Camilles Picture (Top) Hat

I decide early that I was going to make an Edwardian hat for the HSF ?: Tops and Toes. My original plan was to make a matching hat to wear together with the prevoulsly made edwardian “Farytale”gown, to a upcoming event.

But as you can guess my planes changed a bit once I decided I hated it, and would never wear the “Ariel/Farytale” gown again.

The new plan is to make a hat be-fitting of the faboulus Camille Clifford. And since the dress is now re-styled after one of her dresses, what would be better then to also make the awsome, gigantic hat to match.Camille21

The only problem was – I’ve never made a hat from scratch before… Ok, I’ve made a 19th century bonnet, but nothing this complex, and huge.

I started searching for some pattern layouts on the internet, and was just about to start the drafting, when I stumbeled on this hat hanging in a store. IMG_7070 Since it was both the perfect size and colour, I took the easy way out and bought it.

Since it was so big I decided it needed a bit of strenghtening to get the right shape. So I grabbed my metal wire and got to work, sewing it on to the brim. IMG_7195Bending the edges of the wire so not to poke through the straw. IMG_7197

Then I did the same thing two more times. IMG_7199

The high crown of the hat neded to be lovered to get the right look.IMG_7188But instead of cutting, I decided to just poke it down on itself.

A few stiches and the crown are now les the half its original hight.IMG_7190And since you will need a hatpin to keep it in place anyway, the low crown dosen’t bother me.

Time to deal with the dcorations. I strated by cuting shreads from some of my black fabric scraps.IMG_7117

Then I gathered them to litle “clusters”, and arranged them beneath the brim. IMG_7308

IMG_7309They look kind of strange sitting on the inside/underside of the hat, but I just follow my inspirtiona picture.IMG_7312Hm a litle weard…

Then it was time for some feathers.IMG_7079I used a feather “boa” I bought for this pourpose.

Triming of those ugly ends.IMG_7314

And carefully stiching the feathers on, cirkeling the crown.IMG_7316

I then realised I didn’t had enough feathers to fill the hole in the crown. So I found some black fabric scraps and made a quick litle bundle.IMG_7317

Which I putt in the crown and attached by a few stiches.IMG_7318

Then I could continue attaching the feathers on to the neewly created lower crown.IMG_7320

And Finished:IMG_7323






IMG_7553Sneak-a-peak of todays photoshoot…

Just the Facts:

Challenge: nr 7 – Tops and Toes.

What: An Edwardian “Picture hat” (ca 1905s).

Pattern: None

Fabric: Nope

Notions: a black straw hat, thread, steel wire, feathers 1,5m, fabric scraps and ribbons.

Historical accuracy: Not at all. Totaly modern construction. It may pas for edwardian but I doubt the laydy of the day would ever consider wearing it.

Time: 2 hours.

Cost: 150Sek (22Usd)

First worn: At easter for a photoshoot. Maybe I will wear it mid may for an event.

Final thougts: I’m pretty happy about it. And it looks even better since I pinned a satin ribbon and broch to it, to break up all those feathers. I just need to get my hands on some hatpins to keep it more firmly on my head.

Ariel goes Edwardian

For the HSF challenge 6 – Farytale, I’ve been working on an Edwardian dress for “The litle mermaid” Ariel. (If you wonder how the heck that works, take a look at my previous post.)

b494ff618d0617fcfd3b9dc06ed0a0f5The girl on the left is my main inspiration.

IMG_6653A quick design sketch.

As usual, I started with the draping of the pattern. I pinned the fabric to my dressform (on top of the corset and brassiere) and draped a tight fitting lining.

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IMG_6587And a larger outer layer.

Then cut and made a quick mock-up. First I tried on the lining.


And then I pinned on the draping outer layer.

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After some minor changes to the pattern, I cut all the pieces. Using a striped cotton voile (same as for my “Chemise a la Reine“) for the bodice, sleeves and skirt. And a dotted polyester organdy for the neck insertion, and decoration.

IMG_6692I cut the skirt as two lenghts of fabric, sewed them together and pleated the wasit to the right measurments.

IMG_6695I made the pin-tucks from a long piece of the organdy, only cuting the front insertion when the piece was finished.

IMG_6755 I interlined the bodice and stitched it togehter, then I put it on to determen the placing of the pin-tucked front piece.

IMG_6758And pinned the front draping fabric to the waist.


IMG_6725It does look pretty good ( the skirt and leeve ae just pined on at this stage).

