Monday, August 17, 2015

Rapid Fire (or, Whirlwind Season cont.)

The whole summer might have been busy, but August is by far the most hectic--events every weekend, sometimes two different events on Saturday and Sunday. I'm excited for the things coming up, and I've had a blast at every event so far, but with so much going on something had to give, and that ended up being my camera work. So apologies! You're stuck with fuzzy cell phone pictures and a few better ones I found on the internet (which I have tried to credit).

Well, it turns out there's a theme to all this activity: bottomless closet. Things have been so hectic I haven't had time to do much sewing, so everything I've worn to an event so far this month came out of my closet. And you know what? That's pretty great. It's not like people in the 19th century had new clothes for every occasion--Edith Wharton even discusses the length of time between the wedding and when the bride can start re-wearing her wedding dress as an evening gown in Age of Innocence. I put a lot of effort (sometimes literal blood and/or tears) into the clothes I make. It's really gratifying to get to treat them like, well, clothes, and pull something out of my closet to throw on for a picnic at the spur of the moment. So while I did do some alterations and repairs, I haven't made anything new with all the running around...yet.

So what exactly, have I been up to this month? 

Boston Comic Con

Long before I found out I was going to spend most of July doing field work (science whoooooo) with no phone or internet, let alone sewing machine, I'd already planned to wear the Batgirl costume I made in January. I had ordered a molded rubber cowl to match my costume before I first wore it, but it didn't arrive in time and I ended up being a slightly casual Babs sans cowl. This time around, I was excited to debut the whole look, cowl and all! I also ditched the original yellow bat symbol (which was also rubber molded) for a spandex bat sewn directly to the suit. Much better!

the Batsuit with cowl and new bat

facing off with (a phenomenally intimidating!) Bane
teaming up with a very Black Canary: my little sister! Courtesy of Light Painting Portraits
This was a blast, but also SUPER HOT. Next time I decide to wear head to toe latex in New England summer weather...someone stop me. Please.

Roaring 20s Lawn Party at the Crane Estate

The day after BCC, I took a saunter into the jazz age to attend the third year of the Crane Estate and Boston Swing Central event. I am totally in love with the white yachting dress I made for the Crane Estate last year, but I have yet to actually put sleeves on it and finish the sucker. Since it was way too hot to slap a cardigan over it (my cheat to cover the raw armholes last year), I decided to wear it anyways with a short-sleeved sweater over it instead. It was warm, but not terrible! The sweater was purchased at Reading this year and has quickly become a favorite piece in my day to day wardrobe, but it worked perfectly as a cover for this 20s ensemble too.

the nautical ensemble

an attempt at s-waves and a polka-dot bow, courtesy of my very talented friend Neal Howland
our picnic setup, featured in Boston Magazine's event coverage
Hopefully the next time this dress appears it will be complete, but in the meantime it still makes me feel right at home by the ocean.

Nahant Historical Society Vintage Dance Weekend

This event used to be a ball sponsored by the Nahant Historical Society, but thanks to the generous donation of the Egg Rock estate by its owners, it's grown into a weekend of vintage events that strive to honor Nahant's history as a summer resort destination in the 19th century. (Fun fact: the first resort was built on Nahant in 1802, and the "almost island" was accessible via steamboat between 1802-1817). I decided not to attend the ball this year, but did attend both events at Egg Rock: an evening soiree on Friday and an afternoon tea on Sunday. I took advantage of being at two primarily not-dance-based events to bring out the trains. It was the perfect venue for swanning around elegantly!

Nahant House Resort, a mid-19th c. engraving from the historical society that was on display

on the formal stairs at Egg Rock during the Friday soiree
bonus princess shot! considering I threw my hair together in about 10 minutes, I was really happy with the way it came out!
Friday night I wore the 1870s "Mother/Daughter Dress Project" with a few adjustments (more on those soon) and a whole lot of bling. Yay, bling!

Sunday I threw on some old reliables: my sheer plaid picnic skirt (which is actually pretty old these days--it's one of my only remaining early projects from 2010), a ruffly blouse, my gray puffed-sleeve jacket (which is actually modern, but has acceptable lines for 1910s and I fudged it), and my low-crowned straw hat. 
The best part of old reliable clothes? I have no fear about ruining them, and that came in handy!

scaling the rocky outcroppings/cliffs by the shore (it was too windy for the hat)
fearless (and elegant) friends!
lounging on the cliffs
lounging on the lawn of Egg Rock, original courtesy of Facebook
cooling off after all that climbing! again, courtesy of Facebook

Two weekends down, two to go! Oof. I wouldn't change it, though.

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