newmoonstar: (icon by marble_feet)
Costume Con is this week! The 1870 day dress is almost done but for a few finishing touches, and the 1870 ball dress should hopefully be done just in time! Building a new era of dress from the ground up, including all the underpinnings, took a lot of time, and consequently I have nothing else new to wear during the day on Sunday. I'm wondering now what I should wear, and thinking either the 1870 day dress again; my Lady Mary Crawley cosplay (because when else will I be able to cosplay a character from Downton Abbey? Even if no one gets it, it's still a fun flapper dress!) or my 1860s summer dress- which, while it is pretty, it's also the only 1860s dress I have that currently fits, so I wore it reenacting all last year and am rather tired of it. However, it already has accessories, and hoopskirts have more wow factor than most other styles. IDK.

pics of said 1860s dress, for the curious )

I really did want to do a dress diary type thing with work-in-progress pics but now it'll have to wait till my next historical dress project- I've got so much sewing to do yet that I even skipped the season finale of Grantchester, and if I give up Masterpiece or Mystery!, you know it's serious! But I still had to watch Mr. Selfridge because no one can give up everything :p

(Grantchester has finally grown on me after all, though it's generally a bit of a downer. But it's a British period mystery show, so there's wasn't much chance I'd able to keep away from it for long, lol. I usually want to scream at Sidney for being a self-destructive human train wreck, and I really don't care for his tortured romance with Amanda at all, but it's all very nice to look at, at least! I'm genuinely fond of Leonard especially, and I very much hope his tentative romance with his new boyfriend doesn't end sadly, because he's a beautiful cinnamon roll who deserves happiness and I will cry if anything bad happens to him.)

Onward to more sewing!
newmoonstar: (icon by marble_feet)
In the midst of the usual heinous cold weather, it's been nice to stay in the house more and watch some period dramas again. The Downton Abbey premier was good fun entertainment, and hopefully this season will continue to be just that. I haven't cared about it as passionately since they killed off Sybil, as she was my fave, but I still don't care for characters getting killed off left and right, or too serious of things happening, since it is escapist soap-opera, after all. Everyone else seems to have seen it already, even other American friends, so I do know several spoilers for this season, but it's not really ruining the fun. I've been trying to avoid spoilers for Mr. Selfridge like the plague, however, since it's currently my fave new show. I have actually heard a few that don't bode well, but knowing a little bit of the real history behind the show makes it unavoidable that there will be sad things in it this season and next. I just don't think I can stand seeing my favorite characters killed off or my ship sunk again so soon after Sybil on Downton!

Have been slacking off on my Classic Who watch lately. Must get back into the habit! I've got another Pertwee story on hold at the library, and I've been thinking I ought to go back and listen to the audio of the missing Hartnell and Troughton serials too. Maybe it'll inspire me to write some fic again, I hope!

Also been watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries which if course continue to be fabulous. Even though the historian in me wants to scream every time Phryne goes out of the house wearing pants, the Jazz Age glamor and Phryne's badassery are enough to make up for it. Also Phryne and Jack. I just watched the episode where he thought she was dead, and if there's one trope I can never hold out against, it's the 'they told me you were dead and I realized how much I loved you when I thought you were gone forever' trope. It's not as if everyone didn't ship them already, but lordy lord! The drinks and the looks and just gah! And I know they don't get together this season, but they're apparently filming a third season in Australia already, so at least we know there's more!

I was hoping to re-watch ReBoot soon, since I finally did get the DVD box set, but I think that'll have to wait a while until all my costume dramas go on hiatus again!
newmoonstar: (Doctor Who: The Romans)
Since life is dull, and full of tedious things I don't want to do at the moment, time to distract myself with fannish rambling!

Television hasn't provided much distraction as of late, since The Paradise continues to be a clich├ęd soap opera. The costumes have gotten somewhat better since last season, but I still find the romance between Denise and Moray rather gross and creepy. Aside from the fact that he's too old for her, the whole employer/employee thing is icky. I cringe every time he calls her 'my little champion'. Eeeew. I can't think of a creepier nickname to have for your employee OR for your girlfriend, and she's BOTH. Like what even??? But I heard it got cancelled already, so we won't have to sit through any more after this season. Hopefully a better period drama will take it's place on the Masterpiece schedule. (Of course, they already had better in Lark Rise to Candleford and Garrow's Law but I guess those shows were too intelligent. Sigh.)

