Sunday, October 31, 2010

NaNo is almost here!

Nine hours until NaNoWriMo starts for my time zone! Who else is planning to stay up until midnight to write?

I've got plans to hang with a friend, and then I'll see if I can finish Bleak House before getting online for the chatcountdown with the other Forum writers.

By the way... I'm two thirds of the way through the 2005 "Bleak House" and I absolutely love it! Maybe I'll do a review after I finish...

Friday, October 29, 2010

I&F, Make-up, and Steampunk Costumes

The November Cover of I&F is very pretty. We've got a new staff of photographers and I am so excited by the work they are already turning out! However I'm not previewing the cover for you this month... you'll just have to wait until Sunday to see it!

Anyone else here think make-up is expensive? The good stuff that actually works, I mean. I started using Pur Minerals a year ago and I LOVE it. I just wish the foundation wasn't $26 a tub! Thankfully one container will last me for about nine months, so that evens out to around $3 a month... which really isn't that bad. It's just that when one is a poor starving artist, anything that costs anything is a pain. I need to sell more costumes...

...speaking of costumes! I am hard at work designing my website/blog for History's Wardrobe! It is looking really nice and I will be excited to formally unveil it in the next week or two!

What do you do for Halloween? Do you trick or treat? Does your church have an event? Do you ignore the night and huddle down in your basement with a movie?

Our church has a "Halloween Alternative" party which I'm going to help out with this year. Choosing a costume proved harder than I expected! You'd think with all my choices it wouldn't be hard to pick something, would you? I almost settled on my brown Austen dress, but couldn't find it (seriously? argh). So I'm going to use a vest and flowey blouse and boots to pull together a "Steampunk Heroine" outfit. What is steampunk, you ask? Stop reading this post right now and go check out GIRL GENIUS. Romance. Mad Science. Adventure. What more could anyone want in a story?

Okay, did you check it out? NO? All right, that's it. I'm ending this post here. Now you have nothing else to do and you can go check out the adventures of Agatha the amazing GIRL GENIUS. Mwhaha.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


First of all, for the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every year during the month of November, thousands of writers all over the world pledge to write 50,000 words in 30 days.
Last year I didn't plot my book out ahead of time, and ended up with a plot that flew all over the place and was about as far from a publishable book as you could get. I got to 35,000 words, realized it wasn't working, and put it aside.

There's a reason the agents and other expects view NaNo with skepticism and strongly urge all participants to plan out their plots ahead of time! I had to learn that the hard way.

This year I have my novel completely planned out and I'm ready to see if things work better this year. I've got a plot I'm extremely excited about. It's based on several years of accumulated thoughts, and is going to be the scariest thing I've ever written.

Now what is that picture floating on the left side of the screen? That, my friends, is the NaNo Meter. It is now tradition for me to draw one of these up every year and post it on my bedroom door so that my family can visually watch my progress. (Yeah, I get a little obsessed with statistics sometimes).

There are just three days left until this year's marathon of writing begins! I'm terribly impatient. If it wasn't for the release of Scrivener Beta and the necessity of finishing up the Nov I&F, I'd be terribly tempted to start writing early...

...but don't worry. I'm holding strong. For now.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Royal Blue Doublet - Part 2

At long last, the final pictures from the Sophia Institute Press project!

I haven't made a lot of masculine costumes yet (although I have done a lot of men's alterations), so I'm really very happy with how well this turned out. Especially the buttons! Buttonholes can be tricky to line up just right, and I'm thrilled with how marvelous I got the dozen needed for this project to work!

Monday, October 25, 2010

And you had to make the decision hard?

Thank you for voting in my polls. I really love to see my readers interacting with my blog and get to learn a little more about you (and also know what kind of stuff I should be writing!)

But boy... the answers to the last poll have me befuddled. About two thirds of you said that I should keep my costume posts here... while another fourth or so said that they should branch out to their own blog.

So I want to know. Those of you who want me to keep my costume diaries on this blog - why this blog? Is it too much trouble to add another blog to your daily internet rounds? Are you just attached to this background? Do you think I don't do enough costume diaries to feed another blog?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Drowning in books

I never thought the day would come when I would start to feel a little suffocated by books. Yet after the book fair last week I walked away a little light-headed thinking I could use a little break from the printed pages...

And then of course I promptly picked up "Wolf Hall" and started reading it again.

