late summer & life lately

I got this dress for an absolute song earlier in the season, thanks to a busted zipper and a haphazard waist repair. I took half an hour to fix it up, and it’s been a staple ever since. This novelty print is perfectly suited to the last dregs of summer – and I’m hoping that by saying that I can summon its end.

The past couple of months have been packed to the gills, with yet another venture in sight: I’m leaving tonight for the Springfield Steampunk Festival, where this year I’ll be giving a panel! If you’re so inclined, join me tomorrow at 5 for “From Georgians to Gibson Girls: Fashions of the Steam Age and Beyond”. Even if that’s not your thing, you know you want to see me forget my lines in front of strangers. Everyone loves secondhand embarrassment.

Last month I ran a weeklong sewing class at the Heritage Winooski Mill Museum, of which you’ve probably seen evidence on Instagram. I taught four women to custom-draft a pattern and sew a midcentury dress. They’d all sewed before, but not from scratch. None of them had drafted. And yet – all four students came away with a brand-new custom-fit dress. A hat where there never was a hat! I don’t know whether to be prouder of them or of myself. (Them, definitely. But even so.)

As for my own sewing, I’ve traveled back still further in time. I made a Viking tunic for a battle reenactment over Labor Day weekend, and tomorrow I’ll be debuting my very first Victorian day dress. That’ll be worth a post and a half on its own, but I can’t resist teasing. I’ve also been teaching my partner to sew. We’re making him a 16th-century Spanish doublet. All the better to complete his Inigo Montoya transformation.

Dress: ’40s, Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Marketplace

Hat: ’30s-’40s, thrifted

me-made: minnie to the max

I originally made this dress for a Pokemon trainer cosplay. Keen eyes will notice the appliques on the headscarf: bug types for life. I don’t consider myself a gamer or really much of a nerd, but my God I love me some Pokemon.

The cosplay weekend ended up rained out, but my godparents’ cabin ┬ámore than made up for it. No better place for unabashed country kitsch. And it’s great to spend a whole day barefoot (and thankfully not pregnant).