Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on October 19, 2014
“I feel like celebrating – cheers!” – Baroness Schraeder
To celebrate passing 1,000 Facebook fans of Edelweiss Patterns, I am holding a pattern giveaway here on the blog for one “Liesl’s Dancing Dress” pattern! When I first started drafting the Sound of Music inspired dresses years ago, I had no idea that so many other Sound of Music fans would find Edelweiss Patterns and share their enthusiasm for the classic movie’s costumes with me. It has been a joy to work on the various patterns over the last few years, and I’m excited to hold a giveaway this week! (Oh, and please be sure to head over to our Facebook page and “like” it if you haven’t already.)
1. In order to enter the giveaway drawing, simply share the link to this giveaway or to the Liesl’s dress pattern on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, and leave a comment below with a link to the post you shared! (One entry per social media account.)
2. The other way you can enter this giveaway is to answer all the questions to this epic “Sound of Music Trivia Quiz” (below) correctly! If you get all eight questions right on the first try, do leave an additional comment below with your name stating that you got all the answers correct. (I can see on my end who passed the quiz, so no cheaters will slip through the cracks. )
It is worth noting that this Sound of Music quiz is not for the faint of heart. I am rather expert on the subject, as I can quote the entire film from memory, complete with the songs, accents, and dances… so don’t feel badly if you don’t know all the answers! Since I have written this quiz myself, I kindly ask that you not copy the questions onto any other blog, website, or Sound of Music fan site. (All content on this blog is copyright by Edelweiss Patterns and may not be reproduced.) After the giveaway has ended next week, I will try to give a detailed explanation of each question listed on the quiz. So without further ado, let the games begin!
Pattern Giveaway Details:
To be eligible for the giveaway, you must live in the United States. The giveaway will end on October 26, 2014, at midnight (Pacific Standard Time). One (1) winner will be randomly selected from the entries, and the winner will be listed in this blog post the following day. If one week after we have contacted the winner for a mailing address, we still have not received a response, the first winner will become ineligible and a new winner will be selected and notified.
So long, farewell!
Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on September 7, 2014
This time last year I was in England, traveling through Jane Austen country, London, and the Lake District with a gigantic number of costumes in tow. This year I am thankful to say that my costumes are all neatly stashed in my closet (rather than in suitcases), but I *have* been putting a number of my costumes to use lately at quite a few English Country Dances I’ve been attending in my area. And when a really formal occasion comes up that I don’t have a costume for, I always love a good excuse to sew a new one! This ball gown was just such a project. As I was planning toward a Civil War reenactment that included an evening dance, I thought it would be really fun to make an 1860s gold ball gown with shirred cap sleeves… The finished result was slightly different than my initial sketch, but I was so happy with how it turned out and I’m sure I’ll wear it for years to come!
I drafted the pattern almost entirely from scratch, making at least three versions of the bodice muslin before finally arriving at a pattern that passed my inspection. I drew a sweetheart neckline, added three sets of vertical tucks, and lowered the “v” waist at the bodice edge beyond the first version. The shirred cap sleeves were so much fun to make (there’s just nothing like making strips of puffing out of silk shantung!), and I had the perfect English netting lace in my stash for the sleeve trim. At each sleeve I added two brown velvet ribbon bows, to tie in the dark chocolate brown color from the skirt.
The skirt was made from one of my favorite fabrics I’ve ever worked with. These pictures don’t really do the material justice, but it is a stiff silk taffeta in chocolate brown, and sprinkled with hundreds of sparkly gold glitter flowers which are painted on in a slightly raised pattern. It is 100% silk, usually $40 a yard, but I found it on sale for $5 a yard… Rather a bargain! So as it was, I think the gold silk shantung bodice and skirt panel ended up costing more than the yards and yards of chocolate brown silk taffeta did!
At the neckline I added a double ruffle of double-faced sating ribbon, and I used a wider version of the same ribbon for the bow at the “v” waist ending.
Details of the shirred sleeve and lace trim…
As I knew I would be doing a lot of dancing in this gown, I marked it for a hem quite shorter than I usually would – you really must wear flat shoes for English Country Dance styles, and since the first dance I wore it to was outside I definitely didn’t want to be stepping on it. My mother was exceedingly kind to actually hem the whole thing by hand (I was sewing like crazy on last week’s costume at the time), so I am very much indebted to her for saving the day on the project.
Unfortunately I was unable to get any pictures of the dress taken at the actual dance that I attended. (Sorry! I did take my camera along, but I was too busy dancing to remember to ask someone to take pictures.) So you’ll just have to take my word for it when I say it worked very well for dancing in! However, as it was a late night event outside, it’s probably just as well that I didn’t get any photographs, because it forced me to do a full blown photo shoot today in better lighting.
And while I may occasionally miss the beautiful locations I saw in England last year (which were such wonderful places to get costume pictures taken!), I am still so very thankful to live in a place where there are grand houses such as this one where I had photos taken today.
I had so much fun sewing this gown, and I hope you all enjoy the pictures, too!
Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on August 31, 2014
This weekend I had the most marvelous time at a Civil War Reenactment at Fort Stevens! Seeing as I live in the Pacific Northwest, there aren’t as many historical events to attend as if I lived in the South. So when an event like this one comes along, it is always most exciting!
The Fort Stevens Civil War event draws around 800 people from around the area, and several acres of land are transformed into a virtual 1860s battle camp, complete with hundreds of tents, campfire cooking, cannons, horses, and (of course) costumes! I was amazed at the authenticity and attention to detail by all the reenactors. If one didn’t know better, you’d think that you just stepped onto a film set of a period drama!
During the day there was an amazing battle reenactment, and in the evening there was a ball outside, which was grand fun!
I managed to get a couple shots of my Civil War day outfit, though the gold and chocolate brown silk ballgown (which I made for the Saturday evening dance) will have to wait for another blog post.
The Civil War Day Outfit
I put together my day outfit rather at the last minute, since most of my sewing time had been put into my silk ball gown. The full skirt is made of a thick cotton sateen, and the batiste light pink blouse is trimmed with yards of lace edging around the neckline. Oddly enough, I actually made this blouse a couple years ago as an Edwardian blouse! But by 2 am on Saturday morning I finally came to grips with the fact that I just would not have time to make a Civil War blouse, so I dashed to my closet and found this blouse which actually worked just fine for the era!
The blouse was made from the fabulous Beatrix Shirtwaist Pattern by Sense & Sensibility Patterns, which *almost* passed for 1860s style since I omitted the collar and tucked in the blouse to avoid the peplum look. There are tiny peach flower buttons down the front of the blouse, along with oodles of Venice lace trim. It ended up being perfect for a hot summer’s day, too!
Sadly I forgot to bring my corset along with the many other fashion necessities I had packed on the trip (hoopskirt, day outfit, evening gown, gloves, cape, etc.), so the outfit doesn’t look as nice as it would have if I had remembered the corset… Oh well! It worked just fine for this event. :)
The Fort Stevens Civil War Camp
I snapped lots of photos throughout the day, when I wasn’t busy chatting with ladies over tea or watching the battle reenactment. The whole setup was so impressive – there were mercantiles, civilian camps, musical groups, woodworkers, quilting groups, and much more. It was just amazing! Below are a number of pictures from the event, and next time I will try to have lots of pictures of the silk ball gown I wore! (Please note that most of the pictures were too wide for the blog, so if you click on them you can see wider views of the battlefield.)
A few tents in the Union Camp…
Watching the battle was one of the highlights of the day!
The civilian tents all had outdoor campfires and cast iron skillets. So neat and old-fashioned!
A very authentic Civil War couple!
These sweet ladies all sang and played hymns.
Some sweet new friends I made!
There were so many cannons on the property…
At the end of the day there was a two-hour dance outside with traditional American folk songs, including the hilarious song “Old Dan Tucker” which Mr. Edwards used to sing in “Little House on the Prairie“. ;) It was the perfect way to end such a wonderful day, and I was so thankful I had finished my ball gown in time! (Thanks to my mother for staying up till three in the morning to hand hem the dress while I was whipping out my day skirt!)
I am hoping to have lots of pictures of the dress by next week, but here are a couple of “preview” shots in the meantime to tide you over.
Details of the shirred sleeve and lace trim…
It was a lovely evening of dancing!
Until next time, happy sewing!