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; Past President of the San Diego Costume Guild, member of Orange County Costume Guild, and a representative of the San Diego History Center. 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.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019


Have you ever had a moment where in your costuming creations that you have an inspiration that totally goes the other direction of what you intended? If you have a sense of humor, its even better. Some might say, even grotesque. But keep laughing.

Our 2019 Costume College seminar next month in Woodland Hills, CA, have a variety of themed events you can dress in costume for. Its your choice if you want to dress to the theme, or just wear what you already have. This year I’m pulling out a few things from my closet from the past and either updating them or adding new accessories to fit the theme. Having just recently moved almost 2 months ago, I’m still unpacking. I still can’t find my box of straight pins, or certain fabrics, so I needed to make this year easy on me. Quite a change from all the turmoil last year of being Dean of Costume College. 

One of the themes is for our Sunday breakfast, “Good Mourning Sunday Breakfast”. That was easy, I have quite a few black mourning dresses I can wear. At the last minute I also was able to buy someone’s ticket for the afternoon tea, “Tea at the Haunted Mansion, which has been sold out for months. So I’m going to be able to wear the same outfit to both. Much easier than racing from classes and trying to change.
Last December I started planning my wardrobe and for the breakfast I was going to wear a black cotton 1870s dress I made in 2014 for Dia de los Muertos in Old Town San Diego. Minus the makeup of course because that will not last the whole day, or in the heat and humidity Los Angeles is famous for in July. I only worn it once more in 2015 for Tales of the Crypt in Riverside, CA. Time to get the dust off of it.

I didn’t think much more about it until a few months later and saw this Halloween yard decoration. I could have a prop! I always feel more comfortable when I’m carrying a prop, other than a reticule, be it parasol or sword.
And wouldn’t you know it? Too late to buy any Halloween sales clearance items of skeletons. Trying to find one online was either out of stock or at regular price. So I had to bide my time until summer.

Finally, last month a larger variety of them was showing up on Amazon, and one friend pointed this little fellow out to me. 
In conjunction of my love of cats, and following various Facebook groups, like Sewing with Cats, and Catspotting (both of which are great for lowering blood pressure and depression/exhaustion just looking at all those little kitties), I came up with The Crazy Dead Cat Lady.
And look, it’s Chloe-approved!

Its just the right size for sitting on my lap, and not too bulky or awkward to carry around. I actually think it’s the same size as Chloe, as shown here for comparison.

                               On to my next project. Only 30 days left to finish. 


  1. What a hoot! Look at Chloe pawing her deceased friend. It's a good thing the little friend didn't paw back. What are you going to name it?
    Very best,
    Natalie in KY

    1. Chloe actually tapped it on the nose with interest, and then just stared at it.
      It came with a name tag of Pounce, so I think I'll keep it at that. I wonder how many people will actually ask me what my cat's name was. :)


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