Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pink Camo Cell Phone Pouch

You remember that camo bag that I made out of an old pair of BDUs? Well that was actually the second one that I made, for fall. The first one I made was actually this pink camo bag that I carried around all summer. I loved that pair of pants, but they didn't fit anymore so...anyhow, there was only a tiny bit of scrap left, plus the zipper, and I decided to turn it into a cellphone pouch, big enough to hold the massive EVO.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Upcycling BDUs

This is the story of a very sad pair of pants that no one loved anymore. The pants sat in a pile with other unwanted clothing for a very long time, wishing that it could become useful again, until one day...

I cut the pants apart into useful pieces...

...and sewed them back together. Clever huh? Actually I can't take all the credit. I used a pattern specifically designed for this purpose: Simplicity 2597 Accessories, Bags Go Green Collection

Monday, September 06, 2010

DarkThreads Designs: USN Camo Kilt

USN Camo Kilt USN Camo Kilt

Finished. This is what some call an "American"-style kilt, because it's not made of Tartan, but rather of a more utilitarian fabric, in this case USN digital camo twill. It features two attached, hanging cargo pockets, extra-wide belt loops, and a d-ring key keeper. The pleats are sewn in, so it's wash and wear. I'm happy with how it turned out. I just hope it fits the client.

Monday, July 05, 2010

My wishlist

I must say I really like the Reconstructing History pattern line. So far I've gotten a lot of use out of the ones I have. I think they are particularly good if you are going for historical accuracy and authenticity. As soon as I saw these, I thought "must have":

Pennsic Sewing

Well, I did get some sewing done. Made a gomlek (top) and salvar (bottom) for Stef for Pennsic out of linen that he picked out at Pennsic last year. I used pattern #405 - Ottoman Turkish Man.

I don't really need anything for myself, but I did already make some new harem pants. You can't have enough pants at Pennsic.

A friend of ours who wants to check out Pennsic this year (only for a day or two), is interested in the Greco-Roman look, so that should be easy to throw together. Otherwise, I would just point him toward Tigr's Toggs, which I highly recommend as comfortable and reasonably priced garb for Pennsic.

I have put aside the Star Wars Imperial Officer uniform for now, even though I have made some progress on it. I don't think we are going to DragonCon this year so I don't have an immediate place to wear it, anyway.

I'm getting a lot of requests for kilts made of camo fabric, and I might actually get paid, so I should put some effort into that.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Adventures at the Smithsonian this week

Looked at a lot of military uniforms in the military history section, and First Ladies gowns at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. I would have spent more time in there, but that exhibit is very popular and was very crowded, as you can imagine. My favorites were Martha Washington's 1780s gown, Dolly Madison's 1810s gown, Helen Taft's embroidered Chinese Robe and inaugural ball gown.

Also saw THE Star Spangled Banner - the original flag that inspired the words to the song. It's huge, kept in a dark room (for preservation purposes), and awe-inspiring. The flag-maker, Mary Pickersgill, was paid $405.90 - more than most people made in a year at the time - a good living for a seamstress. Good story on: How the Star-Spangled Banner was Made.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Knitting Scouts

Just stumbled upon this one: Knitting Scouts - a podcast about knitting.

"Wherein it is acknowledged that members are:
  • Not opposed to alcohol.
  • Into badges.
  • Mostly in agreement that there is no right way to knit.
  • Committed to diligent positive and accurate presentation of knitting and knitters, to editors, producers, directors, and those generally presumed to be part of "The Media" in an effort to close the gap of Public Knitting Literacy."
...and I will oblige by sharing the tale of how I earned the following badges:

The "Proselytize Knitting" Badge - I have a tendency to knit where ever I might have to kill some time, such as doctor's office waiting rooms, and I travel a lot for work, so you'll see me knitting at airports and on airplanes around the country. Some innocent bystander almost always asks me, "what are you making?" I answer politely; it's usually socks - my fave portable knitting project. Most people are hugely impressed.

The “MacGyver” Badge (Level Two) - I have indeed used knitting tools for purposes other than knitting. For example, I use my aluminum size 13 needle for bending wire into a coil for jewelry. :)

The "Knitting Whilst Under the Influence" Badge - Um...yeah. Of course! Knitting and beer just go together.

The "Knitting Got Me Through My Divorce" Badge - Self-explanatory.

There are some other good ones on there that I have yet to earn, so check them out.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

MIRV-mods to BDU jacket

I have many skills:-)

This is your standard move-pockets-around on a BDU jacket and add some hook and loop.

Before mods:

Pockets removed:

Hook and loop attached:

Pockets reattached: chest pockets moved to shoulders, lower pockets moved up to chest, pen pocket moved to sleeve.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Slight change in plan...

After looking at the Folkwear Countryside Frock Coat pattern:

I decided to "Frankenstein" it with the Belgian Military Chef Jacket to get the pattern for the Imperial Officer uniform. Specifically, I'm using the back, sleeve, and peplum pieces from the Frock Coat, and the collar and front pieces from the Chef Jacket, with a bunch of adjustments. A soon as I figure out how to use the drawing program, I'll post some illustrations...ok so this is really terrible. I think I need one of those pads with a stylus or something:
The red lined pieces are from the Belgian chef jacket, and green line is the frock coat. Blue line is my modification. Using sleeve and back pieces from the frock coat as is.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My sewing to do wish list

What to work on next? Well, I have most of the stuff to work on the Imperial Officer uniform for my 501st project. I'm a "cadet" in Garrison Carida. I just started drafting the pattern for the top, based on Folkwear's Belgian chef's jacket pattern.

I know I'll need to make a lot of adjustments, but I have to start somewhere.

I also picked up this 1879 Natural Form dress package (by Truly Victorian) from

I have been wanting to complete an outfit from that period for a long time, but so far I only have done bits and pieces. Need to really follow through this time, like I did for the 1780s thing...

But I also want to make Stef some new garb for Pennsic, and he expressed interest in being a "pirate" and wearing what he lovingly calls "Haji man-jammies" - in other words, he wants to try some Middle-Eastern garb.

US milspec 1812 roundabout jacket...

Very bad camera-phone photo, but it's done! Lots of hand sewing went into this one. And that's my pillow under there, lol. I hope it fits!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Next Performance with Patricia Wake

Faith and the Muse
The Burning Path
Patricia Wake

$15 advance
$18 door
@Fate Lounge(1650 Smallman St.)

Friday, April 09, 2010

Status report: 1812 Roundabout Jacket

Almost done. Just one more sleeve to assemble and attach, and all the buttons to sew on. Did a lot of hand sewing on this one.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Current Sewing Project: US Army Roundabout, 1812

I'm working for my black powder/Rev. war reenactor friend again. He's been doing War of 1812 stuff lately, so this is an army jacket of that period, based on It only includes sizes 38-44, and I had to scale and adjust the pattern up for a size 54 - a non-trivial task, but my fitting skills just get better. I did a muslin fitting and cut out all the pieces, and so far have the welt pocket on the right front sewn. I'm working on it little by little, as I find the time. The design and construction of the back is not too different from the 1870s Robe Anglaise that I did last year.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Long layover blog... me the opty to try out new apps...lets see how this goes...

Sunday, January 10, 2010


We did a "test" photo shoot today with me in the corset, and I only really like one picture out of the lot.

...playing with different effects.

I think I'm going to make another corset, because this one will be impractical to wear by itself. I had modified this pattern for better coverage and support on the top, and don't know why I didn't include that modification this time, but I'll still wear this corset underneath stuff or with other layers.
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