Tag Archives: costuming

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

Project: Empress Josephine Ballgown

30 Mar

Once again, grad school has taken all my time and while I had planned a ballgown to wear to a recent costuming event, I just didn’t have the time to make it without fearing I would lose my mind. However, there is an actual Regency Ball coming up in June which gives me another chance! I am so excited about this ballgown and I can’t wait to start it. I don’t want this to be haphazardly put together, so I hope to start it soon to give myself time to do it well because this material deserves it.

My inspiration is Empress Josephine. I’m not recreating an exact dress, but I do have jewelry that is a passable reproduction to the pearls she wears in many portraits, including this one.

Victor Viger du Vigneau, L'Impératrice Joséphine, Rueil-Malmaison, musée national des châteaux de Malmaison et Bois-Préau

Victor Viger du Vigneau, L’Impératrice Joséphine, Rueil-Malmaison, musée national des châteaux de Malmaison et Bois-Préau

Here’s a sneak peek of what I’ve been collecting:


I would never wear this much gold and bling in real life, but that’s the beauty of costuming. I feel like in this case, it’s okay to be a little over-the-top. The base dress taffeta is a gold/ivory shot and the rose and gold stripe organza will be the sheer overdress. The other gold organza is for trimming as well as the lace panels for the bottom part of the sheer overdress. I’m hoping to figure out a standing lace collar out of the smaller pointed lace, but we’ll see how that goes. Lots of starch??? I was able to find some gold flats on ebay that will pass for Regency once I trim them and then there’s the ivory kid leather I ordered to make above-elbow gloves… so you can see that I have my work cut out for me. Here’s hoping I can get it all together and fulfill the vision that’s in my head!

1898 Walking Suit

16 Jan

I’ve finally finished a costume AND I’m blogging about it! It’s a miracle. A big thank you to my mom for taking iPhone photos of me before I left for a museum trip with the costumer’s guild. The place was PACKED, but it was nice to see some familiar Impressionist works from the d’Orsay Museum in Paris. I had the pleasure of seeing them in Paris several years ago, but they are worth seeing again.

This outfit began as a possibility for a Christmas outing with the guild but I had my doubts I’d be able to make it before the event due to school. Grad school has infringed on my costuming, but I finally made it with last week. It was good to see everyone and I wish I’d taken photos.


IMG_1527IMG_1526 - Version 2

Patterns: Truly Victorian

  • 1898 Walking Skirt (TV291)
  • 1893 Blouse Waist (TV491) without sleeves. Vintage lace on the jabot.
  • 1898 Eton Jacket (TV498) Square collar, un-cropped length. Added an interior canvas sleeve-cap support.
  • 1890’s Victorian Corselet (TV492) Shorter length. Used skirt hooks and bars instead of lacing.

1780s Dress

19 Jan

Back in November, the DFW Costumer’s Guild hosted a “Georgian Picnic” at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. It was such a beautiful day and everyone’s costumes were fabulous. It was my first event in costume and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was inspired by the “curtain-along” by Jen Thompson over at Festive Attyre. She had the idea after discovering Waverly curtains in an Indienne print. You can buy the fabric, but it turns out it’s cheaper to buy the curtains and cut them up. I decided to go with the black color scheme, as I’d seen quite a few examples of the cream and I just like to be different. I did more hand-sewing on this dress than I have ever done before. All of the top stitching, hems, and ruffled trim is sewn by hand. Call me crazy, but it was almost therapeutic. I get why people like it now.


Pattern: Sense & Sensibility Pattern’s 1780s Portrait Dress. I was very happy with the pattern, and it was the first time I’d used one from that company. The bodice fit wonderfully without much alteration aside from lengthening it by two inches and cutting the neckline lower to fit the period more.  The sleeves were very narrow and I really should have added a few inches to the sleeve length as well. I think if I were to make it again, I would raise the back neckline a bit, as it seems a little lower than most dresses of the period. I would also lengthen the “v” in the front of the bodice.  I didn’t use a pattern for the petticoat, although I probably should have not cut the hem straight since I ended up using a bum roll which made the skirt a little shorter in the back than it should have been, although the benefit of not cutting it longer in the back means more versatility for multiple time periods.

Fabric: Waverly Noir curtains from Lowes. Mustard linen from Joann’s for the petticoat. (I’ve decided I like linen. A lot. This could be bad news for my bank account.)

Shoes: Kensington, by American Duchess (I also like her shoes. A lot. And she keeps coming out with new ones. Also bad news for my bank account.)

Hat: Blank from JS Townsend and decorated with various trims (and dead bird) from Joann’s and petersham ribbon.

A note about stays: Because I was under a time crunch and I have no experience (yet!) making stays and corsets, I opted to purchase the “half-boned stays” from JS Townsend. The best part is that they lace up the front, which is really a necessity when you live alone (and don’t have servants to help you dress). Yes, they’re very basic and I did find the boning used on either side of the front lacing to have way too much “give”. Replacing it with heavier flat steel boning helped the fit immensely. The bonus is that I used the old boning down the front of my dress bodice. Eventually I’d love to make my own stays, but in a pinch, these work quite well.