Friday, 2 May 2014

Liebster Blog Award

Nora from The Shadow of My Hand, and Crystal from Adventures in Bias Tape have both nominated me for the Leibser Blog Award. Many thanks to both of you!
I did not know what the word "liebster" meant, so I looked it up and found that it means "beloved person" in German. What a kind award.

Upon receiving this award you must:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
2. Nominate other blogs, preferably ones with less than 200 followers.
3. Answer the questions asked by the one(s) who gave you the award.
4. Make a list of questions for the other nominees to answer.

Thank you Crystal and Nora!

Hmm, other blogs to nominate. I don't read a huge number of blogs, so I had a bit of trouble finding ones with less than 200 followers that I read regularly.

1. Basically Creative Me. Adi is the only other teenager I have found in the Costume Blogging world. The 1860's things she has been making are lovely! And I am fascinated by the metalworking.

2. The Laced Angel. Such marvellous corsets. And well fitted bodices too. Her lattice dress is just amazing!

3. Mistress of Disguise. So many different costumes! Historical ones, Star Trek ones, anime ones. All of them are awesome.

Is 3 enough? Yes, three is fine. Now on to the questions.

Nora's questions:

1. Do you have a favourite historical period?
I don't like having to pick favourites, but if I were to choose a favourite decade it would be the 1780's.

2. How, when and why did you start costuming?
Somehow the thought entered my head that 18th century men's coats were utterly fabulous(which they are) and that I had to find pictures of them. My google searches brought me to American Duchess and her commissioned velvet suit, which led me to many more costuming blogs. This was in 2010. I learned to sew about a year later.

3.What is your favourite part about costuming?
All the planning and sketching. I love visualizing the entire project and making loads of little diagrams showing how it all fits together, which is why I have started many more projects than I have finished.

4. And the least favourite part?
Not finishing things, and getting mad at myself for not finishing them, and then starting more new projects anyway. I also hate sewing muslin mockups. But I always sew them because I hate ill-fitting garments more.

5. Which do you like better, sewing by hand or using the sewing machine?
Hand sewing!

6. When it comes to sewing and costuming, are you a planner or do you just dive in and make it up as you go?
A planner, see #3.

7. What inspires your sewing projects?
Paintings, fashion plates, extant garments, other costumers who have made things that I am jealous of.

8. Do you have costuming idols?
Yes. Coture Mayah and Before the Automobile. They are amazing.

9. If you had an unlimited budget and all the time in the world, what would you sew?
Ooooh, I like this question!
I would sew everything Lestat wore in Interview with the Vampire.
 And then I would sew everything Armand wore.
And I've always wanted to make a white tie sort of outfit, like the one Bela wore. Big swooshy cape included.
Bela Lugosi as Dracula, c. 1931. (source)
There are some pieces from The Count of Monte Cristo that I'd like to copy too. Prosecutor Villefort's wardrobe in particular. He had a fabulous black & silver brocade waistcoat in one scene, and a deep plum- coloured coat. They were gorgeous.
This picture doesn't properly show the fabulousness of his costumes, but it was the only one I could find.
I would also make this bluejay coat that I designed a few months ago. I actually have all the necessary fabrics in my stash, so I might end up making it, though it's not particularly high on the list of priorities.
I would make a great deal of late 18th century mourning things.
Manner of wearing informal mourning, Galerie des Modes, 1781. (source)
All these things are everyday clothes, not costumes. I haven't been focusing much on costumes lately.

Since I'm talking about what I want my own wardrobe to be, I feel like I should include this picture, because it sums up a lot of my style goals:
Dave Vanian, mid 1980's. (source)
 I would also like to learn new techniques, like chenille embroidery.
Detail of chenille embroidered satin waistcoat front, mid 18th century. (source)
And making nanduti or tenerife lace. Is this not the most fantastic handkerchief you've ever seen?
Paraguayan lace handkerchief, 19th century. (source)

10. Which of your projects/costumes are your favourites and why?
Since I've only finished one complete costume, I have to say that my drawstring jacket ensemble is my favourite. I'm also quite happy with my blue and purple mitts.
But my favourite project is actually the one I haven't made yet, because when I'm picturing it in my head it's perfect. Once the project is actually made it has mistakes in it.

