All posts filed under: Crafty stuff

Adventures in Elizabethan ruff-making

I made an Elizabethan ruff! And it turned out really well (not perfect, but really well). And I am extremely pleased with myself. And it’s really, really close to perfectly historically accurate! Making a ruff turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be simply because there is so much rubbish information about ruffs on the internet. (Granted, there is rubbish information in books too – Tudor Tailor doesn’t do a good job of making it clear when they are using a historically accurate method and when they use a theatre one, for example, and even Saint Janet got things wrong on occasion.  So I like to read EVERYTHING and then collate all the evidence in the hopes of arriving at something at least reasonably plausible.) So I had to weed out all the advice about 1) cutting yourself a really long strip entirely on the selvedge (this immediately read wrong to me because it’s hugely wasteful of fabric, and fabric wastage is rarely historically accurate.  Plus the grain will be wrong and the ruff …

An Anne of Green Gables in New Plymouth photoshoot

Last Monday was Labour Day in New Zealand, so it was a long weekend.  A couple of friends and I took advantage of the day off to have a girls weekend in Taranaki, staying in the cottages on Rachel’s farm. How do you know when you have awesome friends?  When, as soon as you have agreed on a weekend away one of them says “we get to get dressed up and wear corsets and take pictures, right?” Yes!   We decided on a 1900s Anne of Green Gables theme, as a good look to go rambling around a park for a couple of hours in.  Also, it fit in well with the outfits I just finished for the Katherine Mansfield photoshoot, and my make for the Silver Screen challenge (gee, I wonder what my inspiration is…) Still, Miss Stella & I were up till 11 the night before we headed off, taking up tucks in a skirt for the petite Miss Priscilla, sewing her blouse in under three hours, re-shaping hats, and doing hems and buttonholes on my …

A trio of Medieval accessories

You’ve already seen my medieval dress, and a costume-y medieval belt, but I’ve been working on much more historically accurate accessories. My first belt was fun and sparkly, but I wanted a proper belt: (shown, with complete lack of properness, with my Miramar Gothic dress) I made the belt from two strips of soft leather in mid-brown.  I couldn’t find a leather scrap within my budget that was long enough for a single strip (a $200 hide is out of the question at the moment), so I joined the two strips with a bit of stitching.  I have no idea if a leather join like that is accurate, but I suspect it’s plausible.  And it reminds me of the mended sashes of the sword-wearers of Damar, so, win! I used a vintage English-made brass buckle I found at an op shop: it’s not quite right for the 14th century, but isn’t too bad.  I had a stroke of luck the day after I cut my belt, but before I’d finished it.  I found a crappy pleather …