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. 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.**



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

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

MURDER OF CROWS – A Mini Costume Theme at Costume College

   I just got back from CoCo on Monday night, and along with some new patterns, trims, and some fabric from the Garment District, and LOTS of ideas of things to make, I also brought home a cold. So I’m very slowly getting things back in the house, and even slower on getting photos ready to upload.  I’m going to have to take it easy for a couple more days. But I have enough photos to do a small blog entry on a mini costume theme some of us did for the Ice Cream Social on Friday night there.  Mini themes are growing in popularity more and more each year, and it’s a great way to help people sometimes decide just what they want to make, if they can’t make up their own minds.  Two days after CoCo many of us were already going into planning mode for next year.

   Following up on the mourning fashion show we did there last year, I suggested we and anyone else interested dress in a similar black color or variation, in any time period. Since we were referring to ourselves as a bunch of crows last year, I titled it “A Murder of Crows”. Any time two or more crows gather together, they call it a murder instead of a flock. Don’t know why it’s called that but I remember years ago when we were talking about it we gave it hilarious titles for when it was 4 crows together, or 6. I can’t remember what they were but “contemplating murder” was one of them. Sure wish I had saved them.

I set up a private Facebook page, with that title and put out the announcement for anyone interested to join us. And the crows flocked together there, and contemplated murder.
We shared ideas, pattern thoughts, fabric ideas, and what time period each wanted to do. But it was mainly up to the person to determine what and how they would do it. The time period that people said they were going to do ranged from Medieval to the 1960s. Colors chosen were solid black, to black & grey or white, along with polka dots,  and were either day wear or evening wear.
I originally planned on wearing my 1887 mourning gown from the fashion show but I was running out of room in my luggage so I picked another that I hadn’t worn there yet, my 1873 Dia de los Muertos mourning gown. I even considered doing the Catrina face and wearing my colorful flowers but thought that would look too garish for our theme. It was also cooler. I pulled out one of my antique Bebe bonnets that only comes out on rare occasions, and added my black lace veil to it.

When we attend CoCo, we can get ribbons to hang on our name badges that identify our interests in costumes besides what guilds we’re in, like Historical, Science Fiction, etc. You can even earn ones by attending some classes that they give out and some dealers in the Marketplace have them with their store names and shows that you purchased from them. I didn’t have the time or money to order a bunch for us, so I made little laminated photos of my favorite crow for them to attach to their name tags the night we wore our costumes. You can see mine hanging from the bottom of my name badge in the photo. 

On Friday night at Costume College, the Ice Cream Social began and the Crows gathered, looking for a murder. I spotted ladies in black and would ask “Crow?”. Their response was “We have a murder”.



Gina even brought her crow friend, who may appropriately be named “Murder”.
 It took a while to “gather the flock” in a group for photos, and I lost a few but for the majority, we got most of the group together. And it was impressive and began a paparazzi storm of cameras.

This is my 1873 mourning gown, and Cindy in her 1950s-60s outfit.
Then suddenly we spotted a body! And the crows gathered around it.


                                                           WE HAD A MURDER!



                                                       ~~~Val~~~

11 comments:

  1. We DID have a murder! Poor Jerry......Well at least he was in the picture instead of behind the camera. We sure had a fun night!

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    1. Hard to believe we had to kill him to finally get him in front of the camera.
      Val

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  2. There was a murder afoot! We did have fun, I'm glad you were able to get most of the Crows together for this great picture. I think this should be an annual CoCo event; the meeting of the Crows or even at different events like Dickens, or other events CAW! CAW!

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    1. Well, I don't know if I could get people to agree to keep showing up in black, but we do have a new theme in the works for next year.
      Val

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  3. Murder of crows - very clever! The group looks so drop-dead gorgeous in their costumes! I'm in love with your mourning ensemble (and, to be truthful, all of your costumes) - can't wait to see what's next!

    Anneliese :)

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    1. Thank you Anneliese. In the coming days I hope to get my full album done of the event, and a few more blog entries on my gowns.
      Val

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  4. Yay!! A Murder of Crows!! This was such a fun thing to behold!! All of the "crow" ladies looked fabulous. And I LOVE our dress! Do you have more pictures of it? I was in a bit of a whirl wind hurry that night so I didn't get to see all the glorious details!!
    Blessings!
    Gina

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    1. Gina, I think we all were in a bit of a whirl. I'm glad I got photos of yours. Which dress was it you're referring to?
      Val

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  5. Well, I loved them both but the one I'm referring to is the one that looks like a polonaise...it is gorgeous! And stripey if I am reading the picture correctly.

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    1. So far I only have those that are here, and one earlier from Dia de los Muertos. http://timetravelingincostume.blogspot.com/2013/11/1873-cotton-mourning-gown-for-dia-de.html
      I've only worn it twice now.

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  6. Val - I am making the commitment to attend CoCo in 2015, so please keep in posted for future planning! Enjoy looks amazing! I have enjoyed all the photos!

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I would love to hear if this was any help to you. Pretty please!