Got an Event coming up – but no costume?

We all face this dilemma one time or the other.

You get invited to a fancy party/wedding/themed birthday-party ect. and you got noting to wear.

For us in the costuming world however, it’s not as easy as taking at tripp to the nearest department-store.
We need to create our costumes for ourselves.

Here’s a few tips and trixs for looking the part(ish) for your next short-noticed costuming event:
For the sake of this post, lets pretend yo’r going on a mid 19th century picknick (1840-1860s)

*Disclaimer: These tips are for the average “Not strictly Histotical correct evets”. If your Event calls for Historical accuracy or “as close to accuracy as possible” you really need to go the extra mile.

Got Time and Sewing Skill but short on Cash?

Here’s some of my dresses made on really limited funds:
(Two words for you – CHEAP FABRIC)

Look for suitable fabrics:

– On sale:
IMG_4952Bough 5m of thin plaid cotton on 70% of from a big fabric store for this dress.

– At Goodwill:
I used 1 cotton beedsheet that I got for 50Sek (5Usd) on second hand.

– In unexpected stores like IKEA and Walmart:
Two sets of cotton beddings made up this dress. The duvets was enough for an additional evening bodice.

 Use “bad” material and scrimp on fabric:
(This must be the worst advice ever but knowing how to do it well is GREAT when funds are lacking.)
1 set of polyester curtains 140 x 250cm (bought at IKEA for 100 Sek (10 Usd)) was just enough for my sisters 1860s evening gown. (And yes I used up every scrap of the fabric)

Short on Time and/or Sewing Skill?

Here’s some example on costumes made with minimum sewing and time:

Buy the items you need:This blouse are currently up for grabs in my shop.

Or rent them:IMG_4980This skirt and bolero was made by me to be rented.

 Make Fast and Easy items:
This costume (skirt, blouse and belt) took me about two days and is made mostly from rectangular pieces (the belt/swiss waist are really easy to make as well).

 Use pieces you already have:
This is a combination of 18th century cap, 1860s blouse, 1840s skirt and early 20th century apron.

 Use modern pieces from your wardrobe:
A children’s boater, paired with a modern high collared blouse accessorized with a brooch and umbrella works in a pinch.

No appropriate underwear?

This era (mid 19th century) calls for pretty spectacular underwear
But don’t worry if  you’r lacking some of them
Here’s some ideas how to fix the fashionable silhouette without to much of a trouble, Starting with the corset:

 Use a Corset from another era:
I just recently made myself a 1860s corset, and used to use my 1880s one for everything from 1830-1900s.

Use a modern corset:
I made this corsets from a 1880s pattern but my sister uses it as modern party clothes.

No crinoline?
No worries why don’t you simply…

 Use a modern hooped wedding petticoat:
My very first petticoat was a bridal hoop that got lots and lots of use (notice the regency stays with the hoop for my very first 1840s event)

 Make yourself a quilted petticoat:
 Made from a pre-quilted fabric, this gem took me about an hour to make and have seen every era from Tudor England to 18th century and the 1850s. It’s just Perfect!

When everything else fails – Think outside the Box:

 Go down the hierarcy chain:
Maybe you can pose as a commoner using shawls, old blouses and aprons.

Focus on the accessories:

Two bonnets with about 50 hours difference in time spent on them.
The green one is a piece I made from scratch using silk and hand-sewing, while the right one is a modern straw hat where I cut parts of the brim, and added a lace-ribbon and called it a day.

Borrow from a friend:
If you’r going on a event, chances are that you know at least one person there – see if they have something that would work on you.
Here my sister’s wearing my green 1840s gown for a winter photoshoot we did a few years back.

 Bend the timespan:

Perhaps there’s not such a big deal if you show up wearing costumes from 10 years to early/late.
After all everyone just there to have fun, right?

You might even get away with 100 year wrong if you think strategically…
18th century peasant can almost work in the mid 1800s.

Bend the gender barrier and dress as a man (or lady).

Or maybe you even got a national costume laying around…
Most of our Swedish national costumes comes from the mid 19th century, why not use that as an excuse to wear one.

But most of all, don’t sweat it if your not wearing the perfect costume, chances are no one will notice the modern tidbits or, lacking bloomers.
Go, have fun, and don’t over think it.

