stickelchen test fit

Love. So in love. My hair has been lost and regained between first making and wearing to now, so I have to do something different with my haube. Right now the back of the one I wear under my pearled Braunchweig haube pushes the back of the stickelsche out of place. This style depends heavily on having braids just so and haube just so. But doesn’t really require much fussing once on. It’s just getting familiar with your hair and fabric properties 🙂


I am insanely happy with how the braid looks. Yep, it is laid over pearls rather than all being flat as that is the dimensionality that is seen in all forms of pearl work from this region. The tapering is right as well, I just used pearls that were oversized originally and while I know this I want to keep a lot of my original work as possible.

But look! There may even be enough leaves to really fill in the back, but that may be part of the work that will go into joining the sides together 🙂

Today also saw the skirt linings cut for two gowns. Yep. Pink. Pink is returning to the wardrobe 🙂

Oh hey, also went on a saree buying spree! This one was a spur of the moment buy when I picked up the ones intended for the cleves hem 🙂

The gold tone trim it what I grabbed these for and totally didn’t realise there was potential for the coloured embroidery….. now there are Thoughts(tm).

This one was riskier. not sure if it’s easy to spot but those repeats can be cut in half to mimic the trim of the Moulin Rouge wedding gown. It’s a start. Also once in hand it does look like thr ground of the repeats is cotton so it should decolour really nicely!

I hope!

But there is a lot of unpicking over the next few days!

cleves leaves progress

I don’t know how I got this energy- well I do and it has everything to do with my therapy and being able to actually do stuff and then build up on that to do more stuff 🙂 Had a day of sleep at one stage though 🙂

So the frame is apparently the perfect cat shape as he makes a bee line for it no matter where I set up!

These leaves are the same as my Krantz, and in order to make sure they sew in place I had to hammer out holes from the pointy end. (I have found there are indeed flitter haube from further west, it makes sense with the influence from Nurnberg but it’s not close enough to Kleve!)

It’s very bright. Like blinding in bright light!

And how it looks as of just shy of the end of my birthday 🙂 So yay! That is a very good birthday present to have 🙂

(Subtle laurel is not at all subtle, though might have to get less subtle in the back.

2016 year in review

I made nothing from what I can remember. Just straight up nothing. I started the year well but with the passing of my darling Booheart I started grieving and it just never really let up. I was not able to focus through to the end of anything. And then my disease management started to peter out (as it does after 6 months) and so I never had the chance to play catch up during that time. I was just trying to keep up with health.

Oh yeah, my site was hacked and destroyed do I spent a lot of time trying to rebuild that.

I did a heck of a lot of prep work though. I got projects started, and research sorted and tidied and a huge amount of headway on my book of patterns and some very novel research, I even got a lot of costumes nearly finished.

And I cleared away a lot of stash. A lot. My studio is also back to working and there is a lot of new space 🙂


So all of these will continue through next year 🙂


Album Amicorum: started, patterns were made years ago but converting them to be hand coloured stalled- can’t find good watercolour paper that doesn’t pill. Pages on stitches put up but I may want to replace them if I can mimic 16thC hand better.

Two big research projects at the point of editing for publication. I just get myself down a citing rabbit hole. So I have had to take a break and am back to looking at layouts already established and the hook to get people interested.

Also older pages are back in my site, including scans from my Girl’s Own annuals, and pages of information from Der Bazar.




Ahsoka: patterned, leather work tooled some formed, sculpt finished, molded and three tests made. That was really a heck of a lot…

Mon Mothma: dress remade it’s far too short. Might just toss it unless someone under 5’2″ wants it! New fabric is resistant to dye remover so 6m of abstract blood orange lace anyone?

Senatorial Leia: new wig. Two lace fronts put together and the new buns look really good. Got that big central shape and a single turn around the outside. Got photos to add to my page on how to make the style. Boots to make over bought, as well as soles that are a better match (she has no separate heel) and very smooth flexible vinyl for the tops. Belt and dress got idied. I made it like 4? years ago? A. got to wear it, the belt got misplaced and I just got tired trying to replace it. But I have two full sets of plaques and buttons also to go to a new home!

Padme light blue: Well the 19m of fabric just barely made three full sets, so I do have two to go to a new home but my own has stalled due to my dress form bust being totally wrong in shape. Got to pad to body squish really.



