2017 Year in Review

Well, there were some ups and downs in 2017. The year started with me being super busy at work, then being much less busy, and ended with me being super busy again. During the slow times I managed to finish a few big projects, though not as much as I would have liked. We’ll see what I manage to get done in 2018.

2017 goals
-Finish 1780s purple silk dress-Yup!
-Jim Balent-era Catwoman costume-Yup! (Twice!)
-Grey silk 1790s waistcoat for Mike-Nope.
-New regency day dress-Yup!
-Jason Todd Red Hood costume-Nope, but I started gathering materials.
-Something either 18th C or late Victorian for me, but I’m not sure what-Yup! (Turned out to be a chintz Italian gown.)

-1780s purple silk dress
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

-Jim Balent-era Catwoman v1.0
PAX East

-Princess Luna
PAX East

-Chintz Italian gown
Fort Fred

-Closet 1940s-esque outfit
Winterthur Point-to-Point 2017

-Mid-1700s Provincial Belle
Awesome Con

-Checked regency
Checked Regency Dress

-Mulan
PAX Unplugged

-Jim Balent-era Catwoman v2.0
PAX Unplugged

-Queenie Goldstein
PAX Unplugged

-Black silk mantle
Williamsburg Holiday Promenade

2018 goals
-DC Bombshells Catwoman
-Striped 18th century gown
-Princess Cadence
-Grey silk 1790s waistcoat for Mike
-Jason Todd Red Hood costume

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Pumpkin Tea Soiree

As part of her annual Pumpkin Tea weekend, Stephanie hosted a candlelit soiree the evening before. For once, I wasn’t working on that day, which meant I could attend! Plus, it was one of the first outings for our new Nikon D7500 camera and its 16-80mm f2.8-4 lens. Mike and I are still learning how to get the most out of them, and this event was good practice in low light.

Everyone and everything looked so magical by candlelight.
Evening Soiree

Maggie‘s outfit had such nice sparkle, with her jewelry and embroidered gown.
Evening Soiree

Jessica looked so elegant.
Evening Soiree

Jess in cheery orange. I made her cameo necklace. I need to make some more of those for my shop!
Evening Soiree

Mike wore his tried and true wool tailcoat and maroon waistcoat. I had planned on making him a new waistcoat, but that didn’t happen.
Evening Soiree

Ashley‘s dress really glowed in the candlelight.
Evening Soiree

Stephanie, Jess, and Judy share a laugh.
Evening Soiree

Evening Soiree

Jessica and Carolyn. I love the overdress that Carolyn made.
Evening Soiree

Evening Soiree

Our lovely hostess, Stephanie
Evening Soiree

Stephanie and Mat
Evening Soiree

Evening Soiree

Maggie and Doug
Evening Soiree

Rebecca was attending her first regency event. Her dress came out great! (I made her necklace and earrings using some beautiful pearls she provided.)
Evening Soiree

Jessica showing off her lovely embroidered dress
Evening Soiree

Evening Soiree

Evening Soiree

Carolyn’s Big Bustle Birthday Bash

In October Carolyn hosted a magnificent party in celebration of her birthday. Guests were asked to wear outfits from either the Victorian bustle era(s) or the 1780s, a time that also featured big skirt supports. Most people opted for 19th century, but it was kind of Carolyn to also allow 18th century, because a lot of the costumers in this area are focused on 18th century and regency. So possible attendees were less likely to feel excluded.

We started with a picnic at the US National Arboretum, followed by a stroll around the park. The weather cooperated and stayed clear. Then we adjourned to Carolyn’s townhouse, where the champagne flowed well into the night. It was a wonderful way to celebrate Carolyn’s birthday!

