victorian button

Masquerade

Reverse Falls with some dipifica. Loose ties to Summerween. At this point Pacifica has no clue that Dipper has a crush on her. And to some extent neither does Dipper. There is snark ahead. And DANCING! *flails arms*

Xxx

If Pacifica hadn’t been accustomed to extravagance and splendour, the sight of the ballroom before her would have taken her breath away. A grand crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling. The lights adorning it were set dim and covered in a sheen of red glass, to help people remember which holiday they were celebrating. The tile floors were bathed in a deep crimson red, along with the dark walls. The room was like something out of a gothic Victorian castle. Rich velvet curtains covered the windows, allowing no outside light to filter in. Bodies, draped in fine silks of dark reds, blues, greens and blacks, spun around the room in a graceful waltz. Everyone wore a mask, but Pacifica could tell they were all around her age. It was a shock to the system, since she couldn’t imagine why kids her age would want to be at a ballroom dance instead of going to an actual fun party. Though it definitely wasn’t surprising that the Pines Twins would throw something like this.

Pacifica wandered around the edges of the ballroom, scanning for any kind of buffet table. There had to be a place where they would put the candy. It would be stupid to have a Summerween party without candy. Even if this was more of a 18th century Ball than a party.

“Looking for something Northwest?” a silvery voice asked from behind her, in his usual bored drawl.

Pacifica suppressed to urge to groan in frustration, as she slowly turned to face one of the hosts of the party. It wasn’t at all shocking that he managed to find her. She stood before him in a snow white angel costume that made her stand out like a sore thumb. The dress was floor length and shimmering in the little light that the ball room had. If she had known that everyone would be wearing such dark colours, she wouldn’t have worn white.

Dipper was wearing red. Which was super weird because Pacifica had only ever seen him in blue, black or green. His costume wasn’t actually that different from his usual stage attire. He still had his silky black dress shirt and black slacks. Only now his floor length cape and button down Victorian style vest were a deep crimson instead of turquoise or blue. His amulet gleamed at the apex of his collar, the sea green contrasting horribly with the red. Though it was doubtful Dipper even cared about that. He would rather flay his own skin than be parted from that amulet. The mask he wore was red and decorated with black glittering flames on the surface. The top corners of the mask were shaped into curled demon horns.

“The Devil huh,” Pacifica said as soon as she took in his appearance. “How fitting.”

“And an angel costume,” Dipper answered back with a snarl. “How pretentious.”

Pacifica couldn’t help the flare of anger that sparked in her eyes. Nor could she control the down turn of her lips.

“Do you usually insult your guests?” Pacifica asked with her arms crossed. “No wonder the turnout is so low.”

“Only the most tolerable of our so called peers were invited to this party,” Dipper shot back, his cool voice traced with petulance. “And I believe you weren’t on that list.”

Pacifica offered him the most mocking pout and shrug she could muster. A thin scowl appeared on his lips and she could see his eyes narrowing beneath his mask. She smiled to herself, for being capable of shifting his carefully crafted mask of indifference into a look with echoes of fury.

“Gideon sends his regrets for being unable to attend,” Pacifica stated in her stuck up formal tone that took years to perfect.

Dipper’s nostrils flared as he took a deep breath through his nose. It was no secret that he loathed his sister’s affection towards Gideon. He genuinely despised Gideon (along with everyone else at the Mystery Shack) and hated that his own flesh and blood would willingly associate with them. Not only that, but Mabel’s infatuation always ended up restraining his hand when he had a plan to steal the journal. He was quick to hide his rage and replace it with his usual placid and bored expression. God forbid he actually show hints of emotion.

“Mabel invited Gideon,” he sighed with a frown of his lips. Clearly he hadn’t been aware that his twin had sent Gido an invitation to their Summerween masque. Not until then at least. Annoyance at his sister’s antics flickered across his face as he clasped his hands behind his back. “Of course she did.”

“He wasn’t feeling up to it,” Pacifica explained with a shrug. “So I took the invite in his place.”

“And why is that, I wonder?” Dipper asked as he took a threatening step towards her. She stopped herself from flinching backwards and strengthened her stance. As he circled her like a vulture, invading precious personal space, she made sure to cast him a deadly glare through her lace mask. “Why would you enter the dwelling of your enemies, when you know how dangerous it would be. Unless you have a death wish.”

