Birthdays!

Well hello stranger! Fancy seeing you here!

It’s been quite a while since I last posted anything here, mostly due to various illnesses that worked their way round our family until it felt like we were living in some kind of plague house.

But I’m now feeling much better and ready to get things back on track also today Wednesday’s Child is 5 years old so birthday celebrations have been the order of the day!

5 years ago today I received my first order (sadly Etsy hadn’t made the phone app at the point so I wasn’t woken by the lovely cha-ching noise that’s so fun to hear these days.) I had handed in my undergraduate dissertation a few days before and listed my first items at the end of May.

It was 2011 and the final Harry Potter film was going to be released that July so naturally being the geek that I am my first products were Harry Potter ties and robes. That summer between June and December that year I sold 34 ties and many other Hogwarts House Pennants and even a few kids Harry potter robes and baby mobiles.

Between then and now I shifted my focus onto solely historically accurate costumes, lost pretty much all pop culture references and got so into Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë I’ve got two whole literary inspired sections in my shop!

The past 5 years have been incredible, both personally and professionally. I’ve had costumes travel as far as Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, to museums in Wales and even to a Yorkshire historical dance troupe! I’ve lived in Canada with my best friends, moved house (and studio) 3 times and even been featured twice in the Jane Austen Centre’s official magazine Jane Austen’s Regency World.

In the last year I’ve become involved with a wonderful voluntary educational re-enactment group based at Lauriston Castle in Edinburgh, (the brilliant Edinburgh Living History – more on them soon!) and really, 2016 looks to be shaping up to be my best year yet!

Along with my annual birthday sale in July I decided to celebrate my little baby business turning 5 in style today. This meant a very special trip to the tattoo studio and of course yummy birthday cake (complete with candles!)

I chose, in honour of my 5 year anniversary to get my damask logo tattooed on my wrist. I designed the damask myself in Adobe Illustrator and it’s not just a connection to my business but to my world life of sewing and creativity.

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This month’s edition of Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine arrived today featuring my new shiny news article which was a nice birthday surprise!

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Then on my way home I decided to splurge on some celebration chocolate in the form of a very childish caterpillar birthday cake, I even bought purple, silver and gold candles to blow out!

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(Sadly the broken eyes made the caterpillar look very sad 😦 )
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The mammy and daddy even tried to sing happy birthday, which did feel a bit ridiculous 😀

But all in all this birthday has been very fun, and tomorrow I get to wake up, have some leftover cake for breakfast and head back into the studio and get back to work making some fun 18th century costumes for the aforementioned Edinburgh Living History.

Good Mood Mondays should be back next week along with some Charlotte Brontë themed goodies but until then,

See you in the future! ♥

 

18th Century Projects

This past week I’ve been working on an order for an 18th century chemise and set of pocket hoops so I figured that I could document my process of making and turn it into a ready-made project post for you all!

A chemise is the first layer of clothing or underwear. This sits next to the skin and is used as a protective barrier against chafing of the corset but also protects the outer garments from sweat and body odour. Chemises are most often made of cotton or linen, which can be washed regularly and easily unlike most other layers of clothing which makes it perfect to wear close to the skin.

To start I gathered all my materials. This particular order uses unbleached calico which is super easy to work with; basic cotton tape, waist band petersham and plastic coloured steel boning, I also use some decorative broderie anglaise lace and satin ribbon for the chemise.

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First thing I usually do is to prep the fabric. A lot of fabrics like silk and wool will be dry-clean only once made up into the costumes but the cotton ones can usually be washed in a machine by the buyer so I prewash the fabric in order to allow any shrinkage to happen before sewing but also to remove any coating that the manufacturers can sometimes use.

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Once the fabric has been washed and dried it’s time to iron the crap out of it. One lesson I’ve always carried with me from college is to iron, iron and iron while sewing. It’s so important to have properly pressed fabric before pattern cutting and while sewing to keep your seams flat and well set.

