Open post

Mermaid Headdress

First I took some wire and started making a headband to form  the size of my head.  After I did that I took some really small wire to wrap around all of the pieces to hold them on and to make the headdress stronger.  I decided I wanted to make fins to cover up my real ears when I wore this.headdresswrap

Once I finished wrapping all the wire tight around to hold the loose pieces together. I took some foamies and cut strips to wrap around the wire itself.

Just by accident I got the adhesive kind which worked out pretty good, until the next morning. The ends of the foam strips need to be glued down at each end.  After wrapping each one I started hot glue the ends down onto itself. When I was finished it looked like this.


Then I started to cover it with buckram material so it would be able to hold up all the stuff I wanted to decorate it with.

coverfoamI needed to cover up the foam pieces that you were going to see somewhat so I wrapped ribbon around them.






This was very trying at times.  To make it fit I had to cut strips in the material to make it more flexible to the headdress.







I used hot glue to hold the seams together and then added the back piece fit which was going to be my decorating piece.







I made a pattern out of buckram on how I wanted to design it.







When the whole thing was covered in buckram I covered it with white cotton material to cover up the buckram material. I used the hot glue gun to keep this on. a lot faster then sewing it by hand.  For the wire showing on the fins I decided to paint those purple.





To make them look realistic I took the same kind of material from the mermaid fin dress and added it to this ear.  I had to sew it on by hand around the wire.  After that I cut the edges off to the correct shape of fin.









When I finished this is what the looked like






I cut out a pattern of the same body material to the headdress. I glued all those pieces on to cover the white material. Now it was time to start painting shells and picking the layout I was going to do. This is the start of my headdress but have a lot more to go on it.



Finally finished my headdress and this is what it turned out to look like.


Open post

Petticoat with Wire Bustle

Today I worked on my Petticoat with Wire Bustle 1870’s and 1880’s which will support those styles of bustle dresses. This pattern is by Truly Victorian.  TV-101

I’m really excited to work on this pattern as its based on an actual garment as seen in Harper’s Bazaar magazine.  This pattern that I’m sewing will be easy for storage because it folds down flat.

These directions were quite easy to follow.  I bought theses from Truly Victorian.  The have a nice collection to choose from.

First I serge all my edges on all of my pattern pieces before i started sewing my seams.


With each seam I made sure I ironed each and everyone.  I thought I would post a picture of one that wasn’t ironed her below so you can see the difference.




What a big difference when you don’t set the seam.




On the bustle part I pinned bias tape to the upper bustle part.  Trying very hard to give them a straight line as possible.












One completed channel sewn






I have two lines done





Now finished sewing all three channels that go across the bustle.





For this channel it’s sewn at a diagonally part way.  You only sew up and back and leave the top open.





At the top of  channel one I sewn another open channel over the first channel. Be very careful not to sew closed the bottom channel.hoopboning



Here is the boning I cut to the correct length from the pattern instructions. Don’t put these in just yet.  I will be making the





Now moving on to the florence. This you will need to sew each of the pieces together.






Remember to iron the seams down.  I bought this little iron and I just love it.  It’s just made for ironing down seams.  Nice not to have to brag out the big iron all the time.







Now I need to baste the top of the florence to fit it to the front and back bustle. Due to all the material and its weight.  I decided to double pin both directions to keep the gathers in the right about all the way around.









Little by little I would sew slowly and take pins out when you come to them. This really helped me keep my gathers more even all the way around.








This is what it looks like sewn on.  Make sure to take out your basting stitches.  It will look a lot better if you do.









Now the material will fall more even by taking out the extra stitches.









Moving on to the top portion of the bustle to add the waistband.  Before sewing it on you need to baste the upper top to fit your waist size.



