Monday, August 31, 2015


When last we left Summertime, I was going to frankenpattern a blouse from a dress. Instead I thought I'd make a dress from many dresses. Why do it the easy way. Actually, this is just as easy as using all the same pattern pieces and more fun. Have a look at
the finalists.
Vogue pattern at the bottom was used as the bodice with a little extension to make it waist length.
Bodice from one pattern, skirt from another and sleeve from the third. Don't let different seam allowances scare you. The truth is the openings need to match, so a 30" bodice opening needs a skirt that's 30'' at the top. No one will measure your seem allowances unless you are in home-EC. Believe me, I've been doing this since I learned to sew. I make a pattern as shown only half the the time, the rest I improvise. That's why we ALL need a lot of patterns. Yeah.
This bodice ends  mid-rib, I just extended it to make it waist length.  
I wanted to take some of the fullness out of the sleeve top, not wanting it so puff-tastic. Probably not the way I was taught but it works.  This won't work if you need a sleeve with no ease at the top, but this fits with slight gathers, who's to know. They sold assorted sleeve patterns in the 30's so you could mix and match. Just as they sold patterns for collars, dickeys etc.
Skirt was pretty straight forward, it just has to match the bodice opening.

It's alive!
And a bit of whimsy.
Now I need a hat, I have a few but also have a really cute 30's pattern, so we'll see. I'll be wearing this to the Gatsby Summer Afternoon at the Dunsmuir Estate in Oakland this September. I'm splitting the difference and calling it late 1930's, in case you wondered.
Hope to see you there!

Ever Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

More from the 99c Store

Summer is still lingering. Sometimes they are energetic fun filled, high-jink Summers, sometimes not. This Summer not so much. I did have a great time giving a class at Costume College, called the 99c Store Costumer, it was a lot of fun and people were very kind.  Afterward, I mostly lurked in the shadows admiring all the talent on display. My friend Chantal and I skirted the edges like Victorian crossing sweeps, all in awe.
I did want to post a couple more hacks that were well received.

Hack the first- place mat template
Cock-a-doodle-do it!

These are made from flexible plastic, easy to cut to shape. I cut it out as scallops for the bottom of an 1880's dress, they LOVED their scallops. This pliable material would work great for stencils too. Someone mentioned that they charge $15 at Michael's for a sheet of this plastic. I say it's definitely worth 99c 
Hack the second- hair donut chignon
Mmmmmm, donut
Cut it apart and re-shape it at will

Braid sewn onto the mesh with a comb added.
Sure, it's my own hair........
They are made of  mesh and once you cut them apart you can use them for all your fake hair needs. Roll two of them into a pompadour hair support, make them small for Victory rolls or flatten the mesh out and sew your chignon to it. If you you are lucky you can also find the fake hair switches there. This piece is from the 99c store, I've seen it in various blondes and once a gorgeous strawberry red. They are probably made from recycled water bottles, so you can't dye them.

Next time actual sewing content, I need a 1930's blouse pattern and will franken-pattern it from a dress.
Ever Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine