Tag Archives: marie antoinette


So much work to do on my hoops that needs to be undone. My fault for using a twill tape that was not closely woven- it spread out in interesting ways under the presure of my sewing machine.

So the channels are not perfect which means I either need to fork out for real steel hooping which is a gamble, or buy 6 more coils- and use them single layered in each channel- the tape makes two channels- or unpick the channels and resew them perfectly. I could then use some very narrow Rigiline for the top channel of each tape… yeah. I think that. I have twice been lucky to find rolls of good quality boning but it hasn’t happened often enough to hop I can do so again 🙂


I went to so much effort to line the suckers up but in the end this is where hand sewing beats machine every time!

And no, just no. The hem is 4m and I have three bands of tape which would be 36m of handsewing only those. So no. But I am tempted to change my foot and zig zag the every edges and unpick the outer stitches seeing as that is where most variation happens.

Oh and I have tape supporting the side seams and everything.

So okay, I do have a plan for the day then 🙂

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Marie Antoinette Stays

While these stays were worn for a specific scene, it is a really interesting look at how the bodices in general seem to have worked. It’s very modern in some aspects but not in others. So while not historically accurate in any way, it winds up as an interesting insight into Hollywood being creative, and also using the techniques they had.

invaluable, Profiles in History Auction



featuring property from the career of David Hasselhoff Day 1 session 2by Julien’s Auctions

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Front and back. The front uses the same seam placement as on the bodices for Norma, with two long lines over the bust,  and straight seams from side around the back. The very large unboned tabs look functionless but have given me an idea- they would help protect pressure from the weight of the skirt around the waist- like real tabs in real stays through the 16th-18thC. I am not sure what kind of stays I do want to wear but I will be wearing something to pad my upper hips as I know too well the pressure of skirts right there.

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These details feel modernly vintage- that lovely ruched ribbon work around the edges especially.



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Adjusted my hoops a little today

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The shape on the left hand side is the shape I want so I’ll mark the levels so I can sew the tape. The side seams are diagnonal so really stretch in this lovely but soft sateen.

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Interior views to show how the whole thing is actually quite light, but is maintained with tapes. At the moment the only tapes in place are in my original Robe de Style (pink) panniers and my normal sized Reitte (tan cotton).

ANd you can sort of see just how much bigger the hoops actually are!


But maybe this helps even more 😉

What is nice is that this hoop will work for her Confrontation gown as it seems to use a similar shape, and it will also work for a real court gown. But possibly mor elike a mantua than the silver gowns I adore so much.

So more like this:

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Victoria and Albert Museum, London Mantua

Place of origin: England, Great Britain (made) France (woven)

Date: 1755-1760 (made) 1753-1755 (woven)

Note the length of the torso, the film version bodices are not that inaccurate in that specific regard, but they are a bit out of time. And the actual shaping is modern, it’s why I’m looking forward to making the support for the bodice, as it is so unique- and while other actresses had really defined modern busts, they left Norma to have the long quite flat shaping. In this gown at least. But there is clever seaming going on to create that illusion.

Another Mantua of this shape:


British Kensington Palace Art Funded in 1995
British, Court mantua by British, 1750–1760
Court mantua by British, 1750–1760
© Kensington Palace
Medium:Silk brocade Dimensions: 130 x 214 cm Art Fund grant:£30,000 ( Total: £78,826; Export stopped) Acquired in:1995

And another:

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Museum of London- Mantua
Production Date: 1751-1752
ID no: 83.531
Location: On Display: Museum of London: Empire: London’s Manufactures

I need to do a Extant Gowns I love post for all of these, but I wanted to show this particular flared shape was also not a modern only decision, but based on 18thC dress.


But next one will be the silver gowns in sweden 🙂

And this movie costume.

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Marie Antoinette Progress

My Marie Antoinette hoops are too big to easily adjust which is why it has taken the entire 7th Season of New Who to get them to the point I can just push the hoops out or in.

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These are deceptive, a little. The first test wound up kidney shaped and I wound up with more elliptical and normal shape tonight!

They are currently 160cm wide, but the hoops are a little deeper than I want and they’ll be flattened a little more once the tapes are in place at every level I’ll also have to drop the diagonal short hoops.

I still will be able to layer both fine cotton and tulle to soften these. In photos of Normal sitting there are a few indicators of hoops but they are subtle. SO I definitely need to remember all the fluffy layers needed and that adds bulk both depth and width. But I really think it’ll be the tapes inside that help. I may even wind up sewing in a few more sets than I normally would.

