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

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HI, my name is Val. I'm a member of Costumer's Guild West in Los Angeles, Dean Emeritus of 2018 Costume College; Past President of the San Diego Costume Guild, member of Orange County Costume Guild, and a representative of the San Diego History Center. 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, February 8, 2011

Four of my gowns, all in one.

This last weekend, I and a couple of our costume guild members took part in a small fashion show by the Women’s History Museum in San Diego. The show was for the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) in nearby La Jolla. Even though the museum often shows a progression in time of the costumes being worn, I thought we should focus on the 1700s during the Revolution.
I volunteered my friend, Cindy to join me in modeling 4 of my gowns. Three were from the 1770s, the fourth was 1795. We had to make some adjustments to my gowns to fit her. The 1795 open robe was much easier to adjust but the 1770s polonaise Anglaise wasn’t. So it wasn’t as good a fit as I’d like. But we still looked nice and we felt like Pretty Princesses.
The audience of ladies from the club weren’t too familiar with the clothing but we did get a couple intelligent questions about what we were wearing and some wanted to know how long it took to make them. One question about what was paste jewelry has prompted me to want to find out more about it since my knowledge was limited to it being the “rhinestone” of the era.
I wore my 1770s Red Floral Caraco first. This is the one I had shortened the skirt portion and added self fabric pleated trim around the neckline and sleeves. I didn't get my new linen sleeve flounces done in time but no one noticed them missing.

We were in a medium sized room so the ladies got a close look at everything.

Cindy came out wearing my 1770s polonaise, The Pumpkin. It looked so pretty on her, and now she wants to make one.

Next was my 1770s Teal Caraco. When I first walked out, I suddenly realized I’d left the embroidered silk apron in the dressing room. And the clasp on my necklace had broken, so I had thrown on my freshwater pearl necklace. Where was my maid?!

Cindy came out wearing my 1795 periwinkle blue open robe over a white gown with gold trimmings around the hem. That gown looks gorgeous on everyone! When she was done, I returned with the apron on, and did another impromptu showing of it. The apron is the icing on my gown.

This was my favorite photo EVER.

It was hard having to change out of our pretty clothes and back into jeans, but it was a fun day.

Thank you to Jerry Abuan for such beautiful photos of the day.