Monday, February 6, 2017

Doctor Zhivago Inspired Edwardian Outfit

For Book Club this quarter, we read Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak.  It is a long book, but good for cold winter days.  The novel is set in the years 1903-1940's, but the majority of the book takes place in 1903-1920's.  I was inspired to put together an Edwardian ensemble with a Russian flair.  I also channeled my inner geology geek putting together a little box of minerals as a prop (see this post for that).

I'll post from the inside-out:
  • Undergarments - If I had more time I would have finished my Edwardian Corset Cover that I had started so long ago.  So I just wore my older Edwardian undergarments.  I did make one tweak though - I had gotten my Erté Titanic Overbust corset from Period Corsets back in 2012.  It came with two sets of lacings for the back: one for the top-down and one from the bottom-up, meeting in the middle.  This makes it difficult though if one wants to lace themselves in.  Since I like to wear my corset during the week before an event to get acclimated to it, it is difficult when no one is home to help, as a two-laces corset requires (for the most part).  So I contacted a representative from Period Corsets, and she very kindly sent me a single long lace, which I re-laced my corset with.
  • Blouse - I purchased an Edwardian reproduction blouse from Cotton Lane on Amazon.  It's very pretty.  I ordered a larger size (I have football-player-shoulders), then took in the sides.
  • Skirt - Oh dear...this was a problem.  I used Rocking Horse Farm pattern #903 (Caution: Do Not Use This Pattern!  Ever!!) that was simply horrible.  The pattern lines for my size did not match up properly, I had to tape together the size small in order to see what they actually intended.  Even with that there was this odd extra fabric on the bottom front that was completely illogical.  There were no dots on the waistband pattern piece - needed for matching to the waistline of the skirt.  There was also a pleat marking missing.  The cut lines for it were on the pattern, and the markings were drawn on the suggested (tiny) pattern layout picture, but not on the pattern itself.  I spent a lot of hours trying to redraw, adjust, improvise.  The result was okay - from the outside.  On the inside there were problems.  It looked okay, but I was very frustrated with the lost time and aggravation of using a terrible pattern.  I will have to write a review on GBACG (Greater Bay Area Costuming Guild).  They have a Pattern Review section.  I so wish someone had reviewed this before and saved me the hassle of working with a dreadful pattern.   

  • Boots - The darling, lovely Manhattan Button Boots from American Duchess!  I love these.  Customer service here was also very helpful with the sizing.  My foot is long but narrow, and their shoes tend to run a bit large.  They gave me good advice on sizing and the boots fit perfectly.  Button hook needed! 

  • Hat - I bought a faux fur hat on sale from Fabulous Furs.  All of their products are faux.  This hat is very warm.  
  • Coat - my coat is a modern-day coat, but I was happy to be able to match the faux fur of the hat with that on the coat.  

Book Club was lots of fun.  The ladies liked my outfit, and even chuckled at my very bad, well-intentioned Russian accent.  I only said a few sentences in my fake-ey accent!  Hello in actual Russian, and then some key phrases I put together watching YouTube videos, and here's a funny way if you need a fake accent in a pinch: Go to Google Translate.  Type in the sentence you want in the first box, making sure you select English as the language to detect.  Once your sentence is complete, change the language in that same box to the language you want to hear, and click on the audio clickable at the bottom of that box.  You'll hear the English words, but with an accent of the language you changed the "Detect Language" to.  It doesn't work with all languages, but did pretty well for Russian.

No comments: