Sunday, January 17, 2016

Winter Wonderland!



It snowed today!!

I dragged my poor, sick husband outside to take pictures for me before the snowflakes stopped coming down. I really owe him one! But he's been sleeping all day and hasn't had an appetite, so I think the best I can do is let him continue to sleep... I did scrub down the kitchen and the bathrooms, though, so maybe that will be a nice surprise when he gets up!

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Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Sewing Year in Review


I initially thought 2015 wasn't going to have been a very productive year for me, since I couldn't sew for three months because of my wrist. But I still did a lot! And now I know how to do more machine techniques, which has been very helpful when I can't hand sew.


  1. Pink silk and fox fur pelisse, c. 1815--probably my favorite garment I made this year, if not ever! It's so luxurious... 
  2. Lining and trimming my hat (see above)
  3. Lace chemisette (see above)
  4. A pink silk and spangles reticule
  5. 1916 "Russian" suit 
  6. 1916 corset (see above)
  7. 1916 chemise (no pictures)
  8. 1916 blouse (also no pictures!)
  9. A Kirtle Dirndl
  10. A 16th-17th Century Petticoat
  11. Oriental 1860s Fancy Dress
  12. A Late Period Ruff
  13. A 16th-17th Century Waistcoat
  14. A 16th-17th Century Partlet (see above)
  15. A 16th-17th Century Coif and Forehead Cloth (see above)
  16. A 16th-17th Century Apron (see above)
  17. A Bonnet, c. 1842
  18. Teslacon Western Outfit
  19. Teslacon Wednesday Addam's Dress (needs pictures!)
  20. Halloween Dirndl (needs pictures!)
  21. Not-a-GOT Bridesmaid Dress (waiting for professional wedding pics...)
2016 is looking to be a very fun year! The biggest thing on my calendar is the 17th Century clothing conference I have been organizing at work, which is bringing together some of the top names from the period including the Tudor Tailor! I can't wait to start my outfit for this, and I'll probably be wearing it to Costume College (for the Gala?). But I'm SO excited to go to Costume College this year and see so many of you! I'm very much an introvert, so I may be too shy to come right up to you and say hi... but please don't be afraid to say hi to me!

My first big event, though, is a Civil War event in March at which I'll be presenting on mourning clothing. I have a lot that I want to do for that... but I may have to stick to wearing my old undergarments and only finishing the dresses (two of which are half done...). 

2016 Plans:
  1. Finish 1860s half-mourning cotton print dress
  2. Finish remaking 1860s half-mourning silk dress
  3. New 1860s full mourning dress
  4. Re-cover 1860s full mourning bonnet
  5. Make up Needle and Thread cage crinoline
  6. New 1860s petticoat
  7. New 1860s chemise and drawers
  8. Black velvet spencer and bonnet
  9. Finish black silk cloak and hat (1770s)
  10. 1610s silk damask gown
  11. 1610s lace ruff and cuffs
  12. 1610s pair of bodies
  13. Finish green wool 1840s
That will keep me very busy until Costume College! The last half of the year I haven't even started to think about! Better to see where the year takes me... :)

I wish everyone a Happy New Year, and I sincerely hope your 2016 is wonderful!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Catching Up: Teslacon Part 1

So... I didn't get the 1840s dress done for the event last weekend, but that's okay! It will be shiny and new for Costume College, and I'll be all set for the 1840s event NEXT year!

In the meantime, I have a bunch of finished projects that need to be shared! Mostly Teslacon and a couple things I made in October. The theme for Teslacon this year was Wild West, and I was really inspired by Annie Oakley's cute outfits and others like hers. Short skirts, fringe, etc. I came up with "Steampunk vivandiere goes West" as one of my outfits. It's made from teal wool from Burnley and Trowbridge with hand-cut deerskin fringe. The outfit consists of an underskirt, overskirt, Swiss waist, blouse, and jacket. I actually thrifted the blouse because... why not! It was perfect for the outfit and saved me a lot of time. Plus it goes perfectly with a 1940s Western outfit that's been sitting in my closet for a couple years. I was going for an 1860s silhouette, and I think it turned out okay. I cut down an old cage crinoline but I'm not completely happy with the shape. Starting a cage from scratch would have been better but I just didn't have time! This was the first outfit that I could really have fun accessorizing. It just begged for goggles, and for once, goggles seemed totally appropriate! It's very sandy in the West, you know. ;-) I also got an old ammo container and I snagged Michael's hat. Michael Steampunk'd my barrel, which was just awesome and got so many compliments. He's so creative! It really lights up!


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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Early 1840s Bonnet


I'm so happy with how this bonnet turned out! And I had everything I needed to cover and trim it in my stash!

This bonnet is for a c. 1842 outfit that I'm suddenly working on! It's mostly for Costume College, but there is also a small 1840s event a week from today that I will hopefully have it finished for! At least I hope to have the gown wearable, even if it doesn't have all the trim.

The bonnet form is from Timely Tresses, and I covered it using their pattern. I decided to pipe the tip of the bonnet and do a bias binding on the front edge for added interest. After looking at dozens of original bonnets and fashion plates, and playing around with my silk satin ribbon and velvet flowers, I came up with this trim design. 

