Queen Elizabeth I

Over the last couple of years I have had the honor of creating a reproduction Queen Elizabeth I gown for a private client. I can honestly say it has been made with blood, sweat, and probably tears (may have blocked that bit out. haha.) I worked on it off and on in between other projects and goings-on at my shop. The client has been doing presentations at the local high school as her royal highness, and we have been adding trims and bits and baubles along the way. I only have two pieces left to make to complete the ensemble.

  1. Standing Ruff (There’s one on there now, but it is not standing properly. It is missing a supportesse.) I will be using this pattern that I found on Etsy.
  2. Whisk. This is the part I am having a very difficult time researching. I’m not even 100% positive that’s what it’s called. I am talking about the piece above her shoulders in back that is shaped like the top of a heart, with a grid-like pattern.

My go-to image of reference for the gown has been The Ditchley Portrait. (See below.)

NPG 2561; Queen Elizabeth I ('The Ditchley portrait') by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger

Wish me luck as I try to complete Her Majesty!


Marfy 2014-2015

I just ordered the Marfy 2014/15 catalog!!! It comes with 20 free patterns, which was just too tempting to pass up, considering just one of their patterns can cost around $15.

I’ve never sewn anything from a Marfy pattern before, but I have at least heard of them. A friend mentioned them to me when I was CONSIDERING making my wedding dress. Very glad I didn’t go that route, as there were just too many other things going on. McCalls now sells Marfy patterns through their website here.

After reading their description, I have decided that Marfy patterns are the most hard-core of all the patterns. They are designed by hand in Italy, are pre-cut with no seam allowances, and do not include a pattern layout or instructions. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!! I can’t wait to try one out!

Here are the free patterns that will be included with my catalog purchase. Which one would you try first?

marfy 1 marfy 2 marfy 3


Happy Sewing!


Long time, no see

Hey guys! Sorry it has been so long!!!!! Lots of crazy things have been happening. I hate that I left you hanging with the Dazzling Dozen, but don’t worry -it’s still gonna happen! Here’s an update of things you missed:

Mid-October: Accepted a gig as Costume Coordinator for A Christmas Carol (4th year running on this show, and I always forget how HUGE it is! My hubby jokes that it’s like having a baby, your memory just wipes out how painful it was. Not that I’ve ever had a baby, but I digress…)

November: A Christmas Carol started to consume my entire life, but somewhere in there I found time to sign a lease on some office space for, GASP!  A SHOP!!! I HAVE A SHOP! A PHYSICAL SHOP!!! WHERE I CAN SEW OUTSIDE MY HOUSE AND PEOPLE CAN STOP BY AND JUNK!!!

Side Note: You never know how much sewing crap you have until you have to move and organize it into a new space (which although the shop is in decent shape now, is still an ongoing process.)

December: I don’t think I have to explain this time-suck to anyone who celebrates Christmas. My contract for Christmas Carol ended mid-December, and it wasn’t until this time that I could really even think about Christmas. I think I had 4 out of 22 gifts purchased at this point, so as you can guess the rest of December went by in a blur.

January: Have managed to get the shop to a state that makes it hospitable to guests, although it could still use some work. My shop is in the upstairs of a building in a historical small downtown area, and it has been fun introducing myself to other shop owners on the street. I had a delightful surprise of finding a fabric store (yeah, don’t know how I missed that before moving in) on the street on my birthday. The very next day she sent over someone to me from a theatre who needed a bullet bra. Yay! Local business! So here’s hoping I have started the ball rolling enough that I can make my rent payment. Anybody need any custom clothing?

Of course, slideshow tour:

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TSW Challenge – 24 Days Left

In the words of the great Bart Simspon, “Hay caramba!” I finally found the circuit printed fabric. After checking all THIRTEEN (yes, I counted) boxes of my fabric stash, it was in the bottom of the very last one. Figures, right? Well I took the circuit fabric along with the denim fabric outside into the daylight to see how the colors looked. So the red denim I mentioned earlier…..definitely PINK! So why did I think it was red? Well I must admit the light was out in my lamp, I have since replaced it, but I should have known better than to be judging color in dim lighting. The denim might actually be close to the Vivacious. See photo:

photo (9)

So, I decided I still want to use the circuit fabric, but will NOT be making a jacket. It may have been biting off more than I can chew for my first challenge ever anyway. The jacket I had in mind was very modern, so my first rummage through, I only looked at my modern patterns for the dress I wanted to make. This was also in part because I didn’t think I would feel like trying to size up the itty bitty vintage patterns.  I decided to sift through all of my dress patterns, (including the vintage ones) before I fully committed to the dress from my previous post.  I found a lovely one from the 1960s that I think will look great. 1962 to be exact. McCall’s 6324. I have decided that this one is absolutely the one I want to do for the challenge. I already found some white buttons while I was at Jo-Ann the other day, and I think they will be perfect.

photo (10)

I’m thinking that I might just recreate this pattern using my pattern software, instead of trying to size up this vintage pattern to a plus size for myself. We’ll see. Circuit fabric is being pre-washed right now!


That’s what every Etsy seller dreams of saying one day. You know, the thing is, I really did like my day job. I did not work in a cubicle. I did not have mean, conformist coworkers.  For the most part I got to make my own hours, and I actually enjoyed what I did. So why would I quit, you might ask. Well, I was the Costume Shop Manager, and as nice as it was to have that title and power, after awhile you just feel “stuck”. There’s nowhere to go to after that except somewhere else. Or maybe it’s just my entrepreneurial spirit being set free.  Anyway, I have always been proud of my overactive imagination, and I feel like I have millions of ideas floating around in my head, of things to make, how to show off my skills, and new things to try – and now I have time to do them! But first, I gotta make some dough. Who is ready for their custom-made Halloween costume? Email me at stinigurl@gmail.com.