Saturday, December 31, 2011

1914 Afternoon Dress

 Might I say that this pattern is one of my most favoritest of my extensive pattern library? I love it. There are just so many options... fellow seamstresses, tailors all! (or should I refrain from being so close-minded and just say sewists?) You must purchase this pattern to make your library happy and complete, for surely without you will never find true tailoring peace!

  Enough of the dramatics... now for the dress. This particular photo shoot is my favorite of 2011, being that it was taken on the beach at America's first resort, Cape May, NJ. Just so you know, it is a Victorian beach resort to this day. Lovely, eh? (I meant the beach, not me.)

Can there be anything more pleasurable than sketching quietly on a beach?

This picture is full of Anneish tragedy.

My friend Milissa made her own outfit... 

...and we dolled her little sister up to add to the fun.
Ladies! Ladies! Attend to yourselves... your ankles are showing!

Picture perfect!

 I can be commissioned to make a 1914 Afternoon dress in your size and choice of fabrics!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Maid Marion Dress

Ever since I got this fabric, I was dying to turn it into an overdress. Finally, I did, and I paired it up with my favorite (and only) underdress for this photo shoot:

The brown overdress is view B of McCall's 4491


 The cream/tan underdress is from view A of Simplicity 1532


And the chicken? Well... it's not for sale.  

...though it did attempt escaping from the medieval damsel.

Though this Maid Marion overdress has already been sold on Etsy, I am open for commissions of it, in your size and choice of fabric!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nifty Tricks: Patterns

Ready? Here's part of my pattern library:

 I'm evil, I know... and there are more, but I just wanted to give you a general idea. NO, I did not spend thousands of dollars on this collection. Rather, this has been accumulated over the years, thanks to a certain special-and-most-favoritest-store-ever, JoAnn's. Sign up RIGHT NOW for their mailing list. Not only will you be in the know about amazing sales and get really cool coupons, but you'll often see this:

  99 cent patterns! A dream come true! Rush out every time you see this and get as many patterns as your heart so desires... and soon, you'll have an amazing pattern library too! Usually, they'll limit you to only 10, but think of it this way: every time the sale comes around for that particular brand, you'll be able to increase your pattern library by 10 patterns... for 10 dollars. Not bad, eh? And, you can reduce your time in the store by researching the patterns you want prior to going to the store online. I bookmarked the 'Big Three' a while ago, and frequently check back to see if any new or interesting patterns are available. Then, I write down the ones I want, and when I go into the store, all I have to do is find them and be on my way! Here are links to the 'Big Three':

Simplicity Patterns
The best and most well-rounded company. I prefer them over the other two; they have amazing costume patterns, as well as great clothing patterns. Most of the patterns in my library are from them. I recommend them 200%! 

Butterick Patterns
Butterick definitely has a smaller selection than Simplicity, but they have some pretty good historical clothing patterns. Their clothing patterns are all right, nothing special. 

McCall's Patterns
If you're looking for a costume pattern, DON'T look here. You'll be sadly disappointed. But, they do have some nice clothing patterns, so peeking in their inventory once in a while is usually worth it. On the whole, I'd say they're not the greatest though. 

Hope you enjoyed the first in my 'Nifty Tricks' series! I hope to help other sewers (sewists?) by introducing some of the tips and tricks that I use everyday in my sewing life! Have some tips to share? Post them in the comments below!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sense and Sensibility Pattern Sale!

The Sense and Sensibility Pattern Company is offering a 15% sale on ALL products -paper patterns, ePatterns, eBooks, and dollar downloads- until Midnight on the 31st of this month! This is an exciting chance to expand your pattern library with beautiful (and easy!) historical patterns!

Also, if you blog, Twitter, Facebook, or email ten friends about this sale, you can get any download of your choice for FREE! This includes eBooks, ePatterns, and dollar downloads! Isn't that great? No purchase necessary, too, but I think I'm going to take advantage of the sale myself and purchase that lovely Romantic Era Pattern. Watching Return to Cranford has whetted my desire to recreate a gown from that particular era. We shall see!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Adeste Fidelis, Laeti Triumphantes!

