Saturday, May 20, 2017

Riversdale 12th Night

At the start at 2017, we went to the Riversdale 12th Night Ball. The food was delicious - all period recipes - and the chef made all kinds of pickled products, which were all delicious. The gown was new - a simple drawstring gown out of an ebay sari. Not sure the shiny material is as flattering - but the bullion embroidery on the fabric is pretty. :-) I was also wiped out by the time we got to this ball, so I wasn’t as into the dancing.



Poor Doug still only had the one vest. No time to sew a new one, though now he has a few - our friend Angela, to pay back a favor, went above and beyond with a new fancy embroidered vest, and a striped one. I’ve started a silver silk one, but haven’t finished it yet.


And of course - the important stuff - the food!

Veal Loaf


Also, Mac & Cheese with a 19th century recipe, roasted vegetables, assorted pickles, and savoy cake wiith peach brandy syrup and whipped cream for dessert.




Doug was randomly chosen as king of the ball!





This is what happened after Mike jokingly asked Gloria if she could look less dead inside. ha! Also, we didn’t purposely color coordinate - but it’s funny we are each wearing a solid contrasting color.



Victorian Christmas Tea

Who’s in the mood for Christmas? Yeah. I’m still super behind on blogging anything.

BUT I did get to go to a superfun Victorian Christmas tea, hosted by the lovely Carolyn, in the gorgeous Capitol Hill row house that her and her husband are staying in while on assignment in DC. It’s the perfect place for costume parties! The food was also delicious.

I don’t have a ton of Victorian outfits - BUT I had only worn this plaid 1840s gown once or twice very briefly. AND since then, I had gotten real 1840s repro boots, courtesy of American Duchess, but never really had the opportunity to wear them. So I was actually pretty excited to wear them with the outfit I intended to. They were really comfy and I loved how they looked with this long-sleeved dress.








I also wore Dames a la Mode earrings (, an antique necklace and brooch and bracelet and rings.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

November Ball at Gadsby's Tavern

November also brought a ball at Gadsby’s Tavern to which I finally wore the second of two 18th century jackets I made with fabric bought years ago in Germany. I got one meter each of some pretty fabric, and I was able to very carefully turn them each into a jacket. I completed this a while ago but only now wore it. I whipped up a quick petticoat in gold silk taffeta to go with, and grabbed some “dead dino” a.k.a. synthetic fabric for a sash. I believe this is the reverse side of the fabric I used to line my Pirates of the Caribbean gown! The necklace is by my friend Gloria:, and I wore antique earrings you can’t see very well here.


We had dinner at the Columbia Firehouse. I forget what kind of cocktail this was, but it was good. Also squash soup, and crab cakes. Doug got a pasta he didn’t care as much for. I gave him a crab cake. :-)


At the Gadsby’s giftshop, a chocolate Gadsby’s Tavern!


The traditional cheese hedgehog:











Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Regency Pumpkin Tea

Back in November, I had a lovely time at a friend’s Regency Pumpkin tea! Here’s a bunch of photos!





Judy had the cutest military jacket and hat:





Ashlie and Carrie:


More below the cut!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Robe a la Levantine

I've long been a fan of Mary Russell's 1781 portrait, and the striking green dress she wears.  I've long wanted to make it, but haven't been sure exactly what it is.  It does not seem to have the "zone front" as you can see it extends down the front.  The appears to be opened slightly at the top, and the top front folds down, revealing the lilac colored lining. Underneath?? It has a lace edge, but you can't see much else.  It has short sleeves over longer, though it's unclear if they extend to just the elbow or the wrist.

In searching robe a la turques, of which there are many, many, many variations, I found this. Other than the front being cut slightly differently, it looks pretty similar, down to the ermine trim:

Thanks to Mimic-of-Modes - here is a translation of the caption:

Robe à la Levantine garnie en hermine, coëffure à la Créole: le juppon et la soubreveste nommées l'Assyrienne; inventé par P.N. Sarrazin Costumier ordinaire de Nosseigneurs les Princes du Sang freres du Roi, et Directeur ordinaire du Sallon des Costumes du Colisée.
Robe à la Levantine trimmed in ermine, coiffure à la Créole: the petticoat and underbodice are called l'Assyrienne; invented by P.N. Sarrazin, costumer in ordinary to their Highnesses the Princes of the Blood, brothers of the King, and director in ordinary of the Salon of the Costumes of the Coliseum.

The blogger adds, "This specific plate depicts a costume for the theater or a ball, but there is an ordinary version - see my translation of the longer text belonging to this plate here.  The levantine is a short-sleeved gown worn over a long-sleeved undervest.]"

On the page she links to above, she has a longer description of this gown, translated from the French,

THE LEVANTINE is of the number of the new Dresses.  It is so comfortable and requires so few preparations, either to put it on or take it off, that it has merited the nickname, Negligée of Voluptuousness.

It is a Gown with mancherons, fitted en fourreau in back: that is to say, the skirt is only pleated on the back and the sides.**  It fastens at will over the chest, and must seem instead posed on the stays/body, which are attached.

This Gown covers in part an undervest opening in front and coupée at the waist.  Amadis sleeves come through the Levantine's mancherons, and are finished with a parement placed en barriere.

Petticoat matching the undervest, opening in the front as well, and trimmed with an embroidered border.  Lace or gauze can be substituted for it, following the season and taste, together with the Levantine, which is here trimmed with a cordon of ermine.

Hair in chien couchant, held in by a barriere of pearls, and serving as a support for a bandeau matching the trim of the Gown.  The extremities of the bandeau are fixed with a diamond rosette, from which escapes an aigrette of heron feathers.

A gauze veil forming the toque
in front, and the kerchief in back, serve as the cap of this Coiffure.  With the help of a drawstring, ending with a tassel, the veil is lowered in front to the belt, or raised in back, as presented in the Print. 

There is also an alternate coloration of this gown, which looks a lot like Mary's. Mary's doesn't show the undervest, and the front of hers has a slimfitting closure, it doesn't overlap robe style like the one in the fashion plate. So despite the similarities, is it really this style of levantine?

  There are tons of turque variations - some with waist seams and fitted backs, some not.

Witness this one with a tight-fitted back from 1787.

American Duchess goes through a bunch of the variations in this blog post:

Other resources:

I have done a sort of turque as other people have, as a roundgown with a sort of polonaise/zone front cut gown over it. But I don't think Mary Russell's looks like it's two gowns, so what to do?

Mary's looks like an all-in-one combo of the yellow silk gown with top front folded down, AND the blue overrobe trimmed with fur, shown in this portrait of Mademoiselle Guimard by Jean-Baptiste Greuze!