Monday, November 5, 2012

A gathering of Sci Fi Fans

This Sunday, the DFWCG hosted a Sci Fi fan meet up at Bryan Street Tavern in Dallas.  I want to thank everyone who came out and played with us.  We had a small, but fun group - around 10 in all.  We screened Cowboys and Aliens, then the Girl in the Fireplace episode of Doctor Who followed by the X Files pilot.

If you have never been to Bryan Street Tavern, let me tell you, it is a great little place.  They were excited to have us there and they were very helpful getting us set up for the screening.  The banquet room we were in had so much room and the large projection screen was great.  They have something for just about everyone on their food menu. And on nights when the party crowd isn't expected in any minute, they are friendly towards families wanting to come in.  Over all, I am really glad that we picked this place to host our first meetup of this kind.

I hope everyone who came had as much fun as I did.  And I hope we can do it again soon.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Costumers' Lost Weekend 2013 Hotel Discount Code

The Discount code for Costumers' Lost Weekend is in and the hotel booking site is up.  All the information is now updated on the Eventbrite ticket site so you can now purchase your tickets and follow the link to the hotel booking in one spot.  Or, you can get your room by following the instructions on this blog.

The discount room reservation code is:   DCG

You can book your room online by clicking this link.  The discount code should already be filled in.  Many of our attendees booked online through this system last year and we did not hear of any issues.

But if you are a person who has special requests regarding their room, I would suggest calling the front desk personally to reserve your room.  The front desk phone number is 972-980-8877.  In addition, I would suggest that if you are making special requests for your room that you call to double check on those requests at the top of June.  I don't care how high star of a hotel you are staying in, those special request notes always seem to disappear right when you are checking in.  It's always better to be sure if the requests mean that much to you!

Now remember, we only have a short supply of these discounted rooms guaranteed for our event.  So I would not wait until Summer to make your reservations.  If you happen to try to make a reservation and are told that our discount block is full, please e-mail me.  I will be making a list of requests to expand our discount room block if we happen to run out.  I was also told that you can still try to use the discount code for a room all the way up until the day of the event.  In fact, when you do so, it alerts the staff that you are with us, whether they can still give you the discount or not.  And that information helps us negotiate future contracts.  It also may still get you a discount rate.  We are only guaranteed so many rooms at our discount rate up until the cut off date of June 7, 2013.  However, the hotel staff could potentially still grant those discounts based on room availability at check in.

Happy Reserving!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Costumers' Lost Weekend 2013 Call for Panelists

Are you a costumer or crafter who has knowledge to impart?  Would you like to promote your business or website by giving a lecture?  Panels are the heart and soul of Costumers' Lost Weekend.  And we need you to help make our event special.

We are looking for 45 minute panels for Saturday, June 29 and 90 minute to 2 hour workshops for Sunday, June 30.  Subject matter can range from a wide variety of skills and genres.  Skill levels can range from Entry Level all the way up to Advanced.  Panels will be chosen from all submissions by the CLW 2013 Commitee based on presenting a variety of  topics and education as represents the variety of costumers in DFW Costumers Guild.  Don't be shy to present your My Little Pony accessories or rhinestone bedazzled shoes panel to our group of costumers.

Oh!  And don't forget, our panelists get a 50% discount on tickets to Costumers' Lost Weekend.  So you can enjoy a whole weekend with fellow costumers for only $15 if you present a panel for us.

Apply to be a  Costumers' Lost Weekend Panelist right here:  

Friday, October 19, 2012

Costumers' Lost Weekend 2013

We're at it again!

We had so much fun at Costumers' Lost Weekend this summer that immediately after our exit polls were in we decided to go ahead and start planning for another one.  Yes, that's right.  We felt so good about your positive feedback that we are indeed making Costumers' Lost Weekend an annual event.  And we felt it was important to get started planning right away so you all would have plenty of time to prepare for next Summer.

So without further ado...

The DFW Costumers Guild is proud to announce the 2nd Annual Costumers' Lost Weekend will be held on June 29 - 30, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza in Addison, TX.

We will be bringing you all that you loved in 2012 plus a little bit more.  We are committed to a slow, steady growth so that we can give you more for your money while still feeling like an intimate event.

In 2013, we are adding workshops to Sunday's events.  Yes, workshops.  Saturday will be lecture style like it was this year, but on Sunday, we will have at least two hands on workshops.  We will be in the same classroom as last year, but we will have an additional space to work with.  We decided to go ahead and rent out the Hospitality Suite that was located directly across the hall.  This extra space will allow us to have a private gathering space near the classroom.  Also, the Hospitality Suite is a snack and drink permissible area.  In addition, we will be utilizing the Hospitality Suite during our Saturday night party for various reasons yet to come.

And speaking of the Saturday night party, we are really excited about our theme this year!  If you noticed the new picture in our logo, you might guess what it is.

Dust off those masks and ballgowns because we are throwing a proper Masquerade Party!  Just like in 2012, this theme is very broad.  The only strong suggestion for dress is that it be some sort of masquerade.  Use your imagination and dress for any fandom, genre, or point in history.  I am looking forward to seeing all sorts of masks and disguises at this party!  And if you get every piece of  your costume ready except for your mask, don't fret, we're going to have a mask building table on hand to help you out.

Stay tuned to this blog for announcements on the panels we will have scheduled for you.  We will begin calling for panelist submissions very soon, so if you have a panel you would like to teach, watch for that as well.  And also stay tuned for an announcement for the Sunday costumed breakfast theme.

Excited yet?  Well, here's where you get your tickets:

Eventbrite - Costumers' Lost Weekend 2013

Monday, July 30, 2012

Costumers' Lost Weekend: Found & Delivered

This past weekend 37 costumers got together on a hot & humid Texas day and celebrated the art of costuming.
Photo by CFGriffith
The panels were informative and well-presented. We learned how to use modern materials to achieve the large up-dos of the Edwardian, Transitional & Teens Eras.

Photo by S Dreer
Tips were given in how to use household equipment to take great photographs of costumes. Many shopping trips to Home Depot and Lowe's have been planned.

Photo by S Dreer
Do you know that Axe body gel and a flashlight makes an incredible light that can be incorporated into props? Other tips were given on making & modifying props as well as adding lights and sound. Other tips were given on Science Fiction costuming.

Photo by S Dreer
And we learned some tips on working with vintage patterns and details on ensuring your Civil War costume is accurate.

 The Mourning Party

Our celebration continued into the evening as our Mourning Party convened. Our room had been transformed, along with our attendees. 

Photo by S Dreer
Photo by CF Griffith  
Photo by CF Griffith
Moody music set the stage for an evening of fortune telling, letting go of past issues with costumes with personalized Voodoo dolls, and other frivolities. 

Photo by S Dreer
Photo by S Dreer
Our weekend wasn't over yet though! The next morning brought our Time Travelers' Brunch into being. We were represented by Georgian, Victorian, Science Fiction and more!

Photo by S Dreer

We hope you enjoyed your foray into our Costumers' Lost Weekend. If you'd like to continue your journey, please enjoy our Flickr photostream.

Photo by Festive Attyre

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Costumers' Lost Weekend tickets are going fast!

Have you purchased your Costumers' Lost Weekend tickets yet?

As of right now we have less than 20 tickets left before we sell out.  Don't be the one to arrive in costume and not be able to get in!  You Must Pre-Register in order to be guaranteed one of the remaining tickets.  You can pay at the door if you need to, but please only register to pay off-line if you are actually planning to come.

Also, remember to RSVP at our website for the Time Traveler's Brunch if you want to attend that.  The deadline to RSVP is Wednesday, July, 25, 2012.  If you do not RSVP by then, you can still have brunch in the restaurant in costume, but you will not be guaranteed seating with the group.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Costumers' Lost Weekend Ticket Announcement

We are getting down to the wire on our fabulous Costumers' Lost Weekend.  I am So Excited!!

We already have a fantastic group of folks who have purchased their tickets ahead of the event.  And judging from some of the blogs I've been reading, the costumes will be amazing!  You really don't want to miss out on this!

Which brings me to my announcement...

All of this preparation requires some sort of a head count.  We are trying our best to not waste a Dime of the money we have made on tickets so we can then fund more incredible events for you.

So, if you are a person who is planning to attend CLW, but you want to purchase your ticket at the door, please go ahead and register through  You do not have to pay when you register.  You can choose to pay offline.  We would greatly prefer for you to pay us before you come as that will make things so much easier for our Registration volunteers.  Also, it will let us know how many badges and panel handouts to print out.  And, this is also very important, it will let us know if we are going to Sell Out!

So please, if you are planning to attend our event, go ahead and register.  And don't forget to RSVP for the Time Travelers' Brunch too!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Costumers' Lost Weekend is almost nigh!

July is finally here and many of us are busy with preparations for the big Costumers' Lost Weekend event. Can you believe in less than a month the DFW Costumers Guild will finally be hosting its own wee little con? I can't! This is something I have personally been wishing to do since our little group was hatched in the Summer of 2006. I'm so happy that wish is finally coming true!

If you've been keeping up with us on Facebook and on our Yahoo Groups mailing list, you know that we have a fun list of panels ready to present to you by some fabulous experts. The actual schedule of those panels and the other events at CLW is posted on the CLW website. In addition, our webmaster has also made that schedule downloadable so that you can have it handy on your smartphone or tablet in case you are without your CLW program.

One of the most exciting events during CLW is sure to be our Mourning Party on Saturday evening. Our fabulous President, Jen Thompson has put a lot of hard work into this one and I just know that everyone is going to have an amazing time! As noted, we will have fortune telling, photographs, and games. And did you know that you don't have to participate in all of the CLW festivities in order to attend our Mourning Party? We are offering Party Only tickets for those who just want to come play with us at the party, but cannot attend the day festivities. I can't wait to be dramatically mournful with all of you!

Sunday we will not have any panels, but we are getting together for a nice little Time Traveler's Brunch in the hotel restaurant. If you would like to join us for the brunch, you must RSVP via the website. If you do not RSVP, you are still encouraged to have brunch in the restaurant, but you will not be guaranteed a space at the table with everyone else. The hotel has required that we send in our final head count for their preparations by Wednesday, July 25, 2012, so please RSVP prior to that date.

Our event program has finished its design stages and we have saved space for advertisements. We are selling ad space by the 1/4 page. All ads are black and white except for a pricier full back page that will be in color. Our ad space is Extremely reasonable in price. Compared to most cons, our ad space is a fraction of the cost. So if you have a business that is costume related, or costume or history geek related, please consider marketing yourself in our event program.  If you are a paid DFWCG member, you will receive a discount on your ad space.  Ad sales are being handled by Eventbrite just like our ticket sales. Click here

I would like to take this time to thank everyone who jumped on board to support this little con from the beginning. Thanks to you, we have reached our goal for CLW to be absolutely 100% funded by ticket sales alone. All additional sales between now and the event, as well as all program ad sales, will be pure profit for the DFWCG. And that profit will propel us towards better events all around for the guild members as well as a better future CLW! And with that, I'll leave you with a fun video of one of the games we will be playing at the Mourning Party on Saturday night - Gloom (as played by Wil Wheaton and guests on Table Top):

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Costumers' Lost Weekend Time Travelers' Brunch

During the course of our fabulous Costumers' Lost Weekend event, we are going to learn things, dine together, and have a party.  Then Sunday morning we'll have one last opportunity to dress up and socialize with our costuming friends before the real world finds us again.

At 10am, CLW attendees will be gathering for brunch in costume at the Crowne Plaza restaurant.    The theme is Time Travelers' Brunch, so feel free to be as historically accurate or as fantastical as you like.  History and pop culture are filled with some very interesting characters who would fit right in on this theme.  The sky is the limit!

Because we are reserving a table for us all to be seated together, the Crowne Plaza has asked us to provide a final headcount of brunch attendees by Wednesday, July 25.  To make sure you have a seat for this last event at CLW, please visit our official Time Travelers' Brunch page and RSVP.  Please note that if you do not RSVP, you can still dress up and have brunch, however, we cannot guarantee that you will be seated near the group.

See you at Costumers' Lost Weekend!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Don't forget -- Saturday at the Kimbell!

Remember -- this Saturday June 9th, the DFWCG will be meeting at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth.

We'll meet at 1:00 to view the exhibit, and then head over to the La Madeleine on Camp Bowie for light refreshments after. It might be a good idea to try to get to the museum a little earlier, just in case there are long lines to get in.

We'll meet up near the ticket purchasing area for members to find each other easily, and we'll wait until 1:20 before going in to the exhibit. After viewing the art, we'll go out front for photos and head over to La Madeleine around 2:30 or 3:00.

Please see the events page for more details and addresses.

I also want to add -- please note that it's race weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway. You might want to find an alternate route and skip 114 if you normally go that way. The traffic is bad on race weekends.

I hope you all enjoy yourselves. It looks like we'll have a nice-sized group attending!

I've been seeing this commercial about the exhibit on TV and thought I'd share it here:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Interview With Festive Attyre

We're very fortunate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to have access to several museums and see some pretty amazing things.

Impressionist painters may not have used the highest detail, but with seemingly simple brushstrokes, you get a feel for light and color. You might even imagine hearing a crisp taffeta shifting, or sense a voile floating on air as you study the paintings.

Whatever comes to mind while admiring these works of art, it's safe to say that many of us are inspired in some way to make the things we do. Whether it's finding a pattern that appeals to us, buying fabric screaming to be made into that perfect outfit, seeing a garment in an exhibit with all its helpful details, or coming across a painting that calls to us.

I have to admit, the first time I'd heard of Jen Thompson, my husband and I actually found her through her Festive Attyre website. We were both floored with her work, and appreciated the details she acheived on her reproductions -- many of which are from paintings!

Since the DFWCG will be meeting at the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth on June 9th to view an Impressionist painting exhibit, I thought this would be a fun opportunity to ask Jen about her reproduction costumes. This art exhibit may not have actual garments, but there is still plenty that can be learned from an era's art -- not to mention, be inspired by it!

 You’re known for your breathtaking copies of garments from paintings – what made you decide to do that, especially the side-by-side poses with the portraits?

I think I was drawn to making reproductions like these because it so neatly combined several of my greatest loves - art, history, and sewing.  When you are researching the costumes in paintings, you not only study the fashions, but also the artists, the models, and the cultures that they came from.  It really makes history come alive for me, and I love the feeling of stepping into the skin of people from the past. 

There are a lot of museum exhibits online of period garments showing varying degrees of detail. Granted, some periods of time aren’t as well covered as others. When you first started sewing replicas of garments, were photos as available online then or were they hard to find?

It was SO much harder to find garment photos when I first started making historical costumes.  There were only a handful of costuming websites out there when I started in the mid-90's, and very few museums had images online.  I did a lot of my early research at university libraries with good art history sections, which I still recommend to everybody if you have access to something like that.  When I started, it was much easier to find art history images than surviving garment images, and I'm still somewhat amazed at how many great pictures there are of historical garments online these days.  It is such a helpful resource to be able to compare the real things with artists' interpretations of garments.   

Do you mainly work from paintings, especially more realistic styles that tend to show fine detail, or do you find fashion plates to be just as informative?

I think I draw inspiration pretty equally from fine art, fashion plates, photos (when available), and surviving garments.  I think the most important thing is to cross-reference between multiple sources if possible, because you can't really see the bigger picture with one source alone.  Artists distort, edit, and exaggerate, and surviving garments can be altered or displayed incorrectly.  Photos are probably the only source that I trust completely, but that only works for later period garments, and they can sometimes be hard to find.  Plus the lack of color can lead you astray as well.  But with that being said, I probably love fashion plates the most of all, although they are usually the least truthful source that you can use. 
Do you find that trying to discover details about the garment from a work of art is hard? Do you have to use a lot of other research to help decipher what the artist is portraying?

I do have to cross-reference a lot to understand what I am seeing in paintings.  You have to become a detective and search for clues to fill in the gaps of what you can't see in the artwork.  Sometimes the dresses that you see in paintings are very typical for a time or place and you can find many other similar examples to help you put it in context.  But other paintings show garments that are a real mystery, and they don't make sense from a construction standpoint or maybe they don't fit in with what we know about historical fashions.  It is fun to try to solve the puzzle of what you see in paintings, but sometimes it is very easy, and sometimes it is nearly impossible!

If it is an artist working in a realist or academic style, I think they can be very trustworthy.  But once again, it helps when you can cross-reference what you are seeing with other sources to see if it all adds up.  And of course it varies a lot between artists too.  There are some artists that painted pictures that were probably as accurate as photographs (Ingres is a good example of that), and some that used a lot more artistic license to change things along the way. 

It can be especially true with fashion plates, which are meant to highlight to almost the extreme the era’s ideal silhouette and style. At what point do you feel comfortable enough with your results in comparison to the artwork itself? For example, the caricature-like body and foundation structure proportions, and even hair heights.

I love reproducing fashion plates because seeing the styles made up really points out how distorted the illustrations were.  I think many people become discouraged when clothing in reality looks so different that the idealized drawings, but you just have to accept that NOBODY looked like fashion plates.  Once you get over that, it is really fun to look at the evolution of the fashion illustrations because they so clearly point out what the focus is on for any given era.
How closely do you consider historical accuracy when translating brush stroke to stitch? Did you ever have to stop or slow down to research something like that, or did you make note of needing to research that for later and substitute something similar to proceed on the current project?

I usually strive for historical accuracy in my own work, so I spend a lot of time researching the historical construction techniques for the garments that I am trying to make. There are times when relevant information just isn't available, so you have to make educated guesses and do the best you can.  But if the information is out there, I try not to cut corners or make more theatrical concessions unless absolutely necessary.  There is nothing wrong with making garments that are just intended to look good in a photo if that is your main goal, and there are a number of great examples where the photo of the reproduction garment is more important than a wearable piece of clothing.  But my goal has always been to make wearable historical clothing, so I like to take my time and make a garment that moves and wears as well as it looks when sitting still. 
What do you normally do when it seems like that perfect fabric just can’t be found? Yet, the painting and project just screams at you to keep looking?

I have projects that have been on hold for years because I can't find the right fabric.  There is a 16th German painting that I have always wanted to reproduce, but I just can't find the right color or weight of wool.  It has been on hold for 6 years now, and it remains on hold... but someday I will find the perfect fabric and make it!   There are so many great dresses in the world to make that I don't mind waiting for the right fabric to come along. 
Did you ever find yourself wanting to stray from the construction or design of the original inspiration piece? For example, knowing of a variant sleeve or collar style that you prefer instead of the one presented in the painting? Or is the challenge to get as close as possible?

I've done both.  Sometimes I enjoy making more exact reproductions, and sometimes I am happy to just do something inspired by an image, but change the color or some of the details along the way.  I think I would feel too limited creatively if I only made strict reproductions, but sometimes there is a dress that I love so much as it is that I don't feel any need to improve upon perfection. 
Which inspired-by project has been your favorite, and most rewarding to work on?

I think my 16th c. Moroni gown was the most rewarding reproduction that I have ever made so far.  I really enjoyed researching that one, and it was such a fun dress to make.  Plus, I love doing elaborate surface decorations like the pinking and cording on the doublet.   It was one of the most elaborate dresses that I have ever made, and I love a challenge!
What new challenges have you faced with your recent projects? Does it seem as difficult now, as it once did, or is it only when you change eras that are quite different from others?

I love learning new things and I get bored quickly when costuming gets too easy.  I've spent most of my time over the past 5 or 6 years jumping around from period to period because I enjoy exploring topics that I know less about.  I'm always trying to find inspiration from new periods and genres and techniques.  If I can find a dress style that is rarely done then that is even better because I have to work harder to find my research.   I'm a bit of a glutton for punishment in that way.  :)
You have recently been acquiring quite a love of newer, vintage fashions. Do you still work from images – including photos, as well as fashion plates – or are you more inspired by the actual garments that are available online, and even for purchase from antique shows?

When it comes to vintage fashions, I am most inspired by vintage patterns and the illustrations on them.  The drawings on the covers of old patterns are always so charming, and they really continue the tradition of older fashion plate illustrations.  Vintage sewing is SO much easier than working with older styles, and when you have the actual pattern on top of everything else, it feels like a vacation from "real" costuming.   I love making vintage clothing when I need a break from other forms of costuming - it is quick and easy and gratifying... and quite addictive too!
Do you have any advice for costumers who will be attending an event, such as the Kimbell Impressionist exhibit? What should they look for, and should they even take notes on the spot or look for the painting online later?

Since exhibits like this one do not allow photography, it is sometimes handy to bring a sketchbook and make notes or draw little sketches of details that you want to remember.  You might also want to jot down the name of artists who have good fashion paintings because a search online might turn up even more helpful images.  Sometimes the hardest part of researching fashion in art is just knowing what or who to search for, and if you find the work of an artist that you like, he/she probably has done more work in that same vein. 
What paintings, looks, or styles are you most excited about seeing in person at this June’s Kimbell Impressionist exhibit?

Impressionist paintings can be really vague and lack details, so I often prefer some of the lesser-known artists who were working in a more academic style during the same time.  The big name artists like Monet and Renoir might be the main draw of this exhibit, but you can see some of the best costume details in the work of lesser-known artists.  Impressionists also loved painting women in stages of undress or at their toilettes at home, so sometimes you can see some fun underwear images in paintings like these. 

* * * *

I hope you've enjoyed reading about what inspires Jen, and how she plans and works on the costumes she makes. And I hope you join us and are inspired for your next project!

To see more of Jen's costumes, please visit Festive Attyre, and to find out more about the Kimbell event, visit the DFWCG events page.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DFWCG Summer Business Meeting Scheduled

If you've always wanted to know how events are picked for the year, or be included on some of the planning, here's your chance!

Whether you're new, considering joining us, or a long-time member planning your sewing schedule, please join us on June 16th for our Summer Business Meeting.

Check out the events page for time and location. We can't wait to start talking about 2013!

DFWCG Summer Business Meeting Information.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Art Museum Bustle Era Meetup

It's been quite a year so far, and it's almost time for our next event!

We all drool over historical garments, especially when so many of the details and construction are helpfully included -- but what about paintings? Do they inspire you?

Join us as we attend an Impressionist exhibit at the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth!

On June 9th, we'll meet at the museum around 1pm and view art together.

Many of us will be wearing bustle-era fashions, but feel free to wear anything Victorian or even come in street clothes! Don't miss this opportunity to see this exhibit, and discuss the various looks and fashions of the period.

After, we'll meet up at La Madeleine for refreshments and more chatting!

Please see the event page for more details!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Meet the Panelists!

It's getting closer and closer until the DFWCG's Costumers' Lost Weekend event!

Not only do we have some fun costume activities planned, but we also have helpful classes scheduled.

Now it's time to meet the panelists! Follow this link to check out a little about them.

We hope you're having fun planning your outfits!

Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 Frontier Forts Days and Train Ride

On May 12, a nice-sized group of us rode the train from Grapevine to the Fort Worth Stockyards. They were having an event showing the heritage of the stockyards, and several forts from all over represented their history as well.

Puffy the steam engine wasn't available, so we got Vinny the vintage diesel engine. We rode first class in a Victorian-style coach (hooray for ceiling fans and air conditioning), and it was quite an enjoyable ride. We had plenty of time to chat, relax, and watch the world zip by.

Once at the stockyards, we pretty much expected to blend in with all the other costumers and reenactors at the event, but to our surprise we were very popular!

Not only did many non-costumed attendees want to take photos with us (and even chase us down the street taking photos as we wandered around), but many of the reenactors wanted to know what group we were and talk clothing with us.

It was a very nice time, getting to meet so many people enthusiastic about history and the various groups from around Texas.

There were many booths and displays...

and one of our members managed to talk some nice gentlemen into letting her pose with a gun or two!

and err... I guess she really had a fun time checking out all the artillery and guns on display!

Okay, so we got positively silly we had such a great time posing for photos!

If you've never been to the Stockyards train station, it's a very neat location. The tracks stop under this giant roof, where lots of shops and restaurants are also nestled.

You feel like you're underground. The lighting is almost dreamlike, and wandering around the cobblestone walkways makes you feel like exploring for hours.

Unfortunately, we couldn't keep exploring. It was time to board the train and head back.

It was an amazing day!

To see more photos, visit these Flickr links here and here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

DFWCG Event Featured in a Magazine

You may remember the Steampunk Tea event from this past March -- DFWCG member and officer, Dawni Callahan, headed up the tea that also featured fun activities.

Dawni wrote an article about the event, and submitted it to the magazine Tea in Texas. It was published!

You can see the article here. We think it turned out great, and we're very thankful for the chance to share what we do in the DFWCG with others.

Thank you very much, Dawni, for a successful event, and a great article!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Don't Forget Your Ticket

The DFWCG train ride for Frontier Forts Days is coming up!

On May 12th, we'll ride the train from Grapevine to the Ft Worth Stockyards and back -- first class!

Wear your Victorian or turn-of-the-century costumes. There should be plenty of great opportunities for photos on the train and during our layover.

One thing I would like to mention: recently, some of our members discovered the train ticket website had some issues while purchasing their tickets. There should be a confirmation number if your order goes through. Clicking the "print confirmation" button created an error page, so check the page when your order goes through and write down the confirmation number. You'll need that number to pick up your tickets at the train station.

If you have any problems, you can always call their office to have them check on your reservation or help you out.

Be sure to get there early to check in and board the train in time!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Two More Events Added for 2012!

Our list of events is growing!

For September, we have the Summer Antique Elegance Show. You can wear just about anything from Regency to the 1950's. Don't have a costume? Join us anyway and have fun shopping and chatting! We usually take a group photo, so stay tuned for more information on when we'll get together for that.

November is our 4th Annual Georgian Picnic, and it's sure to be a blast as well. This popular event is held at the Ft Worth Botanic Gardens, and there's lots of room to play period games (or relax on a picnic blanket in the shade, of course!).

Please check out our event listings for more details on our 2012 events -- we hope to see you soon!

DFWCG Event Listings

Monday, April 30, 2012

Retro Ice Cream Social Event Listing

The DFWCG is pleased to announce the event listing for the Retro Ice Cream Social!

Last year's ice cream social was such a fun success, we just had to do it again -- and with warm and sunny weather already making its appearance, we're sure you'll have quite the craving for something cold and tasty this August!

The group will be meeting at Beth Marie's in Denton, on August 11th at 2 pm. Dress is 20th century retro, but please feel free to join us even if you don't have a costume to wear.

Visit the Retro Ice Cream Social event listing for more info, and stay cool this summer!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Full Costumers' Lost Weekend Panel Lineup Released!

The DFW Costumers Guild is proud to announce its complete panel lineup for Costumers' Lost Weekend!

We previously announced Big Edwardian Hair and Props & Gadgets Fabrication. The remaining panels are just as interesting and sure to cover a wide range of helpful and insightful topics for your costuming needs! 

  • Ever wondered what equipment is needed to take the best photographs of your latest costume? You won't leave without learning the tips and tricks of costume Photography, taught by fellow guildmember Crandall.
  • Do you want to add lights to that special costume or prop? Steve with Airship Nocturne will show us how to light it up with Lighting in Costumes and Props!
  • Interested in SciFi Costuming? Deb with Airship Nocturne will go over the design, materials, and fabrication of costuming in the Science Fiction genre.
  • And Ginger, a DFW Costumer's Guild member, will teach us to not be intimidated by the Costuming of the Civil War and how to make Vintage Patterns work for the modern body.
We are very excited to have these talented and creative folks share their tips and knowledge with us, and we would be most happy to have you join us!

Remember, tickets are limited, so make sure you secure your seat now for these exciting costuming panels!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Exciting Updates for the Costumers' Lost Weekend Retreat!

 The DFWCG has been hard at work planning the Costumers' Lost Weekend Retreat for July 28th.

