Jenny La Fleur (jennylafleur) wrote,
Jenny La Fleur

2nd Annual Fabulousity Club Française Dinner

Starting with the most important thing – the photos! I didn’t take many, partly due to not being in the mood at first and then lack of maneuverability in my frock. Damn train! Also as we are wont to do in costuming there was much standing in circles - something I never noticed until my frustrated photographer at the Epic Titanic Dinner pointed it out to me. The practise is good for conversation sucky for photo taking!. So end my feeble excuses, on to the photos:

{Jenny-Rose Photos} - my photos of the event & my favorites from others

Gloria | photos | (flicker)
Judy | photos | (LJ - locked post)
Kat | photos | (flickr)
Stephanie | photos | (flickr)
Isabella | photos | (flickr)


The Card Trick

The Scarlet Pimpernel

The American Duchess Shoe Shot

The Tale of the Impossible & the Party:

To tell the tale of the event I have to start from the day before - Friday, the Day of the Impossible Task. Thanks to real life, unfriendly projects and the evil combination of my perfectionism and my procrastination I was way behind. The day started with the making of a hideously scary do-to list to get my Française Noir in wearable condition, not finished just wearable. I debated with myself as I worked all day did I really want to attempt the crazy and I kept saying yes to myself so I kept going. It's been a while since I've had a new frock and something I was really happy with, I just wasn’t ready to give up on my visions of grandeur this time. So I went for it.

When I stopped work in the wee hours of Friday morning (went to bed at 5am I think) I had just finished the fittings on the bodice/stomacher, robings (I did faux robings to make my life easier) and sleeves. So my day started with marking the changes and tracing a master pattern (so I don't have to do it again!) and cutting out those pieces. I also had to draft a pattern for the sleeve flounces and choose the lace for them which took some time. I used the flounce pattern from the Period Impressions Polonaise as my base, tweaking and almost re-drafting it to better match what I wanted. I then cut those out, cutting the silk with scalloped scissors and prepping the lace with French seams.

By dinner time I was starting on the bodice construction, and spent my evening on that (plus pin-curling my own hair). I did a false stomacher with a button front so self-covered buttons and machine buttonholes were in order – so time consuming! I machined everything, I just didn't have time to hand sew anything or to construct in the proper period way. I'll go back and redo a few things better later but day this was all about getting it done. Thread Nazis, bite me!

By 3am I was starting to fade, despite not being as far along as I needed to be. But I had to get some sleep so I re-figured my time table taking out my plans to be way early, most of my wiggle room and leisurely time to dress once I got there. Then I set my alarm and went to bed. I woke up at 7:30 and after getting dressed (I left my hair in curlers until Philly) I packed my costume bits and my overnight bag and got back to sewing.

I worked super-fast, getting a bit of trim on the front (it really need something - the black was is plain), the sleeves set and stitched, the bodice stitched together and the sleeve flounces attached. Mom was nice and stitched up my petticoat for me. The pleats I'd pinned in two nights before weren't quite right (I need more fullness on the side rather in the front/back) but I didn't have time to re-pin them so she sewed as it. No waistband and no hem - I pinned it on me when I got dressed! I quickly stitched the skirt fronts to the dress, zig-zagged along the hems of the dress and petticoat in lieu of hems and quickly formed some stacked pleats to sit between the side seam of the bodice and the back. I safety pinned them in place grabbed my bags and feather box and ran out the door.

According to my timetable I was going to have 1/2 hour to dress at Kat’s house but texting with Katand using Bridget as my smart phone I figured out that I would save at least 40 minutes by going straight to the Inn to dress instead. Yay! So I changed my GPS settings and thought I was in good shape again. Then I ran into horrible traffic in Virginia, Maryland AND Pennsylvania. When it rains it pours! I finally got to the Inn 15 minutes before the Salon was to start. Ahh!

Robin was an absolute angel and stayed with me to help me fluff hair rats, tie petticoat strings, pin me into my dress and generally be a calming influence on a very flustered Jenny-Rose. I hate being late! Since I didn't have time to attach the skirt front to the bodice at home Robin pleated and safety pinned the skirt to my lining, the silk of the bodice front covering the pins. Totally Ghetto Fabulous but it worked! Luckily for me I had a perfect hair day (so happy with my new hair pieces!) but even so it took me nearly an hour to get ready. I was finished just in time to walk down stairs and have a grand entrance (look it's that crazy late girl!) right as dinner was announced.

By the time I got down those stairs though all the craziness, stress, lack of sleep and angst of the last few days had melted away and I simply felt like a pretty, pretty princess. Good company, epic, if self-willed, feathers (I really must come up with a way to make them behave!) and 11yds of silk taffeta will do that for a girl.

I don't want to do the impossible again for a long time but I don't regret it. Clearly I have some work to do on this frock before it's actually finished but overall I'm really pleased with it. It has the elegant and luxurious feel I wanted and thanks to the extra fittings I think it's gratifyingly flattering as well. Sometimes you just have to make it work, sleep is over rated anyway.

{photo courtesy of Judy}

The dinner itself was a great event - Robin and Judy did a great job organizing it! My only real complaint is that it went way too fast - the time flew by so quickly!

{photos courtesy of Gloria & Kat}

I also got horribly nervous when I sang my little song, it's wasn’t my best effort at all. Oh well, hopefully it was entertaining. I didn't chicken out like I seriously thought about doing though so I do feel good about that.

I had a lovely time though and really enjoyed the conversations I had although there were so many people I didn't get a chance to talk to. Next time!

I had to leave the party before I really wanted to but I had to clean up Robin's room, where I had spread out embarrassingly in my haste to get dressed and get undressed for the drive to Kat's house where I was spending the night. It was pretty late by the time I arrived there but everyone was still up so we sipped some pink champagne and decided that as much fun as breakfast at the Inn sounded, sleeping in sounded even better. So that is what we did. I slept really soundly and woke up feeling refreshed. After a lovely breakfast of tea and danish Stephanie, Katand I headed to Jomar for a shopping trip. I was very good and stayed under my self-imposed $20 budget, scoring a couple of yds of cream cotton velvet, gold trim for my Roman Bitch dress and a boat load of narrow lace for my Purple Doom - Jomar was very good to me this time!

Sadly my trip home was a nightmare, filled with lots of traffic and delays. The normally 4 hour trip took well over 5 - I had to pull over at one point for a 10 minute power nap because I was so tired. Blah! But I made it home in once piece and happy I went. I can't wait for next year! I'll be in my Française Noir again but it's okay because it will be a whole new dress - I have ridiculous trimming plans for Phase 2... *wink*

Tags: events:parties&events, z:archive:18th:2013, z:archive:18th:française, z:archive:18th:pannier
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