers – sexy! a brouche coutil corset gives the silhuette…

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 then an antique petticoat – last time I wore it for my wedding!

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 and then the skirt, bodice, tiara and a veil… 🙂

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Fabrics used: 6m of silk satin, the same of lawn for lining, silk taffeta for the girdle, 9m of wide cotton lace ( import from Australia…)4m of lace for the bodice. the corset: 1m of broche, steel boning, cotton lace. plus the undergarments, in cotton lawn, with lace.

Estimated cost of the whole outfit made bespoke – from £1400, depending on fabrics, corsetry and decoration used.

4. Celeste.

One of the more modern designs, at least originally –

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In the end I went with an alternative skirt option, adapting an original Victorian pattern – the umbrella skirt. i still have some of the silk, so may end up making a more modern mermaid skirt with it anyway… 🙂

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back view

Fabrics used: 9m of silk , and 8 of lawn for the skirt lining. for the corset – silk, coutil, silk lining, boning, swarovski crystals, andgold lace motifs for both the skirt and the corset.

estimated cost of this sample – £1000. Bespome dress, depepding on fabrics and decoration chosen, form £1200

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5. Jeanette.

I had the taffeta  in bright yellow for over a year – and was looking for ways to use it. It screamed 18th century to me, and since the collection was all about summer colours, i decided to go for it…

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 and the end result, worn over authentic 18th century stays,a hip pad and a net petticoat..

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Fabrics used – 13m of silk taffeta, purpkle slik taffeta for thebows, coutil and boning for the stomacher;80 flowers and purple braid…

Estimated cost of the sample, not counting the stays – £800. bespoke outfit from £1000- and it can be made in any colour, not necessarily that bright:-). stays from £300

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well, that’s it for the time being – more information about the suppliers  ( the usual suspects, btw, at least most of them:-0 ), the day, and most importantly , professional photos – bridal collection Part 2 -!

Some Like It Hot – or Darcying around Historical Hereford

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Just back from another successful event – this time in Hereford. We were hired by Black Knight HIstorical to participate in the local festivities, and since the town was celebrating, amongst other things, the 200 years since the publication of Pride and Predjudice, it was Mr. Darcy and his wife that was required.

 I must admit I was reluctant to acceppt the job on offer at first – I am not a fan of Regency fashions. Men’s garb – divine. Elegant, dashing, sexy. Women’s – not so much, at least in my opinion. You do need to have a certain figure for it, and I do not count myself amongst those blessed with it.  The only thing I have from that period is my riding habit – a copy of the one from Kyoto museum.  but since the organisers were fine with the riding habit and Lucas in his wedidng gear ( 1815, again, Kyoto museum), the contract was signed. there was no coming back…

  Looking at the weather forecast, a week before I was tempted to make myself a lighter dress. wool habit is all fine in a typical British summer, but since we were experiencing a climate anomally ( sun and temperatures above 26 degrees, in July!  most odd), i thought i might be a tad too warm. But then again, such a sunny spell is surely not to last, I will be fine – and besides making a new gown would require new shoes, new reticul, bonnet – and i am already drowning under other projects. And so, hoping for the return of normal summer, I stuck with the habit.

and oh, Iwas wrong. the temperature on th day reached 30 degrees:_)

We arrived in Hereford on Friday and booked into a local Premier Inn. norlammy, i do like them – i do love a firm bed! but this time we realised that surely there must have been a mistake and we were piut not in a standard room, but in a sauna unit. No air conditioning ( just heating) and only a fan to wave the hot air around – well, the night was long, hot and sweaty and  not the best in my life.

 Still, we survived and having broken our fast in the morning it ws time to get ready. 

 Lucas was first – though keeping it light and using the fan to cool his manly chest…

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fanning around…

  Then it was my time – and we decided to record all the layers  I was wearing on the day.

 First – the chemise – here a bit of a compromise was reached and I wore a later, mid Vicorian one – it had shorter sleeves…

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Next, cotton stockings

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Then the corset…

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Chemisette next…

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Then a cravat and wool skirt, bodiced. Not the best photo but I believe my Mr. Darcy was starting to feel the heat at that point. I knew I was!

