Monday, October 23, 2017

Party Like A Vanderbilt - Sail Away - Season 3 The Finale


Party Like A Vanderbilt - Sail Away - Season 3
April 14 and 15, 2018
Biltmore Estate
Asheville, North Carolina
Party Like A Vanderbilt in April 2015 and 2016 were glorious events!  They were a memorable experience where costumers could indulge their passion in the beautiful and historic surroundings of Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.  They turned out to be perfect with the Downton Abbey Costume Exhibit, the Fashionable Romance Costume Exhibit and the Biltmore in Bloom events coinciding with our costume weekend.  We missed hosting an event in 2017 and when Biltmore Estate announced another costume exhibit from the Titanic movie and April 14 was available for another Champagne Cellar seemed that the Universe was guiding us to one final get-together.  And here it is!  Party Like A Vanderbilt - Sail Away - Season 3 The Finale!

Your Invitation
You are cordially invited to join those who share your love and enjoyment of wearing historic costume in both an elegant and fantasy setting for a spectacular weekend of fun!
 Our Events

Saturday - April 14 - Biltmore House and Gardens Tour and Titanic Costume Exhibit - Costume Theme: Vanderbilt Era 1890s thru 1930s 


We will begin our day at the incredible Biltmore House where the exhibit Glamour On Board: Fashion From Titanic the Movie is displayed throughout the House.
Photos are now allowed inside the home and we have the unique opportunity to photo our group inside this extraordinary setting.  Such memories we will create!
Biltmore House and Gardens always has something new to offer as rooms are continuously renovated and opened to the public.
The Banquet Hall
Mrs. Vanderbilt's Bedroom
Our weekend in April will be during the Biltmore Blooms season where the gardens and Conservatory are a special treat.  As we are having our weekend several weeks earlier in 2018 than 2015 and 2016, we will have a special viewing of the tulip and other spring flowers.  Spectacular!



Saturday Evening - April 14 - Titanic Dinner in the Champagne Cellar - Costume Theme:  Titanic 1912 - Biltmore Estate is world-renowned for its wine, food, and service and we will experience all of that in the elegance of the Champagne Cellar at The Winery.  A walk through the hallway....

...and into the dining room....

...where we will be served...
First Course
Risotto Carbonara, Crisp Bacon Lardons, English Peas,
Shaved Pecorino Cheese, Poached Quail Egg
Second Course with Biltmore Wine Pairing
Baby Arugula Salad, Shaved Fennel, Ricotta Salata, Salted Pecans,
Lavender Honey Vinaigrette
Lemon Basil Sorbet
Entrée with Biltmore Wine Pairing
(Guests will choose one entrée table side)
Roasted Scottish Salmon, Toasted Pinenuts, Preserved Lemon Beurre Blanc
Pan Roasted NY Strip and Natural Breast of Chicken, Braised
Swiss Chard, Bordelaise
Sage Brined Pork Tenderloin, Buttermilk Fried Shallots, Apple Cider Gastrique
Hazelnut Mousse Dome with Candied Hazelnuts and Chocolate Sauce
Homemade Breads with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
Biltmore Blend Coffee or Tea 
Sunday Afternoon - April 15 - Time Traveler's Tea - Costume Theme:  Open
The finale to our weekend will be our Royale Tea in the Private Dining Room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate.

We will be served the Full Tea assortment of finger sandwiches, scones, fruit bread, cheeses and selected tea pastries, featured teas, and your choice of Biltmore Kir Royale, Mimosa, or Bellini.  Some surprises are being planned!
On Friday evening, April 13, or Sunday evening, April 15, we may choose to meet for a Winery Tour and dinner at the Village Social.  During past weekends many attendees enjoyed the Sunday Brunch at Deerpark and we have made a reservation for our group at 10:00AM for those wishing to attend. There are many specialty tours offered by Biltmore and as we were rained out of the Rooftop Tour in 2016 there may be some attendees looking to try again!  Past activities by attendees included bicycling, equestrian, falconry, and sporting clay shooting.  Any interest in these can be done on an individual basis or we can arrange a group event.

Your Accommodations
We have our choice of accommodations on the Biltmore Estate for 2018 and each has a block of rooms reserved for us with a discount for each.
Option 1:  The Inn on Biltmore Estate is one of our choices for the weekend.  George Vanderbilt's dream was to built a place where friends and family could stay together to experience the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and the Inn has fulfilled Mr. Vanderbilt's dream.  Shuttle service is available for all guests to all areas of Biltmore Estate.

This is the link for reservations to the Inn on Biltmore Estate for our weekend discount block and you can add nights either before or after those dates as well:
Option 2:  The new Village Hotel in Antler Village on Biltmore Estate is now open and available for bookings.  It is more modestly priced and located in the area of The Winery, shopping, dining, exhibits, and outdoor activities.  There is shuttle service to Biltmore House and other areas of Biltmore Estate.
This is the link for reservations to the Village Hotel for our weekend discount block and you can add nights before and after these dates as well:
If you call for reservations please use the following discount codes:
19Q310 for the Inn
19Q4NY for the Village Hotel.

The total cost for the Biltmore House and Gardens Tour, Titanic Evening in the Champagne Cellar, and Time Traveler's Tea is $345 which also includes all taxes and gratuities.  Reservations open on Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 1:00PM through Brown Paper Tickets.

Please join your friends as we
 Party Like A Vanderbilt - Sail Away!!

The fine print:  Reservations are non-refundable as contracts are signed for actual paid reservations.  Reservations can be transferred by simply writing me with the name change at


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #6 - Travel

June – Travel – make a garment for travelling, or inspired by travel.

What fun!  As I will be travelling in August to the Art Deco Festival on the Queen Mary, I will need clothing that is light for both the suitcase and the climate.  The Pattern Retrospective, A Division of, D30-6051 1930 Dress and fabric purchased in the Fabric District during the 2015 Costume College Fabric Safari are perfect!

The pattern comes in multiple sizes and options for collar and sleeves.  To keep my frock cool for the Double Decker Bus Tour in August, I chose the simple sleeveless style with the shoulder bands.

The overlapping upper and lower front pieces are simple.  I turned and pressed the seam allowance on the upper piece, aligned the edges, and topstitched in place.

Upper portion of dress front on lower side of photo.
The shoulder bands and ties are made separately and the markings on the pattern are easy to follow for placement.  I also covered two buttons for the points on both the front and back center.

Bias strips cut from the fabric for facing the armholes and neckline.

Very little machine sewing, some handstitching to finish the facings and hem and this little beauty is ready!

A straw cloche with added pop of olive green flower, olive green sandals, a straw handbag, and a travel case, and I'm ready to travel to California!

Historical Sew Monthly

What It Is:  Deco Frock
The Challenge:  #6 Travel
Fabric:  Rayon
Pattern:  EvaDress D30-6051
Year:  1930
Notions:  Thread, button blanks
How historically accurate is it?  From an original McCalls pattern.
Hours To Complete:  4 hours
First Worn:  Art Deco Festival on The Queen Mary August 2016
Total Cost:  $17.00

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Historical Sew Monthly and Art Deco Festival Mash-Up

I'm a prisoner.  I'm at work.  Probably many feel that way.  I feel that way because while I'm on assignment I live at work to be available for the emergency on-call.  So as any prisoner would do, I find a way to take myself to a happier place in the moments I have to myself and, for me, that is research for an upcoming costume event.  And what is upcoming?  The Art Deco Festival on the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California in mid-August!  I'm so excited!

RMS Queen Mary, 1936,

The Grand Salon

The Art Deco Festival events are back-to-back over three days and include a Double Decker Bus Tour, Captain's Strolling Art Walk, Welcome Reception, Cocktails in Historic Places, Deco Pajama Derby, Bootlegger's Bash, Golden Era Travel Showcase with vintage autos on the wharf, Soda Fountain Tasting, Prohibition Mixology, Gatsby Daze Garden Party, Historic Starlight Club Revival, Swingin' Sunday Tea Dance, Sir Winston's Cocktail Hour, Art Deco Movie Night, Vintage Bazaar, six Lectures, and the Art Deco Grand Ball!  Is that not the most incredible line-up of events and a pure dream for a costumer?  To end this glorious trip I will be joining friends at the Huntington for a tour and tea in the Rose Garden.  In costume, of course!

This is a new costuming era for me and has taken quite a bit of time to research and plan.  Since I'm imprisoned *smile* and only have access to what is on my phone or the cloud, I'll share my Costume Plan A with you.

The Art Deco Era definition from Wikipedia:

Art Deco (/ˌɑːrt ˈdɛk/), or Deco, is an influential visual arts design style that first appeared in France just before World War I [1] and began flourishing internationally in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s before its popularity waned after World War II.[2] It took its name, short for Arts Décoratifs, from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) held in Paris in 1925.[3] It is an eclectic style that combines traditional craft motifs with Machine Age imagery and materials. The style is often characterized by rich colours, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation.
Deco emerged from the interwar period when rapid industrialisation was transforming culture. One of its major attributes is an embrace of technology. This distinguishes Deco from the organic motifs favoured by its predecessor Art Nouveau.
Historian Bevis Hillier defined Art Deco as "an assertively modern style [that] ran to symmetry rather than asymmetry, and to the rectilinear rather than the curvilinear; it responded to the demands of the machine and of new material [and] the requirements of mass production".[2]
During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance and faith in social and technological progress.

Although the RMS Queen Mary was commissioned in 1936, I have decided to focus on the 1920s for my Art Deco Festival style.  During my research I found a pattern designer in Spain who distributes through etsy.  She makes standard-sized patterns, but will also create a custom-sized pattern.  I fell in love with her style and first bought this pattern a while ago.

I love everything about this dress and hat!  There is a fabric store nearby which is closing it's doors forever (very sad) and they had the most luscious pure white sateen on sale.  I am going to make this dress with the sateen with a red satin trim on the collar and hat.  I will cover the buttons with red satin and found some not-exactly-period but inexpensive and perfect color shoes on ebay.

This should be a wonderful boarding costume and I think perfect for the Welcome Reception.

Looking at the Historical Sew Monthly Challenges, I found 3 costumes that will help me meet those challenges with dresses for the Art Deco Festival.

First, a 1930s pattern from Eva Dress with a beautiful drapey fabric found in the Fabric District of LA during Costume College 2015.

This will be used for Challenge #6 - Travel.  The lightness of the dress for packing and also for the heat of California in August make this the perfect dress for the Double Decker Bus tour.  This is an in-progress photo and I will be taking finished photos with accessories as soon as I'm home.

The Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge for this month is Monochrome.  Although black, white, and grey would fit the challenge, I'm using the broader definition to mean shades of the same color.  Contrapunt on etsy had this Cocktail Dress pattern and while I know they will be a challenge, the pleats are so stylish.

Fashion Fabrics Club had a wonderful sale and this silk crepe de chine in a mocha color is the perfect fabric to blend with my American Duchess Seabury shoes.

The headpiece for the Cocktail Dress will be a simple band of roses made from the same fabric.  Easy, cool for the hot weather, packable.  Wish me luck with these pleats!

The Art Deco Festival has a facebook page and this beauty was posted there one day.

Inspired by the dress design I found this pattern by Contrapunt on etsy.

This will be my creation for the Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #8 - Pattern.  The underskirt uses the same pattern as the Contrapunt pattern for the Cocktail Dress.  The dress is simple with some soft gathers at the hip.  What makes this dress so appealing to me is the addition of the patterned fabric at the sleeves and lower skirt.  I found a silk crepe de chine on ebay in a beautiful ocean-inspired print, a cream-colored linen, and this extraordinary embroidered linen for the underskirt.  The embroidered linen was expensive but with the help of my friend Randi, we brainstormed a way to use the pattern only on the portion of the underskirt that is actually visible saving many many dollars.  Only one costumer can understand when another costumer falls in love with a fabric and nothing else will do. *smile*

Of course I adore the little hat in the pattern rendering.  I've made several cloches and am still wondering how to make those amazing little "wings". 

That will be my dress for the Swingin' Sunday Tea Dance.

I have a sweet friend who is extraordinary when it comes to vintage costume.  We have attended many events together and to my tearful pleasure she gave me a gift of a vintage chiffon day dress.  This is the only photo I have of me trying it on the day it arrived.

The colors and details are extraordinary!  It will have a special wearing at the Gatsby Daze Garden Party.
In 2014 I made a hat for a Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge and will switch out flowers and wear this hat several times during the Art Deco Festival.  It will be lovely and breezy with the vintage chiffon dress at the Garden Party!

The other dress that this hat will be used with is another Contrapunt pattern.  I found a peach and turquoise silk crepe de chine and it will be a very wearable dress for a day at the Huntington and tea in the Rose Garden.  Yes, more pleats!


After the costume event I had organized at Biltmore Estate in April I was trying to choose between several Costume Events on my Bucket List.  I didn't have the financial resources for all of them (do we ever?!).  As I trolled eBay I stumbled upon this exquisite coat.

Does that not say Art Deco?  This coat told me that the universe thought I should attend the Art Deco Festival.  It was a Buy It Now and that is exactly what I did.  It will be my coat for the Art Deco Grand Ball and I will pair it with an off-the-rack gown.  Not very creative on my part but I think it will fit the style nicely and it certainly fit my budget at half off.  Yay!!

Just before bed on work evenings I sit with my tablet and do extensive historical research.  Well, not really!  What I do is watch Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries on Netflix.  She has the most wonderful 1920s dresses and accessories!  While they may not always be historically accurate, they are fun and fabulous and I fell in love with this shawl.

If the universe allows, I shall have my own recreation of this in August.

Miss Fisher is also my inspiration for the Art Deco Pajama Derby.  A bit more of a lounge outfit than pajamas, I have the perfect pieces from the 1980s corner of my closet to imitate Phryne in this cute photo of her and Jack.

And there you have it!  Plan A.  What is Plan B?  Capri pants and tank tops and a week on the Queen Mary in August.  Whichever Plan, A or B, it will be incredible to spend time in the history of the RMS Queen Mary!

Love always,