The book fair was really good. It was an intense 9 hours of interacting with people, but it was great to have so many interesting conversations. It was also really encouraging to see all the books that have managed to get published. I'd been procrastinating with my query letters out of intimidation, and seeing all the published books really gave me courage. If all those other people could find agents and publishers for their books - well then, so could I.

I really do have too many books. Normally I'm just whipping through books only to spend two weeks trying to find something new to read. Now however I've got into the habit of

a) immediately ordering from the library any interesting titles I find anywhere online or in bookstores


b) regularly browsing our amazing new library aisles for interesting titles.

The end result is that I really do have piles of books rising up all over my room and have to check the library website constantly to make sure nothing is overdue.

But it's all a good kind of drowning. I love books, and I love having new stories to read. If ONLY people could write DECENT Jane Austen sequels!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Brief Gaudy Hour

Oh entrancing, bewitching woman! Anne, how do you hold us captive five hundred years after your death? What compels us to read and write your story again and again and again?

"Brief Gaudy Hour" is a novel originally written in the 1940's that has a strange, haunting resonance today. It brings Anne Boleyn to life in a compassionate, honest manner that is both respectful and accurate (at least as far as the information in the 40's allowed).

Anne is a character with whom I have a sort of "Pride and Prejudice" romance. I've gone from hating her, to nearly revering her as the woman to whom I owe my current religious freedom. I suppose I see her in some was as the patroness of the current Protestant church, however unintended that result may have been.

She fascinates me, as I think she does many historians. Her marriage and coronation were completely unprecedented acts. So was her wretched farce of a trial and beheading.

What is so frustrating is that so many things about her will remain forever unknown. Her letters were nearly completely destroyed. We don't even know her date of birth. And yet she completely changed the world.

I've read many entries in the world of Tudor Fiction, and they all have their pros and cons. My favorite is undoubtedly "Coronation of Glory" (Lady Jane Grey) but I have to say, "Brief Gaudy Hour" makes a strong second. It portrays Anne very much as I imagine her to be. Neither saint nor sorceress. A woman aware of her own witchery and thrust into a situation where she had little choice to flee and ever chance of winning all by cunning wit.

It is an adult book, and deals with a court well seeped in sexuality. Yet it contains no overly graphic sexual scenes and treats the subject in a respectful yet historically accurate manner. I wouldn't recommend it for teen readers, but the college crowd and up should find it engrossing and well worth pursuing.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Let's talk about that Lightning Thief dude....

Once upon a time, there was a pre-teen boy who discovered that he had magical powers. To learn how to use them he was shipped off to a special training place, where he met two best friends (a guy and a girl), a wise mentor, and a prophecy predicting a dark and deadly destiny.

And no. Believe it or not, this is NOT Harry Potter. (or Star Wars, or Eragon, or...)

We're talking about Percy Jackson.

Percy Jackson is a 12-year-old boy with ADHD and Dyslexia. He has been expelled from every school he ever entered. One day one of his teachers turns into a monster and he finds himself disintegrating her into a pile of dust. To his astonishment he then learns that he is no ordinary teen.

Percy is a demigod.

Demigods are the half god/half human offspring of one of the Greek Gods of Olympus (Unless your dad is Hades, who was sort of expelled from the holy mountain awhile past). Olympus is no longer in Greece - it's entrance is on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building. There are Greek Gods and Monsters around every corner, and only the mysterious "Mist" hides them from the sight of ordinary humans.

So as Monsters chase Percy across New York, he escapes with his satyr friend, Grover, to Camp Half-Blood where young demi-gods learn how to fight and defeat monsters. At camp, Percy meets the centaur Chiron who will become his mentor, and Annabeth, daughter of Athena, who becomes his other best friend (and... maybe more...).

He also finds out that he is the son of Posidon, one of the "big three." This turns out to be a bit of a sticky issue. Apparently after WWII the big three (Zeus, Posidon and Hades) agreed not to have any more children, because their offspring are just too powerful.

But it gets worse. About seventy years previously a prophecy decreed that the next child of the big three who reached 16 would have the power to destroy Olympus - or save it. The last child of the big three (a girl Zeus had in spite of the promise) was destroyed by monsters and turned into a pine tree. Yeah, very encouraging, thanks.

So it's up to Percy to fight off Monsters, traitors, Titans, and the biggest baddie of them all - Kronos, father of the Gods.

I have to say I really enjoyed this series. While it doesn't reach anywhere near Harry Potter's brilliance, it still sits rather higher than most YA literature published these days. It has an intriguing and usually at least somewhat unpredictable plot. The characters are memorable and easy to care for.

