Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

I hope you all had a lovely and blessed holiday. This year we had a low key 18th Century Christmas with the Cartwrights. It was very nice and quiet. I also had a chance to use some of the lovely dishes I inherited from my late grandparents. I am so happy that these pieces have new life.


We started the morning by giving the chicken babies their stocking. Yes, all of my pets got stockings and they LOVED the contents.


The house with the stockings for Max, Leila, and Gico. I was thrilled to find stockings that had their initials on them!

IMG_0016 Sir Thomas built a lovely roaring fire for the occasion.


The spread.


The 18th Century Cake


And the most important part, the guests, with two sweet doggies that actually sat still for us to take a picture.

God Bless!

Love Lauren

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Crazy Bird Lady…

Yup that’s me, and apparently the birds know it too. Monday morning I went out to our yard to let my chickens out of their fortified run when I found this….


Yup, that’s a chicken, and she’s not mine. Notice the green ball? Yeah, my dog Leila shares her ball when she accepts a new member into the pack. She immediately gave the chicken her favorite toy as a “Hi will you be my friend,” gesture.  I have really sweet animals.

Anyway, after a long and crazy day, I learned that she had been hanging out in my neighbor’s yard and they assumed she belonged to me. So, they put her in my back yard. I have a sneaking suspicion that she has been in my yard before. I have been finding chicken poop in places my girls do not have access too. I have also noticed the treats that I give my girls have been pushed thru the chicken wire to the other side. So, I suspect they have been feeding her thru the wire. Also, they all acted as though they knew each other. Anyway, she looked as though she had been on the lam for a while.

I emailed Out to Pasture, the same rescue that took in Muppet, and they happily took her for me. I wished I could have kept her, but I don’t have a place for quarantining a new chicken and I’m already at the limit for chickens in the city. Plus, she is not tame. It took hubby and me almost an hour to catch her and get her into a safe place. Once I got her to Out to Pasture, she calmed down and let me pet her for almost an hour.


Here she is at Kit’s office. Kit is the woman who owns Out to Pasture. They named her Lucia and she’s fitting right in with the other hens at the sanctuary.

So, that’s my crazy bird story of the week.

Love Lauren


So, I posted this this morning but something with screwy and I had to delete it. Here it is again.

Ok, so something I rarely share on my blog is my real life, beyond my family. I tend to focus on history and things I enjoy. Well, a huge part of my life is exercise and keeping active. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to challenge my body and keep it as healthy as possible. I, unfortunately, suffer from fluffiness, despite how active I am. Anywhoo, enough of that. I’m always on the lookout for new workouts to challenge me and keep me interested, besides my usual hours on the elliptical at the gym. Anyway, now to the point of this blog post… I found a new site, and it has lots and lots and lots of workouts and super healthy recipes. I thought I would share it with you, for those of you who like to workout at home, like I do :) It is a little on the immodest side, they show off the bodies of the trainers, but the workouts are AMAZING!!! Totally kicked my butt! So, if you are interested, you can check it out. The best part, in my opinion, is that it is totally free.  Here’s the link…

I promise, we will be back to our regularly scheduled costume programming soon :) I hope to be starting some new projects after the first of the year.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Finished Dress!

Here it is…


Lady Devereux and I in her parlor. She is wearing her beautiful 1870’s reproduction that she has been working on most of the year. Her gown was stunning.



Monday, December 05, 2011

1910’s Dress Plan

I started on my 1910’s dress yesterday. I finished the pattern draping and I started roll-hemming the chiffon. Here’s the plan, thus far…


The gown is going to be a bit of a hybrid between the first gown, from the Kyoto Costume Institute, and the Lady Maude gown, from Janet Arnold.

I’m using Sense and Sensibilty’s 1910’s Tea Gown as a base for the pattern and then building it from there.


Here’s the fabric. Gold silk taffeta for the main body, black chiffon for the overlays, and black silk taffeta for the sash.

I have 5 days from today to complete it. I think I can do it, we shall see :D

Love Lauren

Finished 1910’s Corset

I’m very happy with how the 1910’s corset turned out. It took me about four days, from pattern drafting to sewing, to complete it. I will probably make a second one in the near future, because, as always, there are a few changes I would make. The first, is that the original pattern was closure to my measurements than I had realized. I ended up adding a little too much to it, and now the corset has about 1” in the back when it’s laced. I prefer to have close to 3” left when laced. Also, I would probably use a heavier fabric like canvas or coutil. I used a couple of layers of muslin, which is very comfortable, but I think a heavier fabric will wear better for more use. Other than that, I’m very pleased with the results. Here are the pics…


I scaled up this pattern from Nora Waugh’s “Corsets and Crinolines”.




