Costuming Projects

18th Century

My friend Kimberly mentioned to me that her daughter, my mini-me, needed a colonial outfit for school.  I sooooo wanted to make it!  I was trying to be nice and not steal the opportunity to make the costume from Kimberly, but oh, how I wanted to make this!!!  She graciously agreed to let me do it, and I immediately started shopping for fabric. Even though this is for a kid, and a school thing, I still wanted to go historically accurate. Because that's most of the fun for me.  ;) The outfit is made mostly from 100% linen, and the underthings are in a cotton muslin.

50's Dresses

I picked up this pattern forever ago, but was so uninspired by the fabrics used in the dresses on the envelope. Then, while shopping in some vintage stores with friends in Fullerton a month ago, we came across a store full of rockabilly and 50's styled clothes. I LOVE that style. But not enough to pay retail prices! And so, when sorting through my patterns a week later, I came across this one, I realized that if I did it in a polka dot print, it would be almost identical to the rockabilly dresses I'd seen at the vintage store!

I actually bought the pattern for this suit in 2008, almost 5 years ago. I had only really been sewing for a year or so, and hadn't done much with regular commercial patterns at that point, and was looking for projects to increase my skills.  I don't even know why, really, I picked this particular suit, except that I love outfits with matching hats.  And the 50's suits were just so prim and proper, which is the exact opposite of me.  Maybe I thought I could fool people?


I have no idea what I was thinking. This is so far out of my normal set of sewing skills. Maybe that was part of the allure. I don't even know what would make a rational person say, hey, I'll make a tutu! I have nowhere to wear it to, and nowhere to even store it, but I need a tutu! NEED! It started the way most of my project ideas started... a glimpse of an image or word that catches my eye, and leads me on a path of research. Sometimes I end up where I started, sometimes I end up in a different century altogether.

Since I'd already completed a black tutu, I decided to make a white tutu.  That way, if I ever have the chance to dance the Odette/Odile role in Swan Lake, I'll be prepared. ; )  This tutu uses a different bodice pattern than the black tutu; I find this one to be so much more aesthetically pleasing, both in fit and in movement. I did cheat and use a tacking gun on the skirt instead of doing it by hand, which saved me a few hours. ; ) The headpiece is buckram lined with milliner wire; lined with white satin, and covered in anonymous white bird feathers and pearl detail.


Or, how I spent a lot of my free time in August. : ) It started with an invite to a friend's 40th birthday party. A THEMED birthday party, where guests were encouraged to dress up. I was SO in!!! Could it be any more up my alley???  The theme was Star Wars. I'm not a Star Wars fan; I'm sure I must have seen some of the movies, but I don't remember them. I websurfed my favorite movie costume sites to look for costume ideas. I settled on the Padme packing gown from Episode 2 before I went to bed that night.

Evening Gowns

I wanted to try another evening gown because I wanted to improve my fitting techniques. Evening gowns, because of their close fit, require a lot attention to detail, and multiple fittings to ensure things are going well.  I also like doing them because they are fast. : )   This one is Vogue pattern 8556. I really like working with Vogue because the patterns are usually well sized, and require minimal adjustments to make them fit well. And, the patterns are just very flattering. The fabric is a crepe back satin in royal blue, and the dress is fully lined.

After having done the blue evening gown, I wanted to try adding in more couture techniques that would make the dresses fit better and wear better.

Okay, this is SO not me. I made it to see if I could successfully make a strapless gown that stayed in place. This particular gown has pleats on both the front and back on one side, and a side slit up the leg. The other side has an invisible zipper.  It is fully lined,  and has a boned inner corselette. The fabric is a darker red satin, and the lining is the same color.  The interlining is made from lining fabric and sewn in interfacing.  I found the fabric on sale for 60% off, so the fabric cost was under $20.


In April, I finished the regency short stays and chemise, and in May, I finished the gown.  So I am putting this in between the April and May Projects blog posts, even though I still haven't gotten to the April one. : ) The inspiration from this project came from watching Immortal Beloved, a movie about Ludwig Van Beethoven's life. He is long been a favorite composer of mine, and I love the movie because it captures his life through his music.


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