Best of luck on you’r costuming event this summer 🙂

1950s Turquoise Slim Dress

This dress was originally planed to be one of two options for my friends wedding mid July, but as you might expect – it wasn’t finished by then (so I wore a different dress instead).
(who knew you would get so little time for sewing whit a newborn in your lap…)

IMG_0150The pattern is an original I won at an online auction about a year ago.

The fabric is 1,5 m of soft Viscose in a lovely turquoise, I had in my stash, from which I barely managed to irk all the pattern pieces from.IMG_0152

Unfortunately I didn’t take any in progress photos, but the construction was really simple – basically a darted slim skirt sewn to a slightly larger/ lose T-shirt bodice. No zipper or clouser, just interfacing to the neckline and bust darts. A quick hemming and it was done (probably took me less then 4 hours, all and all).

Simple as it was, I did however made two pretty classic mistakes.
1. When enlarging the pattern for the bodice I added a bit to much center front/back which made the neckline to wide. It doesn’t show but it feels when worn.
2. I didn’t took the time to go into town to get more interfacing, but used what I had, which of course was way to stiff for the soft fabric, thous making the neckline facings to hard and adding to the weird look/feel of the neckline.

IMG_9971It does not look like much on the hanger…

  The finished dressIMG_0153







The PhotoshootIMG_0745









IMG_0842Photo by: Maria Petersson

The facts:

What: A 1950s summer dress

Pattern: Simplicity 2963

Fabric & Notions: 1,5 m turquoise viscose, Thread and pieces of interfacing for the neck-facings.

Time & cost: about 100 Sek (16 Usd) and less then 4 hours (although I worked on it in 10 minute portions for 3 weeks, so it’s hard to tell exactly).

Final Thoughts: I do love the idea of this dress, but sadly I’m not a fan o it in real life. The lose bodice make my upper body look huge and the slim skirt only enhances that feeling. On a slimmer person, or at least someone with hm.. les bobbage (Did I mention I’m currently breastfeeding…) it would probably look great. But I don’t think I will ever wear it again.

My (everyday) pregnancy style

As we all know, being pregnant do some things to your body (and mind).
Things that makes your morning routine take some extra time, and I’m not talking about morning sickness or the constant trips to the toilet – I’m talking of the head scratching process of dressing.

In the beginning (at least for me, I know everyone have it differently) you just feel bloated, unattractive and with a greenish tint to your complexion. Though wearing your normal clothes still works, if only a bit snug, some people prefer to wear cute little dresses with a bow tied on top. This was not an option for me, since we decided to wait quite some time before announcing to anyone that I was expecting.
So usual clothes it was – Even though I didn’t choose the most figure hugging tops in my wardrobe, (and thanks to Swedish autumn and winter just around the corner I could easily hide in bulky knits and cosy sweatshirts.

I was lucky enough to be able to wear my winter jacket the whole winter (it was a close one though, had spring hesitated a week more I would have been forced to get another one).

When spring arrived and my belly started to show for real, I bought a pair of pregnancy pants from a known two lettered fashion store, and kept wearing my usual tops and shirts. Everything with enough stretch in them would work. I also frequently used a pair of soft lose pants tied under the bump.
After a while I needed to add a long tank-top beneath my regular tops as my expanding belly made them look shorter and shorter.IMG_9754Comfortable loose pants, slim dress worn as a top and white belt.
pregnant in: week 39*

IMG_20160510_133456_resizedThere is no way that sweater will close…
week 37

In May my belly was really growing fast and I could literally see the changes each morning. I got myself a new pair of maternity jeans (the old pair was quite worn out by this time), and even splurged on a pair of denim shorts. 20160509_081328_resized_1Summer style – also, notice the sensible walking shoes
week 36

I did attend a few parties during the spring, and in the beginning had some trouble finding a nice dress to wear.
I bought a lavender blue pregnancy dress in January for these occasions, but when time come to put it on, it never felt right. In stead I raided my own closet, and found several dresses that would work.2016-03-14_20.03.36_resizedThe maternity dress I never liked.  
I did wear it though – for my birthday celebration in week 39 – the day before delivery.
week 30

IMG_9766A printed A-line dress I wore to several parties and occasions both during and before pregnancy.
week 39

IMG_9771A green form fitting jersey dress, I’ve never had the courage to wear before, but with a bump this big I figured no one would notice my other “bumps” and “humps”…
week 39 (two days before delivery)

