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I can't believe I never posted this here: Midwest Historic Costume Conference survey! Julie and I are seeking out some feedback for a sort of eastern CoCo we'd like to hold. She chaired/organized the recent Ohio Military Regimental Ball and I've been in charge of the events at work for the past year (we get 60-90 reenactors at the Civil War Weekend and 300-450 spectators)* so I think we're equipped to handle it.

Things have changed a bit since creating the survey - we've pretty much decided to go with Glidden House near Cleveland, and since they're totally booked May through October, it's going to be either March or November for 2018, but we can get in and book early for eg June in 2019 if that's better for people. We've done a lot of brainstorming for meal/party themes and are so psyched about all of it. Here's the FB page, right now pretty derelict but it's early days.

Edit: Also, a question for friends who do events like CoCo - as far as you know, do a lot of single-era people attend? People who are attached to reenactment units? Or is it mostly those who, like us, do costuming on their own or with a group of pals?

* Speaking of which, we are really starting to hurt. Being in Basically Canada, far from the center of CW reenacting, we draw from a small corps of reenactors who live around here or have social ties to the local units to bring them hundreds of miles. This year, we've had two deaths and an Alzheimer's institutionalization. The group that used to be our "hosts" has fallen apart, pretty much. I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/939306.html - comment wherever you please.


I was thinking about doing the Janet Arnold ca. 1860 sheer, just because Janet's patterns are so detailed and descriptive, but one of the reasons I wanted a new dress in the first place is that my very short torso + extreme bust/waist difference means I really need a point on the bodice. Nora Waugh's 1850s sheer seems much pointier ... but then, Nora's drawings are really cartoons (and Janet's tend to look a lot more unflattering in the drawings than they do on mannequins, right?), and I'm not sure the pattern pieces are actually any pointier. But Nora's has much less fabric gathered across the front, which I think would be better for me, and I like the soft belling of the sleeve more than the big pagoda. (Although the sleeves really scream late 40s-early 50s. But who really cares? This is a very mainstream-to-farby event, and I plan to be accurate to the pattern itself. The skirt is as wide as the one on the dress I've been using.)

What do you think about the floral wreath sheer fabric in blue? I'd prefer to go for a cheaper option since I've spent a bit much so far this year, but this is really authentic and in a lovely color. [personal profile] koshka_the_cat, since I found it on your site, do you remember how wide it is?

Apropos of nothing, I put on my skinny jeans with my work shirt to go to chorus and looked in the mirror and I'm a bomb-ass hottie today, just saying. (It's probably just that I finally washed the jeans yesterday.)

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/938758.html - comment wherever you please.


Feb. 19th, 2017

I am HELLA tired but thought I would post about the week as I'm sitting in the airport.

The ball was excellent! I forgot my corset (...) and so wore one of Julie's that's too hippy for here, which would have been absolutely perfect if the waist had been a tad bit shorter. But it was still enough to let me (well, Julie) hook the front of my bodice closed. I am thinking that prior to Civil War Weekend I'm going to try to make a sheer day dress to replace this morning dress, which is fully lined (and therefore hot) and has very small armscyes. Like, my chemise sleeves are too tight and that's a problem, but the armscye tightness takes it to a whole new level. Anyway, I threw myself into dancing everything in the first two sets except the second waltz, and then came back for the Garfield whatsit at Julie's insistence. I don't mind at all dancing with other ladies, but it was awkward when I had to stand there waiting for the MC to find me a partner at one point and men were practically lining the walls - in order to preserve my self-esteem I assume it was because they prefer to dance with women from their unit that they know. My feet were killing me by the end of the night, and we went up to bed before the ball officially ended. (And talked for a while about starting a new event in Ohio - I'll keep you posted.)

As for patterning, I think people will be pleased. I have a late 1860s day dress to go with the Pingat (so you can either do two one-piece dresses or make two bodices to swap out), a Dolly Varden in a cute cotton print, an 1820s pelisse, a spencer with a little peplum, and an open robe that is almost the double of the one in the V&A with the fully pleated back. We were actually looking for an 1845 wedding/evening dress but nothing leapt out at us as a particularly interesting example, and an 1890s evening dress (same). I think I'll contact NYSHA tonight or tomorrow to ask what they have of those two categories, and I can make a day of patterning there next month or April when you can drive down the west side of northern NY without being blanketed in snow.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/938616.html - comment wherever you please.
Carmen the maintenance guy is oversharing with Sue in her office about Kylie Jenner's body, what in the world ...

