Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Something is definitely afoot!

I've actually been quite busy these last few weeks, as aside from my new, summer job as a historical interpreter, I've also been scheming and working on something pretty awesome with my partner-in-crime Nicole.  We're not quite off the ground yet, but you can expect to hear all about it within the next month.  This picture shows you just a sliver of what we've been working on, and I can hardly wait to really get going!

Until then, I've got plenty keeping me occupied.  Life goes in a steady flow of work, sewing, sketching, tumblr, work, sewing/netflix, sewing, work, falling asleep over dinner, etc.  The sewing area has fallen into a level of lived-in untidiness, and I'm sort of hovering between intense inspiration and utter exhaustion.  It's not half bad.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Stitching the First Oval Office

This summer will be rather different from any other which I've experienced, and I'm really excited about what I'll be doing!

I'll still be sewing for my paycheck, that part hasn't changed; but I'll be wearing costumes instead of making them, and am part of a team making a massive, linen, 18th century reproduction tent.  Which tent?  None other than George Washington's Sleeping Marquee.

The project is through the partnership of Colonial Williamsburg and the nascent Museum of the American Revolution (which owns the original tent that we're reproducing).  Fabric has been specially woven, all wooden poles and stakes are being made by the joiners and wheelwrights at Williamsburg, and for fourteen weeks this summer a group of us will be constructing the tent itself.  It's really rather wonderful having the chance to work on such a unique project, and to be on the interpreter side of things instead of always behind the scenes.

Today was our first official day, and it promises to be a very interesting summer!

 The team busily stitching pieces of the inner tent.  That's me on the far left, and for once I'm not wearing anything which I made!

The whole project is being very well documented, and if you're at all interested you can like the facebook page which has a lot of great info about the project, check out the blog, or even watch us live on one of the Colonial Williamsburg webcams(yeah, you can watch me throughout each entire work day... which isn't stalkerish at all.)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bohème Sauvage

The night of my last full day in Berlin was the night before a bank holiday, and on that night there was a wild 1920s party held in a club in Mitte which I naturally felt bound to attend.  Nicole had joined me in Germany a couple days before, and in spite of the loud proclimation of "AUSVERKAUFT" (sold out) on the website we dressed up and headed boldly into the night.  It was apparently our lucky night, since we were allowed in an hour or so after the party started in spite of our complete lack of tickets.

It was called Bohème Sauvage, an event which is held semi-regularily in various locations in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, and Vienna, and the poster advertised 'an homage to Berlin nightlife of the 20s'- Dance in the May in the underworld.

Looking back now, it's hard to properly desribe the event.  Loads of people, various live acts... musicians and burlesque, absinthe bar, gambling, dancing... all in a vintage style nightclub which was slightly seedy, slightly too small, and rather wonderful.

Nicole and I were very lucky at one point to be able to land a seat by the bar, where we were able to rest before plunging back into the crowded dance floor area.  Everything was too dark inside for our little cameras to do any good, but fortunately the official photographer managed to capture us a few times.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

1920s in Berlin

There's not been a whole lot of sewing happening lately since I've been in Berlin for the past couple months, taking language classes and soaking up the unique atmosphere of the city.  I did, however, bring along the pieces for a 1920s dress which I had cut out earlier this year, and which I then finished in time for a 20's party here.  I'll write more about the event later once pictures show up, but for now here are pictures of the new dress taken at an art nouveau era building (now hotel) in Schöneberg.

My dress is based off an orginal which was for sale on Ebay, and is made of midnight blue velvet with insets of crinkled silver silk lamé.  The overall design is really quite simple, and it took almost no time at all to pattern.  Since I did most of the sewing away from home and far far away from my sewing machine, the whole dress is sewn by hand.

It was really fun to wear this style... I'd not done anything from the 20s before even though I've always liked the time period.  I was constantly amazed at how incredibly simple it all was, especially when you constrast it with clothing from the Edwardian era.  To go from a dress which is a feat of engineering with mind-boggling closure systems to something which you can just slip over your head must have been world-changing for the women back then. 

It was actually slightly stressful cutting out the skirt... I'm normally used to doing earlier periods where the skirts almost reach the ground and the pieces are about 37-40 inches long, while this skirt was only about 18 long including seam allowance.  I had to keep telling myself over and over that, no, I'd measured everything properly and it would be just fine.  But it still seems like the most scandelously short thing when I was cutting!