Apparently, PBS isn't showing any more of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries even though it's already had another season in Australia. Boo. I'm just going to have to track down the DVDs then, because Miss Fisher is awesome, and I love that show so much!

Doctor Who was actually pretty good this week, and I would say 'Flatline' is one of the best this season, but on the whole it's been a wash out for me. Some criticism of the direction the show has taken this season )

Sewing is coming along rather slowly. I'd hoped to have at least half of my planned cosplays for TARDIS done already, but alas, only my off-the-rack outfits are finished. Lots of re-working to do before I get the patterns right for the outfits I'm making. But I'm trying to stay focused; Victoria's outfit from 'The Abominable Snowmen' only needs the knickerbockers and it'll be done! So close!

Haven't had a lot of time for my Classic Who watch lately. But I'm still saving 'Keys of Marinus'; I'm going to watch it for my birthday next week. It'll be the best gift after a horrible couple of months. My fave team TARDIS!
newmoonstar: (icon by marble_feet)
OMG I forgot there was a new Poirot episode tonight, and so I turn on the TV a few minutes into it AND THERE'S HASTINGS AND MISS LEMON AND INSPECTOR JAPP. WHY YOU NO TELL ME THIS, PBS?! NOT NICE TO SPRING ON POOR UNSUSPECTING FANGIRL OUT OF THE BLUE! And they were at Poirot's funeral, no less, and even though we know this isn't an adaptation of Curtain, so he can't really be dead, still. Make me feel all the feels, why don't you?! I am never wanting to see besties thinking Poirot is dead again! MY BABIES! THE GANG REUNITED. THE GANG. Hastings and Miss Lemon only had a few minutes at the beginning and end, BUT STILL. MY BABIES. THE GANG. THEY STILL LOVE EACHOTHER. Hastings, you adorable, lovable, stupid idiot, never, EVER change. Omigod, a few minutes and I can't even deal with it. I've always wished we could have more new eps with the gang, but it might actually cause my heart to explode. They are the BEST. I've watched Poirot my whole life, and I love all of it, but the early eps with the gang will always be the Golden Age to me. Oh yeah, and there was a mystery somewhere in there too, but whatever. I got to see my babies today!!!! ♥

And Ariadne Oliver is in next week's episode! Yay, I love her too! I always like it best when Poirot has some friends along on a case. He's one of the few detectives who really can carry a story on his own, but it's just more fun with friends. (And now I will try to recover and speak in proper language again, instead of randomly breaking into lolcat speak like I've apparently been doing in this post... my love is so great that proper grammar can't even contain it.)

Edit: After some poking around online, I've just discovered that they ARE doing Curtain this year! It's already aired in the UK! It's over! This is the end! THE END OF POIROT FOREVER! OMG NOOOOOOO!!!! It's been there my whole life! How can the world just go on without it? I think we should have gotten a proper adventure with Hastings and Miss Lemon in the whole episode if it's really the end... how can this be happening? I should have figured it would have to end sometime, but- just- OH GOD WHY???? *curls up in a ball and cries*
newmoonstar: (icon by marble_feet)
So I've been on hiatus from LJ for the past two months, because I've been trying to finish a play I've been writing on and off for the past year, and I'm actually getting close to finishing! I'm not done yet, but the season 2 finale of Mr. Selfridge was this past weekend, and I have so many feels over it, I literally have to pour them out into a long blog post right now!

First off, season two was fantastic. I was a little put off toward the end of season one, what with all the 'OMG! Hook-ups! Break-ups! LIEK DRAMA!' going on, but I think season two did a great job of balancing the romantic plots more evenly with the store business, and political intrigue, and that whole 'panorama of an era' it had going on from the beginning. Also, it looked fantastic! I love the whole updated 1910s look, the bright jewel tone colors everywhere, particularly the Selfridge's house; that was always a beautiful set, but this season I'm like "I just want to live there right now!" And of course the clothes, too, were drop dead gorgeous. (And a lot of them were the exact same ones worn on Downton Abbey! I know they're probably all from Cosprop or Berman's or whatever, but it really is hilarious and feels like the Crawleys are donating their hand-me-downs to Mr. Selfridge's family and staff!)

It's just nice to catch up with these characters again, and get to know more sides of them and see how far they've come.

