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Saturday, 27 October 2012

Preparing for the First Horncastle Regency Festival 2012

Promenaders in Bath last September
As I mentioned in my previous post, Robert and I attended the First Horncastle Regency Festival in May.  The weather had been anything but good up until then, but surprised us by being bright and sunny...perfect!

A couple of years ago, Ellen, the lady who organised the festival, did attempt to get it started, but only managed to have a costumed ball, which was a success.  This year the full three days of events were also a total sucess.

For once, Robert and I were going to need more than one costume each, so I started looking at my stash of fabrics, and tried to decide what to make.  Robert needed new trousers and waistcoats, and (if we could find suitable shoes and stockings) also a pair of satin knee breeches.

My first priority was to make a petticoat to wear with my promenade dress, as it kept on clinging round my legs.  A petticoat is necessary to keep the shape of the dress, especially if it has tucks or small frills around the hem.  As I didn't have a pattern for a petticoat, I had to use Sense & Sensibility's Regency Gown pattern, and adapt it for my own use...and this took me four weeks!!

I tried on the Promenade dress with the petticoat, and it made a big difference to the way it hangs, as does the flounce I have added to the hem.  The only problem is...I still need to lose weight!!
Dress worn with petticoat
Time was running out, and I still hadn't made myself anything new.  Robert's  new waistcoat was all but finished, but still needed the buttons and button holes.  The new trousers were no further along than cut out calico.  I was also halfway through making him a new cotton lawn shirt, and starting to you do!
New shirt, neckcloth, and waistcoat
As for my costumes...the petticoat and promenade dress were it!  (I have some scraps of the maroon stripe fabric left that I can use as trimmings, when I get around to changing the bodice, and making a spencer to go with it).

All I could do was wear the dress with or without the chemisette, or spenser, and change my jewellery and accessories for slightly different looks...but next year will be different!!
Next post - Horncastle Regency Festival 2012  


Yet Another Catch-up!!

Well, as I said last much for keeping up to date with blogging!

Now I have got to tell you about the Horncastle Regency Festival, a Frenchy and the Punk gig, the Victorian Weekend at the castle with the 3rd Foot and Mouth, the Festival of History at the castle, the Asylum, the Jane Austen Festival, and the Louth Victorian Market.

Events to look forward to are the Christmas Market, the Lincoln Steampunk Christmas meal at Widow Cullen's Well, and Steampunk at the Seaside in March. 

As you all know, the beginning of this year was pretty damp and miserable, and we were fearing the worst as May approached.  I was mad sewing woman again, as I attempted to make Robert a new shirt, neckcloth and waistcoat.
New shirt and waistcoat


Robert's pompous look

A ballgown for myself never got finished, as I took so long over Robert's new garb, and I had to spend the whole festival in my old maroon stripe dress!  

More about the Horncastle Regency Festival in the next post.  ;-)

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Another (Quickish) Catch-up!

Oh much for blogging more often!  Here we are in the middle of March already, and I haven't got past last September!!  We have been fairly busy, as we have more going on this year...more of that later though.  

After the Jane Austen Festival, we were in Greenford for Robert's annual school reunion...

We had a grand evening, at the Bridge Hotel, generally catching up, chatting, making plans for future get-togethers, etc.  I quite enjoy hearing about Robert's school days, and the mischief he got up to!  ;-) what did we do??  In December Robert and I went up to the Christmas Market to meet up with Scott and Jo, and a goup of their steampunk friends, but we were a bit late arriving at thee pub, Widow Cullen's Well, so we started to follow the flow of visitors hoping to bump into them.  Robert phoned Scott to find out where they were, and we finally caught up with them at the Lawn.  What a lovely idea, to dress in Victorian costumes to wander round the market...sadly, I didn't get any photos of them.    

A visit to my mum, followed by a quick drink at the pub.  New Year, we went down to Trowbridge for a few days.  Robert's mum had been staying with his sister, so he went to pick her up, then back here for a quick cuppa and bite to eat before we all set off.  Trowbridge also means a trip to Fabric Magic to spend some pennies on fabrics that I cannot find here, in Lincoln

Several years ago, I saw some pictures of an American steampunk convention, and fell in love with the costumes...the combination of Victorian, sci-fi, fantasy, and the general artistic inventiveness of the whole look, and wished that something like that would take off here, too.  Well, we have found out that it has!  Woo hoo!
Steampunk ladies
It just so happens that Scott and Jo, who we met in Bath at the Jane Austen Festival, are also into steampunk, and they told us about their weekly and monthly meets at a couple of Lincoln pubs.  They also told us about one of the biggest steampunk events in this country, and it takes place right on our very doorstep, no less.  It is called The Asylum, and takes place at the Lawn (which used to be an asylum...hence the name), and the castle
That was also in September...we will be going this year!!

Here are some photos of our evenings out...
Stuart, Jo, Scott, and Dene

Hat stack
A Steampunk Saturday in Hull
Dene and Robert at the Jolly Brewer
Robert has been looking quite splendid, as he has some lovely waistcoats, he now has two top hats (one of them is red), and a bowler hat, and two pairs of goggles to adorn them with.  I'm afraid I don't have any suitable outfits yet, but I have lots of plans and ideas...which will have to wait until after the Horncastle Regency Festival,,,but more of that in another blog!   

Well, I think that just about brings everything up to date (again!!), so until the next post...and I have plenty to write about now, so I really, really must make more of an effort!!  

