This is a photo diary of my costuming "travels"; where I've learned and struggled to make historical costumes for myself. They're not always pretty, but always fun. most of the time. And I want to share with others what I learn along the way. **You can find me on Facebook, or have my posts delivered to your email by signing up at the lower part of the right column.**

About Me

My photo
HI, my name is Val. I'm a member of Costumer's Guild West in Los Angeles, member & Past President of the San Diego Costume Guild, member of Orange County Costume Guild, a representative of the San Diego History Center, & an honorary member of SITU (Someplace in Time, Unlimited) in Seattle. This year I am the Dean of Costume College 2018. I make my own historical costumes but don't sell any unless I get tired of one.The eras I've made so far are 1770 up to 1918. My favorite is the 1880s bustle.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Debut of my 1872 Red & Black bustle gown

This is the first time I’ve had so many photos taken of my costume to choose from. My friend Marcee met with me early before our guild’s Holiday in the Park, at the Victorian houses in Heritage Square, Old Town San Diego. There were very few people around so we had our pick of locations. This was my favorite shot so far. The black ostrich feathers on my hat made me feel very sassy!

Then we walked over to Old Town and visited some of the museum exhibits.

One of our favorite shops is The Johnson House. There’s always something there to buy and add to our costumes.  Later my boot lace came untied, and a gallant young man kneeled and assisted me.   
Dinner at the Cosmopolitan Hotel is always fun. There’s so much atmosphere and they let us play as much as we like. One of our members in red, Cece, did an impromptu Flamenco when the guitarist came in to play for us.

Cindy and I had our “twinsies”  photo taken at the Christmas tree, and then Marcee joined us for our “the bustle shot”.

 Then we wandered over to the saloon at the Cosmo for some fun and drinking.
Cindy and I had way too much Grand Marnier.

My thanks to photographers Marcee Chipman Daily, and Jerry Abuan of Agezinder Arts. I get to wear this again on Friday to attend the opening of the new Sherlock Holmes movie too.
I have to add this photo I took of a full size photo cut-out of a young lady’s pretty gown there.


  1. great blog - love the pics - wish I had not missed the event

  2. That's Mrs. Pendleton in the photo, George Pendleton's wife. They lived in the "Derby-Pendleton" house located just behind the Whaley House! Built by Don Juan Bandini, Mr. Whaley initially tried to lease it from him and was refused. I wonder how he feels about it being brought onto his property without his permission 100 years later! Now the offices of the Save Our Heritage Organisation. Mrs. Pendleton's dress is lovely! And so are all the other gorgeous gowns in your photos!

  3. Lovely! I hope to make one of these next year when I teach that era of history. I hope my skill set will be ready for that! I devour everything you write. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Wow, that first shot is amazing! And after seeing the dress in person, I can say its one of my favorites that you have made.

  5. Have a big smile on my face right now. You all look as if you had a blast! Your ensemble looks super and I hope you get lots of wear out of it.

    Very best,


  6. Thank you all! Now I can't wait to wear it again.

  7. Please, please please, could you link this wonderful gown over at Steam Tea Travels? We're running a Victorian ephemera and steampunk linky party and this gorgeous dress is just perfect!

  8. Rhissanna, I have no idea how to do that. Can you just copy & paste the link to this post? I'll go look at that blog.

  9. Oh my gosh! You;re already there and it looks amazing. Thank you SO much for linking to the blog. We're delighted to have you. It's such a gorgeous dress!


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