Aww, Agnes and Henri! And eww, Victor. Yes, you know which ship I sail... )

Miss Mardle gets her groove back, and Mr. Grove proves to be slightly less horrible. But not much. )

Lady Mae FTW! )

Even Kitty proves to be pretty cool, and could Gordon Selfridge be any cuter? )

Not forgetting George Towler, and some MAJOR S3 SPOILERS you probably DNW to know... )

Harry, Rose, and why I cried through pretty much the whole last hour. )

So, in summary: This show has been a great mix of lots of twisty-turny plots, that deepened the storylines for the whole spectrum of well fleshed out characters against a beautifully made backdrop of early 20th century history and fashion and social change. Also, sadness is definitely ahead, but I know I'll be watching, and crying for the characters that inhabit this luscious, exciting world that I love to be part of for eight weeks out of the year. Basically I AM FLAILING, HOW WILL I WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR FOR SEASON 3?! Forget Downton Abbey people, go watch Mr. Selfridge!
newmoonstar: (icon by marble_feet)
Now that the Olympics are over, this journal is returning to it's usual fare: British TV fangirling.

I was too distracted by figure skating to do proper reviews of Downton Abbey, but I think the fourth season can be summed up by saying that I'm now convinced that everyone at Downton is a complete moron except for Mrs. Hughes, and if it weren't for her the whole place would fall apart. But I still love them all! Except Bates. Downton Abbey season 4 in review. )

Already counting down to Season 5! And looking forward to Mr. Selfridge season 2! I hope it avoids the really soapy storylines it developed toward the end of last season and goes back to being at least slightly more intelligent, but I'm none too hopeful on that score. Still, we'll find out soon enough!
newmoonstar: (icon by marble_feet)
Even though I should be working on something productive (like a dress made out of the beautiful silks I bought at Vogue Fabrics in Chicago! Squee!) I nevertheless feel more like rambling about fun stuff. So, for today, a post-season TV review: Mr. Selfridge!

I was totally surprised by how immediately and how strongly I was hooked by this show, espcially having gone in with no expectations whatsoever. However, precisely because I was so drawn in by the strong writing and multi-faceted characters, I'm really a little let down by the season finale last Sunday.

I just feel that the last couple episodes dropped the ball entirely, and it degenerated from interesting, fresh drama to melodramatic soap opera. The first episodes were great because they focused on the store, and the ins and outs of the retail business in the 1900s at every level of the store, with a little of each character's personal life thrown in to give perspective from each rung on the ladder. I loved how we'd get to know everyone a little bit more each episode, so that even though in the first episode you sort of had everybody pegged as this or that type, then next episode you'd find out that was only the facade they were presenting to the world, and the reality was much more complicated, and more sympathetic for it:

Thoughts on season 1 character development )

All that was really super great, but in the last couple episodes, it started to ignore the store and any other aspect of the characters lives in favor of (mostly bad) romances.

The Hook-Ups! The Break-Ups! Are we sure Selfridges is a department store, and not a dating service? )

This started out as one of the best shows I've seen in years, and I think it can still be saved, and I'm really rooting for it to get good again, unlike Downton Abbey which I've kind of given up hope on. Still, it's a year away. I'll just have to put it out of my head till then. (And go watch The Borgias and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries! [And anything else Gregory Fitoussi has been in, because seriously, I miss my Henri! Why must they take him away from us, WHY?! *sobs*])
newmoonstar: (sybil (olde_fashioned))
Gah, haven't had time to update LJ in FOREVER. I've been writing a play, and am still writing it, and should be writing it now instead of doing this, but sometimes you gotta take a break! I've also been working on several dresses for a convention this August, which has sorta become my epic cosplay fantasy weekend: I'm making Jane's yellow bustle dress from Disney's Tarzan, Christine's Hannibal costume & dressing gown from The Phantom of the Opera, AND Christine's wedding dress from The Phantom of the Opera! The other two I've had planned for a while, but the wedding dress got added at the last minute because everything kinda came together: I acquired a roll of white silk taffeta, I'm going to be making an 1880's bustle for the Jane dress anyway, & it's an indoor venue, so I can wear a silk dress with a train and not worry too much about it getting destroyed. Add to that the fact that the wedding dress in the Broadway production of Phantom is possibly the most beautiful, perfect Victorian bustle dress this girl has ever seen, and I want one so much I could die, and there was simply no way I couldn't do it. So I've got four months, approximately, to make it all happen. While also writing a play. Heck yeah! Let's do this!!!

All this work to do, and still, I find time to watch TV. (Probably why I haven't gotten much done yet!)

Downton Abbey is getting nuts, they'll have to stop randomly killing off everyone's favortie characters if they expect us to keep caring about the show, but hey, as long as there's pretty clothes, I'll probably still watch.

