Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Almost Three Months?!

GOSH!  Though it's been an extremely productive time, too long, too long!!  First there were a couple of antique shows, then a trunk show, a huge craft faire, assisting my parents with a remodel and move...yada yada.  SO!  I'm back for now and wanted to share what I did with the last two weeks when I wasn't wearing my moving, painting and cleaning hats.

My dress design and construction hat!

We were invited recently, to attend a period event towards the end of this month.  Used to be I could just pull out some ensemble from my antique clothing collection, but I've put on too much weight to fit into much of it.  Yes, up and down with the pounds, so I started looking around my fabric stash to pull something together for moi!  I have designed and sewn for years, used to have a full time costume rental business, but have never taken the time to make something for  myself.  Because time was a huge consideration, I didn't have the luxury of  over-agonizing about it. 
Here are a few pictures, if you're interested in doing something similar, I have explained it at the end of this post.  I just finished a sassy little fascinator that didn't get photographed.  Perhaps I will have an event picture or two to share on a later date....
Alll the fabrics are crispy silks, the red is a color change to a greenish gold.   I used antique laces, trims and buttons.

I lost my desire to sew after costuming a play, when I had to construct ten WWI mens British military uniforms, and had about 2-3 weeks.  I pulled several all nighters getting that done and the thought of olive drab still makes me queasy.  I've done some accessory items and light boho reconstruct things, but this was the first fairly intense piece in quite some time.  I wanted a basic 1880's silhouette, and I have a small bustle to wear under the skirt to lift the poufs just a bit.  And a corset, bleh.

What I did, if you're interested...For the bodice I used McCalls 6097, but lost the ren style lower sleeve and added my own layers of fabrics and lace, and the ruffles around the neckline.  I like the longer bodice style, it's really smooth and forgiving.  I flat lined and didn't bone because of the corsetry.

For the skirt I used Simplicity 2851, attaching the apron to the skirt at the waistband.The bustle poufs and train are one piece, attaching at the back of the waist band.  Both patterns are costume designs and I am never satisfied with the finish work per their instructions, electing to french seam, or bind my seams.  As I was taught, your work should be just as beautiful on the inside as out, and I don't serge, ever.  Fiddly-ass machines drive me nuts.

So there you have it, I am back to jewelry making as of tomorrow, having some earring requests to catch up on and will be taking my artfire studio off hiatus status as soon as I can get a few things listed. 

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, my jewelry can be found locally at The Genoa Trading Company, and in Anchorage Alaska at the divine Ozarks Americana.  I am so pleased and proud to be in both these lovely spots!

Thanks for stopping back soon!


  1. Glad to see you back - Sounds like you have been a busy lady. You are very talented - beautiful dress ! I have not sewn in years and when I did, it was simple straight lines, and they were not that straight. :D

  2. This is such a stunning creation! I really love all the fabrics and details and admire your talent immensely. I have an inborn inability to sew anything whatsoever and I can't begin to imagine how it can be done under pressure! penny

  3. That dress is amazing!
    I hope we get to see pictures of the event after it is over!