Friday, December 15, 2017

Put Some Birds On It

This past weekend was Fezziwig's Ball, our annual holiday tradition in which we summon the ghosts of Christmas past for carols, dancing, and a whole lot of refreshments. It's a fun opportunity for me to wear a period I wouldn't otherwise get to explore, because it's our only ball of the year with a date range instead of a specific period ("the life of Charles Dickens," so 1812-1872). Last year I made my first 1830s dress, and I wore it again this year with a couple of improvements--last-minute hand finishing I didn't have time for the first time around.

I also changed my hair this year, because I am totally in love with 1830s hair and I wanted to try something different. So naturally, I hit the craft store holiday bargain bin for bits, and ended up with...birds!

I used wired burlap ribbon in black (closest to my dark brown hair) to make a sort-of upside-down T shape, with the short bits of the T loops that would be easy to get bobby pins through (the weave of the burlap ribbon in general was also good for stabbing through). Then I went to town with the hot glue gun, and created a little holly bush for my head. I took inspiration from styles like this, which mix ridiculous decoration (snakes?!) and vertical sweeps of hair:

1830 - Hairstyles from "World of Fashion" via Los Angeles Public Library | Visual Collections
hairstyles, 1830 (LA Public Library)
Sept. 1830. Casey Fashion Plates. Los Angeles Public Library
more 1830 styles (also LAPL)
"Fashionable Head Dresses for June 1830:" possibly from "La Belle Assemblee."
fashionable headdresses, 1830 (Wellcome Library)
women's clothing 1830 | Antique Print Womens Fashion 1830 Evening Dresses Head-dresses ...
new fashions for 1830(?-hard to make out the date) (Oldprint)
  I made a bunch of different bits, and then figured it out as I went. I used a rat to shape a vertical-ish on one side, and then added my holly tower on the other. I finished with birds, because birds are the best part! (No, there were no birds in my fashion plates. But there were snakes, so...artistic license.)

I was in good company! We were a well-coiffed 1830s gang. 

I hope your holiday festivities are joyous!