Mr. Selfridge has proven to be surprisingly good thus far. We're only one episode in, but I actually CAN accept Jeremy Piven in a period piece. Wonder of wonders. I'm pretty interested to see where it all goes, even if we already know the store will be a success!

The Borgias was actually, dare I say it, not awful in season 2! (I only just got cable again, so I just got caught up.) There was actual like, PLOT and DIALOGUE, man! WOW! I actually watched most of it, rather than just pushing the fast-forward button on the OnDemand until there was a scene with pretty clothes, which is how I got thru season 1. Though I fear the show is making me a worse person, because seriously, I'm rooting FOR the Borgias! I mean, I actually care about them! Granted, there was a helluva lot fewer murders, rapes, tortures & whatnot this year than last, but still, the very first show began with the drowning of an altar boy! Not good! Of course, that's pretty tame compared to most network shows these days, and this IS a totally first-rate piece as far as production values are concerned. Unbelieveable quality in costuming and sets. I'm definitely excited for season 3 starting next week, but have a feeling it'll probably be a return to more gross stuff again. Thank goodness for OnDemand viewing and that lovely fast forward button!

Doctor Who continues to be adorable and fun, and I hope it stays that way for at least this season. TV needs more nerdy heroes and zany adventure, if you ask me.

Miss Fisher Mysteries was a total chance discovery on the PBS cable station late last night, and I'm happy to have found it. Sophistocated heiress becomes private investigator in 1920's Australia sounds as good a premise as I can think of, and Phryne Fisher is a wild, independant, badass sort of character, which makes it even more fun! I'm totally excited to see where her next case will take her.

So that's my bit of chatter for today; now I shall go forth and sew! And write! And listen to cast albums! You can listen to A LOT of cast albums while you're cutting out fabric... that'll have to be a whole other post some other day...;D
newmoonstar: (sybil (olde_fashioned))
So, 2 episodes into the new Downtown Abbey season, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. The costumes are as luscious as ever, which is the main reason I watch to be honest, but I have to say I'm not so invested in the characters as I was last season. Everyone's storylines just feel... weaker.

Sybil & Tom get tamed )

Edith's Massively Soapy Plot Twist! )

Matthew and Mary, Married )

Robert illustrates why the old ways sucked )

Meanwhile, below stairs...fun with the servants! )

All in all, I can't say I actually know what makes Downton Abbey so popular, out of all the amazing things that have been on Masterpiece Theatre, but it is entertaining in an eye-candy and OMGPLOTTWISTS! kind of way. I'm a little scared of what will happen next, but I know I'll be glued to my TV, come what may.
newmoonstar: (Garrow's Law)
So last night I watched the season finale of two of my favorite TV shows (I think the ONLY current TV shows I watch, come to that!) and I have a few thoughts.

Firstly: Garrow's Law! Sadly, it's no longer current, since the third season finale was also the series finale, it having been unaccountably and prematurely axed by the BBC earlier this year. I, for one, miss it already. I just can't say enough good things about how well done this show is.But here I'll certainly try to! How do I love Garrow's Law? Let me count the ways! )

Secondly: Upstairs, Downstairs. This, as far as I know, has not been cancelled, even though it's nowhere near as original or clever as Garrow's Law. Go figure. I definitely don't love this show even half as much as I love Garrow, but it is fun, even if I don't really care about the characters in any personal way.Fluffy soap-opera viewing at it's most stylish. )