“Nobody says ‘dwelling’ anymore Pines,” Pacifica stated with an eye roll. She locked eyes with him and glared “And it’s none of your business why I’m here. So you can go terrorize your other guests.”

She turned away from him with a huff, determined to look for that stupid candy. No need to waste her time engaging in a verbal battle of barbs and insults when her life was on the line. Just as she started walking away as quickly as her heels would allow, Dipper glided in front of her. His arm was outstretched and he offered her his open palm. Two of his fingers beckoned her forward in one sharp movement, that seemed more like a demand.

“Dance with me.”

Pacifica stared at him in shock for a few fleeting seconds. She blinked a few times to make sure she wasn’t hallucinating. What on earth had possessed him to say that? Dipper wasn’t the type to ask his sworn enemies to dance. In fact she couldn’t imagine him asking anyone to dance. Did the guy even know how to dance? Didn’t he only know how to skulk in dark corners?

“As fun as that sounds,” she said with an intentional lack of enthusiasm. She smiled at him with her most sickeningly sweet smile, which would hopefully drive him away. “My dance card is full.”

The magician didn’t seem deterred. His green eyes flashed in the light and the vicious grin of a blood thirsty wolf curled at his lips. That alone was enough to send her heart pounding like a jackhammer in fear. But his next words made her throat close, terror burning in her lungs. “How long do you think it would take for me to crush a man’s skull with my amulet?” he asked casually, pulling his hand back to examine the shape of his perfectly manicured nails. “I’m thinking 45 seconds.”

Pacifica knew Dipper Pines well enough to know that it wasn’t an actual question. It was without a doubt a threat. He never took no as answer, no matter the demand. Of course he would resort to threatening her, even if it was the dumbest request she had heard him make in a while. She clenched her fists at her sides, and jutted her chin out defiantly. “You wouldn’t.”

“It is my party,” he shrugged in response, that arrogant smirk still on his stupid face. “And it’s not as if you’re willing to take the chance.”

Pacifica wanted nothing more in that moment than to break his nose. Her fingers twitched with anticipation at her side, and she had to grip the silk of her dress in order to stop herself from lunging at him. If she didn’t want anyone to get hurt, she was going to have to keep her temper in check. Why couldn’t he just be a normal pompous jerk instead of a pompous jerk with mystical powers? She grit her teeth together and begrudgingly accepted his offer with a sneer.

“Excellent,” Dipper said, his voice betraying none of the smugness that she knew he was feeling.

Without another word, he strode across the dance floor, winding his way through the maze of twirling bodies with ease. Pacifica debated on just leaving him to dance by himself and continue on her search. But the backlash of that decision might be a bit bloody. So for the sake of everyone in that room, she followed him. It would be easier to make sure he wasn’t causing any trouble if she was there to distract him. Marching through the crowd of waltzing teenagers, who were strangely coordinated, was more difficult than Dipper made it seem. She almost knocked someone over three times before she caught up with him. But none of them stopped in their effortless dance, all of them keeping perfectly in time with the music and each other. Which was super sketchy.

She was just able to make it in front of Dipper as the music reached its final notes. The waltz that had continued without pause around them slowed and ended with a low dip. Every single person moving at matching speed at matching times. Pacifica stared at all of the dancers suspiciously. He had to have something to do with the people at this party acting strangely.

Another song began only seconds after the last song had stopped, giving Pacifica barely enough time to gather her thoughts before every male partner in the room fell forward into a deep bow. Dipper was included in this, bending in perfect match with the other boys in the room, but he didn’t bend down nearly as low and kept his eye contact with her. It might have been the heavy conditioning she had received during her ballroom dancing lessons, or it could have simply been the desire to not look stupid in front of so many people, but she did end up lowering into a curtsy. Every other girl in the room followed exactly half a second behind her. Pacifica shot Dipper a furious scowl, knowing now for certain that something was going on here.

He didn’t respond with anything but a wry smile as he stepped towards her.

With one fluid motion, Dipper slipped his hand into hers and placed the other on her waist, catching her off guard. She forced herself not to shiver under the chill of his touch. It was like he was made of ice. It took all her concentration to stop from stumbling as he started leading her backwards with quick, graceful steps. She allowed him to lead her in the dance as he kept in step with everyone else’s waltz.

