Traveling with Baby – Medieval baby sling

For the easiest entry to HSM ever, I started looking into ways to travel with my little one.

Before the use of strollers and the intricate baby carriers that’s becoming more and more popular, people (read women) used the easiest way of tugging their baby’s along – a fabric “sling”.

I will not go into the use of slings and ways to travel with baby’s in past times, since others do it so much better, like Som när det begav sig (link in Swedish). A simple google search will also give you the history from (more or les reliable) sites – most of which sell modern baby carriers and shawls.

The construction of my baby sling/shawl was to make a rectangle 3 x 1m and hem the edges.
I then tied it around my body (under one arm and over the other shoulder) and placed my baby in it.

And that’s that.

And since I sewed it by machine it actually took longer getting dressed for the photoshoot then it did making the sling.










IMG_0226Photo: Maria Petersson
(I only let go of my hands for a second)

The Challenge: Nr 6 2016 – Travel

What: A baby sling

Year: 1500-1600s

Material: 3,5 m of ivory cotton

Pattern: None – I just cut a rectangle 1 x 3,5 m and hemmed it.

Notions: Thread.

How historically accurate is it? The fabric should probably be linen or wool, but since this was meant as a first try I think it would do. the machine stitching are on the other hand not at all accurate. 6/10

Hours to complete: 10 minutes

First worn: Beginning august for photos, but will maybe be used late August for a Medieval fair.

Total cost: 100 Sek (16 Usd)

Final thoughts This was such a cheat. It was way to easy and fast to really count, bu since I did have my baby (!) in June I think I can give myself a break.

Monochrome Medieval baby undies

Last fall when I took a break from sewing I also quit he HSM mid run.
But now it’s time to jump on the bandwagon (halfway through) again.
I have been sewing a few things that would fit the previous challenges this year (read all about them here) but lets start with July (since that the first one I managed o finish within the time frame of he month).

The theme for this HSM 2016 nr 7 was Monochrome, and I was eager to test my hand at some historic baby clothes.

Using my newly bought book “The Tudor Child” for the patterns for basic baby gear. IMG_0179

The Pattern for the shirt is fairly simple. IMG_0180

I cut the fabric in my favorite cotton/linen blend, and started by hemming the piece as stated in the instructions.IMG_0181

IMG_0183The folding pattern for the shirt.

Then I whip-stitched the hemmed edges together.

Once the shirt was finished (it all went surprisingly fast considering I did it all by hand with a sleeping/feeding/squirming newborn in my arms) I moved on to the biggin/hat.


IMG_0184The pieces cut from the same cotton/linen blend.

IMG_0191Hemmed pieces. I decided to ad ties to help keep the bigging on my baby’s head.

I did a slight miscalculation drafting the pattern making the center piece to long. IMG_0192Ops… 
But really, it was just to cut it of.

I also realized I messed up stitching the shirt.
The center is supposed to be open to get easy access for the baby, and since they are supposed to be swaddled (Yeah, No, that’s not going to happen with my baby) the opening would be completely covered in other fabric. so in the end I think this way was better for me.

The finished pieces: IMG_0282





The Challenge: Nr 7 2016 – Monochrome

What: A shirt and bigging/hat for a newborn baby.

Year: About 1500-1600

Material: 0,5 m Linen/cotton blend.

Pattern: baby swaddling Shirt and Bigging from “The Tudor Child”.

Notions: Thread

How historically accurate is it? Pretty good. The pattern and sewing methods are good (except the mistake of stitching the shirt front closed). The fabric should be linen, but since I have difficulty finding a soft linen I think the 50/50 cotton blend I use are quite legit. About 8/10

Hours to complete: 4 (3 for the shirt and 1 for the bigging)

First worn: Beginning August for photos. Was meant to be worn late August for a Medieval fair, but I’m not sure anymore (see “Final thoughts”)

Total cost: 50 Sek (8 Usd)

Final Thoughts: It was really fun making these pieces. They came together so fats and the fabric was a joy working with. Unfortunately the Shirt ended up way to small for my fast growing baby – well guess I just have to make another one…

2015 – A year in rerview

I’m a bit behind in posting, but here are a summary of the items I made last year.