So, all told, a satisfying evening of television viewing. And now, the long wait until Downton Abbey season 3 commences! Gah! So excited! And so jealous that it's aired in the UK already, but I'm trying to avoid picking up spoilers anywhere. Maybe I'll just rewatch S2 till it gets here, I think they're re-airing it on Thanksgiving... (heehee. The madness begins again!)
newmoonstar: (georges barbier (m_icons))
I officially love Downton Abbey now. The season finale was awesome; everything I wanted to happen actually happened! Thank heaven Mary kicked Sir Richard to the curb and Mary and Matthew finally got together! The whole time I was just sitting there thinking how everyone loves Mary and no one would even care about a scandal that old, just bloody tell them and give Carlisle the boot! And they did! It's so nice to have a show where the characters have common sense and react to things like real people in real situations, and it didn't drag out into Thomas Hardy-like melodrama. I do love my adaptations of 19th century novels, but it is nice to see something with a more modern, practical sensibility. I always prefer more down-to-earth romances anyway; I've shipped Sybil and Branson from the beginning and I'm so pleased they've finally got together. Sybil is my favorite character; I just love how she's so smart and takes on new challenges and sticks up for what she believes in no matter what anyone thinks, and she's always so kind to everyone too. I love that they made the modern, forward thinking sister so nice, and avoided the stereotype of the overly serious, ultra militant suffragette who doesn't care to dress like a girl and preaches to everyone all the time, which sadly still persists to this day for modern feminists. Sybil is such a wonderful, strong character, and I hope she and Branson will show up in the next season, I would miss them so much!! Also I'm so happy that Daisy seems to be getting over her guilt about marrying William, she was starting to sound like a broken record, and it's terrible to see someone you like torment themself for no reason. Bates and Anna I could take or leave though, Anna is a nice enough character, but Bates annoys the heck out of me, I've seen Brendan Coyle play variations on this same character for too long for it to be interesting anymore. (And he's too old to play opposite Joanne Frogatt anyway! Eww!) For the sake of the characters' feelings I'm glad he's not going to hang, otherwise I wouldn't be sorry to see him go! (I know, I'm terrible. And after I cried over William and even Lavinia too! But she was so sweet, and it was so sudden! I figured she'd just be all goodhearted and nobly give up Matthew voluntarily, I didn't think they'd have to kill her! *sniffle*) And I really do love granny Violet these days. In the beginning she was kind of the stern, inflexible dowager, but she's loosened up and shown her more funny and caring sides, and really surprised me with her more pragmatic approach to things once the war started. Maggie Smith is always awesome, and she steals so many scenes and makes me laugh out loud almost every episode. Here's hoping granny Violet lives to a ripe old age, the show wouldn't be the same without her!

Anyhoo, I could go on about Downton forever, but will develop carpel-tunnel pretty soon if I do! I think I need to add Downton Abbey to the list of period drama icons I require. ;D
newmoonstar: (Default)
Saturday evening television is SO boring without Lark Rise to Candleford!! Or Garrow's Law. Or Murdoch Mysteries. I've been trying to watch Land Girls but it's so stupid, and I really can't get into it. It just feels full of cliches and none of the characters are particularly likeable. At least on Lark Rise even the characters you didn't like you still, well, liked. Pearl Pratt, for instance, was just obnoxious and horrrible but you couldn't hate her completely because she was a fully realized person with different layers to her personality; all the characters felt like real people and not just characters, you know? That's called quality writing, and whoever at the BBC decided to pull the plug on it is an idiot beyond measure.

I've been having a look at imdb.com to see if there's more of Murdoch and Garrow, in the hopes they might return to PBS soon, or at least to hunt down on DVD, and it appears there's three more seasons of Murdoch, but only one more of Garrow's Law. I'm happy that there's something, but it appears the third series is going to be the last, which makes me so sad! Especially since it's only got four episodes each series, and that's not a lot considering that I'd adopted it as my replacement for Lark Rise. Why on earth would they not continue on with something so good? There must be so much material still to draw on in the Old Bailey records, it could go on forever! I'll bet the same idiot who cancelled Lark Rise killed Garrow's Law too. Most likely the BBC has hired a monkey or a dog or something to randomly select which shows go and which stay, because I can't think how someone with an actual human brain would choose to cancel the two most intelligently written, superbly acted, and all around handsomely produced shows the BBC has done since, well, EVER!

I think I need some Lark Rise or Garrow's Law icons, in defiance of cruel fate. (Or just in defiance of evil TV executives. Grr.)
newmoonstar: (Default)
I think there might be a flying pig up in the sky somewhere, because I've actually been doing some sewing! *teehee* The reenacting season is coming up again, and I really need a new corset; ever since I started getting acid reflux 2 years ago (I'm 25, I eat whole grains and vegetables and never touch burgers and fries, so go figure!!) I've lost a lot of weight and my old one doesn't fit AT ALL now. Normally having a waist 6 inches smaller than this time last year would be a good thing, but it means none of my Civil War stuff from last year fits anymore. Arg!! So I'm really going to have to get to work so I'll have a dress to wear by the time our first event rolls around!

On the other hand, a very tiny waist is a great thing as far as trying to look like and animated Disney heroine for my Jane outfit! I've sorta started on it; I traced the pattern for the undies, and hopefully I'll be able to get away with using my civil war corset with it, because if I have to make another corset for this I'll never finish by September! And it's for a Con, so there's a whole group of other Disney heroines, and we might want to enter the Masquerade together, so it's gotta be fully finished and awesome, or why bother to go? Scary biscuits, but still exciting, and I hope I can just stay positive and make it work! (As Tim Gunn would say! There are days when I really wish I had him around as my dressmaking mentor!)

