All posts filed under: Miscellenia

Five for Friday: Questions I’m bound to be asked at a talk

Whenever I give a talk there are certain questions I can be almost certain I will be asked. How long does it take to make one of these dresses? A long time.  A long, longtime.  But it does depend on the dress.  A Regency, even hand-sewn, can go together in 12 hours.   I actually counted with the tea gown, and it took between 32-40 hours from draping to hemming.  The Ninon dress was much longer, thanks to all the hand-sewing and bodice boning.  The Japonisme dress would have been relatively quick, were it not for the hand-appliques obi motifs.  Are the dresses (and corsets) uncomfortable to wear? Chiara in Ninon said “Yes!” much too enthusiastically to this question this time, much to my chagrin.Certainly cramming all five us into a car for the ride from dressing to Premier House didn’t help with the comfort factor.  I like to say that they are ‘differently comfortable’.  Like a suit isn’t the same as jeans, but you wouldn’t necessarily say uncomfortable.  How do you sit in them? …

Early 1930s Patterns, part II of III – the Excella Patterns

On May 18 I showed you half of my early 1930s Excella patterns.  Here are the rest (and one non-Excella pattern just to mix things up). I adore this one.  That wrapping scarf.  So swish!  I’m waiting on the right time to make the whole dress, but I have made the skirt part as a business skirt, which I loved and wore to death. Isn’t this one so adorable?  It just sings of sweetness.  I’m not sure the top and skirt go together though.  Maybe if the ruffle and contrast pieces were in the same fabric? This dress is possibly the simplest, but may very well be my favourite.  Such lovely simplicity of line. From simple to sophistication.  Va-va voom! And this one may be my least favourite.  It feels like Excella needed to make a pattern, and so they just married some bog-standard dress elements to make a new design.  Couple of skirt panels, some simple sleeve variants, cowl neck, tie it together with a sash.  Eh.  Good enough. Doesn’t this one just say …

The New Zealand Costume & Textile Association’s annual symposium

Did you know there was a New Zealand Costume & Textile Association?  There is! And every year they have a symposium, which is a great opportunity to meet other textile and costume enthusiasts from around New Zealand (and sometimes Australia and the US and the rest of the world), and to hear a bunch of talks on a whole variety of fascinating textile subjects. In previous years the talks have ranged from overviews of the corsets in New Zealand museum collections, to sociological comparisons of the collection habits of knitters and drug addicts, to in-depth studies of extent 1860s dresses, and a truly memorable talk about homo-eroticism in 1970s knitwear patterns. Last year the Symposium was in Tauranga, and I got to go spend four delicious days with the wonderful Jo-Anne of Zho Zho’s Textile Adventures.  This year the symposium is in sunny  Nelson, and sadly Jo-Anne is no longer with us.   I’m finding it a little hard to think of a NZCTA symposium without her enthusiasm and warmth and ability to bring people …