This is a photo diary of my costuming "travels"; where I've learned and struggled to make historical costumes for myself. They're not always pretty, but always fun. most of the time. And I want to share with others what I learn along the way. **You can find me on Facebook, or have my posts delivered to your email by signing up at the lower part of the right column.**

About Me

My photo
HI, my name is Val. I'm a member of Costumer's Guild West in Los Angeles, member & Past President of the San Diego Costume Guild, member of Orange County Costume Guild, a representative of the San Diego History Center, & an honorary member of SITU (Someplace in Time, Unlimited) in Seattle. This year I am the Dean of Costume College 2018. I make my own historical costumes but don't sell any unless I get tired of one.The eras I've made so far are 1770 up to 1918. My favorite is the 1880s bustle.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Lots of sewing, packing, and traveling going on

Tomorrow morning I'm flying up to Washington state for two weeks to visit family and am going to the Victorian Festival in Port Townsend with my Mom. We went to it a few years ago and I'd brought my first Dickens outfit, a skirt and cape made from Simplicity's 8910 way back in 2003 for her to wear. She had so much fun and has always been asking when we could do it again.
Last August while at Costume College, I met a couple ladies from SITU (Somewhere in Time Unlimited) a costume guild in Seattle, who asked if I'd ever been to the Festival. Then they started asking me to come with them if I was ever in WA during the Festival again, and be in the fashion show. That got me thinking about planning a trip up there for my birthday and around the same time as the Festival, which is March 23-25.
Planning ensued for my travel and for costumes to mail up to wear in the fashion show. Since I didn't have my original "Dickens" costume anymore, I also had to make a new one for Mom. Butterick had come out with their own version of the "Dickens" costume #5265, so I made that one for her out of a hunter green wool blend plaid that she could pile warm thermals under it.
I had a hard time deciding what and how many of my costumes to bring for the fashion show. Since I'm not familiar with it, and they didn't seem to have a plan for anything specific or a timeline, I first decided on only two, but later added a third as long as they gave me time to change. So my fashion line up will be my 1850s Bloomer gown re-creation, my 1885 Best Black Bustle, and my 1898 Belle Epoque gown.

Since the high temperatures will only be about 45d F (brrrrrr), I needed to figure out which one could be worn about town during the Festival that could have my warm thermals on underneath. I don't have any outer coats or wraps to wear over them, since it "never rains/snows or is cold" in So. CA. Well, the last two days proved that wrong. So I will have to bulk up under my costume and wear my shawl. My Bloomer gown seems the easiest to do this with. So if you're up there, look for me in my avocado green gown, or at the fashion show.
I'm also going the next day of the Festival to an afternoon tea at the Blue Gull Inn, and decided I wanted to wear something fancier, so for that I will wear my Best Black Bustle and just let my neck freeze with its square neck opening.
I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends there, and taking lots of photos.


  1. Everyone you encounter will be in for a treat, because your gowns are all gorgeous!

  2. Enjoy your travels! Your costumes give you a opportunity to meet new friends on your travels. They are beautiful. I will look forward to more photos and post.


I would love to hear if this was any help to you. Pretty please!