Picking up the Pieces…

by Jennifer Rosbrugh on April 17, 2014

Wedding photo with grandma

Wedding photo with my grandma

It’s hard to think of sewing and write blog posts when a most beloved family member is taken to her deathbed. My paternal grandmother left us for her eternal heavenly home on April 10th.

For the past couple weeks I’ve taken a step back from the usual stresses of life. (Of course, the bills still need to be paid, arrangements made, and the dishes washed (do I really have to do that now??).

But then I did what comes naturally – I found myself back in the sewing room. And the projects have been started. Motivation comes from action. Life goes on. So here is what’s in the works as I pick up the pieces to move forward.

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When is Trim Applied to a Garment?

by Jennifer Rosbrugh on April 3, 2014

When is Trim Applied to a Garment? |

1883 antique skirt with trim tacked to the finished skirt base just below the waistband

Do you love trim and passementerie? But of course you do! It’s one of the delicious elements that draw us to 19th C. clothing. I mean, gored skirt panels are rather similar no matter what decade you’re studying, but the *trim* is really what sets styles apart.

When we are trying to reproduce historical fashions we start by breaking down our inspiration garments into various bits. This includes the trims.

Because sometimes the trim is simply slapped on (a shock, I know, for Victorian); others meticulously applied during construction. So how can you know when to sew on your trim and when to leave it for the end? Time for research!

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Victorian Corset Class Seat Giveaway April 2014

by Jennifer Rosbrugh on March 25, 2014

Celebrating 10,000 fans

We are approaching 10,000 fans on our Facebook page and we want to celebrate YOU!

In honor of this great milestone, we want to give away a valuable seat in our next online Victorian Corset Class! :-)

Congratulations to Julia Allison who won the spot in class!!!

You can read all about this popular online class on the class registration page. Seat is valued at $75.

The next session starts Tuesday, April 1, 2014 (no kidding!)

Giveaway time runs until Sunday, March 31, 2014 at 12:00 am PT. 

Giveaway is open to all interested students around the world. Void where prohibited. Read more info in the Terms & Conditions.

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A Breakdown of How to Make the 1872 Blue Velvet Dress

by Jennifer Rosbrugh on March 20, 2014

1872 The Blue Dress, Auguste Toulmouche | How to re-create it (blog)

1872 The Blue Dress, Auguste Toulmouche

Many of us, I think, use paintings, photographs and fashion plates as inspiration for our historical costumes. I mean, why not? They are beautiful and fully represent the time period of our choice.

So what happens when we approach the creation of a particularly (seemingly) difficult garment? It’s so easy to be trapped into inaction because we simply don’t know where to start.

I posted the above photo, The Blue Dress, 1872, by Auguste Toulmouche a few months ago and wanted to share how to break it down into workable parts and also offer a few pattern suggestions, per your requests.

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How to Sit in a Hoopskirt

March 13, 2014 Jen's Musings

Since I posted How to Sit in a Victorian Bustle, I’ve had quite a number of you pipe up that you wanted to see a video on how to sit in a hoopskirt. Well, my dear readers, you’ve asked for it and now it’s here! It’s not as complicated as you think, so enjoy this […]

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Finishing Your Victorian Skirts with a Hidden Placket Opening

March 6, 2014 Sewing Tips

Ever make a skirt where you sew up all the side seams – easy, right? – then you have to figure out what to do with the opening? (Hopefully you left an opening in one of the side seams. ) It’s not always as simple as folding the raw edges to the inside and stitching […]

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Life is Too Short to Quibble

February 27, 2014 Jen's Musings

Ever come across the term “for an elderly lady” when researching antique sewing patterns and designs? Yeah…. So what does THAT mean?? My mom is in her sixties. If you read about a 65 year-old woman in the news you might think that’s an elderly woman. But then I consider my 102 year-old living great-grandmother […]

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Costume College 2014 Membership Giveaway

February 19, 2014 Spreading the Joy

We’re really excited around here for our current giveaway!! Hope you are too because I want to give a special recipient a Costume College 2014 membership (up to $175 value) Yeah.. for real!  I want to give someone who otherwise may not be able to afford it the chance to mingle with 400 of the […]

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Quick Note & Pattern Ideas for an 1880s Winter Dress

February 13, 2014 Pattern Tips

Anyone know the stress of trying to get multiple projects done before the deadline?? That’s me this month. Busy, busy little bee. So for today, a quick, short post to answer a question that was asked yesterday on the Facebook page. Jacqui’s question: Hi Jennifer, do you know of a pattern that comes close to […]

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Waist Tape Wrangling, or the Unseen Bodice Support

February 6, 2014 Sewing Tips

The inside of antique bodices. If you sew historical costumes you know THAT is what you want when you research. How did they do it? Where and how is the boning put in? What is that underlining fabric? Any chance we get we study existing bodices from our favorite era. If we want to produce […]

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Using a Pizza to Help You Make Historical Costumes

January 30, 2014 Jen's Musings

So it’s a bit cheesy (sorry…) to compare pizza to sewing. I mean, how alike are they really? Not very much. The only thing I know of pizza being even remotely good for helping you sew is when you’re on a deadline sewing crunch and you order out. (Here’s hoping you keep it FAARRRR away […]

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Victorian Corset Workshop DVD Giveaway

January 22, 2014 Spreading the Joy

It’s Giveaway time!! My friends, we haven’t done a giveaway in a while and it’s time. You honor us by being part of our Joyful Community. So we want to honor you by giving you a chance to get something from us – for free. Simply by being who you are and loving historical costuming […]

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1905 Lemon Chiffon Dress

January 20, 2014 Jen's Costume Projects

We all have those time periods that call strongly to us. Over and over and over. The hats. The dresses. The undergarments. The jewelry…. Then you get an opportunity to make it. Not that you didn’t have one before. But it now takes center stage… The moment has arrived. You grasp it, taking it by […]

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Are You Wearing Your Chemise Wrong?

January 9, 2014 Jen's Musings

Are you? Is that even a question to discuss? Apparently it is. Who’s to say I’m wearing my underwear wrong? Or even if I’m wearing it right? This is such a personal question even for modern conversations, but how does it apply to those of us who make and dress in underwear from another time?

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