Butterflies and sunshine

Lincoln Steampunk was brilliant again. We did not have as much time as usual wandering around the castle area due to some confusion about catching the bus to the campus to see what was going on there but saw lots of lovely costumes as always.I really loved this purple angel with working wings.There were also some beautiful and unusual costumes like the black ballgown with cogs and the book spine corset dress that had the most amazing ruffle skirt.

It was very hot so we were happy not to be doing too much walking. We spent some time at up the University campus where we bumped into a woman we recognised from last year.She had previously been wearing a Death Star dress and Millennium Falcon hat and this year she and her partner were dressed as two more characters from Star Wars, with a twist. I give you Gin Solo and Teabacca!

How brilliantly creative is that. I love the detail here with the gin bottle belt and the tea holster complete with cup and the marvelous gun.It never ceases to amaze me the ideas people come up with.

There were lots and lots of butterfly costumes and pretty flowers, these two sisters had made beautiful parasols by appliqueing flowers to plain umbrellas and I loved the butterfly head dress here.

The ladies from Lichtenstein were there again with the usual fabulous themed costumes. This year it was sewing accessories. I only managed to take one picture of them while I was at the event, so these are from their Facebook page. They are so beautiful and the detail of their accessories is amazing.

We bumped into some more friends from Steampunk, who were also wearing very brave costumes for such a hot day. Here are Fox and Sian. At least Fox is not wearing 7 stone of armour on a boiling July day as he often has been. And there were plenty of chances to stop for restorative tea which we don’t have in the 1400s!

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Ellie looked amazing, you have already seen the Worth dress but it deserves some more pictures and more of the beautiful hat which is new for this event. She is so clever and really suits the elegant Edwardian look.The hat was a plain cream one from the charity shop and I think the black lace really makes it look stunning.

We also bumped into a couple that we met at Clumber on the 1940s weekend, I love this red, white and blue ensemble. This women told us previously she had about 50 hats which I think is splendid, as I said in my last post we need more hat wearing, preferably very beautiful and ornate ones as well.

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I was very pleased with my new hat, everything stayed attached all day. I have now bought myself a glue gun so there is no stopping me now in my ability to create wondrous things!

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Lincoln - selfie

We are definitely going to go for the whole weekend next year as one day is just not enough. Of course that will mean at least 5 outfits as we would like to go to a ball as well so I really had better get cracking. I do have 3 skirts and a jacket to use as a base for a creation, as well as the tablecloth jacket but I need at least 2 more outfits really. I had better get scouring the charity shops for more bargains.

I have had a very pleasant rest of the weekend,I only worked Saturday morning so there was lots of crafting time and catching up with friends. I do love this time of year, lots of new beginnings and plans for the autumn.

Hope that you have a lovely week ahead, term starts next week so it will be very full on then so I am making the most of the lull. I will be back later in the week with pictures from Scotland. Take care and thanks for visiting.

Costume inspiration

The recent visit to Bankfield Museum gave us so many ideas for future Steampunk costume. There were some lovely fashion plates up the stairs and decorating the rooms and then some gorgeous Victorian gowns. I really love this purpley/grey one on the left here and Ellie would love to make the pink one below.

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The dress in the foreground of the picture above was originally purple and you can see that on the fringe and the mottling on the back of the dress. The one at the back is so elegant, I love the shaping on the jacket.

We also loved the fact that they  had dress up, and not just for children. These top pictures were really high quality reproductions of two of the Regency outfits they had on display, the embroidery on waistcoats from this period is always stunning.

There were also some displays of local textile production, including a lovely collection of hat pins, cuff links and buttons all made from casein which is actually milk protein! Fascinating to think that buttons can be made of milk.

It is so nice as well to see pictures of the women who made the hat pins. There was such a huge demand for them then. I think it is a great pity there is not more hat wearing, and I don’t just mean woolly ones in winter. Bring back hats for everyday wear!

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There was also the display of the gorgeous costumes from the Gentleman Jack TV series, part of which was filmed in Halifax, at Shibden Hall where Ann Lister lived. This is the fourth TV costume exhibition we have seen, the others being Victoria, Downton Abbey and a sneak peek at some of the Wolf Hall ones from before the exhibition . I really like seeing the clothes in detail, close up without the cases the museum pieces often have to be in. The sleeve silhouettes on these dresses are gorgeous and I love the lace shawls.

In the cases round the room there were also some fascinating needlework tools and accessories and samplers, I love seeing things like these, they really make you think about who was using them and what they were making and the skill level of these very young needlewomen.

One of the most interesting was this pincushion made from a shell. You can also see a walnut thimble case in one of the above pictures, next to the miniature sewing machine.