Merry Christmas to one and all! A most blessed and peaceful Christmastide to everyone, and a beautiful New Year! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Which Movie Costume Next?

  Oh my, what a quandary. Thanks in part to the last post and Brielle's Distracting Costume Site, I have a sudden urge to do another movie costume. BUT. Which one? Oh no.... I can't decide! So, first in line of the movie candidates are two costumes from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. 

  Two of Susan's costumes, of course. Naturally. So, the first is her Coronation dress, which is only seen for a few brief seconds in the film.

 Number One: Susan's Coronation Dress
Ooh, I'm in love with this dress. Something awful. 
  Pretty much, I have four yards of gloriously patterned burgundy fabric that will suit just fine for the overdress. All I have to worry about is the golden ribbed sleeves and their subsequent lining, as well as the luscious cream fabric you see peeping out here and there on the bodice. Quite probably this is the one I'll end up doing, unless I'm persuaded otherwise...

Number Two: Susan's Farewell Dress

Folks, for the record, I abhor Lucy's chili-pepper dress. It's the gorgeous blue one we're lookin' at here. 
  I think I've loved this one since I first saw it in theaters. Give me one person who doesn't like it, and I'll... well, avoid them. It's just gorgeous. I've been wanting to make it for some time now, and I guess my urge was topped when I saw Brielle's version of the gown:

Golly gee whiz, this girl can costume!

  The biggest challenge of this dress would be altering a pattern to make it as close to the original as modesty will allow. Can't go runnin' around with my shoulders showing, doncha know. I like Brielle's version of the underdress neckline, it's more modest but still keeps the look of the original. However, I think I'd raise it a little more though. Just a little.
  The next challenge would be to find the right fabric at the right price. I've done really well with this very single movie costume I've made thus far, but I'm not sure about this one. The original gown is entirely in silk... sigh... but I'm not sure I'd be able to afford that. Hmm. Might have to put this one on the shelf. 

  Okay, moving on from Narnia to a galaxy far, far away... 

  I've long contemplated doing a Star Wars costume, especially one from the prequels. Leia's costumes are pretty, but not handsome enough to tempt me. So, one of Padme's costumes it is! But as I looked at the prequel costumes, I saw that the ones from the first one are definitely the most memorable. In Episode I, Padme and her Decoy have several awesome costumes with awesome hair dos. Why not? A costuming dream! SO, the question is now... which one? 

Number Three: Padme's Tatooine Disguise Outfit 

    Okay, you may be surprised, especially when I mentioned awesome costumes above. But most of Padme/Decoy's costumes are either labor-intensive (with thousands of layers) or have skin-tight pants as part of the attire. Right now, I don't feel like doing three layers or wrestling with a pair of pants, but this costume is just... so sweet. I mean, look at it. The sleeves are sweet, the tunic is sweet, even the cute little baggy pants are sweet. It's a sweet costume. It would also be loads of fun to get fabric and then age it, using various and extreme methods. Oyez.

Number Four: Sabe Decoy Battle Gown 

  This gown is the essence of utter coolness. It's so amazing. Period. The only problem with this one, is that there isn't much research that has been done on it. I mean, I've seen plenty of fan-made costumes, but no one has bothered to put up a research page on it. Hmm, I'll have to see what I can't do about that... 
  I think I would go all out and actually buy velvet to do the black details in, and some leather to make the belt. If I do this one, I'm gonna do it right. 

  Ta-ta to SW for now, now time for some classic costumes!

Number Five: Eowyn's Shield Maiden Gown 

Looks easy, right? Think again. 

