Brown and Blue Ensemble: inprogress

The frogs on the zouave jacket sleeves. I added this fun braid I’ve had around forever. I have just enough to add it to the bottom of the skirt as well (again meant to be!). I love when stash fabric and trim turn out perfect for a project.



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Brown and Blue Ensemble

I started the skirt for the ensemble years ago, probably two but I don’t remember for sure. That is how long ago I started it. The fabric is a fun stripe. I have enough to make a matching bodice but didn’t have the time or energy to actually get moving on that in time for Dickens Fair.

I had cut out a waistcoat for my husband in this brown/dark brown wool and the rest of sitting in a pile. I shrugged my shoulders grabbed it and drafted out a zouave jacket and as I laid the pattern on I knew I’d have just enough.

Many times when I start a project and I have on idea where I”m going with it, I turn around and the exact amount of fabric is sitting there waiting for me. I never planned to make a wool zouave for this outfit. But then it jumped out at me that this was finally the project for these fabulous braid frogs my mother-in-law gave me. Or at least they are for now, I imagine I’ll be reusing them on another project eventually or trying to make reproductions of them anyway. Continue reading Brown and Blue Ensemble

Breast Cancer Awareness donations @ American Duchess this week

Here are the banner images American Duchess shot for Breast Cancer awareness this week. We shot with the ivory Pompadour shoes from American Duchess styled with my pink stay and skirt. I also decorated the hat :) This is the skirt that was made for the Pink Venetian that is in progress! Dual use always makes me happy.

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B&C Plaid gown: completed

Worn with my new tiara, a reproduction of the Oriental circlet that Prince Albert designed for Victoria (with opals and not the replacement rubies that the actual tiara currently has in it). I won’t be wearing this tiara at Dickens Fair but it may be used as a prop while on “shoppies” as a gift to the Queen from the Prince Consort.

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Worsted wool kirtle

The brown wool kirtle is mostly finished.

I’m going to have to open it up and put in another layer between the surface worsted wool and the cotton with buckram. I skipped that step because I didn’t have anything dark enough not to show through. Well that was a bad decision as it crinkles a little as it curves around the body. The last bodice I used some padding and it worked wonderfully so I shouldn’t have skipped it. Oh well! So it is in a wearable state but I want to make it better.
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B&C Plaid Victorian- ballgown bodice

I still have to sew the skirt top to the waistband and add the bertha actually onto the ballgown bodice, and and… design the day bodice. But we do have the go ahead from Liz Martin, the costume director, to make a day bodice and word from the higher ups that they are interested in seeing what it does in the Dickens light before making a decision. I was making it to wear to a Gaskells ball but now it will get more use if Queen Victoria can wear it. If not, I still love it.

I decreased the volume in the bottom tier & raised the patterning a bit on the upper tier so the trim was a bit further down. I think it looks more spiffy this way :) Thanks for all the advice so far.

Sheer Victorian: bodice completed

This has to be one of the first things I”ve totally sewn my machine! And it doesn’t feel totally horrible. Seeing as it is a “gesture” at a Victorian gown, done in sheer for going underwater, I don’t mind that it isn’t hand sewn. The hoop’s ribbon cover is fully handsewn but basically basted in place over the boning channels, very roughly done but still looks nice. Continue reading Sheer Victorian: bodice completed

In the workroom: sheer gown & stripy skirt

I made a brief appearance at Dickens fair this year to be apart of the knighting of my dear friend Rory for his service to the Queen. I didn’t want to go in mundanes but I also didn’t want to try to fit into anything from pre-pregnancy. Luckily I had a corset that fit. My mother-in-law made me up a blouse & medici belt.

Continue reading In the workroom: sheer gown & stripy skirt