Although not as much as I initially planed, I did work out some during my pregnancy. And when it came to clothes for bicycling, power walks and weight lifting I just used my regular fitness clothes – Pants worn beneath the belly, long stretch tops and jackets/west worn open.
IMG_20160305_110924_resizedweek 27

image000002_resizedweek 38

In the end my favorite clothes during my pregnancy was a slim black dress, a long tank top and a printed kimono/caftan, all worn with a narrow belt beneath the bust – non of which was new or made for a pregnant body.
Slim black dress accessorized with belt, huge jewelry and gold bag.
week 30

IMG_0109_resizedAt my “goodby-party” at work, wearing flowery kimono, tank top and shorts.
week 38

IMG_20160515_194543_resizedweek 37

*In Sweden we count pregnancy in 40 weeks (with 40 full weeks as the calculated day of birth, and full term at 38-42 weeks).
I had my baby at 39 weeks and 2 days.

Plastic Fantastic Purple Flower – Photoshoot

Even though I could’t attend the ” Plastique Fantastique” event last weekend, I still took the time to dress up for a  photoshoot.

I’m wearing my new Plastic purple flower dress, pair with a purple synthetic wig, high stockings, black Kensington shoes accessorized with fan gloves, jewelry and feathers. Underneath I wear my old 18th century corset, short bloomers and pocket hoops.
















IMG_5170Doll Antoinette

IMG_5212Photo: Elin Evaldsdottra

Fashion School Graduation Collection 2006

It’s been 9 years since I finished fashion school.
A lot has happened since then, but I thought to share my Graduation collection with you.

The theme for the collection was “Myth and Fairytale”
And I named my collection “Dream of Venus” – I know , So cheesy, but I was only 18 back then.

Dream of Venus

We was asked to make a inspiration collage, from which we was to take colors and shapes to paint 15 fashion sketches, and produce/make 5 complete ensembles

IMG_0030My Inspiration collage

IMG_0033The colors I choose was blue, turquoise, white and gold.

Here are the five designs I decided to sew for the final fashion show.venus 11Halterneck dress

venus nr6Jacket and skirt

venus 2Halter top and floor length skirt

venus 7Jacket/cape and pants

venus 8Strap-less dress
We were assigned classmates to sew for and during 4 weeks we worked diligently to finish all the pieces in time for the fashion show.

My collection at the final fashion show:2E0X2737




byxor-och-jacka-modell - Kopia


Looking back at it I think I did pretty good.
Of course there are lots of things I would do differently now, but I learnt a lot working on these pieces and I still love the pre-made two toned viscose fabric.

Throwback Thursday: The Overly Fab Tuille Prom Gown

Since I won’t have anything new to show you until after the weekend, I figured I do a “Throwback Thursday” post, and show you one of my past projects.

This was one of those project with a steep learning curve, but which you will always think about with pride and a smile (before you remember the colossal amount of work and bad words uttered during the process of making it).

It all started when I offered to sew my youngest sisters prom dress.

– Let’s just start by saying that the senior proms in out town are HUGE.
Each year the couples attending the prom start practicing the Waltz in January. Then do so every weekend, until the prom in May/June, where they all (dressed to their teeth) perform a one hour, extremely complicated dance routine in front of thousands of people.

I think it’s needles to say that the dresses are extremely important during this day.

So in february I meet with my sister to discuss the dress design. She showed me her inspiration pic and told me what she wanted.New-Alice-in-Wonderland-Mia-Wasikowska-Photoshoot-alice-in-wonderland-2010-10340859-1126-1450Her original inspiration – The red dress from Tim Burtons “Alice in Wonderland”.

I drew some sketches for our next meetingimg002The idea was to make the dress in two layers, with a floor length under layer in tulle (which of course would have to be detachable to make a short dress), and a sheer shorter upper layer with ruffles and ribbons.

For our last design meeting I’d scaled it down a bit, and added some new interesting details like the curved lacing in the back.balklänning elin produktteckningWe had also trashed the idea of a detachable lower half.

In mars my sister traveled the 3 hours ride to the capital (where I lived at the moment) to fit the mock-up.
It looks kind of ludicrous in these pictures, and the color is just awful, but I wanted to test the length of the upper layer, the curve of the lacing and of course the usual bust, waist, hip fit. Which actually were pretty good.

We also decided on the fabric.CIMG4346The gown was to be turquoise with the skirt tapering to black at the bottom, and a sheer dotted black over layer.CIMG4689I loved the effect of the black dots on top of the turquoise.

