Thursday, August 28, 2008


This was a very difficult layout to do. There was soooo much more that could have been said. Like how it breaks my heart when Tom talks about not knowing how much longer his mom will be alive. Or how she doesn't know who my kids are anymore. I guess the bright side is that she is nice to Kacie now because she doesn't remember that she has disabilites so she seems to have forgotten that she always treated her differently from her other grandchildren and kept her distance from her. I never went through this with my parents. My dad died of a terminal illness when he was was 26 (and I was 3) and my mother was killed in an auto accident at 50. And Tom's dad died unexpectedly following surgery before we were married. So Marie is the only grandparent my children have.

Edited 9/8 to add that Marie was hospitalized on 8/29 with a pulmonary embolism. She was released on 9/2 into her daughter's care. She was allowed to assume that living with Janet is a temporary thing while she recovers. None of her 11 kids have had the guts to tell her that she cannot live alone anymore.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I was tagged!

I was tagged by the crazy sweet La!

The rules...
(1) The winner can put the "I :heart: your blog" logo on their blog. Isn't it cute! :)
(2) Link the person you received your award from.
(3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
(4) Put links of those on yours.
(5) Leave a message on the blogs of the girls or boys you’ve nominated.

And the nominees are...
Jules - I think I want to be her when I grow up!
Lisa- We lost touch for a while but I recently found her again via her wonderful photo blog.
Diana/Artemisia - Another "novice renaissance seamstress".
Lisa - This girl is always good for a smile!
Beffy - just cuz :)
Shannon - She is so freakin' creative and the bestest mommy!
Monica - The Head Freak
(I didn't realize it would be so hard to choose!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Forepart closeup

I did actually add pearls to the forepart but they don't show up in the full length photo. I plan to add them to the gold sleeves as well but there weren't enough of the correct size and color of glass pearls in stock when I made my purchase.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

MIRF 8/23/08

A couple of pics of me wearing the new dress with the gold accessories. Tom took these at the end of the day so they aren't the best. I lost the part that hung down fromm my girdle/belt and my forepart was hanging funny because the pins holding it in place had fallen out. I'll try to get some better pics tomorrow with the red accessories.

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Partlet

I decided that I wouldn't be a normal Renaissance Festival-goer (Now there's an oxymoron for you! LOL) if I wasn't sewing right up 'til the last minute so I decided to make myself another partlet. I thought about doing a high-necked smock but I'm not that much of a glutton for punishment! Anyway, I decided to give this one a box-pleated ruffle on the collar. The pleats came out perfectly on the first attempt but apparently I measured incorrectly somewhere because the collar ended up a half inch or so too short. I cut another collar and started over but the pleating came out uneven at the ends. At that point I didn't care anymore and just went with it.

I gave this one button and loop closures using pearls topped with a seed bead as the "buttons" and made thread loops. I think they came out pretty well for something I've never done before.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Finished Elizabethan!

Well, wearable anyway. We all know garb is never truely finished. LOL So yesterday I finished the trim on the skirt, redid the point of the bodice and boning, and bound the top of the red sleeves. I still need to buy the red patterned fabric for a forepart. I'm not toally in love with the stuff I found at Joann's so I'll probably try Field's before I make a decision. Today I made the gold forepart, caul, and sleeves. I've opted not to do tabs on the bodice waist but may very well change my mind after wearing it. And that embroidered gold fabric is just crying out for some pearls, isn't it?

Friday, August 15, 2008

(Almost) Done!

Technically the bodice is done and wearable but, as I was editing pics to post here, I see a couple of things that need to be tweaked. I spent all of Wednesday morning sewing on the hooks and eyes and, thankfully, the bodice closes without any gap so I won't need to do the stuffed tube thingies.

Yesterday I made the paned cap sleeves with the Margo Anderson pattern and instructions. I followed the advice to make one (actually two) strip then use the pattern pieces to cut them to length rather than sewing ad trimming each pane seperately and it worked well.

My poor little sewing machine wouldn't even stitch on the trim without making a mess so I knew there was no way it was going to sew the binding/cuffs on the sleeves through 10 or more layers. I sewed them by hand doing one last night and the second this morning while watching the Olympics.

I can see a couple of litle things I wish I would have done differently but overall I like how they turned out.