Plus it's just plain awesome for any fan of Greek Mythology to squeal over the appearances of all the gods, monsters and heros.

"Mr. D... likes parties... now what god... OOOH! I KNOW WHO THAT IS!!!!"

"Three old ladies with thread... ha, let me guess..."

"Girl with a bow and arrow... in the woods... surrounded by maidens... hmmm, this isn't hard to guess... ha! Look. Whaddya know! I was right!"

As far as appropriateness goes... although the series is directed towards a younger audience than Harry Potter, it does deal with what I find a very complicated subject. The union between gods and mortals. It is handled extremely tastefully, but there still remains the rather weird fact that the gods have unions with hundreds of mortals across the centuries, but are still married to immortal spouses. And then the humans, after the union results in a child (or two) usually go on to marry another human.

Maybe it's because families have become so splintered in our day and age. Having multiple parents in different houses with different spouses.... well it's become a bit normal for our society. I doubt "Percy Jackson" could have been published two decades ago - at least as children reading material.

I really liked the series. I'm definitely going to be watching for Rick Riordon's next books. But at the same time, I'm a little amused by the lack of Christian outcry, because imho, there is more to worry about in Percy Jackson than there ever is in Harry Potter.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Complete Book of Hairstyling

Have you ever wondered what the best way to comb your hair is? Or how to get the perfect curls? Or just wanted an encyclopedia of new styles to try?

Then this is the book for you.

I picked it up in the library a few weeks ago and was blown away by the awesomeness inside. It's not just a "how-to" book of facts, it also includes a running story about five young women in New York. Each of them has different hair, jobs and interests. Every few pages there is a new installment to their story, which implements the hair tips, tricks and rules laid out in the previous pages.

It's a thick book, but a quick read. I read the most important bits and skimmed others and it has completely changed the way I take care of and view my hair. I've also been trying out tons of a new hairstyles and you wouldn't believe the number of compliments I've gotten!

If you can't find it at your library, Amazon has some used copies available for less than a $1, so even with shipping you can still get the volume for less than $5. I'd say it's a book well worth investing in!

Query process begun!

And the first query e-mails for my novel are sent off! Time to enter a new phase of the adventure of "writing a book."

I've decided not to blog about the querying process until it is completed, just because I have no idea how long it is going to take, etc, etc. Rest assured that I will give you all the most helpful report possible when an agent/publisher has been found!

Meanwhile, I would like to humbly ask that, if you feel so inclined, you would offer up prayers of blessing for my manuscript. It is my very dear child of four years, having been completed rewritten once and edited countless times. I have high hopes for it, and believe it is a story with great potential. I dearly, dearly hope that sometime in the next few years it will be possible for all of you to read it.

Also... I know some of you are writers, or web browsers... if you happen to come across any agents/publishing houses that you feel might be worth my investigation, could you please let me know? My novel is a young adult fiction work dealing with Time Travel. If you come across some helpful information to share, please leave it for me in a comment on any post. Thank you so much!

Before you start NaNoWriMo...

Okay fellow writers... Homework time!

Janet Friedman, an editor at Writer's Digest runs a very excellent blog. If you are serious about writing, I heartily suggest checking her out.

Anyhow, today's post talks about NaNoWriMo and has some really important stuff that it is vital for all of you to read before you dive into November.

I skimmed through all four blog posts she recommends and I completely agree with what they're saying. I only wish I had read them before last year's NaNo!

Monday, October 18, 2010

On Twi-Bashing and the esteem of young women.

Sometimes I wonder if people don't have something better to do with their time than bash Twilight.

I know it's not a perfect series. But really. The intense Twi-bashing is starting to seem a little overkill.

But there's more to it. I work in Jr. High ministry. I care a LOT about jr. high girls. And when people use unkind language to bash the book that a lot of these girls adore, it starts to feel like an attack on these girls. And you know what? Sometimes it is.

And it's pointless. You can never change whether or not someone likes something by bashing it! They'll just get defensive. And if you're not trying to change their minds, what are you doing other than letting off your own negative feelings in a public way? Which really doesn't do anything other than a) stir up more negativity and b) hurt the feelings of any fans who happen to overhear you.

Well tough? Not so. Teen girls suffer from some of the lowest esteem of any group in the world and bashing their favorite book with cruel jeering words is NOT helpful. When you bash something that someone likes, you essentially bash that person's essence. (And remember how many of them are your friends on facebook, please!)

It'll hurt them and it won't change their minds. Again, what is the point?

I understand many of you need to let off steam about bad grammar and Edward being a stalker... I have my own rant needs at times. But the trick is making sure that your rant listeners are those who sympathize with you, or have given you permission to go off on a rant.

So please, have some consideration and do it in private with people you KNOW share your feelings. And then, please be respectful of the real people involved. Stephanie Meyers is a human being and child of God and deserves to be treated as such. Teenage girls are young women struggling to understand themselves and their place in the world. They are learning to make wise decisions. They also deserve kindness and encouragement, rather than derision. Do they sometimes make silly decisions? Heck yes! Good grief, I once was a silly teenage girl myself and I didn't start thinking clearly until I entered college! Thank God I was surrounded by people who guided me and built me up, rather than telling my that my obsession with Tudor England was insane and dangerous! For the record, I turned out just fine despite spending most of my pre-teen years reading about those messed up family politics!

(Random: Henry VIII or Edward Cullen? Hmmm...)

I'm not saying that I'm perfect. When surrounded by Twi-haters I do tend to go with the flow. But I'm not saying that it's right. I'm sick of the name-calling and put downs - even in private.

We're better than this, aren't we?

Instead of bashing Twilight, why not write your own series? Or if you're not a writer, find some really good books (like Regina Doman's Fairy Tale Novels or Robin McKinley's Beauty) to recommend instead.

Believe it or not, it is hard to find good young adult romances. Teen girls actually don't have limitless variety to choose from. A lot (I could even say the majority) of young adult romances are crass, boring and cheesy. Twilight at least aspires to be classical, poetical, and uphold some semblance of virtue.

I'm not saying it is an emblem of perfection. But I've been investigating what young teens actually have to choose from, and once you exhaust Austen and Bronte, the pickings are slim. I can understand why they would turn to Twilight with an exclamation of delight and relief. (Especially since it's a series that understands and borrows themes from Austen and Bronte!)

You don't have to love Twilight. You don't have to like it. But please, think before you speak, and consider that this is a subject dear to the heart of many young women, and there are better ways to help them than using negative words.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Heart of God

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases.
~Song of Solomon 2:7

Have you ever felt that one of the hardest things about being a single young adult is waiting for love?

I have constantly. Sometimes I feel that all I've ever done is wait. When will the time be over?

Sometimes I ask God - "How can you do this? Do you have any idea how horrible this waiting is?"

And then I feel as insignificant as a speck of dust. Do I really think that the God who has loved a willful and wayward humanity for six millenia really knows nothing about waiting?

I call seven years a long time. Jacob probably did too. And he actually had a specific bride he was working for!

But six thousand years? I can't even grasp spending that long - all of human existence - waiting for my loved one to come to me.

Not just sitting patiently either. But watching that loved one go astray again and again, so that we are represented by a prostitute in the book of Hosea?

When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
The more they were called,
the more they went away;
they kept sacrificing to the Baals
and burning offerings to idols.
~ Hosea 11:1-2

How painful is that? To not only suffering in unrequited love for all of your loved one's existence, but also to watch them - again and again - fall in love with scoundrels, liars and your very worst enemies?

Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of kindness,
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one
who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.
~ Hosea 11:3-4

Remember the speck of dust? Let's reduce that. Let's say it's the smallest atom in the speck of dust that once belonged to the chicken poop pile.

Six thousand years in love with someone in whom you see so much potential, and yet they keep on having affairs with the worst of lovers. Why does God keep waiting?

Because God is Love. Love is God, and the sum of God is Love.

Love is patient and kind;
love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on it's own way;
it is not irritable or resentful'
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never ends.
~ 1 Corinthians 14:4-8a

*sigh* So why am I complaining about the seven years again? Yes, waiting is hard. And yes, God actually knows what I'm feeling! But God's waited an awfully long time for me, so I think I can wait longer to learn his plan for my romantic life. And meanwhile I need to continue working in his service, learning more about him, and growing in my walk with him every day. That should be more than enough to occupy me for now.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Crazy NaNo Plotting

No, I'm not talking about me. I had my NaNo plot completed weeks ago.

No, I refer here to the lovely ladies of the Fairy Tale Novel Forum who are embarking on this madness but were struggling with plots full of holes.

Last night we held our second Forum NaNo chat and rendered great assistance to these young ladies. All sorts of interesting developments appeared - including one story where I'm being inserted as a... of all things... space nanny. (And no, Doctor Who fans, my charges are NOT Adiaphose).

