Thursday 31 December 2009

That Was the Year That Was

Now with pictures!

The first eight month of 2009 was dominated by an extremely stressful and tiring job, and that really struck hard on my creativity. But I did finish 2 things and worked on even more. Here’s my list of what I finished, what’s going on- and what I plan to do next year.

# The largest project was the 1797’s gown. I’m really very pleased with it. The last decade of the 18th century has really grown on me this past year.

# A large 18th century hat. A fun and quick project.

Works in process (that I’ve actually worked on this year
# La Folie. It’s “almost” completed, i.e. I can wear it, but it needs to be spruced up. Like more bells, more decorations in blue, a lined collar and a nifty little cap.

# Two modern wool skirts that just need closure and ne hemmed.

# Gustaf III’s national gown. I’ve done very little- just the petticoat without the decorations…

# The outfit for the 12th Nigh ball. The jacket is done, but I need to hem and pleat the skirt and add decorations and I need to sew the sash and the reticule together.

# The embroidered polonaise. I think I started this project in 2004 and worked on it on and off. Now I’m almost done with the embroideries on the actual gown. The petticoat is sewn together, but not embroidered yet.

# An 1870’s overbust. The mock-up is fitted, but I need to buy a longer busk before I can start on it. I’ve also almost completed a modern underbust in black velvet.

Plans for 2010
I’ve long felt the need to branch out from the 18th century and I hope to do that a bit this year.

Your Wardrobe Unlock’d has by vote decided to focus on the 1876-1882 and 1770-1789. Unfortunately none of the periods *I* wanted, but I’ve decided to try to do something in both competitions. The national gown fits in very neatly in that period and though I doubt I have any chance to win with son many talented people doing the 18th century, I think it would be a nice chance to show something uniquely Swedish. I also desperately need new 18th century underwear, chemise, pocket hoops and stays. The 19th century period chosen is probably the one that interests me the least, but that is probably because I know extremely little about is.

I also want to make a medieval gown (see previous post), but need to decide on what century first. And I would love to do an early 16th century German gown. And I really want to make a Steampunk outfit! And I’ve no doubt that I will come up with other things to do as well…

I don’t do New years resolutions, but I will try to do one thing; Not buy fabric until I really need it. So, no fabric hoarding in 2010. Think I will make it?

Happy New Year, everybody!


(Spacecat Spiff just waking up from a refreshing nap in the box for Christmas stuff)

If you feel the need to be benevolent, let me direct you here:

The company promise to put a light up at a public place in Stockholm and this is the place to vote for one. The park where Kristinehovs malmgård (the 18th century house I’ve talked about) is located is awfully dark, and a lamp would be very welcome. If you click on the button, you will give that particular park a vote.

Tuesday 29 December 2009

A few questions about medieval clothes

The fashion of the Middle Ages have never held more than a general interest for me, but I’ve come to realize that I need a medieval gown. I know a lot of people who are into it and I would like to be able to attend to some parties and events. As I don’t have any particular period I fancy more than others, I’ve no idea what to sew, though. I would like to use a pattern that is period correct, as well as correct fabrics and colours. I’m not much concerned about sewing something fancy or upper class, but I seem to know better sources for inexpensive silk than I do wool.

I hope you won’t mind. I’m not after anyone doing research for me, but the Net is vast and I’m not sure where to start. I would very much appreciate is someone could point me to a good starting point. I can goggle myself, of course, but I don’t know enough about the fashion of the time to be able to say if the hits I get are trustworthy. What I need to find out about is good patterns and proper material. Well, I assume linen for underwear and wool and silk for outer layers, but I’ve no clue about appropriate weights and textures and only hazy knowledge about colours. Any nudges in the right direction will be much appreciated!

I have a more specific question for my Swedish friends. I’ve been given this sewing description of a 12th century gown:

I like the look and will have no trouble following the description, but I would like to know if this really is a 12th century gown or just a sort-of-12th century.

Even if I won’t start a big collection of medieval clothes, I want the ones I have to be correct.

