This year Toronto TIFF films in the park ended their 2015 season with a free screening of Pride and Prejudice in David Pecaut Square. A few years ago a few of us dressed up and attended a screening of Sense and Sensibility and had a great time, so I thought why not do it again, arrive a little early, and do some dancing. I spread the word to my dance friends and we ended up a party of nine, two of us being Good Time Regency girls.
We found a quiet corner of the park to dance in. After we started, a TIFF organizer approached us to see if we would be interested in dancing in front of the crowd that was assembling for the film.
Dancing in our quiet corner of the park
Dancing in our corner of the park with Roy Thomson Hall in the background.
We decided “Why Not?” TIFF played our music through their very loud sound system, and we danced for about 30 minutes leading up to the screening of the film. At the end, we got a huge applause from a crowd of approximately 200 people.
Dancing in front of the crowd.
Afterwards we were approached by several people who were interested in learning more about English Country Dancing, and eventually got settled into our chairs for the film. The evening was certainly not what we had expected, but it was such great fun. Three cheers for The TIFF Assembly!
Enjoying the film.
Fun fact it’s only been in the past year I have learned to read a pattern. You would think that after years of doing costuming stuff, both for theatre and for cosplay this would be something I would have learned a long time ago. I have only just learned to sew so patterns are newish to me. Up until now I have managed to get around both these things when working with fabric.
You see my Mother sews but mostly only straight lines. She also can’t read a pattern and when working on a project in the past we have a simple solution…and her name up to this point had been Barbie.
When ever I had wanted a costume that was fabric based, we would dig though the bin of Barbie clothing find an outfit that looked right and then flip the tiny clothing inside out. From here it would be a matter of using the outfit as a guid line with my Mother just cutting and pinning the fabric down on me until it fit. Yes it really was that easy. Or it was before I decided I wanted to go to a local Regency event.
You can’t seem to find a Regency Barbie. Trust me I tried. So we got a pattern and struggled though it. Though since most of the costume stuff me and my Mother have done is more theatrical then historical….annnnd I didn’t know at the time how into this I was going to be getting….we put Velcro in the back of the dress.
Yes Velcro, I will let all those with an eye for historic detail shutter. So yes I have a very lovely green dress that if I was to be in need of a quick change I could slip out fast. To be fair you can’t really tell unless you look close and with a spencer on top the dress looks fine. I wear it all the time still.
Up until recently I had called it “the Velcro dress”. That was about to change. With a doll who was very very far from Barbie.
This past weekend myself and Lady Jen were away to a reenactment and ball. (A full review will be coming very soon) GTRG friend Lady Kathy had asked us over and share some pleasant conversation. It was then that I related my story about dress making and Barbies. Lady Kathy thought that was very interesting and brought into the room her daughters American Girl doll. Who had a wonderful Regency set of outfits. Her suggestion was that next time me and my Mother should look into using this line of dolls in our costume creation.
These dolls are far bigger then a Barbie and are based on moments in history. They also come with a whole back story. If you in fact did wish to make a dress based off of doll clothing I would say look at this line. This was the first time I had seen one up close and her outfit very impressive, also with a larger size I would bet easier then the Barbie clothes to work with.
As Lady Jen picked up the doll and flipped it over she burst out laughing. Sure enough there in the back of the dress was a big strip of….yes….Velcro. After explaining what was so funny to Lady Kathy my Velcro dress was dubbed the “American Girl Dress”
I have a feeling that this name will be sticking.