Anyhow, I am terribly excited about all of the cool ideas the girls have. They are a talented bunch, eager to work together, and always ready to turn a perfectly orderly discussion into a hilarious realm of craziness.

Having trouble on your own NaNo plot? Check out my Jots and Scribbles article coming on November 1st that discusses 3 act structure and theme!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's Hermione and Ron!

Many thanks to Mugglenet for posting new poster photos today! And look at this lovely one we get of Hermione and Ron! Except for the usual walking fashion disaster of Ron's coat, it is absolutely gorgeous! And I have to ask - have we ever gotten a Ron and Hermione poster before?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How I got my news today.

*My sister starts reading a magazine.*

My sister: They took an Ocean Census.

Me: We're census-ing the ocean now?

My sister: Yep. And apparently they discovered 6000 new species, including an aquatic venus flytrap and a hairy crab they decided to call the "yeti crab."

Me: That's awesome!

....a little while later...

My sister: Eddie Fisher died.

Me: Oh! ...should I be happy or sad?

My sister: He's Princess Leia's dad!

Me: Yeah, but he dumped Princess Leia's mom to marry Elizabeth Taylor.

My sister: Yeah... you know, I didn't know that until we watched that Gilmore Girls episode last night...

... even later ...

My sister: a cat stayed up in a tree for a week and a half!

Me: ... wow...

My sister: It was fifty feet up and the fire department didn't have a ladder long enough to reach it! The couple hand to shoot a bow and arrow up to send a basket with food and water up so the cat would stay alive!


My sister: and then when it got down, it scratched one of the neighbors who helped get it down!

Me: That is a sick cat! Now stop talking so that I can catch up transcribing all of this!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

FREE Book Festival and Regina's Books! (oh, and ME!)

Hey Minnesota friends!

This is just a heads up to let you know that I'm going to be at the Twin Cities Book Fair this Saturday running a table for author Regina Doman. I'll have her books on sale, as well as some SOTB movie-related stuff.

The Book Fair is free, and there will be a USED BOOK SALE, as well as a lot of cool authors and speakers. So if you don't have plans on Saturday, it would be a really good thing to check out - whether you're a bookworm, a Regina Doman fan, or a homeschooling mom. Plus you could see me in action!

The Fair will be held at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College. That's right down by St. Mary's Cathedral and Loring Park.

Find out more information about what will be available here:

Hope to see you there!

All the World's a Stage. No, really!

You all have been so incredibly patient about my numerous costume posts this month! Thank you! I'm curious... do you all like them, or would it be less confusing if I started a separate blog for my sewing? Thoughts?

So on a non-sewing note... incredibly busy weekend. We had a hilarious and awesome two day party, that included Pirate RPG which was a blast. I played the wife of a captured pirate captain. She had been thrown in the brig by the first mate, and... well I think I'm going to turn it into a book or something at some point, so I won't say more in this post. But it was pretty awesome.

We also did more acting games. This time we included scenarios that included:

-Cinderella's prince lost in the woods.
- Two chicks trying to catch a falcon.
- A Bosnian Matchmaker and an American Tourist guy.
- Siblings wreaked on a lifeboat
- A murder on a train.

Pretty crazy stuff.

Then six of us decided to act out "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" in 15 minutes. It was more like a half an hour, but it was hilaaaaarious. Especially when people started taking the parts of doors and trees in scenes that only required two actors.

And if that wasn't enough acting, Sunday was party day for my church small group that I co-lead for the junior high girls. Guess what we did? Murder Mystery Party. And I got to almost die again.

For someone who doesn't act in theatre herself anymore, I seem to find plenty of ways to stay dramatic.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Royal Blue Doublet - Part 1

My second project for Sophia Institute Press is a Royal Blue Doublet...Rough sketch of my idea.
Drawing out the pattern pieces. I had rather vague measurements so there was a LOT of guesswork involved in figuring out exact lengths!
The lining sewn.
Gathering the lace for the neck.
Torso complete! (well, except for the buttons)
Sleeves lined...
Measuring out the slits.
I stitched the edges of the slits together with a simple tack.

1600's Brown Dress Refurbishing Project - Part 2

It is complete! I had to do the hand sewing while talking to friends this weekend, but I got the dress finished!Close up on the collar. Most of the lace is handstitched. That was the best way to get it to sit perfectly. Collars are not simple.
Close-up on the wrist details.
Back view. The collar is closed with a ribbon, to allow for necks of varying sizes.
Side View.
Costume #2 to be revealed shortly!

