All posts tagged: tutorial

Making linen buckram: gum tragacanth vs xathan gum thedreamstress.com

Making Linen Buckram: Gum Tragacanth vs Xanthan Gum

I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with making linen buckram in the last year and a half, playing with using both historically accurate gum tragacanth, and a much cheaper and easier to source modern equivalent: xanthan gum. We’re getting very close to launching Scroop Pattern’s and Virgil’s Fine Good’s first collaboration: a 1780s stays pattern with extensive historical instruction. Historical stays use linen buckram, so here’s what I’ve learned about it to help you make your own. What is linen buckram? Linen buckram is stiffened linen. It was used in 17th, 18th and early 19th century sewing as support layers where stiffening was needed, such as in stays, stiff collars, stomachers, and hatmaking. It’s made by coating linen with a gum paste, usually gum tragacanth, or xanthan gum, and then letting the gum dry. The more layers of gum that are applied, the stiffer the linen gets. Here is what it looks and sounds like in motion: In addition to historical sewing, I think it has lots of potential for general costuming: particularly for …

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt thedreamstress.com

How to add pockets to the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt

A lot of people have asked about pockets for the Scroop Modern Fantail skirt. I really wanted to include pockets in the pattern.  As I developed the pattern I tested multiple styles of pockets on the skirt: welt, in-seam, in-seam with standing welt, horizontal, back angled, front angled, patch.  Unfortunately none of them fit my requirements for being sympathetic to the aesthetic of the skirt, flattering on most body types, successful in all the fabrics that the skirt could be made out of, large enough to make the aesthetic and difficulty compromises worthwhile, and within the difficulty range of the pattern.  I didn’t want to include a pocket that compromised my vision for the pattern, just for the sake of having one.  So, the pattern is pocket-less. Of all the ways I tried to include pockets, by far the most successful was the back-angled drop pocket set into the side panel.  They weren’t perfect: they do make the skirt a bit more casual, and you can’t put bulky things in them, so they didn’t quite make the …

Tutorial: How to unpick and wash a vintage kimono

I love re-using vintage kimono silk for new garments.  I’ve used it for the Vionnet dress, my Deco Echo top, the jacket and over-skirt of my Japonisme dress, the Carte Blanche gown, the lining of my 1770s Lady Anne Darcy dress, my (as yet unfinished) 1770s jacket, the sash of my chemise a la reine, and a few other garments.  Yep.  I really love re-using kimono silk! Here is how to unpick and prep a silk kimono for re-use. This time I’m working with a silk crepe under-kimono.  You can tell it is meant to be worn as an under-layer because of the white collar cover.  It is unlined, and calf length, but the process for pulling it apart is the same as for any kimono. First, some basic things about kimono. Kimono fabric is a special fabric woven to a narrow width, between 13.5″ & 16″.  Kimono are constructed entirely of rectangular shapes, mainly in full widths of the fabric.  In places where the kimono uses narrower widths, the extra fabric is just folded …