Friday, December 8, 2017

My DIY Master Bedroom Makeover (For under $75!)

Because it isn't strictly sewing (or even very much about sewing, although there is a quilt), I posted about my recent bedroom redecorating project over on my personal blog. If you're interested in such things, you may enjoy checking it out!

More photos and notes at 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Green Corset - Part 3

Here we are! The final photos of the finished corset (which I like to call the 'Slytherin Green Corset'). It was quite an adventure stitching this creation, but I'm very happy with how it turned out!

It's quite difficult to sew creations like this and then send them off. I took a bajillion photos of this one.

Here you can see the lace and embellishments I added.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Green Corset - Part 2

Corset-making is an intense process, but it is so cool to see the finished piece come together. Part 1 covered the initial construction and busk insertion. Part 2 will chronicle the rest of the process.

Having completed two fittings and established the proper fittings of the corset, I now needed to cover the inside seams. I made bias tape out of black satin and stitched them down.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Green Corset - Part 1

Corset-making is an art of its own. One can be a fabulous costumer, and yet know nothing about crafting corsets. I am still very much a novice in this area, but I did complete a project for a friend this past year that I am pretty proud of.

This corset is loosely Victorian in design, although I'll admit to giving it plenty of modern flare in order to make finishing the project on time manageable! And, for historical accuracy's sake, I should also point out that the Victorian era was quite a long one, with the shape of the corset changing from decade to decade. I use the term "Victorian" here only to really set it apart from the Tudor corset I did previously.

I began the project by padding out one of my dress forms to my friend's measurements. Although I would do fittings in person, making the corset was helped tremendously by having a fairly close body double.

I needed this to be a time economical project, since I knew that even with time-saving methods it would still end up being fairly involved. Therefore, the corset is only three layers thick, and thin layers at that. A gold/green brocade, a thin interfacing, and a green poly-satin lining. I knew it would be easiest to fit the corset if there was one seam per section, rather than separate seams for the brocade and lining, so I stitched all the pieces together as though each brocade and satin piece were merely the front and back of the same piece. I'm really glad I did this, because it made the fitting process so much simpler.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Eowyn Coat

Several years ago I was given a length of textured brown fabric that struck me as being perfect for a replica of Eowyn's brown coat from "The Two Towers." I got a coat zipper and a bit of cheap brown fur and whipped the coat together. It was a little tricky to piece out all the necessary pattern sections, but I managed to pull it off! And, if I recall correctly, this was my first time working with faux fur.

However, despite the fact that I made this piece over twelve years ago, it has never been photographed! I meant to wear it during a photoshoot with my sister the other week, but the heat soared and there was no way I was wearing this ensemble in 70f weather! The coat pairs well with a medieval undertunic and surcoat in my wardrobe, but both of those pieces are made of synthetic fabrics so it is a very warm costume overall!

Perfect, however, for this past Tuesday, which was wet and frigid. It was also what I like to call "National Costume Day", and Chipolte gave out $3 burritos to those who went in costume.

No, I didn't bring the sword into Chipolte. But I had to get a few photos with it! And my Jedi Master husband, of course.

Eowyn's original costume does not include a zipper, of course, but I deliberately wanted to make a coat that had some actual practical function. I'm planning to keep it handy and see how else I can use it this year. It's quite cool to wear!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Sewing Photography Tips

If you are a seamstress who wants to boost your profile on social media, you need good content--and you also need pretty content. Today we are going to talk about how to take good photos that do your sewing talents justice. And don't worry, we're going to do it the economical way!

First, my personal background. I started photographing my sewing projects almost ten years ago. While I am still constantly learning more about photography, I will say that my pictures have come a long way. In this article I am going to share with you many of the tricks I've learned about photography in general, and photographing sewing projects and costumes in particular. Some of what I've learned has come from trial and error, other bits are tips from friends, and plenty of the info comes from many hours spent reading other photography tip blogs. Indeed, I would particularly like to highlight this Sewing Photography post by Tilly and the Buttons, as it served as a significant jumping off point for many of my photographic advancements.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Why I Sew (and why I don't)

I wish that I could show you the actual video above, because it explains so much about my obsession with sewing. However I don't have access to it right now, so I'm going to explain to the best of my memory. Up there is a screenshot of me shortly before my third birthday. I am taping thread onto fabric. "What are you doing?" my mom asks. "I'm sewing," I say. "Like Wendy in Peter Pan."

The weird thing, is that I have a very strong memory of this, but it isn't in the family room, it's up in my bedroom. So the taping thread on things--that was happening a lot. I saw Wendy Darling sewing in "Peter Pan" and I desperately wanted to do whatever it was she did. 

That compulsion has never left me.

myself and my sister wearing very early creations

 I was about five or six when I was first allowed an actual needle and thread, and a year later I had convinced my mother and grandmother to give me a few lessons on the sewing machine. I utterly refused to have anything to do with patterns ("No one is going to tell ME what to do!") and progressed with learning the hard way.