So this is the last of the Modesto Jane Con posts…
I know, I’m sad it is over too. I miss Jane Con.
So quick review, (just in case this is your first post). If you have been following me on social media, you know I have been super excited about Modesto Jane Con. The past eight years I have seen pictures from different Jane Cons and festivals and wished I could go-but they were not possible for me to attend as it always came down to a problem of time, money, work, etc. Instead I had to be content with seeing pictures on social media.
But then Modesto Jane Con was created! And with Modesto not being too far and this only costing $30, I was going!
From January 10th-12th there were all kinds of workshops, activities, movies, an opera, and even a fashion show!
Your $30 ticket allowed you to attend the workshops (BOTH DAYS) and see one showing of Mansfield Park Opera (your choice of Saturday or Sunday).
So I saw the ad on instagram in July and convinced my book club + my sister to join me. As it was way off in January, I knew I had plenty of time to get a costume together. I was going to have Madsen Creations make one for me, but saw no rush as I had plenty of time.
Well, time went by and in October, I thought maybe should I order my Jane Austen outfit? But Madsen Creations was moving, and I decided to wait. After all I had three months, that was plenty of time.
Yes-October flew by to November, November to December, and next thing I know it was December 30th, Jane Con was next weekend, and due to a unforeseen Cat health emergency-I didn’t have the money. What was I going to do?
I then had the idea, what if we decorated shirts with quotes or fun Jane Austen sayings?
But then time slipped away. And Modesto Jane Con was the next day. I then came up with the idea-what if we did Jane Austen in another time period? Like in The Darcy Monologues? I could be Elizabeth in the Wild West like in “Pemberley By Stage“ by Natalie Richards!
Or 1960s Elizabeth from “You Don’t Know Me” by Beau North.
But was vetoed by my mom and sister, who both said no one would know who I was and thought me walking around with the book and explaining it wasn’t the best idea. I just resolved to wear something nice when my sister said to check out the costume box for my Charles Dicken’s Day dress.
So back in 8th grade my school used to do Dicken’s Day. Everyone had to dress up in historical costume, we had to sign up to bring a historical meal, decorate the Youth Hall across the street in Victorian Christmas Decorations, have a “secret santa” we made a historical gift for, etc. We usually had some kind of performance related to Charles Dickens, whether it was a play, brief performance, songs, etc. I loved it as I love Charles Dickens.
So I needed a dress and my mom was going to make it. We went to Joann‘s, but it turned out they didn’t have the pattern we needed.
(This was back in 2005.) So instead of having a Victorian costume, we had to go with a Colonial pattern that had American Revolution style costumes (late 1700s).
I didn’t even think it would fit, but was surprised it did! It wasn’t accurate-neckline wrong, waist, etc. (you can read more on how it should be in Dressing the Regency Lady). We ended up joking that I was a poor relation returned from America, that had to wear out of date clothing since I was out West and we didn’t have enough supplies in the colonies to be on the height of fashion.
I wasn’t sure if we would be spending time outside or not, and decided to wear tights and leggings, as I read online that the best way for Regency women to stay warm in the winter is layers and thicker material of clothing. I wanted to wear my boots, but thought my Vikings-inspired fur boots would be too much. (You ever watch that movie Vikings? It is an interesting story), and went with suede lace up oxford shoes instead. I then decided to top it with my capelet I won from MadsenCreations:
The hair was hard as I got up extra early and tried, but could not get it how I wanted. That’s one thing I wished we still had, maids to do hair for you-as I don’t know about you all, but my hair has a mind of its own.
After failing again and again, I decided to go with Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park (2007) as not only would I be matching the Opera, but I owned a straw hat.
I have to say, I may not have been accurate, but I was very pleased that I was able to throw something together so quickly.
I borrowed a reticule from MadsenCreations, grabbed a few essentials-and we were on our way!
So the first workshop of the day was Gowns & Groans. After that you had your choice of The Definitive Darcy and Lizzie or Start You Own Book Club. The third workshop was your choice of Dressing the Regency Lady or Are You a Long-Lost Austen? Searching Your Family Tree.
After Dressing the Regency Lady, we had about an hour and fifteen mins before the Mansfield Park Opera pre-show talk by Hillari DeSchane. We checked out a few things and had lunch, and then headed to the Opera.
During intermission, they decided to hold a Regency Fashion show and contest. Now I knew I had zero chance of winning. During the first workshop, Gowns and Groans, I noticed two ladies down the row who were in perfect Regency clothes they had made themselves.
I knew they were probably going to win. But I wanted to join in anyway.
Right at intermission I got in line and we waited a while for the other ladies. Unfortunately, a lot of ladies went straight to the restroom and got caught in the long line to use the restroom (there was only two stalls) or get snacks. I enjoyed the wait for the contest (and didn’t mind the bathroom one too much) as I spent that time talking to other Janeites. There are no words to describe being with other fans.
And we spent the time waiting, talking about Jane Con and Jane Austen.
Everyone I spoke to loved Modesto Jane Con. Some had planned to come, some where in the area, and some just spotted it on social media and decided to attend on a whim.
I ended up being the first in line for the fashion show, but I wish I had waited. I had no clue what I was supposed to do-while the other ladies had more time to think and copy the spin I did and show their outfits off more. I didn’t win (one of the ladies I thought would win did), but I had a whole lot of fun. So did all the other ladies who I spoke to. It was nice that we all got acclaim for our efforts, even if we didn’t win first prize.
They also gave a prize to a woman who dressed up as Steampunk Elizabth Bennet. It was very cool.
Like every other part of Jane Austen, I had a ton of fun, enjoyed every minute, and can’t wait until next year!
For more Modesto Jane Con, go to Modesto Jane Con: Opera Modesto Presents Mansfield Park
For more Mary Crawford fashion, go to Modesto Jane Con: Gowns & Groans, A Costumer Looks at Regency Costumes on Film and Stage
For more fashion, go to A Fashion Statement