Sunday, March 22, 2015

Abraham Lincoln Funeral: The Boy's Costume

In may here in Springfield Il, there is going to be reenactment of Lincoln's Funeral. The whole shebang with the calvary, and civilians. Some people are going to do it full on. Hand made costume, setting up tents, going full monty. (Not naked, mind you. Fully clothed full monty)

I am not that dedicated. I will hand sew hems til my fingers bleed but I can't seem to make myself buy twelve yards of really good cotton/wool/silk, when I have SO FREAKING MUCH POLY that would do the job perfectly. Im in the mindset that if it Looks like it could be accurate, its accurate enough. Part of that comes from my noncomformist streak, part comes from the beautiful fabrics I already have which are not 'technically period' and lastly, Im cheap. Seriously. I can make a gown just as easily from a duvet cover as brocade and I can almost certainly say no one will have a gown like mine.

(Not that they would WANT to, but still.)

So, I will be gowned appropriately (In my eyes) and have decided to garb my son as well. I gotta tell you, looking for kids photos from the Civil war era is HARD. Oh, not that they arn't there, oh there are TONS.

Just half of them are POST MORTEM.

Yeah, nothing worse then trying to judge seams when you can't see through the haze of tears because that is just a baby. It makes sense, to try and preserve the memory of a loved one, but my god is hard for a mother to look through. Anyway, at least I found this NOT POST MORTEM photo.

CDV Victorian Boy by C T Newcombe of London Lovely Lighting c1860s Photograph | eBay

I took this idea into making my son a costume. I used a Burda pattern as a base to keep my pieces the proper size, but cut... well, creatively.

Heres a selection of photographs as I went through and made this costume

Originally it was this nice, inoffensive beige scratchy wool like fabric. I can't even begin to guess what kind of fabric it is lol. I wanted something a bit more sombre, so I thought about dying it. 

There is actually a TON of research and historical accuracy about dying clothes in civil war era. When it was too expensive to make all new wardrobes for the mourners, they through original outfits into dye-bins and made them black. I used a cheap dye kit from Walmart and dyed the whole thing. I know, I know. Your supposed to dye just a bit to see if it'll work, but heck if I can't even make a muslin Im sure as heck not waiting to dye something! Anyway, it turned out better than I hoped: 

This really nice dark grey, pebbled fabric. Somber and still not as stark and pure black. Yay! 

Then after this point it was mostly hand work. Hemming, button holes, and such. 

I plan on getting a slouchy hat and black boots but after that, he's all done!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ariels Pink Dress Tutorial Three

For the back closure I knew three things.

1) No zippers. I dont have anything against them, as a whole, trust me. But in my costumes an obvious zipper just kinda sticks out badly.

2) No buttons. A thousand buttons like seed pearls swooping down the spine in a row looks gorgeous... but have you ever tried to sew those suckers on? omg. And image, getting INTO and OUT OF the dress!? So, no buttons.

3) Buttons and zippers are the only things I had experience with.

There is a third option. But it involves... murder...


No, I jest. it involves lacing. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pink Ariel Walk Through Numero DOS!!!

Wow, can't believed I actually am writing the second one! And so quickly to! And, more to the point, AT THE RIGHT TIME! Mainly I will write one part, then ignore it until I get the project done and do a rush post. Lookit me, being all numerical and in order! Woot!!

Okay, as of right now the gown looks like this. (dont get excited, its still in pieces I just drape it up to keep myself interested.)

Okay, so heres what I did so far. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ariel Pink Dress Tutorial Part One

Okay. So. I know there's been some issue with Ariels pink dress. A lot of very influential bloggers have stated they dislike it. Red hair, it is commonly known, does not make good bed partners with the color pink. Brichan, my very favorite artist has even made a most amusing picture ->

Which, by the by is HILARIOUS. So many cosplayers have seen and posed in this way because Bri is like a demi-god in the Disney world. She deserves that status believe you me.