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 The riding boots, hat and the jacket had to wait  – we had to drive to the towncentre first.

 Here aready fully dressed, with Mrs. Bennett, my dear mama, also sporting one of my creations, but , lucky woman, in silk.

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Having married so adventageously, I suddenly find myself in teh position of a favoured daughter…. hmph…

  The day began with a procession through town –  the pleasant experience was somehow marred by some sights that no costumier is immune to, but considering they were local folks who were probably asked to assmeble bits and pieces together, I  firmy resolved to stay quiet (ish)….

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The dress was not that bad . the effect was completely spoiled by the glasses and the mineral water… still, it got a fair amount of attention!

 after the parade we promanaded in the town centre, chatting to the public and directing them towards the Castle Green where things were happening.  We had a short break when we took some refreshment in a local hotel – that caused a bit of a stir:_0 refreshments and tea were served to us in a lovely ballroom ( the coolest room there,,,)

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The gentlemen having a look around

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Mrs. Bennet inspecting the curtains… and approving…

 Upon our return to the Castle Green, we sat in shade under the pavillion ( modern, alas) prodived by the organizers, and entertained the visitors – and ourselves too!

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Jacket off for an informal look ( and to dry the chemisse that was soaking wet by that time) am enjoying a chat with Molly. main subject – regency clothes, of course!

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gentle pastimes…

More promenading ensued, and a visit to a cathedral, where we had a chance to taste a local speciality – Cider sorbet. perfect.

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Kindra enjoying her sorbet during a break

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the cathedral and its gardens were stunning…

At lunch we found ourselves making our way to a little cafe , very aptly named:-)

 

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 All thoughout, although it was hot, it was actually as bad as i had feared – just bearable,  Still,  we were all glad to change into lighter clothing by the end of the day! Maybe  our attire was not the most suitable for the weather but it definatelly attracted attention and  provided an excellent conversational gambit – many ‘ Gosh, you must be hot in this! turned into nice converstaions on the fashions and customs of the day 🙂

Steampunk in Cambridge market 07/07/13

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photo by Dave Humphrey

 

We had the pleasure to attend the steampunk market in Cambridge – the first event of its kind there, organized by Sharon Cannings – and what an event it was! It was the first ‘Strictly Steampunk’ market for us, so we were both very excited.

 The market was held in the Gulidhall – with lots of space and excellent facilities. The weather, for a change, was rather atypical for British summer – hot!  it simply called for an attire suitable for the heat and so I dug out the Neobedouin set from the cupboard, snatched my stepdaughter’s scarf and was ready – an extremely comfy attire and although warm, i wasnt boiling in it:-)

 The market itself – magic. Loads of interesting things to purchase, try on or simply look at.  a stand with tea, coffe, and most importantly, cake.Friendly faces everywhere, amazing merchandise and fascinating costumes – and the beauty of it all, lots of visitors came up dressed up accordingly despite the heat!

 Trading subsided at about 1 oclock a bit – mostly due to everybody watching the tea duelling in the bar area. the competition was fierce but fair and attracted a lot of attention from the public – the room resounded with cheers and applause as every duel reached its conclusion.

 In short – a cracking event, we sold stuff, accepted orders for more stuff and we also bought stuff ( quite a lot actually…) We chatted to the visitors and other exhibitors, met old friends and made some new ones – a great day.

 let the pictures speak for the event…

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hugely popular hats and Major Tinker busy at work. many a fine gentleman waked out from the hall looking even finer, sporting a topper or a bowler – or a fez

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yep, me at our stall, just before the opening:-)

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the hats and the naughty little cameos were a hit

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lovely jewellery, as always!

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our neighbours

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fantastic leatherwork here – got quite a few items from them! and all the cash was going to charity, even better!

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the Cog Store! lov ely work!

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beautiful outfits at our other neighbours, Addixtion

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let the duel commence!

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customer trying on some of our stuff

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and Sharon at her stall!

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the entertainment = good stuff!

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lucas – must have been taken early on as he is not sporting all the gadgets and goods he purchased over the day…;-0

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and the Neobedouin back home in the evening, completely shattered….

 

our FB page: Off the Rails Prior Attire Steampunk Bazaar

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