Originally Posted by Smokering
Hope it works out. :) Either way, it sounds like a FANTASTIC presentation! I'd love to see someone wearing the whole shebang and describing each garment. Are these genuine Victorian pieces, or repros made to fit you?
I hope it works out, too!
The past presentations have been a joy. I have done several of them for a local assisted living residence (both my late Mom and late fil had lived there) and the responses from those seniors have been wonderful. I've done mid-Victorian (cage crinoline/hoop-era), late-bustle era formal, "soiled dove" (they really got a kick out of that one!), Victorian mourning customs, Edwardian summer, and Titanic (for the anniversary). The audiences have averaged around 30+ residents (men and women) and, sometimes, their kids (usually daughters) and even a few grandchildren. Great questions and some terrific reactions (one little girl thought my 10" hatpin went through my head, not my hair. As I removed it from my head, her face went like this: ! She also asked great questions about pregnancy & corsets and how women went to the bathroom in all those clothes). The older guys really liked the soiled doves presentation, as I did most of it in my corset, French knickers and camisole! Such a great group of people. I dearly love them.
Most of my collection pieces are reproductions, either purchased or made by me. It would be impractical and damaging to wear real garments from these eras, as so much of the clothing was custom-made to an individual (one of my antique shirtwaists measures a scant 19" at the waist and the woman that wore it would have been about 4'10"!). I have an entire, huge cedar-lined closet to hold most of the dresses/ensembles and footwear, a big cedar chest and an armoire to hold a lot of the accessories. Dh calls that room my costume museum!
I do have items, as well, that are very old: 3 black silk Victorian (V) era mourning shirtwaists, trimmed with crape; a V crape mourning cap; V mourning handkerchief; a couple of late-1800s corsets (for display); multiple pairs of antique stockings (all silk) V and Edwardian; several purses; and various family heirlooms of gold and silver mourning jewelry that are from the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras). And, a LOT of really old linens which came through my Mom's side of the family (coverlets, table linens and bed linens), as well as a wonderfully, delicate silk and silk-lace family christening dress that was first used in 1880, made by French nuns! It was worn by my great-grandmother (and her 6 siblings), my grandfather (and his two siblings), my mother (and her two siblings), and my sister (in 1941). After that, it was put away and my Mom gave it to me when I married. It is carefully preserved, to pass onto ds, if he has a family.
I have a collection of over 35 repro hats that represent both Victorian and Edwardian eras. Some, I purchased ready-made. Most, I created myself. I love making the hats!!!
When I visit the assisted living residence, I bring the collection of hats, as well as a few velvet or taffeta & lace (shoulder-covering) collars. The ladies have a hat to wear while I talk. Then, after the presentation, we take photos of each of them wearing the hat and a collar (to cover their modern clothes). Our son photoshops them into aged sepia and then puts each into inexpensive frames and then gives to the gals. The ladies are getting quite a collection of photos!! We keep a record so that no lady has her photo taken in the same hat more than once.
I have a heavy history in theater design and costuming, and I have been sewing since I was young.
Right now, I have two dressmaker forms, in our loft. One is wearing the beginnings of an Edwardian taffeta evening ensemble (in a deep wine-tone) and the other a mid-Victorian hoop skirt and waist (in dark blue cotton with tiny cream flowers). There is never enough time to spend just sewing!!