I started the year with grand planes (pun intended) and made pannier for the first HSM challenge of the year – FoundationIMG_5811

And one snowy evening I cobbled together a fake fur hat to match my neck-stoleIMG_5188


For Februarys challenge – blue,  I continued with the winter theme and finished my Redingote which I´ve started in the fall.IMG_5615

I also had the time to (start) and finish a 18th century maids outfit for the 3rd challenge – Stashbusting.IMG_4587


And while I was in the mood to clear out some stash I also made a “Little red riding hood” 18th century cape IMG_4563

and a brown wool skirt for my sister.IMG_6203


April came with spring, and I made a summery outfit for “Lady Mary” and the – War and Peace challengeIMG_4861

I also made a 1860s blouse and  1850s silk bonnet for a summer event.IMG_6304IMG_6729


In May I made a cotton blouse for the – Practicality challenge and then a skirt, hat and belt to go with it.IMG_6963


In June I scrambled to finish my 1850s plaid summer dress in time for an event. IMG_7059

Then I had some fun designing and making a crazy 18th(ish) century masquarde costume.IMG_5079


Almost all of July was spent on making this 17th century bodice (and skirt and accessories) for Isis wardrobes “Sew 17th century challenge”IMG_8019


August is medieval month in our part of town so I made an 15th century Burgundian dress for my sisterIMG_8363

And used an old thrift store find to complete the -Heirlome challenge with a 1850s farmers dress.IMG_8518


September, with its magical colors and a drawing to the forest, made me want to make an “Outlander” inspired outfitIMG_8724
And to make a stylish (yet autumn inspired) 1900s day dress for the Brown Challenge. IMG_8890


For the Sewing secrets Challenge, I made a new skirt to my 17th century bodice (not yet blogged about) IMG_9531_resized

It was around this time my head finally caught up with my body and realized I was pregnant, and needed to slow the heck down.
And that´s exactly what I did – I closed the door to my sewing room, and have just now started to once again peak through the key hole.

And so my sewing year of 2015 ends in October.

I´t will be some time before I´m back to more regular posting and sewing (but I finally starting to dream of pretty dresses again) so hopefully I can show you some new stuff in not so long.


*For more pictures and construction of the pieces take a look at the “Portfolio” page.

New year – New challenges

Long time no seen.

Just wanted to stop by to to let you all know the reason for my (3 months :-O) absent from the blog.
During which some of you so kindly noted my lack of posting, and sent me loving messages.
Thank you so much again! There is no way I can tell you how much that meant to me.

The easy answer is – I´ve been to tired.

The real answer is – Yes I´ve been tired, and nauseous, and happy, and scared, and overwhelmed – Because I´m expecting a child (to be born in June). 😀

f86674a5210889457ce0791f18d4a739This will be me in a few months 🙂

Me and my fiance are so happy (and terrified), and we both try to get as much rest as we can before the baby comes.

Thanks again to all my patient readers, I will be back with more sewing (hopefully even historical) soon :-).





A Pile of Notions

My favorite (and only) store for sewing notions have just declared bankruptcy.
They have been my go to store for ages, and even if they’r not the cheapest they are definable the most well stocked.

The most sad thing about it (apart from me not being able to shop there no more) is that they didn’t go bankrupt because of lack of costumers, but because the owner got arrested while traveling and shopping for more beautiful ribbons.

This week I (and every senior citizen who can hold a needle) lined up for the clearance sale.

And here are some of the thing I got…


IMG_5361Cotton ribbons perfect for laces and cording

IMG_5362Cotton velvet in brown and midnight blue

IMG_536410 m of white and black pleated ribbon.

IMG_5368Many meters of lace

IMG_5370Pompon ribbon and more lace

IMG_5371Feather ribbon

IMG_5373Assorted colors of buttonhole thread

IMG_5374Belt buckles and butterfly patches


IMG_5378Inspiration overload….

Overload on beautiful Books

The days after Christmas I treated myself to some costuming books.

And today they arrived!
IMG_496310,5 kg of costuming happiness!

From left to right:

In Fine Style – the Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion
 by Anna Reynolds
IMG_4980IMG_4981I just found this book this winter and I don’t regret for a second my impulse to get it.
Its a real candy book with lots and lots of gorgeous photos of existing garments and paintings with lovely close-ups of details.

