Costumes for Sale

I am such a sporadic blogger that I don’t know if anyone is even still reading along.  However, I am selling off some of the sample pieces I’ve featured here, and I wanted to spread the word to anyone still following.  Time to clean out the closets and make room for new projects!

NOTE: Most of these are prototype garments and may be slightly flawed. All garments have been worn 2-5 times. I’m happy to discuss details if you have any questions/concerns. All sales final.

Regency Gentleman

Men’s Regency grey wool coat lined in black silk, blue silk waistcoat, and black wool breeches. Made to fit measurements Chest 38, Waist 34, Seat 40, Sleeve 32 1/2. $400

Small issues with lining on coat, lapels on waistcoat, knee bands on breeches.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

18h century Court Suit

18th c. court suit of blue silk taffeta with pink silk lining, embellished with machine embroidery and silver spangles. Coat and breeches ONLY. Waistcoat not for sale. Made to fit measurements Chest 38, Waist 34, Seat 40, Sleeve 32 1/2. $600

Issues with sleeves (mostly hidden), small issues with lining, breeches need closure added at the knee, small flaws in embroidery.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Regency Stays

Regency corded stays with wooden busk and embroidery. Cotton sateen over coutil. Mix of cording, flat steel and spiral steel for support. Measurements when worn with 3″ gap at back: 51-45-54. $350.

Prototype garment, some changes were made during the process and show needlemarks/wear where stitches were changed, most noticeably right below the busk.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Renaissance Woman

Renaissance upper middle class brown wool doublet with velvet ribbon and handmade trim, slashing, and handmade buttons, lined in burgundy silk. Matching open skirt of burgundy silk with cartridge pleated waistband. Doublet and skirt ONLY. Approx measurements Bust 48, Waist 40. Skirt hemmed for someone 5’4″, but hem could be let down. $500

Slight repairs needed on button placket. Nothing wrong with this one except the size!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lady’s Victorian Ensemble

Victorian blouse of sheer sprigged muslin lined in cotton, and pink linen walking skirt lined with cotton and interlined with crinoline. Made to fit measurements 52-40-56, and hemmed for someone 5’4″. Hem cannot be lengthened easily. Lace jabot not included. $350

A few loose stitches in the lining of the blouse. Nothing wrong with this one except size. Made with Truly Victorian 1893 Blouse Waist pattern and Laughing Moon Walking Skirt pattern.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



The black silk petticoat is finally completely sewn, and is now just awaiting the remaining ribbon embellishment. Such a relief! It has been put aside temporarily so that I can work on other things.

Up next: late Victorian wear for 3, due in 3 weeks.  Yes, that is panic you hear. I’m not entirely sure how I let the time slip away. Oh, yeah, in ruffles and other projects!  Anyway, it’s personal sewing and keeps taking the back burner to other things, but now it’s crunch time.  I have a walking skirt cut out and waiting to be assembled, and a knickerbocker pattern drafted and waiting for a mock-up. I’m hoping to have those, and more, finished by the end of the week.

I am also beginning a class on 18th century stays this Saturday.  Only 4 students this time, so no back-to-back teaching for me!  I really loved teaching the corset class, and apparently my students loved it, too, since 3 of them returned for this class.

My first article for Your Wardrobe Unlock’d was published this week, on menswear during the period from 1730-60.  I was honored to be asked to write it, and am looking forward to writing another article this fall.

And – perhaps most exciting of all – I have proofs for my new website design and am so in love! I can’t wait unti it is up and running and I can share it with everyone. I’m hoping to have it up and new business cards printed before Costume College.

I did take time for an outing to the park last Sunday for a lovely game of croquet with friends.  It was a fun break, but now it’s down to business.  Here’s one of my favorite photos from the day, of Chris and I being silly in front of the conservatory.

Denise and Chris at Volunteer Park Conservatory

Try, Try Again

We all have that project that is going so well, and then – bam! Not so much.   This silk petticoat has been that project for me.  The pattern was going fine, even finishing with bound seams instead of the serger was going fine, and then I got to the ruffle.  I’ve made plenty of ruffles, but something about this one completely had me beat.


At first I used the ruffle foot to gather it, but it looked terrible, despite several perfect practice swatches.  I took out hours of pinning and gathering, and went back to the traditional method of two rows of gathering stitches.  That looked terrible, as well.  I experimented with the differential feed on the serger (didn’t work at all), gathering over thread, folding an edge and gathering over a cord… every different way I could think of, and everything still looked awful – all bunchy and uneven.


In the process, I realized that the fabric itself was part of the problem.  It’s a nice, crisp shantung, and it’s just a bit slippery, yet stiff, and it was also fraying like crazy. I’ve been avoiding serging it, even though it would have helped the fraying issue.  I hate serged seams, and wanted this to be a little nicer, since it’s for me.   The other problem was the pattern. I really don’t like 2:1 ruffles, because I feel like I have a hard time adjusting the fullness evenly.  This is part of why the ruffle foot would have been so helpful.  Between the two, it made for much more of a struggle than I was expecting.


Finally, I figured out that 3 rows of gathering stitches look pretty good, and now have the ruffle sewn to the flounce and the frayed seam neatly bound with seam tape. I’m waiting on some black lace beading to add to the flounce before I attach it to the yoke, and then I’ll be done.  Hopefully I’ll have a photo in a couple days!


While I am waiting for lace, I am finishing up an heirloom lace petticoat I started many, many years ago and dug out of a box last year.  The sewing isn’t great, since it was my first ever heirloom sewing project and I was way too ambitious, but it has yards and yards of beautiful French lace and cotton lawn in it, and couldn’t go to waste. It really just needed a waistband, but was too long for me. Rather than cut it off, I added more lace and a yoke, put in a couple darts for shape, and turned it into an early 1900’s princess line petticoat.  I should finish it up today, if all goes well.