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

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HI, my name is Val. I'm a member of Costumer's Guild West in Los Angeles, Dean Emeritus of 2018 Costume College; 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. 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.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Have You Heard of CADD? I have it.

If you’re a costumer, you probably are very familiar with CADD or are already a member of the club.
C.A.D.D. is Costume Attention Deficit Disorder.  The main requirement is you are easily distracted by pretty-shiny-lacy-costumes-fabrics-patterns. A side effect is probably whiplash.

If you're a regular follower of my blog you probably already know my costume interests vary widely and not always at the same time. I lean towards the 1880s bustle period but bounce back to the 1830s or early 1900s at the drop of a hat; or as a squirrel runs by. Sometimes all at the same time too. I am a card carrying member of CADD.
A few weeks ago while having a burst of creativity I cut out three skirts and blouses from the 1890 and 1905 period. Yes, at the same time.  Remember my “Assembly Line” method?  The skirts are basically all sewn the same way. They’re very wide and I cut all my patterns out on a cutting board on our bed.  I used Truly Victorian’s patterns for both, and their 1903 Plain blouse waist.  The 1890s is for my Seaside outfit I’ll be wearing to Costume College.  I’m thinking along these lines. 
I bought this blue & white striped cotton fabric years ago at Michael Levine’s in the LA Garment District. It was in the shirting section and had a nice weight to it, not a shirt weight at all.
At the same time I cut out three 1903 blouse waists from white figured cotton voile, white dotted Swiss cotton, and a purple floral silk voile, (which is for another outfit for CoCo).
I’m hoping one of the whites might work under my bodice for the 1890s since it’s mostly covered up. I didn’t want it plain so I dug out some crocheted lace from my stash to put on the neckline. I marked the fabric by ironing creases down the center and across to have lines to lay the lace on. I don’t know how to miter, so I used my cheater method of laying the vertical pieces down first, then the horizontal piece across them, turning the exposed edges under. Then I topstitched with a midsize stitch length across all sides. 

I repeated the lace around the neckline and sleeve cuffs, although I forgot I wanted to make this as three-quarter length sleeves but I can do that on another one I have cut out. J  I put a little bow on each corner of the lace square, and plan to use some vintage shell buttons I have from my Aunt Doris’ sewing box on it.
I guess I’d better check if I have a petticoat that will work under the 1890s skirt.
So that’s it. You got a sneak peek at one of the outfits I’m working on. 


  1. Looks great! I am planning on doing a bit of assembly line-ing to build up my wardrobe. Some skirts and jackets.

  2. I'm have a serious case of mustsewallthethingsforCostumeCollegenow!!!! I have more ideas then I have time or days to wear them so I'm trying to chill and just finish the two dresses I have hanging in my living room right now.

    1. Stephanie, only 10 weeks to go. Get that squirrel cage rolling!

  3. Squirrel!!!

    Usually I'm most interested in something that isn't what I need to finish right now.

  4. Wow, cool cheat work on the mitered lace. Great trick to remember.

    Love that squirrel,


    1. Hey Natalie, good to hear from you. I like being able to find a simple method for doing complicated things so it doesn't prevent you front making the beautiful gown that you want. I've been trying to figure out how to do a simple cheater method for lace insertion that I can teach a class on but so far have been told my method was pretty much how it was done. So I need to keep working on that. Kind of like Lace Insertion for Dummies. :)


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