Crystal's questions:

1. Tell me about your first costume in all it's awesome and potentially awful detail :D Share a picture if you have one/want to! 
My first ever costume was a Mrs. Lovett costume that I wore on halloween in 2010. I was 15 and hadn't actually learned how to sew. I bought a $4.00 dress from a thrift store and made some very crappy alterations to it. I have since torn it apart, because the alterations were truly horrific in their crappiness.
That's me on the left.

2. How would you describe your sewing "style"? (For example, I'm a night-owl deadline-pusher.) 
I am a procrastinating starter-of-many-projects and finisher-of-few. I am also a night-owl.

3. How about your sewing companions of the furry variety? If you don't have pets, a non-essential 
object you just can't be without. (I'm trying to kick my slurpee habit...) Share a picture! 
Alas, I have no furry companions. My parents are allergic to cats. As for non-essential objects, I like to have tea.
My tea infuser. It had a gingerbread man on it, but I replaced it with a small plastic skull.
4. Do you have a sewing "ritual"? What is it? (I like to watch movies! And by watch, I mean "listen to") 
I like to listen to music, or CBC radio. I absolutely cannot work on things while watching movies. If I'm watching something, it gets my undivided attention.

5. How about a sewing "outfit"? (I have a "Serious Dress" that gets busted out when it's time to crunch 
that deadline!) 
Nope, I don't have one of those. I don't care what I'm wearing while I sew, as long as it's comfortable.

6. How does your family/friends take your sewing? 
They are very supportive and braggy about it.

7. I'm sure you get a ton of compliments when you're out and about in costume - share your favourite :)
Any compliment where the person doesn't screw up the terminology is nice. 

8. How far have you travelled for a costumed event? OR - how far would you be willing to travel for a costumed event? 
I have never actually been to a costumed event, unless you count Halloween at my college last year. I'm not sure I can answer the "how far would you be willing to travel" part either, since I live with my parents and am not in control of any travel things.

9. If you had any advice for a newbie, what would it be? 
Don't be afraid to cut your fabric up and sew with it. It is foolish to not sew with your fabric because you are waiting until you have more experience. How are you going to gain experience if you don't sew things? Yes, you should wait until later to use the super expensive materials, but don't limit yourself to synthetic crap.
Also, don't avoid ironing. Ever. And get yourself a lint brush. The fuzzy red ones with the black handles are good.

10. How has historical costuming changed your life?
Enormously so. If I hadn't discovered costuming blogs and learned how to sew, I wouldn't be in first year fashion at college. It was through sewing blogs that I discovered Gothic Charm School, which has also had a huge positive impact on my life.
I don't know who I would be or what I'd be doing now if I hadn't discovered historical costuming.

And now, my questions for you to answer:

1. What first got you interested in costuming?
2. How old were you when you began sewing? How long ago was that?
4. Do you have any bad sewing habits? If so, what are they?
5. Name one piece of sewing related equipment that you wish you owned.
6. What is your favourite thing about costuming?
7. Which part of costuming do you most dread?
8. Do you sew many everyday garments, or do you only do costumes?
9. How has costuming affected your life?
10. If you had unlimited time and money, what would you sew?

I do apologize for neglecting this blog for the past month. Things have been pretty busy, what with the fashion show and assessment week and catching a terrible cold. I should also apologize to Cait, who gave me a blog award ages ago and I never made a post on it.
I promise I will return to regular posting!


  1. I love your Bluejay design. Very creative...

  2. I hope you make that blue jay coat sometime!

    1. I'm sure I will. Someone once gave me 10 meters of lovely blue silk (the stuff that I lined the flaps of my mitts with) and some of it is bound to end up as a bluejay coat someday.
      I'd also make white breeches and a pale grey waistcoat to go with it, so that there would be an entire bluejay suit.

  3. I'm going to have a look at the blogs you mentioned - I haven't heard of them before. I like the one focusing on corsets. I am such a fat girl that it is nice to see larger garments. Also, it is nice that you have been recognised. Natalie

    1. Yay! I'm glad to have introduced new blogs to you, because that was the point of the award!

  4. I'm a teenager in the costume sewing+blogging world! (On the cusp, though.... I'm 19)
    Also, I really love that blue jay design you have there, and now I really want to make some fabulous dress based on a blue jay! I love birds and when I was younger I had a feather collection, and the most blessed day was when I found a blue jay's feather on the ground. I still have it! :) How lucky of you to have been gifted yards of blue silk!

    1. I'm 19 too. And thank you! Bluejays are utterly fabulous birds. I'm sure a bluejay dress would look great!