All posts filed under: Sewing

Things I sew – historical and modern

A super-full 1916 petticoat thedreamstress.com, 1910s petticoat, starched petticoat

The super-full 1916 petticoat: or, the wonder & magic of starch

Remember my cheater 1916 petticoat? I’m sure a lot of you looked at it and thought: “It’s so limp!”   And “There is no way that is going to support a skirt as big as her inspiration image!” Behold the wonders of starch: The photograph above was taken after I starched my 1916 petticoat, let it sit around the house for a week in the Wellington damp, handled it a lot threading the ribbon through, shoved it in a suitcase, took it to LA, wore it, let it live in the hot humidity there* for 10 days, shoved it in a suitcase again, let it sit in damp, cold, humid Wellington for another 10 days, and then pressed and photographed it.** Plus, at some point in this process Felicity managed to conscript it as a bed for a luxurious nap… And it’s still poofy! A reminder of how poofy my 1916 ‘Gather Ye Rosebuds’ dress was on the night: So much poof! So how did I do it? Lots & lots of starch! How to …

Sewing palate cleansers

I love a good super-involved, super-massive, super-elaborate sewing project (who, me?), but sometimes I need a break from all that super.  For that, I have what I call sewing palate cleansers – simple little projects that I don’t have to think about too much, and that give me a break and a refresher between brain-breaking sewing marathons. My five favourite sewing palate cleansers: #1: Wonder Unders I can never have too many singlet camisoles and knickers!  And, at under 1/2 an hour a project, they are a great break when I still have to jump back into full-on-sewing. Get the pattern here #2: Drawstring bags: I use these for sorting all sorts of things, for travelling, and as gift packaging.  Another one always comes in handy.  And they give me a good opportunity to use really cute craft cottons I otherwise don’t have a lot of reason to play with.  Bonus! Find the tutorial for making your own here. #3: Leggings Thanks to the Cake Espresso leggings pattern, I’ve gone from being anti-leggings, to loving them. …

Halloween costume, Fawkes the Phoenix Costume, Harry Potter Hogwarts Costume thedreamstress.com

Fawkes the Phoenix: a Hogwarts Halloween Costume

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you had a wonderful holiday, with lots of the best parts of Halloween: creativity, community, an awesome Halloween Costume, a little bit of candy, and tons of fun. I’ve never grown out of my love of Halloween, but it’s only recently become a ‘thing’ in New Zealand,  Usually there aren’t many cool events to go to – especially as an adult. This year Zara of Off-grid Chic alerted me to a Haunted Hogwarts party.  Exciting! We decided to be the weird fully-grown women who went along without any kids, in full Halloween costume. Super last minute Halloween costumes!  We’re both incredibly busy! I went closet-diving, and found: the dress I made as my end-of-semester project my first year in Uni; a silk blouse with scalloped edges by NZ designer Blak; my red sequinned Dorothy shoes; and a mask, originally made as a tui by the Comtesse de Chambourd, and re-made by me as a Labyrinth Firey when the paint started flaking off, and bunch of wrist, ankle & neck pieces I’d made for …