Sunday, June 19, 2011


I am so sorry that I haven't update in..... well forever. I went on a sort of hiatus while planning my wedding. In an effort to become a better costume blogger I have moved to the following link.

I hope that you will follow me there. In return, I promise to better chronicle my "in over my head" adventures.

Monday, September 14, 2009

On Skirt Panels

I have chosen to do five panels instead of the customary four because I like my skirts full enough to drape dramatically over my cage and hide the cage bones well. I really don't like it when a skirt appears to tug and pull because it really isn't full enough to cover the cage properly. So, I went with five instead of four. We shall see if I can manage to gather it all to the waist.

In order to create the skirt, I first had to measure out how long I wanted the panels to be. These needed to be long enough to be able to hem the skirt later on. So I have 5 skirt panels the width of the fabric and long enough to hem, about 44 inches by 56 inches each. At the top of each panel I finished off the seam so the fabric would not fray. Then I sewed each of the panels together with a half inch seam allowance in order to create a circle. on the last seam I left about 10 starting from the top unfinished. This will create the front opening to the skirt. Once the skirt is gathered, I will attach the left side to the left side of the bodice and the right side to the right of the bodice. Hmm that seems a bit confusing. Pictures to follow.

On to gathering:
In order to gather my skirt I focused on one panel at a time to avoid breaking my thread and getting it too tangled. To create the gathering stitch (cartridge pleating) I ran one long stitch followed by a short stitch and so on along the top of the skirt panel. Once I was finished I would repeat the process in the same pattern just below the first row of stitching. once you have two completed rows, grab one end of the thread and pull, gathering the fabric as you go. Repeat for each skirt panel.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ribbons, Feathers, and Other Pretty Things

I did it. I bought myself a new bonnet, a more neutral wear with any dress kind of bonnet if you will. I purchased it from Timely Tresses and I can't wait to see it in person!

While I was apparently in a spending kind of mood, I also picked up some beautiful burnt pumpkin colored taffeta ribbon for my bodice and a white ostrich feather to add to the bonnet. Things are really starting to come together. As my good friend, Audrey, would say: Accessories make the outfit. Anyone can put on a big puffy dress but the accessories make the past some alive.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Making Headway

I hadn't planned to work on my dress until Friday but I've been obsessing over it so I thought I'd get as much done as I could before Audrey came over to assist in the final fitting.

I ended up using my mock bodice as lining. I chose to do this so I wouldn't have to guesstimate the marks for darts on my actual bodice. By using the mock up for the lining the markings are already there.

To date, I have my bodice and bodice lining cut out, enough fabric for sleeves, five skirt panels, and enough fabric left over for piping. I am hoping to gather my skirt panels tonight so that when Audrey arrives we can fit the bodice and work on the hem line, two things I just can not do on my own.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Decisions, Decisions......

After much pondering, the purchase of my own sewing machine, a trip to Shipshewana, and help from my best friend, I have finally started my new dress set to debut at Walcott Mill in October. The fabric is absolutely gorgeous and my camera just doesn't do it justice. It's somewhere between the color in the photos and a brownish burgundy in person, but the picture shows off the stripes well.

I have gone back and forth and back and forth on sleeve designs for this dress and I have come to the conclusion that I am incredibly picky about stripes and what does and doesn't look good with them. Who knew. I have scratched the modified pagoda idea. I just can't seem to get the right shape and instead of feeling pretty and feminine I am feeling frumpy. So, no more modified pagoda sleeves. Instead I am opting for a more suitable style with a tighter coat sleeve. I will also be replacing the undersleeves with cuffs.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Black Jack"

Below is a photograph of my great great great second cousin,
General John A. Logan.

Fought at Bull Run, Battle of Belmont, Fort Donelson, where he was wounded, the Siege of Corinth, Vicksburg where he served as military governor after its capture, commanded the Army of the Tennessee at the Battle of Atlanta, and others. He also ran for Vice President of the United States and was responsible for the legislation creating Memorial Day!

How cool is that!?

Latest Project: Civil War Striped Day Dress


triped cotton in fall shades

Cartridge pleated skirt
Darted bodice
Modified pagoda sleeves
Satin bows instead of buttons
Pleated trim on bodice and sleeves
Sheer cotton voile under sleeves with lace accents

Patterns Used
Self-draped, based upon various sources

Additional Resources
Demode: extant women's clothing 1860's
Carte de Visites