Small Project Catch-up

I keep dithering about making a post about my Costume College experience. I didn’t take many photos, so I can’t just do a photo dump. I’m wondering if people might want to read a wordy, first-timer’s experience-type of post that is more about what it was like, rather than what I saw? But that will take a while to write up, and meanwhile I’m backed up with sewing, so I will have to keep putting it off for a bit.

For now I’m just going to post about the smaller projects I’ve been working on recently (when I say smaller, that usually means “not a full outfit” in my mind, but some of these are still quite time-consuming).

The first is a Victorian Hat that I am making to wear with my existing Victorian gown as well as the Gryffindor gown that I am in the process of making. This is my first foray into millinery and I’m using the Truly Victorian V551, 1880s French Bonnets pattern. I bought buckram and millinery wire from and used the same black cotton sateen that makes up the vest portion of my 1887-ish gown, and will make up the jacket of my Natural Form Gryffindor gown.

I hand-sewed all of the wire to the buckram, and learned that you have to take frequent breaks to avoid pinching a nerve while trying to pinch the wire to the edges of the buckram while you sew.


Once I got the wire sewn on I covered the buckram with fabric.


And then I attached the crown to the brim:




I still need to line the crown and then add trim to the outside, but I’m happy with how this turned out, for my very first hat. I’m going to make two hat bands for this, one in each of the trim colors of the gowns that I intend to wear this with, so that I can interchange them to match both gowns.

Another project that I started back before Costume College, but haven’t gotten very far on is an embroidered Tudor coif. I received a pattern for an embroidered coif for attending the Jamestown Conference last year, and I got the urge to try it out after making a plain coif earlier this year that I found, frankly, too boring.

I spent a couple of hours carefully tracing the embroidery pattern onto my piece of linen by taping everything to my glass coffee table.


I thought I would work on it as an airport/in-transit project while traveling out to Costume College in July, but I was too distracted to actually work on it. I started it once I got back, but haven’t gotten very far yet.


I’m having trouble with French knots and need to practice them more before I can get very far.

On top of those and my Gryffindor gown (and the new corset I need to wear under it; more on those later), JoAnn Fabric is killing the spooky Halloween fabric game this year, so I picked up a couple of prints to make new skirts.


I spent a morning earlier this week putting together a simple tea-length skirt, box-pleated into the waistband.


I lined it with some red poly satin that I had left over from a project years ago; you can’t see any of it, but I like that the hidden bit of red gives this an extra vampire-y feel. I still have to put a zipper and tab closure in this, but I will probably end up safety pinning it on myself for the next year before I do that, because I am excessively lazy about closures.

So that’s all that I have pretty pictures of at the moment. Other things I’m working on that you can look forward to seeing soon include:

  • medieval cowl with liripipe hood
  • new Victorian corset
  • ~*Gryffindor gown*~!!
  • some more embroidery

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