To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
I’m lusting after the new American Duchess carriage boots right now, in anticipation of winter and my denial that it is as long and as cold and icky as it probably will be. Of course, I’ll always long after impractical-for-every-day-wear Victorian boots instead of practical snow boots like the ones I have even if mine are boots with the fur and all.
In between bouts of covetousness, I realized I should mention my AD purchases this summer—one of the last pairs of ivory Gibsons (they’ve since reordered) and a pair of seamed stockings.
I swapped the ties out with ones I made using a bit of stashed blue silk dupioni.
My wedding dress was not remotely Edwardian, but it worked. The Gibsons rocked all night long, no cliché reception flip-flops required. And, I had the perfect excuse to skip the whole bouquet/garter throwing—my garters had a real purpose. Thank you, American Duchess.
They fit quite well, and are very comfortable, at least from the bit of prancing about the house I did. I don’t consider myself to have narrow feet, but actually, for shoes made on dance lasts, these are almost too wide (but just a comfy wide, not actually too wide).
I spent my National Sewing Day taking advantage of the lovely weather to do some much-needed leaf raking, then sat on the porch and made progress on my Tula quilt’s binding. I still haven’t photographed my underpinnings and gown (show is tomorrow), but here’s a few of my shoes.
After deciding against the American Duchess shoes, and Moof chewing my half-finished pink attempt, I still found myself in need of shoes for the show. Target no longer had the pink ones, so I couldn’t continue in that vein. I finally decided to go back to my original plan of gussying up a pair of black flats I purchased a few years ago and have practically worn out (I stopped wearing them a while ago, but never got around to throwing them out). Some of the wear will be hidden by the decoration anyway, so it’s a good compromise.
Although it doesn’t have the fun alliteration of “Finished it Friday” or “Work in Progress Wednesday”, today I’m showing you unfinished, in-progress views of what I’ve been working on this week, as I’ve been rather productive.
While I like the American Duchess Regency repro shoes, they are a bit pricy. Priorities meant that I didn’t purchase them as I’d originally planned. So, this week, I found out another option on the cheap: less than $20 for shoes and stockings at my local Target. Historically accurate? No, not really (I mean, patent leather, snake-skin, general 2011 styling do not historical shoes make), but they are affordable, and just need a bit of DIY to look a little more accurate.
So first, a few hallmarks of Regency shoes (looking as close to 1810/12 as possible):
For those in the reenactment/costuming/history world, this is a year of –ennials. The bicentennial of the War of 1812 (and my alma mater’s founding). The Civil War sesquicentennial’s second year. The centennial of the Titanic. And, likely other things outside of America/England.
I told you about American Duchess’ regency shoes last month. They are a very good reproduction for Regency/Jane Austen/1812 reenactors/celebrators. I fully intended to purchase a pair myself, however life and priorities got in the way and I couldn’t justify the money for only one expected wear. One of those priorities is buying their latest shoe: The Astoria (in ivory).
American Duchess to the rescue. Their third historical reproduction shoe is similar to styles from 1790–1810—in other words, about as perfect as you can get to the proper footwear for the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show in March. They’re dyeable leather, so you can make them match whatever you’re planning to wear.
As with the previous shoes, these must sell enough during the pre-sale to go into production. The pre-sale is running from Today (November 25) through December 9. I asked, and Lauren said they should ship in January, so you’ll have plenty of time to get them ready for the show in March! Buying them during the pre-sale garners you a discount and the insurance of being able to order your size, so really, there’s no reason to wait.
I’ve spent a good chunk of my lunch break checking out regency fashions thanks to an email from the 1812 Quilt Challenge organizers mentioning that they’ll all be dressed in period fashion for the show, and that we should feel free to come in the same. So, while I ponder just how to fit a gown into my overfull schedule and fit my overflowing …assets… into an empire-waisted gown, let’s roll back the clock to a generation or two earlier and check out some reproduction shoes.
They are on pre-order through August 10 for a discounted $100 price, and it is a limited run. Find out more about the shoes (and how to win a pair by blogging [see what I’m doing here? *hopes luck is on my side*], Tweeting, or Facebooking) or head over to www.american-duchess.com to order.
Sadly, I doubt her line of regency shoes will be available by the show in March, as it seems to be in early planning mode, but if you want to drool over some extant pairs from that era, she’s posted a few for your viewing pleasure.
Luckily, ballet slippers styled similar to those worn in the early 19th century seem to still be pretty common for the moment, so I don’t have to worry too much.