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But I do have some minor problems at the back and side, which fortanly can both be fixed by shortening the waist a few cm.

Then it was time to stich on the front piece, collar, sleeves and skirt. Putt in the hooks and eyes, and finishing the whole thing of with some flowers.

The Finished Gown:IMG_7045











Just the Facts:

Challenge: 6 – Farytale

What: An Edwardian (1901s) gown for “The little Mermaid”.

Pattern: Drafted my own, using a picture for reference.

Fabric: 3m of striped white cotton voile, 0,5 m of white dotted polyester organza and 0,5 m regular white cotton sheets for interlining.

Notions: Thread, hooks and eyes and about 80 cm syntetic whalebone.

How historical accurate: Not much, the cotton content is ok, and the colour would suffice for a “nice dress”. But I don’t think I quite got the shape/look right.

Time: About 10 hours – on and of for two weeks.

Cost: About 100Sek (16Usd), everything from stash (bought on sale about a year ago).

First worn: 30th of mars, for the “farytale” photoshoot.

Final thoughts: Sadly I did’t enjoy making this dress.

I was way to tired after work, and to occupied on weekends, to take the time to do the dress right.

Instead I forced myself to make some “baby-step” progress on it for about two weeks, and then pulling myself up and stressing like crazy to get it finished before the photoshoot on sunday 30s.

All that stress would have been worth it, if I at least would have liked the dress.

But No, when I putt it on for the first time (at the photoshoot) I really hated it.

I feelt fat, ugly and ridicoulus in it, and was more then a bit ashamed to go outside for the photo session.

But now, when I’ve been going through the pictures we took, I think I do like it a bit more.

Because I can tell you – we got some awsome looking photos, which I’m dying to show you. (As soon as I can get this damn blog to stop deciding over my picture sizes).


1900s S-shaped Underwear

The item for challenge 4 of the HSF14 was quite simle to decide – Looking at my intended “sewing list” where a 1900s evening gown is the next big thing, I of course needed the proper undergarmnents.

Since this is a new era for me (I’ve done 1980s and 1910s, but they are not at all the same) I needed to start from the bottom. So a corset it is.

Looking through the internet for inspiration I really liked this one. 72867cfdcae740e03be80aca71d75b95

And amongst my patterns I found the 1901s corset from Nora Waughs “Corset and Crinolines”. 1901 waugh

My original thought was to make the corset in ivory cotton sateen, but when searching my stash I discovered it was all gone (I’ve already used it all on a couple of other corsets). And the only other strong ivory colored fabric I had was a rough unbleached cottonblend. So on to the fabric store I went, finding this nice striped cotton upholstery fabric instead. IMG_6291

I had wished to make this a quick and dirty stash busting prject, but found I already had had to many of those lately – thous leaving my stash of notions almost empty (sigh). So I also needed to buy gromets, lacing cord, suspender grips and plastic boning (the planchett and decorational lace thankfully already in stash). IMG_6324

I originaly started this project 9 months ago till the HSF13 “White” challenge – before I realised I had other more pressing costuming needs.

So the pattern and the toile was already prepeared. And since I had absolutly no idea of the measurments I used making the mock-up, I just tried it on.  

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And as could be expected, it didn’t fit at all.

So I took out a total of about 10cm on the size, and added some lenght to make the front bottom smother. The rest of the fitting isues will be corrected once made up in a sturdier fabric and properly boned (I hope).

After the adjusments had been done, I cut the fabric, linning and interlining. Using as litle fabric as I posibly could. IMG_6289


Then I started to sew it togehter, begining with the narrow side pieces. IMG_6297

And continuing on to the busk…IMG_6304

…and the gromets… IMG_6306

Realising to late I’ve put the gromets to far appart.IMG_6310I tried to fix it by putting some extra gromets at the waist (as in 1880s corsets).

Then I sewed the pieces together and made the boning chanels, using self made bias tape, and sewed them on. IMG_6327

When all the boning was inserted I sewed and trimmed down the top and bottom of the corset, prepeared it for the biastape.IMG_6332

Then I stiched on the pretty lace (which I picked from my “Lace box“).IMG_6317








And being worn:IMG_6359






Just the facts:

Challenge: 4 – Under it all.

What: a 1900s S-shaped corset.

Pattern: Nora Whaugh’s 1901s corset from “Corset and Crinolines”.

