Look Who Decided To Show Up

I’m not quite sure when it happened, but I think I’ve finally reached adulthood. I finished my last few costume projects DAYS before the events rather than in the car on the way. I took my Ruby in for her annual service (late, but still in). After a year in limbo, I’ve finally started the basement remodel so that I can have my dedicated sewing studio. And, somehow, my calendar has picked up one historical costume event each month through the Spring. Notorious procrastinator and introverted homebody Shasta is very confused.

Photo by Marisa Taylor Photography for Redthreaded Corsets

When we last spoke…seven months ago, I had finally accepted 18th century fashion as my second favorite era based upon its accessibility. Having just completed a handsewn sultana for funsies last month, the post stands. That said, we should finally see a return to the Renaissance through the fall with a couple of ren faires, TudorCon, and a private event at a manor house. I look forward to refreshing some old favorites rather than making new, but The Typical Tudor has been incredibly distracting and I still haven’t opened my years old early Italian Ren Margo patterns, so we’ll see. 

I swear this fabric is blue and gold.

Looking back to July, BlerdCon soothed my cosplay itch–I didn’t go with any strict character designs and definitely skipped Day 3, but it was more than enough to hold me over. The kids and I also hit up Day 2 of Baltimore Comic Con during Halloween weekend, but it wasn’t quite as exciting as I remember. I can’t put my finger on why that is, but Hench Hubby had to work that day, so his absence is a huge part of it. I was able to debut my Hawkgirl 1598 at the First BCC Cosplay Showcase, which was incredibly fun. We had an awesome photoshoot with In The Long Run Designs, but aside from a quick jaunt to the vendor hall for food and some art, we left the venue in time to avoid the traffic going home. In both instances, I was more than happy to skip panels in order to spend time visiting with family and friends in the area on both weekends. 

On the historically adjacent front, my little chaperones joined me for a pirate outing on the Kalmar Nyckel where we got to meet up with some old and new friends, and the only new make was an OFMD-style flag. My ship will be called the Bloody Thimble. I’m still chuffed. I immediately jumped into Hawkgirl assembly when we got home, and in my attempt to stay focused, largely stopped documenting any costume construction outside of IG stories. That radio silence has continued, and as I’ll chat about later, I’m not sure where to go from here.

TudorCon 2022 was fun with more time at the PA Ren Faire. There were some new faces and I’m happy to report that the only less than positive interactions were some rando trying to physically force me to join the costume contest and a hotel guest trying to be sly about taking my photo at the front desk. She could have just asked, since she was part of the TudorCon group. But, whatever. I did get a ticket for 2023, and agreed to be accountability buddies with Courtly Clothier, so obviously, my need for lectures and beverages outweighs the Faire Franceses. The kids and I got to attend our first 18th century reenactment with the legendary Angela Burnley, during one of her research trips to the area. At the end of the month, I headed south for the Burnley & Trowbridge redingote workshop. The entire weekend, from exiting my driveway Friday morning, to my return on Sunday night was a blast! There were a couple of traffic near misses, and I will never stay at the same hotel, but the shopping, the workshop, the friends, the BBQ place–all of it was just tops. 

October was a blur of Con Crunching at its finest to get myself and the kids ready for Halloween festivities. Both kids wanted new hotness, while I had to prepare for work shenanigans, the aforementioned cosplay showcase, a family friendly hayride event, and a Bonfire Night party. Instead of buckling down with a priority sorted list, I chaotically grabbed whatever costume piece was closest and started crafting and sewing like a madwoman. In the end, I had finished Hawkgirl (even though there’s a half-constructed pair of DaVinci wings sitting across the room from me right now), a reaper robe and scythe for the youngest, a Demon Sailor Pluto for the eldest, Hylian outerwear in the form of a short cloak and mitts that had nothing to do with Halloween, a gorgeous ‘witch’ hat, my wearable-but-still-needs-bits redingote, and a wrapping gown of questionable fit. I was firmly in my happy place all month, despite the disarray.

In the traditional November through January off-season that never was, I cleared out the upstairs costume closet, designating the open space for recently made and loose pieces, and the antechamber for the kids’ crafting and school supplies. Unfortunately, moving everything out of that area resulted in our front room/office taking on the bulk of my sewing supplies. It’s a somewhat organized pile that has startled everyone who’s made the mistake of visiting over the last few months. Do I care? Absolutely not. Am I working on it? Four months later…yes. But in the interim, I had to gear up for an Edwardian stroll and a book dinner.

