May 31, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
~ Matthew 12:35-36 ~

May 29, 2009


I've been thinking about changing my Etsy from TheNimbleThimble to NimbleThimbleMillinery. I have so many ideas for hats for my shop. Hmm, wonder if there is really a market???

The hat bug has definitely bit. What used to be one little hat lying deserted in a corner of my room has turned into six hats resting on every surface with ribbons and bits of prettiness scattered on and around. All this of course when I should be focusing on finals... Can't wait until summer!

May 26, 2009


I'm in a hat making frenzy this week. With two events this weekend I decided it was high time for to add hats to my wardrobe. I am very picky about hats so I spent a lot of time deciding what to work on.

For the early 1800's I love this bonnet Gwyneth Paltrow wears in Emma. I have tried to make it before, but to no avail. Perhaps a second attempt will be better.

Choosing something for the 1860's was a little more difficult. The spoon bonnets that are so prevalent during that time are really not my style and I don't like how they always appear to be falling off. Thankfully I learned that I am still young enough to wear a hat. This shop sells a charming 1860's hat, but it is rather expensive for a one day event, and it is a little late for me to be ordering something.

Miller's Millinery has a pattern for a similar hat that is constructed out of buckram.

I just so happen to have buckram leftover from this impulse buy...

Hopefully some finished products will come from my sewing room soon!

May 16, 2009


A blanket in the shade
A beautiful view
A clear blue sky
A glass of lemonade
What better place to do your homework?

May 15, 2009

A Gallimaufry

Gallimaufry: –noun, plural. Chiefly Literary. 1. a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley.

For the last week I've had the most delicious project - an 1850's round gown for a friend and fellow museum worker. She brought me a pile of goodies which included this Laughing Moon round dress pattern, reproduction fabric, and a miscellany of other oddments. What a fun thing to be working on between classes!

My Truly Victorian hat arrived today. (it seems to have disappeared from the website, perhaps they have discontinued it) I have plans to decorate it to wear with the 1880's gown. Hopefully above mentioned friend, and hat cognoscente will help me. :)

And last but not least, TheNimbleThimble will be stocking a little bit of handmade jewelry in the next few days. The shop might not always include jewelry, but keep checking for newly listed items!

Have a fabulous weekend, and a blessed Sunday

May 12, 2009

Corset Making 101

Following is a step by step guide to creating your very own Civil War era corset. I cannot take credit for the idea though, all inspiration came from Elizabeth Stewart Clark's book Practical Prinkery.

First gather lots of duct tape, and by lots, I mean lots! It is not very convenient to use up all the rolls you can find in the garage, and then have to run across the yard to the neighbors in order to borrow more.
Second, gather a group of friends who are fun to laugh with. Wearing old t-shirts, wrap each other completely in duct tape, trying to make smooth layers. If you happen to realize too late that your t-shirt was too short, make a mental note to choose a longer one next time.

Using a permanent marker, draw the corset shape onto your duct taped t-shirt. The top should sit just above your bust line, and the bottom right on your hip bones. Divide your shirt vertically into eight pieces: left front, left side front, left back, left side back, right front, right side front, right back, right side back.

At this point the permanent marker can be used to draw funny sayings and pictures onto your shirts. Next, cut straight up along the center back, releasing you from your makeshift corset.

Cut along the seam lines you drew and trace around them to create custom pattern pieces. Remember to add length to the bottom of each piece if your shirt was to short. If your pieces don't lay flat, cut them vertically into two smaller pieces.
Unfortunately this ends the fun part, what follows next is a lot of sewing, a little more fitting, and some finishing work. Make a trial version with an old sheet, or some muslin. You don't need to add seam allowances-by taking a small 1/4" seam, your corset fits a little tighter and works as a supportive garment.

Here is the back view of my finished corset, it has steel white bone, metal eyelets, and a long piece of cording.

This front view shows the boning casings, and the busk.

Good luck and have fun!

May 05, 2009


This isn't my picture, it can be found here

May 01, 2009

A Warning

This Blog is not only extremely lovely, it has this amazing tote bag tutorial.

For a long time I have avoided making bags because:
1. We have so many
2. I didn't have time to sort through all the patterns available
3. I had a feeling that once I got started sewing bags I wouldn't be able to stop

Well, in regards to these issues:
1. All our bags started to wear out, and get dirty
2. I found the above pattern and it looked so easy
3. I WAS SO RIGHT!!! Bag making is so addicting, and fun, and easy, and quick, and the possibilities are endless, and it takes only 1 yard of fabric, and I could go on and on...

Last weekend I made (oh dear, can I even admit this?) four bags. That's right, four. You see, I was going to make one bag for my teacher, out of this lovely fabric my Aunt brought me back from Hawaii.

But then I actually read through the tutorial and found out that one yard of fabric makes two bags (or one bag if you self line it). Plus I found out that my Dad was going to visit my Aunt that weekend, so I quickly made up the second bag for her.

But I had to go to the fabric store for some lining fabric, and that was my downfall right there. Because, it was a huge sale and all the quilters cotton cheap. Since I don't really like quilting, but love all the fabrics, what better use for them than a bag?

Except remember, one yard makes two (or one very boring self lined bag) so I made bags for both my sister and I. Mine features a whimsical bit of turquoise velvet on the handle.

Thankfully I had school on Monday morning to drag me out of the sewing room. Who knows, if I didn't I might still be in there sewing bags today--I can whip 'um up in 20 minutes now.

So follow the link above for a great pattern. Just remember that I warned you.