A day comes in the springtime When Earth puts forth her powers, Casts off the bonds of winter And lights him hence with flowers... ~Dora Read Goodale
A note from the Editor
Currently seeking content - Tutorials Pattern reviews - Event reports - Costume articles -
This has been quite the season, and we kicked off 2015 with a flurry of events and activities! Regency style was definitely the choice for this Spring, and nearly all of March was dedicated to Regency events. We had our business meeting in February to decide the events for the rest of the year, and have been working hard behind the scenes to make the DFWCG bigger and better than ever before.
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Burning Out Velvet
Faces of Impressionism A Victorian Outing
Archery & Jane Austen
Costume Showcase Jay Raganâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mandalorian
A week in 1815 Visiting the Battle of New Orleans
Costumer Spotlight Ginger Lane
How to Sew Hand Bound Eyelets
Beethoven at the Bass
40 Calendar of Events
Jazz Age Sunday Social
Every year in New Orleans, during the coldest part of January, reenactors converge on the city to commemorate the Battle of New Orleans, a battle that ended the war of 1812, and decided the course of American history. The 8th of January, the date of the actual battle itself, was even celebrated for years as a second Independence Day. 2015 is a special year, as it marks the 200 th anniversary of the battle. The city of New Orleans, Chalmette Battlefield, and living history groups from across the country all worked to create a memorable week of events, which included battle reenactments, formal soirees, balls, dinners, and more. I first learned about the plans for the battleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s anniversary through a FaceBook post about Le Grand Bal 1815, which was to be held the Saturday evening of the anniversary week. Once I started digging into the rest of the plans for the commemoration, I knew I had to make a roadtrip to New Orleans and enjoy all the festivities. We left DFW in the pre-dawn hours of January 6th and made it into town by late afternoon, giving us plenty of time to check into our hotel. While there were events scheduled for Tuesday evening, we hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t purchased tickets for any of them, so we spent the day simply exploring the city and playing tourist. Wednesday was the first of many busy days running between events. In the evening, a local English Dance group was offering a workshop so people could prepare for the ball. It was our first taste of what was to come, and it was certainly a tantalizing look at the future events. The dances were fast-paced and fun, and we whirled around the room for hours before we all disbursed. Upon returning to the French Quarter, we headed back to the hotel to change into our evening wear before walking across the street to the Hotel St. Marie for the Danny Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Flaherty concert, an Irish musician who had performed for the reenactors for many years. The concert ran late into the night, and we stomped, clapped, and sang along, laughing the entire time.
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Thursday was when things really started to pick up. It was the Glorious 8th of January, after all, so things had to be big! The city of New Orleans had planned a fireworks show over the river, and one of the living history units attending the reenactments had organized a soiree in Napoleon House.
There were people in period costume on every street, all funneling toward Napoleon House, and the booms of the fireworks and the sight of so many uniformed soldiers was thrilling. It made it feel like we were the elegant gentry of the city, blithely carrying on with our parties as the cannons were rocking the rest of the city.
Napoleon House is exactly what it sounds like. It was built in 1794, and local legend has it that there was a plot to smuggle Napoleon out of Europe and set him up in New Orleans at the house that now bears his name. The plot was halted when news of Napoleonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s death brought the plan to an end. The building has housed all sorts of businesses since then, and now itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home to a restaurant and event space.
Stepping into Napoleon House is like stepping back in time. You slip through a narrow brick passage into a courtyard with an iron lined staircase, which leads upstairs to the restored part of the house. Period costume was required for entry, and everyone was dressed in their finest silks and cleanest uniforms. Candles lit the entire building, making the jewels and silks really glitter and shine. There was period music being played, and Regency-era cocktails were being served at the bars. On top of all of this, everyone I spoke to was welcoming and warm, even to a nonreenactor like me, and the entire atmosphere was inviting and comfortable.