Open post


Moving on to the chemise it shouldn’t be too hard…right.   At first I thought so but now…I look back and I don’t think so but during I thought the yoke was going to choke me at first.

yoketopAfter I sewn the yoke piece together I then did the edging so it wouldn’t fray.  Well not with my serger, not yet.  I sure do miss it, it’s really hard on your machine to do so much yardage.

chemiseAfter I sewn most of this together I need to do pin tucks again.  One it does help with taking some of the yardage up.  It also give it more of the period time frame that they did back then.







Onceaddlace I did those I decided to add lace to the bottom.  To make it more of a nice edge with the lace I sewn the seam once then put the lace up side down…I know what upside down…. but when you fold it over and sew it down, it give you such a nice crisp and tailored look. Then your lace will be showing the correct way once you iron it down.


I’m almost done just to add some more lace to the upper portion to the chemise and I will be ready to start the bustle.



1870-chemise chemise-top

Here is the finished look.  It was quite plain on the front so I decided to sew two pieces of lace together and add it to the front.


Open post


This is my very first historical project, I’m sewing.  Im going to use the correct material for that time period.  I’m using 100% white cotton bleached muslin.  First I cut all my pattern pieces out by blue moon patterns. They carry original patterns for that time period I need.


First I’m sewing the edging so the material won’t fray.  I was lazy and didn’t get my serger out this time but for the bustle I will get that started so my stuff looks more professional.

seamAfter I sewn the seam make sure to iron it down to give you a cleaner edge on the other side.  When you do this it really shows you how straight of a line you really did.

flatseam What an ironing job looks like after you set the seam in.  It really makes it so crisp and clean. The lines in your work will set the seam in the correct manner in the material.





openbreachesAfter sewing in the pin tucks on the bottom portion of the pant legs; which I did the old fashion way.  Boy that wasn’t too bad to do.  I added some flat lace around the bottom edge to give it some prettiness to it.

Before you sew it on the waistband I sewed bias tape to the outer leg which make them for open drawers.  I know open drawers you say…. Well I have learned a lot the past year about corsets.

Very hard to take on and off one be yourself and two when your in full costume.  Now I understand why they had these back then.  This is going to be an adventure for sure with this costume when I’m done.


opendrawersNow to finish the waistband and put the cord in.

These were very easy to make couple of hours and I finished them.

drawersThey don’t look that pretty on the form we shall see how I will like them later. Now time to move on to the chemise.

Open post

Started Mermaid Costume

I have had some ideas what I wanted to do along time ago on this costume.  Just never got around to doing it. Well I finally got the opportunity to do it now.

I bought some material awhile back for this costume that I have been saving for with many ideas.

I used some of the pattern my Little Mermaid Disney Princess Costume, McCalls 5498.  I changed it to my liking and added things from my vision to make it my own.

First had to cut all the pieces out. The  blue scale like material did not have any stretch to it.  Which made it quite difficult for the look that I wanted. The material was a netting with the shiny foil like scales so pulled apart it would run the netting. Which was way bad, plus you could see through it also.  I decided to line it with white cotton. one to hold it into place and you wouldn’t be able to see through it now.

I also needed to sew the edges so it wouldn’t run either.

For the my tail I wanted some contrast color so I did purple.  This material was to light and was stretchy and I needed more substance.


So I found this netting with glitter in it to one give it substance and flash at the same time.






It was quite a challenge to get it to lay right and sew it on.

I sewn this on several time and rolled the hem also to make it have a little weight on the bottom hem.






Next I needed figure out how can I walk in it normal but also look like a mermaid tail.  I came up with an idea of using Tulle underneath the tail.

Tulle what a chore to work with, especially when you have so much of it in such a small space.  I used 14 yards of it, I made lots of layers and then basted it all together.  One for each side and then a smaller one in the back.  It was so much I had to sew it on by hand to get it placed just so.


After sewing it by hand I decided to also sew it with the machine to make sure it was really attached well.






Now I needed to make sure that the tulle would fall it the right places and not drag on the ground.  So I put it on my body form and cut it to the correct length.




Scroll to top