Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pride and Prejudice '95 stands the test of time

This film is approaching 20 years old people! And it is still amazing, the standard to which all other Pride and Prejudices and Austens are held. You know why? Because of reasons!

OF course! How the characters look is one of the most ready giveaways for a film's period, the story's and the production's. Think of other period films and how they've stood the test of time, Amadeus, Gone With The Wind, Sound of Music, any old Western with pointy busts. They are beautiful yes, but scream "I was made in such a year!". Designer Dinah Collin avoids this through meticulous research and what we can only assume was a very healthy budget. If you have any eye for costume history you can tell each woman is wearing the right undergarments (you can even see Lydia's busk in one shot), the shoes and stockings are right, the cut of the clothes is accurate, and never to be overlooked, the textiles are correct. The prints of the gowns, if there are any, are very demure and period, the weight of the Bennet sisters' gowns are right on track, and the accessories down to all the laces and detailed cuffs and collars are spot on. And please, let's take a moment to recognize the milliner. Amen.

Tailoring, millinery, silhouette, and textiles.
Two guesses as to a sign men's pants fit properly...(source)
Having great research and designs is not the only thing that makes good costumes. These costumes fit. Ah, it really makes me breath easy to see a show so universally well fit. Again, this goes back to the budget, as almost all the main characters' costumes were built for them. We can see this when we look at other films that we know were rented. The spencers fit immaculately over all the bust of the women and there are no gaps from the empire waists to the bottom of the jackets. The men's tailoring is superb and the pants fit! I'm honestly hard pressed to know what was built and what was rented amongst the minor costumes because I assume the house(s) that handled this production were on a very short fit leash. The second half of the IMDB trivia is costume reuse. These costumes stand up!

I'm not saying all the costumes were great. Maria Lucas wears a yellow gown with white flowers on the front that screams 70s to me, and Mary has a terrible yellow and green number at the dining table at some point, but those are probably rented.

Hair and Make Up
Right in line with costumes, hair and make up can be a huge deal breaker. (I'm dying to see how Amy Adams' character holds up from the new Sherlock Holmes films with all her eye shadow...) What P&P gets absolutely right is the use of the actors' actual hair when possible, excellent wigs when not, and as little "make up" as possible. Lore (and imdb) has it that Jennifer Ehle tried to be helpful and thus shopped off all her hair to fit under a wig better, hence the necessity for a wig...(ugh, ACTORS! When you get a role your body is no longer your own! Don't alter it unless instructed to do so!). I'll say though, even now that I know it's a wig (or three) I'm absolutely delighted by its excellent styling and clever deceptions as I know how much of a pain disguising the nape is, and how much of a pain getting baby hairs under it can be (looking at you P&P 2005). Mrs. Bennet is the only other wig on record, but I'd guess Lady Catherine's is as well, Miss King, and possibly Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst.
Natural hair, excellent menswear, minimal makeup,
 and beautiful material. (source)
Actors whose own hair was used was excellently styled for period and character. Darcy and Jane's was dyed. I adore Kitty's hair and Lydia's is perfectly obnoxious for her. Again, not everything was perfect. For the shape and size of Susannah Harker's head I would have definitely made her 'dos softer. I get that they were going for Grecian and wanted a contrast with Lizzie...but that's an awfully small bun for hair to her bum.
the more mature characters have
the best accessories! (source)
Make up: basic corrective with a little flush and stain when necessary. I'd guess Ehle had some cake mascara and Firth's face is rather sculpted (you can actually see his jaw line when he goes in to kiss Lizzie at the end...stops before it can get the collar dirty), but there's no eye shadow, liner, or lashes to speak of. Mrs. Bennet gets a bit of rouge when Bingley comes to propose, but very appropriate. I have the tenth anniversary DVD so I'd be interested to see how this stands up to restoration....

Andrew Davies, you pillar of novel adaptations you. In an interview he said the opening scene with Bingley and Darcy on horseback was meant to set the active pace and tone throughout the film. You all may be rolling your eyes because it's five hours long, but it's five hours of well crafted and beautiful intrigue. Much of this is Austen's genius but of course credit goes to Davies' well crafted and highly source referenced script. It's a monster to tackle and get right. My only qualms are with "Dearest, loveliest Elizabeth" which is in the book, and if Firth had loosened up a bit more near the end I could give it to him, but you'd better not risk such a sugary line. In context it works, but not enough in the film. Also there needed to be more affection. I've come to terms with only one freeze framed kiss at the end, but even Elizabeth taking Darcy's arm as they walked on would appease me (mostly). I watch this film straight though at least once a year and every year I'm delighted and find new things about it that I can't get over.

