All posts filed under: Textiles & Costume

Waitangi Day Garden Party thedreamstress.com

The Governor-General’s Waitangi Day Garden Party

Or, an awkward post that combines pretty and serious about an awkward event that combines fun and fraught history Waitangi Day is NZ’s founding holiday, somewhat analogous to the American 4th of July, Canada Day, or France’s Bastille Day. It commemorates the first signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840. Te Tiriti was signed by representatives of the British Crown, on one side, and Māori Rangitira (chiefs) on the other. The British was drafted by British representatives with the intention of “establishing a British Governor of New Zealand, recognising Māori ownership of their lands, forests and other possessions, and giving Māori the rights of British subjects.” (quote taken directly from Wikipedia, as I don’t want to risk paraphrasing and getting it wrong!) As the major legal agreement whereby non-Maori have the right to be in NZ (making us Tangata Tiriti – ‘people of the Treaty’, and Māori are Tangata Whenua ‘People of the Land’), all aspects of modern NZ law & government are considered based on whether they agree with Te Tiriti. …

Regency costumes, thedreamstress.com

Regency Ladies by the River or, Playing the Plantain Game

I’ve been working on my photography skills over the last year and a bit, getting better at settings, and angles, and playing with new things. I still get 1 decent image for every 25 I take, but hey, practice makes perfect (or at least, a little bit better…). The Wellington historical sewist have been letting me practice on them every time we do a dress up event. There was lots of practicing at our 2019 Sew & Eat Historical Retreat. (Practicing does include me setting all the functions and handing the camera over to someone else). I’m still most comfortable with ‘people stand perfectly still and pose photos’: But once you’ve done those, and the obligatory ‘smell the flowers and look into the river’ photos… And pretend to push each other into the river… Then you have to get more creative! So I taught the ladies how to play the plantain game. It’s a shooting game you play with plantain grass heads. My first memory of playing it is with my family outside one of …

A Regency Captain Janeway cosplay, thedreamstress.com

The Star Trek Shawl

I’ve done a fair amount of reasonably geeky things in my life, but I reached peak geek this June. I was having a lovely research and crafting day when I suddenly realised I’d spent four hours going through museum collections and making tables of the average sizes of Kashmiri shawls from between 1800 and 1810. Not for work, or for a research project, but so I could make a Star Trek themed Regency shawl for our Regency Voyager cosplays… It’s not overkill unless it’s actually fossilised! My Star Trekashmiri Shawl happened because I realised that 1. I was going to a ball in the middle of winter as Regency Captain Janeway in a light cotton frock and; 2. I’m always cold and; 3. I had a length of slightly moth-eaten wool crepe in a lovely cranberry red that would make an excellent shawl, and; 4. I wanted my Captain Janeway cosplay to be a little more obviously Star-Trek-Voyager-y. (I didn’t quite succeed with that last bit, but I’ll get to that). So I got all …