Sunday, November 27, 2011

A New Project!!!

Yes, I finally am allowed to sew, with moderation and lots of stretching in between. So, because I’m crazy I have decided to tackle a completely new era and I have two weeks in which to complete my craziness. My dear friend, Lady Devereaux, is participating in Christmas Parlor Tours in Oregon City. She will be dressed in a lovely Victorian bustle gown as she opens her beautiful 188o’s home to the public. She has graciously allowed me to help by greeting people and keeping them from wandering throughout the house. She also has granted me permission to wear whatever I chose, as long as it was around in the lifetime of her home. So, basically I can wear anything from 1880’s on. Now, why on earth would I want to wear modern clothing, so boring, right, when I have over 120 years of fashion to chose from. I could wear one of my 1930’s or 40’s ensembles, but that would be too easy and practical. So, because I’m crazy, I want to wear something from the 1910’s. Yup, why would I pick anything that I currently own, and why on earth would I pick an era I’m familiar with?!? Apparently, I’m a glutton for deadlines and punishment. :D

So, this means that I need a few things that I do not have, which means lots of sewing…

1. A new corset


2. New undergarments (chemise, drawers, ect.)


3. A dress

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I’m not 100% sure on the dress style, but it will be something along these lines.

And, hopefully I can do it all by December 10th.  Now, I know enough about fashion from this era to be dangerous, but my knowledge of the 1910’s is not even close to that of the 18th century. So, this will be not only an adventure in sewing speed, but an adventure into a new time period. If all else fails and I can’t finish everything in time, I have a lovely silk 1930’s evening gown to fall back on. However, if I can sew a frock coat by hand in 5 days, then I should be able to complete this in two weeks. So, let the craziness begin.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The "Pemberley" Regency Shoe Pre-Sale

American Duchess has done it again. The newest shoe in her  historically inspired shoe line is here. Hop over to American Duchess to pre-order them.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mom and Dad!!!

They came to town for 6 days and we had a wonderful, wonderful time. Here are the pictures!!!

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Mom and me

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Mom & Dad Coast 605

Dad and me

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What I’ve Been Doing…

Hello All,

   I hope you are well and enjoying the beautiful Fall weather! I’ve been a busy beaver, even though I am still not sewing. Instead, I have been filling my time with horses!!!

    My riding instructor has been letting me work with her 5 year old Appy-Thoroughbred named Bob.  Bob, is a special horse. He’s still young and has major baby brain. He also is a lazy, lazy boy and prefers to cuddle rather than work. This, of course, presents a huge problem, because when one wants him to work, he bucks and kicks to get out of it. This behavior comes from his last owner who let him get away with it. So, we have been doing lots of lunging and ground work to build his respect. Followed by riding him and continuing to enforce the respect. The results have been amazing! I’ve been working with Bob for a month and we have gone from a horse that wanted to kick me to this….

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He is my buddy, follows me everywhere, does whatever I ask him and looooves his after ride cuddles!

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I seriously loooove this horse. I go out to the barn almost everyday to work with him and he is doing soooo well! I’m so proud of his progress.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Duchie Award!!!

Well, I received the Duchie award from Munich Rococo, Mme du Jard, and Kleidungum 1800!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you :) You ladies are awesome!


When you receive a Duchie; post on your blog in no particular order…

  • Five things you love about historical costuming/wearing vintage clothing
  • Three (or more) blogs to pass the Duchie Award onto
  • A link back to the blog who awarded you the Duchie

So, here it goes :D

1. I love the lines of historical clothing. I have never felt comfortable or flattered in modern clothing. Historical clothing takes all of the imperfections and disguises them, if you do it right.

2. I am history obsessed! Historical clothing gives me a taste of what life was like for our foremothers. I love learning about how people expressed themselves through clothing. So much can be discovered about culture and civilization based on the current fashion. Historical fashion is my window into the lives of the past.

3. I love watching skeptical husbands graciously allow their wives to dress them and then find out they actually love dressing up. It’s so neat to watch them go from, “you want me to wear what?!?” to, “honey, I need more frock coats, waistcoats, ect. I don’t have anything to wear.” That is the best!

4. The construction of historical garments is so fascinating to me. It can truly make or break a costume.

5. I love the costume community. I have met so many amazing and kind people through this hobby. There are just sooo many talented costumers out there and each one brings something new to the table. We definitely have the best hobby!