Duh. Colin Firth (despite initial objections from directors and himself) is perfect. I'm not really going to say anything else. Flaws in Darcy are script in nature. Jennifer Ehle of course is perfect Elizabeth. Alison Steadman as Mrs. Bennet is perfect. It's all pretty great, but of course there are misses. The Bingley sisters come off rather evil stepsister-ish, and Mr. Collins is creepy when I believe he should be awkward. And the big debate for almost 20 years: Elizabeth to Jane's attractiveness ratio is not correct. I will give you this, but I think it's more of Jennifer's bar being too high and thus Susannah Harker will forever be the "ugly Jane" when really she's not bad looking and with better hair could have been much lovelier. To everyone else that balks about Bingley or Wickham's looks, they are handsome fellows. Get over it. British people see things differently.

Shout out to under appreciated Maria Lucas (Lucy Davis) who is absolutely delightful!

Locations and Production
Such great detail is paid to the locations of this film, which really inform what we think of the character's statuses. Longbourne seems so shabby on the outside, but is so cozy on the inside. DVD extras have excellent interviews with production designers about set dressing and location selection. And I'm going to say right now, I've been telling people that Pemberley in this version is Chatsworth (rumored to be the actual model for Pemberley), but it's not. Pemberley in this is Lyme Park, a much darker, less inviting exterior, but it fits with the darker Darcy. So, my bad for leading you astray.

Basically this film stands the test of time because it is just a well crafted piece of art across the board. The qualms I find with it are minor and appeal to others, so I can't say too many boos. This film is great and really nothing like it should ever be attempted again. More modern Austens can fiddle all they want, but another 5 hour production has little to improve on. I mean...I guess you can try. If you did I'd have one more P&P to add to my collection!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Even more things about me that men should find attractive*

My left hip is 3/4" higher than my right because I've carried babies on it my whole life.
I can live out of a carry on for weeks.
I don't need a hairdryer.
I shine shoes like a champ.
I have a recipe that makes 10 dozen pumpkin cookies.
I know how your pants should fit.
I can tie a bow tie, and many knots of necktie on and off myself.
I'm really great at packing dishwashers.

*If you're unfamiliar with my "Why I'm Attractive" series, it is all a joke (mostly) and other installments can be found here.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Confession: I'm not a very good reader

"I mean, I can read, of course. And I'm not suggesting you can't read out of doors."

D'ya get it? huh? huh? That was a quote from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice, which I watched last night. Guess what, I've only read Pride and Prejudice completely once (I reread parts of course). Shocked? Confused by what this all has to do with itself? Lemme 'splain...

I read the first of the Boxcar Children books in first grade and loved it, then hated the second so stopped reading outside of school assignments.

Around seventh grade I decided I was going to be pretentious and work through the British classics, starting with Whuthering Heights. Woof. Do not start your 12 year old with unabridged Emily Bronte. I'm amazed I continued after 60% of all characters died (I did the math, it's in my journal).

Amazingly I moved on and got Pride and Prejudice from a book order (remember those?!). It was paper back and had a terrible painting of blue satin and pearls on the cover with yellow writing. I underlined every word I didn't know. Words like "condescend" (thanks Collins!) and "felicity". Oh man, good times. I loved P&P and remembered that some yahoo sent it to the printer so that it read "how ardently I admire and

love you."
The last two words were on the NEXT PAGE! I had to turn the page! Ugh, the worst. Can you even imagine? Anyway, I loved it and got the '80s BBC production to watch right away, then the '95 when I realized the '80s version was not "the good one".

This was the beginning of my reading phase, and a foreshadowing of its end. I began setting reading goals for myself, and my reward was watching the film...eventually I couldn't read fast enough and so just left the books behind. BUT I did get quite a bit knocked out.

read each Austen before I was 16.
read one of each Bronte before I was 18.
read a Gaskell, read a Forster, and started some Dickens and Thackery and Rand.
read more Brontes and an Ishiguro and Salinger.
read a lot of historical romances and a little dragon fiction...

