my crazy life

Archive for the category “Finished Projects”


I’ve been terribly remiss about posting lately, so I figured the best way to fix that is to start posting again. (Yes I know, rather simple logic there)

I’ve wanted a cloak for a rather long time, they’re so classic and warm looking, and well, fun! So I finally saved up my pennies, bought some very expensive wool and decided to make myself  a cloak. I didn’t really use a pattern, just cut out what looked cloak-ish and went from there. I shan’t bore you with text much longer, but I will say that this is the largest embroidery project I have done to date. Currently, all I have to do left is the buttons, buttonholes, and finishing the neck seam so there aren’t any raw edges showing.

It took about two yards of wool and two yards of emerald green silk taffeta for the lining, and three different spools of thread for the embroidery. I typically use Gutermann embroidery thread as opposed to the floss, the sheen is better and I don’t have to worry about separating the strands. All of this embroidery was done with a chain stitch. IMG_20121114_130552 IMG_20121116_001338 IMG_20130112_220411 IMG_20130112_220424 IMG_20130112_220438 IMG_20130112_220449


Quick post.

Okay quick post before I dash back to my mountains of homework. I’m making a cape! Well its I guess categorized under cape/cloak/thingy. But yeah. Grey wool with green silk lining. And embroidery.


I finished the Merida dress in time.


Its a screenshot From my phone but the best I can do right now. I’ll post more after finals are over.



So, I have finally made a hoopskirt that was not a giant hassle to make, and it doesn’t engulf me in its massive girth. I used this pattern  by the Laced Angel . It was absolutely fantastic! Super easy and easy to understand.

Hoopskirt with purple linen petticoat over top. I used black thread on white fabric to make the skirt, so I couldn’t bring myself to show this on the interwebs.


What’s it made of?

  • A little over 2 yards of 45 inch wide muslin
  • Black thread (it was the only thing I had at hand, and I justified it by saying no one will ever see the hoop by itself)
  • Drawstring cord
  • Fish tape like this

I feel very accomplished as I started and completed the project in just under six hours time. It’s just big enough to be cumbersome when sitting, yet small enough to be seriously dwarfed by the Holy Batman Hoop I made earlier.

I’m trying to be better about updating more often, as I will be using this to track my progress when I finally start on the Cranach/Saxon gown I’m working on for a college research project. And since I have been honoured enough to be made Head of Registration for Utah’s only Steampunk convention, Salt City Steamfest and as such I will be attending other out of state conventions in order to do advertising, I will be making more steampunk ensembles as well as my more historical clothing, I feel like there should be plenty of sewing to be shared.

Micro Vests in the Making

Remember my micro shrugs?

Lab coat Micro Shrug

Well, for the Salt City Steamfest, I made a sleeveless rendition for the director of the con, who also happens to be a dear friend of mine.

Reversible micro vest. 1/4 yard of both vintage sari silk and gold taffeta

It was a very huge hit, and I got several people asking whether I do commissions, so I figured I better whip a couple of these up and place them up for sale on my Etsy page. (Which, to my embarrassment, has been pretty much abandoned for several months due to lack of items to sell.)

They’re pretty easy to make and take so little fabric. Plus they’re a joy to make!

Current fabrics for micro vest in the making

It’s also a great way for me to use up scraps from previous projects like the fabrics above. I always buy more than what I think I’ll need just in case I goof up!


Embroidered towel

So, in between my frantic bursts of costuming, I have done some embroidery of a small nature.


Its just an old tea towel and some embroidery thread from Jo-Anns.  I did small flowers in each corner and an embroidered B not to mention a large circle in the middle.






I made each corner a bit different. Since this turned out well, I will hopefully be embroidering the hem of the dress I’m making for my brother’s wedding.

Bustle Tutorial- Sort of

In a previous post, I showed a picture of the blue and brown bustle dress I’ve been working on. On my Facebook page, I had a couple friends ask how I managed to make it. Now I don’t profess to be an expert by any means, and there are millions of ways to drape a bustle, but this is how I did mine. (Coincidentally, it was easier to write this and make a second bustle than the first, 3o minutes versus about 9 hours of fussing)

So mini tutorial, ready set go!

Fabric, pins, scissors, measuring tape, thread, and of course your victim. Mine happens to be an American girl doll that was near my sewing table.

When I made the brown bustle, I used about 2 yards of 45 inch wide fabric. It is a synthetic taffeta, and since I didn’t want a hem weighing it down, I just singed the edges until they melted a bit. You can line your bustle if you would like, just bag line it or flat line it and finish the edges with bias tape, it’s all up to you really. For the doll’s bustle, I just took the dimensions of the brown bustle and shrunk them down using some questionable math techniques and ended up with a waist band of 2 inches by 12 inches and the bustle part of 14 inches by 20 inches. Disclaimer, I did not finish the edges on this bustle in the pictures, because I’m terribly lazy and this was just a mock-up to show how I made it.