Anyway, for my part, I've never seen anything offensive about the gown. In fact, it is my favorite Disney Princess dress. I can recall the scene perfectly, where Ariel steps out from the shadows and into the light, modest and eager, and Erik is all like; DAYUM.

Anyway, bottom line. I want to make some Princess getups for myself and this is at the top of my list for being my favorite Disney Dress.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Will You Take Me To The Ball? Tentacles and All?


Absolute best part was of course, dressing up for Mickey's not so scary Halloween Party. It BLEW MY MIND. I loved being my character, loved the people gasping when they saw me, and ABSOLUTELY ADORED hunting down little Mermaids to scare.


Me, last week Tuesday.

Began with a pattern, of course, as I am a fish in the Sahara without one.  It was really easy, same with my Green sister up there, take the dress, cut it out in a nive poly-snakeskin like, then add tentacle cut outs! A colored skirt and a hoop skirt later and BOOM

Instant sea witch!

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Okay, stage two of my Princesses for Disney Funtimes. My Niece number Two is going as Cinderella, her favorite Princess. (Aside from Tinkerbelle, and Ive already ranted about revealing outfits enough). I decide to raid my pattern stash and see what I can do.


Neckline not too reveling, nice historical background, and a parted 'top skirt' which brings to mind Cindy's Swags. The sleeves would have to go though.

So first I picked my fabrics. If you'll recall...

The shiny white stuff is for swags and sleeves, blue embroidered bit over white for the bodice and the blue satin is for the skirt. A note on that, by the by. The satin was originally off-white in color. I used an entire dye pot of navy to tint it blue and it came out remarkably well.

So. The bodice.

I placed the netting over the white, and then pinned it down firmly. Then I placed the pattern on it and cut that slippery mother out.

Afterwards, I sewed each panel to its backings, and then to each other. 

Bonus! Got some actual pattern matching going on there. WOOT!! Anyway. 

On Blue, in various, badly lit, photos. 

Next I used my brand new, handy dandy grommet-puncher-thingy-mabober and made eyelets. Yay! 

Of course, the skirt I didn't even bother photographing. I layered the three yards long, ridiculously wide piece down, and folded it three times. Then I sliced it diagonally. Gave me three pieces on the fold and six half pieces. I sewed them together, alternating. Then, I sewed the waistband on, just a piece of wide ribbon I had lying around. I used all excess fabric in the front, for the pleating seen on Cindy's dress. 

Next: SWAGS. I borrowed heavily from here:

SO grateful for her tutorial. Her and her mum ROCK! 

Anyway, I eyeballed the shape and haphazardly performed despicable acts upon my defenseless fabric. I cut our four and wedged a similar shaped netting in the middle for added pouf. I love Traybuff's gown but my personal preferences lean toward a slightly LESS bodacious hip-tude. Then I added a long length of netty, shiny lace to the straight edge, like Traybuff. She really inspired me with this. 

Afterward I well, I wouldn't call it draping. I PIN patterns up. So this is the dress, Pinned to Blue. 

I might mention at this point the skirt is a three yard long rectangle that I roughly pleated to fit for aesthetic reasons. I liked the shape and so sewed all the layers together and then roughly pleated the long, curved up and sewed it to a length of bias tape to keep it all together and assist in sewing it to the bodice afterwards. 

Then I roughly tacked on some swatches of fabric for sleeves to get a good look at the full picture.

 And took it to work with me, to work on the little stuff.

(A note here. Turns out the bodice needed a bit more backing and I feared that my nieces, well, 'tips' might be dark enough to show through. Since I had already sewn the bodice I had to Frankenstein a thicker lining and tack it in. THEN I went and sewed side back to front and side front to the back! So somewhere in there the lining doesn't line up exactly. Lol. As Traybuff would say. 'Can't be bothered!")

Heres my best pic of it, with the necklace I bought. Actually pictures will be put up way later. Blue is assisting me with another gown.

Sneak peek?