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, Dean Emeritus of 2018 Costume College; 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. 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.


Friday, February 24, 2017

2017 Port Townsend (WA) Victorian Heritage Festival

If you’ve ever been to the Victorian Festival in Port Townsend, or have heard about it, I wanted to tell you it’s going on again this year, after the former organizers retired, and new ones stepped in. It's a beautiful seaport town, right off the water, and near where the ferries run. 

The dates have changed, to April 1 and 2, and the website is up,  which is still being worked on but has some pertinent information on it already. This year's theme, Victorian Dreams, takes you back to the 1890s, and Jules Verne, along with afternoon tea, demonstrations, lectures, and historic building tours. Last year I found a ghost in one. This is the information on the events but it's still being updated from last year.
If this event sounds familiar, it’s because every year at this time I head up to WA to visit my Mom and attend the Festival to be in their fashion show. Last year I did my presentation on “Watches & How Women Wore Them”. This year I’m taking on an even bigger challenge, writing and organizing the fashion show, which is mostly a new group of people, and we’re in a new location, the Port Townsend American Legion Hall. Later that evening it will be transformed into the Victorian Ball room. It’s located just off Water Street, the main street of all the historical buildings, and where the Festival is normally put on.  This isn’t so much an outdoor street show but has presentations going on inside buildings.

This year one of the historic old buildings, the Hastings Building, will be hosting a marketplace/craft show. It’s been under renovation, and will soon to transformed into a new hotel.
Two fun places to visit & stay are The Palace Hotel, and The Bishop Victorian Hotel, which is where I’ll be staying while I’m there.
In the past, the fashion show was held at a local church farther up on the hill. This time we’re going to be right down in the middle of the action. The Legion Hall will be transformed three times into different event locations. My fashion show theme is “Victorians Dress for the Occasion”, and I’ll have models wearing daytime, evening, sports, military, and masquerade. Many of the models are coming from the Seattle and Puget Sound costume guilds, with a couple from the previous group in the past shows. With the help of my local contact and costume friend, Mara, we’re going to give these folks a great show and hope the word gets out that everyone needs to come to the Festival.
I’m hoping the tintype photographer is there again this year because he had a great set-up last year, and I loved the photo he took of me. He had really nice props and he changed them as needed, and helped pose me. 
Check back on the website in the next couple weeks for more information as it’s added. 


  1. Bravo on getting the word out! I am so glad someone stepped forward to continue this grand tradition. You looked smashing in last year's fashion show, so I know it is in good hands this year. Really looking forward to my return visit. :)

    1. Thank you so much for that compliment, Judy! I hope we give you an outstanding show to see this year.

  2. Most excellent Val! I am happy you are doing the fashion show! It is going to be fabulous! I would mom and I to get up there again in the future. I so enjoyed our last time!


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