Big Bustle Birthday Party

I love this photo of Sarah and Katy with the Capitol Columns in the background.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Carolyn, our lovely hostess
Big Bustle Birthday Party

She did a great job on her new birthday gown. I especially like the mix of plaid and solid fabrics.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Sarah in cheery yellow plaid
Big Bustle Birthday Party

We were all so happy that Merja and her husband Mika could visit us all the way from Finland. Don’t they look divine?
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Maggie looking resplendent in her late 18th century sacque gown. (She made this work while being 8 months pregnant!)
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Stephanie made her first Victorian gown. It came out wonderful!
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

The ladies in plaid
Big Bustle Birthday Party

The ladies in blue
Big Bustle Birthday Party

I wore a gown I had in the closet, my cotton print bustle that was originally made by Lauren of Wearing History, though I altered it to fit me. The hat is by Atelier Mela, purchased at Costume College in 2016.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

When someone takes a photo when I’m speaking…this happens.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Jess in her pretty new plaid gown
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Just strolling
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Maggie and me
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Taylor made a new dress for the party. I love the contrasting colors.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Sarah and Stephanie
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Katy based her gown off of the painting “Too Early” by Tissot.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Cynthia visited us from Colorado. Her new outfit came out perfect.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Stephanie hamming it up for the camera. I love getting photos with her.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

Big Bustle Birthday Party

No event is complete without some Instagramming.
Big Bustle Birthday Party

The whole crew back at Carolyn’s house. Cheers!
Big Bustle Birthday Party

Had to snap an iPhone picture of this.
Bustle Party

All of my photos are here.

BronyCon 2017

Mike and I had the opportunity to attend Sunday of BronyCon this past summer. Neither of us had ever been before, but I wanted to check out the shopping and to people watch. I did not cosplay, since we were only going for a couple hours.

We both found the con to be very enjoyable. It was a chill atmosphere on that Sunday, and everyone we met was welcoming, starting right from the people at registration. (This was particularly appreciated by us, given the violence in Charlottesville, VA that occurred the same weekend. A friendly, fun con was a nice distraction from all of that terribleness.) There was not a ton of cosplay, but those cosplayers that we did see were friendly. Plus, the shopping was excellent. Plenty that I wanted to buy, and very few lines or crowds. The Baltimore Convention Center has a capacity of over 30,000, but BronyCon only has an attendance of about 7000, which means there was lots of room to spread out. I liked not having to fight through throngs of people. I won’t be able to go next year (since it takes place during Costume College 2018), but I hope to attend again at some point. (And to cosplay!)

BronyCon

Mieu Cosplay as Trixie Lulamoon
BronyCon 2017

BronyCon 2017

That Creative Fox as Pinkie Pie
BronyCon 2017

BronyCon 2017

We checked out one of the cosplay panels
BronyCon 2017

BronyCon 2017

BronyCon 2017

BronyCon 2017

BronyCon 2017

BronyCon 2017

BronyCon

All of my purchases. Did I mention how few lines there were in the vendor hall? I had both salespeople at the For Fans By Fans/We Love Fine booth helping me look at t-shirts without any one else in line behind me. Normally when I shop from them at PAX East I have to fight off people and throw elbows (I’m kidding, but just). In addition to buying two t-shirts (one for me, one for Mike) and a figure from them, I also bought a costume unicorn horn from Yaya Han (for a Lyra Heartstrings cosplay), three necklaces from Natural Pop, a postcard from Sunset Dragon, and some blind bags.
BronyCon

Here’s a close-up of the shirt Mike picked out, of Twilight Sparkle running what looks like a D&D game. I love the maniacal look that Shining Armor has.
BronyCon

Costume College 2017: Sunday

I’m back to catching up on event recap posts. When last we left off, I had yet to write about Sunday of Costume College. Since it’s the last day (except for tours that take place on Monday, which I did not participate in), it’s usually the most low key. Folks are tired after a long weekend of costuming fun.

Elizabeth came up with the idea to do My Little Pony costumes. It was a great suggestion, as they were easy to make and super comfortable to wear. I was Rainbow Dash (of course), Sara was Pinkie Pie, Vanessa was Princess Luna, Llyra Lee was Fluttershy, and Elizabeth was Twilight Sparkle. (Unfortunately Elizabeth had to leave before we could do pictures on Sunday.) We had a wonderful time, and I thought everyone’s costumes came out great! I’m considering doing a Princess Cadence costume next year, which will fit with the 2018 royalty theme.

Me, Sara, and Vanessa (Llyra Lee was in class, so we got photos with her later)
Costume College

Full length shot
Costume College

Costume College

Stephanie wore a fun hat and a sundress for casual Sunday.
Costume College

Lindsey in her cute beach pajamas
Costume College

Morning coffee run
Costume College

I was this close to swiping Meg‘s adorable pineapple reticule for myself.
Costume College

Later in the day I attended Christina‘s Phantom Bustle class. It was really cool how a whole bustle could be built out of just a little bit of wire and cotton tape.
Costume College

The finished result! (I only cut myself on the wire three times. Given how clumsy I can be, I consider this a win.)
Costume College

Katherine in her beautiful bird print gown.
Costume College

Llyra Lee, Amy, and me (at this point Vanessa was teaching a class, so we waited for a photo with all four of us later)
Costume College

Working it
Costume College

Costume College

Costume College

We were able to nab Vanessa out of her class for a photo of all four of us! (It only took us stalking by the doorway to her classroom like three times.)
Costume College

Super cute selfie part 1 (from Sara)
Costume College

Super cute selfie part 2 (from Llyra Lee)
Costume College

At the end of the day, Lauren was able to visit with her daughter, which was awesome.
Costume College

And then a group of Livejournal costumers went to PF Chang’s for dinner. Stephanie and I followed that with packing up our room, and later we went downstairs to chat with Vanessa and her husband Caleb.

The next morning I got a ride to LAX on the early side, which meant I had time to get a chair massage before boarding. That was awesome.

Once I unpacked I could take stock of my purchases (in addition to the fabric I posted about earlier). I got a fake fur collar, a pair of rainbow fingerless gloves, and a book from the bargain basement.
Costume College

Redthreaded and Jen Thompson collaborated on a Jane Austen commemorative ornament that I picked up at Costume College.
Costume College

Jen signed it for me!
Costume College

Plus I bought some regency fashion plates. These are now the oldest I have in my collection.
Costume College

I can’t wait for next year! The theme is “Dressing the Royals,” which sounds like it will make for some really great costumes.

Costume College 2017: Saturday Evening

It’s time for Costume College Gala photos! There were a ton of beautiful costumes at the Gala this year. I didn’t see any one large-scale trend among the attendees, other than the work being fantastic all around. A lot of eras were represented, plus a number of non-historical costumes as well.

I did not have time to make a new gown, so I accessorized an old favorite with new jewelry. It made the outfit feel brand new!
Costume College

I made a necklace, brooch, earrings, and bracelets. The tiara was a lucky find on Amazon.
Costume College

My wig is by Fancy Nancy.
Costume College

Stephanie also wore regency, in the form of a beautiful sari gown.
Costume College

Costume College

Costume College

After taking photos outside, we got in line for the “Red Carpet.” It was a pretty smooth process this year. We were directed on where to stop for people to take photos, and we did not have to talk to the crowd (a difference from last year and a plus for those who get nervous being put on the spot). There was also a way to bypass the Red Carpet entirely by walking on the sidewalk outside the lobby.
Costume College

Costume College

Costume College

After going through the Red Carpet with Stephanie, we milled around in the sea of costumers in the lobby, chatting and waiting for the doors to open to the dinner area.

Lots of socializing costumers! Abby and Lauren of American Duchess are in the foreground.
Costume College

Taylor and Carolyn, in gorgeous jewel tones
Costume College

Costume College

Gracie in a lovely combo of pink, yellow, and white
Costume College

Vivien in 17th century, perfectly accessorized in pearls. She was part of a cavalier fashion group.
Costume College

Llyra Lee in a creative Captain America/victorian fancy dress mashup
Costume College

Vanessa made a spot-on recreation of a gown from James Tissot’s “Too Early” (1873).
Costume College

Costume College

Meg and Carolyn (with an added top hat!)
Costume College

Teresa embroidered her gown herself! (And dyed the fabric, for that matter!)
Costume College

Maria and Taylor, chatting
Costume College

Beth and Meg. Yay, stripes!
Costume College

Jen did a great job on her 1960s dress. That hair!
Costume College

Costume College

Then we went into the dinner room to be seated. Stephanie was a dear to save me a seat with her.

