All posts filed under: Sewing

Things I sew – historical and modern

A Regency Captain Janeway cosplay,

The Star Trek Shawl

I’ve done a fair amount of reasonably geeky things in my life, but I reached peak geek this June. I was having a lovely research and crafting day when I suddenly realised I’d spent four hours going through museum collections and making tables of the average sizes of Kashmiri shawls from between 1800 and 1810. Not for work, or for a research project, but so I could make a Star Trek themed Regency shawl for our Regency Voyager cosplays… It’s not overkill unless it’s actually fossilised! My Star Trekashmiri Shawl happened because I realised that 1. I was going to a ball in the middle of winter as Regency Captain Janeway in a light cotton frock and; 2. I’m always cold and; 3. I had a length of slightly moth-eaten wool crepe in a lovely cranberry red that would make an excellent shawl, and; 4. I wanted my Captain Janeway cosplay to be a little more obviously Star-Trek-Voyager-y. (I didn’t quite succeed with that last bit, but I’ll get to that). So I got all …

An 18th century re-use pocket

Very green, blue with bugs and birds 18th century inspired pockets

You know what I have never managed to make for myself as a historical costumer, despite how quick they are? 18th century pockets! I’ve made them as demonstration pieces as a teacher, for clients (no, I no longer sew for clients), and, in non-accurate versions, for my mother, who likes to use them as portable farm pockets. But I’ve never made them just for me! For Costume College this year Amber of Virgil’s Fine Goods, Cait of Willoughby & Rose & I decided to go as 1780s fruit vendors, a la Strawberries Scarlet Strawberries from Wheatley’s Cries of London. Since my basket would be full of fruit, I needed someplace to hold all my personal stuff: lip balms and room keys. Standard Georgian street vendor belongings – you know. Time for pockets. I went through my stash for pocket inspiration. I was hoping I had some appropriate chintz or 18th c-esque printed cotton (this pair from the MFA Boston is still my ultimate pocket love), but alas, the stash did not supply. Someday I’ll make …

A Regency Captain Janeway cosplay,

Little Red Spencer-ette

I promised posts on all the new (or re-made) elements of my Regency Janeway outfit, and the sleeveless spencer certainly got the most questions & comments, so it’s first in line. For my Regency Janeway look, I originally intended to make the military inspired sleeveless vest from An Agreeable Tyrant (which Carolyn of Modern Mantua Maker has made a beautiful version of). I traced out the pattern, graded it up, and mocked it up, was all set to go sewing it up in a beautiful bright red silk taffeta… When I decided that the red was too bright for the dark Star Trek red, AND (more importantly) I realised I had a length of slightly moth-damaged red wool (upper left) which would be perfect for a Star Trek meets Regency shawl. The only problem? The wool clashed horribly with the red silk taffeta (lower half). I did have a 30cm long length of silk twill (upper right) that was a good match in my stash, but it wasn’t enough for the Agreeable Tyrant vest, and …