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3 Mar

Catch-up post time! In some ways it’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since my last post and yet not. A whole lot has happened. First of all I finally graduated with my Masters Degree. *yay!* Second, I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee and bought a house! *omygodwhathaveigottenmyselfinto* It’s an old-ish one, built in 1930, in a wonderful neighborhood surrounded by other older homes. It’s going to be quite the process to get it back to where it should be, but it will be so worth it in the end. The best part is I have a “studio” where I can sew. Right now it looks like a storage facility, as I haven’t been able to move things into the house due to having the floors refinished, but once the pile of boxes have been relocated, I am really looking forward to having space to sew again. Once that happens, expect more sewing posts. Until then, there may be some house photos in the mix.


My new house (taken last August)

Ditto Form coming soon!

6 Apr
During my Spring Break I had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. to visit Bits of Thread Studio and be 3D scanned for a custom dress form. The process was super easy and I can’t wait to get my form in a few weeks (4-6 weeks is what I was told from the scan date).
For those curious about the actual scan. It takes place in a room without any natural light in a curtained box for privacy. You then stand on a raised circular platform in the middle of the box that spins slowly in front of the camera. As far as what to wear, the idea is to scan your actual body as closely as possible, so while being scanned I was just in a bra and some short close-fitting leggings. Even though the dress form won’t include my entire arms and legs, the whole body is scanned and then processed by a computer. I was scanned three times and then measured with a tape to compare with the measurements from the camera. Slight differences will occur based on posture and breathing, so this is just making sure the measurements are accurate. It’s quite something to see the 3D scan on the computer! I can only imagine what it will be like to see the form when I get it.
I went with the High Resolution form which is less squishy and arrives fully assembled. I won’t be able to put a corset on it, but I still have my old foam form that can serve that purpose. I’m just so excited to have something that will allow me to fit my upper body.
Ditto Form would love to expand to other areas of the country but are still trying to figure out how to make that possible. This technology is so new and exciting that it would be wonderful to see this take off. I’ll be sure to post about my Ditto Form when it arrives. If you are interested in having one made, visit Bits of Thread

Finished: Empress Josephine Ballgown

8 Jul



This gown has been a long time coming. I had been planning a gold taffeta ballgown since last Fall to wear to an event in January. When it became apparent that I wouldn’t get that done in time I shifted my deadline to a Regency Ball for June. With that shift, I also ordered this silk organza as an overlay to the taffeta. While not a replica of any of Josephine’s gowns, I used many of her portraits as inspiration.

I used the same Laughing Moon 126 pattern as the dotted swiss and made the adjustments for lengthening the front of the bodice. However, next time I need to start it closer to the sides as I need more length there as well. My biggest complaint with this style is that it tends to “poof” out at the hips due to the overlapping fabric where the slits in the skirt are. I’m sure part of it is the fabric and another part of it is I’m rather “hippy” as it is, but it’s something to keep in mind if you use a fabric with a lot of body to it (and especially if you use two layers like I did). The sleeves are the regular short sleeves with a small tuck taken in at the base. I intended to do the puffy sleeves, but this actually worked out better since I was running out of fabric and they’re probably more flattering on me. I lengthened the ties so they can go around my waist and tie under the bib instead of the back. I cut the medium length train for the organza and left the taffeta layer floor length so if I needed to pick up the train, I didn’t have to worry about two layers of fabric.


The time-consuming part of the gown was all the trim. The lace came in panels which needed to be cut apart, carefully placed on the organza, clipped around the curves and then hand-stitched. I added the pearls afterwards.



The shoes were trimmed using leftover lace and trim. They looked beautiful until I kept snagging it on the hem of my dress which pulled off the metal part. Lesson learned.


Even though I didn’t copy one of Josephine’s gowns, I did want to match the jewelry that she often wore in her portraits. I contemplated making it myself, but ended up finding an etsy seller that was willing to make what I wanted. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Many thanks to Jen Thompson for taking photos before the ball. Here’s one last one of myself and Megan Martin (who has an etsy shop) channeling the Bingley sisters.


Pattern: Laughing Moon 126

Fabric: Renaissance Fabrics & Pure Silks (which came with a lot of creases, so I don’t know that I’d buy from them again)

Lace: Fabric Empire on etsy

Brooches: large one is vintage, smaller ones on sleeves and shoes: etsy

Jewelry: Custom order from Tudor Shoppe

10 Jun

I’ve got a number of posts lined up featuring costumes that were made pre-blog. They are hastily thrown together, so please excuse any typos! The project that is currently on my sewing table is my most ambitious yet. Remember the Empress Josephine post? Yeah… that’s happening!

Custom 3D Printed Dress Forms!

25 Jan

Every since the advent of personal 3D printers I’ve been anticipating the day I could scan my body and print a dress form. A shop in DC has started doing this and is considering expanding scanning stations if there is enough interest, so please contact them if you would like to see one near you.

Obligatory First Post

17 Jan

Hello, and welcome to my blog. To start off, I’d like to make a few confessions. I am not a consistent blogger. I wish I could be, but it’s just not how I work. Also, this blog isn’t entirely for you. I mean, to an extent it is a way to share what I’ve been working on, but it’s also a way for me to document my projects. How selfish of me, I know. 😉 Even so, I hope you enjoy looking through whatever I will be posting, as it represents a good chunk of time, energy and *cough* money.