I originally wanted to make this to join in with the Robes de Cour group Kendra had organised a few years ago, but I wound up setting that aside as I wanted to be in the group and between me saying I was thinking about making the gown and not saying so in time and what not I wound up shifting to starting an actual Robe de Cour based on the various silver gowns from Sweden. I stalled on that as well as I just wanted to not use the dead dino fabric I had!

Basically I knew how much fabric any of these options needed and I wanted the best fabric for my needs. And I only managed to find that in may this year! That is the fabric above that had to be decoloured. It was very brown originally 🙂

But since then I have become completely smitten with the “confrontation” gown too, so well there may be a few gowns to wear over these hoops and eventual petticoats as well.


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I have not forgotton my passion projects-1


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(last scan is mine, from the cover of Hollywood and History.)

And who doesn’t want a tea drinking gif that matches *actually that the the confrontation gown I love, and her self striped sheer.. bascually I want the wardrobe.

Obsesses since I got hold of the Hollywood and Fashion book in my teens and sort of feared it due to lack of frerences.

But the silk is bought.

Also we have similar features, this could be awesome.

Past posts with images:

Further weekend good times: changing fabric colours!


I have made a page for this

I did find really lovely recreation:

Tanya Dawn at Magic Theatre as Marie Antoinette. Magic Theatre Act IV – preparations

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The next few months

Not hectic, but a lot of planning 🙂 And not in order of importance.

!) Spanish work. I have texts and physical costume to finish. They are both at the personally satisfying stage but not at all ready for public viewing. But the two have been working together. And I do now have my physical project stored in a way I can work on what needs to be worked on.

2) Cleves/Cologne wardrobe. Finally got my “sunt” kirtle made. This is so that I can do all the finishing work on my gown and accessories while I work on the undergarments proper. I know I am bang on in fit and contruction of my outer gear (making a new heuke though) but the undergarments are taking a little more time.

3) Marie Antoinette. This is possibly my last media recreation costume for a while, so it’s going to be a delicate but ultimately workable project. There are elements I can bang out quickly, there are going to be small hand worked elements. And I finally decided how to tackle the lace. It’s not the first time I have hunted for real metal lace so I know how and where to look.

4) Mina. I need that corset made.

5) Maleficent. The gown is fitted and assembled, I need to figure out the machine sewing stage as pressure and thread and everything will affect the hang of the seams. Hand sewing might be my best bet. This is bias cutting and it is only mildly less difficult than with charmeuse satin.

6) Sunburst. It’s been ridiculously long time coming, and I am still not sure I have enough supplies. I think I missed out on the last lot of beads that match so I’m going to have to carry a swatch with me.

7) Workshops- waiting to hear back what is going to be the best match. But I now have a frame work to make these totally portable. But I also have to make it clear I do not do easy techniques, they are not shortcuts, what I teach is a way to look at a project with a different eye. I do teach some basic principles but they are not easy. Once you get it though, oh it makes everything else make sense.

8) Showcase. Yep I’m having a showcase of my work, and so I need to tailor that to the audience, so I will be promoting that as soon as it pops up.

9) Other workshops. These are going to be limited and I am struggling with the self promotion aspect. Had way too many knocks. Not valid ones, they come from misunderstanding but it still has decentered me enough to not be in marketing headspace. Marketing is not about being self assured it’s about promotion. I don’t do that!

10) children’s charity events- got a few planned. I need to confirm a few.

11) Elsa. I need a new cape. My cape is literally too beautiful for this world- it’s so delicate that I want to preserve it. This is not a flaw, this is me making art in a format that is not really intended for durability. Oh it’s going strong, but repeatedly handling it is going to break it down eventually.

12) Website. It’s 13 years since I self hosted so maybe this year is just feeling worse because of that number. I don’t believe it is unlucky, but rather it was Friday the 13th that we had the house fire, so it’s just there in my mind. So coincidences stand out. Confirmation bias or whatever, I still just feel the need to do better.

And my site has really changed from what I wanted due to interference of others, but I do need to play catch up and do this asap. My archive of what I have done has been lost and it’s no use me saying “but I did that in year x” if I don’t have my work up then it’s meaningless.

I think that’s it. Enough to try and get a handle on anyway 🙂


Today is tidying up after the sewing and organising so it’s going to be a day of rest, then tidy, rest, then tidy.