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I have started reading the Elm Creek Quilts book series again, I first read them all about 10 years ago and loved them so have the joy of re-reading all 20 books in the series and was very excited to learn that a new story is being published. It is definitely making me want to make more quilt blocks again after all the Yarndale stock is finished.

I am interspersing time in the craft room doing that with finishing off a knitted animal and then am going to work on some Christmas and birthday gifts. As well as more Barbie clothes I really want to make a quiet book. I have been doing some research and have found some gorgeous ideas. I particularly love the ones that are little doll houses like this one in this video. Look at the cuteness of the little cat and teddy and that wonderful wardrobe!

Quiet book doll houseSo many lovely things to make and luckily more time to do them! Jake is happily finding his feet in Japan, the doctorate is done 🙂 apart from the final proof read and printing off so I can indulge myself in all manner of crafty loveliness with all this free time I now have!

 

Hope that you are having a nice weekend as well. I will be back soon with some of the Lincoln Steampunk costumes.Take care and thanks for visiting.

Bustles, blossoms and beats, the creativity of Steampunk

As always there were amazing costumes. I really love the fact that Steampunk gives people a chance to participate on any level, whether it be using things you have in your wardrobe and adding a top hat, or even adapting a wedding hat, re purposing charity shop finds, buying clothes ready made or tailoring/creating your own fantastic costumes.

This woman is a costume maker and her garments are always out of this world.I love the starry fabric of her dress.

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This white one below is a great example of putting things together, the costume is all ready made items and then it is set off by this amazing head dress.

Steampunk event Costume 1
Steampunk event Costume 2

It is a very inclusive activity that can be done at any level, unlike re-enactment where there are unfortunately lots of authenticity rules, understandable but it does make it expensive even for a beginner.

For just a basic outfit you would need to spend about £100 even if you made all the garments yourself yet Steampunk can be done for next to nothing. My outfit this year, which was the most original I have done not using many things already in my wardrobe, only cost £67 to put together and that is including buying the skirt and hat that I have already worn to other events and to re-enactment lots of times .

I also love the fact that it is encouraging people to sew and to make, anything that does that is fantastic and every single one of the thousands of people who were there this weekend had done something creative which is so good for everybody.

There were some wonderful examples of this creativity, this woman’s costume was music themed. I really like her hat made of records and the bustle from sheet music!The attention to detail is wonderful, look at the music note fabric and the tiny piano on the back pack.

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I think the most original re-purposing I saw all weekend was this great set of wings made from ties, an adult and a child version, how fantastic is this!

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Although this top hat decorated with Lego people did come a close second.

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We loved this gown and hat with so many ribbon roses, we spoke to the owner about how she had made it and they were all hand made then glued on to gown.

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This was a fantastic Elizabeth 1st inspired neck piece, we loved all the detail on this.

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There was also a large contingent of Votes for Women themed participants, celebrating the centenary of the 1918  Representation of the People Act which gave some women the right to vote.

This lovely woman was one of the many who stopped and complimented me on my jacket, having seen the pictures on the Seamstress Squadron page which was so kind of them.

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There were some fabulous gowns as well such as these lovely ladies and the gentlemen with the matching waistcoat. We all especially loved the princess outfit in pale blue at the bottom.

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And so much colour, I love purple and these women looked fantastic as did the one who was wearing peacock themed colours and the other very bright Marie Antoinette dress.

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I have already decided that next year’s Lincoln outfit will be purple and turquoise, using the skirt and top hat I already have.

I had actually decided on this colourway before the event as I was doing some some hand stitching and brought down some threads in those colours and thought how wonderful they looked together. Not quite sure what the theme will be but will work on that.

It was not only the costumes that were marvelously creative but also the machines. From the cogged bustle which actually moved, the ever inventive backpacks, through the  mobility carts and wheelchairs to bikes there were some amazing adaptations, another reason why Steampunk is so inclusive.

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We are really looking forward to our next event, Steampunks in Space in November, and I have a Sci-Fi theme for that to go with my new hat. I had some money from Ellie and Jake for my birthday and I bought a dressage hat, similar to a top hat but shorter.

Then we will have Whitby in February where we are going for an overnight stay so can do two days! I will show you the jacket I am planning as my next make soon as I am allowing myself plenty of time for fitting issues!

It is a very dull and grey day here, not at all August weather and the leaves have started to fall from the trees so I suspect that summer is sadly over. I do love autumn as a season but have enjoyed the lack of rain!

Hope that you are having a nice week where you are, take care and thanks for visiting.