I tried to keep up with each BBC or Merchant/Ivory film I found that had been adapted from a novel, but I just got lost in the films and left the books all together.

Am I proud of this? No. Have I tried to fix it? Yes, but I fail. I've come to accept that I am not a good reader. I read sewing books, Wikipedia articles, any and all historical tidbits I can find that add up to hours, but it seems my novel days are over. I have reread Persuasion and Little Women and North and South and Ella Enchanted. Part of it is that I have this idea that I've read all the good stuff. I'm sure the novels are better than the films I've read, but I know Tess of the D'Urbervilles ends at Stonehenge...I know how Bleak House and Howards End go.

I'm terrible, believe me, I know. I have this whole self-loathing thing for my bad reading habits. Everyone assumes I read because I've seen the films, or Wishbone, and/or have a pretty quick and ready knowledge of Brit Lit in general. People give me referrals thinking they've found someone with whom they can share the loveliness of their new literary find, but it's no good.

I love to read actually. When I have a good book I love to be transported and get consumed and I stop feeding myself and all of those things, but I just have the hardest time starting. Reading the first Boxcar book in first grade was actually forced on me by my mom and I was not happy about it. I remember. She made me read it, and I loved it, then it was over and I was done.

So there it is, my dirty secret. I'm not a great reader. Now you can all shun me and ignore any conversations we've had about books.

What I have read:
Persuasion, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Whuthering Heights, Agnes Grey, Tennant of Wildfell Hall, A Room With a View, North and South, The Remains of the Day, Little Women, The Great Gatsby, The Importance of Being Earnest, Pygmalion, The Catcher in the Rye

What I've started:
Vanity Fair, David Copperfield, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Gone With the Wind, This Side of Paradise, Wives and Daughters, Howards End, The Fountainhead, Catch-22

A rather old list of what I've seen can be found here.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Yes, here I am. I finished my first semester of grad school and as you can tell I survived! I've decided I need to blog more for mental health, but in general the best way for you to keep up with my projects is to follow me on Instagram @belbcorinne. It's easier for me to snap a photo on there than compose an entry.

That being said, my semester in a nutshell...

I had a millinery class where I made a pillbox embellished with zippers, an 1830s bonnet made from two 1960s hats, a fosshape based turban, and a straw boater. This class was great bc my instructor is very loosy-goosey seat of your pants when it comes to crafting. He provided resources and advice, but at the end of the day it was sort of hat therapy for me. It's mostly hand work and problem solving which is great for my brain at the end of a long week.

I had a wig class where I styled a few wigs, photos are on Instagram. I hardly ever get to wear wigs so it was fun to go blonde and ginger for a bit! If you know me at all you know I love doing my own hair and truth be told the biggest challenge I face with wigs is being able to see the back! The motion of styling the hair on the back of my head does not translate into styling the back of a wig that's in front of me. That was a surprising challenge...

My studio class included a section on color theory in which we learned to mix any color (including black) from three warm primaries, three cool primaries, a neutral ochre and white. It was frustrating at first since we were in acrylic and I was told to do away with all my watercolor notions. Eventually I learned that that did not mean I couldn't use any water. I also discovered acrylic medium that extends your paints and makes them smoother and it was absolutely lovely! I eventually did pretty great copies of a Degas and Seargent. Pics on Instagram.

Also in studio we work on paper design projects. The first year scenic and costume students did A View From The Bridge which is a fantastic Arthur Miller, You Can't Take It With You, by Kaufmann, and our last project was to pick two plays from Thornton Wilder's The Angel That Troubled The Waters collection of three page, three character, unproducible plays. I made leaps and bounds with each show. I'm working on different mediums and different styles and have been discovering some great designers to take inspiration from. I'll scan my renderings and update my website when I get back.

I was the assistant designer on Guys and Dolls which was designed by a third year. It was a big show and I was in charge of scheduling fittings, taking notes, one build, paperwork, and was the wardrobe supervisor, dresser, and wig master for the show. This basically involved using all the skills I'd acquired as an assistant to my professor at BYU and the office and personal skills I learned at USF. By the time we got to tech it was like I had my 40 hr/wk job at USF plus my school work. Not going to lie, it got a little rough. I was sick most of the time and couldn't design to save my life during these weeks, but it's over! I whipped my dressers into shape (and the actors for that matter) and truth be told, I missed being back stage and in charge :)

Uh...what else? I'm the music director of my branch. Serves me right for volunteering to lead the music my second week. The branch is great, Institute is wonderful, and we're getting a chapel built for us that might be ready by the spring! How exciting is that? Pretty darn.

And now I'm at my sister's for the holidays and my baby niece Addie is helping me type. She's pretty cute.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What's great about my life right now

-I live in an apartment with laundry.
-The choir (as directed by me, eep) did a WONDERFUL job today in Sacrament meeting.
-I have made 3.5 hats this semester.
-I've already improved my rendering.
-I have a box of 12 grey markers in the mail, GREYS!
-We're feeding the Sisters and an investigator for dinner. Said investigator is AMAZING and just great.
-Fall in Pennsylvania is the most beautiful fall I've ever seen. If I could just plop some mountains down it'd be that much better.
-Technology means I can still keep in touch with all of my non-grad school friends!
-I have so many new and lovely friends!
-Roller derby is a thing that I go to now.
-I've started a new and consistent scripture study schedule that has already blessed me in ways I couldn't even have imagined.
-I'm in a color theory class. We're learning to mix any color using warm primaries, cool primaries, ochre and white. It's pretty legit yo.
-I've kept my room clean the entire time I've been here (ask Genevieve, she knows!).
-Walk in closet.

No pictures, see previous entry if you have a beef with my recently blogging. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Promises and Not Promises

Tomorrow I start the last legs of my journey to State College, PA for my first year of graduate school!

As pertaining to this blog:

I promise to update you as much as I can.
I not promise to make that as often as you'd like.
I promise to update you with my grad school happenings.
I not promise that these happenings will be more than the fact that I'm tired and grumpy.
I promise to post pictures of projects.
I not promise to post them in a timely manner.

If these promises and not promises don't suit you then be that way. It's what you get!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fabric Catalogue

I spent the last two afternoons cataloging my fabric! I have a personal rule that I don't travel with fabric unless it'll come back as a garment. No exception for grad school. I've organized my bins into knits, silks, cottons, and wools. I've swatched and bindered the fabrics so if I want something I can send my mom half the swatch and the location of the desired piece. Pretty great huh? Yeah, I'm sure mom thinks so too...

Top middle is one of my favorite pieces of silk, middle bottom is a silk/wool I got for $45 off a designer dealer, and middle bottom is a great dupioni.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Up Next

I leave Cedar City in a week, a week. I extended my contract for two weeks, so should have been gone by now, but they needed me and I didn't want to say good-bye yet. I'll have a week at home in Nebraska, then I go to grad school at Penn State!

People keep asking me if I'm excited, and I am, but I'm also very busy here still, and have all of my friends and my lovely apartment to relish in for my last week. I figure grad school will be here soon enough (three weeks?!) so I'm taking advantage of the time I have left here. Very near is being busy and crazy for three years straight. I'll take a few more night on my porch with my dear ones.

Big move! Soon I will be in an entirely new part of the country with all new people and surroundings and tasks and experiences. I've been rather comfortable and cozy for two years? six years? 24 years? eh, awhile at any rate. I'm thrilled to learn and know new things, be given new and fresh opportunities, and give my all to something I love.

I'll miss it here, big time. I'll miss my lovely friends that mean so much to me. I'll miss the work and the atmosphere and the art, but I leave to become better and to hopefully to return with more to give.

Was this schmaltzy? I'm feeling schmaltzy. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

What Jo March would wear to her wedding.

Those around me recently know that I've had a mild Little Women obsession. I finished the book again and I just think it's the best, barring Persuasion. I've also been trying to create something every day (again...a resolution I have mixed results keeping). So, I decided a paper project would be to design Jo's wedding dress.

She would have gotten married anywhere from 1868-71 by some calculations. The silhouette might be a little slender, but she wouldn't have gone all out. I had a time deciding how fussy and feminine she'd be. The dress is definitely not white. She's too practical for that, and would want to wear it again. I want it to be a nice light blue (like the color of this blog maybe...), yellow, or light brown like this dress. I imagine Amy would have put away something for Jo and that's where the lace collar and cuffs come from, that can be removed for less formal occasions.

After I was satisfied with Jo I drew Professor Bhaer and had a heck of a time with his face, until I just looked up a picture of Gabriel Bryne from the film. He's wearing Colleen Atwood's design for him. And he has a beard. Professor Bhaer has a beard.