The pink silk is sarsenet from Burnley and Trowbridge. The ribbon and flowers are vintage pieces from an antique store in Michigan. I bought them without a project in mind but knew they'd come in handy eventually!

Now on to the gown!


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The curtain is gauged after this original bonnet
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Bonnet insides are rarely a thing of beauty... Silk taffeta brim facing and a cotton "head liner". 
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Saturday, November 28, 2015

We're Having an Historic Clothing Conference!!!

In what is undoubtedly the most ambitious project of my fledgling museum career, I have been organizing what I hope will be an amazing conference next June 24-26! Check out the details below. Registration opens December 1 and is limited to 72 participants! I will let everyone know when the webpage has been updated with the link to buy tickets.

http://www.historyisfun.org/learn/homeschool-scouts/historic-clothing-conference/
Come to Jamestown Settlement for a weekend focused on the study and recreation of late 16th and early 17th century clothing. “Tailored to a New World” brings together The Tudor Tailor team from England and historical clothing scholars from around the United States for a truly unique learning experience that combines hands-on workshops with traditional lectures. Participants will also enjoy field trips, behind-the-scenes tours, and an evening reception in the recreated James Fort.
Tickets are $300. Registration is limited to 72 participants and includes:
*Four hands-on workshops with The Tudor Tailor
*A special presentation by The Tudor Tailor followed by a question and answer session and the opportunity to examine recreated garments, take photos, and buy from The Tudor Tailor shop
*A private archaeological tour of clothing-related artifacts from Jamestown Rediscovery at Historic Jamestowne
*A behind-the-scenes tour of Jamestown Settlement’s costume shop, highlighting the role of historic clothing in the museum’s living history interpretive areas
*An exclusive embroidery pattern taken from a blackwork coif circa 1600 in the collections of Jamestown Settlement
*An evening reception where participants are encouraged to wear their finest historical clothing and enjoy food and period music in the recreated James Fort
*Boxed lunches and refreshments between workshops and lectures
Jamestown Settlement is pleased to welcome Brenda Rosseau (Costume Design Center, Colonial Williamsburg), Daniel Rosen (Old England Grown New), Mathew Gnagy (The Modern Maker), Noel Gieleghem, Bly Straube (Independent Archaeological Curator and Material Culture Specialist), Mark Hutter (Historic Trades, Colonial Williamsburg), Neal Hurst (Museum of the American Revolution), and Samantha McCarty (Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation) as speakers.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Costume College 2016 or Bust!

I am very honored to announce that I have received a scholarship to Costume College and will be attending next year! And hopefully teaching, if I figure out what I should teach... (suggestions welcome!). This scholarship is SO helpful and made all the difference in my being able to attend. I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone next year!

Of course in terms of what to wear, I already have some ideas... :)

1. Felicity--at last! Maybe for the Gala, but I may also wear...
2. 1610s silk gown: we are having a big to-be-announced event at work next June, and I'd like to finally have an elite 1610s gown to wear for that
3. Jane Eyre 1840s black silk gown: to be made from the gazillion yards of $5 black silk taffeta we bought last year! In the book, Jane wears a black silk gown for her first (official) meeting with Rochester. She mentions she changes from a black stuff (wool) gown into a black silk gown for the occasion, her only other gown besides a gray silk that she feels is too nice to wear.
4. Probably something 18th century... I should finish the polonaise jacket I started in the B&T workshop! Although that seems sort of boring... :-P
5. Tightrope walker: for Friday ice cream social, although I may change my mind on this one and save it for Halloween... I'll have to see how these other projects work out!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Late 16th-Early 17th Century Waistcoat

I FINALLY was able to get pictures of the whole outfit! I'll take detail shots of the garments themselves, but I'm stuck at the Atlanta airport and thought that now was as good a time as any to write this post. :)

The waistcoat pattern is based on The Tudor Tailor, altered slightly to fit me better. It is made of white wool flannel from Renaissance Fabrics and lined with natural linen from Burnley and Trowbridge. It closes with brass hooks and eyes also from Burnley and Trowbridge.

I also made a linen partlet to wear over the petticoat and under the waistcoat, and linen cuffs for the sleeves. The coif and forehead cloth are also new, but not terribly exciting!

I had to play around a lot with the fit of the waistcoat, even painstakingly letting out the center front edges 1/4" on each side so that it would fit PERFECTLY. But I'm a little crazy like that... And very pleased with the effort. When I take detail shots at home, I'll go over my construction choices a bit.

There's also a new apron, made of a wool from Burnley and Trowbridge. It's the "dog ear" (my term) style apron, which is just a plain rectangle with ties. This is quite practical because it's easier to fold up or iron without gathers in the waistband. There are only paintings to go by, so it's hard to tell how the ties are attached. In some places it looks like the tie goes all the way across the apron, and in others it doesn't. I chose just to stitch the ties on either side of the apron, letting the "dog ears" flap free. It was the simplest choice, and the most economical in terms of tape usage.

Anyway, here are pictures! I'm wearing a pair of the American Duchess "Virginias". They are SO comfy! Go buy them!