Bordado – the art or pastime of embroidering cloth

Bordado, as we found out in Seville, is Spanish for embroidery. The Folk Museum had lots of really interesting artifacts all housed in the beautiful Moorish Pavillion.

Seville Bordado museum

The first section we looked at was devoted to materials and their transformation and there were lots of displays of all types of artisan workshops including gilding, woodwork, leather and bakery.

There were also some brilliant works in progress pieces, one of the most exciting things for me in museums is seeing the unfinished pieces so you can see how they have made the embroidery.

In these pictures you can see the whitework paisley before the holes are cut and where padding stitches have been done first before satin stitch. There is also the lace being worked over a paper pattern.

I was really interested to see the tissue paper pinned round the working area on this last piece to keep it clean. That is something I haven’t done but is a great idea. The embroidery frames are beautifully made as well.

Seville Bordado 5 - paper

Then to my great excitement there was a whole gallery of embroidery and lace, one of the biggest collections that I have ever seen, so much wonderful work.

Seville Bordado - lace display

Much of it was a very similar type of work, sets of tray cloths or table cloths and napkins all unused and very similar in design.

Seville Bordado - napkin display

I wondered if they had been sample pieces for a book on embroidery or a series of magazines.I would guess they may be from the late 20s or 30s looking at the designs, there was no information about their origins though.

There was also very detailed whitework, some with cutwork lace.

I have never done any whitework though have some books on it and would love to. I don’t think I could ever make lace though I love looking at it.

One of my favourite pieces of whitework was this amazingly detailed unfinished tablecloth, you can just see the pencil outline of the rest of the design on the right.

Seville Bordado - whitework 3 - unfinished

Things like this always make me want to know the story of the maker, what happened, was it boredom and it became a WIP? Was there a tragedy and she never finished because of this?

There was also lots of amazing Spanish lace, whenever we go to the Easter Parades we admire the beautiful lace mantillas that the women wear with the high combs and these were stunning examples of mantillas and shawls.

When we at the recent fiesta in Alicante there were a group of people in costume with mantillas and lace aprons, it was too crowded and dark to get pictures then but these are a couple from Google from previous year’s fiestas to show you how beautiful they are. Spain has such a wonderful history of textile crafts and I love these traditional costumes.

Alicante costumes

Alicante costumes 2

I am still working on Jenny’s embroidery sampler at the moment and having fun practising stitches I have not done for a while like chain stitch. I still can’t master French Knots so may have to substitute seed beads.

I have a nice week ahead as I am working from home all work which means lots of early finishes and sewing time. We might even get some more BBQs in, only 7 to go to hit our target of 20. Hope you are also going to have a lovely week, take care and thanks for visiting.

A bit of Hungarian stitching

Don’t get too excited, this is not anything I have done, just some wonderful inspiration from our week in Budapest and another thing to add to my wish list!

I am still working on the little dolls, progress has been very slow as I got a chest infection on top of the flu so have been in bed for most of the last week and doing nothing!

I am getting a bit fed up of being ill, I really want to be young and sprightly but my body seems to have other ideas and it is seriously affecting my crafting productivity 😦

Anyway no doubt once the weather is better, and I have come back from nearly three weeks in sunny Spain things will be a lot easier and work calms down a lot after Easter as well.

We saw some beautiful vintage work in various museums, 17th and 18th century gold work and 19th and 20th century needlepoint and redwork along with some wonderful pictures and candleholders. Sadly the Ethnography Museum is closed for renovation as I would have loved to see more traditional costume.

There were some lovely historic costumes in the National Museum, these were from the late 1500s with delicate blackwork on the linen shift and shirt and embossed velvet.

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This beautiful beaded cap and embroidered bodice was from the late 1800s and the outfit below from the early 1900s, some Steampunk inspiration!

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There was some of the traditional Hungarian embroidery in the museum as well, this beautiful cloth was about 200 years old.It was really interesting to see the Elizabethan style motifs such as the central flower, very similar to ones that I had made previously

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Then there was a little display case full of ‘modern embroidery’ and knitting items from the 1950s, the sort we were seeing in all of the gift shops.

 

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I love these kinds of displays, always makes me wonder who owned the things in them.

I have collected some beautiful inspiration from Pinterest on my Sewing Inspiration board and I am planning to do a small motif for a pouch. I love the bright colours of the traditional work, there were some lovely blouses with these on in Budapest, especially for children.

A lot of these remind me of Jacobean crewel work, there are some very similar motifs.

I am hoping to find some time this weekend to finish the dolls, have nearly finished the stuffing and sewing up, just need to make 9 little skirts as I wanted each doll to have a choice of outfits so wish me luck!

