I had a lovely time in my revamped blue frock with additional waist belt. I also used my new fan by Lynn Mcmasters in a coordinating blue shade throughout Dickens fair as well as the Twelfth night ball:
Here is a lovely image from the event by Erin Doverosey:
Photograph: Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland copyright Philip Pavliger
This year for Royals day I planned to deck out the Queen more than ever before. As director again this year, I put out Jessica as our full time Queen and she lived up to the role so well! I’m so proud of her portrayal and how she carries off the costuming perfectly. This year I put her in my hoop which is a bit larger in circumference as well as had her wear flat shoes. This brought her visually further into the realm of Victoria’s 4’11” height. With the new crown based on King George IV State Diadem by Juliette designs, a husband and wife team who specialize in reproducing historical jewels and regalia, she really shined for the day. For Royals day we added a red cape with ermine. The ermine is rabbit fur in which I hand cut and sewed black fur into “tails” and the red cape believe it or not is just my red velvet skirt folded in half as a quick already hemmed piece of fabric! This will be the only time we are sending out the Queen in more full regalia. It didn’t work overall for Dickens fair but it was quite a stunning look that pulled attention straight to the Queen. Jessica also featured her new ornate necklace custom designed by Dames a la mode.
Continue reading 2017 Dickens Fair Royals Day
When preparing to attend the 2015 Oxford Conference of Corsetry, the organizer and corsery fellow Julia Bremble suggested we think about doing forms for our corsets for display. I have seen this done in museums before, where they use lightweight plexi-glass forms to create an insert into the corset. I loved seeing corsets suspended from the ceiling, floating in space with no mannequin in sight.
Continue reading A new trick- cardboard corset form
I have been away from this blog too long. I have many updates and with the current American Duchess Giveaway I decided to start with updating you on my new accessories. I’d love to feature Dames a la Mode jewelry along with images of Dickens Fair this past weekend. Each year we have a special Royals day where the Royal family stays out longer to visit. I get to change into my ballgown bodice which is rare for Dickens Fair. Therefore I wanted a bit of new bling (as if I don’t already wear enough of it), but more bling is always welcome for the Royal family.
Photos are all courtesy of my husband and ¬©2015 Tavan Photography. I am so lucky to have these to share. I hope you enjoy them:
Queen Victoria earrings
Queen Victoria Necklace
Continue reading Dames a la Mode for the win!
My lovely friend & client loaned back her Steampunk corsetry ensemble for a shoot this week. My son has been going on and on about Doc McStuffins (kids tv show) and wanted to direct a doctor shoot. Honestly I was a bit worried trying to include a 4 year old in my shoot but what is a working mom supposed to do when her kid is only in preschool till noon each day? Incorporate him into the fun of course. He seems really proud his mom is a corset maker and will tell everyone about it.
We did a walk through of the building during the day and I chose to shoot in the kitchen and my son said we had to so some in the dark basement. All day he was so excited and couldn’t wait till the evening shoot. He surprised me with his acting to the point where I had to keep asking “are you really afraid” and he’d giggle or do something silly to show me he wasn’t really scared. Some of the poses during the shoot were his idea and I loved helping facilitate his creativity too. A big thanks for my husband for working with me setting up lighting and for shooting.
The Brief: Steampunk Doctor treating a little boy. I directed Rene, our model for the day, to think of Rachel in Bladerunner. I think she nailed it. The content goes a little dark thematically and is a departure from my husband an my usual photography work. I’m excited to gather together the best images into a little flip book we will share with you once all images are processed. I was too exited so I’m posting up this teaser that I edited today.
Photographer: Tavan Photography
Model& MUA: Rene Rodgers
Hair: Laurie Tavan
Hat & bow tie: Kristi Taylor
Corsetry Ensemble: Daze of Laur by Laurie Tavan
Rosenblum©2013 M. Alberich Mathews
Model: Laurie Tavan
Gown: Daze of Laur by Laurie Tavan
I needed a quick bustle dress for an event and adapted an 1860s gown over my bustle cage for this gown:
Continue reading Steampunk Bustle Dress
This is my first time dying coutil. It turned out fairly even. I learned that since the edges of the fabric on dot coutil tend to roll, it is more likely to be streaky near the edges. So either in future I’d dye a larger section than I needed to cut the corset or I need to figure out some way to stretch the fabric and dye it that way. So much to learn!
Continue reading Violet’s Breath corset
The frogs on the zouave jacket sleeves. I added this fun braid I’ve had around forever. I have just enough to add it to the bottom of the skirt as well (again meant to be!). I love when stash fabric and trim turn out perfect for a project.
Continue reading Brown and Blue Ensemble: inprogress
I started the skirt for the ensemble years ago, probably two but I don’t remember for sure. That is how long ago I started it. The fabric is a fun stripe. I have enough to make a matching bodice but didn’t have the time or energy to actually get moving on that in time for Dickens Fair.
I had cut out a waistcoat for my husband in this brown/dark brown wool and the rest of sitting in a pile. I shrugged my shoulders grabbed it and drafted out a zouave jacket and as I laid the pattern on I knew I’d have just enough.
Many times when I start a project and I have on idea where I”m going with it, I turn around and the exact amount of fabric is sitting there waiting for me. I never planned to make a wool zouave for this outfit. But then it jumped out at me that this was finally the project for these fabulous braid frogs my mother-in-law gave me. Or at least they are for now, I imagine I’ll be reusing them on another project eventually or trying to make reproductions of them anyway. Continue reading Brown and Blue Ensemble
Rene came over and we worked on a new gown. The bodice was put together in a day which made us very happy!
Continue reading Blue Victorian Ballgown
My husband always complains that I don’t make him anything. So I started this trial pair of trousers from a Simplicity pattern. I had to do little modification actually. There are a few things I’ll change in the next pair but so far so good.
Continue reading Victorian trousers
Here is my favorite picture from this morning:
But it doesn’t show off Corwin’s cute little outfit very well so here are some more: Continue reading Sunday undies
I still have to sew the skirt top to the waistband and add the bertha actually onto the ballgown bodice, and and… design the day bodice. But we do have the go ahead from Liz Martin, the costume director, to make a day bodice and word from the higher ups that they are interested in seeing what it does in the Dickens light before making a decision. I was making it to wear to a Gaskells ball but now it will get more use if Queen Victoria can wear it. If not, I still love it.
I decreased the volume in the bottom tier & raised the patterning a bit on the upper tier so the trim was a bit further down. I think it looks more spiffy this way :) Thanks for all the advice so far.
* photo copyright Ross Bernheim
I was only able to attend Dickens fair for a few hours this past winter but am already planning a new gown for the Queen :)