Sunday, September 25, 2011

Regency Day Gown and Future Costumes

With all of the craziness of school I haven't had a ton of time to work on large and extravagant costumes projects, however, I did just finish another Regency gown. What can I say? I'm addicted to the era. It has such an air of romance and chivalry, or maybe I've read to many novels... ;-)

In any case, this is a day dress with a drop front. I left it fairly simple with almost no trim but I feel that lends it a certain elegance.

 I did also include handmade Dorset buttons for the back closure. I love adding those since they fit with the period but I would like to find smaller rings to use so I can vary the sizes. 

Several months ago I made a chemisette and so I included that in some of the photos. The chemisette is available in one size in my Etsy store and of course for custom order. It reminds me of the movie Bright Star.

And so now I'm planning my next big piece. I still have the blue Steampunk-esq Victorian to finish (see previous posts) but after that I'm thinking I might do something inspired by Showtime's The Borgias. I am so in love with the costumes! 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Steampunk-esq Victorian Gown Update

So its been a little while since I sat down to focus on finishing the Victorian as most of my attention has been towards Di Nuovo (see previous post). The gown isn't looking as steampunk as I'd hoped but its got a bit of that flair to it. I finished pleating all of the trim and attached it to the skirt hems. And let me just say, hand pleating a row roughly ten yards long without the added help of a pleat board certainly takes some patience! I set the pleats with vinegar water and it gave them a nice crisp finish. 

I also added some gold piping to the bodice and started creating the little yo-yo flowers to accent the neckline. I'll add some to the skirt as well since its looking a little plain. Luckily I ordered templates several months ago for the flowers so I can whip those out pretty quick! 

As you can see in some of these photos there are some fabric issues like wrinkling. I steamed and pressed the fabric before starting but nothing with get them out! 

There's just a few things left to do to finish. I'll be closing up the front with buttons. I couldn't find any that I liked that matched both the colors and the style I was going for so I decided to continue with the slightly fantastical flair and hand make them. I'm working on ten crosswheel Dorset buttons in the same color thread as the gold trim, yay matching! Here's the buttons in red:

This gown should be finished over the next several days so stay tuned for the finished photos! It will also be available for purchase in my Etsy store, as well as a few other costume pieces and the buttons pictured above.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Slight Costume Break...

I decided to take a brief break from my costume pieces so I could work on my other project, Di Nuovo. Di Nuovo (it means "again" in Italian) is my line of purses and bags that are made from mostly recycled materials and leftover fabrics from my costume projects. I never liked the idea of throwing away clothes or fabric scraps since I've always felt there was something that could be done with them. So here it is!

There's just a few items right now in my Etsy store but more items will be added weekly and coupons will be available to facebook fans monthly! 

Di Nuovo Etsy page:

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Its been a busy week so far! The voile Regency gown was finished Sunday and I immediately started the Steampunk gown on Monday! I've never made anything from the Victorian era or a Steampunk ensemble so this is a fun new challenge for me. I'm basing the look off of a Truly Victorian pattern. I decided to do the skirt first and so far its been pretty easy. I always do French seams where I can and I started using a quilter's scant quarter inch foot to ensure precise seam sizes. I love it!

 I added a pleated hem to the apron in dark gold. I plan on adding the same hem to the skirt, just as soon as I finish pleating. All by hand with a ruler and pins! Oh, if you've never tried setting pleats with vinegar water I highly recommend it. I'm not sure why its so effective but it sets the pleats really well!

Here is the draped skirt and a close-up of the pleats. I'm not quite sure what other embellishments I'll add. My process tends to evolve as I go rather than me map it all out. But for now, this is where its at!  

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Pink and White Voile Regency Gown

Due to school keeping me so busy over the last several weeks my progress on this gown was rather slow. But low and behold I have finally completed it! I have to say, this might be the most labor intensive dress I have done... It was based off of the La Mode Bagatelle pattern, which I have never used before. I added some trim:

And then the beading commenced. I wanted this dress to shimmer! I know metal sequins have been found as far back as ancient Egypt but plastic sequins didn't make an appearance until sometime in the first half of the twentieth century. If anyone happens to know where a more historical sequin can be found please let me know!

I also did some decorative stitching on the skirt for added detail. Slowly the rest came together with French seams and more lace, beads and pearls. The finished gown was actually more lovely than I had imagined. The finished photos can be viewed here. Feel free to fan the page while you're there!

This gown is currently for sale. If you are interested please leave me a comment here or send me a message on Facebook and I will contact you regarding the details!