There are so many wonderful blogs out there it is hard to choose three. These three have been inspiring to me as of late. Enjoy!

Before the Automobile- All I can say is wow! Beautiful clothes, beautiful technique, beautiful lady…

Diary of a Mantua Maker- A lovely and talented costumer. Her costumes focus mostly on mid 18th century to late Regency.

Romantic History- Sarah’s blog has a mix of her lovely costumes and her family. It is always a delight to read the adventures of my dear friend.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Connie’s 10th Annual Halloween Party

   Last night was Connie’s amazing vintage Halloween party. Every year it gets better and better and this year was no exception. Now, as you read from my previous post, my evening began with my bird flying away and then, to everyone’s surprise and joy, returning. By the time the party was nearing, I had already cancelled. Luckily, birdy boy decided to return in time for Angel and I to make it. We quickly dressed and made our way to Connie’s home.

    It was most important that we were there, because we had a little act of sorts we put on for the group. I went as  Madame Cleo, a gypsy and fortune teller. Angel was our “sprit”, Alice, and hid under our table for the “séance.” (Now, please note, this was a comedic act, it was not real. I am not into spiritualism and would never dabble in such things. So, no negative comments please.)

   We had a blast and our little “séance” and  tarot reading was a big hit.  The whole party was in stitches. I love making people laugh, and it’s always so much fun to relive my theater days with a little improve. The evening turned out to be just what I needed after the horrible, horrible afternoon with birdy boy. Here are some picks that Aaron took after the party. Enjoy!

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The parlor… We decorated it as a Victorian Mourning room. In the top left corner is Mary, the grieving sister of our “spirit” Alice. Mary is a full-size Victorian doll that we dressed in Connie’s Civil War mourning clothes. She was very creepy.

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Here you can see Angel peeking out from under the table!

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Our lovely hostess, Connie, in her 1930’s vintage witch costume.

Have a lovely weekend!

Crazy, Crazy Day!!!

  You all probably know my little parrot, Gico. Well, yesterday, he about gave me a coronary. You see, our vet advised us to allow his wings to grow in the fall while he has his fall molt. So, we left his wings unclipped for a time. I was going to have Aaron help me clip his wings that evening, but Gico apparently had other ideas. Around four o’clock I went to check the mail and left Gico on the couch with the dogs. Within seconds of opening the door, a neighbor started up a lawnmower, which terrified my bird, and out the front door he flew. Now, when his wings are clipped he’s allowed outside with me and he always stays on my shoulder. Because we had been leaving him unclipped, I have been ultra cautious with him and have not allowed him to go outside. This, of course, was a total fluke and before I knew it, my bird was gone.

   I searched for about twenty minutes, fearing the worst, when Angel arrived, followed by her husband and Aaron. We spent the next couple of hours searching the neighborhood, calling for my bird. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I was distraught, shocked at first, and then caught by a wave after wave of uncontrollable crying.  I “knew” my baby was gone. By now it was nearing seven o’clock and the sun had started setting. I had pretty much given up hope.

  Angel and Brad were in the front yard listening for any sounds of him. Aaron and I were in the back putting Baron and the chickens to bed, when I heard Gico do his “I’m ready for bed” squawk. At first we all thought we were hearing things, but then he continued. We all raced towards his squawk and found him on our neighbor’s roof. Aaron was my hero! He leapt over their patio furniture onto the railing of their porch and shimmied partway up the roof so he could reach my bird. He told Gico to “step up” and he hopped onto Aaron’s hand. Then he flew down to the porch railing and stepped onto my finger. I am amazed we found him!!!! He had flown around the neighborhood for almost three hours and returned home to roost. We immediately took him inside and clipped his wings. It was the most horrible and wonderful experience ever.

  I am sooo thankful for my friends’ and husband’s help in bringing birdy boy home.

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My little escape artist! I still can’t believe he came back. Thank God!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I’m Still Alive

Hi All,

   Yes, I am still alive :) I just haven’t had much to post about. I’m still going to physical therapy and it is going quite well. I have my evaluation this Friday to see what progress I have made from my first appointment and to see if I need to continue my therapy, which I suspect I will. On the plus side, I have seen some marked improvement in my hands and my therapist is confident we will get it fixed.

   Since I am on a sewing hiatus, I have had time to research, dream, and drool over some lovely gowns. Here are some of the beauties I hope to sew, once I’m allowed.


  I need to make a new riding habit. I have some bright red linen and matching deathhead buttons, from Mrs. Cartwright, that are just asking to be made up into this beauty.


One cannot have too many open robes, right?