I need a sample chapter for this proposal - I was going to do the one that includes the late 1770s-1780s because I know it so well, but I changed my mind and started with chapter one, 1700-1739. It was very hard to figure out how to describe things like shirts and shifts from the middle, so to speak, without knowing exactly what I would have written in the chapters before it to build off of. After getting the entire men's section down, I think I would have ended up getting lazy, too, and generalizing and writing the same old thing I've done a dozen times when charting the progress of the period running up to the Neoclassical. That said, there's not much research at all on these years, and extant garments and paintings are often really vaguely/poorly dated, so it's been tricky. My Pinterest boards are thus only so helpful.

I'm fairly determined, though, that after I get back from Ohio (where nobody signed up for my workshops, btw) I'm going to work on hand-sewing some early 18th century stays. If I'm going to get back into the game I should really be addressing the 1860s, for the museum's reenactment, or Regency for the ECD group's anachronistic Playford/Regency dances, but when I really like and have always wanted a reason to do is early 18th century. Neither of the two previous get me inspired, because nobody else there is even close to authentic, so! I will go for something that I've always been fascinated with.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/938346.html - comment wherever you please.
I seem to have a bad habit of making decisions while writing, and then almost immediately walking them back after I see them typed out. So a little while ago, I was like, "I'm not going to bother trying to write for real publication, I'm just going to toddle stuff out and put it on Amazon for other nerds." But then I thought I might look at what the short story market looks like these days, and anyway ... as I wrote on the last page of the journal I just finished, When one part of life holds out on you and refuses to return your emails, turn back to something else you love. I've already sent out a piece of flash fiction and am working on a contemporary fantasy short story.

And then there was a ridic conversation on [personal profile] sarahbellem's FB with a costume designer that reminded me, hey, I was going to write a guide once upon a time that didn't just explain the history of fashion but was specifically addressed to people making or writing about clothing so they can avoid pitfalls. And so now I'm working on a proposal for that. I'm kind of terrified that the failure of RWD will make it impossible for me to publish ever again, but this is a totally different thing with way more market potential.

Still haven't heard back from the MFA, but Bunka Gakuen did get back to me and say that they'd be able to give me a volume discount to cut the image use fee from $44/image to $9/image, which is phenomenal. So whatever happens with any of the many things I'm keeping in the air, I at least have confidence that this one project will be realized.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/938115.html - comment wherever you please.


Just dropping in to say - this is an excellent recipe for paneer, I highly recommend it.

Lately I've been writing and writing in my journal, trying to dig deeper than a recitation of events. Now to channel that into fiction ... if only the same kind of short story market existed today as in 1900! But I've basically made up my mind that my fiction-writing career, such as it is/will be, should be confined to self-pubbing on Amazon for the select crowd that really likes historical pastiche.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/937812.html - comment wherever you please.


I'm enjoying watching The Magicians. I liked the books (although I only read them once and don't remember them too well), unlike a lot of people in HP fandom, I think? but it works even a bit better as a tv show.

Eliot mentions having taken the house puppy to "a very confused veterinarian in Ogdensburg", so you know the screenwriters, as usual, are from the city and think "upstate New York" means some point where literally everything from Buffalo to Plattsburgh is within a short drive Brakebills is obviously in Canton like St. Lawrence, or maybe in Heuvelton with the Amish.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/937631.html - comment wherever you please.
I'm bouncing back, in large part because I decided to wear my pretty day dress to the ball instead of a new gown. Some things are just ... too much. (The job has not yet been reposted.)

Tonight I made chickpea rogan josh based on this recipe from The Kitchn. Came out very well! Nicely warm. Recommend.

I have a blog post very nearly done - I'm just waiting on a response to an inquiry to the Museum of the City of New York about whether the second Worth gown here</i> actually has a label in it or is just attributed based on family history. I'm suspecting the latter, and really hoping it's the case because otherwise the whole post is pointless.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/937428.html - comment wherever you please.
I suppose it's not really a sewing project until you've knelt on the floor sobbing over how much you don't want to make it

And thrown the pieces across the room multiple times

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/937009.html - comment wherever you please.

Oh Gee, Oh Gosh, Oh Golly I'm in Pain

^1920s pop song reference, I'm hip to the times

On the one hand, I'm having my period back-cramps. On the other, yesterday and the day before were HIIT days in the yoga shred - and while Friday was legs/butt and Saturday was arms/core, both really felt like legs. Then today I did my errands on foot (3 miles in total) because it's still relatively warm and dry. While I've done some ball gown work, I spent a lot of time resting up on the couch.

Sooooo many tabs open in Chrome again ... but seven of them are recipes or recipe-related, so I should be able to close them after I use them. But then I'm probably going to look up new recipes on the same sites, so I don't see this ending well. (Veg Recipes of India, Whisk Affair, My Tasty Curry, he Kitchn.)

I can't believe The Handmaid's Tale isn't dropping until late April. We need it now.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/935941.html - comment wherever you please.

Jan. 21st, 2017

I decided to clarify butter into ghee this evening because I want to get back into Indian cooking, although I never actually used it when I used to cook Indian food. OMG, that smells so good. I'm doing it for authenticity and to have a more shelf-stable butter, but it's worth it just for the scent.

Another week, another non-ringing phone. :( Another week void of emails from NYSM, BMFA, or Bunka Gakuen. :( I'm so stressed out right now, with the job hanging over my head (it's still not relisted anywhere and thus probably still open ... it must get filled soon, right? They want someone to start in the second week of February!) and my self-esteem's riding on the book thing, and of course there's politics - though I have to say that following all the protests on Twitter today did make me feel a lot better on that score. But still, the stress is just gnawing at me constantly.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/935889.html - comment wherever you please.


Because of Magnificent Century, I've been reading Leslie Pierce's The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire, (it can be found on LibGen) and it is fascinating. The reality of the situation in the 14th and 15th centuries, at least, is so far from how Western royalty has historically worked, and also from the romanticized/sexualized Western ideas of harem life. (Right from the get-go - the harem was just the women's quarters, and then eventually the sultan's household, not a stable of nubile girls. And most of the women in it were doing administrative work.)

One of the most interesting things (to me) is that it became an almost legalized tradition during that period for the sultan to never sleep with his legal wife/wives, and only father children with concubines, who were all(?) slaves taken from outside of Ottoman lands. Children essentially derived all of their status from the fathers, without being "tarnished" by their mothers' low status or ethnicity. Since all of the sons were expected to compete for the throne, it wasn't seen as fair for some to have the advantage of powerful relatives and others not. And concubines were restricted to having one son, as mothers essentially became heads of their sons' households, and it would again create an unbalanced situation if the mother went with one son and the other was left out in the cold.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/935421.html - comment wherever you please.
Sherlock: Sherlock S4Collapse )

You have to watch Magnificent Century! It is a Turkish historical soap opera on Netflix, and it is bonkers. Set in the court of Suleyman the Magnificent, it mostly centers on Hürrem Sultan as she goes from Alexandra the Ruthenian slave girl to Hürrem the favorite concubine to Hürrem Sultan, mother of a prince. It will make you shout things like "NO, HURREM! You're just making things worse for yourself!" and "GTFO, Mahidevran, you are the worst."

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/934966.html - comment wherever you please.



I just made an filter on LJ for everyone/everything that's not crossposting from here, because I normally read only my LJ flist but I want to start reading and communicating on DW with the people who are also using it. Basically, I made an "only on LJ" filter, added everything, then went through and pulled out the handful that are here as well. And it was actually pretty sad, because there are sooooo many people I'm still friended to who ... just aren't here anymore. 165 friends, and 139 communities! And only one or two comms are still active, and a handful of friends. ;_;

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/934062.html - comment wherever you please.
Redrew the bodice/belt/butt-bow page of the pattern today - it looks MUCH better, and has some more information on it (like full-scale drawings of the trim). The added info didn't really make much of a dent in the description, which is a page long, but some of the more awkward sentences were able to be excised.

I knew I'd won Best Of 2016 in something from BadHistory via PM, but I finally went and checked it out (I can't read it as often because modding at AskHistorians makes me unable to deal with not being able to delete stupid comments elsewhere) and I won a mod's choice, basically, for people that didn't get nominated but the mods felt deserved recognition.

/u/chocolatepot for her posts on clothing throughout history. Always well researched, written, and sourced, it's been a pleasure to get an insight into this, often overlooked, part of history. We found out that Jane Austen travelled through time to pose for a painting, wet-chemise contests in Regency times (I might not remember that one correctly), corsets that allow people to breathe, Mediaeval POC not understanding clothing, etc. If you ever find King Edward's Time Machine, this is the woman to contact to make sure you don't stand out like a sore thumb.

Sherlock, so far. I like itCollapse )

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/933853.html - comment wherever you please.


I criticized the moderation at r/AskFeminists (nicely) and was asked to be a mod, so I estimate about a month before I burn out.

