Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall Update

Oh my! Where has the time gone?!

Apparently I haven't updated the blog since February! Life has certainly been busy but I will attempt to get the blog caught up.

Here are some highlights:

The Oxford look got its chance to shine at the Janesville Renaissance Faire in May of this year. Some friends assisted in giving advice on how to act more masculinely and I had many doubletakes from folks I knew from Bristol. I'm still a long way from passing but it was a lot of fun just to see people scratch their heads.

My brother's second Sidney look was finished and turned out very nicely I think. I don't have many more pictures of its construction but here's the finished product:
photo by William Dezoma
photo by Patty Smith

I also made doublet, cape, and sleeves for our Guildemaster's new look this year. Slops, and cape beading/jeweling were executed by fellow guilde-members.
photo by Freestyle Imagery

photo by Duchess W. Cortland-Canon

And in another adventure this summer, I had to have some minor surgery which made corsetting a nightmare. I couldn't bind up my chest as tightly as I need to for a corset/bodice look so I created a doublet bodice for my grey dress that was loose enough to wear comfortably but structured enough to maintain a proper silhouette.
photo by Kim Cleveland
photo by Ivan Phillips

 Just to compare to the first half of the summer where I wore the dress with the original English-cut bodice and puff sleeves with an open ruff:
photo by Emily Kirchen
I have several new projects underway including a new dress, fabric for another new dress, a first-set of men's court-wear for a special someone, and various fabric for other small projects. 

So sorry about the long absence! I hope to get back to more regular updates as we settle back into fall and winter. Thanks for tuning in!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bristol Faire auditions

Hi all, thanks for reading. There will be a update coming soon costume wise, however I would just like to take the time to put this out there on behalf of the Bristol Renaissance Faire, where I perform:

-Bristol Renaissance Faire-

Auditions for the Bristol Renaissance Faire 2011 Season will be held February 26 & 27, 2011.

KENOSHA, Wisconsin … The Bristol Renaissance Faire announces Auditions for our 2011 season. The Faire is looking for performers to trod the boards and take to the streets on 16 open-air stages and in the shaded streets of a festive 16th century village. Jugglers and Jesters, courtiers and clowns, minstrels, beggars, and wenches, all are part of a Renaissance in entertainment and celebration.

The Bristol Renaissance Faire is casting actors, musicians, dancers, variety performers, and Kids Kingdom performers for the run of the Faire. See our website for detailed

Classes and rehearsals begin weekends starting Saturday June 4th and runs for the following 5 Saturdays. The Faire runs Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day Monday from July 9 - September 5th, 2011.

Performer Auditions: All performers auditioning must provide a
current head shot (photograph), performance resume and a copy of your photo identification (Driver's License, State ID, or Passport)and must contact the Faire to schedule an audition. 

To sign up - visit the website: - in the left column select "Join Us" and then "Auditions." 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

SidneySlops etc.

Pending the addition of closures the slops for my brother's Robert Sidney 2.0 are completed!

Sidney 2.0 vs 1.0

The next step will be to do a fitting before add closures and then I'll do a second mock-up fitting of the doublet before I'll start constructing the doublet.

Between waiting for fittings and working on other commissioned pieces, I'm starting work on my next dress. A separate post detailing the plans and fabrics for that project will be forthcoming.

In the meantime: here are  some more gratuitous photos of pitbulls!

These were all taken on the morning of the Snowmageddon here in Milwaukee. Kimora was plunging into the biggest drifts she could find; Chewi was less impressed.

Well, until next time!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Project: Sidney 2.0

And so the next project begins!

Allow me to introduce Robert Sidney 2.0. We may all remember the outfit I made for my brother playing Sir Robert Sidney at the Bristol Renaissance Faire In case we don't, there's the link. As that was my first shot at Elizabethan menswear, some things didn't turn out quite as I'd have liked, and other things just didn't really survive the season. So I will be remaking some of this outfit, namely the doublet and slops.

The cape and sleeves, as pictured below, will be retained.

New fabrics and trim have been bought for the doublet and slops to match the existing color scheme, but create a completely new look:

Materials came from a number of different stores, including Loomcraft in Vernon Hills, Il, Vogue fabrics in Evanston, Il, Fishman's Fabrics in Chicago, Il, and Gayfeather Fabrics in Madison, WI.

I've been able to make a start and some good progress on the slops already. The slops are cut out and wefted (the material was just a tad too lightweight) and ready to be assembled. And excitingly, the better part of the night was spent cutting and constructing the panes, which are now finished!

Here you can see how I first flatlined the layers together, then used the copper Burmese Silk Blend to bind the edges, then couched a blue rattail in the ditch to give them that extra pop!

A couple panes together:

Laid out over the slops fabric:

And a close up of the finished panes fanning out on the slops fabric:

If I get called off of work tomorrow thanks to the Snomageddon, I'll continue putting the slops together tomorrow. Otherwise I'll get back to them sometime soon. Until then, enjoy these photos and your SnowDay if you are so lucky, and thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oxford Complete!

Huzzah!!! The first project to be started since making this blog is now finished! With the completion of the sleeves and a hat I now have a full ensemble for the Earl of Oxford. Since I've talked through most of the details in previous posts there's really not much left to be said. The "Look" isn't quite complete because I don't have my wig or facial hair arrangements yet but here are some photos of me in the suit as is:

 "I'm a real boy!"
 Overcompensation in the realest sense

So There we have it! Soooo excited to have completed it, and on deadline too!

Next up will be new doublet and slops for my brother who plays Sir Robert Sidney. Fabrics and beginnings soon to follow!

Thanks for making the journey with me and all your comments and support!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy New Year

So sorry for the long hiatus! The holidays and new year have been very busy! All a very good busy, but sadly leaving little time for costume construction until this week. I had a wonderful xmas and did indeed get the dress form I was hoping for. I also received Gingher pinking shears and a back up pair of 8" dressmakers:

I also received a handy dandy fantastic new camera!! I had been borrowing my mom's and now I have my own! It's a Nikon Coolpix, so I'm pretty much Ashton Kutcher now. Ok, luckily not. Anyhow.

So this evening and last I've made progress getting Oxford closer to completion. With the Bristol preseason starting to commence I've got many projects on my plate so I've given myself a deadline of this Saturday to complete Oxford. There's not too much yet to be done so I'm pretty sure this is reasonable. I've pinned and started to slip stitch the cape lining hem. One good movie and I'll be done with that. Tonight I patterned, cut, trimmed, and bejeweled two sleeves. I proceeded to construct, line, and finish one sleeve.  

So I feel fairly good about getting everything done. I have most of friday to work as well as tomorrow evening. I need to throw together the second sleeve, finish hemming the cape, and maybe figure out some sort of headwear (although I still don't have a wig yet so maybe I'll hold off still). If everything goes according to plan I should be able to have some finished project shots up here by Saturday night. Fingers crossed!!!

Well thanks for checking back in!  As always, I'd love to hear what y'all think!