my self drafted

My self drafted corset from a few years back. I took the gussets out and trimmed them down and unpicked some top stitching and lined up shell and lining more perfectly. Actually a lot of hand sewing I didn’t record just to keep the layers aligned. Will top stitch tomorrow.

My self drafted corset from a few years back. I took the gussets out and trimmed them down and unpicked some top stitching and lined up shell and lining more perfectly.  Actually a lot of hand sewing I didn’t record just to keep the layers aligned. Will top stitch tomorrow.

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My self drafted corset from a few years back. I took the gussets out and trimmed them down and unpicked some top stitching and lined up shell and lining more perfectly. Actually a lot of hand sewing I didn’t record just to keep the layers aligned. Will top stitch tomorrow.

and follow up workshops

So, I think the bodice making workshop was too much to understand in one go. I want to do a really good dedicated follow up, I’m just having trouble figuring out a start point. I may need to do a quick and dirty corset workshop (using the gored pattern I used for my Marie Antoinette dress as it is super adaptable for all sizes and proportions.

But I will have to impart the understanding that a corset is a foundation garment. It is going to change your shape so that the outer garment can be fitted over like a glove. But it doesn’t mean restricting breathing or anything, it’s about creating a solid shape. Uplift is part of it sure, but there can be room for adjusting for comfort.

But yeah, the basic double dart bodice needs that solid shape. And if someone is not willing to wear a corset or something to support the shape then it’s not going to really work. Not unless there is a perfect mannequin already in that shape so that the lining and shell and boning can be put in place and only a little fitting needs to be done.

So as well as the Marie Antoinette stays I’ve got ready for boning and tidying, I can create a basic stays pattern from that. Or diagrams anyway.

So there may be some time spent at Canty Faire on writing up a good proposal.

the other victorian projects

I keep coming back to a very small handful I really want to work on, and realised I have a major love for very stark gowns.

I mean Sunburst or not on that skirt that gown would be on my Must Make list anyway.


Virginie Gautreux by JS Sargent and Rose Caron by Toulmouche.

I have actually made part of each, but I really want a nice silk satin for Mme X. I need about 8m and in a nice heavy weight that’s just not really been on the cards. But, sales are sales so fingers crossed one coincides with a bit of luck 🙂

My day ensembles have tended to also be a bit stark like my grey dress and this is in keeping with that with a touch of Worth:

Worth’s Cleopatra yellow wool dress.

I also have to admit the fabric I just cut for my new duvet cover (one of a set of curtains) has such a huge pattern it’s super tempting to make a Worth-a-like based on those oversized patterned velvets. The front is a crinkle silver with chenille waves, but the reverse.. now the reverse looks like black velvet with flat silver waves and that is just too much to resist. Well I hope I can because I *might” just be able to get a frock out of it. But I want a high necked version. That might be a bit much. The curtains had huge eyelets at the top which est into the amount that is free. That said I do have a strip.. but also my new duvet cover is so pretty that it really needs a bit of matchy matchy in terms of pillow covers.

It might be possible for a more 1890 vs 1895 look.

Oh look, the perfect book!

The science and geometry of dress
by Jackson, Louisa L., Mrs. [from old catalog]

Published 1876
Topics Dressmaking


So this is really interesting and does indeed help explain the fish dart in some garments.


The basic pattern blocks for bodices were still based on ones from the 1860s. This is to say the end at the waist. I’m started printing the pages up . The first section is for the basic bodice block, then there is a saque, next up are basques (ie bodices that extend past the waist.) So this is very exciting 🙂 My printer is liking the pages so that is also good!

princesse updated.

Yep, the stand is padded because I want the idealised figure and while I am from the neck up and the ribs down, it’s that middle section that needs period accurate help 😉


Yes. This is good. Might not work with the princesse as I hoped but well it was probably a bit much to hope for too many multi-purpose uses out of a thing with a train!


