Sunday, September 8, 2013

Lady Audley's Secret

For my friend Colleen's Victorian Book Club (a quarterly meeting of eight ladies who meet to read and discuss Victorian literature), I was inspired to portray a character in the book we read, Lady Audley's Secret.  I did not want to be the main character (read the book to find out why!), rather, I was inspired by her step-daughter, Alicia.  Alicia was a very sympathetic character, as her father's second wife seemed to drive a rift between her and her father.  The fact that she was also a horsewoman fit right in with what was going on in my present day life, Tyler's horseback riding lessons.  Originally I planned on making a true reproduction riding habit bodice, but the pattern was delayed in shipping, and I didn't have much time to begin with.  So I decided to put together a faux riding ensemble that would capture the spirit of Alicia.

I have my Beatrix Jacket (made from the Sense & Sensibility pattern) and a modern black skirt that, when worn with a widening petticoat, looks somewhat authentic.  I had boots that looked like riding boots, a hat that just might look like a riding hat, and I bought a cheap riding crop (because, as you know, a good horsewoman must always be prepared for a ride!).  But I did not have a blouse that would work, and I wanted a new reticule.  I went blouse shopping and found this blouse, which does not look at all Victorian in the picture, but I rolled down and buttoned the sleeves, buttoned the buttons all the way up, added a brooch, and also sewed a little lace on the cuffs.  VoilĂ , a faux Victorian blouse!  For my reticule, I used this pattern, and just happened to find two different dotty fabrics at Vogue Fabrics that went with the blouse, which went together beautifully, making an adorable drawstring purse. 

Here I am, in all my faux glory, as Alicia:

Lady Alicia, her crop at the ready


The fabric of the dotty blouse

And the little dotty reticule

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

At the Renaissance Faire

A few weeks ago we traveled up to go to the Renaissance Faire in Bristol.  It was very colorful and interesting.  Tyler loved it because he saw someone dressed like "Link", his favorite video character, and we got him a small wooden sword with a sheath.  Kristin was in her element on one of the rides, the Pirate Assault Catapult, combining trampoline and bungee jumping.  Fun!   

Tyler shooting the "po 'n' arrow".


...and over!