Elsa: new cape!!! And I did finally find a source for all the thousands of sequins I want, and have tested a tool for punching tiny holes 🙂

Maleficent: New horns sculpted (I am indeed just going to smooth them, digitise them, and do textures in Sculptris. I cannot get the texture the way I want and it may get lost in digitising anyway.) Gown remade! It needs sewing and my sewing machine hates it.

Freya: leather work figured out!!!!!! Now I get to do a scaled pattern and then create a full sized template for cutting. I’ll have to be super smooth!

Cersei: I have decided to use braid as pretend embroidery, and to paint the darn lions. Maybe. It may wind up my lazy butt non decorated at all frock.

Historic Early

Princess of Cleves doublet: ready to line.

Basquina y jubon, y manga redonda (silver); lining in progress.

Saya entera (Valois): lining of skirt in progress- might be changed to something easier to sew!

Cleves velvet; new hem half done- all hand stitched, all heavy, all wibbly fabric!

Cleves accessories: pearls and leaves and sequin additions are happening!

New cleves gowns: OMG!!!!! SO inspired, actually making twonow that I will have space wil the passing on of other garb 🙂


Historic Inspired:

Mina: new bodice lining made and fitted, stay tape decoloured, extra leaves made.

Marie Antoinette: hoops nearly finished, materials gathered, skirt draped!

Satine wedding: ummmm.. potential saree for border base found and paid for- waiting for banks to send payment through tomorrow)

Satine Pink Diamonds: fabric cut, bodice lining overlocked.


Historic Late:

Robe de Style. Okay I did make this from scratch. That is one project then 🙂


Sheer dress started- princess undergown needs decolouring, and sheer layer is pinned only.

walking dress fabric set aside, pale blue striped, and embroidery relocated.

sheer saree day dress tested. Will go over the princess petticoat.

I think that is enough to try and finish…



Progress from 2006:

Progress 2016 after stripping all the fire damaged bezants and sequins:

New pearls on the upper right, the same pattern was repeated on the upper left and a matching overlapping design added to the lower part.

Yes, it looks very wobbly. This is part of how the fabric was eased over the original support. I’ll be clipping the cotton tulle to let it ease as well.

Stash of pearls used for the update. There are a good number left to be able to use over the seam once assembled.

I am about to add the leaves again, these are different, they are what I used on my Krantz for my laurelling, so these are very apt 🙂

Again the pearls look wibbly, I don’t want to stretch the stitches once I put this back on the support so am having to live with it until then. Once on the support these will have heavier thread passed through to support the curves.

So happy to get this progress. I am doing eat therapy on my hands every couple of hours, 10mins at a time.

all the frazzled frau

I now have enough fabric to make two gowns in black silk. But I am so torn!

Anne of Denmark, Cranach

Except now I have a desire to finally make my fave Cranach of all time:

That would be Judith, Salome is sans sword with platter.

This Beham portrait though has been on my faves list since I started my Frazzled Frau site. It’s kind of not been a priority to restore due to pinterest being easy to update and so many people now can access museums from their phones so can pin at a rate faster than I can.

I do have a FF pin board, and I try to only share links to the institutions that house the artwork. So there is still value in the board and the name- it means everything is properly sourced 🙂

And finally I adore this. So want a late Nurenburg frock so much! (This is from bildindex, found my stash of FF files so yep, will try and rebuild it properly, even if it’s on pinterest.


cleve gown update

There is a Medieval Faire here in less than a month and as it’s summer and on park grounds I’d really like to make something I can wear. So that means a round gown!

But my wool and linen gowns both have a slight train, and my Braunchweig is red silk. My Cleves velvet is a long term rebuild, though it will be this year, so I am making a new frock!

I’ll be breaking out the black silk for this! The rest of the silk will be used to make a new Heuke! Much as I want a Mantua and as good as this would be for that I can’t help but really want my pale blue taffeta to sing, and a mantua will do that more than any other era. Except tone on tone 1870s but I can’t invest in much more hand sewing 🙂

So to this end I am also restoring other elements of my ensemble, underlayers and headgear! It took all day to fill in a little more of the pearl work on the front of my stickelsche, and then there will be bezants and paillettes to cover the rest 🙂

Hmm if I have enough silk there could be two frocks, but that may be a bit greedy. Gown and heuke.

still no photos

Also today was spent mainly reorganising. I have a bee in my bonnet to make a particular frock and I realised I have tossed the very helpful strip of saree border that would have helped.

