mercoledì 14 dicembre 2016

The real life behind social medias

This post is about reality and real life. No, it's not the classic "what's my daily routine" post but something more serious, concerning OUR life as bloggers/costumers/seamstresses/models/human beings. In 2015, Lauren of Wearing History started a challenge called "The myth of perfection" in which she explained with photos how social medias can distort the real "us", because on the web you show to the public what you want. And the public will believe you, because people don't know what's happening behind/before/later that photo or video has been taken. 
Social medias may be a dangerous place. I mean...we all have real lives and social medias are often a way to get relaxed, to escape from reality, a personal place. So we want to show our best: our new fabrics, our new dress, our new shoes, our new house...and so on. People often look fabulous, happy, successful: but what's behind? 

I read several post related to this challenge and I decided to do my own. Ok, it's from 2015. I had to contribute last year and I forgot, as often happens because my life is kinda a mess. Like my flat. So, let's get started! This is my real life behind photos shared on social medias.

I'm often told I always look extremely serious and austere in photos but I'm an outgoing person. Seriously, I can laugh (ask my friends)! But in the years I developed the idea I'm ugly (being bullied at school for years didn't help...) and I look extremely ugly in photos while laughing or not being perfectly posing, so I wanted my "modelling character" to be like this: serious, proud, pretending I'm really self-confident about my appearance. 

This shot was taken for an Italian magazine in 2015. I was literally melting for the hot weather, was wearing chemise and corset and trying to use the hoop as tunnel for the wind. A really nice experience but with a sad epilogue: I slowly left modelling after the magazine came out. My parents ignored it completely. 

Always in 2015, wearing my Anne Boleyn inspired gown at an event. I was so happy with this dress but after the ball the dream became a nightmare: our 18 years old car started to stop every 10 km and we came home after 7 hours (7!!) of journey (my town is just 3 hours from where the event was located). 

A victorian photoshoot taken in a very old house. The day after me and the photographer developed a very bad urticaria which required months of medicines to go away. A terrible experience - but the photos were lovely. I had to sit on that sofa because I didn't get my 1850's hoop-skirt on time. 

A shoot we did for my shop, with a landed camera. Our previous Canon broke in 2015 and we could buy a new one only a couple of months ago. At that moment I didn't know when we would be able to shoot again. Due to the shadows on my face I also look fatter and for a woman that always had weight  problems it's not ok. 

All dressed up for a 18th century event in September. I didn't sleep enough the night before because I couldn't finish the ruffles on time  and got a terrible headache after lunch so that I had to remove hat and hairstyle. The day after, I started to have painful abdominal pains due to the corset. 

First Regency event in July. Literally melting in this cotton dress and feeling quite embarrassed because it was the first event with "Le vie del tempo" and I felt very shy so I ended to spend the day in a corner speaking just few words. I was sure the ladies of the group didn't want to see me again!

In Rome, always this year. I had a terrible headache the days before the event, it was really cold (strange weather to be in April!) and my palla wasn't heavy enough to keep me warm. My face and puffy eyes explains everything. 

Back to 2012/2013, one of the hardest moments of my life. Me and my hubby where jobless and forced to live with my parents; we were hopeless and money less and I couldn't afford to buy new clothes for the photo shoots; I started to left modelling, I didn't have enough money to travel and photographers didn't contact me anymore. This photo has been taken near home on a bicycle path. I was really sad in that period and I barely left my house. 

Feeling fabulous in this pre-raphaelite photoshoot for a calendar in 2014. Some days after I had the most awful experience of my life with some customers. 

Second ante-bellum dress, taken from a Simplicity pattern due to lack of time. The back of the bodice was too long for my body shape and full of wrinkles, the skirt ended to be too long and the I discovered someone laughed at my back because - as costumer - I used a premade pattern instead drafting one by my own. This hurt me a lot. At that time I was working on two time-consuming commissions and hardly had the money to buy this white cotton. I had lot of stress in making this costume, with an old sewing machine and awful buttonholes. I also ruined a armhole with my serger and had to fix the hole by hand. 
Now sewing has become my full-time job: sometimes I DON'T have the time to have lunch breaks properly, I miss things and appointments, no social life at all, I get totally stressed but I didn't allow these bad voices to ruin my life and stopped following my dreams! 

And that is! Hope these captions helped to show you we all have a real life behind our modelling shots, perfect fitting clothes and so on: never, never, forget this and remember successful people always were beginners once! 

venerdì 2 dicembre 2016

1750s wool riding habit from "Patterns of fashion I" by Janet Arnold

For my latest reenactment event in Stupinigi I had to sew a ridign habit, since the theme of the day was hunting and I didn't own a proper dress. I always loved riding habits from 18 and 19th century so I immediately started to look for references from paintings and extant gowns,
Riding habits were extremely popoular at that time and were also used for walking or travelling, so were versatile; they were inspired by mens fashion so they were often made by tailors following traditional male techniques, as buttonholes on the left side instead on the right. They could be richily decorated or simpler, with long or short skirts, worn open or closed on the bust. Blue and red were popoular and fashionable colours. 

I wanted it in velvet but I thought it would have been too pretentious to be a first riding costume so I went for wool. I didn't have a particoular colour in mind and I chose a pumpink wool I found at a very good price in my home town. I also bought black wool for waistcoat, collar and cuffs. I wanted to look the most accurate as possible so I wore the proper undergarments (chemise, stays, pocket hoops, petticoat and riding shirt) including the riding waistcoat; now the fun part: tailoring. Seriously, tailoring is totally different from regular dressmaking. For my waistcoat I used my Outlander jacket as reference for the main body, enlarging the front pieces and elongating a lot the skirts as seen in "Patterns of Fashion" and "The cut of women's clothes"; the back has lacing as the male waistcoats. It is lined in cotton and it came together really quicly (sadly I didn't take photos of it during the event!) with hand finishing on the outside but machine sewn buttonholes. It was really warm! 

Now the riding habit. The skirt is a classic 18th century skirt made of rectangles with slits at sides and a waistband. I didn't took photos of the construction since I think almost all us know how to make a 18th century skirt properly =) It ended to be longer than I expected so I will have to hem it again in the future. 
The jacket was longer to make. I used Waugh's pattern to start but I definitely abandoned it because I disliked the dropped waist in the back skirts (The Antique Sewist explains this issue in her blog perfectly with lot of photos of the finished garment) so I referred to Janet Arnold. The pattern was kinda easy to draft but I did some alterations in the skirts and omitted the side pockets. The collar is from Waugh's pattern - it was faster to make. 

Janet Arnold pattern

The back and the sleeves fit perfecly but there are some issues with the front. The jacket looks bulky and too long and this is probably due to the position of my old pocket hoops. The front edges of the jacket are reinforced with canvas according to the pattern instructions. 
The pockets and the hems have been stitched with whipstitches on the inside and visible stitiches on the outside to keep lining in place. Cuffs and pockets have been them embellished with gold metallic buttons. 

Et voilà!

I forgot: the book "Patterns of fashion" is available on Amazon and can be purchased here: Patterns of Fashion: 1660-1860

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