And Jo looks a little like me. I worked SO hard not to make her as tall as me (ok, I didn't try that hard)...I'm trying to draw real people...but all my faces, unless I really try, end up looking like me at least a little. And if I try really hard they look A LOT like me :)

Anyway, here you go.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sexy Sunday: 3 hr dress

Made this on Saturday during the shows. Copied the top of my evening gown pattern and drafted the skirt pattern, cut and sewn during the matinee. It's pretty cute, right? Also, knits are great, no closures!
Nine West shoes
Banana Republic belt
Hand-me-down necklace
Target earrings

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Salt Water Sandals

These sandals are great. They're leather, super comfy, $36, and provide just enough coverage for a person with personal foot aversion but a desire to delve into the world of sandals, like me. I'm not sure if they run small or if my foot's just so narrow it slides forward, but that's my only thing. I would wear these everyday and have them in all of the colors.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Shows I want to costume

Thoroughly Modern Millie
So many great group numbers and I love to costume dancing! Excellent menswear, evening wear, office wear and character transformation. I've already designed Mrs. Meers et al, but I'll take another go!

This is my all-time favorite play that I've read but never seen produced. I think designing Thomasina's transformation and the fine line between present and past would be difficult but thrilling. I just want to work on this show!

Lost in Yonkers
This show's about finesse. I've been involved in a production of Yonkers recently that I was thrown into, but I'd love to really delve into it and really work the details like crazy. Opportunities for crazy realism.

Little Women
I've decided this is one of my favorite books, perhaps only surpassed by Persuasion. I love the musical and think it's charming. Costumes include tomboyness, casual, formal, and Professor Bhaer! There's also a wedding dress.

Twelfth Night
Since Peter Pan I've had a pretty healthy fascination with women as men. I also love this play and what I could put Olivia and the Duke in. Chances for comedy and elegance and cross dressing! Period is of course up to the director, but I think I could have a really great time with this.

My Fair Lady or Pygmalion
I love MFL, but you'd get the same transformation and formal wear opportunities in Pygmalion. I'd love to do both really. Musical and play costumes for the same script? Divine.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Opening Night Dress 2013: Let's compare

In costume design the idea of your rendering (or sketch for those who quibble with the definition of "rendering") is to illustrate exactly what you want the finished product to look like. It's the draper's job to create the pattern to do this. Don't draw what you don't want draped is the rule of thumb bc a good draper will give you exactly what you've drawn.

One of my problems as a designer is drawing figures that look like me (long and lean) making it more difficult for the draper to translate the design onto a figure that's not got as much vertical real estate. The great thing about being the designer, draper, and model is that you have complete control beginning to end. The great thing about my Opening Night Dress design was that the product changed very little. And so, once again, I give you my original rendering and the finished product. I'm over the moon at the results. The drape changed bc of the logistics of the weight and material. The sleeves shortened bc that would have been a butt ton more beading and it's a summer party. The belt changed bc of what was available. BUT, I mean, that's pretty dead on. High fives for everyone!

And again, I want to point out that this dress is 100% LDS modest and unique and flattering and all of the things most other modest dresses produced en masse aren't.

Opening Night Dress 2013: The End

I pretty much beaded on my patio every night for the past 2 weeks. I finished the beading at about 4 o'clock day of the party. I then beaded the belt and finished at 8:30, showered, primped and had a wonderful time! I've never felt prettier and had a glorious night of conversation with everyone at USF, and my friend Trent with whom I went. Night to remember for sure! I can't say I've ever been more satisfied with a project. It was admired by all. It's a good thing I thrive on attention!

I think I'll do a daytime photo shoot at some point so you can get a better idea of the train and everything.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

More things about me men should find attractive...

I'm not a big sweater.
I can make a bed with hospital corners.
I can reach tall shelves.
I know when to use "whom" and "who".
I have a passport.
I have light arm hair.
I always carry stamps.
I'm really swell at public transport. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

I saw him first!

