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Category: Experiments

A Pretty Little Learning Experience….

After the fluffy-white-tutu-athon of Les Sylphides, I decided that the best way to recover from all those tutus was … to make another tutu. The logic here might be a little sticky if you are not insane obsessive crazy a costumer, but after all those long fluffy white things, I wanted to try my hand at a proper platter tutu. And, happily, a fellow costumer from one of my theaters was willing to offer up her daughter as the victim of my first attempts…  


Early Corsetry: Are we making too many assumptions?

I’ve been playing a lot with the Pfalzgrafin corset lately. One of the things I said in the original post was that this type of corset is rather uncomfortably on bodies that aren’t relatively straight, and is a total failure on more extreme hourglass shapes. But I wanted to make it work on Tyler, so I started thinking about two basic assumptions we make about corsetry: that the corset supports the bust, and that the corset has negative ease which allows it to reshape the body and make it smaller. What happens with the Pfalzgrafin block if we throw those assumptions out the window?


How do you Reproduce the Alcega Farthingale Pattern?

I’m totally obsessed with the Alcega farthingale. I mean, I’m always a little obsessed with it, because it’s sort of the great rock candy mountain for costumers, right? But I’ve been working on an eBook about drafting gored skirts for period costumes, and I thought I’d throw in a little bit of a redraft for the Alcega farthingale. Oh, silly me… I went back through some of my old notes (mostly questions, like “Why aren’t the gores at the same angle?!”), and I’m struck by how much there is to know about the darn thing. So I’ve been in obsessive research mode since yesterday evening, and I’ve learned some new things….


Comparison of Different Boning Materials for Use in Sixteenth Century Corsetry

File this one under “possibly useful to some one, at some time, somehow”: this is a series of pictures of corsets I’ve made over the last several years. Each one shows me standing in profile, next to my dress dummy. This makes the changes in my shape imposed by each corset fairly obvious, and the pictures all together give you a pretty good idea what different types of boning and styles of corset can do for a girl.


You can dye with frosting paste colors….

…but only if you really like pink.

Mom and I were in Milwaukee a couple weeks ago, and we stopped in to a fab little yarn shop called Just 4 Ewe. The owner, Jan, enthusiastically shared enough fiber tips and tricks to send my brain into complete and happy overload (while her dog, just as enthusiastically, kept trying to lick my feet). If you’re in the area, I strongly recommend the shop – but think carefully about your choice of shoes. Anyway, one of the things Jan recommended was using Wilton’s Past Food Colors to dye fiber. She showed me roving in a series of joyful pinks.

Now, I have some sort of crafter’s disorder that causes me to believe in absolutely every trick I see, read, or hear.


Reverse Leather Applique

In case there was any doubt in anyone’s mind, I love working
with leather. I think it can add a very sophisticated touch to a costume, and,
let’s face it, the number of people who do leather work is limited. I’ve been
wanting to try the reverse applique leatherwork technique shown in Patterns
of Fashion (in one of the men’s doublets – the one with the gillyflowers – I
forget whose that is) for several years now.

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