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Month: September 2010

Skirting the Issue: How to Draft Skirt Patterns

How much is there, really, to say about skirts? They’re pretty basic. I’ve never really been one to make patterns for skirts, because, well, I’m lazy, and it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to whack out a rectangle. Somewhere back in the primordial fog of my early costuming experience, someone told me, “Gored skirts aren’t period. They waste fabric.” And I believed her, because it was easier than doing my own research or making with the thinkies. And shame on me, because it turns out that you can get through most of your costuming life if you know how to draft three basic skirt patterns.  Ready?


How to Sew a Simple Chemise with Drawstring Neck and Cuffs

Sewing a chemise can be as simple, or as difficult, as you want it to be. This is one of the simplest versions. Combined with your Simple Chemise Pattern, these sewing directions are all you need to produce a chemise. Well, I mean, you’ll need some fabric, too, and some thread and a sewing machine would be awfully handy, but you get the idea. Shall we?


How to Draft a Simple Chemise

This is a very simple chemise pattern.  It won’t win you any points for historical authenticity, but it’s a really great, “feel good” sort of introduction to pattern drafting. Historically, linen items (including chemises and smocks) were made by home seamstresses because of their relatively simple cut and construction.  To draft a simple chemise, you really only need to be able to sort out a couple of rectangles.


Repost: Sewing With Cats

This is a very old, possibly funny piece that I didn’t convert when I redid the site.  I’m reposting it now as a tribute to my big, beautiful, smelly boy cat, Gus.  Gus was half cat, half dog, and half ottoman – a mathematical quandary that he solved by being very large.  He was the bull cat, and for almost 12 years, he was a very good boy.  It’s an odd thing to say about a cat, but he was. *sniff*  Alright.  Enough soppiness….


Attack of the Thread Monsters!

The problem with sewing costumes is that, if they’re worn by a human, you’re eventually going to have to wash them.  That means that your costume has to be wash-proofed.  We’ve all heard about the merits of prewashing fabrics, but a lot less time has been devoted to care and feeding of hems and seams to prevent the Attack of the Thread Monsters!

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Zig-Zag Edges

Sometimes, you just want to finish an edge really really fast – you don’t care if it looks pretty up close.  (Like, say, you’re working on a show where everyone seems to wear a veil that the audience can see through, but the characters mysteriously cannot… Not that that ever happens.)  The zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine is the poor man’s serger…

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