Hopefully I will have some pretty little people to show you next week, just in time to take them to Spain for all the little girls in the family.

Take care and I hope that you have a nice weekend planned, thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

 

 

Steampunks in Space

We absolutely loved Steampunks in Space last weekend. Not only did I have a great weekend with Ellie and got to spend some time with her work friends at one of their Christmas dos in a lovely restaurant in Worksop where there was far more tapas than 10 people could ever eat, we also saw some more amazing costumes.

I forgot to take any pictures of the completed hat in good light before we left so at the moment we only have a few from the ones that we took and from the Steampunks in Space Facebook page.

I am very pleased with it, it has a treasure map and compass on the back, some doubloons one one side, (found some fab coin buttons in my stash), and a key for when I find the treasure chest.Excuse the slightly fuzzy pic and the very tired me!

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The light was quite dim so many of my pictures did not come out but there were so many lovely outfits. It was great to see a very different set of themes as there were some fab steampunked Sci-Fi versions. Here is Ellie in her new hat and a Steampunk version of Boba Fett known as Boba Von Fett.

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One of my favourite groups were the Mars Expeditionary Force, picture from the Facebook page.

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I also loved the ingenuity of this group, these are two hanging basket cages joined to make a helmet, picture from the Facebook page.

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These are amazing rocket backpacks as well, picture from the Facebook page. Such clever people!

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When you went in you were each given a coin to give to the person who had the best costume and I was thrilled to be given two!

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That really made my day. I love the new skirt I have bought from this Ebay supplier, I am planning to wear this on New Year’s Eve as it is very pretty and really comfortable to wear.It also comes in red, black and a light green and I am tempted to buy other colours for future outfits.

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The blouse I have had for years and I wore the same black velvet jacket. As you can tell I like the colour purple 🙂 I also bought some new lace gloves in purple at the event which go wonderfully with my outfit, much better than the lime green event wristband does!

We had a chat to a lovely lady who had found her dress on Ebay and adapted it, it was originally a wedding dress and she had made the train into a bustle. Ellie gave her the costume coin.

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We also took part in a felting workshop and had our pic taken while we were doing that, have plans to make a brooch with mine and Ellie made a Christmas tree, picture from the Facebook page.

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There was a costume competition and one of my favourite outfits, Raspberry Ripley, (a play on Ellen Ripley from Aliens who Ellie is named after), won the female competition.

I love the two solar system cage skirts that the other two competitors wore as well. Boba Von Fett was runner up in the male costume one, picture from the Facebook page.

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A brilliant day out and we can go back to the Space Centre again for as many visits as we want with the event ticket. We didn’t get chance to see many of the exhibits so will definitely visit again and they have other Sci-Fi events throughout the year as well, picture from the Facebook page.

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I am having a quiet weekend at home, catching up on household things, Jake is going to be doing some painting for me tomorrow to get things ready before the tree goes up next weekend. Still hard at work on cross stitch but lack of time and still poorly arm and hand are meaning it is very slow progress this year!

Hope you are all enjoying your weekends and are tucked up somewhere nice and warm, it has been so cold here I am really glad I do not have to venture out until Monday.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

 

Gorgeous and so tiny!

I have not had chance to get here to post pictures of the Victoria costumes at Harewood until now. Work has been pretty busy and I taught last Saturday and then we had Jazz festival. Really enjoyed that as always though due to work only volunteered Sat night and Sunday.

The costumes that we saw were beautifully made and we marveled at the size of them. Jenna Coleman must be so minute to fit into these outfits, even with the benefit of a corset!

There were two rooms with costumes in, the first showed some of the gowns belonging to her ladies in waiting.

Then the gorgeous ballroom had four of Victoria’s gowns in.

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Beautiful work and it was great to be able to see them very close up.

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This muslin and lace one was my favourite, given that I love old lace so much. It was beautiful!

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They also had the coronation gown which was embroidered with motifs representing all of the four emblems of the UK.

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Here is a picture of it from the series.

Victoria coronation pic

The last gowns were a layered dress of voile and gold silk and a simple but very pretty day dress.

I would have loved to see the wedding dress as well, so pretty!

Victoria wedding pic

 

I have yet to start watching Season 2 but am looking forward to more gorgeousness when I do.

I am enjoying the luxury of a whole weekend at home and have no real plans other than stitching some Christmas ornaments and lots and lots of relaxing watching TV, or rather watching programmes.

I have recently got rid of all TV services so am now just using my laptop and Netflix and Amazon Prime and have not missed the old TV services at all.I was not watching enough programmes when they were aired to warrant the cost so have upgraded to super fast broadband and all digital content, very 21st century!

I hope that you have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.