The soiree started at the same time the fireworks display was set to start. Parking in the French Quarter depends entirely on luck, so I had found a spot some blocks away and walked to the venue. As I did, the fireworks show began over the river, and the booms of the explosions vibrated through the entire Quarter. There were people in period costume on every street, 7 |DFWCG.ORG|Spring 2015 all funneling toward Napoleon House, and the booms
Friday, we finally managed to make it to the battlefield to see some of the setup. We missed the big cannon duel that had happened earlier in the day, but we did get a large amount of shopping done at the sutlers. Friday evening was the “Second Line Parade”, an unofficial parade the reenactors do themselves, which snakes through the French Quarter, from the steps of the Cathedral in Jackson Square to Lafitte’s Blacksmith shop, the oldest continuously operated bar in the country. There were fife and drum marches being played by some of the military bands, and people in the Quarter seemed very excited to see what turned out to be quite an extensive parade.
Saturday, we finally managed to catch some of the battle! We spent a good deal of the day walking around the camps and watching some of the demonstrations. The Royal Navy Doctor, who I’ve followed on Facebook for quite some time, was there doing a demonstration in the infirmary tent, and he was absolutely wonderful. His wife, who runs the blog “Serendipitous Stitchery”, was charming and beautiful dressed! It was great fun watching the battles and demonstrations, and it helped to build the anticipation for the evening’s event, Le Grand Bal 1815, the event that introduced me to this magnificent reenactment in the first place.
Le Grand Bal 1815 was held in the Presbytere, directly on Jackson Square. The Presbytere was built in 1791, with the second story, where the ball was held, completed in 1813. The long hall that housed the dancing felt wonderfully period, with beautiful large windows overlooking Jackson Square, polished wooden floors, and exposed ceiling beams. As the night went on, Jackson Square below us emptied of people and the fog rolled in, creating a romantic, and somewhat eerie, view from our dance floor. The rest of the building housed a Mardi Gras museum. We had to snake our way through the exhibits, which included elaborate costumes, props, vintage photos, and Mardi Gras trinkets, to reach any of the areas that had been set up for the evening, like the dessert bar or the dance hall. The evening was a bit of a missed mark for me. I had been looking forward to it for months, and had labored over my dress for nearly half a year, so perhaps I was simply working myself up over nothing, but everything seemed to go wrong for me. I had to finish my dress In the hotel room before the event, my hair wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cooperate, and then I managed to get lost in the maze of one-way streets that the French Quarter is comprised of while attempting to find parking. Thankfully, we finally arrived, and just in time for my favorite dance, Mr Beveridgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Maggot, which has been used in countless Regency- period films. And, after months of slaving over my dress, I finally got to wear it, and I felt fabulous in it. 9 |DFWCG.ORG|Spring 2015
Sunday was the last day of festivities. There was a reenactment on the battlefield again, this time with the American forces winning instead of the redcoats, representing General Jackson’s final victory over the British. The victory was celebrated in the evening, with General Jackson’s Victory Dinner and Dance, which was held at Antoine’s, a famous French Quarter restaurant. Antoine’s was also celebrating an anniversary – it was first opened 175 years ago! The reenactors had booked the entire venue, and I had no idea how expansive the building was. We entered into a large open room, and since we were quite early, we waited in the bar for the other guests to arrive from the battlefield. Our dinner table was on the main floor, in the large dining room known as The Annex. We were quickly scooped up by some members of JASNA that had come from Kentucky, and we claimed a table in the middle of the room. Upstairs, up a winding iron staircase in a narrow brick passage, were smaller dining rooms that had been reserved by regiments and units that wished to dine together. The largest of these rooms, called the Japanese Room, was reserved for dancing after dinner. Dinner itself was an exquisite five-course meal of shrimp remoulade, oyster and artichoke bisque, crab cakes, pan-fried pork, and finally, baked Alaska. Everything was absolutely amazing, and I have no idea how any of us had energy to dance after such a large meal, but after the dessert was served people quickly filtered upstairs to claim a place in the ballroom. To say it was a tight squeeze is an understatement. We were
largest of these rooms, called the Japanese Room, was reserved for dancing after dinner. Dinner itself was an exquisite five-course meal of shrimp remoulade, oyster and artichoke bisque, crab cakes, pan-fried pork, and finally, baked Alaska. Everything was absolutely amazing, and I have no idea how any of us had energy to dance after such a large meal, but after the dessert was served people quickly filtered upstairs to claim a place in the ballroom. To say it was a tight squeeze is an understatement. We were pressed shoulder to shoulder, and if we had a room twice as large we may still have been crowded. The room was divided into three lines so we could fit in more, but the line of those waiting to dance still snaked out of the doors and into the hallway. Our dance master, who had been at our table during dinner, did a wonderful job of wrangling the dancers and walking everyone through unfamiliar steps. We danced long into the night, and before we knew it, it was the next morning! We excused ourselves around midnight to return to the hotel, but the party was still in full swing when we left, with no sign of ending anytime soon.