Leimomi, demonstrating how to properly protect your Gala gown from spills!
Costume College

Leimomi and Stephanie were fun dinner companions!
Costume College

After dinner, we went back into the hallway to continue with the socializing. That’s a big part of what Costume College is about: seeing and meeting new friends.

Lindsey got an amazing fit on her sacque.
Costume College

I want to steal Sara‘s hat!
Costume College

The detail work on Bunny’s gown is incredible.
Costume College

Incredible!
Costume College

What a pretty color of shot silk on Samantha!
Costume College

I cannot imagine the amount of work that Rebecca did to do all this trim!
Costume College

Vivien and Peach Assassin, as part of the cavaliers group
Costume College

More cavaliers, with Vivien and The 1926s
Costume College

Christine explaining to AJ some of the work that went into her beautiful embroidery creations
Costume College

Vivien had the great idea that the several Asian American costumers present should get in one photo together. Because, we are not all the same person! (It was heartening to hear from these other ladies that they have had the same experience I have, of being mistaken for someone else somewhat frequently.) From left, Vivien, Christine, Bunny, AJ, and myself.
Costume College

Katherine hand-beaded her gown!
Costume College

Sabrina was a frothy confection in lavender and white.
Costume College

Ginger and Merja
Costume College

I love the layered trims that Ginger used.
Costume College

Merja painted the fabric!
Costume College

What a beautiful fashion plate recreation!
Costume College

Heh. I love this photo!
Costume College

Caleb’s face with Vanessa is priceless.
Costume College

End of the night, which means it’s time to floof on the floor.
Costume College

Only one more day left to recap!

Costume College 2017: Saturday Daytime

Saturday started early again (because yay, still jet lagged…). And that morning was when I realized that I had forgotten my long-sleeved shift for my 1740s Provincial Belle costume. I ended up just wearing my usual short-sleeved shift instead, but it didn’t fill out the wide sleeves of my jacket the way the long one would. Ah well, hopefully I will remember it next time. Stephanie and I started the day by going outside to take photos.

I based this costume on art by Wickfield. My shoes are red Kensingtons from American Duchess.
Costume College

I accessorized with a simple coral necklace. I sell similar ones in my Etsy shop.
Costume College

Costume College

Costume College

I love the sparkle of Stephanie’s crossover gown.
Costume College

The sweep of her skirt is so elegant.
Costume College

After taking photos, we headed inside to see who we could happen upon in the hotel restaurant. We found a group to chat and have lunch with.

Lindsey looked so glam in her 1960s Roman-esque ensemble. Also, she sort of looks like Megara from Hercules!
Costume College

After lunch, a few ladies wanted to go back outside to take photos, and I happily obliged.

Katherine looks lovely in blue check. And those buttons!
Costume College

Ginger‘s detail work is beautiful.
Costume College

Then, I wandered the hallways a bit to see if there were any folks hanging out there.

Angela has so much sparkle!
Costume College

I found Sarah and Francis, leading an impromptu sewing and shoe-making circle.
Costume College

Costume College

Jenny-Rose in her beautiful black sacque gown
Costume College

Carolyn patterned her vest off of an original that appeared in the recent exhibit “An Agreeable Tyrant” at the DAR Museum. She produced a scaled pattern that appears in the exhibit catalogue.
Costume College

Lauren made the same vest, but in black. Twinsies!
Costume College

Regency Wedgie photo!
Costume College

Later that afternoon, I went to a class taught by Cindy of Redthreaded on taking accurate measurements. She had a number of great tips, and we got to practice filling out a full measurement sheet.
Costume College

Costume College

Up next is the post you’ve been waiting for, the Gala!

