Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Armstreet - sells medieval armor, gear, and clothes.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Victorian Blue: Planning

I've named this project Victorian Blue because the fabric from the stash that I earmarked for it is a dark blue and a light blue with a dark blue stripe. I used my scanner to grab those swatches. I think it worked better than take photos.

I've got over five yards of the dark blue and seven and half yards of the striped. The most I should need is four yards and 3/8ths for bodice and underskirt and three yards for the contrast apron and drape. Yeah, fabric to spare! Now what else do I need to this dress?

Shopping List
  • Thread = I have plenty of blue in the sewing supplies.
  • Eight hook (and bar) closures = After careful reading of the directions, I figured out they want you to use six hook and bar closures for the skirt, apron, and drape and two on the petticoat and bustle pillow. I have those in the stash already.
  • Three hook and eye closures = I have in the stash.
  • Six oz. polyester fiberfill = Have in the stash.
  • 5/8 yard fabric for Dickey = I decided to use the same dark blue that I'm using for the apron and drape.
  • 3/4 yard fabric for Bodice Lining = This holds the interfacing and boning. I can use the dark blue fabric. It doesn't show through the stripes, but it has a tighter weave.
  • Five and 3/8 yards of 7/8-inch wide grosgrain ribbon for waistband and tabs of Skirt, Petticoat, and Bustle pillow = Which I have plenty of after running out making the corsets how many years back?
  • 16" lightweight separating zipper = Normally I would take this out and use period fastenings, but I have a collection of Truly Victorian patterns for bodices with period fastenings. If I hate how it is with the zipper, I'll make a new bodice with one of those patterns rather than hack this one.
  • One package of navy or black ¼-inch wide twill tape = Don't have any twill tape. It is used to hold the drawstrings for the drape, so it's best to get it in navy or black.
  • One package of navy ½-inch wide single-fold bias tape = This is used to finish off the bodice and then is covered with trim. Navy is probably the best choice.
  • Three ½-inch plastic rings = These are to help bunch-up the drape.
  • Seven pearl or gold 5/8-inch buttons = Well, the buttons I had stashed away thinking they'd be perfect turned out to be 3/8-inch. I have a shiny pearl and gold brooch-like button I plan on sewing to the dickey, so what buttons I decide on using must match that. I do have plenty 5/8-inch buttons but they are a bronze color rather than gold, and I'm leaning toward pearly.
  • Two and 3/8 yards of 45-inch wide lining fabric for Drape = This lining helps sandwich the crinoline fabric, and it looks like the lining is against the skirt. I usually use the cream-colored cotton I have gobs of, but I may need to buy dark blue to match.
  • Two and 3/8 yards of 54-inch wide crinoline fabric for Drape = Once I got over my confusion about this stuff, I realized I don't have any in the stash.
  • One and 3/8 yards of 22-inch to 36-inch wide medium weight non-fusible interfacing for Bodice, Dickey Collar, and Apron Back = What I have in the stash is fusible.
  • Two and ¼ yards of 3/8-inch wide featherweight = Yes, I will be wearing a corset like a proper Victorian lady would (no way would I trust my girls to just that), but I will bone the bodice to support the proper shape.
  • Three and ¼ yards of One and 1/8-inch wide jacquard braid for Bodice and Skirt trim = Now we've come to the trim options that I don't have. These choices will probably be made in the fabric store.
  • Seven and ¼ yard of 5/8-inch wide flat lace edging for Bodice and Skirt Trim = Personally, I'm not crazy about lace, but it makes this dress.
  • Two and 7/8 yards of 5/8-inch wide gimp braid for Bodice = I'm already sorry for the fabric store whose trim choices I must decimate.
  • 7/8 yard of One and 3/8-inch wide braid for Sleeve trim = We're still not done with trim?
  • Eight and 3/8 yards of four-inch wide pre-gathered lace = One and 3/8 yards are needed for the sleeve trim, seven yards for the apron and skirt trim.
  • Four and 7/8 yards of One and ¾-inch wide braid for Apron and Skirt Trim = Where the heck do you sew all this trim on?
  • Two and 3/8 yard of One and 1/2-inch wide satin and sheer ribbon for Bows = Wait, you have to make the bows?
  • Mom's bow maker kit = This I can borrow, but I know I'll never make pretty bows if I have to tie them without help.