Future posts will include my costume-making adventures for the forthcoming Horncastle Regency Festival, my loft-rummaging adventures, and anything else that I might feel like writing until next time...toodle pip!

Saturday, 31 December 2011

A (Quickish) Catch-up

Golly gosh!  How long has it been since I blogged last?!!!

Apart from having a few problems gaining access, only one or two things have happened that might be of interest...but mainly the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, in September.  
Robert, two ladies, and Paul Connell
Each year seems to just get better and better as we make more friends and get to know more people.
Kelly and Ian Charleswoth, and myself
Martin Salter from the Jane Austen Center
Tiny Castle of the 33rd Cornwall Regiment
This year we were able to meet up with Scott and Jo, who are also from Lincoln, and who we'd got photos of in previous promenades, Rhiannon, who I'd got to know via the Jane Austen Festival Facebook page, and Aurora, who is a friend of Scott and Jo's.  
Scott, Aurora, Jo, Robert, and Rhiannon
The only thing that did slightly spoil things this year was the weather, as it was quite a bit cooler, and we had some light showers, so there were as many umbrellas in evidence as there were parasols!

On the Tuesday, following the Promenade, Robert and I headed back to Bath to meet up with friends for a picnic in front of Royal Crescent...where Eileen joined us for a short while during her lunch break.
Later on, Aurora and Justin joined us.  It was time to pack up when the first spots of rain began to fall, so we took the stuff back to the cars then headed up to the Fashion Museum...
Aurora and Joanna

Cramped display
I wasn't too impressed by the way they displayed all the beautiful historical garments, calling this section 'Behind The Scenes'...they were all crammed into small, ill-lit alcoves so you couldn't see the items at the back.  

Before we left we had a quick wander around the Assembley Rooms...

When we left the Assembley Rooms it was raining.  Aurora and Justin left us at this point, and we headed back to the cars and proceeded to follow Scott and Jo back to their campsite, at Stowford Manor Farm, for afternoon tea.  

The traffic was quite bad, and we ended up losing sight of them, but we knew where we were going as we'd passed the farm and campsite on several occasions previously.  By now the rain was quite heavy...

We arrived at the campsite to find that Scott and Jo hadn't...they must have taken a different route.

What a lovely place!
So quaint, and we did enjoy our cream teas, which is why there were no photos...we were too busy! 
Mr James

Mrs and Mr Read

So there you have it...a (not so) quick update.  

Nothing much else to report, I'm afraid...oh, my mistake...we did go to the Christmas Market in Lincoln, meeting up with Scott and Jo and some of their Steampunk friends!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Just a Quick One

Finally, I can access my blog!  

It has been several weeks since I have been able to access anything to do with Google...apart from Google Maps.  The problem has now been sorted out and I'm back...woo hoo!

A new blog will follow shortly...whenever that may be!!  ;-)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Regency Bonnet For Me & Trousers For Him

It looks like I won't have time to make a new dress, after all.  Oh well, at least I will have a new bonnet, if nothing else.  

The inspiration came from a couple of fashion plates from Costume Parisien (1806 and 1807)... 

I just loved the diagonal detailing, and decided that I would like to have a go at making something similar.  

I began by working out the brim shape with paper, then transferring it to pelmet stiffener (what did they use for rigid bonnet brims in those days?), and from that to the fabric.  Then I started adding the rows of cording...  

So far into the diagonals, I realised that I would have problems getting the cording into the corner.  So I began again, starting with the diagonals this time...  

When I had finished this, I realised that I needn't have started again...if only I had put in the first diagonal rows in the right hand corner.  DOH!  

Oh and learn!  

The next part gave me another headache, as the rows of piping had shrunk the design a bit, so I had to pin, re-pin, and generally keep jiggling it about to fit the stiffened brim...which I eventually managed...  
The back is on, and now all that remains in to add the lining, and edge with lace.

At the moment I am working on Robert's trousers, and as this involves lots of bits of fabric, in lots of different shapes, having to fit together in different ways, I have now developed brain-ache!!
To be honest, I think it's just me and written instructions!!

Anyway...back to slaving over a hot needle.  Watch this space for the next update in the countdown to the Jane Austen Festival 2011!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Countdown to the Jane Austen Festival 2011

With just over seven weeks to go to the Grand Regency Promenade in Bath, I am beginning to feel the first stirrings of panic.

Last year I spent so long working on Robert's costume, that I had no time to make my own, so consequently I ended up looking like Stigitha of the Dump!

This year I want to look smart and well turned out, and the plan is to make a new dress, but if I don't have time, I will concentrate on the spencer and hat or bonnet.  

I was making a blue muslin drawstring dress, using Sense and Sensibility's 'Elegant Lady's Closet' pattern, but it's not quite right, so I have now started a calico toile using the S&S 'Regency Gown' pattern, which is for a back-fastening dress.
I'm still not happy, and will have to do the usual re-jigging!  
As Robert will now be able to have the time off work, we will both be heading down to Trowbridge together, so that means that I now have to make his new trousers as well as my costume.  

I have the pattern, Kannick's Korner Men's Fall-Front Trousers...
The pattern pieces have been cut, and I have started to put them together in calico...we still need to find some decent fabric to make the actual garment, which isn't easy in Lincoln!

Time to panic, methinks!  What I need is a plan of action...OK, where to begin???? :-O