Monday, September 19, 2016

Customer Photos: Union Regimental Jacket!

A few weeks ago, I shared one of my custom orders from this summer: a Civil War regimental jacket, made for my fiance's younger brother. He's been in the midst of a Civil War craze, so he commissioned me (using weekly allowance money!) to make him a costume he could play in. I went all out and I was very pleased with the result... and so was he! Here's some shots of him in his new costume! 

As you can see, it's a bit big for him, but I think that's an advantage for him. He's at that age where little boys just shoot up, so having it a bit large was actually a good thing. I even included huge side seams to help let it out when needed. 

He got the cap when his family visited Gettysburg in the spring. 

And here's the brave captain with his faithful pooch! 

Interested in a regimental jacket for yourself? Let me know! 

Monday, September 12, 2016

"On English Costume"- Vintage Find!

I found this lovely little book, On English Costume, at a second hand store, and so I just had to share! 

It's a little costume guide for stagecraft, published in 1931. 

It begins with the 5th century and goes all the way into the 20th, with charming illustrations for stage costumers to get the proper "lines" for each period. 

I have to confess, though... I found a few of the illustrations very amusing. 

I mean, look at his face. 

Also, that chap has a monocle. Very dashing. 

There's even a section in the back for assuring accuracy in materials! 

It's a lovely little resource and I'm glad to have it. Hope you enjoyed taking a peek at it as much as I do myself! 

Monday, September 5, 2016

DIY Civil War Shoulder Boards!

Last week, I showed you my latest custom order- a Civil War Union Regimental Jacket! This week, I'm going to show you how I did the "shoulder boards" for the costume. 

Before I begin, however, I must note that I did not use any period-accurate construction techniques, nor did I use period-accurate materials. This tutorial is best for costumers and people who aren't as finicky about their historical accuracy. I'd recommend it to intermediate to advanced sewists. 

Materials Needed: 

-Gold metallic fabric, 1/8 yard*
-Gold metallic galloon, 2 yards*
-Gold thread to match 
-Heavy duty scissors 
-Thread clippers 

*Honestly, if you can't get a hold of fancy materials, use what you've got. It's a costume. Really. I even contemplated using felt for the base before my mother whipped out this fabulous scrap of metallic fabric. 

Metallic fabric is very thick. It will kill your nice fabric shears and your beautiful machine if you're not careful. In order to prevent such sewing room catastrophes as these, use junky scissors and put a size 12 or 14 needle in your machine. When stitching, sew slow to avoid snarls. 


I cut two pieces of the gold metallic fabric with my heavy-duty shears (seriously, they're marked "METALLIC" just for this purpose), approximately 2 1/2" by 5 1/2". Before I cut into my beautiful fabric, I cut a piece of scrap fabric and laid it over the shoulder of my already finished jacket to get a good idea of what size to make. 

I then ironed a 1/4" hem around the border of the piece in such a way that the raw edges were folded over the right side of the fabric. You'll find out why in a couple of seconds. 

Then, I zig-zagged that baby down. 

And trimmed those shaggy threads down so they wouldn't get in my way. 

Then, I pinned two pieces of galloon down to make the captain's insignia. Note: Depending on the rank your costume is made for, you may or may not have to follow this step. Adjust accordingly. Google searches for different shoulder board ranks helps a great deal

Sew those babies down. 

Here comes the tricky part- sewing the galloon around the edges. It takes a lot of patience and good deal of pinning, but it's worth it. If you can't get "mitered" corners on the trim, a simple fold-over will do. Whatever works best for you! 
 (You'll notice that the zig-zagged raw edges are concealed very neatly by the edge galloon.) 

Stitch that trim on and voila! You've got a shoulder board. Repeat again for the other side and you have it! 

I hope this tutorial was helpful!