Though Pacifica didn’t recognize the dance, she did her best to keep up with Dipper’s pace, watching her feet intently. They spun around the room, in precise synchronization with all the other guests. The hand on her waist dropped and she was twirled three times with the fluctuations of the melody, the ends of her dress fluttering at her feet. A squeak of breath escaped her breath when she was guided back into Dipper’s grasp.

“Having trouble keeping up Northwest?” His smooth voice didn’t even break as they floated across the floor. Well he floated, Pacifica was more or less dragged.

“No,” she snapped back without looking up at him. If she did, she would lose her place. “How is everyone doing this? Was there a rehearsal ball or something?”

Right in time with the music again, Dipper let go of her hand and gripped her hips with both hands. He lifted her up of the ground and did a half spin. She gasped in surprise and again when the movement was repeated. One wouldn’t think he had it in him, considering his arms were basically noodles. Pacifica looked up into his eyes in astonishment to find him smirking down at her. She isn’t sure what causes her to notice it, but she can see speckles of brown within the sea green of his irises.

“I will tell you my secret if you tell me yours,” Dipper stated with a tilt of his head. The hand on the small of her back pushed her flush against him. “It would be a shame if you were left in the dark.”

Pacifica bit her lip as she realized they’re proximity. With any other boy, her face would be on fire and the colour of tomatoes. But since this was Dipper Pines, she was thoroughly repulsed. Her eyes didn’t dart back to the floor in order to avoid his, they stayed on him. Sure it took all her will power, but she managed to keep looking at him with the same pissed off expression.

“Do you want the long story or the short one?” she asked breathlessly as he picked up the speed and spun them around faster and faster. She was staring to get dizzy from all this twirling. At this rate she would definitely lose what was left of her footing. It would be mortifying to be knocked off her feet in front of Pines, she would never hear the end of it.

“Let’s start with the short story,” Dipper replied casually, completely unaffected by their constant movement. He even had the nerve to look down at her in condescending amusement.

“I need five hundred pieces of candy,” she said curtly, no longer willing to put up with him anymore. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t been forced to converse with people she didn’t like before. But at least she didn’t have to stay trapped in a seemingly endless waltz with them. What made it worse was that he was clearly much better at this than her. Even with the sophisticated lessons she had taken since she was a child, along with the dancing Granny Carla had been teaching her as of late, she was still struggling.

Dipper went silent, which was a nice relief, and his lips tipped into a slight frown. He stared at her expectantly as they continued to move. Their steps were a bit slower now and much easier for Pacifica to keep track of.

“Five hundred pieces of candy,” he repeated.

“Yep.”

He let out an indignant scoff and gazed at her with a look that was the closest to disbelief he could probably get to. “Why on earth would you need five hundred pieces of candy?”

“That’s part of the long story,” she said, shrugging her shoulders.

“Then tell me the long story,” Dipper demanded, speaking like he was dealing with a child. Well good. She hoped she was giving him a hard time. The jerk deserved it.

“I pissed off the Summerween trickster because I didn’t give him any candy,” she explained rapidly, taking a brief pause when he swiftly twirled her several times. “He said that if I didn’t get him five hundred pieces of candy, he was going to eat me, along with Melody, Gideon, long hair, and puppet hands.”

“Couldn’t you just go to a store,” Dipper suggested in a dry tone, raising a perfectly sculpted eyebrow.

“Gee Pines, I didn’t think of that,” Pacifica said as sarcastically as possible. “None of the stores are open, genius. The town takes this holiday way too seriously.”

Dipper nodded as if he was contemplating what she said with great thought. “So you came here in hopes that we would have free candy on display, so that you can pay off the monster who is threatening you,” he concluded. He regarded her curiously for a moment. “Do you know what type of creature this Summerween Trickster is?”

“It’s not anywhere in the journal,” she answered, a bit uneasy. If Dipper didn’t know about this thing then it wasn’t in his journal either. He knew all the details of that book from front to back.

“You mean it’s not in you’re journal,” he corrected, with the simple objective of getting under her skin.

“Oh I’m sorry, all knowing one,” she sneered in response. “Does your journal say anything about it?”

“Perhaps the first journal has the information,” Dipper purposefully avoided her question, calmly lifting her from the ground again.

