Weekend joy

This past weekend is how I envision my dream life.  My retired life?  It was fun and productivity in things I enjoy doing.

I had visits with my two children…always a plus for me!

I had a costume event with Shirley.  We went to Dalnavert Museum where they hosted a Dracula theme exploration of the house.  I don’t have pictures because the house was darkened and photographs were not permitted (because it would ruin the experience of the others at the event) but I did get one of us at the coat check/bar.


Shirley went 1890’s which suits the house and I went 1880’s because the color suited the Dracula theme.


Sunday, I bought new fabric because the fabric I planned to use for my next project was insufficient.  Love excuses to amass more stuff for my hoard. And unusually, this time I am starting a new project because I finished one.  I have a corset cover now.  I had to adapt a pattern that I borrowed from Shirley as it simply would not contain the girls.


I am pleased with the result.  My mannequin, Trudy, is wearing a blood red corset and you can not see it.

I really needed the corset cover because of my Edwardian shirtwaist.  To much skin would show…even by modern standards!  And the cover does the trick.


All in all, a productive and fun weekend!

PS I did not kill my dog.  I was training my son on how to give her insulin and was so busy talking I could not remember actually measuring, checking and rechecking that I had the right amount in the needle.  Tense night as I worried that I had over dosed her!  Turns out I did fine.  I just didn’t remember doing it!

Costume connections

I have to say that I have yet to meet a costumer that I can’t get along with.  Most are open and friendly and very excited to hear what you are up to and to share what they are creating.  When I went to Costume College ALONE I found I wasn’t alone unless I wanted to be.  I just had to walk in a room and half the time I was approached within a few short minutes.  The rest of the time I approached others and they were instantly open to talk with me.  I know that many long distance friendships have started this way.

So with this in mind, when one of my readers let me know she would be in my city for a few short days and asked if we could meet, I instantly agreed.  When I told my son I was essentially meeting a stranger I met on-line he looked at me in horror and concern and firmly warned me that this was not a safe practice. Hahaha! (When did that happen?  When did we switch roles!)

Anyway, I met LJ and her husband at their hotel and we instantly hit it off.  No awkward silences!  We launched into discussions of fabric choices, pattern preferences, options we each had for wearing our costumes, costume philosophy…and it was great.  Her hubby was a patient fellow.  He endured the buzzy conversations of two costume geeks for an hour and a half while likely silently wishing he had brought his TV from his hotel room down!

Thanks LJ for a wonderful morning and I hope you got to see Dalnavert!12047031_724634884307031_4718055864402869449_n

If you get here again, I hope it is during a time that you have more free time.  You could bring a costume and we could make it an event!

Eye catching trim

On a recent outing to an antique shop I discovered one lone cabinet card.  Often they are boring or damaged but this one was in wonderful condition (at least the person was in good shape…the corners got a bit dinged) and NOT boring!  There is a trim on the bodice that I’d love to replicate on a future dress!


Its the cording on the front that caught my eye.


Love the hat too!


The photographer is G E Willis and he was working in Carleton Place Ontario. He worked there from 1873-1895.

Her dress and hair says 1880’s to me.


Chunky Cowl

I used my Thanksgiving Day weekend to whip up a cowl.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it but I actually like it so I will be keeping it for myself.  I just hope I actually use it!  I have dozens of scarfs and shawls and things along those lines but I don’t make full use of them.  Many folks wear them like jewelry but I just get to hot!  Here is the completed project.IMG_20171009_163701936




New toy

This is another non-Victorian post.  Sorry ’bout that!  But, I bought a new toy and thought it would be fun to share it with you.  It is called an Embellish Knit.


It is basically a mechanized spool knitter.

I bought it with two intensions…one is to take cheap crochet thread and use it to make cording for decorative trims on Victorian gowns.  Cording and soutache is NOT cheap.

The other intension is to take all the cheap wool I have been hoarding for years and turn it into chunky yarn.


My first project used up 3 balls of this synthetic wool.

The Embellish knit turned those three balls of wool into one massive ball of chunky wool.


The beauty of chunky wool , of course is that it knits up quickly.  The heavy neck cowls seems to be popular these days so I may try knitting up one of those with this stuff and see what it looks like.

Once I have knitted it up I have no idea what I will do with it.  Donate it to charity?  I have no idea.  Another idea is to just make balls of chunky wool with my machine and old wool and see if I can sell that at my friend’s craft sale table.  One thing I know is craft sales don’t just attract people who can’t craft; they attract people who can craft who are looking for ideas.  A knitter may be attracted to an unusual looking wool.

Hopefully my next post is a completed project post-either a neck cowl or a corset cover!  Have a good Thanksgiving Day Canada!

Fantastic Fringe

I know some people hate the Victorian dresses with fringe but I love it.  The more the better!  So when I saw this Victorian and Albert Dress I fell in love!

It’s time frame was 1855-57.

1855-57 day dress V&A a

It is made with “silk plush” which I translate as a silk velvet.

1855-57 day dress V&A c

I wish velvet of any kind wasn’t so expensive because I’d love to copy this!

1855-57 day dress V&A b

When the urge gets stifled

I felt like sewing this pass weekend.  And now my sewing room is functional.  Not done yet, but functional.  I’ve had a corset cover cut out for ages and I thought “here is a quick project that I can use to fan the flames of my sewing urge.”  It is like a curse thinking that.  I got the whole thing assembled and was ready for the finishing the edges when I did a fitting.

Dang thing was way to small!  I had to redo all the darts and part of the side seams.  Only thing I didn’t have to alter was the shoulder seams!  Even those I’m thinking about.  If I let them out a bit I will have a bit more room in the pits.  I decided to set it aside and look at it again next weekend.

Here it is so far.IMG_20171003_075551700

I decided to get going on that cover when I made my Edwardian shirtwaist.


In the above photo there is a chemise under the shirtwaist.  The chemise hides the corset.  (Yes, my dress form wears a corset.  I put the dress form down to a smaller than me size and put a corset on it that fits me.  I laced it as tight as I wear it and then stuffed the loose parts.)  The corset showed very plainly through the Edwardian shirtwaist.

The new corset cover will have even better coverage than my poor chemise-especially in the cleavage area!  Much more suited to my mature age.