Red Renaissance Outfit – Part 2

Finished the matching full skirt yesterday, using Butterick 5757 again and taking a whole bunch of shortcuts.  No pockets, no lining (which seems to have been a mistake because this fabric unravels like crazy), and did a simple elastic waist by folding over the fabric and sewing the elastic into it.

I first sewed the end of the elastic to the fabric, then pinned and sewed the waist fabric over it all around, leaving a one inch gap for the elastic to stick out through.  I then gathered the fabric around the elastic until I reached an acceptable waist circumference, then cut and sewed the elastic to itself through the fabric, and then closed the one inch gap.

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This really only works when the fabric print is so busy you don’t notice the extra stiches, or when the waistband will never show, as will be the case with my costume because the corset and the overskirt will cover it up.

Here’s the finished skirt:

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Next up is the black overskirt. I’ve cut this already and started sewing pockets already. I’ll be putting some gathering in it, a bit like this brown skirt:

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Now it’s bedtime. Had a long stressful week at work, and I just got back from a long afternoon and evening at Disneyland so I’m beyond pooped.


Ever After Gown – Part 1

After scouring the web for a pattern similar to the green & gold Ever After gown worn by Anjelica Huston at the royal ball near the end of the film, I finally ran across McCall’s 3053.  This is strangely marketed as a bridal gown, but pattern option C looks almost identical to the gown, with the exception of a full train in back instead of the two separate draped pieces hanging down the back off each shoulder.  I don’t have enough purple velvet to make the train, so I’ll either omit it entirely or figure out a way to make the separate drapes.

Ever After gown:



McCall’s 3053:



I originally wanted the purple velvet to go with the blue dupioni, but it turns out this pattern takes about 6 yards of dupioni and I only have 3 in the blue.  The only dupioni I have enough of is the gold, so it will be a purple and gold gown instead, which is a more traditional color pairing anyways.

Purple velvet & gold dupioni:

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Ok, off to buy the pattern!  But first, here’s a fuzzy screenshot of Anjelica Huston wearing the gown:


Fabric Windfall

A few weeks ago I joined a costume party meetup group online, and a few days ago someone posted to the group that she had dozens of yards of free fabric for anyone who wanted to take it off her hands.  I jumped on the chance, especially since I’ve spent well over $200 on fabric in the past few weeks alone.  At the very least, I figured, I would end up with some stuff I could use to practice my bodice making skills.

I showed up at her house tonight to discover yards and yards of silk dupioni in so many gorgeous colors!.  I ended up taking home about 30 yards worth, plus some yards of purple patterned velvet, medium-weight light gold & blue brocade and some lightweight off-white brocade.

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I also got some awesome silk thread:

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Now I get to go off and brainstorm color combinations.  I’m thinking an Italian renaissance gown with the purple velvet and blue dupioni (with silver trim?)

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In the style of this beautiful masterpiece


Scottish Stuff – Part 1

I just landed a minor part in a local production of The Scottish Play Opera, which got me thinking about my Scottish roots.  I’m a Lindsay, which is not one of the more well known patterns (unlike Stewart or Blackwatch) but which still comes in several different variations:

There’s Lindsay Ancient:


Lindsay Hunting Ancient:


Lindsay Weathered:


Lindsay Old Colors:


Lindsay Modern:


Lindsay New Modern:


Lindsay Red Dress:


and Lindsay Blue Dress:



Clearly, my Lindsay ancestors were a color-savvy bunch.

I want to make a circle skirt & sash similar to the image below out of one of these colors, probably either Modern, New Modern, Red Dress or Blue Dress.



Tartan fabric is crazy expensive though, even for lightweight poly-viscose.  So far the cheapest I’ve seen is around $20/yard, so I may have to save up a bit first.  Ebay and Etsy aren’t helping, because they don’t seem to carry Lindsay tartans.  If anyone knows someplace I can get Lindsay tartans for under $10/yard please speak feel free to leave a comment below!

Red Renaissance Outfit – Part 1

I bought this gorgeous corset from Mad Girl Clothing last year at the LA Renaissance Fair.  Aren’t the clasps nifty? This year at the fair, I spotted a silver and black version that came with a matching skirt, so I asked the saleslady if the skirt came in the same color as the brocade fabric on my corset, and she said yes.  When I asked how much, she said $110.  Yikes.

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When I went home that evening, I looked up the skirt online and found that the fabric was called Burgundy and Hunter Brocade.  On a whim, I decided to google that phrase, and it turns out that Joann’s has it on sale for $6/yard.

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I promptly snatched up 3 yards with a plan to make a nice overskirt and a simple black cotton underskirt.   Here I am with the fabric wrapped around my waist to give you an idea of what I’m thinking.


I’d also like to make a pair of detachable shoulder straps out of the same fabric that simply snap into the corset, and then purchase a black cotton chemise to wear underneath.  The finished outfit will essentially be the color inverse of this outfit below:


Renaissance Wench Outfit

I recently cobbled together a renaissance wench outfit from Butterick 5757 (circle skirt with elastic waistband and pockets) and Butterick 4669 (simple bodice).

The skirt was fully lined with generous pockets.  I chose gorgeous linen blend fabric in teal (outer) and navy blue (lining), not realizing at the time that the whole shebang would be extremely heavy.  (It’s actually not that heavy when you’re wearing it.)


To hide the hem stitches, I used a length of beautiful teal, black and gold ribbon that I found on sale at Joann’s.

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After making the skirt, I went back to Joann’s intending to purchase extra navy blue linen for a kerchief overskirt, then decided that the existing skirt really needed a matching bodice.  Lucky for me, Butterick 4669 was in stock, so I got that and additional teal and navy blue linen, as well as some red seam tape and red lacing to add a little bit of contrasting color and break up the sea of blue.  The bodice pattern did not call for boning, but I needed it for support so I added it to the front and side seams.  An easy way to add boning is to sew it into the seam allowances.  As long as the seam allowances are wider than the boning casing, you can just sew it into the lining by following the stitches in the casing, sliding the boning back into the casing, and then sewing over the ends of the casing.  I sewed it into the lining seam allowances as opposed to the outer fabric, because sometimes boning can poke through.  If it pokes through the lining you can patch it easily, but if it pokes through the outer fabric you are pretty much screwed.  I bought boning caps but forgot to use them. Oh well.  I also used the leftover ribbon from the skirt to trim the neckline and the front of the bodice.

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The finished outfit:

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My First Costume

I used to sew when I was a kid.  I took classes at a local arts & crafts store called Piecemakers, and I ended up with a few dresses,  vests and pants.  You know, the usual stuff.  Then I stopped sewing for about 20 years and picked it up only last fall when I had a month off between jobs and nothing to do.  Halloween was coming up, and I wanted to wear a renaissance or medieval style dress, but I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars.  So I decided on a whim to make one.  I bought McCall’s 6376 because it seemed to be on the simpler side.  It took nearly a week of sewing 3-4 hours a day, because I had no clue what I was doing, and the neckline lace took nearly 2 hours of hand sewing.

McCall's 6376

McCall’s 6376

Even though it turned out gorgeously, I swore I’d never do it again…until last week, when I decided to go to the LA Renaissance Fair and didn’t feel like wearing my Halloween costume because it seemed too nice to wear to a dusty fair.  So I made a skirt (Butterick 5757) and bodice (Butterick 4669) out of linen blend fabric instead.  You can read about that one here.