Pacifica snorted in derision. “Lot of good that’s going to do me,” she muttered. Regaining her focus, she glared back up at him. “Now tell me what you did to these people.”

“It’s just a spell,” Dipper drawled, as if it was the least interesting thing in the world.

Pacifica’s eyes widened into saucers and she gaped at him. Though she knew she shouldn’t be shocked at his horrible lack of morality. “You cast a spell on everyone here!” she hissed.

“Technically no,” he clarified. “I cast a spell on the room. Anyone who steps onto the dance floor will be forced to participate in the choreography that Mabel created for each song. Since my sister and I cast the spell, we’re not affected. We are simply well versed in the steps.” He paused before looking her over with a cool gaze. “You’re obviously immune as well.”

His hand slowly ran up her arm to her collar bone, leaving behind a cold trail. His long fingers idly plucked at the string around her neck that held the red and black crystal tucked under her dress. The bloodstone that served as her only protection. The only thing that kept him from controlling her, mentally and physically. And apparently the reason she was the only one who was completely lost in this stupid waltz.

“How long will they be forced to be like this?” Pacifica asked in concern. It was horrible that the Pines Twins were forcing these kids to dance for hours on end. Her mind automatically filtered to a fairytale where a girl wore a pair of shoes that had forced her to dance until her feet bled. She shivered at the thought.

Dipper didn’t look up from the necklace and he didn’t answer her question either. She could practically see that computer brain processing and calculating, though she could only guess would he was thinking about. Icy fingers whispered across the skin of her arm, causing her breath to hitch. His stare didn’t leave her neck until their hands were rejoined. Only then did he look back up at her face. His face was vacant, but his eyes were searching, as if he was picking her apart.

“The spell fades away at midnight,” he finally answered. “Everyone will leave the party unscathed. On my part. I’m not sure what Mabel is up to.”

Pacifica didn’t have any other choice than to trust him at that moment. She could figure out how to stop the spell after she took care of the trickster. Gideon was counting on her to get that candy. She couldn’t afford to disappoint him twice in the same night.

“So, candy,” she started, a new determination. To save her loved ones and everyone that surrounded her. “Yay or nay?”

“I suppose I could help you,” he hummed, his voice lowering. “For a price.”

Pacifica already knew what he would want from her, and gave him the answer before he could ask. “I don’t have the journal on me,” she stated with a deadpan stare. “And my friends are watching it.”

Xxx

“You don’t need to keep staring at the book when you’re holding it Melody.”

“I’m like a hawk.”

xxxx

“Your bloodstone then,” Dipper suggested, his eyes darting down to her neck and lingering there for a moment before looking back up at her with a smirk. “I’m willing to settle for it.”

“Even if I did give you the stone,” Pacifica said with a roll of her blue and violet eyes. “I still have others hidden throughout the shack.”

“Well I could simply force you to get rid of them, along with your hex bags.” He twirled her away from him and then back into his arms.

“Gideon has his own bloodstones and his own hex bags hidden in the Shack,” she smirked back at him, knowing that there was no way for him to win this one. “Not even I know where he put them. So you’re out of luck there.”

Dipper smiles something that is disturbingly close to genuine fondness. “Clever girl.”

The praise throws her off and causes hints of warning to rise up from the depths of her stomach. But she crushes her discomfort down by focusing on being furious that he called her girl like she was a child or a dog. Before she could express her anger, the music picked up in volume and speed. They waltzed across the ballroom at a pace that was so fast that it forced her to concentrate on the movements. Twirl, step, step, step, lift, step, step, step, twirl out. She was getting a good hang of the music and the dancing now, if anything good came from this dance. As the song drew to a uproarious close, every male in the room dropped their partner into a low dip.

Dipper leaned heavily over her, the expression on his face wasn’t placid, nor was it readable. His arm, wrapped solidly around her waist, was the only thing that kept her from falling to the floor. The fabric at the ends of her dress were splayed on the crimson floor. Pacifica wasn’t sure where to put her hands, so she placed them on Dipper’s shoulders to give her a sense of balance. Looking up at his eyes, she stared at those warm flecks of brown, drowning in eerie sea green.

“God,” he sighed in irritation, as if he had been given the wrong dish at a five star restaurant. His voice was so soft and quiet, it almost threw her off. “That is so inconvenient.”