Fabric: 0,5 of striped cotton upholstery fabric (50Sek), 0,4 m of nougat cotton lawn for lining and 0,5 m ivory cotton satten (used on bed-bolsers) both from stash.

Notions: Thread (stash), 32cm Busk (80Sek), 20 gromets (35Sek), 4m of lacing cord (50 Sek), 2 m of ivory biastape (stash), 5m selfmade biastape for boning chanels (stash), 5m plastic cable ties for boning (30sek), 2m steel boning (stash), 1 m lace (stash), 0,5 m elastics (stash) and 2 suspender-grips (50Sek).

How historical accurate: The fabric and pattern are all good. But the plastic boning and the construction tecninques are modern. so maybe 6/10.

Time: About 12 hours.

Cost: Money spent: 275 Sek (42Usd). Actual cost (including stash worth): about 400 Sek (61Usd).

First worn: For photograps 1 mars. But hopefully on some suffraget events and some summer picknics.

Final Thoughs: I’m pretty happy with it, but I think I will need to add some stuffing at the bum to get a more pronounced S-shape.

A Pink Caraco Gift

When the HSF challenge 3- Pink, was announced in december I was more then sceptical. I am certainly not a fan of pink, I wouldn’t even think of wearing it.

But a challenge is a challenge…

And I decided to face my fears (not a fear really, more of a huge distaste) and do the challenge – and do it all the way.

So searcing my stash for something pinkish (yeah right, good luck) I actually came up with two workable fabric options. One pale pink cotton sheet, and a couple of metres of pink/white checkered linnen curtains – both fabric’s been given to me at some point.

Still not sure of what to make, thinking about something regency, 18th century or early 20th century, I decided to wait until the big opera gown was finished, in late januray, to decide.

Perhaps it was faith, since I found the most wounderful fabric at an internet auction 2 weeks ago.180551824_21ee55d7-97ff-4039-a871-e3a62da1ef96 I emedetly know I needed that fabric. So I bidded on it and won. And a week ago it arrived.

Despite the fact the amount of fabic was really limited (only 1m), I decided to try to get a 18th century Caraco jacket out of it.

But since I’t will need to be a fairly smal jacket, I decided to make the jacket as a “thank you” gift to sister M. She is always so nice and wounderful and helps me with my projects, and without complaining photographs my costumes out in the freezing snow. Thank you so much for everything!

I’m thinking something like this.274015958547564766_VevBYigl_f

So I put my sisters corset on my dressform and started to drape the pattern.

IMG_6070 IMG_6067


Then I used a good hour trying to get the pieces out, getting the print in the exact way I wanted.IMG_6077

I sewed it togehter using modern sewing methods.IMG_6118

Snipping the allowence to keep the curved edges nice and smooth.IMG_6120

I put the bodice back on the dressform to get a feeling for how it would look.

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Pretty nice, and I particulary like the birds placements on the back.IMG_6125

I pleated the trim which I cut from the fabric edges.IMG_6082

Then I needed to decide on how to place it. Playing around with it, I came up with 5 alternatives.


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IMG_6137I think I like this one the best (let’s just hope my sister like it aswell).

Then I put in the sleevesIMG_6144

Getting all the seam-allownces between the layers.IMG_6145

When I started to pin on the trim, I discovered something strange…IMG_6150…A hint: You will have to keep your hands behind your back…

So I ripped the sleeves out (all four of them) and switched the sides. But the result was the same, only worse. So for the second time in on hour, I ripped the sleeves out. Grrr. IMG_6152I gave up the idea of a nice finished inside, and basted the lining and the outer fabric together. And stiched the sleeves in one last time (after pinning it in on the dressform).


Then I pinned and hand-stiched on the trim. I used the hooks and thread eyes to lock the light bones on the outer edge of the front.








Just the Facts:

Challenge: Nr 3 – Pink.

What: A 1770s caraco jacket.

Pattern: Draped my own using Janet Arnolds “Patterns of Fashion”.

Fabric: 1 m of printed pink qvilting cotton, 1 m of white cotton sheet.

Notion: Thread, 8 hooks and 0,6m of syntetic whale bone.

How Historical Accurate: Not at all. The general look of it is plausable, but the fabric, the print and the construction methods are all wrong and modern. But to be fair – this project was never meant to be accurate.

Time: 12 hours.

Cost: 100 Sek (16 Usd).

First Worn: Not yet (I’m not even sure it will fit her).