Burning Out Velvet By Sandi Dreer
OMG! I'm going to be destroying this fabric! Who in their right or wrong mind would deliberately do this to velvet? Lovely, sumptuous velvet? Me. My youngest daughter's latest costume from an episode of Doctor Who demanded that the velvet be burned out. And it couldn't be purchased already burned out because the burnout appears on all the gores of the gown. In lovely points in each gore. And above the hem by about an inch. The velvet used for this project was a Chinese silk velvet that is made up from 23% silk fibers and 77% rayon. My first step was scouring the internet and finding one (yes, just one) tutorial on burning out velvet. But that tutorial directed me to Dharma Trading and a product they carry called "Fiber Etch". Just like glass etching takes off a layer of glass, Fiber Etch removes the silk fibers from silk velvet. There is a great video to watch on the Dharma Trading website too. Fiber Etch is a heat activated product.
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Steps in using Fiber Etch 1. Use in a well ventilated area as the product does have an odor. I thought it was a slight odor but it could be stronger for different people. Plus, this is a chemical, so follow all the precautions. 2. Cover your work area. We used my cutting table and taped some waxed paper on it. This prevented any chemicals from possibly hurting my cutting table. 3. Use a paint brush you don't mind throwing away afterwards. We knew we wouldn't be able to complete the entire project in one sitting, so we periodically covered a small glass that held the Fiber Etch with plastic wrap. 4. The fabric didn't need any special preparations. Simply place it where it is convenient to your workspace. Be sure to place the fabric right side down! 5. Using a stencil (or freehand if you're really talented in that area), paint on the Fiber Etch. The video I mentioned before used a foam brush, but I used a craft brush that was about 1/2" wide. I felt that a foam brush would lose too much of the chemical. The Fiber Etch will remove the velvet fibers where you apply it. So be aware of what kind of design you wish - you wouldn't want to have a reversed image by mistake. 6. Allow the Fiber Etch to completely dry. 7. Apply heat. My first attempt to apply heat to complete the process was to place the gown into my dryer. That was almost a complete failure. The chemical did not completely activate. So, out came my iron. Be very careful here when your burning out velvet! Do not place the iron completely on your project. The Fiber Etch will darken when the chemical has activated. 8. Remove the fibers. The directions stated to wash your project and I was leery of placing the velvet into the washer. But I did in cold water and it really worked. The softness of the velvet was only slightly affected and there was no shrinkage. 9. Dry your project. If you have the freedom to allow your project to air dry, do so. I tossed our project into the dryer on a low heat.
Faces of Impressionism A Victorian Outing On January 10th, the DFWCG visited the Faces of Impressionism exhibit at the Kimbell Museum. We dressed in late Victorian and Edwardian fashions and had a wonderful time seeing all the artwork! The museum was very busy and the exhibit was actually at capacity nearly the entire time we were there. Lots of people were interested in us and our fancy dresses. Some of them even thought we worked for the museum! The staff there were very welcoming and even took some photos of us.
Ginger was featured on the Kimbellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Twitter page, and they posted a lovely group photo, thanking us for attending!
It was amazing to see all that stunning art with friends. Getting a glimpse into the everyday life of the era is pretty fascinating. I know there's a lot of little details I'm missing because I'm too busy mentally deconstructing the clothing of the subjects. I was so caught up in the hat and facial expression of one lady that I totally missed seeing there was a tortie cat under the table until it was pointed out to me! I think that means I need to spend more time around art. In all it was a wonderful outing, even though the exhibit was crowded and the wait time to get in was very long. But, we had a good turnout, and it was nice to have lots of time to talk to everybody.
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How did you first get into costuming? What was the first costume you ever made? I’ve always liked old timey clothes and skirts and dress-up. I went as Laura Ingalls for Halloween several years when I was little, and helped my mother make a new costume when I outgrew the first. When I was fourteen, my family began Civil War reenacting for real. My mother made my first dress, but told me that if I wanted more, I would have to make them. She taught me, but I did it.
