Magpiecostumer's Blog

Archive for the category “Headwear”

18th century Hair ideas

The last few days have been spent looking at 18th century hair. Watching The Duchess helps for 3D images and pictures of the back but nothing beats period images. I’ve been looking at portraits I don’t want seriously high hair but I’m looking at wigs on ebay as I contemplated styling my own hair with rats but decided that a lot of curls down the back of my head would be too much effort. Instead I’m planning to do something based on this tutorial. I’m now in the process of  going through a lot of images of later 18th century hairstyles to get some inspiration.

My list of images so far is mostly portraits so you can’t generally see the back of the hairstyle but you get more variation than fashion plates. Here’s my links roughly in the order I discovered them. I haven’t yet gone through them all properly to narrow down a single style.

On a clothing front I have nearly finished boning my stays. This is a photo of the cotton drill interlining of my stays. I bought it mainly because I got about 5 metres for $2 and the pattern is fun. This print will be visible on the inside but the outer layer will be brown linen.

Victorian bonnet finished

1850sbonnet00011850sbonnet0002I finished trimming my Victorian bonnet and finally got photos. Unfortunately the ties don’t look as good as I would like and I’m not sure about the way the ruffle inside the brim looks but it’s finished for now.

Bonnets, Victorian and Regency

Now that Tudor is out of the way the next major event to look forward to is my trip to England, for this I need 2 costumes a Victorian outfit for the Llandrindod Victorian Festival, and a Regency outfit for the Jane Austen Festival in Bath. So for each of these I’ll need appropriate headwear, I have a bonnet for each era but they both need modification.

The Regency is the easiest at I can get away with leaving it untrimmed I just need to add ribbons to tie it. I made it during Lynne’s class at the ACT Jane Austen Festival this year, it looks a lot like the Timely Tresses Cordelia bonnet but without the ruffle around the front of the brim.

xmasbonnetThe Victorian bonnet is the most complicated, at the moment it’s not much more than a black straw base (I bought it from Pamela Robles a couple of years ago) I never got around to trimming it properly I just added some functional ties to keep it on. I did trim it with shiny gold Christmas ribbons for the Christmas Carol ball last year so the first task was to rip all of that off. My next step is to add the trim I originally intended, which is red and white roses with red satin you can see my mockup of the decoration on the right. Right now I’m hemming a rectangle of satin the next step will be to set the pleats and finally work out a way to attach the flowers. I also need to add a velvet ribbon to the inside of the bonnet which will sit on top of my head and keep the whole thing from sliding off backwards, and wide taffeta ribbon (although I might have to cut strips of taffeta because taffeta ribbon 3 inches wide is very hard to find and I don’t think I have enough time to order from the US) decorative ties.

My biggest problem with both of these is packing them, I’m not sure how I will fit them in my luggage without crushing them. I’ll experiment with that soon and if I can’t get it sorted out I may have to post it to myself in England and just hope it gets there in time.

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