This will be a great opportunity to socialize and wear costumes, but there will also be a chance to learn new things at Saturday's panels. The first two panels have been announced:

"Big Edwardian Hair will be presented by our very own Jen Thompson. If you've ever wanted to learn how to use rats, domes, and hairpieces to re-create the updos from the early 20th Century, you need to see this panel!

Props and Gadget Fabrication will be presented by Steve Liptak from Airship Nocturne. We'll learn how to modify existing items and building from scratch for use in costume accessories. Steve and his wife Deb attended All-Con and had some incredible props!"

This should be an excellent opportunity to learn and share a few skills to help us all with completing those costume goals.

Speaking of costumes and socializing, the day will end with a party -- the theme is "mourning," but it's sure to be a lively event!

Here is your chance to make that historical mourning costume you've always wanted to make, but didn't have a reason or place to wear it. If historical clothing doesn't appeal to you, try another take on the subject. Whether it's from your favorite movie or anything you can imagine, get creative and join in!

Why mourning? It's actually a take on the whole reason the retreat came to be. Some of our costumers were very sad and disappointed to realize they would not be able to join in other costume events. "Why not have a pity party?" and it grew from there!

So, instead of just making the best of the situation, we're going to make it quite the event to remember!

There will also be themed activities to make the party memorable -- check out the page to see more details, and don't forget to buy your tickets for the Costumers' Lost Weekend Retreat!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Georgian Picnic Video

Thanks toDFWCG Members Cynthia and Christopher , we have a fun video of our Georgian Picnic at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens.  We have such a wonderful time at these picnics, it's great to be able to share that fun with people through video!

Hope to see you at the next one!  We'll be at the Farmer's Branch rose gardens in our Edwardian attire this Spring.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 event line-up

We had a wonderful business meeting yesterday, and thank-you SO MUCH to everybody who came out for it and helped us set our schedule for next year. I wanted to give you a run down of the events that we discussed so that you can start putting things on your calendar and start daydreaming about costumes.

February 18th: Antique Elegance show at the Civic Center in Richardson. The early birds can meet at 9:00 for the fashion show, and then we will have another meet-up at noon in the area near the little break room and where all the manikins are set up for the Cat's Meow booth. Costumes are optional, and you can dress in any historical era from Regency through 20th c. vintage. The fashion show is for Big Band Era fashions, so I'm sure 30's and 40's stuff will be big this year.

March 18th-19th: All-Con at the Crown-Plaza Hotel in Addison. We will have a club table and will be hosting multiple panels, including a knitting circle, a fabric swap, a millinery class, a class on working with rhinestones, and... what am I leaving out, Maggie? I thought there were 5 classes, but I'm drawing a blank on the last one. There will be tons of other costume-related classes and panels hosted by others, plus costume contests, a dealers room, celebrities, and all the usual con stuff.

March 31tst: Steampunk Tea Party at the Plano Heritage Farmstead. We will have food and tea plus steampunk games on the lawn of this charming historical site. We will have a gear toss, a steampunk marksmanship contest where you can bring your own modded water or nerf guns and show off your skills, and hopefully croquet for the more traditional Victorian crowd (unless any of you can think of a way to add a steampunk spin to croquet!) Costumes for this event includes anything Steampunk, Dieselpunk, or traditional Victorian or Edwardian. Tickets will be $12 for members and $15 for non-members, and we will start selling them in the next week or so.

April 14th: Edwardian day in the Park, location TBA. This one will be very similar to our Georgian Picnic - we can bring snacks and games and enjoy a lovely costumed outing in the park. Costumes can be anything from 1900-1920, and we are drawing inspiration from the Titanic anniversary, Downton Abbey, and all things Edwardian.

May 12th: Tarantula Train and Frontier Forts Days at the Ft. Worth Stockyards. We were thinking about trying this one again, but this time riding the full train ride that leaves from the Grapevine station at 1:00, then we'll have a layover at the Stockyards, then return to Grapevine on the train at 6:00. If you didn't want to do the full trip, you could just meet us at the stockyards.
June 9th(possibly): Summer Business meeting.

July 28th-29th(?): Costumers Retreat. We will share more info on that one soon!

August 11th(?): 20th c. Vintage Ice Cream Social. We had a wonderful time at Beth Marie's in Denton last year, so we were considering doing this one again. The dress would be anything 20th c. vintage, and we could do a bit of antique and book shopping on the square after enjoying some ice cream.

September 15th: Antique Elegance Show in Richardson. Similar situation to the one held in February.

October 13th: Sewing day, location TBA.

November 10th: WWII event in Waxahachie. We are looking at having our own table in the black market section of this event. We could possibly sell small items as a fundraiser for the guild, but even more than that, it would give us a place to hang out and something to do during the event.

Novmber 17th: 4th annual Georgian Picnic at the Botanic Gardens in Ft. Worth. Come enjoy food, socializing, and period games. Costumes include anything from the 18th c. or Regency periods.

