October 5, 2010

Historical Costume Inspiration Festival: Marguerite Blakeney

Ta-da!  My third entry for the Historical Costume Inspiration Festival:)
The Inspiration...

This past spring my friend Kellie held a literary tea for her birthday.  Everyone was invited to come dressed as their favorite character from literature or history.  However, their character was to be kept a secret, not to be revealed until the party.  What fun!!

Since I had just finished reading The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, I decided to go as Marguerite Blakeney.   Imagine my surprise when I found that Kellie had also decided to come as Lady Blakeney!  Great minds think alike;)

The screenshots below are from the 1934 adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel starring Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon as Sir Percy Blakeney and Marguerite Blakeney.  You can watch the full film here, if you wish.  However, my dress was not based on any of the dresses from the movie

"Sink me!"

My hat was also partially inspired by the hats worn by Arabella Bishop in the 1935 adaptation of Captain Blood starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.

The Costume...

The Scarlet Pimpernel books begin in 1792 during the French Revolution.  Panniers had disappeared, as had the bustle, although skirts were still quite full.  Large elaborate hats replaced the big hairstyles of the 1770s.  In short, fashions were being simplified.
I used Simplicity pattern 4092 - the 18th c. costume.  For obvious reasons, I altered the neckline slightly to make it higher.
What could be more appropriate than a photo shoot with both of the Lady Blakeneys?!
A beautiful sunny day after days of rain and cloudy skies - perfect!

The fabric I used was cotton, and I found it after rummaging through our sewing room.  Since the pimpernel is a small red wayside flower, the fabric was absolutely perfect!

Braid and lace Close-up of the pleating on the skirt front  Close-up of the sleeve flounce

I had to alter the skirt a bit, because a very large "rat" had chewed a hole through one corner of the folded fabric, thereby creating about 4 holes - approx. 3"x3" - spaced evenly along the length of the fabric!  I had to fit the pattern pieces in between the holes, and had to reduce the fullness of the skirt in order to do so. 

Oh, and the rat's name is Bonnie, and is what is commonly known as a boxer dog;)

The hat is an 18th c. low crown made of straw.  I purchased it at Just Two Tailors - they have a lovely selection of hats!
Top Side Bottom

I covered the hat with a white, gauze material.  I'm envisioning a creamy ostrich plume, and flowers at some point - wouldn't that be a dream? 

You definitely need a hat pin or two to hold this hat on!
"I can't smile anymore!!"
Shadow people
The end of a beautiful afternoon.
Behind the scenes...
"Don't laugh..." *snicker*;)
Good ol' Leroy
{Thank you very much Alex and Aubrey for your time and patience - the photos are excellent!}

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