A new look!

You have probably noticed, but I have a new look for this blog! I like it because the sidebars show up even on a tablet. I know that a lot of people now use tablets such as iPads more than computers or laptops, so I opted for a new look, with colour, that would make my site more easily accessible.

Enjoy looking around!

Some interesting thoughts about fashion

I was just doing a little research, when I stumbled across certain theorists and their attitudes towards fashion and fashion’s role in society. I don’t think they are 100% accurate, but they are interesting nonetheless.

First, there were three reasons which applied to fashion:

1. Purpose of Utility. This is dressing for warmth and protection

2. Purpose of Hierarchy. This is to show one’s position in society and your rank in the hierarchy.

3. Purpose of seduction. This is, as the name suggests, dressing to appeal to the opposite gender.

These mainly apply to historical fashion, because nowadays you could add dressing to represent one’s personality, or dressing to show your culture, background or beliefs.

Then there is Laver’s Law of Fashion, which is also interesting to see how attitudes change over time.

James Laver’s Law of Fashion

  • 10 years before its time:  indecent
  • 5 years before its time:  shameless
  • 1 year before its time:  daring
  • current fashion:  smart
  • 1 year after its time:  dowdy
  • 10 years after its time:  hideous
  • 20 years after its time:  ridiculous
  • 30 years after its time:  amusing
  • 50 years after its time:  quaint
  • 70 years after its time:  charming
  • 100 years after its time:  romantic
  • 150 years after its time:  beautiful

What do you think? Do you agree with Laver’s Laws of Fashion? Are there any other reasons for dressing in a certain way?

A gift from Paris

My dad went to Paris and brought me back this little gift in return for me sewing on buttons to his jacket for him!

Isnt it adorable?

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How useful! Eight more rolls of thread, a measuring tape with both inches and cm, a thimble and six needles in assorted sizes, as well as some embroidery threads, a safety pin and a button.

HSM August – Finally!

First an apology; I know I have been very very behind in posting but I’ve been so busy with school and work so I haven’t had an awful lot of time to post, let alone to sew. In honesty, the last thing I want to do when I get home form a long day at school is sew so unfortunately not a lot has been done.

However, I finally got around to taking photos of my August HSM, for which the theme was Heirlooms and Heritage. As you may remember, for my HSM I was making a Tudor French hood based on the hood Elizabeth I wore in a portrait, wherein she was still a princess. You may be asking yourself how Elizabeth I comes into this, but in fact my ancestry stems from a long line of Welsh kings and, as we know, Henry Tudor (aka Henry VII) was Welsh. So although the link isn’t direct, I thought it was a good enough excuse to make a French Hood.

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So, here are some pictures. Please forgive the bad quality lighting and the fact that I had nothing vaguely head-shaped to place said hood upon.

Details:

Challenge: Heirlooms and Heritage

Fabric: the hood covering is cotton and the veil could be silk, but I’m not sure, seeing as it was once a jacket lining.

Pattern: I used a pattern from the Elizabethan Costuming page and adjusted it slightly, but other than  that it was just lots of research.

Year: 1546

Notions: plastic beads, millinery wire, gold ribbon, cotton thread, home made buckram

How historically accurate is it? Not awfully. I’d say the shape is correct, it sits on the head correctly and the method of construction is fairly authentic. But the fabrics used are not, except the home made buckram which is old sacks stiffened with glue. I’d give it about 55-60% accuracy rating. Not great!

Hours to complete: many. Probably…. Ooh…. Umm, around 9-10?

First worn: Sunday 13th, for a trial fitting.

Total cost: as usual, it is all from stash, so £0.00!

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Results Day at long last!

So, today was results day and I can honestly say I am so happy with my results. Hard work does pay off! 

5A*s, 3As and 3Bs is a really great mix of marks and I’m not applying for any remarks. An A in maths was a pleasant surprise, as was and A* in biology! I want to thank everyone who has helped me, through thick and thin, especially when I lost heart and hope. 

Hopefully my next year of studies will be just as fruitful! 

Evelny’s Story

We left off after Rose had fainted and while she was recovering, Evelyn had sat under a tree and had a strange conversation with George Cavendish, who was aloof and quite indifferent to Evelyn.

