Friday, November 13, 2015

Another Alice Costume

Yes. I like Alice in Wonderland. And it's a favorite of mine to costume. There are so many variations and interpretations one can explore. 
This is just a basic (classic) version. 

A peasant dress in blue damask with a white mini-pinafore. The dress has casings with elastic at the neckline, sleeves and empire waist, making a versatile and comfortable fit.

The apron is a true pinafore, which ties around the waist and the bib attaches to the bodice with mini-safety pins. It's trimmed in lace and has simple card suit apliques done using heat-n-bond.

Perfect Accessory:A Creepy-Cute White Rabbit Plushie

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Amethyst Ruffles: Steampunk Dress & Bustle Skirt

I haven't played dress-up in a while, but have a whole bin of items to list on etsy (leftover from my vendor's booth at Horsefeathers Haunts)  so bust out the make-up, accessories, camera and tripod!

Up first, Amethyst Dress & Bustle Skirt

Made from an amethyst colored 'silkessence' (faux silk), trimmed with lots of ruffles and lace.

Also with hood. Why? Because.

The Dress and Bustle Skirt are separate pieces...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Lily Munster Costume FAQ

So... Several people have made inquiries about my Lily Munster Costume. Specifically, it seems Sleeve Construction is problematic. Since I was deep into the costuming section of my closet, I pulled out The Lily Munster and took some photos of the sleeves. (Sorry. No in-progress from back when I made the costume.) I'm going to try to give some instructions, but they are based off my memories of what I did two years and a hundred projects ago...

1. Cut fabric into two equal sizes (one for each sleeve). Fold each sleeve piece in half. The fold is basically the top of the sleeve and should be the length of your arm (from shoulder to hand).

2. Now cut through both layers along one side from fold to bottom, and then along the bottom, shaping into batwing scalloped edge shape. (You may want to go deeper than I did.)

3. Narrow Hem batwing edges AND long straight edge.

4. Attach sleeves to garment. Center top of sleeve (fold) at shoulder seam, and pin front of sleeve along armhole until you reach the point where it is even with the neckline in the back. The 'back' of the sleeve is pinned so that it comes down the back of the garment until it meets where the 'front' of the sleeve is pinned at the back of the garment, even with the neckline in the back. Sew sleeve to garment.

5. Now bring the Sleeve Back across the Bodice Back, following the neckline (tucked under where the rickrack goes). Pin and Sew. The remainder of the sleeve back will drape down along the zipper/center back.

6. Try on garment. Decide where the sleeve slit should lie. Mark and Cut. Narrow Hem the edges.



1. How much fabric did you use? Um... I think five or six yards of both the satin and the silk chiffon for the body of the dress. However, like I said previously, I ran out and had to acquire six more yards of chiffon for the sleeves (this time poly from Jo-Ann Fabrics).

2. How did you do the sleeves? See above.

3. Do you know where to find cheaper silk chiffon fabric? The internet.  j/k... Maybe try Or even eBay. Honestly, the light pink polyester chiffon I got from Jo-Ann Fabrics was a pretty good substitute.

4. How much did the dress cost overall? Not sure at this point. But I think I rather not try to figure that out.

5. What material did you use for the black straps around the waist? It's black satin ribbon with black tassels tied to the ends. Both are available at craft and sewing stores. The ribbon is sewn in place at the bodice and the last row is left to hang at the hips, tied in front.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Summer Aprons

While I was making aprons for my friend in the spring,
I also whipped a batch for HIVE, an awesome little shop in Schoharie, NY.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Family Aprons

My friend asked me to make a few sets of aprons to give to her family as Mother's Day gifts (way back in the spring, and yes I did get them done on time... more or less... but haven't been blogging, so some back-blogging here). She gave me pretty free rein, with just a few guidelines
 (it's hard to draw from scratch to make items for people you don't know).


This set's criteria was 'Southern'. Mother, Father & Daughter. The girls aprons are from Simplicity 1240 style B, in this wonderful orange floral print I found at Jo-Ann's, accented with a green on green polka dot, which was also used as the accent for the father's apron, a basic style made using Simplicity 2824.


This family were the suphero lovers, so I used some Marvel fabric to make the Mother, Father & son aprons. Again the men's were made using Simplicity 2824, a pretty universal style apron, with an adjustable strap with D-rings. This fabric was busy enough, I used a simple red accent, and red ribbons to trim the mother's. Hers was made from Simplicity 2351 (an out of print Cynthia Crowley pattern).


 The final set of aprons was for a Mother, Daughter, Father & Son family, with the specification of 'artsy' for the art teacher mother, that the daughter likes pink. And the little boy likes planes and trains. I found this pretty fabric at Jo-Ann fabrics for the girl's aprons, deciding that it needed pink accents, including a polka dot ribbon. Later, I decided that it also needed pink polka dot pockets. My friend picked out the cute Disney Planes fabric, and I used the leftover green polka dot for the accents.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Steampunk 30th Birthday

My friends were all nice enough to drive all the way up to the North Country for my 30th birthday... and dress up for a tea party/picnic.

Steampunks in the woods...

My character was the Dirigible Tour Guide.

The activity was a scavenger hunt for the pieces to make a dirigible, since the tour had ended abruptly in a crash and the usable parts would only make a balloon capable of carrying one person. [Because I was busy/lazy] I didn't take any photos of the pieces I made, but they were just craft foam shaped for 3d models and spray-painted.

