All posts tagged: WWI

An ersatz Dazzle swimsuit

I’ve wanted to make a Dazzle swimsuit for ages, but it’s never fit into my sewing schedule. When I wrote the dazzle terminology post last week the old temptation rose again, but I quashed it firmly. I’ve got so much to do, and no reason to make one. And then, the very day I published the Dazzle post, I walked past an op-shop (I wasn’t even going to go in!  I was being very good!) and there, hanging in the window, was an extremely dazzling black and white playsuit. In rayon crepe. With a double strap arrangement that you see on late 1910s frocks, and which I’ve also been obsessing over. For $4.50. By Glassons, of all people (Glassons does cheap, trendy teenager clothing). And, ummm, of course it came home with me! It’s an XS, which means it fits me like a 1920s swimsuit, not a 2015 playsuit.  This also means I would never, ever, ever wear it in public just as it is. But…. There is a precedent for dazzle swimsuit stockings: So, …

Poppies for young women

Today is ANZAC day, the anniversary of the first major NZ and AU action during WWI.  Everywhere across New Zealand, Australia, and some of the rest of the Pacific, people will have little poppies pinned to their lapels in memory of those who served, and those who dies. Remember what happened, so that we never again let ourselves be led into a situation where such a tragic loss of life becomes inevitable.

Balancing accuracy and practicality in theatre: Johnnie’s uniform

As a historic costumer, every project is a balance between complete historical accuracy, and the demands of the modern world. Should I spend a fortune on period fabric, even if the fabric would have been the cheapest, lowest fabric at the time, but is now prohibitively expensive?  How do I do the work accurately, without devoting too much of my life to it?  What if the fabric literally doesn’t exist anymore? When you add the element of theatre, the demands increase.  As Mrs C has pointed out, theatre costumes are usually done on a budget, and a time budget.   Theatre often involves quick changes, and it is all done under stage lights, which are very warm.  So not only do costumes need to be as light as possible, but even then, actors sweat in them.  And they roll around onstage and get into fights and carry props and generally get dirty.  And theatre shows generally don’t have the budget and time for drycleaning.  So theatre costumes need to be washable. All of these applied …