Thursday, November 26, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

Disney Inspired Mickey Ears

Lately I have been making Disney inspired Mickey Ears.

A series of Star Wars inspired ones.  They have  "diamond" Mickey Ears in the center.

Mad Hatter inspired, including "diamond" Mickey Ears.

And two different Christmas Mickey Ears.

Gingerbread Man

And for something Not Disney, Minion Ears!

And Evil Minions.

Check them out in my etsy shop.

Which ones do you like best?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ichabod Crane Revolutionary War Coat

I finished the Ichabod Crane style coat last spring but never had a chance to have it modeled.  Finally got that done this week.  

I wanted to simulate this coat from Sleepy Hollow from Fox TV.  I can not afford wool flannel so I went with cotton flannel in a navy blue, it is a bit darker in person, but not much. I changed the collar a bit from the pattern to reflect the costume.

I did not put in buttonholes but I may go back later and add them.  Ichabod Crane has a very plain coat without any trim so I was trying to copy the plainness of it.  

I'm working on breeches and a nice white shirt to go with it.  They will also do double duty for Husband's pirate costume


I really like how well the back came out.  It is fully lined as well.  I have never made a men's coat before so this was a learning experience.

As soon as I get the next two pieces done I will post those pictures as well. Maybe I'll add the dirt for authenticity when he wears it!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Pirate Vest

Since Husband and I are going on a second Disney Cruise in spring 2016, I decided we needed new pirate costumes.  I started with the same Simplicity Pirate costume pattern, based on Pirates of the Caribbean.

I then used the linen I dyed royal blue to make the vest.

I enjoy the way it looks weathered already, like the pirate has been out to sea for a while. It has machine sewn buttonholes and "pewter" style buttons

I wanted to top stitch the edges but wanted it to look hand sewn so I actually hand stitched a running stitch around the edges and down the side seams. I used embroidery thread for this step.

I like the way it came out.  it is fully lined with blue chambray style fabric that was a freebie from my daughter's mother-in-laws fabric stash. It is a little heavy but works well overall.
Hope you enjoyed it.

Dying Linen for Costumes

A year ago, or so, I bought two pieces of this linen blend fabric. Each was about two yards long.  I had planned to make a 1700s style petticoat. Then I realized that the fabric was probably too heavy for petticoats. Since husband and I are going on a Disney Cruise again in the spring I need to make us each a new pirate costume for pirate night. The linen would make a great pirate vest, but not in white. So back to the dye vat.

I decided to use the royal blue from Rit.  I like the liquid for its saturation and solid color.  

I heated water in my water pot and added a cup of salt along with a gallon or so of super hot tap water.  Then I stirred it a bit and added the dampened fabric.

Rubber gloves and a stir stick are necessary so that my hands didn't turn blue.

I left the fabric in the dye solution for half an hour, turning and opening the fabric out once or twice so it was entirely covered.

Then I started rinsing it with cold water from the outside hose. Remember to dump your dye and salty water out in a place where you are NOT trying to grow grass in a drought.  See that dry spot? That's my lawn. I forgot and dumped purple dye water here a year ago and it is still dead in this area. Oops!

This is a little view of the color of the fabric.  It has some spots that look very weather worn, which works great with the pirate theme, but doesn't show great dye skills.
I do like the way it came out and the entire Pirate Vest came out great.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Regency Stays or Corset

I started into a little bit of the Regency era this summer.  I made a dress first and then the stays, but decided I would show the stays first.

I ordered Simplicity 4052 from a seller on etsy and received a great pattern in great condition.  It is an out of print pattern. Instead of cutting it,  I traced each of the necessary pattern pieces onto tissue paper and used them for cutting my fabric.  I did make a denim mock up!  However, I don't think it is worth showing.  The pattern fit well as is.  I did narrow the straps a little and cut the front just a little wider across the front so it would be hidden under the dress.

Image result for simplicity 4052

The top layer is dupioni silk in white, left over from making  my 1880s hat. The middle layer is coutil and the inner lining is white muslin. I ran out of silk so it is bound in the cotton muslin.

I used the "B" cup option for the inset gussets. It seemed to work perfectly.  Of course the dress form doesn't really fit a corset but it would be indecent of me to post a picture in my undies alone!
I need to make the proper era chemise and possible a bodiced petticoat before I can wear the dress as it is sheer muslin.

Thanks for having a look.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Hats and Mad Caps at the Hat Bar

First off, I figured out why I could no longer upload pictures to my blog (with the help of the Geek Squad.) I was using the new Edge search engine that came with Windows 10.  It is flawed.  It will not allow pictures to upload.  So I have gone back to Google Chrome and Voila! it works.