So between all that I've been pretty busy, but never too busy to be distracted by Downton Abbey! I must say I'm properly hooked on it this year, I'm glad there's more than four episodes this time round! The first couple of episodes were really good, it seemed to be getting more serious and less soap opera, but then the disfigured soldier claiming to be Patrick, and now Vera Bates dead, it's veering into sensational again, but I kind of don't care. Now that I've known the characters longer it's harder to look at it with a critical eye, and now I'm just in "I want everybody to be okay!" fangirl mode! I totally do ship Mary and Matthew this season too. The more we get to know Mary, the more I like her, because you see that she does have a heart, but she has trouble even admitting to herself, let alone other people. Of course she shouldn't marry Sir Richard Carlisle, but now he's put that ultimatum to her, she should have thrown him over right then, because now I fear the next couple episodes (to say nothing of the whole next season) would be nothing but watching her suffer in a bad relationship with this guy, and she's too complex a character to thrown away on a Gwendolen Harleth plot like that. (Watching Daniel Deronda once or twice was enough for a whole lifetime!) But we'll see how it all plays out! And the flu epidemic! Now who'll die in that?! Eeeps! I'm too excited!!!
newmoonstar: (Default)
And I got one! The BFMC Nicolai doll was the only Silkstone I've coveted recently, and he was my x-mas present to myself after finding him on sale at a discount store. (Along with the Pillow Talk giftset also found on sale at the same store! I nearly had a heart attack when I saw them on the shelf for $30 each, the very last ones, too! Christmas is indeed a season of miracles!)

In the long ages since my last update I've done little besides bake Christmas cookies (and eat them!) and clean out stuff to donate to a church mission going to Africa, which at least makes me feel as if I was doing something worthwhile despite not having finished that darn civil war ball dress (and thus having to miss the New Year's Ball too, drat!). But I went to see Beauty & the Beast when the touring company came thru town, and even though it was lackluster as a show, seeing the ball dress up close and in person made me seriously want to make a Belle-inspired dress for my ball dress. I've been wanting to since I was 5 years old anyway, so now I can actually sew, why the heck not? The other reenactors hopefully won't notice I'm wearing a dress from a Disney movie! ;D

I'm also terribly excited because I bought myself a bonnet from Timely Tresses, and as soon as I dig out the ribbons and flowers I've got hiding in my stash somewhere, I can start trimming it. However, I did plan to make myself a new summer dress for this year's reeenacting season, so I don't know if I should wait and trim it to match the new dress. (I'm kind of afraid I have too many projects on my plate and the bonnet might wait till next year to make it's debut!)

Meanwhile, I'm being led astray by all the great period dramas on TV. I wish they'd make a show set in the 1860's, because between Garrow's Law and Downton Abbey, 19th century clothing isn't on my mind! I marathoned Garrow's Law on DVD last weekend so I could finally see the episodes all the way thru, and I really truly am kind of in love with it now. I've always been a proponent of color in the design of any show or movie, but even though Lady Sarah's wardrobe is disappointingly colorless in keeping with the overall design of the show, I nonetheless have a thing for her grey striped anglaise dress. Thank heaven I don't have any fabric remotely appropriate for it, because I would probably be wasting time planning one just like it!

On New Years I marathoned Downton Abbey in preparation for the new season this weekend, and I'm properly excited about that too. Luckily for my new project roster though, 1910's evening gowns intimidate the heck out of me, sewing wise. They look so simple, but if things aren't cut and draped perfectly, it doesn't end up looking 1910s. Someday I might attempt one, but that's pretty far off.

And I'll try not to go on about how much I miss Lark Rise to Candleford already. (Best show on TV ever!!! *sniffle*)
newmoonstar: (beatles (theboxingbutton))
Well, the happiest season of all is upon us: the figure skating season! So I don't feel too bad about missing the Civil War Harvest ball for lack of a dress, because skating was on TV that day!Skating babble ahead! )

And TV-wise, the period drama gods are being very good to us nerds. Lark Rise to Candleford has been so amazing, as usual. I'm going to miss it so much when it's gone!! And I'm quite pleased with what I've seen of Garrow's Law thus far, even though I haven't managed to see one whole episode at a time yet, since my local PBS station keeps airing it on different days and times! It's definitely on the gritty and dirty side of the period drama spectrum, but like Lark Rise, it's smart and good hearted without ever being sappy or foisting easy answers on us, and gives us complicated characters who are good people, but not one-dimensional models of perfection. And I really don't know where the whole forbidden romance plot is going to end up, but I'm definitely along for the ride.

