Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Pause on this Blog (See Wordpress Instead)

I'm having some technical difficulties with blogger, so I may not be able to post here regularly.

However, my posts can also been seen on Wordpress at Hopefully interested readers can still follow over there. Apologies for the inconvenience!

Other places you can find me:

Liebster Blog Award


1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Thank you to Fashion Through History! She has beautiful work from a variety of eras; check her blog out!

2. Nominate 10 other bloggers, and notify them of their award.
I thought I would highlight some folks who I have been lucky enough to meet in my costuming travels around Boston and Washington DC. Both areas are home to a variety of talented costumers. We all know the great blogs/websites that paved the way for sharing costuming on the internet, sites by folks like Maggie of Costumers Guide and Jenny Rose of Jenny La Fleur. Here are some others whose work I have also admired:

Isabella: in addition to fun posts about sewing, she also talks about her adventures in cooking and baking. She is a research fiend, able to dig up lots of interesting tidbits on the internet.
Learning to Costume: Judy is a costumer who is a more recent convert to historical stuff, but she is learning by leaps and bounds. And she is open to tackling many different eras.
A Dedicated Follower of Fashion: Amanda is a really creative seamstress, who makes beautiful, often hand-sewn, garments. I especially love her 18th c and regency work.
Sew Loud: Not only does Robin make wonderful outfits (including menswear for her husband!), she is also just a ton of fun to hang out with.
Madame Modiste: Kat makes AMAZING bustle-era outfits. And then proceeds to style them with hair and accessories to make them even more impressive. In more recent years she has branched out into regency and 18th c to great success.
Dames A La Mode: I met Taylor back when we both lived in the Boston suburbs, and I was very impressed with her beautiful 18th c work. Happily, she moved down to the DC area about the same time as I did! Her jewelry is to die for.
Sarah(lizzi): Sarah is the most meticulous hand sewer that I have ever met. Hands down. Her hand sewn garments and accessories are so perfect!
The Mantua Maker at Midnight: Carrie makes gorgeous and highly researched 18th c and early 19th c clothing, along with other eras. Her tutorials on 18th c techniques are very helpful!
A Fractured Fairytale: Aubry's francaise gowns are some of my favorites of that style. They are always so well fitted, use gorgeous fabric, and are perfectly accessorized. Plus the victorian gown she made for costume con a couple years ago was equally stupendous.
Historically Dressed: Jenni and her awesome website was the one who introduced me to historic costume. My life has never been the same!

3. Come up with 10 questions you want your nominees to answer.
I don't know if I can come up with 10 questions...but I'd like to know the story behind your favorite garment that you've made. What did you make it for? What inspirations did you use? What did you learn in making it? Would you make it again?

4. And lastly: Answer the questions you received from the one who nominated you.

1.When and how did you get into sewing?
I wanted to make a Halloween costume in order to dress up as Lizzie Bennet back in 2006. I had bought a sewing machine a while before then, but I had barely even touched it!

2.What was your very first garment (historical or other)? And what did you learn from it?

My first garment was the aforementioned Lizzie Bennet costume. Above is a bad picture of it. It was a simple regency-style gown made using the Sense and Sensibility regency pattern. I had no idea what I was doing, but I did end up with something that was wearable. I learned a lot about the basics (cutting, reading a pattern, the controls on my machine, etc). Then I immediately started on another regency dress, and the rest is history....

3.Do you have a dream project? And what it is? (Picture?)
Depends on what day you ask me! Lately I've been thinking more of the practical, event-driven projects. But I have also been daydreaming about making a long-sleeved 1790s outfit. With a huge fichu:
Painting by Earl Right

4.Which of your costumes are your favorite and why? (Picture?)
Again, it depends on when you ask me. Thinking back, I'd have to say a simple 1840s dress that I made a couple years ago. I found the shape flattering, and it was fun to wear.
1840s Dress

5.What will be your next big project?
I'm in the middle of a c. 1910 day dress, but I would not call that "big." It's a pretty simple outfit. This summer I may switch gears to a comic book costume. I am hoping to make something new for Baltimore Comic-Con.

6.What part of costuming do you enjoy the most (the planing, patternmaking, sewing, details etc)?
I'd say it's a tie between the planning phase and the hand sewing phase (particularly when I am sewing cotton). I do not like lots of machine work.

7.And what part would you rather not do?
Cutting! I am always afraid I'm going to mess something up (and I frequently do something like cut out two left sleeves instead of a right and a left).