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“Well, I felt dizzy at first, then stars began to play before my eyes, then everything went black and the next thing I know, I am outside being fanned by a dozen hysterical ladies.” Rose drawled, as she and Evelyn sat in the Drawing Room sipping iced water. Extra lemon had been added to Rose’s glass in an attempt to revive her spirit.

“At least we were excused from the speech.” Evelyn said, her mind occupied and Rose made a noise in agreement.

The house was quiet, with everyone back in the tent, and all of the servants either in the gardens preparing the sandwiches and cakes, or in the kitchen.

“Urgh, I am bored now. I feel better again. Eve, darling, why don’t we take a walk to the fountains. If we feel really wicked we can shed our stockings and paddle in them.” Rose suggested, giggling behind her hand.

“All right then. Let me fetch my book and I’ll be right back.”

For all Rose’s plans, it was Evelyn who had to coax her friend to dip her foot into the fountain, as she sat on the rim of the basin and let her hand run through the water.

“Honestly, it’s wonderfully refreshing once you’re in.” Evelyn said persuasively, and then flicked water at Rose, who squealed and called her a beast. Undeterred, Evelyn once more sprayed her giggling companion with water, and got splashed in return.

“You had it coming, you horrible thing. This is my best frock.” Rose laughed, but hopped into the fountain and hitched her skirt higher, so it was halfway up her thighs. Evelyn tried to suppress her laugh as she cupped a handful of water and threw it at Rose, who shrieked loudly.

“Shush! Be quiet Rose, or someone will come and look what all this noise is about. You’re supposed to be a resting invalid.” Evelyn said.

Rose pressed her hand to her forehead and dramatically sighed.

“But I am an invalid, Eve. Look, see how weak I am from the heat.” She moaned cheekily, and kicked a good amount of water onto Evelyn, who gasped as her dress was soaked.

“Oops!” Rose said without a hint of remorse, and soon both girls were splashing in the water, which was calf-deep, with their dresses pulled up to their thighs and revealing more skin than was proper.

“Ahem.”

A man clearing his voice stopped both girls dead in their tracks. They exchanged a horrified glance, and slowly turned, with Rose forgetting to drop her skirt fully.

George Cavendish stood, leaning nonchalantly again the hedge with his arms crossed and his face full of amusement.

“I decided to see what was at the centre of the garden, and two voices led me to a remarkable scene.” He said.

Evelyn jumped out of the basin and rushed to gather up her shawl to wrap it around her in an attempt to regain some of her modesty. George was quicker and snatched the length of silk from the bench next to him and held it high out of Evelyn’s reach. Rose, who had been fixated in the fountain like a human statue, was prompted to spring to life and ran to her friend’s help.

“How dare you? Give it back immediately!” Rose said haughtily, and stamped one of her feet, provoking a good deal of laughter from George, who was walking backwards around the fountain, brandishing the shawl like a trophy above his head.

Evelyn felt Rose’s hand grip her arm tightly, to prevent her from following him.

“Don’t. Let’s at least preserve some of our dignity around a stranger.” She muttered fiercely.

“Preserve some of your dignity?” George guffawed. “My dear, I saw you half soak each other, dancing in a fountain, with a goodly amount of prohibited flesh on display for me to gaze upon. I would say your dignity is very much in tatters.”

Both girls turned a shade of crimson red, but George continued.

“Besides, I am not a stranger. Miss Mayfair and I are already happily acquainted.”

Rose turned to Evelyn: “You know him?”

“Not willingly, that’s for sure.” Evelyn retorted, glaring at George, who had lowered her shawl now and looked smugly upon the pair of them.

“I don’t know who you think you are, Mr Cavendish, but you behave like no gentleman I have ever had the fortune to meet. Indeed, it was my greatest misfortune to ever lay eyes on you!” Evelyn snapped, and he smiled infuriatingly.

“I am safe in the knowledge that you are like no other ladies I have ever met. For one, they do not lay on a private show for me.”

Rose gasped. “What an insolent, rude creature you are! Come Evelyn, we’ll have no more to do with this sorry excuse for a man.”

Grabbing Evelyn’s arm once more, with a grip of iron, Rose marched off with Evelyn protesting behind her.

“But Rose, our shoes and stockings are still there. And my book. And he still has my shawl!”

Rose replied that they could not appear weak, and would not ask favours of that man and besides, the items would still be there later to collect.