Archive | costuming RSS feed for this section

Cats in the Sewing Room

4 Jun
(Gabriel getting comfy on the cutting table)
A few minutes ago, I was pressing pieces of sleeves for my 1890s tea gown.
Virginia was dozing on the chair inches away from me. She didn’t react when I sprayed the bottle of spray starch. When I push the top button, it hisses a bit like a cat.
In contrast, Gabriel was sitting in the doorway and watching me the first time he heard the spray starch hiss, and he jumped and ran out of the room and down the stairs.
Gabriel soon returned, and while he walked into the room, the spray starch hissed again. Gabriel jumped, turned, and ran back down the stairs.
Virginia knows how to relax.


30 Mar

Last week, I had a dream in which I lived in my parents’ house and had my old bedroom and the house looked much like it did in real life. My bed was made and had rows and rows of stuffed toy animals at the head of the bed, as though I were a kid.

I had at least two windows, and I noticed floating through the bright blue sky outside… a log. It was a few feet long and almost a foot wide, and it was gliding through the sky during a heavy wind. It was surreal the way it floated, like stuff going by during the tornado scene in The Wizard of Oz (the film). As I watched, it passed the first window and went around, really close to the house, and it came through a window directly over my bed and landed on the bed. This was odd, because the head of the bed was against what in real life was an internal wall facing the hallway and hall closet.

I left the room (the door was in the same place) and went down the hallway and into the living room, where my parents were… and there may have been a little more, but that’s all I remember.


This morning, I woke from a vivid dream in which I was shopping at an antique store.

I was mesmerized by many antique dolls, mostly tiny porcelain antique dolls, 19th and maybe early 20th century. I especially remember one that was about two inches tall, jointed at hips and shoulders, and wearing a pale blue dress. I was picking out dolls I was thinking I’d probably buy and lined them up on a glass shelf… or on the floor in front of the glass display case and behind something larger, like a teddy bear or rocking horse.

There was a dollhouse, and I also found myself arranging dolls and miniatures inside the dollhouse. On an upper floor, I placed two little girl dolls that each held a violin and bow. I set them on little chairs and noticed that beyond them were a couple of adult dolls, perhaps larger than the scale of the dollhouse, sitting at … desks maybe. I found that it was awkward moving miniatures around with my fingers, and I managed to accidentally knock something down, maybe one of the violins. I thought that maybe I should arrange dollhouse miniatures with tweezers.

I’m not even sure if this was the same dream.

I was in a corner of the antique store where there were utility shelves and I was surrounded by old clothes. I got a fairly large, square box full of antique and more or less traditional Russian clothing.

At another point, I was in a smallish room and came across a bunch of Tibetan Buddhist traditional garb, including a red brocade robe, a robe that was predominantly yellow brocade but also included some other materials (but had sleeves, unlike a Tibetan panel coat), and there was one other traditional Tibetan robe—I forget the details of that one. I stood and slipped on the yellow brocade robe and was thinking I’d like to get all this Tibetan clothing and use the Folkwear pattern for the Tibetan chupa to make a burgundy chupa like those worn by monastics. I liked the idea of dressing like a Tibetan Buddhist nun and meditating in my meditation room… even though I wasn’t planning on becoming a nun.

While I was wearing the yellow brocade robe, a Tibetan man who worked at the store (possibly the owner) noticed and recommended hanging it up carefully, far apart from other garments. I thought about that, decided I’d better not put it in my bedroom closet, since it contains lots of clothing. I stood and turned a bit to look at the back of the garment and was dismayed to observe that some of the panels of this jacket/robe were made of fur—it looked like real off-white animal fur. But I was already so set on getting it, anyway, and I wasn’t up to changing my mind.

Time Travel Can Be Confusing

17 Feb

In the middle of January, it sank into my consciousness that this is the year 2018. It is already one hundred years since the year 1918. I could swear it was only yesterday when Prince Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, but here it is over a hundred years since then!

I Googled “end WWI” and learned that the end of World War I was November 11, 2018. I wonder if many people will comment on that in social media or if there’ll be an article or blog about it.


I have a Folkwear pattern for an Armistice blouse, in addition to numerous other 1910s-style clothing patterns, so hopefully I’ll have made at least one outfit from that era, including of course the Armistice blouse. I’ve been feeling like dressing like a suffragist, which is why I have these patterns (and fabric) accumulating of late, never mind that I have trouble completing projects and tend to procrastinate a great deal.