My right foot is so cold. It's like a block of ice. But I don't want to turn up the heat because then I won't sleep well.

Seeds are sprouting! I'm going to pack some for lunch tomorrow. They are tasty.

I started to write a blog post, but it turned into just excuses for why I haven't been posting, so I'm going to scrap that and try to write the kind of post I used to, where I'd investigate a style or a term or a painting.

Sent a query to Bunka Gakuen a couple of days ago, because it seemed a bit silly to send one to the MFA, sit around a wait a month, then send another out. At least this way it will all happen faster.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/933305.html - comment wherever you please.
Thanks to some timely prodding by [profile] zaftig46, I finally wrote a query letter to the Boston MFA about publishing a translation of the GdM. I'm hoping like hell that they take me up on it, because if they won't I can only try Bunka Gakuen and that's literally the last option, as far as I can tell, unless anybody knows of a third collection that has the GdM. So now I have two (2) pending acceptances/rejections to obsess over and eventually condemn myself for failing at.

Wrote someone a fantastic answer about gendered children's clothing that got no attention at all, please read it so I at least know that someone did.

I find it interesting that LJ is seeing another backlash, like Strikethrough in 2009, but this time more people seem to be migrating to DW? Potentially enough to make reading one's flist primarily on DW feasible? That'd be pretty cool. As you may have stopped noticing it, I post on DW and crosspost here, so there's a link at the bottom of each post if you're looking for me there.

On [profile] an_english_girl's advice, I've gotten a sprouting jar and a bag of radish, clover, and fenugreek seeds, mainly because I LOVE fenugreek. We're on day 2! By the end of the week I should be able to have sprouts'n'cheese for lunch.

I need to get back on track blogging and sewing. I have been working on the plain version of the Pingat pattern for the people who bought the scale pattern, and yesterday I super-cleaned my dining table and coffee table. So at least I am not a totally lazy slattern.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/933029.html - comment wherever you please.
Me yesterday: Now that I realize I've gone up a dress size, everything about me looks fat in the mirror. I am going to put serious effort into curbing my cookie/pasta impulses and start doing home cardio exercises.

Me today: They made a Moana breakfast cereal with "island marshmallows"? Shut up and take my money!


I cannot recommend to-do lists enough for people with anxiety. All the little things that need to get done have been weighing me down, even though nothing is *that* big of a deal. So the other day at work I decided to make a list of all the things I needed to do just at work that day, and - wow, I found myself actually getting things done instead of feeling paralyzed by a vague sense of having a lot to do. (Though it has to be said that modding on AskHistorians has also helped a ton, because I spend 30 seconds doing that and then go back to work, rather than two minutes browsing aimlessly.) So I branched into more general to-do stuff for outside of work, and found myself getting ready to work on things earlier today than I normally would on a Sunday, and not having the feeling of doom hanging over me.


One of those articles with 19th century rules about what not to wear.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/931893.html - comment wherever you please.
Bam! Comment removed. Bam! Thread approved. Bam bam bam bam! THREAD NUKED. I am mad with power.

(I think I just, as usual, really want the people who didn't vote for me to be a mod the first time to be like, wow! She's amazing! I was so wrong!)

Just filled up my newly-restored Esterbrook with red and forgot to wipe off the grip before writing. Now it looks like my right middle finger is exploding.

It's kind of ridiculous to have Jennifer Hudson play a character who sings about flaunting her plus-size body, tbh.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/931588.html - comment wherever you please.
I didn't post about this yet - I'm one of the newest mods at r/AskHistorians! And one of the least wanted - I only got in on a runoff because they didn't elect enough people (I'm going to assume it's because few of the other mods recognized my screenname, and not that they actively dislike my postings), but as we all know, you can lose an election and still be a winner! I get to delete bad comments, and also get "FUCK THE MODS" pms (unrelated, as far as I know). I just posted my first macro response this evening to tell someone not to just drop links.

On the other hand, yesterday I got my foot caught in the computer cord, hopped several times to try to free myself, but instead of getting loose I just swung the computer around and knocked nearly everything off the table and splashed cocoa on my keyboard, and now the 1 and 2 keys are kind of sticky. :/

Watching You're the Worst lately. For a show about people diametrically opposed to me in almost every way, I really like it! Sometimes I think of it as a modern, edgy, no-magic Draco/Ginny AU. It works pretty well.

Original post: http://chocolatepot.dreamwidth.org/931395.html - comment wherever you please.

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