So essentially two rectangles, super fancy I know. Also, forgive the super wrinkly fabric, this was just made from scraps

Mark the center back on the larger rectangle, and make tailor tacks or just mark about every three to five inches (I did about every eight-nine inches on the brown one. Again it’s up to you, depending on how many pleats you want and how deep you want them) I marked the measurements with an orange sharpie just to make sure it was clearly shown. I wouldn’t suggest it on your expensive fashion fabric.

Mark center back and where you want the bustle skirt to start on the waistband, I started mine near the sides, rather than in front.

Pleat the skirt onto the waistband, sew it together then flip the waistband down and slip stitch it together so there are no raw edges showing.

Yes my thread was green, just to make it easier to see what I was stitching to what. Now here’s the draping-ish part. With the first finger and thumb of your left hand, pinch the first mark you made on the skirt closest to the waistband.

Like so

With your first finger and thumb of your right hand, pinch the second mark you made on the skirt and bring together, transferring both pleats to your left hand so your right hand is free to grab the next pleat.

Continue this pattern with all of the markings, bring them all together and pin it while you prepare to stitch them together. Make sure you have each pleat lined up with the others, or you could skip a pleat without intending to while sewing.

I just whip stitched them together, but you could put loops on the inside of the skirt to allow the pleats to be pulled up or down.

Stitch that section to the center back of the waistband or you could attach a hook and eye to allow it to be pulled up or down.

Attach hooks and eyes to the waistband and you’re done!Well, what do you think? Are there any other inventive ways you’ve discovered to make a bustle without complicated instructions that make you want to scream?



Steampunk bustle skirt: Finished


So I finally finished the bustle skirt I’ve been working on. I don’t have the time or materials to make a *real* bustle but I made a psuedo bustle out of several yards of tulle. The seams are all finished with French seams since this fabric is lighter than the usual taffeta I work with. I used the pattern made by Cation Designs. Pattern and post found here. Though I did add more panels than she did. The hem was handsewn as I didn’t like the look of a machined hem.  (That alone took me neatly six hours.) But I’m quite happy with it. I do need to make a petticoat and a dust ruffle so the train doesn’t get dirty.

ETA: all of this steampunk madness is for the upcoming Salt City Steamfest at the end of July.

Steampunk Micro Shrug

So I’ve been doing several commissions for a friend who’s pretty prominent in the steampunk community in Utah. I’ve already made her a steampunk skirt and just recently joined her in a steampunk project called My Darling Dimentia focusing around Victorian medicine and health. It’s in the formative stages right now, but we do have a facebook page as well as a shop page. In any case I’m in charge of making these absolutely adorable micro shrugs for the group.

Lab coat Micro Shrug

It’s made from cotton gabardine and a self-drafted pattern. The collar is lined with buckram to keep it stiff.


So I’ll be posting more regularly about the goings on MDD.



Because I’m such a hobbit, this is how I manage to sew:

Alternatively titled: Mainstream patterns never fit, and I’m so desperate, I’ll alter girls’ patterns to fit.

I posted about the brocade zouave shrug on Thursday and promised to show how I altered an 1863 girls’ pattern to fit me. Well, real life got a head of me and now it’s Sunday and I’m barely starting this post. Ah well!

I bought this pattern to make a dress for my little sister. Can be found at

So the pattern looks like this, for a child’s jacket:

It’s actually pretty small, more so in the front than the back.


And here’s my modifications to make it hobbit sized:

As you can see, I lengthened it a bit and also made it wider in the shoulders and under the armscye

Also, you get to see my totally ghetto way of patterning. we’ve had this wrapping paper for years, and I hate it, so  the best way to get rid of it is to use it for pattern paper. (It’s also cause I’m a total cheapskate) So basically, I just enlarged it to fit my shoulder dimensions and length, pretty easy. I’m sure you could do it via computer, but it was just as easy to do it manually. I lengthened the front more than the back, just to deal with the boob factor, but overall it turned out very nice.

Also, my ghetto way of patterning sleeves, as commercial patterns are always wrong in some way

Yeah… that is an old sleeve from a shirt I wore years ago. The thing is, it fits with no modifications needed, so it’s my magical sleeve draft for everything.


So there you  go, you know my magical secret! By the point, I’ve given up on commercial patterns, it’s easier to fight my way through drafting my own pattern than to mess with altering a commercial pattern.

Cropped Zouave Shrug

So, remember the pointy boob darts from hell? Well, I decided to stop fighting them and just pres on. And look what I’ve got now:

Bad lighting, as it’s dusk right now, so no natural light…


  • 1.5 yards of a floral brocade
  • adapted from an original 1863 girls zouave jacket, sleeves are self-drafted
  • Took about 7 hours, due to fiddling with the toile

Tomorrow I’ll show how I adapted the girls pattern to fit in a mini tutorial of sorts.




Post Navigation