Anyway. I am dedicated to this project!

But I have also made huge headway elsewhere- the Ahsoka cast is not cured, but my cunning plan has allowed it to take another day to cast and not warp! To not pull out of the mold.

I mean yes, I did the obvious of soaking the mold in water until it remained damp- this helps slow the draw of water out of the latex on that surface. So it allows a much more even cure from kin to inside.

Still need to actually get the darn thing out and on a good firm support 🙂 I may want to cut up a pool noodle again for the upper- well I actually used a thinner insulation type for Shaak Ti. Worked really well as I could carve the ends to fit in the top of the horns 🙂

But my Elsa shoes have been put back and are curing on my shop mannequin legs. I’m only sharing progress once they actually work! I may need to get a bit cunning and put the old sole in place with the new one under that.

But I also found another pair of Kumffs that I can remove colour from and put a new sole on 🙂

Also I am right now debating between going for another walk or doing some beading. I know I need to do a little more text editing so maybe walk. Yep phone is fully charged 🙂

I can decide between beads or text after that 🙂

form and function

Over the years I have come to the conclusion I have a very distinct style, even across multiple eras and genres. There is a very obvious pattern to what appeals when one is a maker first, fan second.

I am a fan of when function meets form. So working out a puzzle of construction is incredibly satisfying. If it has to be draped on the stand all the better. Fabric manipulation for fit especially.


Contrast. Big colour and texture blocks. But that can sometimes be subtle, like the seam details on the backs of late 18thC bodices.

I keep flicking between eras/genres and it’s because I want to understand how the very different constructions affect fit and perceptions of ideal body types. The 1920s velvet gowns I’m making superficially look like the bias cut gowns of a decade later but really rely on different fabric use to achieve it.

Right now I’d love to do an essay on how extant items can tell us more about how clothes were made than first appearance. But it is a bit reliant on getting some of my own gear finished. So that is the aim this year. Finish the historic projects to really highlight what I want to say.

Got a lot of writing and sewing to do to actually get there though!

making my Robe de Style

For the Very Vintage Day Out I wound up in a fluffy Robe de Style so thought I should update with how I made it, and proof it was a very common shape!

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I spent days going through every issue of Les Modes de la Femme de France There were hoops in most years, if not most issues!

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Jan 9, 1921, Jan 16 1921, Feb 13 1921

To show every single example would take forever! But I really recommend going through these for inspiration. They really show the amazing experimentation that was going on in the era.


To draft the gown I used a few resources.


Art in dress by Brown, P. Clement (Percy Clement), 1886-

Published 1922
Topics Dressmaking, Clothing and dress
Publisher New York, P. C. Brown
Pages 204
Call number 9662562
Digitizing sponsor Sloan Foundation
Book contributor The Library of Congress
Collection library_of_congress; americana

This book has illustrations slightly out of the usual order, but here are some teasers to show how varied the era actually was.

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These first two images are for measurements and the types of lining options. The double dart was so well established from the 1870s that it seems to have stayed on as a fitting solution. Do note the french bias. Those centre fronts are cut on a diagonal.

I wound up using a thin lining of cotton sateen and option (a) style. My darts were much deeper, and they were disguised by the lace overlaid.

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It is similar to the patterning seen in Draping a Magic Dance Frock-from Fashion Service Magazine September 1928, page 20.

The narrow V inserts were inspired by vintage photos. In the end I decided to cut the neckline off and used narrow straps instead. This way I was able to make the lace work as an off the shoulder style.

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These two are clearly influenced by the same sources as the Robe de Style. However they predate Jeanne Lanvin’s phrase by several years. These can be know as sobe de soir, or influenced by spanish styles. The firt gown has a yoke that is shaped to flare around with separate panels hanging from it, while the second has extra length in the top part of the skirt.

This latter solution was how I solved my hoops problem.  I wanted my lace to be as even as possible so all layers were sewn straight to the hem while the very top row were shaped to be longer over the hips and shorter at front and back.

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This shows how I shaped flat net panels over my panniers. The panels were flat top and bottom, so it’s possible to see how the top of the panels are shorter front and back compared to the sides.

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These patterns offer insight in to circular panels that can be used to add drama to a hem in this era. Note the bodice fitting solutions as well.