Just so you all remember, I saw them first!
David Tennant
He Knew He Was Right
Daniel Craig
A Kid In King Arthur's Court
Hugh Dancy
Daniel Deronda
Richard Armitage
North and South
Gerard Butler
Lara Croft
Tom Hardy
The Virgin Queen
Benedict Cumberbatch
To the Ends of the Earth
JJ Feild
Nicholas Nickleby
Tom Hiddleston
Nicholas Nickleby
Hugh Bonneville
Mansfield Park
Jonny Lee Miller
Mansfield Park
Dan Stevens
Sense and Sensibility

That's David Tennant before Harry Potter, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller before Sherlocks, Hugh Bonneville and Dan Stevens before Downton, Tom Hardy before Baine and Tom Hiddleston before Loki. I concede that most of you probably know Richard Armitage from North and South, but how many of you knew of this film 18 months before its BBC release and had your sister record it on VHS then send it to you in California where you were living for the summer and upon receiving it you watched it straight through even though you'd just gotten back from a week of girls' camp in the wilderness and hadn't showered? I didn't think so.

Yes, I am aware of my obsessive and competitive tendencies. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Opening Night Dress 2013: Oh, this old thing?

I have been working on it, I promise! I actually just need to hem the sleeves, fill in the beading and figure out the train/belt. Best thing about this dress? No zipper.

We don't yet know when the party's going to be, but we do know I'll be overdressed!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

What I've Been Up To

In the past month I've...

--moved back down to Cedar City
--started my job as Costume Design Assistant/Assistant Costume Shop Supervisor/gopher
--reconnected with lots of friends!
--learned I really want a Mac
--leased an apt for grad school
--gotten very excited for en suite laundry in said apartment 
--joined the gym and started a training routine 
--gained the last three pounds to get be back to my pre-winter weight
--spent almost every night on my porch with amazing friends
--worked on my dress enough to think I can have all but the rebeading done by the end of this Saturday
--gone down to St. George for a nice Temple night
--had oh so many Crunchy Italian Salads from the Pub

So that's what you get. I need to start blogging again for my own sanity if nothing else. The gym helps with that though...

Friday, May 3, 2013

Utah County

Ok, here's the thing. I went to BYU for four years and loved it. I wouldn't say I had THE cliche BYU experience. I didn't date, almost at all, I did very little outdoorsy things and mostly stayed in the basement of the Fine Arts Building, but I'm also not a believer in BYU only being one thing, which I think is a common belief. What BYU is is a very wholesome place with 30,000 more or less very wholesome young people. It's a place that is rumored to paint their grass green (no joke).

Being back in Utah County is now very strange. I've been graduated for 2 years and have spent much time outside of The Bubble. When I drive through Provo now I feel this wave of goodness; the trees are perfect, the sun is shining, and beautiful people are jogging everywhere. Once you're out of it for awhile it's all rather surreal. It's not all roses and bunnies when you look deeper, but superficially Provo and BYU is the most wholesome place ever.
Let's not forget, there are places other than Orem/Provo in UT County...like Payson.

Things about Utah County:

Drivers are actually very mean and crazy and nuts.
It's very easy to think that UT County is just BYU, but even Provo has much more to offer.
Road construction will NEVER end. Mostly we were all excited to graduate from I-15.
UT County is very beautiful. There are lots of parks and outdoorsy things to do.
Provo Canyon is very beautiful.
There are a lot of people in Utah County. There is nature, but mostly from Ogden down through Nephi there is no break from people, blerg.
There are LOTS of babies in Utah County. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Opening Night Dress 2013: It looks like a dress!

Yay! I took a break while I was at my sister's (good bc I had two barfy kids) and put the dress together last night. Looks pretty good right? Still needs the sleeves, and some parts are basted, but it looks like how it's supposed to! I'm always worried it won't. I'm still worried though...I worry until it's done that somehow during the night something will happen and it'll have a sleeve sewn to the neck or it'll have shrunk or grown 8 inches...

Yes, my face is terrible, and my head looks huge. Sometimes the size of it in relation to my body just makes me feel like Natalie Portman...Alicia reminds me this is not a bad thing. 

The waist does seem a little high, but it'll be worn with a belt so all will be well. I'm worried the weight of the train will be too much for it and I'll end up chopping it off and not having the cowl of the inspiration. Jack and I will have to wait and see! Blur your eyes and the nude material is dead on. I just can't get a tan!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Opening Night Dress 2013: Done with the beading! Need a break...

I'm getting down to the wire. I'll have six weeks in Cedar to finish the dress, but my nights will be filled with having fun with all my friends! I was hoping to have all but the hems and inside done when I left, and that might still be a possibility, but I need a break!

I finished the beading yesterday afternoon after about 4 weeks and 75 hours of work. I figured I could get it cut out last night and I'd take it to my sister's house where I'll be babysitting for the weekend. I got it cut out no problem, but my brain is completely dead. I got the teal and nude pieces sewn to the front and backs, made a few mistakes and just need a break! I'm not taking it to my sister's. I'm also no where near ready to drive back to Utah and since the current plan leaves me with two days to get ready after my sister's I might push back my departure a day.

someday it will look teal in pictures

Friday, April 19, 2013

Historical Maternity

I love historical maternity wear. I love it. I worked with BYU's Historical Clothing Collection for two years and came across some great stuff.

We had one man that was around 80 bring a box of clothes in to donate. One dress was from the 1920s and was actually a dress his mother wore while she was pregnant with him. He also explained that his ancestors were British colonists in India during the middle of the 19th century.

He left us with the dress and some other things, but my favorite was a 1860s jacket. It was of Indian printed cotton and was of European style, short with pagoda sleeves. It was in amazing condition and was so great to see in this Indian textile. We put it on the form but it just looked off. What do you do when a dress or garment looks funny on a form? You pull out the belly. Sure enough this was a maternity piece! The belly was cut full and it suddenly had more of a story. Imagine a British woman in India during the absolute height of British Imperialism, pregnant and getting her clothes made from the local textiles. I love it!

We had a few other pieces while I was cataloging that had roughly the same story. It looks strange on the form so you pull out the belly. Ta-da! She's got a bun in the oven! I'll tell you a second story about amazing collection discoveries a different time.

For now, here is a picture of a maternity and nursing corset. Yes, women did wear corsets throughout their pregnancies. With the fashion for small waists it was partially to restrict their growing belly, but you have to imagine that it would provide a nice bit of support for their growing belly and bust. Nowadays you can purchase belly bands that lift and support the weight of the belly. It's kind of the same thing.

I won't go into the history of maternity clothing, but I just think it's fascinating and for me it is a great reminder that people in the past were real. What's more real than all the aches and frustrations and feelings of hugeness that a pregnancy brings?

I have an entire Pinterest board here of maternity wear.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Shirt Stays

NOT to be confused with collar stays.

I watched an old-timey movie awhile back that had shirt stays in it, and I remember thinking vaguely about them. I went to an ROTC banquet the other night and everyone was complaining about their shirt stays, so of course I googled them and I just think they're the best.

Shirt stays look like a suspender/garter type combo. Another word for them is shirt garters. They attach to the bottom of your shirt and the top of your socks and keep your shirt tucked in. They're primarily used in the military these days. And boy howdy do they keep the shirts tucked in. I've been told there is also a stirrup variety. Google image "shirt stays", some amazing illustrations are provided.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Time Out for Lee Pace

Because taking a break for Lee Pace is sometimes necessary for mental health.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Honest Trailers

My friend Caroline posted the Honest Trailer for Jurassic Park 3D on her Facebook and I've been watching them  for like 20 minutes...

The best part is when they say who it's starring...

Favorites? Les Mis, Inception, Dark Night Rises.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Future future project...

I'm making myself blog before I work on beading today. It's my day off! Hoo-ray!


Cedar is a month away!!! Ug, I'm so excited.

So, I've got my Opening Night Dress planned, and will hopefully make my Striped Dress for the Crossover Party...but what to wear for the Fall Opening?

Maybe this?

Valentino 1969 from the Victoria and Albert,
source here.

You know I'm on my beading kick, and I love velvet. This is black, I'd love a deep green though. We'll see...it'd take a lot of work and I'm going to be working a lot more hours a week than I usually do at USF. But someday, if not for this fall. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

favorite picture: corner of New York

I hardly remember taking this in NYC and couldn't tell you when or where, but I love it. I love corners and thumbnails of cities. I have quite a few of London as well.

I'm dying to go back. I'm excited for 6 months in Cedar, and need the moneys, but I'm itching to be back in New York, itching.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sexy Sunday: Easters!

I was going to wear my striped dress I got in NYC...but it's too short (my whole knee shows!). Did I not notice this when I tried it on? It's got about an inch to let down...and I guess I'll just wear it during the week and not to church.

So...I pulled out another vintage dress I have and that I like. It doesn't have the thrill of a new dress, but no one at church had seen it so they were full of compliments.

