Hello! I’ve been absent from my own blog, but I have been sewing (though not costumes). The holiday season saw me making purses. This was a second attempt at such a thing, the first being a very simple pattern in gorgeous fabric. These Christmas purses were made in no less beautiful fabrics, but were a bit more complex. I’ve learned more about interfacing than I expected. As a historical costume sewer I don’t use modern interfacings very often. I’ve also been learning to crochet.

 

 

It’s the new year, but I don’t like setting resolutions. My feeling is that, if you can’t manage to do something because you need or want to, the fact that it s a new year isn’t going to help you. But it is a great time to contemplate a new project list. I don’t have anything firm yet, except for a belated Christmas gift, two baby presents and a wedding. I do think this will be a good year to focus on steampunk, starting with a tentative plan to make spats for my new boots.

The other thing I have on the schedule for this year is to participate in The 1912 Project. I’m pretty excited about it. Vintage patterns tell us more than just how a garment could be made. They give you an idea of what people valued, what kind of time they put into such activities, what materials were available (and so, what kind of industries were going on). They make assumptions about sewing skills that we may not understand today. They give you little hints about how things were done by hand, individually, in a slower world. The Vintage Pattern Library is working on digitizing 1912 editions of La Mode Illustree, including making detailed full size patterns of the garments therein, in memory of  the sinking of  the Titanic in 1912. Last July my small town marked the 100 anniversary of its incorporation with some period festivities and that’s when I started to research and become interested in the period. I recently had  the chance to watch all of the first season of Downton Abbey, which starts with the news that the Titanic had been sunk. I find the period and costumes fascinating. Things were changing between the classes, women were starting to have a voice, old ideas about clothing and medicine were relaxing. It was the dawn of our modern era. And the hats were awesome. I will be making at least monthly updates on the  patterns I am given to sew.

Additional photos after the jump that do the fabrics more justice. (more…)

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At some point I managed to damage the heel on one of my Victorian boots. Cracked the front section of the heel clean off!

Now I’m sure I could take my boots to the local shoe repair man and have them fixed up in a jiffy, but why let someone else do something when I can try to fix it myself? (Please note, there is some sarcasm pointed at myself here – there is nothing wrong with paying the professionals to do what they do and if I wore these boots every day, I would. This is a temporary fix that I acknowledge may not even last an evening.).

This is where poly-clay comes in. Work it into shape, bake it in your oven and, in this case, apply the piece with sturdy glue.

 

After baking the piece (10 minutes for each 1/4″ of clay at 275 degrees – don’t over bake!) it’s is ready to be applied. I’m going to attach it with Gorilla Glue, which has epoxy-like qualities. Considering the boot material I *should* be able to pry it off without absolutely destroying the heel when it’s time to take it to a real cobbler.

I’ll let you know how this works out for me.

If you have not yet happened upon DeviantArt, let this be your introduction to endless inspiration and imagination.

DeviantArt is a community of artists of all types and skill levels, though it is largely made up of digital media and photography, with a healthy dose of boobs and/or anime images with boobs. Categories range from traditional arts to textiles, literature, film and the aforementioned digital media fields. Some works are for viewing only, but some are for sale in print and some include links to sales of the physical items themselves.

DeviantArt has a pretty hefty group of Steampunk enthusiasts. You can find everything from jewelry to hats, images, concept art, gadgets, weaponry, costume, leather goods, etc. I am particularly impressed with these handmade wings by steampunk22. Any good find on this site makes checking out the individual’s body of work worthwhile.  This particular artist has been moding PS3 cases recently and they are quite beautiful.

Excuse me, I have to go get lost in DeviantArt.