Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black Friday - Cyber Monday Sale!

Looking for a great deal on jewelry and other fun stuff? Use the code BlackCyberBonanza to get 10% off in my Etsy shop between Black Friday (Nov. 26) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 29).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Etsy Treasuries!

My Arwen headdress has been featured in two gorgeous fantasy treasuries - "My Dream Wedding" by Magilicuty and "Woodland Chic" by my friend and fellow Etsy Austin member Gypsyharte!

I've also been having fun making bunches of new treasuries, so here they are!

Deep Ocean - "A woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets." - Gloria Stuart

Geeks In B&W - Geeks in Black & White! Science, math, grammar, sci-fi, etc.

"Don't Worry. I'm The Doctor" - Inspired by the awesomeness that is Dr. Who.

The Doctor Is In - More Geek Doctors! Doctors Who, Horrible, House, Brown, Tam, and more!

Looks Tasty...But Don't Eat! - Man, these creations look tasty...but don't eat them!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Giant Parti-Colored Kirtle Of Doom!

O.K., so I didn't get the kirtle finished in time for the first weekend. It's looking like it's going to be ready for the second! (Of course, since I didn't have it ready for the first, I ended up borrowing my boyfriend Mark's one extra set of garb for this past Monday, and went to faire as a boy.) *grin*

Here it is, all laid out, pinned, and ready to be sewn (except the sleeves, which I fitted onto myself).
Giant Parti-Colored Kirtle Of Doom!

I got no sleep last night whatsoever, opting instead to watch many, many episodes of "Dharma & Greg" and sew buttonholes. These are my very first hand-stitched buttonholes, so I think I did ok for a first try. I had Mark pin me into the dress to figure out where the buttons should go, since my measurements must have been quite off somewhere, and thus the really crooked row of buttons. I made the buttonholes as straight and as evenly spaced as possible, hoping to make up for the randomness of the buttons.

Parti-Colored Kirtle Of Doom! (Close-Up)

Here's the (almost) finished kirtle! The bottom edge isn't hemmed yet (if you look closely, you can see pins), and I think I'm going to make a very, very small hem on the sleeves (to hide the machine zig zag edge). Since it buttons instead of laces (like my natural-colored kirtle does), it's not *quite* as tight as I'd like, so I'm thinking about sewing some minimal supportive padding in the bust area, just to help prevent sagging.

Parti-Colored Kirtle Of Doom! (Almost Finished!)

By the way, I'm using 3.5 oz. handkerchief-weight linen from I used a mid-weight linen for my cream-colored kirtle, and I like the way it drapes much better, though the part-colored kirtle is a bit better when it's a bajillion degrees outside. *grin*

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In Which I Express My Affinity For Parenthetical Statements

It's going to be a long night. and I spent a lot of time today (technically yesterday) practicing music and learning new songs for Kansas City Renaissance Festival (for which we're leaving this Thursday night). Since we've got a 3 day weekend coming up, and I'll jump at the chance to *not* wear my too-small-and-therefore-tight-and-uncomfortable Moreseca bodice (it works better when it's cold out), I've decided to go ahead and use the 3.5 oz. handkerchief-weight cobalt blue and forest green linen from that I've got left to make a parti-colored fitted kirtle to wear one day this coming weekend. When I'm done, it'll look something like the kirtle on this page but with no hood (yet.) My first kirtle (which I made out of mid-weight natural-colored linen) turned out really good, but I'm going to widen the neckline by an inch on each side, add 1/2 an inch to each front center edge (so it won't be *quite* so tight when I sit), and shorten the whole thing by 2.5 inches since the first one ended up really long (not sure what happened there...) I have all of the green pieces cut out, and now I'm taking a short break to eat the chocolate chip mocha muffin loaf I baked while I was cutting the pieces. Mmmm.

