Archive for June, 2010

… and I haven’t quite finished another project.  It’s very close (hemming and facing need hand-stitching), but I wanted to wait until it was done to share, so patience, my dears!

In the meantime – I’ve found this rather exciting prospect:

The Historical Costume Inspiration Festival!  Go and see the rules at The Story of a Seamstress, but essentially you make a costume or item that takes inspiration from a historical source, say a pre-1960 extant garment or a film set prior to the 60s, including historical reproductions and fantastical or modernised versions.

I am pretty excited as it’s a great excuse for me to make a costume/piece (since I don’t have any events to go to – boooo!) and it’s a good deadline.  I go two ways with deadlines – either very well or horrifically badly … we’ll have to see how this one goes.

As for what to make, well, I feel quite spoilt for choice – I’ve narrowed it down however to two vague ideas: either something 18th century (no-brainer there!) since I can put that over my stays which are already half-made and I already have patterns, fabric etc lined up for at least part of the outfit, or something completely different:

I really liked the outfits in Prince of Persia and I love ‘Turkish slippers’ and harem pants, so something inspired by Princess Tamina’s outfits in the film could be fun.  Plus, I can add in some 18th century Ottoman influence:

And I’m not a bad belly dancer (must be in the genes, being half Turkish Cypriot and all!) …

Also, that costume could be used for Halloween (Vampire Harem Woman, anyone?  Undead Belly Dancer?) later in October and I’ve been asked (as a writer-type) to visit a primary school and tell some stories in a costume … as I don’t really write anything suitable for 4-5 year olds, I wonder if a simplified version of an Arabian Nights story might work?

And I’m not just thinking of making a Prince of Persia costume because the research would involve perving over pictures of Jake Gyllenhall

Oh my!

… really I’m not … Well, that’s not the only reason, anyway.

Of course, on the other hand, an 18th century outfit of some description has its own benefits: already have some bits and pieces (patterns, some fabric, etc), half way through a set of stays, I love the 18th century (who knew?) and that costume could be worn for my birthday part, which I have decided will be a masquerade party – whatever costume you want, but you must wear a mask.

Decisions, decisions!


Read Full Post »

I Skated!

I finally had a chance to go out with my young man and try these bad boys out.  And I didn’t die!

I count this as a success.

Read Full Post »

Moar free patterns!

Remember those free patterns I told you about before?  Well, that wonderful Ralph Pink of Fashion Gorgeous has been at it again and has more free patterns for us stitchers on a budget.

In addition to the patterns I blogged about before, there are now playsuits, coats and dresses as well as some menswear.  Go and have a looksee!

I’m particularly excited about the elasticated waist playsuit as I missed out on a similar vintage one on ebay ages ago:

Ralph Pink's Onesy - go and download it or one of his other fabulous free patterns!

Thank you again, Ralph!

Read Full Post »

Remember that Retro Butterick pattern B4790?  Well, it’s finally finished!!

First off, apologies for the rubbish photos – I took some with my camera whose battery then died, so I took some with my phone, but when I went to upload them, the ones on my camera had not saved, so only rubbish phone pictures, I’m afraid!

The majority of the work was finished weeks ago, but it’s only over the past week that I’ve started on the hand-finishing: the ends of the binding, the closure and the hem.  I went for hooks and eyes hidden at the overlap with two strips of bias binding that wrap around and tie at the back.  I’ve found this to work well (it was debuted on Thursday night) as the hooks and eyes make it stable and the ties allow a certain amount of adjustment.  Plus, the two bows at the back look rather cute!

I did try out a chemise a la reine-inspired self-fabric sash first of all, but I found this added too much bulk around the waist – as this dress has little space between the bust and the start of the skirt, you need to keep the waist in as close as possible.  The bias binding sits much better, giving a much slimmer silhouette.

These photos are with the tulle skirt I made way back when as a petticoat – I’m pretty pleased as it’s worked rather well like this.  I’m glad I didn’t trim the tulle skirt, now!  Bonus, the dress works without a petti (those photos were on the camera, alas, or so I thought).

The only problem with wearing the dress on its own is that the underskirt part (which shows at the front) rides up when you walk.  A lot.  I was wearing tights at the time, so I’m not sure if it would be better without tights – perhaps it was because of static from them?  The other idea I had was sewing weights in the hem of the underskirt.  Question for you – have you any tips for stopping a skirt from riding up???  Please!  (My modesty needs them!)

My young man has taken to calling this my Superman/Smallville dress due to the colour combination – I didn’t think of that!  Nonetheless, I did receive some lovely compliments on the dress when I wore it out and I’m looking forward to wearing it for my MA graduation ceremony next month … beneath a delightful graduation gown, that is!

And a very blurred photo to give you an idea of the shape from the side:

Argh – I need a new camera!!!

Read Full Post »

Quick Update

Apologies for the lack of a proper post – I am working hard to get a project finished and then I will be blogging about it, but it needs a few final touches…

Read Full Post »


All I will say is: weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!

Regency ebony writing box.

Or should I say, the Regency ebony writing box that will soon be in the post to me?

A triple-folder with secret drawers - yay, wewt and huzzah, I say!!


Edit: I will be doing a more detailed post with more pictures when it arrives!

Read Full Post »

Because I hate to be selfish and keep lovely things I find online to myself …

Something to Make – A Yo-Yo Pincushion (or Suffolk Puff Pincushion to my fellow Brits) from Crafty Pod:

Crafty Pod's Yo-Yo Pincushion - not my image, just to entice you to check out Crafty Pod's tutorial!

I really enjoy making Suffolk puffs, so next time I get some scraps of fun fabric, I’ll be making one of these.

Something to Do – Be inspired by The Dreamstress’s clever use of clip-on earrings as clasps for a Roman stola.  In fact, be inspired by the whole outfit – it makes me want to get all Classical!

And Something to Love – Kanzashi, or traditional Japanese hair ornaments.  I’ve always liked the pretty, and often dangly, hair clips you see on Geisha, but I’ve only just discovered their name … I suspect a lot of time will now be spent drooling over their loveliness.

Oh, and I found a tutorial or two on how to make them – aren’t I good to you?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »