Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My article on Foundations Revealed is now free!

Great news, guys.  The article I wrote for Foundations Revealed on the Folded Seam or Welt Seam method of corset construction has now been made free for all to view.  It's an improved and expanded version of one of my older posts here, with better photos.  So check it out.

 This is the method I teach in my corset making workshops and the method I use the most often on my own pieces.

While I'm talking about Foundations Revealed, I'll just mention what an amazing resource it is for anyone who wants to make a corset.  The articles there are written by some of the best corset makers in the world and there's so much knowledge available.  I get totally geeky about new articles, especially when it happens to be someone who's work I adore sharing their secrets.

I think it's totally worth paying for monthly membership, but you can also just check out the free articles.  Or sign up for a month or two and read everything in a binge.  If you sign up through my blog, I do get a small commission.  Same goes for the sister historical costuming site Your Wardrobe Unlocked, which also has some amazing resources.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Finds: Steampunk is the New New Age?

It's catalog season again, and a long-familiar catalog arrived at my door the other day: The Pyramid Collection.  This was my favorite catalog when I was a teen, because it was one of the few sources for Pagan and Wiccan books and items I had.  So I was a little surprised to discover with this latest catalog that there are a BUNCH of steampunk clothing items.   And some of them are really nice looking.

So it's been a while, but I'm resurrecting Friday Finds to share them with you.  I don't get any commission for this and I can't make any statement of how these items might be in person or quality.  But hey, check it out.

The Reversible Button Jacket is a nice style for costume or every day, but my favorite part is that it's reversible.  (And two of my favorite colors.)

The Pleated Ruffle Jacket is one I'd be lusting after if I still worked an office job.  I like that it's both modern and old-fashioned at the same time.

I AM madly in lust with these Wildwalker Boots, though.  I think I know what I want for Christmas.  (Please don't clear them out before I can get a pair.) I've seen similar styles before, but not for such a reasonable price.  They have both men's and women's boots, too.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Winter/Holiday Steampunk Sewing Patterns 2015

Well it's new sewing pattern time again.

McCall's starts us off with an interesting offering...

McCall 7306 - It's a cupped corset, with or without cups, ruffled shorts, neck collar, and hoop skirt in two lengths.

Skeptical as I usually am of Big 3 corset patterns, I'm EXTRA skeptical of this one.  McCall's doesn't have any other corset patterns, I don't believe, and making a cupped corset is extra difficult.  I also wish they had a photo of this instead of simply a sketch.

So yeah, I dunno.

Butterick has a new Victorian pattern out.            

B6305 is described as an 1870s-1880s outfit, which is a pretty darn broad period but whatever.  I can't really tell if the skirt looks narrow because the model isn't wearing petticoats or if it's cut that way.  This doesn't have any bustle, just a big butt bow.  And overall it's sort of underwhelming, in my opinion.  I think if this is a look you're going for, you'd be much better served by using the period accurate Truly Victorian patterns.  Of course, they don't go on deep discounted sale regularly like the Big 3.

Basically, this is fine, but I've seen very similar looks done much better.  The detail on the bottom of the skirt is very nice.  The overskirt is just very blah.  I'm sure you can use this pattern to make a lovely steampunk outfit, though, so there you go.

Simplicity has a couple new patterns of interest.

First there's 8023, which just seems to be an update of a pattern they usually have some version of: men's and boy's vests and ties. The collared vests work well for Victorian dress, so this is good to have.

And then there's this very interesting pattern: Simplicity 8020.  It's labeled "Misses Sportswear" and includes two skirts, a very Victorian-esque jacket/blouse and a funky top hat with a bonnet-style brim.  In short, it's pretty darn steampunk-for-everyday.  With a blouse, at least, that would work great for costume.

I'm interested to get a close look at this one, since it's made with fleece and felt, in part.Plus I really want those skull fabrics.

Finally there's one steampunk-related pattern from Simplicity that I missed last time around.  Because it was in the Craft section.  Steampunk doll clothes!  Almost makes me wish I still owned my American Girl doll.  (Samantha the Victorian, naturally.)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Amazing deal: All Access Class Pass from Craftsy

Craftsy has a great deal for October.  Pay one low fee and have access to all their classes for the month of October.  I LOVE Craftsy classes and I think they're the best way to learn new skills or refine your existing skills.

If you're new to sewing and need to learn some basics, there are great classes available.  But there are also fantastic classes for more experienced sewists who want to learn about pattern fitting, drafting, tailoring, etc.

There are also a million classes on everything from knitting to cake-making, cooking, woodworking, jewelry-making, and photography.  For $9.99 you can check out ALL of them for a month.  That way you don't pay $30-40 for a class that you don't really need or isn't what you expected.

Seriously, I think this is amazing deal.  Yes, I get a small commission if you purchase through this link, but I also buy and take Craftsy classes myself and I recommend them all the time to friends wanting to learn something new.

Click the image below or this link to take advantage of the offer.

I will hopefully be back soon with new blog content.  I've been super busy though.  I taught a corset making workshop last week and I've got a lot to do to get ready to vend at Steampunk November next month.  Plus I have a lot of personal stress at the moment, so bear with me.

Monday, August 24, 2015

More Fall Steampunky Sewing Patterns!

As promised, here are some more new patterns that I thought might be useful for steampunk.

First off, there's this GORGEOUS coat from McCall's.  Not only would this be perfect for a steampunk outfit, it's amazing for every day.  If I lived somewhere where I needed a coat every day, I'd be all over this.

This is a vintage McCall's pattern which is obviously not your typical steampunk period, but I think could be made to work well with some small adjustments.  (Changing the shawl collar and adding double-breasted buttons, for example.)  Plus the cape is detachable.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Steampunk Simplicity Fall Sewing Patterns

You have to expect some new costume patterns for Halloween season, right?

First up, Simplicity has a new Men's pattern out.  AND I LOVE IT.

Simplicity 1039 - It's both a steampunk outfit AND a pretty awesome Jack Skellington.  I love the steampunk version of the coat; so many great details.  Plus people are always asking about tailcoat patterns and here you go!  

My husband is totally going to be bugging me to make him one.  :)

And then there's Simplicity 1040.  This is one of those times I have to ask the peanut gallery: "Is there a cultural reference I'm missing?"  What's with the hugely oversized steampunk cowls?  Is this an anime or video game thing I'm missing?  Cause as a general fashion statement it's not doing anything for me.

And finally Simplicity 1033: Misses Day of the Dead Costumes.  I didn't realize DOTD was now steampunk.  The individual pieces are almost 100% steampunk from the puffed sleeve blouse to the high-low skirts and hoop cage.  I'm not wild about the corset really, but whatever.  I think this could actually be a pretty versatile pattern to have.

Simplicity have not forgotten that Steampunk dogs need costumes, too!  I find it fairly hilarious that this is actually the SECOND steampunk dog costume pattern.    I have to say I like the McCall pattern better than this one.

I have a couple neat new McCall's patterns for you, too, and Butterick has yet to release their Fall catalog, so I'm saving those for a second post.