I stitched the interlining to the turquoise under layer, and then stitched the pieces both the inner and outer layers together
CIMG4536 CIMG4537

I basted the dotted tulle to the under layer.CIMG4578

Then I did one extra foundation layer in which I inserted the curved boning.CIMG4591

CIMG4605CIMG4606I used a bias strip to the back side to get the nice curve on the lacing gap. The front and back pieces where now ready to be attached to each other.

CIMG4608The front and back stitched together.

CIMG4613I used a zipper at the side to make the dress fit perfectly, without disturbing the back lacing.

I used lengths of gathered dotted tulle as decoration to the shorter hem and strap. CIMG4585

I also used a heavy duty zipper as shoulder strap.

CIMG4630The back of the dress ready for some grommets.

I used a black satin ribbon for laces.


CIMG4598Then it was time to start attaching the tulle.

I only had about 40 m or so of black and turquoise tulle to attach. phew…CIMG4645Starting at the top,working downwards adding more and more black to the layers.

CIMG4660Love the effect of different color combinations in the layers.

The finished dress took up so much space in our small apartment, that the only place I could keep it was in the almost empty hall closet.CIMG4680

The week before the prom, I brought the dress down to my sister and did the final adjustments on it. CIMG4886

CIMG4889I was really relived when I zipped the dress up and the back fit perfectly.

Then it was time for the prom.CIMG4987We had no difficulty finding her among the other dancers…





CIMG5030And of course i needed to fix the lacing one final time.

CIMG5039My three sisters, all in turquoise – not intentional.


DSC_0152And then she was of for the dinner and following party.

Untitled-1 - KopiaThe dress was picked out of 250 pictures to be featured on the front of our local newspaper.

Old Stuff Sold Of

I’ve just posted about all these fabolous books and patterns I’ve bought this spring/summer. And as my friend, whos working in a fabric store, asked after my umpteenth visit to the shop; How do you afford it?

There are acctually sveral reasons I can spend the amout of time and money on this hobbie as I do (even though I try to reduce the costs as much as possible).

The biggest reason being – I don’t make that much money, but I don’t have lots of expences either (no kids, animals, house, car ect.), so the only thing I spend it on (after rent, food, savings ect.) is fabrics and costuming pieces.

But me recent spending spree, comes from another sorce.

I’ve been selling of some of the clothes I’ve made trough the years.
And since the money earned came from sewed things, it is olny fair that I could spend them on more costume related stuff… Right.

Here is what I auctioned out so far.

A jacket in 1950s style, made in some wool/syntetic blend.207I really liked it, but somehow never wore it so better to get some space in the wardrobe.

A 1950s dress, made from a self drafted pattern in a green/black polyester fabric I bought on sale. The skirt is a “double cirkle” and contains about 5 m of fabric.322I adored this dress, and was a bit sad to let it go. But I know it will have a loving home with a girl who’s going to use it for swingdancing.

Another 1950s dress, made from the same pattern and fabric (only in another colour) and with a sligh variation on the waist and neck treatment. 237

A purple dress and bolero, I made about 5 years ago. The patterns are self drafted and the outfit are made in a purple dotted polyester fabric. CIMG2636 - KopiaThe girl who bought it also took the shoes :-).

Another purple dress from a few years past. The dress are made in purple polyester satin and black lace, from a pattern I downloaded for free from the internet.120I never liked this dress. I had to much trouble making it, and there are way to many flawed parts, for me to get over. For someone without my exreamly critical eye, it’s probably perfectly fine.

A green yearsey dress made from another free download pattern. 066I made this dress to wear to a party, but hated the way I looked in it, so I never used it (I wore the green/black 1950s dress on top instead).

A seersucker jacket made from a comercial pattern. IMG_4832I worn this maybe one time and didn’t like the way it fit, so this also had to go.

And here are some things that I will putt up for sale during this weekend.
If you se something you like don’t hesitate to take a closer look at: search for: asa86.

A halter top dress I made as part of my graduation collection at fashion school.halterneckklanning_modellI do think it is lovely, but the plunging clevage and halter top neckline are not something I can pull of. I think it is time for it to get a more loving home.

The bridesmade dress I wore to my sisters wedding about 5 years ago. The pattern are my own and the dress are made in purple polyester satin.lila tärnklänning i kyrkanI only worn it this once, and it looked great, but I’m over it.