Costume College 2017: Friday Evening

I have managed to take a nap, and I’m feeling better as a result, so now I’m on to photos from the Friday Night Social. I wore my maroon round gown again, because I’m very proud of the fit, and it makes me feel all regal.

I styled the wig using instructions in Kendra’s book.
Costume College

My big pearl earrings are made using vintage Japanese acrylic pearls, making them very lightweight. I have some of these in my Etsy shop.
Costume College

Costume College

Stephanie in dramatic black and white. She commissioned her choker and earrings from my Etsy shop.
Costume College

Costume College

Rebecca in her awesome Pirates of the Caribbean Gown
Costume College

Angela and Bethany, looking very glam
Costume College

Elizabeth in her lovely yellow kirtle
Costume College

Victoria in super cute 18th century
Costume College

I love the color combo of Sabrina’s outfit!
Costume College

Suffragette Vanessa
Costume College

What impressive detail work!
Costume College

Costume College

Cindy looked amazing as Barbarella!
Costume College

Adriana channeling old Hollywood glamour
Costume College

Carolyn has the best bustle era wardrobe!
Costume College

This is one of my favorite photos from the whole weekend.
Costume College

More Barbarella by Peach Assassin!
Costume College

Costume College

Vivien made an amazing regency court ensemble. I was very honored that she chose some of my jewelry to accessorize it.
Costume College

Costume College

Photo courtesy of Vivien
Costume College

Merja getting photobombed by Aubry
Costume College

And now for a proper photo!
Costume College

What lovely sacque gowns by Samantha and Seamingly Vintage
Costume College

And that’s a wrap on Friday!

Costume College 2017: Friday Daytime

Friday of Costume College started bright and early (a little too early, thanks jet lag…). I did not have a class first thing, so I thought it was a good chance to go down and take some hall photos of costumers.

One of the first people I ran in to was Nicole, in her gorgeous 1950s suit.
Costume College

And check out Leia in her vintage 1960s dress.
Costume College

Jen and Lauren, looking lovely in 1790s
Costume College

Loren and Glynnis, channeling fab vintage vibes
Costume College

I also popped into the costume museum/display. There was some impressive work in there!
Costume College

Costume College

Then I had a class on posing for photography, taught by Andrew Schmidt. Although Mike and I have worked a bunch on techniques for posing, I wanted to hear someone else’s take to see if I could learn something new. Andy provided some great tips, particularly on placing accessories like purses and fans so they seem integrated into the costume.

Later, a group of us went outside to take photos. I wore the floral Italian gown I made for Fort Fred. Along with the bonnet I purchased at Fort Fred. This dress is very easy to wear (and it’s washable!).
Costume College

I made a new necklace and earrings for myself using coral-colored Czech glass beads.
Costume College

My cap is from Fashions Revisited.
Costume College

Teresa in her new caraco. She embroidered the stomacher!
Costume College

My roomie Stephanie. I want her apron!
Costume College

Elizabeth made a perfect Frida Kahlo.
Costume College

Jen looks so wonderfully 1790s.
Costume College

Katherine demonstrating how to use her vintage Brownie camera
Costume College

The Brownie was made by Kodak, headquartered in my hometown of Rochester, NY.
Costume College

Costume College

Socializing on the terrace. The best part of Costume College is the chance to see so many friends that live so far away all in one place. And to meet new people too!
Costume College

In the afternoon, I attended two classes. The first was an overview of regency reticules taught by Vanessa (looking very chic in her sloth kigurumi). I learned a bunch about some reticule types I was not familiar with.
Costume College

Her slides were well researched, with bonus touches of humor.
Costume College

Then I finished the day with a class taught by Lauren of American Duchess on using Instagram effectively for a business. Very informative!
Costume College

Costume College

That’s it for Friday during the day. The Friday Night Social is next!