Fashion – a History from 18th century to 20th century (part 2 1900s to 2000s)
by Kyoto Institute of Fashion.IMG_4972 IMG_4973This book series is classic for a reason. The beautiful pictures and the sheer size of the volumes are all reason you need to love it.

Fashion – a History from 18th century to 20th century (part 1 1700s to 1900s)
by Kyoto Institute of Fashion.

IMG_4969 IMG_4971If you ever searched the internet for costume inspiration, you’r sure to have encountered several of the pics in this book. They are simply breath taking, and the book is a real treasure to study closely or to just flip through for inspiration.

The Victorian Tailor – Techniques and pattern
by Jason Maclochlainn
IMG_4977 IMG_4979I’ve heard it said that if you only need one book about historic/Victorian tailoring, it is this one.
I can’t wait to really get in dept into this book, and hopes to be able to try some of the techniques in the near future.

The queens servants – Gentlewomen’s dress at the accession of Henry VIII
by Caroline Johnson
IMG_4974 IMG_4975Since I love “The Tudor Tailor” I expect this close-up on women’s servants to be great.
So far I’ve seen some interesting dress styles and lots of information about cut and colors.

Elizabethan Costume – Design and Construction
by Helen Qizhi Huang, Kelsey Hunt and Emily Hoem
IMG_4966 IMG_4967 IMG_4968
Considering I own and love the other three books in this costume series, I’m not that thrilled.
There seems to be some interesting stuff about construction and fabrics, but at a first gimps I’d expected more. Not to say that it won’t grow on me later on.


Now you might excuse me while I disappear in to theses goodies for about a month….

HS(F)M 2015

The Dreamstress have decided to host yet another year of wonderful historical sewing challenges.
Only this year we will all (and most off all me) slow the paste down a bit and do the “Historical Sew Monthly“.

After some consideration I’ve decided to participate even this year – Oh, how am I kidding there was never any doubt…
But this year I will put up some ground rules for me to follow.

*Use stash first – I may need to buy notions and fabric such as buttons, cord or lining but I will use fabrics from my ever growing stash as much as possible.

* Don’t sweet it – If I can’t finish in time for a deadline, there’s no pressure, I will just post whenever I finish. – This also means I will not rush to complete thing in a slopy manner, but instead take my time and make everything as good as I can.

*Take time of from sewing – If the choice is between hanging out with friends/hubby/family or sewing, I will choose people every time.

Let’s present the challenges and what I intend to do with them for 2015.

January – Foundations:
Make something that is the foundation of a period outfit.

18thCpannierI’m going for 18th century here and doing some panniers – probably a smaller version of the ones in the picture.

February – Blue:
Make an item that features blue, in any shade from azure to zaffre.

7f449c24f267568720b72a36903b2682I’ve started a 1790s Redingote in a light blue wool for the HSF 14 challenge 22: Menswear, but left it after some hard design decisions. This is the perfect excuse to finish it.

March – Stashbusting:
Make something using only fabric, patterns, trims & notions that you already have in stash.

c06c34a182a07515aa4b3c486a835003I’m not completely sure about this one, but I’m thinking of making a Spencer  from a beige wool I’ve got laying around. There are really to less fabric for anything else, and I do need some  more outerwear, but I might as well go in another direction with this one.

April – War & Peace:
The extremes of conflict and long periods of peacetime both influence what people wear.  Make something that shows the effects of war, or of extended peace.

sisI’m thinking of making the famous striped 1914s dress that Mary wears in Downton Abbey the day they get the news of the coming war.
I got some leftover striped white/green cotton that would be great for this project.

May – Practicality:
Fancy party frocks are all very well, but everyone,even princesses, sometimes needs a practical garment that you can DO things in.  Create the jeans-and-T-Shirt-get-the-house-clean-and-garden-sorted outfit of your chosen period.

5880ee0d1aa5d43db828e03caa587e55I’ve long been thinking about making a everyday regency dress from some green cotton sheets I’ve got, and this seems like a perfect opportunity

June – Out of Your Comfort Zone:
Create a garment from a time period you haven’t done before, or that uses a new skill or technique that you’ve never tried before.

borchA few fellow seamstresses here in Sweden are all getting their 17th century dresses finished this year, so why not join in. I love to make a boned bodice and skirt for this challenge.

