Sewing is one of those hobbies that Joanie has done most of her life.  When

she was young, her mother sewed a lot of h clothes, but as she got older she

began sewing for herself.  By the time she was in high school she sewed most

of the clothes she wore.  She sewed a lot of her clothes for a good part of her

adult life, but gradually started sewing less and buying more.  However, since

we have become involved with dressing in themed clothing, she started

sewing again more regularly.  Then Ray decided that he wanted to learn how

to sew some of his own costume pieces, so she has taught him to sew, and he

does a wonderful job.  He has a little trouble understanding the terminology

for some of the sewing instructions in patterns, but once he understands a

term, he sews pieces with very little struggle.  He has undertaken some very

ambitious projects that Joanie said she would never try.  He even made his

own bowtie and engineered a top hat with Mickey Mouse ears that are inter-

changeable for whatever event comes along.

It looks like there might have been a break time for making snowflakes with the goddaughter.
Have you ever tried to convince a man that all seams need to be pressed open as you’re working?  He finally saw why and how much better the finished product looks when you do.
Not only was this Ray’s first project, but he chose to do a jacket with tails!  And then, part of the jacket was faux leather, so it made it even harder to sew!  But he did an amazing job.  We made the shoulder piece detachable so that he can use the coat for other occasions.  He even topstitched all the edges, so the coat looks very professional.
And here is the final result.  We think he looks absolutely amazing in this first sewing project.
There are always sewing projects in the works.
He did so well with the coat, he decided to learn more.  His next project was a vest.  And of course with a new pattern came learning more sewing terms.  He learned about welt pockets, clipping corners, basting, and understitching.  He made his own choices for material and matched his stripes very carefully.  He even learned how to apply a collar and make buttonholes.
Next was another vest, but this one he designed himself.  He saw a unique closure on a vest in the movie The Time Machine, and he decided he wanted one like it.  So he worked with the pattern until he got the style to look like what he had in mind.  He’s very adventurous with his sewing designs.
And when you can’t find a skinny bowtie to match the look you want, just learn to make your own.  We didn’t bother to buy a pattern, so he designed his own.  It took a couple modifications from the first design, but the final result worked out beautifully.
Joanie was not without sewing projects of her own.  We bought some pre-owned hats online and found that they were not in exactly the best condition ever.  So we decided to re-cover one of them to use with one of her outfits.  He had to make a pattern to fit the hat, then cut and sewed it together and covered to hat to make it a hat to work with one of her theme clothing outfits.
When you can’t find a ready made dress that matches the era that you want to show for an event, the next best thing is to find a pattern that comes close, modify it and make it into the dress of your dreams.  When I first started working on this, the pattern had terms in it that I had never heard of before, but I finally figured out that the instructions were written for someone who was using very sheer material that needed to be lined and had another inner lining.  Since I had heavy material, I could skip a lot of the instructions, and went from about 35 pattern pieces to 18.  It was still a kind of involved pattern, but went well once I got over the fear and got started.  I found wonderful wide lace online and used it on the yoke and around the bottom of the sleeves.  The seller even included some bonus laces for me, which was terrific.  I have enough to work on one of my next projects.
Working on the details.  Every well-dressed suffragette from 1916 needs to have a sash expressing her cause and spats that match her dress.  I used a ruffle along the edge of the closing on my spats to add a little extra pizazz. Next came a matching hat.
As you can see, the ideas for the hat kept evolving.  I never would have dreamed that I would some day make a hat completely from scratch, but we loved how it turned out.  And it matched the dress so well because it was made from the same material.  To finish it, I added a long ribbon to tie under the chin in case the wind came up, and had two large ostrich feathers to really make it fancy.
And here is the final results of both Ray’s vest project and my dress and hat.  If you look closely you can see the dark ostrich plumes at the top of my hat, and the unique closing on Ray’s vest.  Didn’t we make a handsome couple?
Of course, if you can’t find a parasol that has the handle and the look that you want, you have to improvise and cover an old umbrella you found at the thrift store.  We love how it turned out.  I had already purchased a different one, but added lace onto it to make it look a little fancier for my outfit.  So I had two with me during the Dapper Day festivities and switched back and forth depending on the look I wanted.
I had to use one of the panels from the old umbrella to make a pattern for the new cover.  We decided we didn’t like the unfinished look of the material on the inside of the umbrella, so I lined it with muslin to make it looked finished inside and out.  I hand sewed all of the lace trim on it.  I think you might agree, it looks really good now that it is finished.
And then Ray decided he needs a top hat with Mickey ears.  Why buy one when you can make your own with VERY large ears?  Again, his engineering skills came into play, but  now he has a hat where we can change the color or print on the ears to match the outfit he is wearing.
© Heavenly Castles  1999 - 2017
Sometimes it takes some improvising to do the construction needed to make a look work.  In this case, some jar lids became the base for the Mickey ears, and they had to be attached to the hat with nuts and bolts to make them secure.
This was the first sewing project that Ray did.  He wanted an outfit for the Darlin’s Steampunk event, so he chose a jacket pattern that had tails and a large shoulder piece.  We made the shoulder piece and part of the collar out of faux leather, so the sewing process was even more difficult.

Sewing

Sewing is one of those hobbies that Joanie has

done most of her life.  When she was young, her

mother sewed a lot of h clothes, but as she got

older she began sewing for herself.  By the time

she was in high school she sewed most of the

clothes she wore.  She sewed a lot of her clothes

for a good part of her adult life, but gradually

started sewing less and buying more.  However,

since we have become involved with dressing in

themed clothing, she started sewing again more

regularly.  Then Ray decided that he wanted to

learn how to sew some of his own costume

pieces, so she has taught him to sew, and he

does a wonderful job.  He has a little trouble un-

derstanding the terminology for some of the

sewing instructions in patterns, but once he un-

derstands a term, he sews pieces with very little

struggle.  He has undertaken some very ambi-

tious projects that Joanie said she would never

try.  He even made his own bowtie and engi-

neered a top hat with Mickey Mouse ears that

are interchangeable for whatever event comes

along.

It looks like there might have been a break time for making snowflakes with the goddaughter.
Have you ever tried to convince a man that all seams need to be pressed open as you’re working?  He finally saw why and how much better the finished product looks when you do.
Not only was this Ray’s first project, but he chose to do a jacket with tails!  And then, part of the jacket was faux leather, so it made it even harder to sew!  But he did an amazing job.  We made the shoulder piece detachable so that he can use the coat for other occasions.  He even topstitched all the edges, so the coat looks very professional.
And here is the final result.  We think he looks absolutely amazing in this first sewing project.
There are always sewing projects in the works.
He did so well with the coat, he decided to learn more.  His next project was a vest.  And of course with a new pattern came learning more sewing terms.  He learned about welt pockets, clipping corners, basting, and understitching.  He made his own choices for material and matched his stripes very carefully.  He even learned how to apply a collar and make buttonholes.
Next was another vest, but this one he designed himself.  He saw a unique closure on a vest in the movie The Time Machine, and he decided he wanted one like it.  So he worked with the pattern until he got the style to look like what he had in mind.  He’s very adventurous with his sewing designs.
And when you can’t find a skinny bowtie to match the look you want, just learn to make your own.  We didn’t bother to buy a pattern, so he designed his own.  It took a couple modifications from the first design, but the final result worked out beautifully.
Joanie was not without sewing projects of her own.  We bought some pre-owned hats online and found that they were not in exactly the best condition ever.  So we decided to re-cover one of them to use with one of her outfits.  He had to make a pattern to fit the hat, then cut and sewed it together and covered to hat to make it a hat to work with one of her theme clothing outfits.
When you can’t find a ready made dress that matches the era that you want to show for an event, the next best thing is to find a pattern that comes close, modify it and make it into the dress of your dreams.  When I first started working on this, the pattern had terms in it that I had never heard of before, but I finally figured out that the instructions were written for someone who was using very sheer material that needed to be lined and had another inner lining.  Since I had heavy material, I could skip a lot of the instructions, and went from about 35 pattern pieces to 18.  It was still a kind of involved pattern, but went well once I got over the fear and got started.  I found wonderful wide lace online and used it on the yoke and around the bottom of the sleeves.  The seller even included some bonus laces for me, which was terrific.  I have enough to work on one of my next projects.
Working on the details.  Every well-dressed suffragette from 1916 needs to have a sash expressing her cause and spats that match her dress.  I used a ruffle along the edge of the closing on my spats to add a little extra pizazz. Next came a matching hat.
As you can see, the ideas for the hat kept evolving.  I never would have dreamed that I would some day make a hat completely from scratch, but we loved how it turned out.  And it matched the dress so well because it was made from the same material.  To finish it, I added a long ribbon to tie under the chin in case the wind came up, and had two large ostrich feathers to really make it fancy.
And here is the final results of both Ray’s vest project and my dress and hat.  If you look closely you can see the dark ostrich plumes at the top of my hat, and the unique closing on Ray’s vest.  Didn’t we make a handsome couple?
Of course, if you can’t find a parasol that has the handle and the look that you want, you have to improvise and cover an old umbrella you found at the thrift store.  We love how it turned out.  I had already purchased a different one, but added lace onto it to make it look a little fancier for my outfit.  So I had two with me during the Dapper Day festivities and switched back and forth depending on the look I wanted.
I had to use one of the panels from the old umbrella to make a pattern for the new cover.  We decided we didn’t like the unfinished look of the material on the inside of the umbrella, so I lined it with muslin to make it looked finished inside and out.  I hand sewed all of the lace trim on it.  I think you might agree, it looks really good now that it is finished.
© Heavenly Castles  1999 - 2017
This was the first sewing project that Ray did.  He wanted an outfit for the Darlin’s Steampunk event, so he chose a jacket pattern that had tails and a large shoulder piece.  We made the shoulder piece and part of the collar out of faux leather, so the sewing process was even more difficult.

Sewing