Monday, April 26, 2010

Life and Costume ADD Strikes Again..

Hello All,

    I hope you are having a great week so far. Our weekend was very odd and surreal. Our plans have changed with regards to the Dentist and his practice, which I have spoke of before. Basically, we have changed routes, as it were, and are planning to stay here in Portland. It’s a bitter sweet outcome, especially since I will be working longer than expected, but I’m satisfied and content with what God has in store. Anyway, I will keep you posted as things move forward.

On the plus side, Aaron graduates in two months. I can’t believe it’s almost here. We have been building up to his graduation for so many years and we are ecstatic that he will soon be a dentist. Please keep him in your prayers as he prepares to take his final board exams.

Ok, enough of real life, now onto costumey things… My Stays are on hold for the moment. I realized I was being too ambitious trying to finish them by this weekend. We also have a 1940’s Diesel Punk event coming up on May 15th. So, I’ve set the 18th century aside for a little bit and I am currently working on a 1940’s dress for myself.

IMG_0013 The pattern… I’m making the short sleeved dress without pockets.


The bodice mock-up. Once again, I had to take a good 3” off of the length of the waist.IMG_0008


The Fabric… A 1939ish reproduction I found at our local store in their 1930’s and 1940’s section. I think it will be very cute.

Aaron is also super excited  about trying a new time period. We went shopping at a local Army Surplus store this weekend, with our friends, and found some amazing things for his outfit. He is planning on portraying an adventurer/ mercenary. We found an old military trench coat, an aviator cap, period goggles, and gaiters for his boots. The sleeves on the coat are, as always, way too short for him. So, he is adding leather cuffs to lengthen them and give the coat some flair. I’ll post some pictures once he is finished. I will show you the progress, however.

Trench 1 (1)

Here is is sewing the cuffs to his sleeves. I think it’s going to be fabulous.

Well, that’s all for now, I hope you have a lovely rest of your week. God Bless

Love Lauren

Sunday, April 18, 2010

1948 Fashion Video…

I was wondering through blog land this morning when I came across a link on American Duchess’ blog. It is hilarious!!!! The clothes are amazing, and it shows vintage sewing techniques.It is also over-the-top cheese ball. It reminds me of Troy McClure’s educational videos, from the Simpsons. It is a must see!


Just click on the pic to view the video.

God Bless! Love Lauren

Saturday, April 17, 2010

More Stays Progress…

Well, there isn’t a whole lot to report, but I will show you the progress so far. I spent most of Wednesday evening redrafting my stays with the changes I made to my cardboard mock-up. And once again, HOLY MOLY MY WAIST IS SHORT!!!! In the end, I took of three inches from the length of the original pattern. If all goes well, this one should fit much better than my previous pair. That being said, I have decided to make a cloth mock-up just to be sure I like the fit. I plan to, gulp I can’t believe I’m saying this, sew my mock up by sewing machine. I haven’t used a machine for my own garments in years. However, I don’t want to spend hours hand sewing boning channels for a garment I will be using for fitting purposes. I guess if there aren’t anymore adjustments that are needed I will go ahead and finish the rest of the mock-up by hand and then make another fully hand-sewn pair. Then, I’ll have two sets of stays (insert evil laugh here). I have also decided I am going to make strapped stays. As appealing as the no strapped stays can be, I really like the way the straps look and how they enhance my, ahemmm, assets :-D Thanks for all of your input. You guys are awesome, big blog land hug.  Have a wonderful weekend.

JP Ryan Stays (15) All of the parts laid out with the boning channels marked.

JP Ryan Stays (13)

The front, showing the seam allowance and the top eyelet placing.


More color inspiration. I just can’t decide if I want a white linen pair with blue binding and lacings or a blue silk pair with white binding and lacings. I’m really drawn to this pair from the MA movie. Mmmm…..

dangerous liaisons 3 copy

This blue is about the same color as the blue silk in my stash. My silk, however, is a solid color.  And my stars will be 1/2 boned.

Well, that’s all for now, folks. Have a lovely weekend.

God Bless

Love Lauren

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I know it doesn’t look like much, but here is the progress thus far. I made my cardboard mock-up, laced it up, and Aaron helped me mark the adjustment. The main thing I discovered, which I kind of already knew, is that my waist is really short. I can’t decide if  my new stays will be strapless. I know strapless stays are supposed to be more comfortable. However, I like the look of strapped stays.  Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of the not so pretty mock-up. God Bless!

JP Ryan Stays (8)

You can see the black lines indicating the changes I plan to make. I might also need to lower the bust-line a bit too.

JP Ryan Stays (9)


Here are the stays from Pirates of the Caribbean. I really like the look and shape. I think this is the overall idea that I’m going for.


