Wedding ensemble: pleating w/ the perfect pleater

I have made fabric pleater tools out of cardboard in the past but never 22″ wide and with a small return. I knew the total circumference I wanted at the hemline and a full return knife pleat was going to be too generous. Since these were to be fully pressed pleats I knew a tool was going to be invaluable. So I promptly started cutting up manila folders and doing the math. Until my roommate pointed out that Clotilde carried the “Perfect pleater”. It happened to be 22″ wide and was on sale for half price with a 3/8″ return. I was sold almost… Continue reading Wedding ensemble: pleating w/ the perfect pleater

Red peasants: bodice, skirt, coif, flatcap & apron

I met a lovely lady at the Renaissance symposium this year who promptly contacted me for a peasants outfit. We worked long distance from measurements and had one fitting in person. She had the fabric in mind already and try as I did I wasn’t able to convince her to go with an all linen outfit. But the coif, apron, and flatcap are 100% linen. The coif and apron are decorated with red machine embroidery. I had to test the red thread in cold and hot water to make sure it won’t bleed on the lovely white linen. We sure don’t want pink linens!

Continue reading Red peasants: bodice, skirt, coif, flatcap & apron

Plaid Victorian: skirt & mock-up

Here is just mocking up the fabrics for the waistcoat and zuave jacket:

The edges of the zouave jacket will actually be cording covered in bias cut plaid matching the skirt but I just threw on a scrap of straight grain here.
Continue reading Plaid Victorian: skirt & mock-up

Striped Victorian gown: dickens christmas fair

Life has been busy. Another corset out the door, a chemise inprogress, & a skirt with medici belt. A ready made zouave jacket (not made by me) will be getting some upgraded trimmings and alterations on fit if time allows.

Wedding stuff is sitting waiting for my attention.

I’ll be at the Dickens Christmas Fair for all but one weekend this holiday season. Check it out. $3 off coupons will be easily picked up at your local Longs drugs store.

Here is a preview of the skirt fabric and the original jacket:


Polish gown inprogress

Our guildmistress picked out some fabric she decided had to be used for the guild. I dutifully purchased it and accepted the challenge to get a gown done by Folsom Renaissance faire. I wonder if I’ll get it done in time! I’ve been sick for the past week attempting to rest enough to get well. Still sick but making progress on work. Corset mock-up done, another corset drafting in progress. Just got the measurements for another shirt….

Here is the skirt back:

Continue reading Polish gown inprogress

Cranach Gown progress

The project is majorly on the back burner but I wanted to show the progress. It was started because I needed a project I could pick up and put down whenever I wanted. I have very little of the two fabrics so it will be a welcome challenge to bring the project to completion with what I have available. A second black velvet row may be added to the skirt but I want to make sure I can pattern in all the accessories before dedicating the material to that purpose.


Red & Gold: Playing make-believe

I’ve finally gotten a photoshoot done of the red and gold pair of bodies. It is paired with a petticoat in matching silk damask. This is not a stab at a historical garment but a whimical journey into make-believe. Sometimes a girl just wants to look like a doll. I’ve made a matching bridle for my hobby horse Cocoa Nibs, most fondly nicknamed His nibs. He really likes to nibble on sweet nibs of candy.

I actually have many hobby horses and one hobby moose. I’ll soon make a bridle for Chocolate moose as well most likely in green. I’ve added the pony with his bridle to the dolls section:

Linen damask for bodies and whipstitching

Here is a quick preview of a lovely new pair of bodies I’m making for a client. It is in a linen damask. The pattern matching was very finicky. I verified that they weave from side to side is not exactly identical and the portions that do match in design are up to an 1/4″ of an inch lower or higher in relation to other elements. In the end I think I found pretty close matches. This photo is done with harsh light accross the fabric so that you can see the pattern otherwise it is so subtle it doesn’t show in photographs.

Here is the fabric cut out ready to be interlined with coutil:


I’m finishing up the Red and Gold skirt shown earlier in my blog. I’ve decided to just set it to a band so it will be more versitile than making it into a Tudor kirtle. Here is a photos of it set to whip stitch to the band tonight:


Modesty skirt, Proposed Projects, & Featured Projects

As promised we’ve added the modesty skirt to the gallery. See undergarments section for the new addition. These are not all of the final photos but I do not want to take more extensive ones until the matching pair of stays is fully complete.

I’ve also promised a Proposed Projects section for the website and it is indeed still in the works. I’ve not forgotten about it. Much of the website work was delayed as I’ve been feeling under the weather for the past week. I’m on the path to recovery so expect more soon.

Another new addition is on the way! The center photo on my main page is currently a link to a finished project that has been recently added to my gallery – sometimes randomly changed for variation. This will soon have an added feature. I’ve been posting a bunch of dress diaries to livejournal but want to migrate that feature over to my actual webpage. Featured projects will include a larger photo and more in-progress construction details, allowing you to see the design process and actual constuction quality that sets my work apart.

One down, one to go; note on hems

The Red and Gold corset is complete minus one heart tip. I was sewing them on at my favorite coffee shop when a spot on the comfy couch opened up so I jumped for it. Unfortunately the metal tip dropped during the 6 feet of travel. Now the staff is hoping to find it while sweeping tonight.

I’m sure people were amused to watch me crawling around on the floor for a long time. Luckily I do have more at home. This reminds me of the button that is still stuck in a family members couch. I’ve spent hours trying to get the sucker out but eventually went and purchased a new one to save my sanity.

In other news, the linen damask corset will be boned tomorrow and the binding started. The client comes in friday for a final fitting. Her wool and linen skirt is hanging waiting for final construction. We will determine the hem length hopefully on friday as well then proceed to the bodice mock-up.

Hem note:

My skirts are finished at the hem line and then the length set at the waist before cartridge pleating so the hem is even all the way around. Modern construction consists of setting the waist first and then trimming and finishing the bottom.