July – Accessorize:
The final touch of the right accessory creates the perfect period look.  Bring an outfit together by creating an accessory to go with your historical wardrobe.

bba904c5a7aa1a5222e9b051ebcf7186This challenge could be a lots of things. I’ve considered headwear, aprons, jewelry and shoes, but I think what I most need (and want) are some 1800-1860s chemisetts.

August – Heirlooms & Heritage:
Re-create a garment one of your ancestors wore or would have worn, or use an heirloom sewing supply to create a new heirloom to pass down to the next generations.

dalsland4This one is hard for me, since I don’t know anything about my ancestors, and there are none of my older relatives left to ask.
But considering most of the Swedish population heirs from farmers, I suppose that’s as good guess as any.
I will need some more research to determent what to make for this one.

September – Brown:
It’s not the most exciting colour by modern standards, but brown has been one of the most common, and popular, colours throughout history. Make something brown.

gray1I got some brown wool/polyester blend that would look great as a late 19th century walking dress. Perhaps something along the lines of the suit Satin/Nicole Kidman wears in “Moulin Rouge”.

October – Sewing Secrets:
Hide something in your sewing, whether it is an almost invisible mend, a secret pocket, a false fastening or front, or a concealed message (such as a political or moral allegiance).

Digital CaptureYet another one I’m not sure about. But I know I want to make a 18th century mourning dress this year, and this may be the chance to do so. And the secret?
You will just have to wait and see.

November – Silver Screen:
Be inspired by period fashions as shown onscreen (film or TV), and recreate your favourite historical costume as a historically accurate period piece.

movies_20_memorable_movie_queens_4I’ve wanted to make this dress (worn by Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth”) since I first saw it, I already got the fabric, the pattern and the period undergarments for it – so now is the time (If I can brace myself for so long).

December – Re-Do:
It’s the last challenge of the year, so let’s keep things simple by re-doing any of the previous 11 challenges.


I have honestly no idea on what to make for this challenge.
But since it is a whole year left until then, I’m sure I will figure something out.
After all, I got a pretty impressive list on “Want to make” this year…
(More on that in my next post)

2014 sewing planes – how did I do?

2014 are at en end, and it is time to take a look at what this past year have brought – in terms of sewing.

A year ago I made a (quite long) list of all the projects I would like to make during 2014. I must say I did pretty well considered the amount of costumes I dream’t about doing.

Lets take a look…


1880s Corset

1880s ruffled petticoatIMG_5831

1880s evening dress
IMG_566039.384 0002


1901s S-bend Corset

1770s Jacket and Skirt IMG_7731


1900s Bust improver and corset cover
1901 dress


1901s hat and dress


A 1780s petticoat and Robe Anglaise

a 1810s regency gownIMG_9159


a 1880s Bustle IMG_9489

A 1850s cage Crinoline & petticoat

1850s chemiseIMG_9453


1850s Daydress

and a 1850s evening bodiceIMG_0402

1880s Steamunk outfitIMG_0665tumblr_m9ebbiQMJ11qa0f2qo1_500


a 1810s velvet spencer

1770s stays IMG_2192

1780s Robe Anglaise


A 1550s doubletIMG_2951


18th century robe Anglaise

Regency evening gownIMG_3376


white regency evening gownIMG_4145


1930s dressIMG_4576

1920s partydressIMG_4383

This year I managed to make:
10 dresses
7 jackets/bodices
6 skirts/petticoats
4 support garments (bustle, bumpad ect)
3 corsets
3 hats
8 (and still counting) accessories

Not on the list:
I’ve also styled a few wigs and re-made several pair of pants, skirts, and two wedding dresses.
This year I also made some things I never tried before (but definitely will continue make) – baby clothes.

I also finally started a facebook page for this blog, where I will post lots sewing, costumes and progress pics.
Follow me at:

Not made:
Dress-silk-1887-White-Howard-Co_25-W_-16th-St_New-York-Met-358x500 5024_side_view   2012-10-06 14.01.54  8312358697_ce6e37752bmoulinred1Lorena4Lady_with_Apple_1527cream3h2_1991_6_1a,b10340_201454_mediumbw21
Some of the inspirations above will be transferred to next years “Wishlist”, and some will be filed in the “not as exited about anymore” file.

Well, what can I say, a year is a long time when it comes to planing and keeping an interest, and a short time when it comes to actually getting things done.