So Let's play catch up.
The first few days of August I was home alone and hadn't spoken to anyone in three days except the cats. As sweet as they are I felt it was time to speak to a human.  So Saturday morning I got in my Jeep and started driving around town looking for garage sales.  In the oldest section of town where there are houses from the 1920s through the 1950s I found an estate sale.  
I poked around the back yard first, nothing but farm and garage tools.  Then inside I found a bedroom with a rack full of 1950s hand made dresses. Dresses for a very tiny lady.  In the closet there were at least 10 hats.  Most were in well used shape.  I looked them over and picked up a pair of hats.

  This first hat reminds me of Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy. It has no tag in it but is in super shape.  Nice and clean with no fading or wear marks at all.

It really is this gorgeous dark navy.  It will look beautiful with the 1943 dress I made or better yet with a pencil skirt and suit coat.

This second hat is labelled.  It is also this perfect shade of navy.  It is made of velvet. I think it would need a hat pin of some sort to keep it on my head, or else it is just too small. I am not sure what I would wear it with here in California. It is definitely a winter hat and our weather is always warm.

Mad Caps New York was a hat company founded by Alfred Solomon.  He would "design" hats that were slightly altered knock-offs of Paris designer originals.  He would sell them in hat bars in department stores. This 2004 obituary tells more about him and the Mad Caps.

Here is a photo of the label.

Thank you for stopping by to see my new hats, which I may never wear!  They were only $5 each and I couldn't pass them up.
I also had a nice conversation with a gentleman who used to own a vintage shop in our town and would snap up these hats and sell them at a drastic mark-up.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Blog Absence

I'm sorry I have not posted in a long time.  I had my computer taken back to its original settings because it was overloaded and slow.  Then Windows 10 came out.  Now blogger absolutely refuses to communicate with my computer.  It will not allow pictures to be uploaded. And I can't figure out what the issue is.  I am not a computer person, I am a seamstress. Computers just seem to emphasize stress! Bear with me.

I have a pair of great hats I bought at an estate sale and a couple of Regency era pieces I've sewn that I would like to share.

Thanks for hanging in with me.  I have to find time to hit up the GeekSquad again.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

1880s Parasol

For the challenge: accessories, I thought I needed a parasol.  It is extremely hot in California and a lady needs to keep the sun off. (Especially when she is wearing so many layers!)
This is the inspiration piece I used as a reference.  I still have a few more details to finish, but wanted to share to get opinions on the spots.

This is an old faded umbrella I inherited from my mother. 

You can see the faded lines from being folded and sitting in the sun.

And of course it was in the back of my Jeep and got chewed by a nervous dog.

First thing was to clip all the little threads keeping the fabric centered on the ribs.

Then I removed the fabric from the metal ribs.  I clipped off the little metal tips and saved them all in a box so the kitties wouldn't get them.

I carefully unstitched one section of the old fabric to use as a pattern. It needed a little extra seam allowance as it had very narrow 1/8 inch seam allowances.

I traced them onto my Polyester Taffeta.  I know.  Cheat.  But there was no way I was going to use silk when I more than likely would be ripping and resewing. Then I cut them out and Hemmed each section. Then I sewed them in pairs, then fours, and finally sewed the two halves together. I matched the outer edges but didn't worry too much about the tip.  I left that open a bit.

I hand stitched the tips onto the new fabric and then slipped the new canopy over the open ribs.  I put each spoke back into a tip.


Next, the ribs were each hand tacked along the seam lines in two places to keep them in place and evenly spaced.

Here is the underside.  I cut off the hook part of the handle and sanded and applied wood filler to the chewed point at the top.  Then I painted the tip and handle black.

I'm afraid the paint is already scraping off the shaft of the parasol as I open and close it.  I will also need to seal the paint on the handle so It stays put.  I used basic wall paint.  I figured craft paint would come off more quickly.

The original parasol has  this little fluffy thing at the top as well.  I used it to hide all the points of the sections.  They are sewn to a ring and unfortunately hot glued.

There you have it: a representation of an 1880s parasol.

Question:  Should I paint the large black spots or leave it plain?  It is to use with this outfit. I am concerned that I will make a mess of it if I try to paint.
The challenge Details:
Challenge #7: Accessorize
Fabric: 100% polyester taffeta
Pattern: None
Year: ca. 1880
Notions: polyester thread, hot glue, wall paint
How Historically Accurate: Maybe 20% for overall look
Hours to complete: Approximately 6 hours
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: $6 usd, I had all the notions etc. on hand.  I only purchased the yard of fabric.
Let me know what you think, weigh in on to spot or not.