Well, that’s all for now. Have a great rest of your week, everyone. Love Lauren!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

French Court Dresses…

My descent into the 1780’s is slowly progressing. I have not had time to work on my stays at all. Hopefully I will have some more progress to show you this weekend. Anyway, while researching what I hope to wear on top of my stays, I came across the amazing French Court Dress. Talk about over-the-top decorations, fabrics, and size. I’m thinking I might just have to make one. It probably won’t happen until the summer, but at least I can start planning now. Here are a few pictures that I found in my internet wanderings. God Bless!!!


This one (above) is my favorite so far. I’m thinking I would change the red accents to green. Mmmm…..


3791997513_1dd37a01da_o 3792810418_5c960c891d_o 3792810632_a5731c4cfb_o 3792810880_bf883a0400_o

This one (above) is a close second. I don’t have anything that is pink. It might be a color I will have to try.


court gown

Here is an extant court gown. It’s a little earlier, but non-the-less resplendent. This one is too over the top for me.

Well, I must be off. My package from Burnley and Trowbridge just arrived. I now have  books and patterns to drool over!

Love Lauren

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Back to the ‘80’s, Well 1780’s…


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Costume ADD has struck again, and hard. I have had lots of fun in the late 1790’s, but it is once again time to go back a little ways.

You may remember the orange stays with the green trim I made in 2008. Well, they have never fit quite right, plus I made them before I really knew how to fit patterns to my frame.  So, it’s time to make a new pair so I can make more outfits from the 1780’s.

I’m using the JP Ryan Half-Boned Stays pattern as a guide. But, as usual, I couldn’t manage to leave it unscathed.  I’ve decide the stays need to be both front and back lacing. It’s just too cumbersome to jimmy my way in and out of my back lacing stays, especially when I need to do a dress fitting when hubby isn’t around to lace me in properly. I also made my last pair too long for my torso. I needed to shorten the length by about 2 inches so it fits at my waist and doesn’t dig into my arm-pits when I sit. My other issue with my old stays was that the bust was too large and the waist was not quite large enough, so the back wasn’t strait when laced. I think my final caveat was the front was too wide and the straps dug into the front of my shoulders.

So, with all of these things taken into consideration I started drafting and adjusting the pattern last night. I have a basic mock-up on my dress form that I’m fairly happy with. I’m planning on making a final mock-up out of cardboard, so I can get an idea of the comfort of the stays and make adjustments accordingly. So, that is the plain du’ jour. Here are the pics thus far :-)

IMG_0007 The pattern…


The general inspiration. These stays lace about 1/2 down the front, I plan to lace mine all the way down the front. I’m not sure what color I will use, but I’m thinking the blue silk from my last project and white binding will be lovely.


The side of my mock-up.


The front. I originally made a full mock-up, but when I adjusted the pattern I tested the half mock-up on my dress form.


The back… I’m thinking I’m going to lower the neckline on the back a bit. I’m going to test it first with the cardboard mock-up and then we’ll see.

I will keep you all posted as it progresses. Have a great rest of your week. God Bless!

Love Lauren

Sunday, April 04, 2010

It’s Finished …

I had some time this afternoon to crank out the gold silk petticoat to go with my new spencer. I’m pretty happy with the results. It’s not my favorite ensemble, but it will do. I think it’s a good representation of the transitional fashions of the late 1790’s. I decided to put “Lady D” on for the photos. I do think she is a little large for this ensemble. I’m thinking my smaller wig will work better. Anyway, here are the pictures….

IMG_0004 IMG_0005 IMG_0006

I hope you had a lovely Easter. He is risen!

Love Lauren

Saturday, April 03, 2010

1795ish Evening Spencer

Here it is :-)

FInal Spencer (1)

FInal Spencer (3)

FInal Spencer (5)

I pretty happy with the fit. It doesn’t look as good on the form, but it’s good enough for pictures. Now I need to make the petticoat to go with it.

Have a blessed weekend. God Bless!

Love Lauren

Friday, April 02, 2010

We Have Progress…

Hello Dear Friends and Readers, I hope you are enjoying your week thus far. Aaron and I have been on vacation, well Aaron is on Spring Break and I took time off from work to be with him. Anyway, we have had a lovely and relaxing week and I can’t believe it’s already Friday. Time really does fly when you are having fun.

I have finally had some good sewing time. The jacket is coming along nicely and I’m about halfway finished with it. Here are the pictures so far. Have a great week and God Bless!


1795ish Jacket (1) Here is the front, unlined and pinned to my dress form.

1795ish Jacket (2)

The side so you an see the peplum in the back. I’m quite happy with the way the peplum lays.

1795ish Jacket (3)

The back.

1795ish Jacket (21)

The front with lace tucked into the collar so you can get an idea of how the finished product will look.

I still need to sew in the lining, finished the center closure, and make the sleeves.  I will keep you posted as it progresses.


Love Lauren