inspiration list

I am finally able to indulge in a spot of inspiration/wishlisting so here are my costume plans for next year:

Lilac kampfrau. My lilac wool needs to be used and this would be the ideal use. It’ll be lined in the baby pink linen I bought around the same time so I can wear it in summer and winter 😉 Cunning.
I have a few options for what to trim it with, black velvet would be most sensible but I also have some burgundy velvet which could be tasty.
White silk brocade 1600 gown. I’m still deciding between Italian or Spanish but it is half cut out already and will be of the ropa y saya variety as worn by Isabella Clara here.
Finish my new suit of ruffs. Sigh. And partlet and apron and headdress from linen.

Finish my Victorian sportswear, I will redo the bodice the way I’m happiest in this style (flatlined with facings) and that will make it sit nicely. I have gold buttons galore for it still as well.
Worth Ballgown. I will see if I can decolour the silk today, massive headache of epic doom so I may need a rest first. Lots of fluids!

Catwoman, who doesn’t want a shiny pvc corset??? 😉
Silk Spectre II. I really would suit SSI better but everyone wants to make that and I am obstinant and have no shame 😉 Shiny latex/pvc (haven’t decided whether to tackle latex though I am confident enough to try now- it’s a cost thing).
Silly project may or may not happen. A few options here.

As usual this is a fluid list and I may decide I do have shame after all and change my mind.

progress, reinspiring

Inspiring afternoon spent sorting through the back room 🙂 I found a few old projects that I may just redo now that I have them all in one corner and can see how much work would be involved.

Hannibal/Elissa costume. I found my old bodice and new velveteen (needs colour to be deepened) and rope skirt. Also my sarees that were going to be cut to trim all the edges.

Mon Mothma. I didn’t think I’d cut the sleeves out as well but I have so the tunic just needs hemming and then the tabbard can be made. No hurry but it’s not taking up too much room so I’ll keep it. I really like the fabric I used anwyay.

Green Velvet 1860s dress. Well the skirt has been cut and partially sewn. I may unpick and line it though.

Blue velvet 1500s Flemish. This is the Eowyn dress unpicked. I finally have all the pieces so will look at what to line it with. I adore the figure of Clotho in The Triumph of Fame so am very tempted to line it all in a peachy pink.

Phantom Wedding dress. All the little rosettes I made… and my lace would look beautiful for this skirt… I don’t know. I will probably at least fix the bodice and then see how I like it all still.

Carlotta from the movie, Hannibal ensemble: skirt, corset and lining for the cloak are all there. The jewellery and wig would be really fun.

Mme X, the bodice is now miles to big, but I will see how much fabric i have left for the skirt as it will make a really nice evening gown full stop let alone as an historical piece.

Shot green skirt and fabric pieces, my 1870s spring garden gown. The bodice is in my room and I may just overlock all the layers so that I can really try and see how I like the fit thorugh the shoulders. Then the drapery will be simple panniers and train. With flowers all over 😉

Lucy lilac and white dress. I really do want to make this as an inspired by gown instead.

With the UFOs in my room I think I have enough projects to keep me going for a while 🙂

So what do I have in my room?

Catwoman, Witchblade (bodysuit redo), Imperial crew uniform, TIE, Mara, supendous gown of doom (Worth sunburst), remake of my Cleves (my icon), tabs for the Cleves surcoat….

Yeah, so no stress to make anything new 😉

sunburst progress

Actual work on the Sunburst dress! I just cut the skirt and train from the silk Cindy sent me last year sometime. I also overlocked all the edges (ewww) so that I could wash and then remove all the dye. It needs to be washed quite desperately. There is soot and water stains all over it from the fire. The good news is that it is mainly on the back not the satin. Also it helps the Dye-gon work better.

So now I get to hunt out my embroidery pattern and transfer it to some card so i can then use it as a stencil and pounce some marks to the silk. Or I may be able to mark it in heavy ink on the card and trace onto the silk once all the dye is removed.

I also bought green and maroon threads to put in the overlocker so I can test the Dawn and bind the edges of the velveteen for my big Victorian.

Ummm… I have another cunning plan. I will probably be doing my Worth Gown this year. *hangs head* But I know now how quickly I can pearl so it shouldn’t be too bad. As a refresher: Direct to the actual dress:,b.htm

I actually have just over 6m of the silk faced satin which will be pleanty as I can top and tail the skirt sections, the bodice has no shoulders or peplum or sleeves so I shoould be able to get the train out of it as well.

Help. *is obsessed*

Oh further to the Operation Clean Up, the soot is proving stubborn in the sleeve linings so I may wind up replacing them with silk charmeuse I bought for an Ever After gown. It’s currently a very pale pink but I may get more colour out with another round of Dye-Gon (previously known as Pre-Dye) and so be able to use that without an interlining.

Do I now unpick the sleeves from my Cleves gown? And maybe the lining? I was shaking quite hard as I was unpicking the valois sleeves as it was. This is rather a bigger step so I’m not sure how I’ll do. So I was right in making something new for Coronation. It was stressful but the stresses were indirectly related to the fire. Unpicking past work and confronting the very direct effects of the fire would just have been too much at that time. It’s hard enough now. But I can do it.

satin musings

Anyway, inspiration for non SCA costuming is striking and I may get to experiment with some stuff next week to see if I can do what I want to do. I’m still debating using the green silk satin as it does go a beautiful shade of pale gold. It would be wonderful for the Worth gown after all.

drafting manual

How could I not realise the craft day at Howick is actually this weekend!


Today I ironed the hems for the draperies and sewed up the bodice seams. Oh boy does that fabric look smart sewn into a tailored style! I’m sure it must have originally been some sort of suiting. I’m sure it’s rayon though (not sure what process it was) as it got very weak when wet (I put a peg through it) but rather strong when dry. It wrinkles like rayon as well. We have some bleach, I’ll test it tomorrow.

I’m also pleased to report the pattern does indeed seem to work. I put on a very silly 1″ seam allowance just in case I needed to let it out, but it seems to be fine.

I also pinned the sleeves together after cutting out sleeve linings from calico.

For those curious:
The elements of modern dressmaking for the amateur and professional dressmaker
Author: Davis, Jeanette E.
Print Source: The elements of modern dressmaking for the amateur and professional dressmaker
Davis, Jeanette E.
Cassell Publ. Co.,
New York :

This is the book I used for the pattern drafting and information on the different techniques used by seamstresses to finish their garments. Lovely information on the origin of feather boning, how to smooth wool over a bodice lining to get the right fit and where to pad and how.
I’m concidering this as a test run before going really mad with the Worth gown for authentic patterning and construction.

Speakign of the Worth Gown. I will need all new undergarments!

Chemise with narrow straps, and a lace edging all around the neck and armholes.
petticoat with room for a bustle but gored to fit under the slightly flared skirt.

And then stockings, I think they’ll have to be yellow. If I can find some silk liner socks to go over the knee I’ll be happy enough.
Also some shoes. I don’t think my black suede shoes are going to cut it…

drafting bodices

Well the pattern wasn’t actually that bad. The main issue was I was measuring myself sans corset which is not a good idea;) and the other issue was the angle of the front panels. The armhole wound up perfect, but then the shoulder seam didn’t meet up at the neck and the bust wound up in the hollow above the bust..

So  think I know why it didn’t work (the diagram just didn’t show how to work out certain angles) and I made the pieces too large. It didn’t take too long to fix though.

I used it to cut the grey fabric for the day dress bodice, but not the sleeves yet. I’ll take them from my “Bella” bodice as they fit nicely now.

The pattern I drafted for the Hindi Wedding dress (Moulin Rouge) will do for the front and side gores of my Worth gown. I will just need to work out what to use for the back (that will be covered by the train.) I mean both for shape and material.

Thinking about the embroidery… The pearling is probably no more than what I did for the Black Diamonds costume. I have the numbers somewhere for how many I did but it was around 1,500 (individuually sewn.) This is just over a wider space….

So… I’m a little stalled because I need another intra-articular shot before I can actually sew again.

*twiddles one thumb*


I’m not too sure I found the pattern drafting useful in that book. There just wasn’t quite enough information about certain points on the bodice. Still it’s a good start to work out proportions desired and it does match up quite nicely to the 1890s dress in Cut of Women’s Clothes.

deciding on the sunburst

I’m reading an 1890s dressmaking manual and at the same time pondering the pattern from Cut of Women’s Clothes of the same time. The pattern now makes so much sense in light of what was expected.

It makes me wish I had more out of copyright resources to share as well. I will get a lot of my Girl’s Own Annual scanned, as soon as I have easy access to the scanner again. But before that I really ought to type out the text for what I have so far for the trousseau…..


Ok I have looked through the entire manual since writing the above and have started my pages for my Worth gown. It is separated into the main page (basic information and eventually photos of the completed gown) and sections on the patterning (the manual has really clarified some issues for me) dress diary, the embroidery progress and the other bits and pieces to make the ensemble complete.

For a sneaky peeky before I start writing the important stuff and getting thumbnails working:

So there you go, the project is no longer secret and I am now forced to actually get my tooshie into gear and make it! While it was secret I would always pretend it was something else… not so anymore;)

All of today (aside from pill pickups and mail drops) was spent hunting down all my 1885-1995 patterns of pattern diagrams and now I think I have the way to draft it and construct it.

I am completely mad as there is so much cutting and pearling….

sunburst coco dreaming

Seeing all your Costume College pics (and how cool is it to see so many of you in one spot!!!! I mean really:) ) has made me slightly sad, but only bceause it would take a massive fundraising effort to get there and I dinnae think it’s going to happen. But it’s also been great because it has spurred me into action to start my Worth gown right now. Plotting of the beading and patterning and working out what dyes to use…

But also it’s set me to dreaming. What would I do if I did get to CC.

Well I think the only class I could really teach is German Frocks, going beyond the Saxon Court Gown because it’s an opportunity to talk about that style and all the wonderfully quirky styles elsewhere in the region.

For the Gala it would the Worth Gown of beaded doom, so I would have to stay away from food and anyone eating food or anyone with makeup… 😉

I’d make some pretty speccie undies to go with it, corset and petticoat and knickers and have some fancy stockings… and hope to find some louis heeled cream stain shoes…. in case the underwear gathering happens again;)

The day dress I’m currently working on, as it’s rather severe and quite a contrast to the Worth Doom dress. And would use the same support.

Or… Maybe I’d get to finally make that 1830s dress in the windowpane self check fabric in stash for about 5 yeras… and 1800s frock could be light to pack as well…

And what classes to attend would depend on what was on offer. But honestly, just being around so many people interested in the same thing would be incredible.

So off to hunt through stash for linings and dyes and the like.