8.Do you have a costuming role model or muse (historical, fellow blogger or other)?
I find lots of bloggers inspirational, and I feel blessed to live in an area with many other active historical costumers and cosplayers. The ones I nominated above are a small sample, but there are really too many to mention! The costuming community is amazing.

9.What's the reason you decided to start your costuming blog?
I started out in order to meet folks online, and later in order to have a record of what I had done. It's nice to be able to look back and see the progression over the years.

10.What is your best advice for anyone wanting to get into historical costuming?
Just go for it! Make what you like! Pick an era that you've always been curious about and start researching. You'll be hooked before you know it.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Shop Update

Small shop update. I found these little coral teardrop beads that were just asking to be made into earrings. Also a couple necklaces are back in stock.

Earrings by In the Long Run Designs

Friday, March 21, 2014

Finished Waistcoat

I have completed a 1770s waistcoat for Mike. After not making Mike any new historical clothes for three years, suddenly I have made him two waistcoats and one coat in the last six months. I guess this is my time to catch up.

I used some leftover navy silk taffeta for the front and linen for the back and lining. I started with Butterick 3072 for the basic shape, then modified it to more closely follow waistcoat number 17 in Fitting and Proper by Sharon Ann Burnston. I also looked at the c1765-1790 suit in Costume Close Up, which coincidently is also numbered 17. I put in functioning pockets, as the Butterick pattern only had fake pocket flaps.

I am happy to have this done, as Mike had no pre-1780 waistcoats before now!

Blue Waistcoat

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

French Empire Style Coral Necklace

Recently a costumer contacted me with a really interesting jewelry commission. She was wondering if it would be possible for me to reproduce a necklace that Isabella Rossellini wears in the miniseries Napoleon (2002). She provided me with a screenshot, and I got to work figuring out how to construct the necklace given the materials I could source.

I am very happy with the result! I was able to make the focal coral components by attaching beads strung onto headpins to metal cabochon settings using epoxy clay. Then I covered the clay with a coral colored glass cabochon. It was neat figuring out how to make my own custom components.

Regency Coral Necklace

Regency Coral Necklace

Regency Coral Necklace

Regency Coral Necklace

Regency Coral Necklace

Monday, March 17, 2014

1910 Princess Line Dress

For years now, buried somewhere on my to-do list, has been a 1910s dress based on an outfit that Rebecca Pidgeon wears in The Winslow Boy (1999). I found a blog post I wrote about it back in 2010, so it has been quite a while that I've been thinking about this. Well, to celebrate the Downton Abbey Costume exhibit happening at Winterthur this year, I figured it was time to actually make this.

Inspiration image:

After staring at the inspiration costume, I realized that maybe that much gathered fabric right at my waist might not be a good idea. I've tried that look before, and it did not end well. So I looked around for an alternative design that would give a similar feel but eliminated that gathering. I hit upon a dress from Past Patterns, which is a copy of an original 1910 Butterick Pattern.

Here is my mockup. There will be a long pleated flounce that extends down to at least ankles, but I did not bother including that on the mockup.
1910 Dress Mockup

1910 Dress Mockup

1910 Dress Mockup

I am also taking inspiration from a couple other sources. This is a page from The Great War: Styles & Patterns of the 1910s by R. L. Shep:
1910s Striped Dress

This is from the Kyoto Costume Institute Fashion book:
1910s Striped Dress

And this is a garment I saw at the Museum of London (more info here):
Museum of London: 1910 Wedding Dress

My planned fabric is a blue striped cotton:
1910s Striped Dress

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Continued Adventures in Jewelry

A few more things on Etsy:

In the Long Run Designs

In the Long Run Designs

In the Long Run Designs

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

Thank you Judy for organizing another amazing installment of the Annual Francaise Dinner. It was so much fun, and there were more than two dozen folks in attendance! The beautiful costumes were all very impressive. Plus I really enjoyed hanging out with so many costumers, both from the Philadelphia/Washington DC area and beyond.

I am quite happy with my green francaise gown. It was comfortable and fun to wear. On my next one, I should probably take a little width out of the front bodice pieces, but it would be a small adjustment.

Francaise Dinner 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

All of my photos are here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

New Necklaces

I worked on some more complicated styles this past weekend. The math involved in getting the proportions right sometimes made my head hurt!

This one is mostly inspired by this c. 1810 necklace in the V&A here.
In the Long Run Designs

And this one is another version of the necklace I made a couple weeks ago for myself, based on this 1810s painting here.
In the Long Run Designs

These are now listed at

Robin's Costume Yard Sale

A friend of mine is selling off some of her costume pieces in order to raise money to attend a costume event in March. She has some great stuff listed, check it out here. There are both women's and men's clothes on offer.