I’m however very proud of what I accomplished this year.

An Outdoorsy Regency Spencer (sort of)

By the time it came to start on the HSF challenge 15, The great Outdoors, I was pretty drain sewing wise. I knew that if I was going to compleat this year of cahllenges I needed to give myself a break and make something simple once in a while.

So I decided to make something I’ve been thinking about for a while – a regency spencer.
But then I realised that I only had scraps left of lovely brown coton vevet I’ve wanted to use. and I did like the idae of buying even more fabric.
So I re-calculated and decided to make a sleveless spencer instead. And while I was at it why not turn it in to a west compleatly.

I used the Simplicity 4055 as a guide to get the overal line right, since I wanted the west to go over the yellow dress I made from the same pattern.IMG_0724I made some changes, like added a dart and re-shaped the back.

Then I cut it, made a mock-up and tried it on.

It fit pretty well, but I didn’t really like the high neckline.IMG_0808

So I marked the new neckline and cut.IMG_0835

Ok, so it looks pretty stupid in these pictures but I like the tought of the lower necline and the dress showing.IMG_0844IMG_0839

When the pattern was fitted properly, I started to cut the fabrics – velvet, cotton lining and cotton twill for interlining.IMG_0891

I stiched the back seams and basted the shoulder and side seams together.IMG_0908

IMG_0909A first version to try on.

It fit perfectly, even though the new lower neckline didnt really show due to the seam allowence.

IMG_0931I didn’t like the bust darts though, so I marked hem for shortening.

IMG_0963I toyed with the idea of skipping the dart and gather the bust instead. But decided it looked to bulky on the velvet. So I restiched the darts instead.

Then I putt in the lining, fideling a bit on the arm holes.IMG_0968The last piece to attach was the waistband, which I stiched to the lower edge.

IMG_1019I made one edge of the wasiband longer to make a cross over clouser.

Before turning the west right side out, I made sure to notch all the curved seams to make everything lay nice and flat. IMG_1018

I used a regular bath towel when iron the velvet as to not crush the pile.IMG_1017

Lastly I attached some buttons and the hooks and eyes for the clouser.IMG_1029

The finished piece (paired with my yellow regency gown):IMG_1171








Just the facts:

Challenge: 15, The great Outdoors.

What: a regency spencer/west

Pattern: I used Simplicity 4055 as a guide, but re-shaped it quite a bit..

Fabric: 0,4 m of brown cotton velvet and 0,4 m brown cotton for lining (both scraps left over from previous projects) and 0,4 m of cotton twill for interlining.

Notions: Thread, two buttons, 5 hooks and eyes.

How historical accurate: not much I fear – even though it is compleatly hand sewed. I havn’t found any sources on this kind of wests.

Time: about 8 hours.

Cost: Basicly free since everything was leftovers from previous projects but if I would have bought it now it would probably be about 150 Sek (22 Usd).

First worn: For photos in the middle of august.

Final thoughts: I’m not happy with the bust. It looks rediculus and I have no idea how to fix it. Perhaps gathering will be my only alternative after all.

Dracula – student theatre

2 years ago, during my university time, I joined the student theatre group as shared costume designer.

That years play was “Dracula” – a humorus story about the infamous transylvanian count and his “friends”.

The first step as the costumer desiger was to do some research of the original story.

vlad_tepes_big-x01Using this well known portrait from the 15th century, of the “original” Dracula – Count Dracul, as inspiration.

12I drew a design sketch, and got to work.

CIMG6144I made a coif using some red felt, and 3 pearl necklaces. Unfortuanly the hat got lost before the premier, so the actor never got to wear it.

IMG_0749 (2)He did whoever get a big furry cape and lots and lots of lace frills.

IMG_0882Fighting with the always unfortat mr Jonathan Harker.

13The servant “Reinfied” is a dark, crazy and creapy caracter.


IMG_1014Dressed in torn clothes, dirt and spiderweb.


IMG_0865The caracter of “Illusion” is only real in Reinfields head and tells him to do a lot of crazy things.

IMG_0961-(1)The ladys Nina and Lucy.

IMG_1520“Lucys” dress is a simplifyed version of a Victorian bustle dress.

Unfortanly I had already moved back to my old town when the play premiered, so I never got the chanse to help finish or even watch it. But I’m still pretty proud of the result.