Final Thoughts: I like the jacket and would gladly wear it if it would have fit me. Hopefully my sister will like it as much as I do…

An Innovative Corset

For the HSF nr 3 this year: Innovation, I knew I needed to make something usable for the up-coming bal. And since you can’t make a balgown without the right foundation wear, I decided to use this challenge to make a 1880s corset.

I re-used the 1880s corset pattern from Nora Waughs Corset and Crinolines. (I prevously made a black corset from this pattern for my sister). 1880 waugh

I started by adding some extra widht to the pattern to bring it closer to my measurments.IMG_4330

Then I cut it out in a sturdy cotton bedsheet,IMG_4335

sewed it together and tried it on.

IMG_4338 IMG_4344

It fits suprisengly well. The only thing that needs to be changed is to take out a bit on the top back, to get a more even lacing, and to re-shape the bottom front to make the curve over the stomach nice and smoot.IMG_4359

Then it was time to bring out all the fabric and notions. (here I got: a cream cotton sateen, a cream cotton interlining, a busk, lots of plastic bonning, thread, the pattern, grommets and lacing cord).IMG_4368

Then I cut the fabric, basted on the interlining and marked the space for the piping, and sewed them in.IMG_4364

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Close-up of the piping, sewn in green button-hole thread.IMG_4377

Then I sewed the pieces together twice – for strengt.IMG_4370

Setting the busk using awls to get the studds through the fabric without ripping it. IMG_4387

And leaving holes while sewing to get the eyes through.IMG_4381

I made lots of self fabric bias trim to use as boning chanels.IMG_4397

Sewing them on from the outside.IMG_4400

And snipping the seam-allowence on the inside.IMG_4403

When the gromets, the busk and the boning chanels (no bonning yet) are done, its time for the lining. I choose a light green cotton lining from my stash.IMG_4411

Corset with lining sewn on – before turning.IMG_4416

The lining sewn in. (One side turned and pressed, and the other one still in-side-out).IMG_4422

Now it’s time for the boning. If you put them in to early you will have big trouble with lining and sewing.

This is what I used for boning. (Left to right: Heavy pliers, methal pipe cleaners, electrical tape (to cower the sharp edges on the metal), plastic cable ties, siccor and plastic whale bone).IMG_4438

As you can se I used all of my three boning options on different parts of the corset. Using the strongest (metal) ones close to the lacing, and the regular cable ties in the boning chanels, and then using the softer syntetic whalebone in between.IMG_4444

Then I grabbed my finishing/decoration kit (green cotton bias tape, white cotton lace, green button hole thread and cord for  piping (which I did in my first few steps).IMG_4436

Cutting the un-even top and bottoms of the corset, IMG_4426

and then attaching the bias tape.IMG_4431

At this point it was time for me to stop working on the corset, and leave it for a couple of weeks.

You see, I started this project begining of december, since I needed to have the corset to be able to start on my opera gown. And since the HSFs rules says that no item should be finished more then 6 weeks before the challenge du date, I needed to paus sewing for a while. And since it was only the decorations left, the corset was fully functional and could still be used to build my gown upon.







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So, last week (3 days before the grand bal) I finaly had the time to finish it.

By now I had tried it on several times, and had realised the bust needed to be re-shaped to get a smoother look. So I ripped some of the bias tape of, re-cut the top and stiched the bias tape back on.IMG_4716

Then I decorated it with the white lace and some green flossing.

And finaly Finished:IMG_5281








Just the Facts:

Challenge: nr 2 – Innovations

What: A 1880s Corset

Innovation: The 1880s was known for it’s innventions (actually the whole 19th century was). My item can both represent the whole era, or the new style of hourglas figure and bustled skirts made fashionable and  avalaible thue to both the steel manufacturer, and the comercial sewing factories. Some relativly new innventions in the 1880s corset was: The split busk, the metal gromets and the steel boning – all innvented during the 19th century.

Pattern: Nora Waugh “1880s corset” from Corset and Crinolines.

Fabric: 0,5 m ivory cotton sateen, 0,5 m ivory cotton lawn and 0,5 m light green cotton.

Notions: A 33 cm planchett, ivory thread, green buttonhole thread, 30 silver gromets, 4m cotton string for piping, 4 m ivory cotton laces, ca 10 m of boning (2,5 m steel, 8 heavy duty cable ties and 3 m syntetic whalebone), 2 m green biastape and 1 m ivory lace.