So between good skating AND good shows on TV, I don't know how I'll get any sewing done. But now that I've moved the bookcase in my room (it was by the window getting moldy! ICK!) I feel like I've conquered one hurdle sitting in my way, so I'm energized to haul out my cutting board and lay out that civil war ball dress pattern! And then I won't have to miss the ball next year! :)
newmoonstar: (icon by marble_feet)
The reenacting season is officially over - whew! I'm actually pretty relieved, it was mostly fun but really exhausting. And now I've only got the winter in which to make up all the clothing I've discovered is neccessary for next season - a sheer dress for when it's hot and a cloak or coat for when it's cold are a must. And I'd like a bonnet and a ballgown if possible, but first things first! And I've got my Jane dress too! Lots to do and little time to do it in!

Hopefully now I can catch up on all the TV I've missed too, specifically Doctor Who. I never missed an episode before I started reenacting, but now I'm usually out of town on Saturdays! I missed the season finale and I hope they re-run it soon! But I'm actually not too excited, since this season was oddly rather lackluster. (But I can't stand River Song, and she was in almost every episode.) I'm much more excited about Lark Rise to Candleford, but very sad to hear that it was apparently cancelled in the middle of the new season. I can't begin to fathom why, it's the best show on TV right now and one of the all time best there's been in years. I just hope PBS will be airing what little there is left soon! I suppose it figures that an intelligent, original, well made drama would get cancelled in this day and age of CSI and reality shows. If there's no dead hookers or people screaming obscenities at eachother, it doesn't seem to stand a chance, unfortunately. At least there's still the mildly trashy but well costumed charms of Downton Abbey to keep the intelligent viewer occupied. :)
newmoonstar: (Default)
Real life is too depressing right now; all the scary stuff that the governer and his cronies are doing in local government is almost too unbelievable to process, even though I'm very happy and proud that people are actually paying attention, and taking action and making it known that they won't stand for it! But with all this being so weighty, I really need to remind myself that there are happy things in the world, so... period dramas to the rescue!

First off, a new Upstairs, Downstairs on Masterpiece Theatre coming up! I'm very curious about this one, it's got a good cast, it's set in the 20's, and never having seen the original series, I don't have to worry about whether it will live up to the original. I'm kind of bereft at the lack of adaptations of classic literature this season, though. Downton Abbey, though I have gotten interested in it, is a new piece; and so was the utterly dreadful Any Human Heart. (Just reading the synopsis and watching the first few minutes was enough to tell me I could skip that one! A sad reminder that even British TV can be as crappy as ours.) I've come to rely on a fresh dose of Dickens or the Brontes and I feel a little cheated without it! Although my greatest wish is that they'd move on to some new territory within the canon of 'great literature'. Even I think I'll keel over if I have to watch one more version of Emma or Oliver Twist. What about Agnes Grey? What about a Mystery series featuring the Lord Peter Wimsey short stories as hour long episodes? There's lots of great literature that has never been explored on screen before. I'd be really excited to see something new.

And I'd especially be happy if they left Jane Eyre alone forever. In all the years that film has existed, they've only managed to make one adaptation that even remotely captured the flavor of the novel itself, and all the others were so resoundingly, stinkingly awful, that they gave me a very false notion of what the book was and scared me away from it for a very long time, until I finally saw the 2006 series which turned my notions on their head and led me to what's now my favorite book. I'm not going to subject myself to the torture of seeing the new movie version, just the terrible casting alone made me want to vomit, and there's no way there could be any costumes in it gorgeous enough to be worth enduring Michael Fassbender as Rochester. He could very well be a nice person in real life, but there's just something about him on screen that radiates sleazy, creepy, evil, souless nastiness. And not having an English actress as Jane would be a huge distraction, since I'm picky about accents. Hopefully there will be at least one other new period drama out this year, so that I'll have something to see in theaters!
newmoonstar: (georges barbier (m_icons))
Well, I'm amazed. I finally got to see a specialist who actually knows about blocked tear ducts and how to treat them. This is the first time I've come away from a doctor's office in months where I haven't been more confused and worried than before I came in! I can't believe I might actually be close to a resolution to all these months of nonsense! \o/

