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.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

COSTUME COLLEGE 2016- First installment – My Digital Pattern Class

I still have a lot of editing to do on my photos from Costume College, and write up a couple blog posts on my costumes, but I wanted to put this out ASAP about the class I taught there, Conquering the Digital Pattern.
I’m hoping some of my students make it to my blog AND COMMENT HERE (or do it on my Facebook page of the same name, Time Traveling in Costume ). I want to keep in contact with you all and see if my class helped, and to share in your progress. This is my original blog post where I showed how to use a digital pattern. 

I used a new pattern from Edwardian Rose, 1912 Lady’s Fancy Afternoon Gown, as my sample to demonstrate in class how to print and put these together. 
What a surprise when I ran across one of the ladies from my Historical Pattern Review group on Facebook in the hallways at Costume College who was wearing her version of this pattern. Molly W. said she was really excited to write a review on it now, and since I’m going to be making mine next, I’ll be looking forward to that.  Molly’s was made out of a lighter weight fabric than the original one that was made by the pattern designer, and she had some ideas of how to do the lace sleeve trim differently. But you’ll have to join the group to read about that. ***If you do want to join, please let me know here so we recognize your name when you request to join. The Friend’s Locked pages of many people who ask to join make it hard for us to determine if they really have an interest in what we do.***
The students I had in class were very excited about trying these types of patterns after I walked them through how to purchase, download, and print their patterns, then put them together. Some were surprised at how easy it actually was. I pointed out how they would be able to access patterns that not everyone can buy, and how this is going to become the new technology of pattern selling. I was really flattered when three of them stayed after class to come up and tell me how much they enjoyed it, and how much they liked my teaching style. That really helps me a lot to get feedback like that. *Thank you ladies!*

*Edited to add: this is the link to my previous blog where I explained how to use the digital patterns, with a couple of my own tips. 

*ANOTHER EDIT- I just read this in my Pattern Review Group where they were talking about enlarging patterns from books. I don't know if it works YET but this may open a lot of possibilities.    Quote-"Scan it, then using your photo editing program, enlarge it by 800%. Print, cut, and tape together." You're basically doing the tile thing but setting it to 800% instead of 100% like the ones I've been using." 

It would need to be on a grid to work it properly. 
I have two fabrics I’m going to try this pattern with, both are a medium weight polyester that have the right body for this without going into a more expensive fabric for my first try. One is a plum color which I’ll try first, the other a dusty rose but now both Molly and Patricia from Edwardian Rose have done theirs in that color. So maybe not. Was also thinking of this white with navy polka dots, and add solid navy for trims, but it’s lightweight and will require some flat-lining to give any body to it. I may go back to my original plan of using that for an earlier 1905 dress since it has that drapey feel to it.

Even though I’m still very tired from this past weekend’s whirlwind, and doing laundry and putting things away, my fingers are antsy to start cutting fabric and try new things.
Oh, and here’s some interesting news: next year at Costume College I will be the Assistant Dean. Which means I will be Dean in 2018. I have no idea what my life is going to be like these next two years.
This photo was taken of me at the Friday Social at Costume College just before it was announced who it would be. I'll have a blog post on this dress in a few days. 



  1. Molly here! I really will get that post up on the fb group, plus I have some pictures of the muslin-ing process I need to get up on my blog as well.

    I think that polka-dot fabric would be fabulous, although you can't go wrong with either of the solids.

    I didn't realize, it was actually the link from your previous blog post that led me to finding this pattern in the first place, so thank you for that :)

    1. Thank you for posting here, Molly. I can't wait to read it.

  2. Hoorah Val, what a good idea for a class - eve though digital patterns are common place I know people are freaked out by them - I am pretty reluctant too and your class will have inspired many :)

    1. Thank you Maryanne, I'm really excited about seeing if any of them give it a shot. I'm hoping in the next couple days to start cutting my pattern out.


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