The antechamber also makes for a sweet little dressing room.

I would like to observe a moment of silence for all of the venues that have felt compelled to restrict specific types of clothing [presumably] due to the actions of some patrons. 

So many costumed photos that I never got to pose for…

In this case, a recurring group visit to Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania was canceled after the site updated their policies (possibly as recently as October 2022) to ban “Wearing costumes or costume masks if you are 14 years of age or older”. First off, our eldest is 12 years old and has been mistaken for older many times based upon their physicality. Secondly, just searching the dark academia, history bounding, and cottagecore hashtags would produce a minefield of everyday clothing that may be viewed as “costume” by mundanes. Reading through their full FAQ and Visiting Guidelines, I realize that Longwood Gardens really does just want people to walk the grounds quietly–no brides, no blankets, leave your lighting assistants at home (that’s a Prince of Thieves reference). I would imagine that their enforcement of this policy, especially for the early teen sect, has the opportunity for popcorn-munching entertainment near the entrance. That said, I have absolutely witnessed obnoxious people in costume being unruly in public, and I know the kind of scene that even historical costumers can cause at Longwood specifically. Though that’s normally because of the reactions of other patrons, not the costumers themselves. I don’t balk at the rule to be an ascot, I’m just infinitely sad that I never had my day to take costumed photos in such a perfect locale with varied settings. Selfies in a geeky skater dress are just not the same. I understand their decision, but I don’t like it. Our group lucked out because a friend who knew about the outing mentioned the edict change. The organizer confirmed with Guest Services and was able to facilitate a refund for any of us who reached out. Pieced Period Events, a private FB group headed by Marisa Taylor Photography, picked up the ball by suggesting Winterthur Museum & Gardens in Delaware, and we met up with a small group there on the same day. The museum staff was enthusiastically elated that the five of us were in attendance, and we were stopped repeatedly by them and by guests both for compliments and photos. Personally, I don’t prefer to have my visit constantly interrupted by mostly respectful strangers, but I’ve been doing this enough to know that it’s unavoidable. Regardless, it was an absolutely fantastic day.

They were so mad that we weren’t carolers.

Once that debacle-turned-delight concluded, I started on the Moonpetal pattern by Firefly Path for a second January event. I bought the pattern with no intention of sticking to it, I just needed a jumping off point for Cresseida, Princess of Adriata of the Summer Court from the “A Court of Thorns and Roses” series by Sarah J. Maas. The Summer Court attire is described as loose and flowing, but I prefer structure in my garments, and bras seem to be frowned upon in ACoTaR fan art. A corset, skirt, and sleeves with chiffon overlay seemed fitting, so that’s what I went with. It took three mock-ups and hasty beadwork for me to feel suitably royal, and I was able to restyle my Georgian Storm wig that’s been in the naughty corner for four years. I still need to get some good photos, but what I snagged in our host’s beautiful Night Court setting was really pretty. I’m thinking that Black Fae Day will be perfect for the next turn in this one. 

Currently on the table, I’m about to start the mock-up for an 1890s bodice. The skirt was recently completed and fully stashbusted, seeing as how the estimate for my new studio lights alone is in the “We’re Eating Maruchan This Month” range. I’m using more of the abandoned gray flocked damask taffeta that was supposed to be a rennie gown for the kiddo last year. After some whining, I settled on heavy poly taffeta for the lining–pink from my 2011 Clockwork Droid and purple from a donation, most recently used for my Bridgerton gown. They happened to be the same weight, so I’m taking that as a sign of The Universe blessing this quick project. Underpinnings and petticoats are already handled since I did that one Jingle Jangle outfit a while back. If my design ideas for the gown work out, I should even be able to use accessories already in the costume closet. 

The drape makes me swoony.

And that brings us back to my documentation dilemma. My social media engagement has always been horrendous. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t devote enough time to posting to actively build multi-dimensional relationships–no comments, no collaboration. I have ideas, drafts, and an understanding of what The Algorithm wants, but I lack the desire to pick up a hustle hobby on top of my relaxation hobby in my precious little free time. It’s okay to just make a thing; you don’t have to then kill it with exposure. And, until my mortgage-paying j.o.b. situation changes, I’ll carry on. 

Also…I built a shed and I’m about to buy drywall. Thoughts & Prayers.

Author: SciFiCheerGirl

Hobby costumer, wife, and mom with a dancey-dance problem and a hankerin' for moar books

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