About The Dreamstress

Leimomi2015Aloha!  I’m a Leimomi Oakes, a freelance fashion and textile historian, former museum professional, potential PhD student, sewing teacher, writer, part-time university lecturer.

I’m a Baha’i, and an expat kama’aina Hawaiian-American.  I live in Wellington, New Zealand, with my Kiwi husband of almost a decade, Mr Dreamy, and our cat of almost seven very lucky years, Felicity.  I’m mumble-mumble-30-something-ish, but routinely act like I’m 6, 16, and 106, sometimes all at the same time.  I like to think that I have great hair, an open mind, and a sense of humor.  Hopefully you can see at least two of the above in the photo above.

The Dreamstress web site is a window into my world: my projects, new things I learn, things I know so well I can teach, the amazing places I live and the amazing places I visit, the wonderful people I am surrounded by, anything interesting that catches my fancy that I think might catch yours, and, of course, Felicity the cat.

I want this site to do three things: entertain, educate, and facilitate a wider historical costuming and textile community.

Frequently Asked Questions

How did you learn to sew?

I tell you all about it in this entry, How I Got To Be That Way.

Do you take commissions?

Unfortunately not.  I’m so busy teaching and writing that I no longer have time to take sewing commissions.

I have an old textile that I want to sell.  Can you value it for me?

No, sorry, I don’t value textiles both for personal and professional reasons.  I can tell you everything else I know about your textile, but I adhere to the American Association of Museums and the International Council of Museum’s Code of Ethics which specifically prohibits museum professionals from appraising (giving values for) objects.

For a valuation I recommend that you take your textile or garment to an antique store or auction house which frequently deals in textiles.  Remember that there is a difference between insurance valuations and  sale valuations, and that values for textile vary greatly across the world.

What is “pogey bait”?

“Pogey bait” is the temptingly sparkly and shiny trifles that make up a crafter’s stash, and the pogey is the crafter who is so easily tempted to add more shiny trifles to their stash. I found out that “pogey” has a different meaning in Canada and historically than the one I use, but I’m attempting to re-claim the term. On this site, follow the pogey bait tag to see and share fun, irresistible fripperies.

What are you like in person?

Just as enthusiastic about textiles and costume as I am on the blog.  Also a little shy, which sometimes makes people think I’m aloof, but really I’m just in awe of everyone else.  So if you ever do see me in person, please say hi!

If you want to hear what I sound like in person, check out this interview on Radio NZ.  Just click on my name.

Felicity the cat thedreamstress.com