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Further weekend good times: changing fabric colours!

First up I dyed a pair of “jeans” to fuschia pink for my Kimmy Schmidt costume 🙂 Dylon is actually really nice still for tone on tone changes so I turned a pair of candy pink leggings in to fuschia.

But most importantly.. MARIE ANTOINETTE!!!!!!!

I managed to both remove all the dye from my silk and do the bulk of the pressing it needed after two hot baths 🙂

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This was a dark beige, almost chocolate base, and there was tremendous risk in trying to remove the colour from such a long length of fabric! But it is done, and all the work has been worth it 🙂 Now I can make the hoops and piticoats and even draft the pattern. I am secure in knowing my fabric is going to be amazing, and that I am good at what I do! It can be very intimidating going back to a skill you haven’t used for a while :0

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A weekend of amazing :)

I had spent the week spring cleaning- well winter cleaning, and I have finally made progress on actual projects this weekend 🙂 get the bulk of the grunt work going on the remake of my Cleves gown 🙂

In the decade since I last wore my gown I have tried to better my understanding and on the whole not much has changed. I have however wanted to add what i thought was a more authentic flourish in my plush border and to add a border of my crimson velvet at all edged of the gown.

I finally have been able to find good evidence that I can do a wide border on my skirt and have the base fabric show at all edged before the fur/plush lining peeks out.

As I was trying to be as thrifty as a tailor, I did not apply the silk guarding over a crimson velvet base, but instead only used velvet where it was seen. this saved me a good two yards of fabric! In the time I am looking at stitching was very lowly considered, the price of the fabric was the lead, and 2 yards, or just over 2 els was a huge saving!

The tailor could not melt velvet down for precious metals (as they could cloth of gold or silver) so the tailor did not nave any real motivation to save the tiny off cuts that would be left over. They may be able to use larger pieces for pouches but not much more.

Apprentices were often minors or slowly working their way to journeyman so were not well paid. It made sense to piece ever smaller pieces of precious fabric as sittching was cheap.

So my gown has a hem made from narrow scraps of crimson velveteen mounted to white plush. The top edge by machine the edge that is seen is sewn using a beading needle and by hand:



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Once assembled all the handsewing through layers folded back will create depth, so that the silk looks as though it is indeed mounted straight to the crimson velveteen.

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Of course I am also on a budget and this gown has many sentimental connections so I wanted to use only fabrics I already owned. So I had a very limited amount of guarding fabric. This lead to some piecing in my sleeves but also at the very sides of my skirt.


Once assembled this is completely hidden.

And I love the really subtle difference the tiny crimson hem makes. But it is about a week of extra work on top of everything I needed to do to make this gown.

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Early start to what should be a good day

First a shower, I am online with a coffee to wake up. Then removing some clothing from my project workboxes, and then I can work on my real passion projects:

  1. Vasquina y ropa y manga redonda. It still needs a jubon y manga justa. That will require my embroidery frame set up to lay the miles of trim on!
  2. Maleficent Christening Gown- so close to finished, and then I can work out how much leather I really want. Also I have a date for this one now 🙂
  3. Mina Red Gown- well I need my corset finished to refit the bodice. My new mannequin is amazing so should be much easier.
  4. Marie Antoinette silver gown- I had some fail with finding enough colour remover, I have it now and can press it all tidy.
  5.  Worth Sunburst gown- I need to transfer the cutwork, so it’ll be a case of machining the detail and then beading on the frame and finally cutting.
  6. Cleves festkleid, I am facing tiny narrow strips and scarps for the hem as spotlight no longer sells vibrant red velveteen (crimson- it’s crimson)

So that is a lot, but I’m able to put the projects in different project boxes so I can use the machine and frame.

The neighbours are also working early- so this is great. I’ll put All The Musicals on! To the CD storage box.

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Comparing the sizes of my current hoops with the ones for my Marie Antoinette gown!

My #robedestyle #panniers My #drwho #reinette #panniers My 1938 #marieantoinette #panniers

Robe de Style, Reinettes, Mari Antoinette.

This gown may even get close to Maleficent for projects that eat my workroom.

Now that is a project I can tackle again while working on hoop things. That train will have the proper struts as soon as I can get them sorted ????


Oh and that roll of white to the left? That is a super mega heavy duty crinoline with so much fusing I thought it was a double sided vinyl. I already know it will be used to help support the new hoops!


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