Do you prefer creating daywear or evening attire? I’m not sure I have a preference! I’ve made very little evening wear at all, so it’s hard to tell. Evening wear tends to be the nicest fabric and prettiest colors, and I do like that.
You seem to have made an outfit from almost every time period. What is your favourite costume that you’ve made? This is tough. I like them for different reasons, though I tend to like my most recent ones the most if they turned out right. So right now, that would be the white muslin dress and pink silk slip dress I wore to the Ballgowns at the Bass event. And it’s the whole outfit, not just those two items. I really liked the white silk “Romney” gown I wore last fall, though, and I’m looking forward to wearing it again.
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You’ve drawn inspiration from artwork, fashion plates, and extant pieces in the past. What is your favourite source for costume inspiration? Extant pieces are probably my preferred, because they’re the safest. By that I mean that it’s absolutely authentic, and the closest I can get my version to the original, the more authentic it will be! That’s particularly nice when I’m working in a time period that’s not as familiar to me. But when just looking for inspiration, I look at everything. Artwork is probably my favorite for pure inspiration. Some costumers can’t stand seeing metal grommets on garments, while others have a thing about hoop boning showing through a skirt. What is your costuming pet peeve? Probably lack of corsetry; that’s pretty fundamental for re-creating the look of any period. Of course, there’s a host of 1860srelated “reenactorisms” that make me really twitchy! ;)
Do you like to use period materials in your costumes, like buttons and trim, or do you prefer to use closely matched modern items? By “period” meaning “original” as in antique or vintage? I want to use what looks and acts the closest to the original, as far as possible. Now that I think of it, I actually don’t use many modern things; I haven’t used buttons in a while, and those have been antique or vintage. I’m very picky about trim, so I tend to just avoid designs that require unavailable materials. An exception are vintage rayon ribbons and trims. They tend to be much higher quality than modern equivalents, and rayon acts far more like silk than polyester does.
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What is your favourite sort of finishing touch to make for an outfit? Hair! The right hairstyle completes an outfit better than the most fabulous set of accessories. It’s amazing how many wonderful period hairstyles can be achieved with wigs or with well-styled hairpieces. Some people enjoy the research more than the actual sewing, while others dive right in and just start sewing without a set plan. What is your favourite part of the creation process, and which part do you wish would just complete itself?
Which time period do you feel comes most easily to you? Is there any period you feel like you can whip up a dress for over a weekend? The 1860s are definitely the easiest for me, and I have a good set of patterns for it. I could do a dress in a weekend if it was already planned out and there was little to no trimming. I’m approaching that point with Regency, too. There are a great deal of costume events in the DFW area, which span many different time periods and genres. Which are your favourite sort of events to go to, and how far in advance do you start on your wardrobe? The Georgian picnic is consistently my favorite. But I haven’t really planned anything in advance for it! Usually sometime in the year previous there’s been at least one event that I’ve made something Georgian for, and I like to re-wear costumes. I also like to “re-mix” old ones, changing them up with new petticoats, fichus, outerwear, headwear, or anything along those lines.
My favorite part is the construction. I think that puts me in the minority! My mother put it, “Sewing is taking one piece of fabric, cutting it all up, and putting it all back together into one piece again.” I love putting it back together. My very least favorite part is making patterns. Cutting and putting together muslins and trying them on and figuring out what to change is tedious at best.
What bit of historical fashion do you wish would make a comeback in modern fashion? I’m not sure it’s just a bit, but the overall pear/hourglass figure. It’s been out of fashion for 60 years at a minimum, and it’s about time it really makes a return. I’ve got hips, and they just can’t be hidden! Do you find historical costuming influencing your daily wardrobe in any way? Not often; at least not the majority of historical costuming. For several years I went nearly full vintage or me-made vintage, 30s-50s. While I wear very little true or repro vintage day-to-day now, my aesthetic still shows that look. Otherwise, I’m just overall more aware of my proportions and what looks good, so I’m more picky about how clothing fits and looks.