  Eowyn's iconic costume from The Return of the King. The costume look quite easy, nothing really at all. Not quite. The bodice is actually made up of two parts: a vest and an accompanying quilted corselet (both heavily embroidered), and the white dress underneath has a heavily detailed neckline. Any LOTR costume is a challenge, as I've found out from doing three. Nglia Dickson knew what she was doing when she designed them, and we poor fan costumiers are still having hard time keeping up with it, even after ten years. 
  I think the only problem would be finding the fabric. My mom is an excellent guide and teacher when it comes to altering patterns; I think she and I would be able to tackle this one with relish. We'll see. 

Number Six: Eoywn's Green Gown 

Oh, Hi Theoden. Lookin' good there, dude. 
My only reaction to not doing this dress are these three words: silk, velvet, trim. All of which, my friends, are very expensive. But, I love this dress, and I guess I just posted it as a possibility for the heck of it. What do you think? 

And now, last BUT NOT LEAST: 

Number Seven: Rapunzel's Dress 

  Ooh yes! Talk about a fun dress! Fan versions have been popping up all over the internet, and I seriously want to make one of these for myself. Believe it or not, this dress is loaded with detail- while not apparent in the photo above, the upper sleeves, neckline and bodice all have little details that just add to the sweetness of the overall look. I love this dress, and I love this Princess. Most of all, I love this movie... to pieces.   
  I think the only tricky part of the dress would be to alter a pattern to make it screen-accurate... raising that neckline, though. Ah-hem.  

  So, all in all, which dress do you think I ought to make next? Comments and input appreciated!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Susan's Green Archery Dress

  Have I mentioned yet that I love to costume? It's one of my favorite parts about sewing. Even more fun than costuming is movie costuming (okay, maybe only slightly more fun, but more fun nonetheless)! I don't even need an occasion to wear it to- I just want to make them. And accuracy, for me, is the best part of the WHOLE thing.

  I've done several movie costumes in the past, and will probably go on making movie costumes in the future (oh goody!), so here's one I think is appropriate for this time of the year: Susan's Green Archery Dress. I made it last year to go to see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (dippy movie, by the by) and had loads of fun with it! Now for pictures, I won't go into much detail about the construction. The link above has all the details you need to know about the dress itself!

Coolness, huh?

My friend carved the horn for me out of wood- it actually works!

Hand embroidered, folks. I don't 'go' for the machine stuff.

If it looks like it's cold... it was.

The belt was a Salvation Army find. Go Sally's!

The eyelets were hand-done, just like the real dress.

I love this dress. Sigh.

AND I made a whole underdress to boot! 

  If you have any questions about the construction, just post in the comments below or contact me. I will do my best to answer any and all! This costume is not for sale. However, you can commission me to do a custom gown for you, please contact me if you wish to do so. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Plans for the Future

  Oh, that sounds quite ominous, doesn't it? 'Plans for the Future'. Rawr. Okay, well, maybe I ought to clarify that as 'Etsy Shop and Blog Plans for the Future', but since that almost looks like a run-on sentence, I'll just keep it short. Now, to business!

  Since my shop hasn't been doing as well as I wanted it to under the slogan of 'Modest Clothing for the Tasteful Dresser', I decided to change my angle of marketing and products that I'll be offering. So, come the New Year (big ol' 2012), I'm going to put my shop on vacation for around two to three months. In that time, I'll still be accepting custom orders and such, but my ordinary products will not be available.

  What will I be doing? Shall I give you a peek at the kind of stuff I want to offer...? Fine, you win.

Here you go: 

  ...but, in the meantime, I'll be posting my progress and such here so that you can see what's going on. No sewing Dark Ages here. Nopidy-nope.

Friday, December 9, 2011


  Hail, fair friend! 'tis only I, Lady Marlene the Seamstress!

  Thank you for so kindly stopping by. It is here that you will find my sewing and crafting undertakings, mostly those that will eventually find themselves on my little Etsy shop. It is with pleasure that I invite you to join me on my road along the path of whimsy, so do follow if you like what you see! 

  I hope to be able to share with you all my sewing ideas and crafting inspirations, so stay tuned for some interesting reading!