How Historical Accurate: Pretty good. The pattern’s correct and the sewing machine was widly used by this time, even though I’m not sure of the right assebly tecniques. The material used are accurate, part from the plastic bonning. So maybe 7/10.

Time: About 10 hours

Cost: 400kr (44Usd) (all those notions make it so expensive).

First worn: On January 25 for a grand bal (Oskarsbalen), and then a few days later for a photoshoot.

Final Thoughts: It tured out great. It’s quite comfortable (even after a couple of dancing hours) and stil gives me the desired hourglas figure. I think this will be my “go to” corset for many costumes.

HSF14 – sewing planes

For the HSF 2014 “The Dreamstress” have decided to anounce all of the up-coming challenges at once. This will make it easyer to plan your sewing year, and hopfully to keep the planes.

So last night I sat down and compared my whislist to the challenges and the up-coming historical events (that I know of) this year. Making something like a sewing plan for 2014. This feels verry strange, since I usaly decides at the last minute, and the chance is that I change my mind and want to make something else.

But I will try to stick to the plan as long as I can.

So here it is – The HSF Challenges 2014, and my intended garmnent.

1. Make do/mend:

IMG_4829A 1880s petticoat (Done)

IMG_4781And a re-make of my old 1750s flowery jacket (Done).

2. Innovations

IMG_4524a 1880s corset (Done, will post in a few days).

3. Pink

tumblr_m46pbhovqY1qadfhsA  18th century calico jacket (this one depends on how I feel when I get the fabric (which is still in my inlaws basement)).

4. Under it all

edwardiana  1900s S-shape corset.

5. Bodice

I’m not sure about this one, will have to wait and see.

6. Fairytale & 7. Tops/Toes


A 1900s white gown, inspired from the “Ariel” design together with some real pictures, and a big lovely hat to match. I think I got the right fabric for this gown, and now that I got lots of lace aswell, I should just go for it.

8. Ufo/Pdf

I’m not sure about this one, will have to wait and see. Hopfully I can use some of my stash, and perhaps do something for one of my sisters.

9. Black/White & 10. Art

imagesA 1780s white sateen skirt and the green striped gown in the painting. I already own the striped fabric, just need to find a nice white one for the skirt.

11. Politic

untitledA regency roundgown. It don’t get more political then that…

12. Shape/Support & 14. Paisley/Plaids.

2922460163_61fd26c808A 1850s cage crinoline to be worn under the 1850s paisley gown. I have  two bedsheets in brown/paisley which I bought with a dress like this in mind.

13. under 10 Usd

I think this challenge can be lot of things, like a chemise, a fichu, a hat or some other accessorie. I will wait and se what I will need at the time. But I think it will have to be pretty quick and simple, since the next one will take some extra time.

15. Outdoors

8312358697_ce6e37752bA light blue 18th century redingoat. Love this one from “Festive Attyre“, and I do have  a pale blue, soft wool that would be perfect.

16. Termologi

This one can also be a lot of things, but I think I will do something easy since the “Outerwear” one will be big.

17. Yellow

Maybe a regency open robe like the one worn on the round gown for challenge 11. This depends on what kind of fabric I find.

18. Poetry

1423_mediumNot sure yet, but thinkig of making a 18th century robe out of some flowery fabric I got. There will always be poems about flowers, right.

19. HSF inspiration

I’m sure there will be lots of inspiration in the “HSF” folders by then, but right now I have no ideé.

20. Alternative Universe

tumblr_m9ebbiQMJ11qa0f2qo1_500 bw21Maybe some steampunk or halloween dress. I like them both, but are not sure I will get any use out of them…

21. Re-do

A easy one to do since you can make almost anything, but I will decide later on.

22. Fortnightliers Choise

This depends on what the challenge will be.

23. Modern History


This one is difficult, since I usaly don’t wear “strange” clothing. But maybe I can try some 1930s blouse or pant patterns. Or perhaps the lovely black dress from “True Blood”.

24. Glitter

1920s-fashion-lbI’m thinking of making a 1920s party gown, maybe something I can wear on new years eve.

And thats was that.

I’m guessing I’ve been a bit to entusiastic (and optimistic) on this plan.

But I really like that I manadged to fit most of my wishlist into the challenges for this year. And that the big costume pieces are to be made in fabric I already own. That way I will try to keep the sewing budget smaler then last year.

I will do a recap in about 11 months and we will se if I manadged to stick to the plan.