“What is,” she whispered, unable to comprehend what he meant by that. He kind of said it out of nowhere.

His lost expression shifted to a face stone in the blink of an eye. He quickly pulled her up from her position and pulled his hands away and clasped them behind his back.

“Nothing,” he asserted indifferently. His face was back to his usual look of disinterest. He stared at the spot above her head as he continued to speak. “We may not have five hundred pieces of candy. But I suppose if you’re desperate, you can count them yourself.”

Pacifica rose a questioning eyebrow. Was he just going to give her the candy that could save her life (what a weird phrase)? It seemed uncharacteristically generous. He turned from her sharply walked away from her with long strides, forcing her to run to catch up with him. These weird traces of actual emotion in Pines were starting to get creepy. She was starting to regret coming to this party.

“What about the price?” Pacifica panted when she ran up beside him. “You don’t want one of my fingers or my blood or any other freaky thing.”

He turned his head ever so slightly to give her a small smirk. At least that was more like Dipper. “I’ll think something up.”

Xxx

I watched way too many ballroom dancing videos while making this. Not so subtle reference to Love Actually in there. Dipper realizes he’s got feelings. And damn is it ever inconvenient.

Finally chose what Pacifica’s helpful spell blocking crystal was. Bloodstone, the name sounded super cool so I decided to use it. The actual stone (known as heliotrope) can be used as a grounding and protecting stone that keeps out undesirable influences. I’m pretty sure it can be found in the United States, so why not have a supply in Gravity Falls that blocks off magic and spells. As long as Pacifica has it on her, Dipper can’t use his amulet or his mind control on her. Nor can she be affected by magic room spells that force you to dance.

So like… you know that fancy-Victorian-tailcoat lots-of-buttons all-black outfit people often draw Vetinari in?

my actual real life boyfriend has only gone and fucking bought it

this is both an enormous problem and the total opposite of one

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I know that feeling of love which is the essence of the soul, for which no object is needed. -Leo Tolstoy

The loveliest letter came today from my dear Isa💕

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COLLECTION HIGHLIGHT

Boys and girls for most of the 19th century were clothed in dress like outfits until the boys were about six or seven and began wearing breeches. Dresses were less restrictive on little toddling legs, and allowed for easy access for changing and keeping the little one tidy. 

This makes it very hard to tell if a child’s dress from our collection is for a boy or a girl.  Sometimes I play a game where I try to guess, but I am usually wrong.  

Here we have a boys dress in black and red stripe.  The wearer would have been one to two years old.  Note the awesome black buttons on the back, and the lines of blakc velvet ribbon on the poofy sleeves.  

Boy’s Dress, 1869, cotton, L: 17.25in. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, museum purchase, N0089.1970. 

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How to Knit the Victorian Boot Button Loop

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN from The Clothing Project!

Collection Highlight: 

Everyone loves a great costume, and those living at the end of the 19th century were no exception. American history, especially the Revolutionary War, became very popular after the Centennial in 1876. This interest in history is reflected in one of my favorite museum pieces I unearthed in the men’s clothing collection.

This is a replica of a Washington Continental Guard Uniform from the Revolutionary War. As I went through the collection I kept finding pieces of this costume, 16 pieces in all, from the coat and vest shown here to a hat, wig, stockings and even garters!

There was no date in the database for the costume, so I was elated when I turned over the belt on the back of the vest and found a makers label from 1897. 

Obviously an expensive costume, its numerous pieces, quality materials and subsequent care attest to that. The costume is well tailored especially the vest and coat that a stiched to fit the particular wearer perfectly. But it is not created to be an “authentic” replica of a Revoluntionary War uniform by any means. The lace on the cuffs are sewn on the coat, the buttons are just large flat polish brass, and many of the pockets are false.  But it gives the essence of a Continental Guard Uniform, perfect for whatever masquerade ball it was created for! 

Replica of a Washington Continental Guard Uniform,1897, Waring, wool, brass, L: 41.5in. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, Gift of Mrs. William Bowers, N0325.1948(1). 

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Collection’s Highlight: Children’s/ Baby Boots 

It is Feburary and LOVE is in the air! Or maybe it is just my love for these red children’s boots! 

Baby Boots, ca. 1875-1895, Leather, L:4.5in x H: 3.5in. The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, N0200.1954ab.