December, date TBA: Lanternlight at the Plano Heritage Farmstead. Victorian holiday event that includes a tour of the main house with historical interpreters, games, food, music, wagon rides, Father Christmas, etc. It is a wonderful family-friendly event. Costume include anything Victorian or Edwardian.

January, date TBA: Titanic exhibit at the Museum of Science and History in Ft. Worth. We will dress in 1912 appropriate attire and visit the traveling exhibit from the Titanic Museum.

If you have any questions, thoughts, or suggestions to help us with this schedule of events, please let us know! It is possible that we might add small additional events (like movie outings) or modify some of these if we find that changes are needed, but we will try to at least keep the themes the same so that you can start making costumes and feel confident that you will have a place to wear them.

We hope you all will join us for some of these wonderful DFWCG events this year!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

The DFWCG folk are rather fond of their tea parties.  Since 2009 the guild has hosted at least one tea per year whether in someone's home or in one of the various tea houses in the DFW area.  Guild participants have become so fond of their tea parties, in fact, that this year we decided to schedule two of them.

This first tea of 2012 was themed Mad Hatter's Tea Party and was held at Mitra's Tea Room in Hurst.  Costumes and grand hats were encouraged, but the only real rule for attendance was that each attendee be wearing some sort of hat.  Small, Large, gregarious, or modest, all kinds of hats were represented at our tea party.  

 Here is a partial group shot that shows the range of historical hats in attendance.  And there were also a couple Sci-Fi hats in attendance.  Lisa brought two hats as well as her sonic screwdriver!

We had an honored out of town guest for this tea.  Maggie of Padawansguide and CostumersGuide was visiting and decided to join us.  It was wonderful to host her as reading about many of the 18th century and Regency events she has attended in her home state are the inspiration for our own.  Plus, her costume guides have been a big help to several of us looking for research.  It was so nice to meet her in person.

The afternoon tea menu was lovely.  Mitra's serves a proper cup of tea steeped in individual small tea pots as opposed to bringing out hot water tea pots and tea bags to steep in the cup.

We were so delighted with each course that we forgot to take pictures of most of it until after we dug in.  Oops!  These scones and muffins were great as was the cream that came with them.  There was also a strawberry butter and a lemon cream that's not pictured.  Both were lovely compliments.

Their chicken salad sandwiches, shown here in the round whole wheat bread, were absolutely wonderful as were their cucumber sandwiches, which got gobbled up before a picture was taken.  I didn't have an egg salad sandwich, but they were all gone too, so I believe they were good also.

Our fearless leader, Jen, surprised us with some games to play as we waited between each course.  First we played a guess the hat game.  You can see that one in the picture of the sandwiches above.  Then we played a game where we named as many hat names or types as we could think of.

Here we are all thinking very very hard to list as many hat types as we could in 5 minutes.

And here the winner of the game, Ginger, compares notes with Maggie who just barely missed the win by one hat.  There was actually a tie, then a sudden death round where Ginger came up with one more hat and Maggie accepted defeat.

After the tea we all decided to head down to a local park for some nice photographs in our costumes and hats.  But Beth couldn't go, so we made sure to capture her lovely bustle ensemble at the tea room.

And of course there is the obligatory group shoe shot.

It's so much fun when we can get together in a park setting and finally photograph the clothing we've worked so hard on.   Jen took photographs of each of us in turn so we have new pictures to add to our scrapbooks and portfolios.  Everyone looked so lovely!

Jen sporting her lovely Regency wear.  I wish some of the details in the Spencer showed up better, like her lovely silk lining.

This is an outfit that several of us read about on Maggie's blog.  It was just as beautiful up close as it is in pictures.

Arranging the train and shaking out the train were common occurrences with Christy's lovely dress.  It takes a village for a perfect shot.

But look how beautiful it is!

We all oohed and ahhed over Ginger's lovely fur muff accessory.

Cynthia has been working on her 18th century garb for quite some time now.  She hand sewed a great majority of it.  Her results photographed beautifully!

Maggie's Tudor fitted gown and kirtle are part of several projects she's been working on for a couple of years via The Tudor Tailor.

Christopher and Lisa were sporting their Sci-Fi gear.  Who doesn't love crazy fun hats like that?

Lisa's 2nd hat, the tardis beanie!

Our 3 Regency ladies.

The adorable couple.

And finally here we are together as a group.

We laughed a lot told funny stories and played games.  It truly was a wonderful day.  And just think, our next tea is just right around the corner.  If you'd like to join in on our tea party fun, plan to come to our Steampunk Tea Party in March at the Heritage Farmstead Museum in Plano.  Remember, you are not required to be in costume for our events, you can just come to chat and play games with us as well.  We hope to see you then!