Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oregon City Cemetery Tour

Saturday evening we attended a wonderful living history event in Oregon City. Every year the Oregon City Historical Society does a tour that consists of a visit to three historic homes and a walk through the cemetery at night. At each stop there are actors portraying early pioneers from Oregon’s history. It was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed on the tour. So I have just a few. Enjoy!

IMG_0003 Me and Aaron (Notice his new boots, tee hee)


The Whole Gang at the Highland Stillhouse Pub (Brand, Angel, Tara, Tara’s parents, Aaron, Me and Christian)


Us :-)

Well, I hope you are having a good week. I’m currently at home sick and wide awake at 3:30 am. Yipeee! I hope to be back to work on Wednesday. Anywhoo, have a great week everyone! God Bless :-)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ladies Night

Last night we had a blast at our friend, Connie’s, home. She holds a vintage Halloween party every year that consists of old fashioned games and yummy food. Her house is incredible and the way she had it decorated reminded me of the Disney Haunted House ride. It’s an old Victorian home that they are continually renovating. The house was GORGEOUS!!! I assure you, the pictures do not do it justice. It was a fun evening. As promised, here are the pictures…



The Dining Room


The Living Room with a view into the Parlor


Tara and Angel looking at vintage photos of the original owner


Tara, in her Regency Red Riding Hood costume, and Yours Truly :-)


The completed Open Robe on it’s Maiden Voyage :-)IMG_0014


Angel and Tara


Such Silliness

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We Have Progress

The Open Robe is slowly coming along. Over the weekend I added the lining, sewed the pleats down, and sewed the bodice pieces together. I have to make a little adjustment on the side back seams. They need to be taken in just a hair. Other than that, it fits very nicely. I still need to make the sleeves, hem the skirt, and add the hooks and eyes to the closure. I hope to have it finished by Friday so I can wear it for a Ladies Tea on Friday night.

JA3 (2)

JA3 (3)

JA3 (6)

That’s all for now. God Bless!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Janet Arnold Open Robe Part 2

Well, I’m slowly progressing on the robe. I had a few hours last night to work on it after work. Talk about pleating, pleating, and more pleating. Lots and lots of pleating. Did I mention there’s a lot of pleating involved?!! Anyway, here are the pictures with the descriptions of what is going on :-)

First, I cut the silk out. With the help of Moose Dog…

JApt2 (1)

As you can see, Max was holding the pattern in place for me. ;-)

Then I went to work pleating. Lots of pleating. It was a little different working on the silk than on the muslin mock up. The silk made nice creases, but it also is slippery.

JApt2 (4) JApt2 (12)

I decided not to mark the lines in pencil, instead I used pins to mark where the pleat lines were.

JApt2 (7)

JApt2 (14)

Almost finished pleating…JApt3 (2)

All done pleating. It looks a little crooked on a flat surface, but the pleats smooth out when its on the dress form.

*Note how the fabric color changes depending on the light. The top picture, with Max, is closest to its true color.

God Bless and have a great week :-)


Love Lauren

Monday, October 05, 2009

Christmas in October

My wonderful husband bought me the best present a costumer could ask for. It’s technically for Christmas, but it came early so I can start on my project. Drum Roll Please!!!!!

Hoop (2) Hoop (3)

Hoop (4)

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s a large embroidery hoop. Not only is it fully adjustable, but I can use it while sitting on the sofa. It’s perfect for the “Great Metal Embroidery Project of 2010.” Tee Hee! This costumer is most please. Thank you babe! I love you :-)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Janet Arnold Open Robe Pt. 1

Most of you in the costuming community know of Janet Arnold and her famed 1790’s Open Robe. It is one of those costume pieces that everyone talks about making and a few have successfully done so. Well, I have decided to join the Open Robe bandwagon and make one of my own. I also thought I would share bits and pieces of the construction. I usually forget to document my costume making processes and then regret it. So, this one I’m going to document, as best as I can, and share it with you all :-)

So, here goes…


Here’s the picture from the book Patterns of Fashion I (It’s kind of blurry, sorry)


The pattern before I got my hands on it :-D

First, I scanned the pattern into the computer and scaled it up to it’s original size in Paint Shop Pro. I then cropped the pattern into 21 pieces, to save my computer’s memory. Printed it and taped it all together. I then set about measuring everything and scaling up to fit me. That was the “fun” part. The original wearer was very tiny and shorter than me, by quite a bit (I’m 5’2”). I had to add between 2 and 3 inches to everything, included the length of all the pieces.