So nice to get back to this era 🙂


2008? (not even going to say how old the other one is)





Spot the totally ridiculous mistake(s) to have made on the Sunburst. 2009 and I was a bit heartbroken so it got put away. I have salvaged a lot of the silk though. It’s still quite gold but not much can be changed about that 🙂

This section of my portfolio is lacking as I really need to find the original photos and tweak them to look good and in higher res.


princess line petticoat

Okay, note the tv type and the lack of carpeting, I drafted this back in ’06 ish for my princess line sheer gown. So clearly I was determined that it would indeed be princess line!


I would however like to make a very extended train and a full balayeuse to make the hem swish.

I just needed to refresh where seams are most likely to appear, and I am pretty right here. Darts at the front but they may need to be longer, and seams at the back. I may or may not break out Patterns of Fashion again.

I will give my black and white gown one last press to see if I can bring it back to wearability before I turn the ruffles into a balayeuse as they have heavy lace already in the edge.

So obsessed by this plate. The lace I’ll be using is indeed the same, but I removed the colour with RIT colour remover. (Kiwis beware- a lot of the DYEGON pots you see in Dylong store displays is bad. I don’t know why they suddenly appeared but they are solid which means the active ingredient is no longer active.)

So once I repattern the petticoat I’ll recolour the plate again and doodle on it to show what it should look like made from lace and net 🙂

I’ll be altering the bodice proportions a little to male the lace and net cut out effect at neckline and arms more obvious 🙂

Too much 2 Broke Girls…

I want to call this my Spring Break Cupcake gown.. I do actually mean my Spring Ball gown as it is such a virulent green and I will be making it suitable for warmer weather.

This has been pulled apart for years so I finally changed my overlocker thread (it’s all recycled mystery fabric so modern machines ftw!) and tidied the bodice pieces and got them bullied in to shape.

sm_DSC_0071 sm_DSC_0073 sm_DSC_0075

The bodice is still not fully fitted, you can see some of the excess fabric on the right armscye.

This was originally the skirt for my Absinthe dress but the saree faded in spots so I decoloured it to bone and copper so that’s not happening any more.

So then I decided for a cuirasse bodice with half sleeves some panier drapery and lots of self pleated trim and flowers. But now I think cap sleeves of lace and a high neckline and lace on the drapery will make it a nice c1880 extreme natural form style. There is a fashion plate that keeps coming to the front of my mind so I’ll get a copy of it for when I finally get this done!

Also I may have used an overlocker to tidy the edges but I did go for a super short stitch as per the era for the actual seams.

I think peachy pink flowers are a definite must have. I may have to recut the upper part of the bodice for the neckline I am planning, so it’s a good thing I have so much extra fabric, especially as I am making the drapery more fitted as per the slightly later date as well.


2011 Year in review :)


Shaak ti The Force Unleashed, Darth Tykhi (own design based on Legacy era Sith) Miss verity Pride, Big Game Hunter and balloonist, Shae Vizla, Shaak Ti AotC, Mina.

Missing is my 1830s white cotton day dress… all the photos of that one seem to be missing. hmmm…

It doesn’t look like much until you break each costume down into the various componants…


Reblogging this one as I am making this gown 🙂 I fell in love with this back when I was at high school so yes a loooong time ago. The first photo I saw was of the dress on a very 60s mannequin and I had searched every publication I could for more and better images. Unfortunately even the amazing book didn’t have a better set and the website for a long time only had two small images.

I wound up scanning and blowing up the black and white image to get the embroidery. I also used the photos of the Kyoto version (a few years later but also by Worth) so my clouds will be done in glass pearls and the stars in glass beads.

So the pearling will be next year. Oy.


I promise to stop spamming you with new photos from the collection but geez it’s all so beautful and new! I’m pretty sure I’ve died and gone to heaven.


Dress (Ball Gown)

House of Worth  (French, 1858–1956)


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.