A yersey tunic/dress made as yet another school project. The pattern are my own and it is made in a soft drapery grey yearsey. I think it is pretty cool.IMG_0671The hood can be used as collar or hood, and the back of the dress had lots of volume pleated into “wattaue-pleats”. And it is comfy to.

A black/white chiffong dress I made for my sister a couple of years ago.feab1af55d6d504cd345f3180029bc89

Another “worn once” dress from a free download pattern (I think I begining to see a pattern). The dress is made in green and white sturdy cotton (twill?) and zips up the side.CIMG3465I never liked the sleeves on this one, and thougt it made my arms and shoulders look huge. On a person with slimer shoulders it should look great.

This is acctually a dress I didn’t make. It is from the clothing company “Vila” and are made in a really soft and lovely printed chiffong.IMG_9621

A green chiffong dress from about 6 years ago, made from a comercial pattern.IMG_9630I never wore it since the gathering at the bust and the shape of the neckline and bust made me feel huge and way to top heavy.

Another bough piece. A circular skirt with lots of widths at the hem. IMG_9613I bought it at ” Urban Outfiters” and wore it once. I think it was the elastics at the waist that made me not like it, but looking at it now it do looks pretty cute.

And lastly, a light blue linnen jacket I made in fashion school.IMG_9642You know how it is with these “school projects”, the huge amount of effort and time you put into them, just to realise you hate the damnd thing by the end of it. There are absolutly nothing wrong with it, only I would never wear it.

I will also get rid of some bags, shoes and other smaler stuff.

So, there you have it – This is how I afford it…

New Years Dress 2012/2013

Since I didn’t had the time to make something new for New Years eve this year I will show you the dress I made and wore last year instead.

Early on I knew I wanted to make a dress to wear to the New Years party, so as usual I searced the internet for inspiration. I found this dress, and figured I make somwthing simular.


I bought a turqouise and black shimery fabric, and som black lace in my local fabric store and got to work drafting a pattern.


Deciding on a few changes from the original I made a sleeveless dress with a heart-shape in the front, and a flaring wide skirt.


In the back there is a visible silver zipper.IMG_4488

The bust era are interlined and boned with several pieces of rigeline and made to fit snuggly to the body.IMG_4489

A also made a sepearte lace shirt with long sleeves and a opening in the neck.


The neck are edged with bias-tape and closes with a button.IMG_4498

And the look togheter, and with a black belt added.



Then I made my sister take som photos of me out in the snow.blä 040

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I really like this dress and thought about wearing it this year too, but decided not to since the company would be the same.

Christmas dress 2012+2013

For Christmas last year I wanted a new dress.

I searched for some inspiration and found this one.


I really liked the idea of the studds, but the rest of the dress needed some changes. I drafted a pattern close to the original and sett out to by fabric.

I decided on red velvet and studds in different shapes and sizes.

IMG_4396 IMG_4450

Then I sewed it up.

The only problem I ran into was geting the damn studds to grip into the thick fabric at the belt. But with some force and determanation I manadged to get them all in place.





Then I convinced my sister to take some photos of me out in the snow.

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blä 264


But this christmas I don’t have the time nor the energy to try to make another dress, so instead I decided to remodel the one from last year.

I didn’t really like it anyway.

The bodice was to short for my torso, putting the belt to high on my ribbcage. And the open back and sleeveless design made me feel naked and to concius of my broad shoulders.

The only thing I did like about the dress was the nice flaring and lenght of the skirt.

So the bodice needed to go.

I tryed it on once more before deciding, and then grabbed my siccors (or ripping knife), and started cutting the skirt form the bodice.


I then re-made the waistband and the zipper in the back.

And voila a nice chrismasy looking skirt.



I found a pretty white blouse on sale, and thougt of making some 50s style of hairdo. Paired with some heels and lipstick I think I have a chrismas Winner, which I will both fell pretty and comfortable in.



A Merry Christmas to you all.

Laced in neo-Victorian Corset

For the photoshoot of the victorian corset and bustle with my sister, we also decided to take some cooler pictures in a more neo-victorian/burlesque way.

We used the building site next to my sisters home as location, and the pictures turned out great.

She is wearing: blommers, petticoat, skirt, stockings, corset, bustle, high heeled boots, bolero-shrug, lace mittens, necklace and a hat. All of the accesories and stylings came from our closets (except for the mits which I bought for the shoot).











IMG_3290Model: Elin Petersson