So you say you're excited about Narnia...

...but have you read the detailed plotline that Narniaweb just posted?

Weirder and weirder.

Now you know I liked Prince Caspian. But honestly, this seems to be taking things a bit too far. I'm not even sure I can say I think it'll still be a good movie, because the sword thing just comes across as really weird.

So does the darkness.

Is it just me, or do these elements seem completely non-Narnian to you?

(The filmmakers really should take some lessons from the screenwriters of the HP movies. I mean, those adaptations haven't always been perfect, but they've been a heck of a lot better than the Narnia adaptations! I mean, in the HP movies, they actually use book dialogue in the right places and follow the actual storyline and use British words!)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Story of the Super Special Favorite Water Bottle

This, dear readers, is my beautiful new water bottle.

For years I lived in terror of getting my head bitten off by an irate family member while innocently grabbing whatever vessel happened to be on the top of the water bottle basket. Instead of snatching up the lonely unclaimed bottle, I seemed to have a knack for grabbing the one that was the "super special favorite!" bottle of whichever family member happened to be in the room at the time.

Needless to say, it got old.

However, really nice water bottles tend to be expensive. And this blogger usually falls into the category of "poor - not - quite - starving - artist." Plus, even though most of them were "super special favorites," that didn't negate the fact that there were about fifteen bottles in the basket and at least two of them were "lonely unclaimed ones." So technically there were bottles I could use, I just had to dig around a bit and tread carefully.

Finally, I walked into Caribou Coffee one day and was greeted by a display sign cheerfully announcing "75% off!" I don't know about you, but when I see numbers that high it becomes nearly impossible not to snatch up the bargain. As luck would have it, there was actually a cute water bottle with a reduced price of $5.00. I needed it, the price was good...

...and I'm just waiting for some hapless family member to try taking it from me.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

1600's Brown Dress Refurbishing Project - Part 1

So... very exciting project this week! I'm doing two costumes for the cover of an upcoming Sophia Institute Press Novel!

Project one is a radical revamp of a gown I made about five years ago. I was poor at the time and had to work with what I already owned, which resulted in a dress reminiscent of the Queen of Hearts. Cool design, but awful colors.
These are the new fabrics and trim. I'm using a mock velvet to redo the bodice, and a taffeta for the sleeves and underskirt.
The dress completely gutted of the old elements.
Tracing the new bodice!
The bodice pieces.

Tacking down the new bodice cover.
Stitched in the new underskirt.
Drawing the cross design for the ribbon on the new sleeves.
This was a layout I did of the existing pieces at this point so that my customer could get an idea of how the project was coming along.
The sleeves with the ribbon...
Stitching down the new cover.Larger view.
The trim attached.
While the hooks could be worked around on the other side, the eyes had to be removed from the original layer and reattached to the new layer.
Lace and trim applied to sleeves.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Introducing History's Wardrobe

It's official, folks! My costume business will henceforth be known as:

History's Wardrobe: Costume Rental and Design

It was a hard decision. There were so many good names, and some of them scored higher on the poll. But after seeking advice, I decided that "History's Wardrobe" really did the best job of covering the company's services.

Many thanks to all of you for your help in brainstorming and in voting on the poll! I really appreciate it!

Right now I'm working on a Facebook page, and soon there will be other ways to few my costumes. But for now, if you're inspired by any of my past projects and want to rent something or have your own costume commissioned, then send me an e-mail at:

historyswardrobe [at] gmx [dot] com

Hope to hear from you sometime!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Red and Black Party Frock Part 2

The saga of the red and black dress continues!

First off I had to put darts in my lining. So I whippstitched it down to get a perfect fit...

On curvy models it is necessary to use armhole darts as well. Fun... or not. ;)
Cutting out the red fabric!!!
More darts. I pinned the dart on the dress form, then tacked it in place...
Then turned it over, pressed it open, and sewed down the groove created by the tacks.
Isn't it looking great? And yes, once I pinned the fabric onto the dress form, I decided to add gathering on the left side, for an elegant touch.
My beautiful dart that I am very proud of!
The back darts...
Cutting out the black underskirt.
Cutting the black sleeve.

Black sleeve finished!
There's going to be a little break from this dress after this post. I have another (commissioned!) project I've started work on today, and that has to be completed within the week. So stay tuned!