Sunday, 5 September 2010

Tudor Dress Photographs

So here are the photographs of the Purple velvet Tudor Dress

This is possibily the last costume I will make for a while, because i Leave to go to Edinburgh College of Art on Saturday. I dont know what i will be doing in my first year, so i am not sure that there will be any costumes or anything to post on here. We will see i suppose. I am pretty excited about going on saturday, although it is a bit scary aswell. Really excited to start my Performance Costume Course!!

Anyhooo Its pretty damn late now so i will be off to bed now i suppose.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Next Up

So i finished the sleepyhollow dress and floral dress a couple of weeks ago now and since then i have been rather busy, which is why there has been a serious lack of posts. Anyway, during this time, i have been working on a purpl tudor-ish dress. I just have to hem the skirt and sleeves and then am done, so hopefully i will be finished by this weekend. However, i have also promised my brother and dad that i will make them things for their birthdays, which are now gone and passed, and seen as i am leaving for university next saturday, I really have to get to work on them now. So the Tudor dress takes a back seat unfortunatley :(
Heres a sneak peak of the dress so far though;

Sunday, 15 August 2010


So i have taken the photographs of both the sleepy hollow dress and the pink floral dress and uploaded all the good ones to my flickr account;

I might take some more of the riding dress at a later date because out of the many photos taken there were only about 4 that i actually liked and none of them really showed the back of the dress.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Back from Holidays

So i am back from a suprisingly rainy Italy, although it was torrential rain which was pretty exciting. Also, it means i know longer have to think about how the sleepy hollow photographs will work if i have a tan, because i dont really have one. Alls well that ends well :)

Anyway, heres a sneak peak at something i have been working on since i got back;

A bt more pink and flowery than anything i have done before, but like how its turned out. I cant decide if i prefer the dress with the necklace or just the ribbon around the neck. Opinions at all?

Ooh also, while i was in italy i went into a vintage shop and found this straw hat which i think will look great with 18th century garb. You cant see it fully in the picture but you will be able to see it properly in my next lot of photos.

Photographs of this dress and the sleepyhollow riding dress will be taking place this saturday, so i will update with them after that.

Untill then, farewell

Thursday, 22 July 2010

I thought it was about time for a new layout :)

The sleepyhollow riding dress is just about finished. I am going away to Italy tomorrow though so the photographs will have a slight delay. I really wanted to get them done before i left, because sleepyhollow and tan dont reeaally go together so well. I suppose i could use some pale foundation or something to make myself look a bit less brown lol.
Anyway, see you when i get back :)

Friday, 9 July 2010

Chemise Photos

Finished the Chemise de la reines and took the photographs.
They are all posted on my flickr acount here;

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Tea dying

So i have been doing some tests before tea staining the proper lace. I took four cuttings from the lace and then put it into the tea for different lengths of time to see which came out the best colour.
I dont know if its obvious in the photograph below, but the lace is a bit darker each time. To be honest i think that I will probably use the lightest one, because the darkest bit looks really brown whereas i really just wanted it too be slightly off white and a bit less bright. I do think the stained lace looks better than the pure white lace, so i think i will do it on the real lace. But it doesnt look exactly how i wanted it to.

Riding dress continued...

The riding dress is just about finished. Sewn on all the red lace, sewn on three of the front buttons and two of the back buttons so the skirt is all gathered. Now all i have to do is sew the lace on the stomacher. However, i have yet to find any lace that looks very good. I have found some white lace for down the front of the stomacher, but its way to white and squeeky clean so i think some tea staining is in order. I have ordered some lace of ebay which should hopefully work for the thicker lace at the neckline.
Heres some updated photographs;

Because of fabric shortage the back of the skirt is really shorter than i wanted it to be, but i didnt have much choice. I havent decided what i think of it yet. Plus, the ribbons and the lace etc are all a bit too red. But again, theres not much i can do about that so i will be happy.
Hopefully teastaining will make the lace look a bit less bright white and a bit more antiquey, but i have no idea how i can make the fabric for the skirt and stomacher look a bit more old and a bit less bright and modern. Maybe i will just walk through the woods with it on and muddy it up a bit. lol. Any tips on how to make it look more old fashioned would be much appreciated.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Riding dress Progress

Been doing some more sewing today, dont you just love summer holdiays :), and made some serious progress on the Sleepy Hollow Riding dress. Unfortunatley, when i got round to cutting out the fabric, i had a bit of trouble. It turns out that i didnt get as much of the grey fabric as i should of done (disastor) so i have had to compromise a bit and simplify a few things. For example i have had to simplify the sleeves a tad. Also, i have shortened the skirt a bit, which i am hoping shouldnt matter too much once i have it all gathered up like it will be *crosses fingers*
Other than that, the fabric looks nice and the collar worked well. So, it's mlooking hopeful. :) I attempted to do the grain variations that wereon the different sections of the bodice, but in the end it doesnt show too much that there is a difference. Looks okay though.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Bodice Toile

Okay, bodice toile Done.

The front,
ignore the turquoise vest etc that i am wearing underneath :)

And the back

I am really pleased with how this has turned out. I thought the front of the jacket was going to be too far apart, if that makes sense, but once i put it on on top of my corset i think it looks alright how it is. Also, obviously, when i cut out the real thing i will make it En fourreau, but i was concentrating on making the front of the jacket the right shape so i thought i would just keep the back simple, espcially as i wouldnt be making a skirt part for the toile. But yeh, mucho happy so far :)
Below is a photo of the buttons and lace that i arranged on the toile to see how it would look and i am very happy with the result.
Looks okay no?

So with the toile done and it looking as if everything is fitting corectly,time to start chopping away at the real fabric i think. Eeek.
Speaking of fabric, here is a quick snap of the fabric that i got for the underskirt/Stomacher. Like i said previously, i think the colour is brighter than on the real dress but the two tone fabric has the same grey/blue sheen as the actualy fabric so i think it should work okay.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Sleepy Hollow Riding dress update

Well, i have finally found some fabric that will do for the skirt of the sleepyhollow riding dress. As suspected, i couldnt find any fabric that had a pattern of any similarity to that of the actual dress, so instead i am using a plain two tone, teal and grey, taffetta-ish fabric. It is slightly lighter, i think, than the original fabric and not the exact right colour as i think its a bit less saturated and the colour is a bit brighter than i wanted, but its the best i could find and i really want to start it now. I cut out the toile of the bodice just now so i will make that up tomorrow hopefully, and post pictures obviously.

Also, i have finished the White Chemise de la Reine dresses and the plan currently is to take photographs on monday so i will post an update on that once they are done. I really LOVE my dress, more than i thought i would. Its exactly what i wanted :) I am not as keen on esthers dress though. I fitted it on her last week and while she looked lovely i have gone off the way i have constructed the dress. I wish, instead of a neckline that is gathered in the way it is, if i had made a sturdy bpdoce with a gathered front but maybe a similar collar trim than mine. Anyway, its made and i will know for another time that this technique, whilst not being awful, doesnt work as well as i hoped it would.

Off to bed now, photos of toile will follow in the morning.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Sleepy Hollow photographs

The phootgraphs of the finished sleepyhollow dress have evenetually been taken. Above is just a small version of one of the photos, but i didnt want to post a stream of photos on here so the rest of them are here;
Enjoy :)

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Chemise Photos

Just a few quick photos from my first fitting of my Chemise de la reine. As it was made from one of my old patterns that i had made previously, with alterations obviously, it fit perfectly :) The photographs arent great as they were taken by my mum in her lunch break so it was all a bit rushed. Anyway, here you go.

To see larger images, you can click on the photos and see the full size.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

My Chemise de la reine

I have made some more progress on the two chemise dresses, I have sewn together the basic shape of my chemise de la reine. Unlike esthers, it has a straight front instead of a gathered front, but it has a gathered trim around the neck. Which i had at first thought i had made too long, but i have changed my mind and decided it is perfect. :) I am really happy with how it looks so far. Esthers dress is at a stage where i cant do anything more without fitting it to her, and as she doesnt finish her exams untill friday, it wont be before then. But i will make the sash for mine and add the sleeves tomorrow and then they are both very close to completion. Yay :)

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Esther Chemise de la reine

So i finished my A levels on wednesday (Yay!), and have finally been able to make some progress on the Chemise De la reine I am making for Esther and i have cut out the fabric for the Chemise i am making for myself.
Esthers Dress is made from really thin white fabric with tiny flowers on it, its lovely :) I think its coming out okay, although the gathering on the back is bit odd and needs some fxing. Basically the gathering around the entire neckline is a bit wierd and needs a bit of a rejig. But other than that, htink its coming along nicely. :)

PS, the photos of the sleepy hollw dress are still delayed because I have been revising non stop for the past two weeks and then i had a formal leavers dinner to get ready for yesterday time for dressing up. Excuses, excuses i know. But soon, i promise.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Ignore that last post
Next thing i am going to make are two chemise de la reines for me and my friend esther, because with revision and stuff i have decided i dont really have time to start a robe ala francais, so i am going to go for the simpler garment first and tackle the other dress in the summer when i have more time to take time over it :)
Also, i really love the chemise de la reines and just found the perfect fabric for esthers dress :)

Sunday, 30 May 2010


So the Sleepy Hollow dress is finished, photographs will follow of the finished dress but i havent got round to taking any good ones yet.

I have yet to find any fabric that will look good on the sleepy hollow riding dress, so that will be put on hold until that appears unfortunatley. My next project is a Robe ala francaise.

I bought a few metres of this fabric off ebay. Its a grey/blue colour with a gold apple tree pattern. Its really nice. Unfortunatley there wasnt very much available so i may have to deviate from history a bit and just make a dress out of whats there and hope it looks like a proper Robe ala francais. Thats cosutming on a budget for you.

The stomacher and underskirt are going to be made from the stock of fabric that i have that i used to make this pink dress out of ( on the left worn by esther)
I think the contrast between the grey blue and the pink will look nice. I hope anyway. We will see :)

I have broken up from school now and only have two exams left to revise for, so i should be able to do this dress quite easily over the next couple of weeks in the breaks from my revision :)
Its nice to have something fun to do in my breaks.

I will post some progress asap as well as the photos of the stripey dress.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Sleeves finished

As promised, here are photos of current progress.
Sleeve trims are finished and the first layer of pleating on the skirt is finished.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


I was looking through screen caps of Aristocrats on 'The Period Movie Review' blog, and i noticed in this shot the character, emily i think, shoes are visible. And is it just me or are they remarkably similar to the shoes i just bought with the ribbons and everything...

(click on image for larger picture i dont know how well you can see them)

Maybe they are more historically correct than i once thought... although maybe i shouldnt be basing this on a tv series, but still makes me feel even better about them :)

Oh and update on the sleepy hollow dress, i have almost finished all the trimming and edging on the dress and the pleats on the underskit so photos will follow once its all done.
Then i just need to sew on hooks and eyes etc to fasten it all and its done :) yay.

Monday, 17 May 2010

I added the trim to the neckline last night. I think the stripes on my dress are a bit thicker than that on the real thing because the trim looks a bit wider. Ah well. It doesnt looks so bad. I left off the white frayed organza from the trim though, because it didnt look very good, which okay isnt accurate to the original cosutme but i am also wanting it to look good aswell as accurate so you know. Also, i havent found any black lace to put around the neckline that looks right so that might have to just be put on when i find it. Other than that its alright.

Saturday, 15 May 2010


So i tried the dress on for the first time since i sewed the skirt on. Plus i hitched it up. So heres a couple of photos that my mum took on the first proper fitting. The sleeves arent done, obviously, and the skirts need hemmed, and the back of the skirt isnt exactly the same as the film one was my first try at an en fourreau back!. Plus the Stomacher is too flimsy so it creases alot, so i think i will put some boning or interfacing or something in it to keep it straight.
Other than that though, i am rather ridiculously pleased with how its looking :)

Friday, 14 May 2010

Stripey Dress

So i have been working a bit more on the stripey dress, and for one afternoons sewing i am quite surprised about how much i have got done. It's coming together quicker than i thought it would. Although i think one thing that will take a long time will be all the trimming and stuff, but i am not up to that yet.
Anyway, yes i drafted the pattern for the bodice and it fit perfectly so i started with the real fabric.

So once i had amde the pattern and cut out the fabric for the bodice i sewed it all together, and then i attempted my first 'En fourreau' back, and i reallly like how it turned out. It might not be exactly the right way to do it, but it worked for the dress so i'm happy. Also, the stripes made it quite easy to pleat the back and get it the right size, which was helpful :)

I have also now added the skirt to the bodice aswell, which is kind of in the wrong order as i havent sewn the lining of the bodice yet, and yes i am getting a bit carried away because i am excited about finally starting it, but it will be fine.
So heres some photos of how it looks so far. Obviously the skirt isnt hitched up yet or anything.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


So i have finally got round to making some progress on the stripey sleepy holloy dress, I started sewing the underskirt last night. So i have never actually worn a bumroll before underneath my dresses so i am vaguely excited about that, as it will give it a better shape (although i am a tad worried the one i have is too big, but we will see) but it also made it slightly more difficult to pleat the skirt. So i started by just pleating the skirt straight into the waistband as i would if i were doing a flat skirt, but of corse because of the added shape of the bum roll, it just didnt work. So i decided to actually pleat and shape the skirt straight onto the model and hopefully that will help me get the right shape. Anyway, here are some photographs of the progress i have made so far. I think it looks okay with the bumroll?

p.s sorry about the darkness of the photographs, it was night time at this point and the light in my living room isnt that good for photographs.

Friday, 7 May 2010

The shoes have arrived!

The shoes that i ordered arrived this afternoon!

They are pretty nice actually :)
So i finished my history coursework yesterday afternoon and i decided i would have an evening of sewing as a reward :) So i managed to get a fair bit done on my stays, sewed all the boning and then started putting it together. i am pretty happy with the way its looking at the minute. i was a bit worried the fabric would be too thick but i think it actually works well for it. The last time i made some stays i made them my dress size and they were slightly too loose, even when laced so that the back was fully together, so this time i made the size smaller because then i can tighten it with the lacings at the back and it will mean i can have it tighter or looser as i please.

The bottom flap things arent properly shaped yet and they havent been binded or anything. Not too far off finishing i dont think :)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Before the summer i have decided to make a new pair of Georgian
stays because my old ones arent very good and are a bit too big now.
I had a panel of fabric that i bought because it was really beautiful but i didnt know what to do with it because it was quite a thin panel that there wasnt enough of to make a dress or a jacket. So i have decided to use this fabric for my new stays.
Heres a photo of it all cut out

And heres a closeup of the jacquard flower weave;

It might take me a bit longer than usual to complete these because of work, revision etc but i will work on them in my breaks between owrk and hopefully get them finished before i break up for the summer, ready for the enw dresses i want to make.

Saturday, 1 May 2010


So i have been looking for 18th century style shoes to wear with my costumes forEVER, but i think i have finally found something that could work :)
I found these on ebay;

for only £15, which isnt so bad. Now, okay the ribbon on the front looks a bit tacky and not right etc, and they are just wedding shoes so they arent historically correct or anything. But i think if i took the ribbon off, added a buckle or something and maybe dyed it...well I might be onto something...

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Summer Project Ideas

So i have had a few ideas of things that i want to do once my exams are over (in just over 7 weeks) and so far these are the main things i definatley want to do before i go off to art college (to do performance costume!! eeek! excited).

Georgian dresses;
1. Sleepy Hollow riding dress
2.Sleepy hollow stripey dress
3.Blue saque back dress (Robe a la francais)
5. Chemise de la reine
6.Military influenced riding jacket
7. White jaquard travelling dress
8. Caraco jacket
9. blue stripey zone front

Tudor dresses;
1. Blue velvet with cream underskirt
2. Gold with embroidered flowers

1. Alice in wonderland
2. New pirate costume
3. Frock coat for mum
4. Waistcoat for my brother.
5. I would like to try and make some form of dress that would have been worn in Charles II reign, because i really love that off the shoulder neckline, i think its reallypretty :)

Hmm...i have a few more ideas but those are my favourites so far. i hope i can get them all done.....

Chemise fabric

This is the white fabric that i found that i am planning on using on the white chemise dress...

Chemise De La Reine - Underwear to outerwear....

The Chemise began as underwear, worn beneath a women's dress, but nearing the end of the Georgian Era the Chemise De la Reine was the height of fashion. The fashion was started by Marie Antoinette who, whilst visiting her private get away the Petit Trianon, insisted on wearing loose fitting simple gowns, in stark contrast to her ostentatious extravagant styles from her early years as queen. This new style of gown was made of cotton lawn or muslin. The early versions of this gown were much like an actual chemise, made of four rectangular cotton yardage, gathered at the neck and waist and tied with a broad sash. Sleeves were full and gathered, stopping just below the elbow. The dress also frequently had a gathered fabric or lace collar.
Portrait artist Vigée le Brun scandalized the masses in 1783 by producing a painting of Queen Marie Antoinette in what appeared to be merely her underwear. However, the queen and women of quality had been going ‘en chemise’ for many years and not just in the privacy of their boudoir. However, as the classes didn't mix, the masses had not been exposed to the new styles of the aristocracy. Ironically, the shocking aspect of the portrait was the lack of formality shown by a monarch, one who had already become infamous for flouting tradition. The Queen was shown without any of the outward symbols of her position and status and, to the culture of those times, naked before her people. At the time this was taken as an insult to her position as queen and the mother of her people, however it also influenced the changing styles of the Georgian era.
Le Brun was forced to remove her painting from the public eye, but like all scandals, it inspired rather than deterred and the Chemise became the symbolic frock of the 1780’s
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