I love this frock and I have some patterned sheers that would work quite well for this style.


I have always loved the frock on the right.


And it is time to make a new pair of stays. Mine are still passable, but they are dying. I’ve used them for three seasons and they have definitely seen better days. I’m really liking this pair from the V & A. I love the little skirt supports on the back.

Well folks, that’s all for now!

Have a lovely day.

Love Lauren

P.S. To all of my dear friends… Thank you for all of the well wishes and inquiries on my hands. You guys are awesome!!! I sincerely love the costume community. Everyone cares about each other and helps each other. We certainly have the best hobby, in my humble opinion.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Saga of Muppet

Yes, the saga continues. Mr. Muppet the rooster, formerly known as the Duchess de Polignac, has returned to my home for a short time. The poor guy was badly injured by roosters on Thursday and I took him back in to nurse him back to health. I must say, it has been quite the experience having a rooster living in the house, but he’s so sweet and unobtrusive that it has been a bit of a blessing in disguise. He follows me around like a dog and sits on the couch, on a towel of course, while we hang out in the evenings. I almost thought about keeping him, except he, happily, is feeling better and has started crowing again. Unfortunately, I live in a part of town that does not allow roosters; so I have found him a new and permanent home at an animal sanctuary in Estacada called Out to Pasture. It is a sanctuary for abused farm animals as well as city chickens that turn out to be roosters. This place has been a huge God send, and I am so happy that my little Muppet will finally have a safe place to call home.  Apparently, they have a group of white silkie roosters, just like him, that only accept other white silkie roosters into their flock. I think he will fit right in, once he gets through  initial meeting phase. I have been assured that he will be kept in a pen where he can see and smell and talk to the new flock, but be safe from them, until they accept him.  To top it off, the farm is owned by vegans, so he won’t become dinner!  So thank you, Out to Pasture, for taking my little guy. Mr. Muppet, I will miss you and you have been such a joy in my life. I hope you finally get the home and space you deserve.


Muppet the day after he was attacked eating yogurt on my lap. He loves his yogurt, which I’m convinced is one of the things that has helped him heal so well and quickly. We’ve also been giving him organic “Gatorade” to help with his electrolytes.


Chillin’ with Max on the couch. You can see the scab on the back of his head where he was attacked.


Here he is this morning, watching documentaries with me as I catch up on emails and blogging Winking smile

Hope you all are having a lovely start to your week!

Love Lauren

P.S. I am not allowed to do any sewing for at least three weeks, per doc’s orders. I have been having problems with my hands, and I am seeing a physical therapist for my issues. So,hopefully my physical therapist can help me out and I can get back to projects soon.

An Outing to the Menagerie

Yesterday, we decided to don our finest and head out to the Oregon Zoo. It down poured on and off most of the day, but it was nice to get out in costume again.

IMG_0028Mrs. Cartwright in her new gown.


Watching the ducks.IMG_0100

The King of the Jungle. He was posing for us.

That’s all for now!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Goodies from Ohio

Ok, at least one more post today :) I thought you would enjoy my spoils from the Fair at New Boston. I made off like a bandit and thoroughly enjoyed shopping in period clothing in a period setting. It was amazing!


Brass ink well and quill from Daniel Boone. I do a lot of writing and I am always trying to hone my 18th century handwriting, as well as have beautiful writing implements to use.


Cobalt inkwell. I actually purchased two of these. They are so pretty and handy.


Portable writing box from Daniel Boone.


It is an ingenious little box that folds away to reveal little storage compartments for pens, pencils, and an inkwell.


Another portable writing box. I originally purchased my antique box with hopes of taking it to events, until I discovered it is an original. So, I’ve been looking for a box I can travel with and not worry about destroying or losing my precious antique box. This one fit the bill.


This box is from Spencer’s Mercantile.


Painted silk fire screen/ fan. I can’t remember the name of the shop I purchased it from. I plan to paint Sir Thomas’s silhouette in the center.


Sewing box, also from Daniel Boone.


I love all of the compartments. I still need to “move” into it.


Block printed silk shawl from Regency Revisited.


Linen and velvet for Sir Thomas, from WM Booth Draper. Yes, my husband picked these out himself. I think a summer suit will be made out of the linen and a waistcoat out of the velvet.


Chintz, also from WM Booth Draper. I put my hand in the pic so you get an idea of scale. I have no idea what style this will become, but I’m excited to create it. I’m thinking another open robe will be in its future.


Block printed sheer cottons from Regency Revisited. I love these fabrics and I have nothing like them, so that makes it more exciting.

The End :)