Friday, October 17, 2014

Costuming at Costume College Part 2 - Saturday

Part 1 - Thursday and Friday are here:

My first costume event was in May 2007 when a group of ladies attended a Victorian Tea and Architectural Tour in Raleigh, North Carolina.  We attended dressed in full Victorian costume and had the most marvelous time!  The following day several of us visited Biltmore Estates in Asheville, North Carolina, again in full Victorian costume, and had another fabulous day!  I learned right away that costuming isn't just about the day of the event but the days, weeks, and even months before the event.  It's about the planning, researching, and talking with your friends about the event and costumes.  The days (weeks and months) of sewing and crafting and sourcing accessories and then the packing and preparation just before the event.  The event itself seems to fly by and afterward there is a mixture of happiness in an extraordinary event and a sadness that it is over.  What remains, however, are the memories and especially the photographs which allow us to relive the fun, friendship, and laughter all over again.

So even though it's almost three months since Costume College, I'm sharing my second day and remembering all that led up to that incredibly wonderful day!

Day 2 of Costume College is a day of classes for me and because of that I choose to wear something simple and comfortable.  I participated in the Sew for Victory 1940s Sew-A-Long this year.     In that event I created a reproduction of a vintage apron which I absolutely love and it will probably never see a kitchen!  This is the sketch of the 1940s transfer pattern:
This is the blog post:

I had such fun that day but didn't get one photo of myself.  I'm still learning about how important that is, so here is a photo I took today reliving that same fun day as The Perfect 1940s Housewife.

In between classes I toured the Exhibit, studied the work and collections of other costumers, visited with people I had been looking forward to meeting for literally years, and made new friends as we talked about this fun hobby we shared.

On Thursday and Friday nights I had pulled unworn costumes from the dark recesses of my closet.  And I do the same for the Saturday night Gala.  In December 2013 I was planning to attend and teach ribbon flower creation at a SASS Convention.  The Ball theme was based on the Reconciliation of the States following the Civil War.  The colors of blue and gray representing the opposing armies were my inspiration for the ballgown colors and a Harper's Bazaar fashionplate from 1872 inspired the style.

The patterns I used were from Truly Victorian:  TV416 1870s Ball Gown Bodice, and TV 216 Parisian Trained Skirt.  The bodice bertha is self drafted and just slips over the head and ties to the bodice.  With hours and hours and then more hours of sewing and pleating over 60 feet of pleats....

and then hours and hours of creating 37 ribbon flower pansies - one to represent each state in the Union in 1872 -
...the Reconciliation Ballgown is finished!

To my dismay resulting in many tears,  I have developed pneumonia and am unable to attend the Convention.  So this creation gets stored.  But when my roommate, Kay, tells me she is going to wear her blue and white Civil War era gown to the Costume College Gala, I know exactly what I will wear  - yes, my Reconciliation Ballgown!  The Saturday evening Gala at Costume College is kicked off with the Red Carpet entry where spectators line the hallways to admire, applaud and photograph the fabulous creations being worn that evening.  It is unbelievable and we have such a memorable time!  The Gala dinner is delicious, the entertainment very special, and it's the end to another perfect day at Costume College!

Next post, Day 3 Sunday!
Love always,


  1. My goodness, that ballgown is just STUNNING. I adore all the ribbon flowers! Decorating is just something I have no patience for, I completely admire anyone who does!

    1. Thank you so very much, Crystal! Ribbon flowers are so much fun!