my crazy life

Archive for the tag “skirts”


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.


Labor Day Plans

Okay, Labor Day is tomorrow. And since it’s a day off from work and school, I’m going to get off my lazy rear and actually sew. Lots! I need to get a move on all the projects I’ve got piling up on me.

Sooo, first up: Commissions, I’ve got a couple and while they’re still on schedule, I’d really just like to get them finished right away.

Mock-up for a fantasy/steampunk Kurta

Mock-up for a fantasy/steampunk Kurta

Second: I really really really need to get a start on my Princess Merida dress. I was originally use medieval period sewing techniques and construction, but as October is rapidly rounding the corner, I shall be doing it in whatever way is fastest.


If I don’t at least make some kind of progress, someone needs to jump through my computer screen and kick me in the butt!

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.

Sneak peek!

I’m crazy busy with a whole bunch of steampunk assorted costumes, for the upcoming convention, but here’s a sneak peak of one of the outfits.

Yes, I know it’s terribly blurry, but it’s nearly 11 pm here, and I was to eager to get this up. Better pictures when it’s assembled.

It’s not sewn together yet, as I was going to do that tomorrow, but as far as it goes right now, I’m rather happy with it. Also, the fact that I got the fabric for about 4.50 a yard was nice as well.

Favorite part of sewing

You know what? I just realized my favorite part of sewing is pretty ridiculous but I go out of my way to make sure I do a little bit of it in each project. Facings. Yeah… facings. I hate hemming, and I hate finishing seams, but for some reason, putting a facing on a skirt is the best part of a project… How weird is that…. Yeah….

In any case, I didn’t get much progress done while camping, but I’m still working on it.

Pictures to come later.



New Steampunk Project


So… in a fit of madness, I started a new steampunk outfit. I’m still working on it, but I think its going to look great.

Holy Hoopskirts Batman!

So…. I promised back in November (?) that I’d make an 1860’s ensemble for my friend. After consulting the inside of my eyelids on a daily basis for nearly six months and ignoring her texts/phone calls, I’ve finally caved. I made her hoopskirt. (In this project I’m very literally just following her directions/specifications/instructions without question since it’s her dress and not mine) Did I mention she wanted a big hoop? As in 150″ circumference? Yep that’s right.

So this weekend, I made it. Well mostly, it’s almost finished, but for lack of a better post and finals right around the corner, I decided I’d post it anyway.

I just used some leftover cotton for the skirt base and steel fish-tape (wire pull) for the boning. That part was fun, playing with a dremel tool to cut them to the right size. I still think it could be a little smaller, as this behemoth takes up the entire walkway from the downstairs living room to my bedroom, but again, not my skirt.  As both of us are short, I think I’ll just hem up the rest under the last bone and leave it there. (On a side note, being short isn’t too bad, we could definitely pass as Hobbits in nearly any circumstance!)


Once finals are over, I’ll be posting more regularly and sewing a lot more as well.




Okay, so now that I’ve finished the medieval gown that has consumed much of my spring time and now Finals week is rearing it’s terrible head, but that being said, I am going crazy with a sewing project. (excluding commissions and sewing projects for others. It’s just completely different to sew entirely for yourself.) Also I will be posting pictures of the medieval gown as soon as I can get some nice ones taken. It just doesn’t do the dress justice on a dress form.

Here’s the deal, I don’t know what to do next, but I’ve got a couple options open.

1. .Steampunk ensemble (I’ve got many of them in the works, but this one in particular.) Also pardon my terrible drawing.

Cropped Jacket, Distressed silk skirt

2. The typical Cranach style gown I posted about a while back.

Or basically any of the gowns Cranach painted... They're all pretty similar.

3. I’ve got 8 yards of rusty red taffeta, which is supposed to be an 1840’s gown.

4. The Hobbit movie is coming out in December, and as a rabid Tolkien fan, it’s almost obligatory to fantasize about making an ensemble based on the movies/book. That being said, I’m only short enough to be a hobbit, and they don’t have pretty dresses. 🙂


Any suggestions?

Finished Project: Steampunk Skirt.

So, I finished the steampunk skirt. . . Like last week. . . I know, I know, bad me.  In my defense, I’m taking two very intensive art history courses this semester, which leaves me writing rather extensive papers every other day. Oh and I whipped up this extremely cute kilted skirt, but that’s for another post.

Finished skirt.

So finished, it took a little over 3 yards of black satin taffeta. It rustles beautifully. Hah! Funny how we categorize things based on how they sound when you move…. Anyway. It ties with a black satin ribbon in the back, and all of the seams on the inside are bias bound to avoid any fraying, since the taffeta is pro at it.

Bias bound seams. Don't know why my camera made it look grey....

In any case, now that this is finished, I’ll likely be working on a couple personal projects. I’d love to make a 14th C kirtle and/or cotehardie, but we’ll see.

P.S. After almost 4 months of “not winter”, we in my lonely corner of Utah just totally got snowed in today within an hour or two. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

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