I know, I haven't posted any pictures of my first kirtle. It's because I finished sewing it in the car on the way to Pennsic, and no one has posted any pictures of me from Pennsic (though I *know* there are a lot out there, because people took pictures of us every time we busked). I will get pictures of me wearing it next time I have it on, and I'll get pics of the blue & green kirtle after I'm done with it. For now, I leave you with a picture of the chocolate -

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"What do you do?" "Oh, I collect hobbies."

A few days back, I answered an email I got from the Austin Crafts For Free group (think Freecycle for craft supplies) from a wonderful woman who had quite a few inkle looms and was not only giving most of them away, but was also offering instruction on how to use them. I sqee'd loud enough to disturb the neighbors (ok, that *might* be an exaggeration), and told her I'd love to have a loom and some instruction. Yesterday, I drove over to her house and met a mother and daughter who were also interested in learning, and we all had a lovely couple of hours of instruction and trying out our new looms. I started with a very basic weave (no patterns yet, though I'm dying to learn how to make some of the ones I've seen), and used the same yarn for the warp as for the weft - a really pretty blue/purple/teal variegated yarn of the plain "Red Heart" variety.

Here's the loom -

Here's my first weaving!

I can't wait to learn and weave more!

More Amelie Treasuries

Amelie is such an awesome movie that I had to make two more treasuries on Etsy!

The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain, Part Deux

The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain, Part Trois

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Collection / New Treasury!

My Beadmaille Mask has been featured in an awesome collection over at Artfire -

What Kind Of Mask Do You Hide Behind?

Also, I've just created a treasury on Etsy inspired by one of my favorite movies -

The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We Are The Children Of The Revolution!

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."

"Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love!"

"Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months. And then, one not-so-very special day, I went to my typewriter, I sat down, and I wrote our story. A story about a time, a story about a place, a story about the people. But above all things, a story about love. A love that will live forever."

Behold - a selection of treasuries that embody the very soul of bohemian ideals!

He loves me, He loves ME and that is worth everything by thesedefineme on Etsy
Truth. Beauty. Freedom. But most of all ... Love. by AsteraPallas on Etsy
One night at The Moulin Rouge by thesoapgoatsoapshop on Etsy
Bohemian... by Nataliaraya on Etsy
{ Master Filmmaker Series: Moulin Rouge Part 1, Costume } by alienlabel on Etsy
Moulin Rouge! by zombiedisco on Etsy
Courtesan by SarahRoseReynolds on Etsy

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's Raining Treasuries!

My "Beautiful Courtesan's Wedding Necklace" was just selected to be part of two Moulin Rouge-inspired treasuries - "Truth. Beauty. Freedom. But most of all ... Love." and "He loves me, He loves ME and that is worth everything".

"Love - is a many splendored lifts us up where we belong...all you need is love!"

Hedgie's Favorites

Hedgie, the official mascot of the Tulstin Troubadours, decided that it wasn't fair that I was making all of these treasuries, and he decided that he wanted to try his paw at making one, too. Here it is - what do you think?

I'm On A Roll!

I'm taking a break from sewing my new fitted kirtle mockup (and apparently taking a break from sleeping as well), and made an Etsy treasury for my nephew, Chase, who is about to turn 1 at the end of this month! He loves monkeys, cars, and soccer.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Brand New Austin Etsy Treasury!

All of my friends have made treasuries on Etsy, and somehow I'd got it into my head that one had to pay money to make a treasury (bid, or what have you). Silly me! I just made my very first Etsy treasury, called "Awesome Austin" - all Austin in juicy orange, pretty pink, and basic black.

"Awesome Austin" Etsy Treasury

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Reconstructing History Patterns

Since I've been posting a lot about my garb sewing projects lately, I thought I'd focus a bit on Reconstructing History patterns. Kass McCann, who makes the patterns, thoroughly researches all of her garments and has lots of helpful and interesting articles on her site that cover everything from sewing tips (A Beginner's Guide to Historic Clothing, Handstitching Basics, Pleating Techniques, and Research Techniques) to articles on specific time periods (Late Medieval, Tudor & Elizabethan, 1603-1660s, Golden Age of Piracy, and Georgian/Baroque) to articles on clothing of specific areas (Irish, Japanese, Scottish, and Polish).

I recently bought my first RH pattern, the 14th Century Women's Sideless Surcote. I attempted to make a sideless surcote from a Simplicity pattern many years ago, and it was something of a disaster. I'm glad to have a well-researched, accurate pattern at last, and also glad that it covers many historical variations (the side openings can be either rounded or square, and can be of varying lengths).

Once I've got some money saved up and am no longer in danger of not being able to pay rent and bills (ah, the joy of self-employment!), I'd like to add the following Medieval RH patterns to my collection -

14th century Women's Kirtle or Cotehardie

The kirtle is the fitted dress that is worn beneath the sideless surcote. The RH pattern has many variations for this garment.

Medieval Irish Moy Gown

The original Moy gown was found in a bog in Ireland, and is one of two extant garments that offer a good example of what Medieval Irish people actually wore. Since my SCA persona is Irish, I thought that this would be a fabulous dress to make. However, the nice folks at RH tell me that this is probably one of their most difficult patterns to sew, so I decided to start with the more basic kirtle and surcote and leave the Moy gown for later (though I definitely want to make one!)

14th century Man's Cotehardie

This is the men's version of the kirtle. My boyfriend and musical partner (from the Tulstin Troubadours) Mark would like one of these, so I'm thinking of making him one in some combination of blue, green, and yellow. For myself, I'm thinking of making the kirtle in yellow with a parti-colored sideless surcote in blue and green.

14th century Man's Accessories

These are the accessories that go with the man's cotehardie, though I'm betting that I could use the liripipe hood pattern for myself as well. It would be a lovely addition to the rest of the outfit for the beginning of Sherwood Forest Faire, which started out really rather cold this year, and likely will again next year.

Since I haven't bought any of the patterns except the sideless surcote, I'd like to know if any of my readers own these patterns and have tried making them. Do you have any tips or suggestions?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Elizabethan Smock Update

I finally finished the size 10 Elizabethan smock in May, and I was much happier with it than with the size 16 smock that the pattern seemed to think I needed based on my measurements. The one downside was that the upper part of the sleeves were a bit too tight on my arms. Also, the fabric is more of a dark navy - this picture makes it seem much lighter than it really is.

I debated ripping out the seam in the sleeves and either adding a panel or adding lacing or some other type of connecting device, but ended up deciding to just take out the main seam from the armpit to the elbow, since I had done a zig-zag stitch over the two edges of the fabric. Ripping out the main seam left me with the zig-zag stitch as the only thing holding the sleeve together, but it also gave me about an extra inch around the upper part of the sleeve. I've worn the smock 2 or 3 times since then, and it seems to hold together relatively well.

I made a second smock from the same blue linen (from, and used the size 16 sleeves with the size 10 body. I also drafted my own under-arm gussets, since I really didn't like the way the gussets looked that came with the pattern. The pattern uses square gussets, turned sideways to look like diamonds. I stitched the sleeve to the body of the smock, ending the stitching where the gusset ought to start, tried it on, held my arm straight up, and measured the resulting gap. I drafted a diamond gusset that is much narrower than it is tall, and the second smock fits better and doesn't "blouse out" under the arms.

I've got a lovely piece of forest green linen that was meant to be used for a third smock, but I'm seriously tempted to try my hand at making a fitted, supportive kirtle, since I took a class at Lilies War (SCA) that taught me how to draft one. I also bought the Reconstructing History "14th century Sideless Surcote" pattern, though I think I'll need to buy more linen to make that. I had actually originally intended to make the fitted kirtle out of yellow linen and make a parti-colored surcote, like this, only out of blue and green -

Once I can get enough money to buy the linen, I think I'll try this. Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Elizabethan Smocks!

I'm getting ready to go to The Oklahoma Renaissance Faire (where I'll be performing all 5 weekends!) I've got a perfectly good Moresca bodice and a nice Tudor-style skirt with false underskirt that I made to match.

You can see the white chemise I made in the picture above; it is one of two identical chemises. However, I'm going to be staying in Oklahoma from the 2nd weekend through the 4th weekend (camping), which means I'll need 6 shirts. I found the Elizabethan Smock Pattern Generator (from the same awesome website as the Elizabethan Corset Pattern Generator), and was about to start making some smocks using that, until I realized that my new Simplicity Pattern (#2621) has a smock (they call it a shift) which looks almost identical to the smock on the Pattern Generator. Since this Simplicity pattern looks like the result of some *actual research* on the drafter's part (a shock and surprise, I know), I think I'm going to go ahead and use it so that I can avoid having to draft my own pattern. Taking the lazy way out, aw, yeah... *grin*

I made the white chemises with IL019 5.3 oz/yd linen from, but decided I wanted something even lighter-weight for the next batch since it can get pretty hot in Oklahoma in May. So, I bought some IL020, 3.5 oz/yd linen in a gorgeous Cobalt, Emerald, and Clean Green. I'm going to use the Simplicity pattern to make four smocks/shifts, though I may not make all four knee-length as the pattern suggests. I have a thought that I might use one knee-length smock as an overdress, with a long skirt under it and a crop bodice over. Not exactly period-accurate, but I think it wouldn't look too bad and would certainly be more comfortable in 8-10 hours outside in the heat. Not sure though; I haven't found a really good pattern for a crop bodice, though. Does anyone know of one?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Vegan Steampunk-y Shoes & Stuff

I was alerted to a post about vegan steampunk sites on Live Journal, and found out about an awesome vegetarian (mostly vegan - the underbust corsets are trimmed in silk and there's one wool coat) steampunk shop called Clockwork Couture. I'm really loving this site! They have some nice things - I find it amusing that the brown ruffled drawstring organic cotton skirt I purchased from Whole Foods last year is on the site as well; I hadn't really thought of it as being particularly Victorian, but it does have that vibe. (Just a bit!)

Someone mentioned wanting to have information about vegan steampunk-style shoes, and I realized that I happened to have a bunch of links to shoes that fit that description.

Here's what I've got - if anyone has other sites that sell vegan steampunk shoes/clothing/etc., let me know!

*New Holly Boot from Ethical Wares
*Para boot by Vegetarian Shoes
*Pennangalan has all manner of vegetarian boots, like the Gloria and the Linda Flare. They have a specific category for "Steampunk", but unfortunately, all of those are leather.
*MooShoes has a bunch of nice stuff, like the Elizabeth Boot, the Alexandra Shoe, the Lola Shoe, the Nelly, the Phoebe, and the Narmada Boot.
*TUK Shoes has some neat boots, like this, this, and this.
*Pussycat Shoes tends a bit more towards pin-up, but they've got this pair of boots and this pair of heels.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Product Suggestions?

I'm playing around with ideas for what I can add to my Etsy and Artfire shops next. Do you have a suggestion of something you'd like to see? A specific piece of jewelry from your favorite film? Something you could wear with a certain outfit? Something you'd love to see me create and produce, even though you think it probably can't be done? *grin*

I'm all ears!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, all! I'm about to head into my kitchen to make some yummy vegan cornbread, black eyed peas, and spinach (couldn't find collard greens), but first I wanted to let everyone know that I've just added several pairs of polymer clay horns to my Etsy and Artfire stores, and am in the process of adding even more nifty stuff. Coming next - my best-selling Arwen Bridge Headdress!

Also, I'm a member of a two person Renaissance/Celtic music duo named the Tulstin Troubadours, and we have a CD called "Rennies Of Unusual Sound". It has a mixture of instrumentals and vocals, with all sorts of instruments (my boyfriend plays harp, whistle, recorder, and panpipes while I play flute, whistle, bodhran, harp, and bowed psaltery, and we both sing).

My Etsy store is

My Artfire store is

Our CD can be purchased at either my Etsy or Artfire stores or from Kunaki -, and musical samples can be heard here -

Have a happy and prosperous New Year!