What would you like to be known for with your costuming? Do you think you have a costuming signature? I would like to be known for doing slightly different, unusual things. I particularly enjoy things that are well-represented in documentation, but for whatever reason aren’t really being made by costumers. I think my costuming signature would be precision. I don’t think I can wear something thrown together. It makes me happiest to have a garment that is well-made, fits very well, and is part of the entire ensemble. If money and time were no object, what would be your dream costume to create? Probably an Edwardian evening gown in silk satin. Embroidered by hand, with gold, and pearls or beads or stones as appropriate. Silk tulle and net and lace. Horridly expensive and time-consuming! And I don’t have any of the underthings, so that’s another thing to do.
by Beth Klimek
Rarely does an event come along that’s so perfectly tailored to our hobby and interests, but that’s exactly what we got with “Archery and Jane Austen” at the Wylie Recreation Center. The event listing promised an introduction to archery with a Jane Austen twist and a boxed lunch to follow. While it wasn’t specifically mentioned either way, many of us anticipated an outdoor event. Since it was scheduled right on the heels of a cold spell many of us burned the midnight oil getting our spencers and pelisses ready. We shouldn’t have worried - the day turned out sunny and much warmer than expected, and the event took place completely indoors! We were directed to a private room and welcomed with coffee, tea, and scones. Some of the staff had dressed in Regency attire for the occasion, and they were delighted that we came in costume. After a brief introduction to the sport of archery and its significance in the Regency period, we moved on to the safety and logistics of using a bow. Then we were divided into groups of two or three for target practice. 21 |DFWCG.ORG|Spring 2015
We all got several turns at our targets, and I can honestly say it was much more challenging and fun than I anticipated! Even though we were relatively close to our targets and were using very easy-to-draw bows, hitting the target took quite a bit of concentration, coordination, and perhaps a little bit of luck. After a few rounds of practice, we had all shown enough improvement to move on to the real challenge of the day! The instructors turned the targets around, and we saw that several images had been taped to the back of each. They included a knight, an engagement ring, a golden arrow, and other images that relate to Jane Austen books. We had to decide which three all related to a single book, and then hit those images with our arrows. The winning team was promised a prize. The competition was on! Two of our teams ended up tying (both with our guild members!) and our prizes were Cadbury Cream Eggs. Yum!
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Then it was time for lunch. We were shown across the courtyard to a seating area and delicious boxed lunches. We had three different kinds of finger sandwiches, a tangerine, and cookies for dessert. It was such a lovely day, we decided to eat at the outdoor seating area and soak up some sunshine. That gave us an opportunity to mingle and chat. We learned that some of the other participants were members of the Jane Austen society, and they loved our costumes too! This was such a fun and unique event. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think of a better way to shake off the last of the winter blahs than with friends, costumes, and a little friendly competition!
Costume Showcase Mandalorian from Star Wars Costumer: Jay Ragan
So, when did you first start working on the Mandalorian armor? I haunted the Mandalorian Mercs Costuming Club forums for about a year before actually starting, basically reading everyone else's build threads. Then in March of last year we started my build.
I know some Star Wars costuming is super strict on authenticity guidelines and screen accuracy. Is there a standard set of 'must haves' for Mandalorian armor, or is there more of an opportunity to personalize your armor? There are standards for quality and general look, but the only Mandalorians that require screen accuracy are Jango Fett, Boba Fett, and the Mandalorians from Clone Wars cartoon. Everyone else has a lot of customization possibilities.
That's awesome! I've noticed that you have changed the colors on yours a couple of times. Do you change them for different events, or are you experimenting with different looks? The first time I wore my armor was before I actually painted it. The original silver look was actually just the primer or base coat, because I ran out of time. The black and gold is my final look, and was where I always intended to go with the look. 24 |DFWCG.ORG|Spring 2015
What sort of events do the Mandalorians participate in? Conventions, of course, but those are not as fun as the charity events. My favorite events have been the Autism Walk in the fall, and the Hemophilia Walk in the fall, as well. We recently participated in a car show, and Star Wars night at a hockey game. Next up is a summer reading program at a local library, which should be a lot of fun.
Was this your first time making armor? Yes, it was!
Wow, that's impressive! Did you do a lot of experimenting, or did you have it pretty well planned out when you started on it? We learned a LOT from attending an armor party, and that made it much easier. Also, there are a lot of templates and resources online. Still, there is a learning 25 |DFWCG.ORG|Spring 2015curve, and we made mistakes along the way, heh. We just kept plugging away
there is a learning curve, and we made mistakes along the way, heh. We just kept plugging away at it until we got it where we wanted it. Now, my husband did the bulk of the Sintra work, and he has experience making armor from metal, so some of that transferred over.
What advice would you give to those wanting to tackle their own armor projects? If they want to make a Mandalorian, they need to go to the MMCC website and register, because then they'll have access to information on local armor parties. Nothing can beat hands-on learning. Also, much of what is learned for Mandalorian armor can transfer to fantasy armor, as well. If they want to make armor using other mediums like worbla, there are a lot of great resources on YouTube.
Is there anything you'd do differently if you were to make the armor again? I don't think so. Mistakes are part of the learning process. There are, however, upgrades in my future. In fact, we are re-doing my bracers right now, since my old ones are just a trifle snug. I'm also going to upgrade my flight suit so I can have the double sleeve look that Jango and Boba sport. I'm going to add conductive thread to my gloves so I can take photos with my phone. There are a whole host of small upgrades on my mental checklist.
and kama (the leather skirt on my kit), and I call that my "light kit." It looks pretty awesome on its own. I'm pretty proud of the work I put into the over-all design. In spite of the upgrades I have planned, I really feel I've got a top notch costume.
Anything else you want to say about your outfit? When making this Mandalorian, I considered every layer. I think most people focus on the rigid parts, but I made my outfit multi-layered. When I take off my breastplate and back, my arming vest is visible. I'll remove the thigh plates and layer a sarong type skirt under the loincloth
If you would like to have your outfit considered for our Costume Showcase, please email email@example.com with a photo and short description of your costume.
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How to Sew Reinforced Eyelets
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Supplies: Thread scissors Embroider floss Hand-sewing needles Metal Rings (size is your preference)
Separate out two of the strands from the embroidery floss. Thread these through the needle and draw them through so to the two ends meet again. You’ll end up with a thread four strands thick.
Create a hole in your fabric where you wish your eyelet to go. An awl is best for this, as it does not break the fibers of the fabric, but for some larger eyelets you make need t o snip the hole open. Place your metal ring on the hole you’ve created. You’re going to sew around the ring to create your eyelet.
Begin by inserting the needle through the back of the fabric, directly next to the metal ring. Pull your thread through, leaving a little over an inch on the other side of the fabric.
Insert the needle through the hole you created, and pull your thread through.
On the back of your fabric, pull the short tail you left to one side. Take the thread that you pulled through your eyelet hole, and place it over the tail. You want to catch the tail when you pull the needle through the fabric again, which will secure your thread in place.
On the top of your fabric, bring your needle up beside the metal ring again, this time about 1/8-inch from where your first stitch was.
When you pull your thread through the fabric, it should wrap around the tail, as in the picture.
Repeat these steps around the entire ring, catching the tail each time, until youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made it all the way around. Once youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re back where you started, you can snip off anything remaining on the tail.
On the top of your fabric, bring your needle up on the outside of your ring, and draw it all the way through. Draw your thread through your center hole again, and then bring your needle back up through the fabric, directly beside the stitch you just made.
Repeat around the entire ring, creating a satin-stitched eyelet. Your eyelet should look identical on both the front and back of your fabric.
To secure the end of your thread, pick up one of your stitches with the tip of your needle, and draw your thread underneath this stitch.
Repeat this several times, until you feel your thread is thoroughly secured.
Snip off your thread, and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re finished! You now have a strong, sturdy eyelet.
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A Regency evening of music and dining
“Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.” ~Ludwig von Beethoven
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Bass Hall in Fort Worth has always seemed like a perfect place to hold historical costuming events. The Hall itself sparkles with white columns and goldplated lighting fixtures. There are hand-painted murals on the ceilings of sunrises and sunsets in the east and west portals. Look up at the ceiling In the main hall and see if you can find the two hawks floating in the painted sky, a nod to the artist himself, who was named Hawk. The interior of the performance hall hearkens back to the grand opera houses of Europe, and Bass Hall is the only performance hall in the world that has “piano boxes”, a pair of boxed seats in the gallery that take the form of a piano lid. It’s a beautiful, magical hall, and the perfect place to enjoy some fantastic music in some historical finery.
The Fort Worth Symphony was performing Beethoven’s famous 5th Symphony that evening. Beethoven’s works are always popular concert events, and the hall was crowded with people eager for the show. Our group met a half-hour before the concert began so we could mingle and admire each other’s new outfits. Many of the ladies in attendance had made new gowns just for the occasion, and there were even a couple of elegantly dressed gentlemen in our party. We discovered that we had a “4AM Sewing Club”, since several of us had stayed up late the night before the concert, sewing together some last minute garments for ourselves or our sweethearts. 32 |DFWCG.ORG|Spring 2015
The first half of the concert consisted of Richard Strauss’s and Prokofiev’s Piano Symphony No. 5. There was a short intermission, and then Beethoven’s 5th was played in its entirety. It was so exciting to hear those famous opening notes being performed live! The Fort Worth Symphony was wonderful, and the music was truly special.
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The Hall emptied quickly after the concert ended, so we had a chance to do some more mingling, take some pictures of our costumes in the beautiful setting of the Hall, and admire each other’s work. We were even flipping seams by the end of the night, checking out each other’s hand-stitching. And there was no shortage of fabulous accessories, either! Many ladies had made their own jewelry, from tiaras to necklaces, there were embroidered gloves and fancy reticules and playful turbans with features at every turn. We ended up being the talk of the Hall that evening. People were approaching us all evening, curious about our group and asking us questions about our clothes and why we were dressed up. There were even people finding us during intermission saying, “I heard about you and just had to come see!”
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By the time we had finished snapping pictures, we were all rather famished, so we headed across the street to Bird Café, a restaurant that offers “small plates”, which are tapas style servings of eclectic food. Everything from devilled eggs to sesame duck wings was on the menu, and everything was delicious. They had some original drink offerings, too, such as the basil-lime cooler, and the raspberry, fever-few ginger ale. Their desserts were spectacular, and you could choose to go heavy with a coffee chocolate cake or lighter with a triple berry cobbler. Our waiter was attentive, and knew exactly what wine to pair with every dish, the notes, and almost anything else you could think to ask. The entire evening was lovely, and we stumbled out of Bird at around midnight, full of delicious food and humming beautiful music as we headed home.
The Jazz Age Sunday Social
Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always seen these beautiful pictures from costume clubs around the country, from events like the Gatsby Picnic in California, or the Jazz Age Lawn Party in New York â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ladies in diaphanous white lace gowns and straw cloches, gentlemen in seersucker suits and tweed. I could imagine lounging on a lush green lawn or playing croquet while munching on wax paper wrapped sandwiches and listening to a band playing Jazz music. These events were always so far away that I never had the chance to make it out to one. But, last year, the Art Deco Society of Dallas came to the rescue, announcing their first ever Jazz Age Sunday Social. I had to miss out that year, but I was thrilled to hear that they brought the event back for a second time, and I was determined to make it. For a while it seemed like the weather would drive the picnic indoors, but the climate gods smiled on us, and just before the picnic started, the rain stopped, the clouds cleared, and we had beautiful, calm weather for the rest of the day. 37 |DFWCG.ORG|Spring 2015
The event was held at Dallas Heritage village, a collection of historic homes and building, all pre-1910, that have been moved to a park and arranged as a small village, complete with brick streets and a Main Street. The Model A Club was there with a great showing of vintage cars, there was music from the fantastic band, The Singapore slingers, and for those that forgot their picnic, there was a food truck offering creative sliders, like â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Nutty Pigâ&#x20AC;? which sported bacon and peanut butter and was completely delicious. The band had set up inside the pavilion because of the earlier rain, and there were many costumed attendees out on the dance floor enjoying the music.