As for the tweaking- I cut the center front boning a smidge too long and it wants to work it's way up making the top line stick up in the center instead of being even all the way across. I've decided that I would prefer the botton center a bit less pointy so I am going to recut that and, in the process, I can cut down the boning and hope that takes care of the pointiness on the top edge.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Captain Cin and her cabin boy Tom.:D A guy in 'danes at the Muskegon Pirate Festival asked if he could take our picture and I said "Sure! Would you mind taking a couple with my camera, too?"

Purple is the chosen color for this month's photo challenge at ScrapFreak. I submitted this photo of the ring Tom bought for me when we went to Bristol against my purple and gold petticoat.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Progress so far

It's starting to look like something. Not finished, mind you, but far enough along to give you the idea.

I went shopping yesterday and found some inexpensive trim. Once I started playing around and pinning it on the skirt this is what I came up with.

I decided to remove one of the velvet bands. I didn't find forepart fabric yet. The red is just a piece of cotton I stuck in there for contrast.
I've got the bodice about half done. I cut the bodice, flatlined the pieces, and played around with trim placement yesterday. I spent all of today binding the edges, stitching down the trim, and stitching the three pieces (back & two front pieces) together all by hand.

I sewed on just a few pair of hooks and eyes so I could put in on Bertha. I'm afraid that even after I get all the hooks sewed on there will be a gap that will need to be filled with the stuffed tubes suggested in the Margo Anderson pattern instructions. Then I will move on to the tabs around the bottom and the paned upper sleeves. Good thing I have two weeks to get this done :D

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Blue & Red Elizabethan

I lied. I told myself that I wasn't going to make any more garb until after faire season was over and then it would be an Itailan gown made from the green wool. Well, all that changed when I saw this dress!

I just love the medium blue and red color combination. So I remembered that I do have the extra set of red silk sleeves that didn't fit the armholes of the medeival dress and that medium blue wool twill skirt banded in navt cotton velveteen.

I pulled the skirt out of storage, stitched the side opening closed, and split it up the front banding the edges with more of the velveteen.

I need to go shopping tomorrow and find some trim. I plan to run trim down the front on either side of the velveteen and around the bottom between the two bands of velveteen and possibly a second row below the wider band. (Depends on what I find and what the cost per yard is.) I also need to purchase some fabric for a forepart. I'm thinking that "silk" decorator fabric Hobby Lobby always seems to have with the multicolor embroidery. Since the skirt and bodice fabric are so plain I want something with a lot of texture. I have started the bodice. I am using my Margo Anderson pattern and am making a front closing bodice this time around. The one I made before still fits well so I went ahead and cut the lining of blue broadcloth and wil baste that together and double check the fit before cutting the blue wool. I'm using some ugly tan twill to interline the bodice front and have stitched in the boning channels. I'm using heavy-duty plastic duct ties for the boning.

I plan to use Margo's paned cap sleeves on this and rounded tabs on the bottom similar to the inspiration photo. I plan to have bands of the navy velveteen across the top front and down either side of the front opening which will close with hooks.Then I'll add whatever trim I buy to either side of that. I plan to do the sleeves with trim down the center of each pane and use the navy velveteen for the bottom band. I guess we will see if I can stick to the plan or if I change my mind ten times before the project is finished. LOL Oh, yeh, I forgot to mention that I made a red silk caul last light to wear with my navy velveteen Italian bonnet.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Gorgeous Garb Goodness!

Oh. My. Goodness. What can I say? My main reason for going to Bristol was to see the wonderful court clothing and I was not disappointed. :) So much inspiration! I keep reading that blue is a servant's color but I certainly saw a lot of my favorite blues. I just love the medium blue and red combination. (Hmm...I could tweak my blue skirt... add a blue bodice... use those extra red silk sleeves... make a red silk caul to wear with my blue velvet hat........) And someday I'll get Tom into a doublet and paned slops.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Bristol Renaissance Faire

Tom and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary by treating ourselves to a trip to the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin. We had a wonderful time and my only regret is that two days was not nearly enough time to take it all in! I can't wait to return next year! I took more than 300 photos. Here are 50 or so of the best. :)

Fae Folk

Lady Ettie

Barely Balanced

Q.E. & Robin Hood

The Swordsmen

The Queen's Feast (Sunday)

The Joust

The Barber-Surgeon

The effects of stepping into Lake Elizabeth?

Yes, I really was there. LOL

I took a gazillion pics of the clothing worn by the members of the court but I'll save those for another post. :)