The Notice:

And the patches on my uniform:


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Raggedy Catrina Dolls

So I was looking for some crafty items to sell at craft fairs and the like, and plushies always seem like a good idea... Not sure why, but I was inspired to make some Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) rag dolls... or Raggety Catrina, as I'm calling them. 

Only... didn't work out so well, since I hand-painted, hand-embroidered and hand-sewed them... taking up innumerable hours of my time, and meaning I will never even make minimum wage off from them by selling them at even a price that seems too high to sell.

But, I like the way they turned out...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Steamstressing for Horsefeathers Haunts

So I've been pretty quiet on the blog front for the past few months, I know. Adjusting to limited internet access (requiring me to drive the thirteen miles into town to the library to use their wi-fi), and my self-employed and temporary (until I find my own land/place) living status.

I had resigned myself to doing primarily alterations, hemming and the like when I moved back North. But luckily I hooked up with Horsefeathers Haunts, who are preparing for their Grand Opening this October. It's hard to describe exactly what they are... More like Halloween Experience than Haunted Hay Ride (although wagon rides are part of what they'll be offering, I believe... check out their site). Their aesthetic is really creative and fun, featuring a steampunk theme as well as other fantasy and general spooky/scare genres.

At any rate, I've been working on some pieces for their Steampunk costuming/characters... (And having lots of fun doing it! The owner has dubbed me a 'steamstress' and I think I like the title/)

Altering some thrifted garments...

Purple Cordoroy Jacket transformed

Adding details to costumes...

Pink Petticoat and Pinafore for Lolita Dress

Bustle Hoop, Drape & Bow for Purple Dress

Blue Satin Accents & Lifts for Drab Plaid Dress

Deconstructing & Reconstructing...

From Pink Prom Dress to Steampunk Princess
Jacket & Skirt with Salvaged Lace & Beading

Making from scratch...

Woman's Steampunk Jacket

Early 19th Century Military Style Jacket & Vest

Hunter Khaki Jacket & Belt

Pirate Coat

If you're going to be in the Potsdam area during October, definitely check them out!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Steampunk Belts & Etc.

And you thought I had stopped steampunking... 

First, a simple raglan-cut dress with ruffle on the bottom, perfect base layer to build a steampunk outfit on. The brown and off-white with metallic gold pinstripe cotton-blend jersey was a perfect fabric for comfy under-dress.

A perennial favourite, I had to make another bustle skirt, and I've had this lovely brown paisley/floral print cotton fabric kicking around for a while. I especially like the little bits of color in the turquoise and pink details.

I was trying to think of a less time-consuming, and therefore less expensive alternative to corsets, harnesses, vests, or corselets, but turns out wide belts with such elaborate trim and details is just as much work as the harness-vests and etc. I make. They just take slightly less fabric (not much less, cost-wise). I really liked how they turned out, however, even they ended up a little larger than I had originally wanted to make them.

[[All items currently available in my etsy shop ;-)]]

Monday, March 30, 2015

Nerdy Plushie Coin Purse Wristlets

All settled into the North Country, but still working on the paperwork and whatnot for officially starting my business. In the meantime, been working on some projects…

I got these adorable patterns designed by Michelle Coffee from her etsy shop last year, because they were too cute to resist. And I finally used them for something! I adapted the plushies to be coin purses with a wrist strap.

There’s a little zipper in the top of the head and an inside pocket that measures about 3 inches by 3 inches.  The straps are attached to a d-ring and tab. They’re sewn entirely by hand.

I made the ewok first, and I think he’s my favorite. Not sure why, but felt he needed googly eyes.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ewok Hoodie (Baby-Sized)

Planning, giving a lot of thought to a piece can be a good thing, to get it just right... But sometimes it's just best to follow-through immediately on creative ideas. This was one of those projects. Not really sure where the notion popped into my head, but I decided to make an Ewok hoodie, and since I only had about a yard of faux fur in my stash, it's a baby-sized hoodie (also little kids make cuter ewoks). Instead of saying, 'that's a good idea, sketch it out for a later date', I decided to just get my lazy butt off the couch and do it. Drafted, cut out, sewn in a little less than five hours.

The cowl hood is from a poly moleskin, and is an entirely separate piece from the jacket, which is fully lined with cotton poplin. The hoodie is a front-zip.

 Vintage button stash for the win!

It's listed in my etsy shop, if you know a little Ewok who needs his fur and ears.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Steampunk Schoolmarm Lolita Dress

Another one of those 'I bought this fabric awhile ago and it's been sitting around in my stash waiting for inspiration' projects...

The khaki and black plaid had to be for something Steampunk, but also, maybe being influenced by continual interest in praire/country style, this design came to mind. (the actual pieces I ended up drafting were slightly different for the bodice than in this sketch- namely the left front and right front ended up being the same double-breasted style shape).

Buttoned up, it's sort of a cross between military (asymetrical, double-breasted, brass buttons) and school-marm (high collar, conservative bodice). It also seemed a little lolita-ish with the the doll-like conservativeness, length and lace accents.

With the bodice open, it's got the double-lapel visible for a more high-fashion look. I ended up lining the entire bodice in a contrast fabric to add a little something special to the piece.

It's got an elasticated high-waist and elastic gathered cuffs on the three-quarter sleeves, which makes it super comfy and a good fit for a variety of body types.

Last of these nifty, brass-look buttons. Unfortunately, not made of real metal, but I love the swirl designwork.