Friday 25 December 2009

The 1790's velvet jacket is done

I'm quite pleased with it. Unfortunately I couldn't get a good picture, as I was home alone and had to take the pic myself, but I wanted to show you as much as I could along with the fabrics I will use for the petticoat and sash.


As always I feel slightly embarassed over my breasts. I read so many snarky comments over costumes where the breasts are overflowing, but most of my breasts are inside my stays- I can't stuff more of them down there. Well, this jacket will be worn with a neckerchief, which will help somewhat.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Gratuitous kitty-post

I itch to sew, but haven’t had any time to do it lately. Well, I sew, but in such small bursts that I have nothing to show. The ribbon embroideries on my reticule are done and I’m sewing on the spangles. I’m about to start cutting out the petticoat for the 12th night ball. I also have a modern underbust corset half-done and two wool skirts.
So instead, here is Spacecat Spiff for your enjoyment.

He and Page, who escaped the camera, managed to kill this evil cardboard box in the course of an evening. It’s very dead now.


“Well, what did you expect when you put a basket on my favourite sleeping spot?”

“And I’m very, very sleepy.”

Saturday 12 December 2009

Food and burlesque clubs

I’m lazy; so here is the post I had imagined I would post last Sunday. Oh well. I had a very nice last Saturday, beginning the evening with eating Christmas food at Kristinehovs malmgård. And not any Christmas food, but an 18th century one. I think you will agree that that it looks very nice. Those pictures are from the day after when Gustafs Skål had their own little party, but I went with my family and didn’t dress up in 18th century clothes. I was still wearing a corset though, so before the dessert I had to sneak into the toilet and unlace me a little bit…

When we had eaten ourselves almost comatose my family departed home and we continues to Hootchy Kootchy Club, which is a burlesque club. I’ve wanted to go there for ages, but have had little difficulties finding the time. I’ve heard that it’s good, but I had no idea what to expect. I enjoyed myself immensely though. It was a very nice atmosphere and people really dressed up, ranging from vintage to burlesque. Evidently there is also a theme to every occasion and this time it was the Adams family, so there was a lot of Morticia’s and Gomez’ around. There were also a small group of young men in very ordinary clothes and a rather dazed look that was overheard to say out aloud in the men’s room; “What kind of place is this?”, so they probably got there by mistake.

There was a show, which was mostly good. There was a stripper who is a little person, Selena Luna, also a very pregnant woman in very little clothes and two great singers. I must say that they all looked great and proved, if that really needs to be proved, that female beauty is so much more than what media tries to make us believe. There was also some numbers that was more ludicrous than anything else, too, though. If you don’t mind nudity, then there are some nice photos here.

And now I’m sure that you are all dying to know what I wore to this occasion. I think I can safely say that I was one of the more understated ladies there. Unfortunately I didn’t get around having any pictures taken until we got home, and then only with a cell phone, so the quality isn’t the best.


I’ve had the dress for ages, but it’s been a bit too tight. I was very pleased to discover that it’s almost a little loose now. I didn’t need to wear a corset underneath, but it do gives you a nicer shape. Besides, I like wearing corsets, albeit the next time I’m NOT going to stuff myself with Christmas food first. I had managed some very nice finger waves, but the damp weather and the late hour make them a little indistinct on the picture. To this I wore these shoes:

I wanted to make a little fascinator and almost got it done. However, the veil gave me trouble and I felt that I wanted to dress up at leisure rather than to sew myself into frenzy. I’m pretty pleased with it, though and I’m sure I will have an opportunity to wear it at a later occasion.

The base is a piece of felt carpet that works very well to make hat outs- I’ve made several. I padded it a little and covered with some stretch velvet. The decorations are all form my grandmother’s hat decoration stash. Spangles, a piece of fancy cord, the feather and the veil. The veil has some unsightly holes in it, which is why it gave me trouble, as I want to drape it nicely, but I’m sure I will get it right eventually. Instead I wore a spray of silver flowers with white stones in, so I think my hair was nicely decorated anyway.

And as I said, I had a great time and I look forward to go again!
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