While I was waiting for the fabric to wash and dry I draft up the patterns. The chemise and hoops patterns are actually really simple, lots of straight lines and square gussets. The most complicated bits come from doing the neck of the chemise and the seams of the hoops once the steels are in place.

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I used a few different seam types for the chemise in order to keep the raw edges tucked away and neat. It also gives it a very nice finish. First, for the side seams I use French seams. This is done by stitching along the seam line a few millimetres away from the line itself on the right side of the fabric (so the outside of the chemise) then I trim down the seam allowance to just at the line of stitching; turn the chemise inside out and press the seams folded flat. I then stitch down the actual seam line on the wrong side (the inside of the chemise) enclosing the rough edges of the fabric.

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For the sleeves I use felled seams, this time of seam can be seen in loads of 18th and 19th century clothing. It’s really sturdy for areas such as sleeves or corset seams. Again seams are sewn on the outside of the chemise; then one side is trimmed down to the edge of the stitching. The largest edge of seam allowance is then folded and pressed over and edge-stitched along the length of the first stitch line.

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The sleeve is made with a square gusset attached to the underarm to allow movement while wearing the chemise.

Once the sleeves are attached I make the cuff and gather the sleeve it fit. This can get very fiddly as it’s quite a tight space and isn’t easy to fit through the machine easily. I cheat slightly here by doing machine buttonholes rather than handbound button holes which I often use as they are of course the most historically accurate.

The cuff is a very simple rectangle with extra added to allow for the overlap of the buttonhole.

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The hem of the chemise is just a simple double rolled herm with one line of stitching, this hides all the raw edges and gives and even line to the outside of them hem.

The final piece of the chemise is the neckline. The pattern is cut in a wide oval, higher at the back than the front; decorated with broderie anglaise and finished with a ribbon drawstring. The ribbon is drawn through the fabric channel by creating small button holes on either side of the centre front.

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Et voila! A finished chemise!

 

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A corset would be the next layer however I as I didn’t make one for this order it was next on to the pocket hoops.

Pocket hoops or skirt supports were worn over the corset and chemise but under any petticoats. These particular hoops give a wide curve to the hips while not adding any additional bulk at the front or back. This shape is most often seen in mid-late 18th century gowns such as the robe a l’anglaise sold in my shop!

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As this is still an underwear item I make it in unbleached cotton, because of the steel boning it can’t easily be thrown in a washing machine but as they are not designed to be seen it’s very common to use basic cotton without any fancy decorations.
First we have the very basic pattern. Again this is most rectangles and pleating to shape.

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First I cut an opening down the centre of the pannier. This will eventually allow a “pocket” gap that you can slip your hand through. It was common throughout the 17th and 18th century for women to wear pockets under their gowns, worn under the hoops or petticoats a gap would be made in the skirts to allow a discreet hand to slip into the pockets and extract money or small precious items when necessary.

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3 strips of cotton tape are then stitched horizontally to the panier; this creates the channels that will later hold the steel boning.

Next I measure and cut the steel. Recently I have found a neat trick of using an electric sander to sand down the edges of the cut steel to avoid the corners catching on the material and wearing away the casings. For extra protection I wrap the ends in electrical tape.

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Before inserting the steels I attach the bottom piece and bind off all the rough edges. All the seams are on the inside but this avoids fraying and just looks nicer.

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The steels are then inserted into the casing and the final seam is sewn and bound off. The pannier now looks like slightly like a greenhouse poly-tunnel.

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The next stage is to pleat the top of the panier on to the waistband petersham. I have seen other patterns and designs that use a drawstring idea rather than petersham for the waistband but I like this was as it gives a good amount of strength but also keeps the shaping exactly the same with every wear.

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The raw edge is then trimmed down close to the stitch line. I repeat the above steps with the second pannier. I now have a waistband with hoops that sit on either side of the body.
I then use more cotton tape over the petersham, one to hide the raw edges and also to give a smooth and clean waist band.

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A couple of metal hook and eyes are added to the front edges and we’re finished. A complete pair of 18th century pocket hoops to go with our chemise!

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Please ignore the messy shelves and hooks behind the mannaquin. I own far too much and don’t have anywhere near enough storage 😀

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After giving everything another good press with the iron and another check over to remove any last loose threads it’s time to pack the order up. I start with a couple of layers of tissue paper then in go the folded hoops. Another couple of layers of tissue and then the chemise is neatly folded.

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Finally I slip in a business card and seal the box up ready for posting!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed a little peak into what goes into my orders and how I spend my sewing days! Good Mood Mondays will be back again this week and I’ll have the next exhibition post up soon too!

So until then,

See you in the future! ♥

Blists Hill Victorian Town

So part of my plans for a fresh start on this blog this year has been to post more about the various exhibitions I have gone to or are going to go to.  I have over the past few years been to a couple of exhibitions that I want to talk about but I should really start with one of my biggest adventures in the land of historical sewing: Blists Hill Victorian Town in Shropshire.

I have wanted to visit Blists Hill since I first watched Victorian Farm about 7 years ago, Finally last September mum and I went off for a few days down to Shropshire and I got to run around like the mad little geek I am.

Blists Hill is basically a living history exhibition on a massive scale. It’s run by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and is a specially created town set within the late Victorian Era roughly during the 1890s. It has a fully functioning forge, bank, bakery, general store and post office. It also has a haberdashery shop in which I spent a bit too much time drooling over the gorgeous ribbons and fabrics. Everyone working there is dressed in period costume and uses period appropriate tools etc. They have a doctor’s surgery and house set up as it would and even a squatter’s cottage and garden complete with chickens.

Really I could go on and on about why this place is so awesome but I should probably get on the photos (since I took nearly 1000) 😀 They are pretty self-explanatory so I’ll just let you enjoy the visual goodness!
So this post is going to be ridiculously photo heavy, you have been warned!  I did have fun editing a few of them to look old and vintage-y. So a few are very sepia or black and white!

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Here we go!
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So many things to buy and so little cash left!

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A locked cabinet of naughty things for women… including a universal douche for birth control!
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Can you spot the nipple shield for breast feed? (Horrifyingly it’s made of lead!)
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The Rag Man plying his trade.
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It was indeed such a horrendous matter and a miserable and ghastly scene!
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Can’t beat a nice bit of woollen underwear!
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Looks like the Rag Man found a buyer!
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Time for School!
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And off we go to the squatters cottage…
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Complete with iron bathtub and faggots for the fire 🙂
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And I’ve saved the best for last! The Drapers!

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Such pretty colours!

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I actually had that mad look of extreme happiness on my face all damn day.

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I left feeling so inspired for various new costumes and accessories but also for projects and possible directions for my shop and business (living for a week as a Victorian being one of them). Someday I would really like to go back and have a chance to explore their costume store and a few of the other museum sites owned by the trust, also to just wander around a bit more and pretend I’ve gone back in time!

Hope you have enjoyed this post, I know it’s not much of a write up but lots of pretty pictures! 😀

While I shall still be doing Good Mood Mondays I also have other plans so some exhibition posts to come include a discussion on the exhibition “How Glasgow Flourished” (from way back in 2014!!) and “A Century of Style 1800-1899” which was just last week.

But until then,

See you in the future ♥

And The Rambling Continues…

So my wonderful little baby of a business turned 4 last month! It still surprises me that, while I may not be making millions the little Etsy shop I began 3 days after handing in my final assignment at university is actually still going; people are actually still interested in buying my things!

Other things that have happened recently is that I finally decided (after getting spurred back into action by my wonderful friend Fiona) to self-publish a short story I had written.  Now anyone who knows me knows I like to write, that sewing and writing have been two passions in my live that seem to constantly battle for dominance. (Do you have any idea how hard it was to pick a degree for university? Do I spend my days in a little ivory tower surrounded by musty but amazing books or do I plunge further into the entertainment industry and get lost in a giant room of fabric and costumes? – although in the end I kind of did both and neither)

Also, given my rather short attention span for projects (this blog serves as a perfect example of this) it shouldn’t really be surprising that it’s taken me this long to actually finish a story, let alone be happy enough with it to put it out there for all the world to read.

But I did it, and like that little Etsy shop full of harry potter ties it’s now open and out there for anyone who wants it.

One of the biggest things to happen to me recently was the decision to try life without the aid of my anti-depressants (well anti-anxiety tablets) for the first time in 6 years. And I did it; the middle of last month marked the end of my life on mood stabilisers; which really, despite the occasional bumps (hello first major panic attack in 5 years) is a very, very good thing.

But despite all of these positive steps, and milestones I have realised something. I am not very good at self-promotion. Which, you may have noticed is somewhat of an essential skill for the self-employed.

It’s not that I can’t talk to people. I can. Ask any one of my family members and they will tell you that the real struggle when it comes to talking to me is actually getting me to shut the hell up.

So it’s not that I can’t talk, it’s not that I really struggle to think of things to say – when I’m in my element anyway. Get me talking about sewing, or films or why Victorian history is so bloody fascinating and I’m good to go. It’s that somehow I struggle with the HOW to talk.

The idea of going into a room full of strangers with the aim of “networking” is a fairly terrifying concept for me. Trying to introduce myself; to explain what I actually do without coming off sounding like a moron is one of the most difficult tasks of my life.

The overriding thoughts during these first exchanges are usually something along the lines of:

“What the hell are you even doing? No one wants you here”

“Everyone’s staring!”

“Jesus, don’t say that! Do you want to look like a complete idiot?”

And my favourite: “They’re all judging you and really probably hate what they see”

So, I ask you dear reader, how does one successfully market themselves and push their product/brand/non-crazy side when they can barely hear their own thoughts over the voices tearing them down?

The internet, you may say. Don’t attempt face to face encounters, just stay hidden behind your keyboard and let the work speak for itself.

Except, and yes I’m aware this sounds like I’m making excuses – welcome to the mind-numbing confusion and contradiction that is social anxiety – that the voices are still there.

Posted something on Tumblr an hour ago and still no notes? It’s not because your followers have lives or haven’t seen it anything of course it’s because they secretly hate you and find everything you write to be completely horrific and/or boring.

Spent 6 weeks making and photographing a new costume, listed it a month ago but still no takers? Clearly it’s because all your work is terrible and no one even likes you.

(That song “Nobody loves me; everybody hates me; I think I’ll go eat worms” springs to mind a lot for me)

As you can probably tell by this, I have a few issues. But I am working on them! I mean I published a book and everything! I started my own business! And more recently I even contacted a historical re-enactment and educational group who was looking for a costume designer to join their ranks!

The last few months, in between orders, writing occasionally and reading, reading and then reading a bit more(I went through a bit of a kindle kick and read about 15 books in the space of 2 months) I’ve been working on costumes for the wonderful people at Edinburgh Living History.

This has been good on quite a few levels. I got to try making some designs that I’ve never tried before, I’ve gotten the chance to wander freely round Lauriston Castle (Why wouldn’t you wander round a castle if you had the chance?) but most importantly I stepped out of my comfort zone and actually attempted to make contact with new people, actually attempted to promote myself!

And while this gig is essentially voluntary it’s put me in touch with re-enactors and peformers who can refer me to other people who may be in a position to pay me for things. I may be in fact, networking!

So now the next step is to really keep pushing, to keep forcing myself out of my comfort zone and to really actively ignore the voices in my head.

And if you really thought this blog post had a point, then like me you’ll be surprised to find it doesn’t. I was so sure that this time I wouldn’t just ramble off at the end but oh well!

If you are at all interested in anything included in this ramble then feel free to check out my contact page to find me on Tumblr, twitter and all the rest. I’ve even made it onto Goodreads!

Oh and speaking of which my brand spanking new short story can be found here on Amazon She and Him: Valedictory

Images of my wonderful costumes made for Edinburgh Living History can be seen on my Facebook page or better yet on this week’s episode of The Fountainbridge Show on STV Edinburgh

And I said I was bad at self-promotion.

A Little Departure

I know I haven’t updated in a while, there have however been reasons 🙂 what follows is a very short round up what’s been going on in my head lately and I promise I will update with more fun stuff soon! ♥  

My Social Anxiety

Growing up I was an extremely outgoing child. The terms most used were stubborn, headstrong and precocious. I could also border on pushiness and overbearing. We moved house, from the centre of Edinburgh to a very small village when I was 6. It was there that the bullying began. It didn’t feel like bullying, it was more insidious. I became the butt of jokes; games were designed around my inability to run very fast (the result of a mild physical disability) Games based around the premise of “Run Away From Rhona”.

 

As we grew up the bullying became more obvious. Hitting puberty hard made me an easy target. I refused to fit in when it came to fashion or pop music. I was branded a freak; a title that followed me until I left school age 17.

 

College repaired some of the damage but soon the lasting effects of the bullying began to show. I hated crowds. I was convinced everything I did was wrong and I was being judged by everyone present.

 

I spent the summer between 1st and 2nd year hiding. I began counselling after spending the first month of university suffering panic attacks. It helped but what helped the most were the anti-depressants. I began functioning again.

 

6 years on and I felt steady enough to consider coming off the drugs. I had manoeuvred my way through university; a 3 month stay in Canada and even started my own business. About a month ago I applied for a part time job and was successful. Starting this new challenge triggered the first full blown panic attack I had had since university. I wondered if I was ready for life without drugs.

I realised I was ready to stop my drugs but still needed to give myself time to adjust to being just me again, to relearn how to cope. While I can learn to cope and be happy in social situations again the shadows of my social anxiety are going to be with me for the rest of my life and it’s time to embrace that.
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An Update Or A Ramble?

I just had a look back and realised that my last blog post, while being ever so slightly depressing in it’s very serious content was also written way back in August!

It’s been so long and I would like to say that loads of things have happened or changed but not really.

I had a crazy busy time in the lead up to Christmas which ended with me reaching 200 sales on Etsy in early January but also meant that I was rushed off my feet for most of November and December. But it was incredibly exciting and wonderful to reach that milestone on Etsy after such a long time of hard work!

January and February have been slower Etsy wise but busy health wise, after spectacularly breaking a toe on my right foot in the summer I decided that it would be a wonderful idea to break a toe on my left foot over winter so while I’ve been sewing like a mad thing, I’ve also be hobbling about like an injured deer most of the winter.

Mid-February also consisted of a week of non-stop hospital and doctor appointments. All with fairly positive news but considering I haven’t as yet been able to consolidate all my various specialists and doctors into one city it did mean a fair bit of traipsing about.

But now we’re into March and I can now get back to focusing on creating news pieces for the shop and other exciting things.

One of which is the possibility of even more funding for my research! I should hopefully hear in the next few weeks’ weather I’ve been successful with a grant application which would allow me to get some new fabric and materials for my research among other things!

In other news I have been busy burrowing through old notebooks and documents that are kicking about in my flat and at my parents’ house. I have a long history of collecting notebooks and writing many silly things from poems to stories to just random dialogue scenes; I decided finally to go over some of the less horrific ones and see if I could make something out of them.

My style of writing has always been: I get an idea; I start writing then just keep going until the ideas run out. In this way I have a fair number of half-finished/barely started story ideas and characters but very few actually completed projects. Now the task seems to be turning those half-baked ideas into something resembling sense.

And I have also realised that this blog post is a lot like my stories, I started off with a good idea of an update but have kind of petered out and ended up with a bit of rambling. Oh well. It’s a good chance to tell you that I am still alive and still working away even though I’ve not been here much!

I promise next time to a have a better thought out blog post to share, maybe even with some pictures!

Until then
See you in the future! ♥

Bathing Belles and Fashionable Gents

This week I met up with my mum for a day out (our first in AGES!). After getting some delicious cakes to fill us up we headed over to Glasgow’s Scotland Street School Museum. This was the first time I’d visited and I have to say it’s a really nice museum. It’s essentially an old school building, which as my mum pointed out, was almost the exact same layout as her primary school in Glasgow years ago. She could have probably given me a guided tour without much trouble 🙂

The main reason for our visit was the Bathing Belles exhibition showing “200 years of swimming in Glasgow” I was quite excited to see some Victorian, Edwardian and other vintage-y swimwear but I was slightly disappointed in the number of pieces they had on display. It was quite a small room, and wasn’t used to its full advantage really. There were plenty of photographs and stories which were fun to look at but it didn’t really go into much depth about anything. It felt a bit like an introduction to history exhibition rather than something more focused.

One even more disappointing factor was the video display that was showing home movie footage and the like of open air beauty pageants but didn’t bother offering any information as to time and place, which kind of made the whole thing pointless.

However I did take some photos of the pieces on display and thought I’d share some of my favourite!

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A wonderful late Victorian two-piece, I am determined to replicate this one day for myself.

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This is a gorgeous set made of silk. I think it was late Edwardian, when it was fashionable to wear “Beach pyjamas” also when it was still considered indecent for woman to show a lot of skin.

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Both examples of 1950s swimwear, I absolutely love the darting in the suit. I’m also convinced that we have a bathing cap like that sitting in our loft somewhere that used to belong to my grandma.

Now we get onto the knitted swimwear. We have something similar to the first one at my parent’s house that once belonged to my grandfather. And as my brother once said “you can’t beat a nice bit of knitted swimwear”

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I also love the colour choices of the second one, salmon pink with maroon. Yikes!

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I love the structure in these older pieces. Before nylon and Lycra were used, the dressmakers still needed to use darts and seams to shape the outfit to the body. This piece is definitely for showing off your beach body, even if you were just sunbathing in Prestwick on summer holidays.

In other news I’m almost finished the bodice and sleeve sections of my regency gown. I’ll be attaching the sleeves tomorrow. I’ve also found the fabric I want to use for my front fall breeches, so I’ll hopefully be getting that in the next week or so. This also means I can move on from the toile and finish my blog posts about the toile!!

I’ve also started listing a few of my pieces on eBay and I seem to be getting a bit of interest so that good 🙂 Anyway I hope you enjoyed my jaunt into Glasgow.

Until next time

See you in the future ♥

A Random Need To Blog

I’ve been working on loads of kids Halloween costumes this week all of which will hopefully be listed by next weekend. 🙂 I have a knight costume, pirate costumes for both boys and girls and I’m thinking of maybe a princess costume to go with the knight.

Haven’t really done anything more on my regency gown or with my regency pantaloons but when I finish these kids things I’ll get right onto them.

For the gown, I just need to do another fitting and a couple of pattern adjustments then I can start using the final fabric.

I’m still looking for a fabric for the pantaloons, I’m thinking some kind of brown or maybe dark green or blue wool or twill. I think I need to do a bit more research into colour and fabric before going out to buy anything.

In other news my mum just got her university results and has officially qualified as an Art Psychotherapist. Going back to uni was such huge thing for her, and she had to deal with some pretty big health issues smack bang in the middle of the course. But she persevered, worked crazy hard and did it. I’m so crazy proud of her, and I’ll be buying her celebration cake very soon!

We have my cousin’s wedding this weekend which should be really fun. I love hanging out with our extended family and I always feel like I never get to spend enough time with them. Plus it’ll be the first time introducing the Viking boy to the extended family so that should be exciting.

There really wasn’t much of a point to this blog post other than a need to write something. I’ll do an update on the pantaloons soon, as I still have to go through the waistband process.

Last but not least, I have an interview appearing in the Glasgow Evening Times soon. It’ll be available in the paper and on their website. I’ll be sure to post a link up when it appears. I even had a photographer round to take some shots of me to go with the interview so I’m quite excited to see what it turns out like 🙂

Ok I’ve kind of run out of steam now so until then

See you in the future! ♥

A Sort Of Update

I’m currently henna-ing my hair so I figured while I wait I could write a new blog post! Yay!

Although since I hate using the rubber gloves my hands look orange and the places where the henna has spilt onto my arms look like they are covered in bruises, oops!

So update,

I’m going back to Canada in less than a month. My friends are expecting their second baby so I get to spend a month spending time with some of my favourite people; play with my adorable god daughter and her gorgeous baby sister or brother. Also it’s summer there so I might actually get a sun tan or maybe a little colour by getting slightly burnt (totally by accident of course).

After roughly 10 years without one I’m getting a new foot orthosis. I still haven’t decided quite how I feel about it to be honest. I’m trying to stay positive because I know that in the long term it is a good things but I also remember how much I hated wearing one when I was younger, and the separation it caused between me and the rest of my classmates at school. I was never bullied over that but it was always a reminder that I was different and that I couldn’t do all the physical things I might have wanted to. I struggled in physical education, sometimes being left to do my own physio exercises.

On the plus side however I’m getting new boots for free from the hospital because it is stupidly difficult to find shoes that fit with an orthosis. Also this time I got a choice of colours or designs to have on my splint. When I was younger, it was the basic hospital opaque white so I had to decorate it myself with stickers and paint. Although since I am extremely childish still, I chose to get space and stars as the design. I may at some point paint some things onto it anyway like the TARDIS or the Enterprise.

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.I’m hoping it’ll look something like this, and while I’m pretty sure it won’t be as spectacular, a girl can dream.

As far as business updates go, I finally got my 19th Century Men’s shirt and cravat finished and listed on Etsy. I also have my romantic corset toile almost finished and ready for a fitting. My plan is to eventually have both a male and female Victorian outfit finished and photographed. I’m trying to be as historically accurate as possible so research takes up about 40% of the process I really miss doing academia so I love doing that much research for these pieces.

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The shirt is made from 100% cotton. I used hand stitched buttonholes, partly for accuracy and partly because I prefer to do them by hand. The cravat is 100% silk black and white check. I found it in a remnant bin in a fabric shop and fell in love, I wish I could make a full Victorian gown out of it, but it would be sooo expensive 😦

My initial inspiration came from the 2011 Jane Eyre film. I wanted to create a couples wardrobe. One of my all-time favourite things is men’s period costume so starting Etsy gave me the perfect chance to try another 3 piece suit, which I haven’t done since college. I’ve also always wanted to try doing a Victorian women’s piece, since at college we focused on 18th century things. But then I saw Jane Eyre and well look at the pretty!

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Then came North and South, and well you can tell from my previous post I am somewhat enamoured with this book and series.

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I don’t think I’ll have time to do much more of the outfits before I go to Canada but I’ve at least made a start. I still need to decide on the fabric for my gown. I would like to have it somewhat matching or at least complimentary with the man’s outfit but I might just do it with a bit of detail like a new cravat or handkerchief. I’m leaning towards a mainly black or grey look for the man’s one but I could be flexible.

I think I’m starting to ramble now so I better finish up also my henna seems to be dripping down my neck so it may soon be time to wash it out.

See you in the future! ❤


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Another Late Monday

This week I am blaming the lateness of my blogging on staying up until 2am watching Father Ted and then Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone with the boy.

Still, it’s Monday and I am here to brighten it up for you 😀

First up: My shops is officially relaunched! you can see some of the products on the Etsy tab to the right of this post under my profile. Or just hope over to etsy itself and have a peek! Wednesday’s Child Is on Etsy and for a limited time only enjoy an extra 10% off your entire order with the code “SHINYSHINY12” (without the quotation marks obviously) Just my way of saying thanks for sticking with me during my inability to blog and my stress filled month trying to get the shop up and running again 😀

Next, I need to give you something fun to brighten your day. The video I’m linking you to is fairly old in internet terms but is, in my opinion one of the greatest things on the internet ever and is the sort of the thing the internet is made for 😀

So without much further ado I give you: A Muppet’s Bohemien Rhapsody

Enjoy and I’ll see you all soon! 😀