Miss P got a new dress. I'm holding her hand so she doesn't pick her nose. Classy.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dating: A Variation of Shelby's Lectures on Love

Dating has come up almost as much as "love" and "marriage" in my life recently.

Read this article, Time to Stop Hooking Up then come back here.

I was talking at work the other night about how I had a completely different college experience than most. I went to a private university with an honor and dress code (that is actually observed by the vast majority of students). Members of the opposite gender couldn't be in your apartment before 10am or after midnight (1:30 am on Friday nights). Bedrooms were off-limits. I still don't go into men's rooms. Abstinence was followed because we reaffirmed every school year that we were willing to live the code we signed when we decided to attend our college, a code that is rooted in our religious beliefs. My alma mater is the #1 stone cold sober school in the country, and I can't imagine it will ever be dethroned.

You know what I got from this? A regret free education that's left me with many amazing male friends in my life that I got to know through casual interactions or "dating". I also developed a strong sense of what I'm worth and what I deserve.

I don't let men text me to make plans. When a guy and I start to text and I can tell he's fishing to figure out if I'd be interested in going somewhere with him I lay it out, "Ask me in person and we'll see what I say". I've used this on multiple men (last month actually). I know it freaks them out, they've told me. I've asked men for their numbers. I've called men to ask them out, or have asked them out in person, so I know how it goes. It sucks, your heart beats fast, you say the words, then it's over. And  you know what? It makes it more special.

I date. I don't accept "hang outs" if a guy wants to get to know me. Sure, chat me up at a party, but if you want to see more of me let's plan something. A guy, a girl, some food (although I'm a terrible eater...), some talk. My church says a lot about dating that I won't get into, but bottom line is I won't accept less than courtship. I'm worth so much more than being a casual part of your life. If you just want to be friends we'll figure it out real quick and be friends.

I'm very careful with affection. Read that article again and tell me I shouldn't be.

My approach may be old fashioned, and when I'm back on campus at my undergrad it is more than surreal to be in such a wholesome atmosphere, but I built a foundation there that still informs my interactions with men. I didn't date as much as some women there, but I had healthy and wholesome relationships and while I bat around phrases like "Remember who you are" "Return with honor" and "Stay vertical", I mean them and I live them.

This article also reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend this fall about the order of things between men and women. In the "world view" sex is step 2, 3, or 4 in a 10 step process, getting to know that person intimately, if at all, is usually closer to 7, 8, or 9. In my Mormon world it's opposite, with sex as 9 or 10 and getting to know someone intimately being step 3, 4, or 5. I like it better this way. You only get to step 10 after step 9, which is marriage, which means that most likely step 10 is reserved for one person. Isn't that nice? I think so.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Things Adults Own

rolling pins
matching silverware
queen sized beds
decorative pillows

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Opening Night Dress '13: Let the beading begin!

It has begun. Which means I'll be watching a lot of TV and movies for awhile. I watched the last Batman  yesterday (which scared me this summer when I thought of my friends moving to NYC, but now I don't mind...I could hack it) and season one of The Muppet Show with my mom last night (my copy). In all I worked for about 4.5 hours? I should keep track so y'all know how much time dress making really takes so when you ask me for quotes you don't pass out.

piece is basted onto my mom's quilt frame.
The thread tracing pulled when stretched so I clipped it in places.
In future I'd leave more ease. 
pulled tight to simulate how it will be when worn

I'm a little worried about it being see through...
beading may distract, but am considering lining the back
and facing the front. 
This was at about 3.5 hours in. 
About a quarter done?...a scant quarter...let's just say it's a quarter
I'm dying over how beautiful this is going to be
Other notes:
-I'm tying a knot after every 15 beads or so, in case something happens I won't have to redo much,.
-I'm worried about the resiliency of the fabric...meaning I think it's being stretched too much and won't bounce back to its original dimensions. I compare it with the pattern piece and sometimes it looks like I can get it back to where it needs to be, and other times not. Having it strung up isn't the best way to tell, so we'll see when it comes off the frame. Cross that bridge when we get to it.
-I'm feeling good about the amount of beads I have *knock on wood*. I think since I'm using so many different types I'll be ok...I might run out of the pink, but those are from in town. I'm feeling good about my NYC pearls and sequins. *knockonwoodknockonwoodknockonwood/