There had been a planned meetup for the Costumers Guild, but with the Beethoven event the night before, many opted to stay home for the picnic, especially since the weather was iffy. We brave few that made it out found each other in the music pavilion, and spent the day watching the dancing, admiring the costumes, and enjoying the cars. There was even some shopping, with a few jewelry and hat vendors on site. I even had a chance to ride in “Milly”, the Model A! I enjoyed myself a great deal, and next year I will bring my own picnic, camp out on the lawn, and enjoy the spring air. Those that are hesitant because they may not have anything 1920s, or think they don’t look good in 20s-era clothing, don’t worry! There was everything from early Teens to 1940s, so there was a wide range 39 |DFWCG.ORG|Spring 2015of silhouettes to choose from! I’m looking forward to creating a new look
they don’t look good in 20s-era clothing, don’t worry! There was everything from early Teens to 1940s, so there was a wide range of silhouettes to choose from! I’m looking forward to creating a new look for next year, and I can’t wait to see how they’ve expanded for Year Three.
Calendar of Events
For more information on the events listed here, please see our “Upcoming Events” page on the DFWCG website.
Join us for a laid-back gathering that combines fairies, elves, wizards, pirates, and any type of fantasy character that you can imagine! Anything goes for this event, and some costume suggestions include cosplay, historical fancy dress, steampunk, anime, lolita, faire-wear, or your own completely unique creations. We will share picnic foods, play games, and take lots of fun pictures while we are together. We will meet at the entrance where the playground and pavilions are located at 2:00.
Colleyville Nature Center
History with a Twist
Jane Austen Society’s Spring Tea
Join the North Texas chapter of the Jane Austen Society as they visit the French Tea room in the acclaimed Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas. Brian Cushing, a Regency period reenactor, will be this year’s guest lecturer on the topic of gentlemen’s clothing.
The French Tea Room at the Adolphus Hotel
Sherlock Holmes at the Perot
History with a Twist is a celebration of classic American cocktails, created by noted Dallas mixologist Brian McCullough of The Standard Pour, served along the 7PM charming Main Street at Dallas Heritage Village. Attendees may visit various cocktail stations until 10 p.m., while enjoying heavy Dallas Heritage Village hors d’oeuvres and entertainment by the Singapore Slingers.
The game's afoot! Along the dim, gaslight streets of London, a crime has transpired, and Sherlock Holmes need our help to solve it. Join us at the Perot to search for clues and test your sleuthing skills in this wonderfully interactive exhibit that explores science, history, literature, and pop culture. Costumes are strongly encouraged.
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1812 Overture at Concert in the Gardens Join us at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens as we enjoy a Regency picnic and evening of exciting music, set to fireworks! Bring a blanket and picnic dinner to enjoy under the stars. The lawn fills up quickly, so be sure to arrive early!
Costumer’s Lost Weekend
6pm Fort Worth Botanical Gardens Crossroads Retreat Center
Join the DFWCG at our very own costuming convention! You’ll be able Lindale, TX to partake in costume workshops and events, and you’ll have a chance to spend some time relaxing with your fellow costumers. Weekend and daily registrations available at clw.dfwcg.org
The Netherfield Ball 7:30PM Join the North Texas Chapter of the Jane Austen Society for an evening of elegance, dance and music with tasty refreshment and excellent company. Two dance workshops will be held the morning of the Ball to acquaint attendees with the dances for the evening.
Oak Lawn United Methodist Church
We would like to thank all of our readers for their support We look forward to bringing you our Summer issue in July
Sandi Dreer Beth Klimek Ginger Lane Megan Martin Jay Ragan
Events are added to our calendar as we learn of them, and so the list in DFWCG magazine may not reflect the entire list of upcoming events for the DFW area. If you are hosting or know of an event that you would like to see listed in our Upcoming Events calendar, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For the most up to date information on Guild events, and other costume events in DFW, please visit our website at DFWCG.org.
Contributing to DFWCG Magazine
Our Costume Showcase is designed to celebrate excellence in costuming displayed by the members of our Guild. If you are a member of the DFW Costumers Guild and would like to have your costume considered for our Costume Showcase, please email email@example.com with a clear full-length color photograph of your costume and a short description of the inspiration, materials, and construction process. If you costume is chosen for the Showcase, we will contact you for a more in-depth interview.
We are always seeking contributors to our magazine! If you have a sewing or costuming tutorial, an event report, a costuming research article, costume movie review, or any other costume related content that you would like to see included in an upcoming issue of the magazine, please email us! Submissions can be sent as Microsoft Word documents or PDF files, and will be formatted to best fit into the magazine. For tutorials, please include a clear color photo of each step that you have written in your article.
Dallas-Fort Worth Costumers Guild Magazine