Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I love hats....You can be somebody new just by putting on a hat. Sometimes I love a hat so much that I wear it in the wrong period event....just because I can :).   Actually, I would like to shoot myself for wearing a fedora to Texas Renaissance Festival. It seemed like a good idea at the time. 
   Hand embroidered with glass pearls and austrian crystals

 Wired pearl cap can be worn this way or in the back like a snood (caul)

      This one has not been embroidered yet...but soon!

Friday, July 20, 2012


I have said a hundred times "I don't do quick and dirty"...but this was! Three hours from cutting fabric to out the door! I couldn't even tell you what its made of. Sleeves are lined with twill to hold their shape, and no grommets....i ran out of time and sewed her into it.

Red Tudor Gown

This was for a client in Houston. Her first court gown. This was before altering. I took in the shoulder pieces and brought up the hem a bit. She wears this with a victorian style corset, so the front is not as flat as I might like. I am trying to talk her into that for next season ;)

Red is tough, huh? Looks wine or pink often in pics. This is a rich red in natural light, but looks pinkish here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Butterfly Fairy

my Daughter as Nixxa the Monarch Fairy

 That is 50 yards of tulle

2012 Holbein

Purple Dress

2012 gifted to a friend. I will continue the damask embroidery all around the edges by next season. She looked amazing in it. Taffeta has a lovely flow in the breeze.


This one is freehand and handstitched

 This is still in progress with pin tucks, hand smocking and machine decorative stitching, not really blackwork. I call it faux blackwork : The next one, I will put the ruffle or lace on first, and then smock. I really did not leave enough space to attach it easily. Also I will make the sleeve less voluminous, as the smocking was a bit too loose and I had to put in stitches to tighten the cuff underneath. To mark the space to be smocked, I used a graphite art pencil. I would have used a blue wash out pen, but, of course....couldn't locate one of the three I own! The honeycomb pleats are marked with dots in a grid of 1/4" by 1/2" rows, 5 of them.

Periwinkle Dress

2011 Gown. The black embroidery is hand drawn and hand stitched.

Blue Dress

This gown is over 5 years old and has been worn about 180 times. Crepe backed satin is my favorite fabric for faire gowns. It machine washes beautifully, and travels well. Any wrinkles release easily with a little water spritz.

green dress

2012 dress using vintage sable mink. The grommets had to be couched because the fabric was pulling away from them and fraying. I would not use this fabric again due to a serious wrinkling issue unresolved without pressing. Not realistic for faire use. For future reference...couching sucks!! It is HIGHLY time consuming. This took me about 12 hours, I think Like the results, don't really like the process.

Tudor Stays

Tudor Stays. These are three layers (one fashion fabric, two canvas duck) built for comfort and durability. 22 bones: 20 of spring steel, with 2 nylon bones on the sides for flexibility. Thicker laces are more appropriate but these were what I happened to have with me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Getting Started

This is not an easy thing to start. Trying to publish a blog and website at the same time has been rather aggravating. Any advice is much appreciated. I have been costuming and custom designing clothing for the better part of 20 years, as well as doing historical textile and fashion research. I also teach classes on millinery, historical garb, corsetry, and a few other things. Being knowledgeable about clothing history does not obligate me to make it or wear it. My clients are largely Renaissance Faire participants, so I have to keep comfort, practicality, and flattering the wearer in mind. Precise historical accuracy is reserved for SCA events, and clients who desire it. I am honored to be in such illustrious company. I had no idea there were so very many REALLY talented costumers. If I added you to follow your blog, it is because I found you delightful and/ or amazing and wanted to read all about you later!