c. 1898

6 Dec

1890s Plan

The semester is almost over and I am looking forward to working on a new project.


12 Aug

I doubt I’m the only one who gets super excited about planning new costumes and the slight frenzy of collecting materials. Here’s what I’ve ordered so far:

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 2.04.13 PM

Yes, I’ve decided to do the lavender scheme. I was worried that the red would turn out too “christmasy” with the white and I couldn’t find a good darker purple that I thought would work. I’ve also ordered some ivory silk organza for the front panels and underskirt, and decided to trim it in silver instead of gold. I’ll have to learn how to make silk flowers and tassels at some point as well.

The only part I’m not 100% sure is what the back should look like. Should it be a “sack gown”/robe a la francaise? Should it be an en foureau anglaise? Neither? I just don’t know. Suggestions welcome!

18th Century Court Gown

10 Aug

Alternatively titled: “I have officially lost my mind”

I sort of just committed to making an elaborate court gown for next year. It’s all Kendra’s fault, you see. She came back from Costume College and had this great idea to make one and thought she’d rope everyone in to join her. I couldn’t resist, especially since I’ve already decided that unless something unforseen happens, I am going to CoCo next year. It looks like so much fun.

Official Page: http://demodecouture.com/18th-century-court/

Anyway, now I just have to decide on which color:

This is probably the original.

This is probably the original.


Recolored by ekduncan.com

Recolored by ekduncan.com

Fabric Love

19 Jul

Some new fabrics came in the mail this week and I’m so excited about them.
Both were eBay finds.

This is a silk brocade that I am absolutely in love with. It’s so soft and has the most amazing drape. I only have two yards if it, so I’ll have to find something that won’t take a lot of yardage, like a caraco or pierrot jacket, but I’m worried that the large scale medallions will be lost. Definitely says 18th century to me though.



Next is an embroidered peach silk that I thought was a taffeta but is actually a dupioni. While it may not be entirely period appropriate, I’m still going to use it because it’s beautiful. The photos wash it out quite a bit. I have 4 yards of it, so enough to work with, but not enough for a huge project. It would look nice with a light green silk. Maybe a bustle dress?



Edwardian Blouse & Skirt

10 Jul


Back on May 11th, a group of us from the costumer’s guild rode a vintage train from Grapevine to the Stockyards in Fort Worth for the Frontier Fort Days. As cool as that event is, we really just used it as an excuse to dress up. I decided to make up a blouse, skirt, and belt using the 1905 Circular Skirt, 1903 Plain Blousewaist, and Edwardian Dip-Waist Belt from Truly Victorian. As I was pressed for time, I didn’t do a muslin for the patterns (tsk tsk), so I was very thankful that it all worked out in the end. As usual, I used a smaller pattern piece for the back of the blouse and took off quite a bit of the shoulder width. The good thing about this style is that it’s way more forgiving than a fitted bodice, which is why I chose it. Also, I had to make do with my ill-fitting victorian corset by just lacing it a bit looser around the top. ( I have GOT to get over my corset-making phobia)




Skirt Fabric: Italian Tropical Wool in Coral Pink from NY Fashion Center

Blouse Fabric: White Stripe Eyelet Lace from Hart’s Fabric

Belt: Heavy cotton from my stash

Due to the last-minute nature of this project, I didn’t get buttons and buttonholes sewn on the back of the blouse so I used snap tape (which is a fabulous invention!). I’d like to go back and do those at some point, but I’m not convinced that I could do them up myself when I get dressed.

I found that the heel of my boots caught on the hem of my skirt quite badly, pulling out the 3″ hem I had painstakenly handsewn. *sigh* So I think next time I need to make an honest to goodness hem guard. Meanwhile, I need to go back and try to smooth over all those broken threads in my nice wool…



Much thanks to Jen Thompson of Festive Attyre for taking photos!

How to package a parasol for shipment

9 Jul

Exhibit A: Bad


Exhibit B: Good


Girl’s Dirndl

8 Jul

Several months ago, my youngest sister was in a concert at church where she was required to wear a costume representing a country. I talked her into wearing a dirndl as an excuse to make one but I let her choose the color.

Jenna's Dirndl

Dirndl Pattern

The pattern I used was a German edition of Simplicity 4566 from the 1970s and funny enough, the ribbon trim I used was also from the 1970s, at least according to the etsy seller. The fabric is all from the quilting cotton section at my local chain fabric store. I chose to interline and line the bodice instead of use the facings in the pattern. I have several vintage dirndls, and all of them are very stiff in the bodice and completely lined in contrasting fabric. The idea is the bodice should be very snug, and keep everything in (so to speak). I wasn’t too worried about that part, since I was making this for a girl, but I wanted it to be as authentic as possible. The only thing I would do differently is the apron ties. They ended up being very skinny, and I wished I’d made them wider.


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