The pattern, scaled up to the original size.


The pattern, scaled up for me. I laid my adjustments over the original patter so you could see the difference.

I then took my traced pattern, folded it along the pleat marks and pinned it to my dress form. I had to do a couple of tweaks to the first scaling. So I took my pattern and added the necessary adjustments.

Then, I grabbed some muslin and cut the pattern out. I also made sure to make all of the pleat lines on the fabric, so I would know how it worked. Let me tell you, those pleating patterns are kind of confusing. There are no instructions on how to pleat, just a series of dotted and solid lines. Once I figured out that the solid lines indicated box pleats and the dotted lines indicated where the pleats ended, it went quickly. I also decided to only make 1/2 of the robe and not add the full skirt in my mock up to save on time and fabric. Finally, I pinned it to the dress form. It fits!!!!!  (Insert jumping up and down with glee here.) The final test, of course, was to try it on me. I think it will be just fine.


Muslin mock up on the dress form. Notice the pleats. I had no idea that one could have a curved pleat until this pattern.



So, that’s my progress thus far. I will be added 1/2 length sleeves to the final robe. I plan to make it out of some of the silk in my stash. I’m just debating between the light blue and the light green.

Well, I will hopefully have more for you tomorrow. God Bless!

Love Lauren

A Lovely Afternoon

Today we went for a long stroll in the beautiful Hoyt Arboretum Park here in Portland. It was a gorgeous Fall day that started with a little rain in the morning and slowly turned to sun in the afternoon. It was perfect. We then headed over to a local pub, McMennamins, for lunch. Followed by a little trip to Powell’s Books. It was a small event, just six of us, and we had such a lovely time. I think the best part was that we required costume to attend.  Here are a few pictures. God Bless!

IMG_0002Tara, Angel, and Me


Brad, Me, Tara, Angel, and Christian


Me, Tara, and Angel


Christian, Aaron, and Brad


Christian and Tara


Aaron and Me


Brand and AngelIMG_0022

The whole group!IMG_0027

Random Strolling Picture

IMG_0030 Another Random Strolling Picture (I have no idea what I’m doing with my hair)


Have a Great Week!!!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

I’m Still Alive

This week was just plain busy. I haven’t done a stitch of sewing (pun intended). I have, however, been fabric shopping and planning. I also received the KCI Fashion books yesterday. All I have to say is wow, wow, wow!!!! It is an amazing series. Full color photos of amazing costumes and lots of inspiration.

I was really excited to see the yellow silk gown in my previous post in the book. That sealed the deal, I have to make it. I was at the fabric store a few days ago and spied some gorgeous yellow silk for $8 a yard. I decided to wait until Friday, and if was still there, I would go and buy it for my project. Well, it was still there and it was an extra 10% off that day. I feel like I lucked out. Anyway, I also snatched a very light silk chiffon for the shawl. I want to start my embroidery endeavors  with an accessory and then progress to the “Big Metal Embroidery Project of  2010”, as it shall be known. I also bought a cute little tassel for the cap.

Here are some pictures of my finds and plans :-) God Bless!!!!

Love Lauren

P,S, I have an event on Sunday, so I should have pictures for you by Monday.

IMG_0003 Drool!!!! Here they are, two phone book sized books of beautiful clothing.


Here is the dress, shawl, and adorable cap.

IMG_0006A close up of the shawl.

IMG_0007  The oh so cute cap.

IMG_0021 And the fabric!!!


I laid the chiffon over the silk so you can see just how sheer it is.

Have a wonderful weekend. God Bless!