Lobsters and Petticoat's

I haven't had a ton of time for sewing lately, even though I have about a million things I need to be working on right now. But I did manage to squeeze in a new lobster bustle and crinoline petticoat last month!


Being that Halloween is just around the corner, and I'm the crazy costumer that I am, I started thinking about my Halloween costume early in August. I had decided on a costume that I've wanted to make for a long time now, but unfortunately I don't have the funds to do it properly at the moment.

The costume was Christine Daae's wedding dress from the stage version of Phantom of the Opera. It's always been a favorite of mine, but unfortunately will have to wait until a better time when I can do it right.

Anyways, that was what got me going on these foundations. While I was playing around with that idea and researching materials, I started with the undergarments. I knew I needed a larger bustle than the half bustle petticoat I made a few years back for my 1870's ensemble, and because it was a stage costume and I didn't need to be particularly historically accurate in material's, I decided I should make a crinoline petticoat.

This was something I've been meaning to do for a while, but just never got around to because I really don't like working with tulle of any kind.

And this crinoline lived up to my expectations. It was a beast to work with. Partially because I was making up the pattern as I went, when I really should have sat down and crunched some numbers before sewing, but I'm just gonna blame it on the crinoline. Fine? Fine.



In the end, the petticoat turned out quite nicely. It's made up of two layers and is stitched onto a bask with an elastic waistband. I actually added another small ruffle along the bottom edge of the top layer to help keep the shape around the hem, but I haven't gotten any pictures of it at that point yet.

Please ignore my hideous carpet. We just moved and haven't had a chance to update the floor in my sewing room yet.

The lobster bustle came together quite easily, and is taken directly out of Period Costume for the Stage and Screen. I think I will end up making another one that's just a little bit biggest, particularly on the bottom half, but otherwise I really like it! It isn't quite done, it still needs a ruffle along the bottom edge, but it's wearable.


Sadly since my costume plan's have changed the bustle won't be used, but I'll may still use the petticoat. But more on that in another post!

Going in a New Direction

Over the last few years I've been trying to find my voice and style within costuming and the online community. When I first started costuming I focused heavily on historical costume with a bit of cosplay in the mix, and in more recent years I've moved a bit more towards costume design, as that's what a lot of my focus has been moving towards professionally.



As I learned and gained more experience I played around with different idea's for this blog and have wobbled between focusing on my costume design work for film and stage and personal projects, usually of a historical style in one way or another.

In the process things have gotten a bit... Messy. I feel like I don't know what to write or how to write it simply because my website, this website, has gone in so many directions.

So I've decided to take a step back and focus on what I really, really love, which is historical costuming. I no longer plan on posting about the films I'm working on, unless they are have a strong historical influence. I'm toying around with the idea of keeping a separate blog dedicated to my costume design related projects and ventures, but that will be completely separate.

I want to get back to traditional blogging like it was when I first started years ago. I want to write a blog that is personal and has a specific goal, which is historical costuming.



To help get a better idea of what I want for this site and to have a point of reference should I ever begin to wander away from this goal, I've written a mission statement.

But before we get to that, you may have noticed I've gone through a bit of a name change as well. While I've had a couple of different titles for this blog over the years, I've decided one something that (should) be a little more timeless.

And with that, here is the dedication;

The Demure Seamstress is a blog dedicated to historical recreations and the art of sewing quality, accurate reproductions. The goal of this blog is to document my learning process as I delve deeper into the art of sewing (specifically historical costuming), and to share the information that I learn in a helpful way. My hope is to learn and inspire others to learn as well, and share each bit of knowledge that I pick up along the way.

I'm really excited for this new phase for my blog and hope to have lot's of exciting things to share soon! In the meantime I'll be working on getting everything under the new name; The Demure Seamstress.

A Velvet Gown (WIP)

In between the madness of moving and settling into our new home in Idaho, I've been working on a new film project. I'm assisting with the costumes for another Lightsaber Choreography Competition film, which we will be filming next month.

I'm making perhaps the most complicated costume for the leading actress, which is a floor length velvet gown, with all sorts of wonderful, tricky details. It's coming along quite nicely and is nearly done.

This is a little sneak peek of the gown while I was still working on the bodice and before the skirt was attached.

I'll share more details of the design and finished garment eventually, but that won't likely be until the film is released in October.