Archive for the ‘Living History’ Category


This is my first attempt at a fancy embroidered collar you see so often in the 1850s. I went for a very simple design of scallops and a ribbon pattern. I loved the part where I got to cut the scallops free from the fabric. This is definitely the first of many new collars.


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Last year I made myself a set of historically correct Victorian stays. Stays were popular from around 1800 thru the 1840s, at which point they were replaced by corsets. These are made from a pattern by Laughing Moon. I have made the theatrical ones before so I kinda knew what I was getting into. However these took what felt like forever. All the cording channels and hand basting all the gussets. I also added a little embroidery around the middle. All the time though was worth it. They fit well, and they look awesome. I did add elastic at the ends of the straps to aid in dressing. This is actually also a historically correct detail. Elastic was invented in the 1830s and became a popular item to add into garments. I wear these for the 1850s impression that I do at Fort Nisqually in Tacoma, WA.


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This year for the summer Renaissance Faire, I decided my man needed a fancy new item. He had asked for a gentleman’s night cap since Spring. So I worked really hard and I managed to make his nightcap before the faire. He mostly wore it at night when every one was just sitting around relaxing. It is done in polychrome with cotton embroidery floss.



I loved this pattern cause there were so many different kinds of animals on the hat. I also added two animals not included in the original hat. We have guinea pigs and I thought it would be cute to include them. So there they are. I stitched them in their actual colors. Fun fact is that guinea pigs were actually popular pets in the Elizabethan era. I think the guinea pigs were his favorite part of the hat. 🙂



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The banner flying over camp.


My new Elizabethan gown. It is based off of Northern Italian style dresses. It is super comfy and I got lots of compliments. The fabric is a small pin stripe.


A masked man and his lady.


A side view of the new dress.


The sword.


A bunch of hooligans.


Taking the Queen by force.


Being Taken to Prison.


Fresh picked flowers.


First batch of spinning.


Wood fire bread oven.


Wooly sheep.


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So last month I was doing quite a bit of stress sewing. First there was the Victorian Festival I needed to make clothes for and then an Elizabethan reenactment just a few weeks after. I made lots of new things for the Elizabethan event. I made a green kirtle out of linen. It is a back lacing gown and I corded the bodice for support. The sleeves are detachable. In the first picture you can see it with a white partlet that I made as well.

bible reading

To go with my outfit I made a pink linen jacket. I love this jacket. It is super comfortable to wear. I think it would be even more comfortable if you just wore it with a skirt and not a full kirtle. The next outfit I made for the event was a whole set of clothes for my boyfriend. I made him new Venetian breeches in blue hemp canvas. That stuff seems indestructible. Then I made a blue linen doublet with tie on sleeves. This is his first doublet in years of reenacting. I have more in the work basket.


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I needed an Elizabethan outfit this year for the reenacting season. So I started from the inside. I made two different smocks, a petticoat and finished my embroidered pocket. The first smock is the square neckline style. It was too wide so I gathered it into the neckline in the Italian Renaissance style.

smockI flat felled all my seams, which I really like doing because then nothing unravels after washing. 🙂

smockdetailThe last image is all the underpinnings together. I made a high neck style smock in the English Elizabethan style. I added ruffle into the collar. The pocket I embroidered in 2010 with linen thread. I finally finished it for this outfit by binding it with pink cotton.


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