Friday, July 29, 2011

A near perfect match

My second attempt was much more successful. I filled a chowder pot with just enough water to fully submerge all of my materials, and then added 2.5 teaspoons of Rit Dark Green and Teal. I also added a teaspoon of salt. This seemed to do the trick pretty damned well.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

If at first you don't succeed...

...dye, dye again. I know. I know. It's bad, but I couldn't resist. I hunted everywhere on the internet for hunter green venise lace and other trims. I found absolutely nothing, so I turned to dye. My first attempt on a bit of ivory venise lace came out very dark. I used 2 tablespoons of Rit's "dark green" dye, and a tablespoon of salt in very hot water for about 45 minutes. I think with some teal and less cooking time it would be a fine match to my fabric. The second go around I cooked for a lot less time, used 1/2 teaspoon less dye, and cooked for a a quarter of the time. The result was much paler. I guess I'll have to throw it in again.

I tried dyeing a small piece of one of my favorite tassel trims from JoAnn's in white. It took the dye beautifully, except for the threads it was bound together with. Those were still white while the trim itself was almost black. I tried again with an old scrap of sage green, and it took the dye much better.

I knew this would be a process of trial and error, and I hope it yields gorgeous results.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Corset's Bad Reputation Lecture

I've done some work on the structure of my upcoming program on corsets at the museum. I want to make sure I cover misconceptions and people's major questions.


Thursday, July 21, 2011


I got some fabulous (and cheap) 4 inch venise lace from eBay, and I happened upon a five year old skull brocade 1880s bodice forgotten at the bottom of the fabric trunk. I made it with an old character of mine in mind, but I could never get the buttons to fit right. One day a few weeks ago, I performed some minor outpatient surgery and replaced he buttons with bound boned edges and a row of hooks and eyes. It fits much better, but I decided it needed more embellishment. I still may add some five inch bullion fringe to the back, but I need to track some down. These are not the greatest pictures, but not bad considering the fact that they're cell phone pictures in bad lighting.

I brought several projects to work on for our week at the beach, but neglected to bring thread. Finally today I picked up some thread at a dollar store, and I was able to attach the lace. I just picked up some venise lace just under 2 inches wide for the neckline and the sleeves. I adore venise lace. I see much more in the future of the tentacle dress, but I need to get moving on a commission for a 1560s Venetian gown.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tentacles Progress

I added copious amounts of bullion fringe to the pannier overskirt as well as the bodice. I think it adds texture and a level of interest that it lacked before. Finding trim in hunter green has been difficult. I may end up experimenting with dye. I'm going to try it with some venise lace I had lying around and a bottle of Rit from JoAnn's.

The bag is for my hotel key card, wallet and cell phone. The little green jeweled embellishments I took from a pair of fancy flip flops that I destroyed through wear a few years ago. Something told me I would find a project for them.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tentacle Hat with Gator Claws

In Louisiana last year, I acquired a few gator claw keychains that I intended to make hat decorations out of. I took apart the hat from the Ruby 1880s Ensemble that got taken apart and re-invented for this costume. The gator claws are delightfully creepy. I hot glued a pin back to one of them, along with a shank button and small cloak clasp in brass. I may have to attach matching buttons to the bodice now that I see the color combination.

Click the picture to take you to my actual website, and you will find a fully clickable image map with links to full size high resolution photos.

For Sale

For Sale: Wraith the Great War, A Pirate dress, a Victorian gown, and the Peacock Jacket:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tentacles Pannier Overskirt

Penelope had some more green taffeta lying around from a nearly 5 year old early attempt at late bustle. I cut it up and tried to approximate the Truly Victorian 1880 Pannier Overskirt pattern as best I could. I didn't have nearly enough fabric, but what came out was pretty darned close. I'm not 100% happy with it, but I have a few ideas. The pattern calls for a line of gathering where I just matched two dots. I may un-do it and go a bit closer to what the pattern dictates. Any thoughts?

Update Saturday July 2, 2011. I re-did the overskirt to look more like what the pattern actually calls for, and I must say I am happy with the side view, but not the back entirely. I think I may have to add that balloon effect and more than a little green 3-inch bullion trim to weigh it down.

Pale Green 1880s Ensemble for Sale

For Sale on Etsy. Click the picture and check out my etsy shop.