June 29, 2009

A New Dress - From Bleak House

Months ago I happened upon this image. It shows the cast of characters from the 2005 film version of Bleak House, originally a book by Charles Dickens. Esther Summerson, main character, is wearing an amazing dress which I fell completely in love with.

So I copied it.
Bleak house is a very strange movie. I am halfway through, and wondering what the point is. It is very similar to Little Dorrit I suppose. Dickens definitely has a unique style.
The dresses are fabulous though. I want to copy all of them! I'm taking lots of screencaps, and I'll share them eventually.
Personally I like to think of this as my "Little Women" dress. When wearing it I feel like I stepped straight out of the movie. Coming up soon, a Little Women apron!
Oh and yes, these are the buttons I used.

June 26, 2009

My foot's in the door...

I have embarked into the world of film costuming! This dress was made for an upcoming movie for the History Channel. It will be a documentary on Jesse James, and from what I'm told, his Mother will wear this while running out of a burning building. I sure hope they don't have to burn the dress!

This dress is made from a lightweight forest green wool fabric. It has large pagoda sleeves, undersleeves (not pictured) a pointed front, and a dart fitted bodice. The points in the front actually flare out when worn over a hoop skirt.

Of course it features Czech glass buttons! These ones have colored rhinestones glued in the center. Unfortunately my camera doesn't do them justice.

The skirt has a combination of pleating and gauging, and it has a faced and bound hem. There are no pictures of it yet because it doesn't look very good on a hanger.

There is still some trim and a collar to be added to the dress, however I won't be putting them on. Perhaps I can get pictures of it eventually. If you are wondering, I made the connection for this job through the museum I volunteer at. It was a one time deal, but perhaps I will be able to do more film costuming in the future.

June 25, 2009

Mornings in the Garden

I'm just trying to stay ahead of the weeds. Why is it that they always grow three times faster then the vegetables?

June 23, 2009

Hats--part 4

This hat I made for my awesome little brother. He wears hats boldly, and with style. His hat collection is more than I can count, and he loves to search thrift stores and yard sales for new and interesting hats. It was nice to make something for him that he loves. The pattern is Simplicity 2581

June 21, 2009


My sewing table is littered with these right now; Chechoslovokian glass buttons:

A local bead store bought boxes full of these buttons in bulk. However, to find matching sets you have to dig. And dig. And dig. I spent an hour unearthing these ones, and my eyes were starting to cross. Eventually I narrowed down the piles I had chosen to these four, but I hope to go back soon for more!

These are the four different patterns I chose. The big one in the back you will see in use very soon!

June 16, 2009


I really love this hat.

June 13, 2009

June 12, 2009

Hats--Part Three

The third hat I made last week was for a 150th birthday celebration for Oregon. It was a very hot and dry sunny day, and I was thankful for a hat and parasol.

This straw hat originally had a round crown, and a much larger brim. A trick I learned about straw hats is that by wetting straw you can completely re-shape it. I let mine soak in hot water, then I formed a precarious looking pile of canned food, and coffee cans to shape it exactly as I wanted. To finish the edge I cut off about three inches of the brim and sewed on a wire and grosgrain ribbon.

This brown ribbon is actually sewn around a thin piece of elastic, and it stretches around the back of my bun to keep the hat in place. I also added loops for bobby pins because the hat was flapping up in front. I was thankful for these things when a huge wind storm came up in the late afternoon!

This style of hat was typically worn by young girls, and during this event an older lady told me that the streamers were nicknamed "catch me if you can ribbons." Hmm, I should be careful.

Here is one last picture of me relaxing in the shade.

June 09, 2009

Crocheted Miser Bag

This is the crochet project I mentioned months ago. It was a birthday gift for a re-enactor, and fellow costume aficionado, friend of mine.

Miser bags are seen throughout the late 1800's through the early 1900's. This one is based off an original pattern from 1922. I'm not exactly sure how they get their name. Maybe because you divide your money between the two pouches and spend half and hoard the rest.

Most of the bag is crocheted with single crochet, and the designs are done with Czechoslovakian glass beads. I don't know exactly how long it took to make, but I did have to rip out almost half and start over again because it was turning out too big.

Are you wondering how to open it?

You slide over one ring and then you can get into one of the pouches, and you slide them both over to get into the other side.

June 08, 2009

If You Give A Girl A Needle...

A short story by Adelheide, based upon the books by Laura Numeroff. (click on each page for a larger version)

A few of these pictures were mine, the rest were taken from Google Images. No copyright infringement is intended.

Hats--Part Two

...I think you'll like this one!

It's not exactly a hat I would put on my head--the inside is still unfinished and would stick.
I used wire to create the shape I wanted then covered the wire with duct tape. The ribbon is just for looks of course.

I used this duct tape hat to create the pattern for my regency bonnet. Unable to think of a way to draft the curved brim I needed, I finally decided to first make it in 3-d, and then drape interfacing over it to create my brim piece.

But of course I couldn't throw away such a cute hat, so it resides on the shelf next to all my others.