Just finished watching the last episode of The Irish R.M.. A very cute series, and genuinely funny; I laughed out loud several times at each episode. I heartily recommend it to anyone who loves British period TV. (The costumes were quite variable in quality, the first few episodes had beautiful clothes that actually looked like 1898, but I think they got a new costume designer for the later episodes, and then it was all over the map.) But great fun, a bit like an Edwardian-era Ballykissangel. I suppose a lot of the Irish characters were pretty stereotyped, but it was based on books from the 19th century, and they were all very likeable anyway. And Somerville and Ross, who wrote the books it was based on, were apparently some of the first successful Irish novelists, which is quite interesting, since I've been into 19th century women authors for a while and never heard of them. I'll have to hunt up the books now!

Lark Rise to Candleford is another period TV show I've been watching that I quite like; it's sort of like an English version of Road to Avonlea. (With some very fabby Victorian costumes!) I hope there's another season of it coming our way!

Off to watch The Duchess now, at long last. I would say I'll write a review, but I'll more likely just gush about the gorgeous clothes. *teehee*
newmoonstar: (Default)
Oh dear gracious heavens, Bramwell is finally out on DVD!!!! I'm just beside myself with glee, because I've been dying to see the rest of the show, since they only went up to the middle of the second season on the VHS at the library. I normally can't stand doctor shows, because I'm incredibly sqeamish, even over fake blood and guts, but if it's in service of a top-notch period drama, featuring fabulous costumes, wonderful English actors, and the adventures of a Victorian lady doctor, I'm SO there! Despite the fact that I can't stand the stupid love story they concocted for Eleanor and that obnoxious Irish doctor. I wanna know who wrote the episode where she falls into his arms and kisses him after she finds out he's been using her patients for guinea pigs in his experiments. WTF? Generally when people find out they've been used and disrespected, they kick said disrespectful user to the curb, not embark on a reckless affair with them. But whatever. It's one lapse in some otherwise great writing. And it's my 1890's costume fix. I'm not going to be that picky when the clothes are that gorgeous!

Speaking of clothes, I've been thinking about my Costume Con wardrobe, and I've pretty much decided that my big show-stopping outfit will probably be a Burgundian dress with a big tall hennin. Even though medieval is not my favorite period, I've always wanted this outfit, and I think it'll end up being the most impressive when it's all put together. I've also decided I'm going to make an Empire dress out of butterscotch yellow silk, because it matches this super-gorgeous and oh-so Georgian necklace I've had for ages but could never match to anything, plus the necklace has blue stones which match to my blue cashmere shawl, so I've already got the accessories! I've also been toying with the idea of recreating the outfit the barmaid is wearing in Manet's painting 'The Bar At the Folies Bergere'. (It's the one that I used to have an icon of.) But I'd have to use my lilac silk for the skirt, and I've only got enough for one dress, and ever since I watched Little Dorrit and saw Amy Dorrit wearing a lilac silk 1820's pelisse dress, I've kind of wanted to make one for myself. Plus I'm not willing to get a haircut with bangs, so I wouldn't look exactly like the portrait anyway, so maybe it's not worth it. I don't know! Decisions, decisions! But it's still so exciting! :)
newmoonstar: (hark! a vagrant (solidor))
I've actually started a new sewing project! But I'm mad at myself for it, because it's a doll dress, when I promised myself I'd start on my Costume Con wardrobe. Bad me! But you can't have too many pink doll dresses, right? And besides, I already had the sleeves cut out, because I'd intended to use them for the last pink doll dress, but since they didn't work out I've had them sitting there, and I hate to see perfectly good sleeves go to waste, so what was I to do but design a new dress around them? It's going to be an 1820's day dress, and I'm going to put pink ribbon trim on it and it'll be adorable. I'm halfway through applying the trim and feeling a little guilty because my stitching probably ought to be a lot tinier, but why strain my eyes for a cotton dress? I'll bust out the tiny stitching when I get to the silk dresses!

Just found a special edition DVD of the 2006 Jane Eyre at Barnes & Noble, and am now consumed with the need to possess it. It's ten dollars more than the regular one, but isn't that worth it for deleted scenes, interviews and commentary? Heck yes!!! And it comes with the 1998 Wuthering Heights, which I just saw the other day, and though it's not that great (it's sort of like a condensed, Cliff Notes version), and only has two or three nice dresses, it does feature the scrumptious Matthew McFadyen as Hareton, and I could always resell it or give it to someone. See, the reasons to buy this set are just piling up! I'm going to have to give in.

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