Okay, one thing I REALLY don't like about this pattern and caused me a good deal of headaches: they labeled the contrasting drape the bustle in the pattern instructions and on the pattern pieces. Once I figured out what they were talking about, I was okay. Then I'm looking over the instruction while composing the shopping list:

Pin crinoline to bustle and lower bustle sections, having raw edges even. Baste raw edges even.
WTF? As far as I knew crinoline equals hoop skirt a.k.a petticoat, and the pattern includes a petticoat as View C which I will have to make too. Luckily, Wikipedia explained that there is a fabric called this but the hoop skirt co-opted the word in 1850. I know there's limited space with these patterns, but I think an explanation could have been squeezed in somewhere in the packaging. After the fun I've had with typos in other patterns, I would have just assumed the writer mixed up their terms and not realized I had another type of fabric to look for. Especially when the co-opting took place over a century ago!

So this is my rough coloration of how I think it will turn out. I have no idea what I'll find for the trim.

Reopening the Closet Doors

So last weekend, I helped Suzanna finish her husband's pirate pants. Her sewing machine went nuts when she got to the buttonholes. I had never done buttonholes on mine, but Eric has been waiting two years for these pants, so I pulled it out for the first time since the bridesmaid dress.

Buttonholes were surprisingly easy, and sewing didn't suck. In fact, I felt invigorated enough to suggest going to 2014 Dickens on the Strand in Galveston, Texas. Suzanna had been years ago and was ready to go back. We picked out our projects, cleared the trip with Eric, and I dived into my material stash.

Suzanna assured me that people showed up in Victorian garb that was later than the Dickens period, so the first project I'm going to in the Closet is the Simplicity Pattern 5457.

2014 Dickens on the Strand date will probably fall on December 5, 6, and 7th. That gives me a little over a year to get the dress ready.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tin Man Adora: Gun Belt and Corset 1

Gun Belt

The gun belt refuses to buckle around my DTD dummy. It buckles around me.

I’m smaller than I was when I built the dummy! Which also means I should make a new dummy, but I’m ignoring that for now.

The gun holster should be further down the thigh.

To fix it, I need something along the same principle as my sword’s frog only without the slant..

Only there is no scrap leather to make something since I got rid of it. Since I have no time to outsource this solution, I’m using my sword’s frog. Not the most elegant look for a professional Tin Man, but an accepted workaround to get me through Halloween. After Halloween, I see if the leather shop in Lafayette can help me out with a permanent piece.

The bag in the picture I’m basing off this image.

Cain’s belt actually has pouches, but there’s no way I can recreate that on such short notice. And what I’ve found to buy is too modern.


Nothing fancy, just plain canvas and cotton that’s not pure white. This is the first time I’ve used a Butterick pattern and the first time I’ve tried a Victorian corset.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sewing Hobby? I did have one once upon a time

Yeah, I'm trying to get the costume done for Halloween. Fabric stashes in my house and Suzanna's avoided the major expense on yards of fabric. Suzanna had the bright idea to go to Academy after we were less than impressed by the toy guns available in the costume shops. I have small hands, but they are bigger than a six-year-old's. Huzzah, Academy had a plastic handgun (so no tripping metal detectors) that fires rubber bullets modeled to look like a Magnum .44. I could probably use it for a Dirty Harry costume too. We also found a holster and belts to make the belt and bandoleer. Now all I need is a frog to hang the holster further down my leg and the proper hate. And to get the sewing done, natch.

Digging through my material stash reminded me off all the sewing projects I want to do, the ones I set up the Garb Closet to chronicle my attempts at. Serious writing is on hold until after December 12th (or I find out I failed whichever comes first) and I could fill the spare time with website projects, but I think I'd rather decrease the material stash until I'm ready to pick up the next writing project.

Course I could gorge the sewing bug on the Tin Man costume and not get anything else done. Nebulous planning at its best!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Slightly new look

I've switched over to Blogger Beta and chaged the layout a tiny bit. You may need to scroll to the bottom and resubscribe your blog readers.