Jun 8, 2014

Liebster Award

Apologies! The lovely Nessa from SewingEmpire asked me these questions via the ‘Liebster Award’ months ago, but I have been too damn useless soo busy...

- What is your favorite historical period?

For sewing, Victorian, specifically the bustle era periods, but really anything between about late 1860s – to early 1890s.

- How long have you been sewing, and how did you get into it?

Just under 2 years. I have a background in jewellery and I came interested in making Steampunk accessories - goggles and rayguns - but forgot those entirely once I saw the bustles and hats people were wearing.
Vintage sewing machine in perfect condition I bought for $40
About a month after I attended my first Steampunk event – wearing a mish-mash of stuff I already owned – I stumbled across a near-perfect vintage sewing machine in the Salvation Army Op-shop for only $40. 

But things really kicked-off when I ran into a Dunedin group of ladies who sew Victorian and Edwardian clothes. 
Dunedin Victorian and Edwardian costumers group

 - Which historical person would you like to meet and why?

Jack the Ripper - from a safe distance, or protected by a shark cage, admittedly. It bugs me not knowing who he was.

- Do you have a favorite kind of fabric you enjoy working with?

I find free fabric is the best kind.

- What will be your next project?

I’m taking a detour from strictly historical and venturing into cosplay – gasp – in the form of Spanish Inquisition outfits, ah la Monty Python.
Spanish Inquisition costumes as per Monty Python.

- Which place, in space and/or time, would you love to travel to?

I recently saw an engraving of the first manned hot-air balloon flight across Paris, 1783. For me, it captured the thrill of the moment. People climbing onto their rooftops to witness the impossible made real! That’s what I’d go see if Time-machines ever get their act together.

First manned flight 1783
- Where do you wear your sewing creations? Are you a regular at historical events or do you sew it just for yourself?

Alas, historical events are few and far between where I am. Over in the town of Oamaru (an hours drive from where I am) there's one main Steampunk event, and one Victorian event each year, but I figure something has to turn up actually held here in Dunedin one day, so I might as well prepare. >>Speaking of, word has reached me of a 'Jane Austen' Ball planned for Dunedin in Spring/October

- Do you have a favorite clothing item, historical or modern?

In terms of a piece on general, I like pocket hoops/ paniers. I think they’re funny. [In case you haven't heard of paniers, they were worn tied on your hips, as pasrt of the underclothes of the 18th century, their purpose was to make the dress-skirt puff out]

Paniers/Pocket hoops I made using the Dreamstress' instructions

- What is your favorite book?

In terms of sewing, “Hecklinger’s ladies garments” by Charles Hecklinger. It’s circa the 1880s and has sewing patterns, tips on construction, how to make trims etc, and general fashion advice, it’s an awesome resource and available free through archive.org. Read my review of this book HERE

- What are your other hobbies?

Sewing and thrifting pretty much covers it, unless Pinterest counts. You’ll always find me there :)


  1. Thank you so much for all these wonderful answers. Panniers are funny indeed. As a kid I sometimes wondered how the ladies fit through all the doors with them. ;)
    And I had no idea you have only been sewing for such a short time. Your creations look so perfect. *hugs the fellow newbie*

  2. I'd love to see the Spanish Inquisition outfits!

    You make a good point about Jack the Ripper, it'd be fascinating to know who he was, as long as he couldn't get to you!

    It's a shame there aren't a lot of historical events or events where you can where historical costume!

    Thrifting is great, isn't it! Almost all my clothes are from thrift stores!

  3. You should get a Teaduelling club going down there! We are currently trying to get it to take off in Australia!

    An instructional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DViXEnsr58Y