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.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Even though we’re in the midst of “winter”, although in So California we have to laugh at that, my thoughts aren’t going to warm clothes. I’m already starting to think about spring and summer dresses and pretty colors. So, while enjoying reading one of Lily Absinthe’s posts written by Adam Lid about choosing colors, I saw this pretty bodice, and thought what a pretty square neckline.
But then I kept looking closer at the trims, and noticed the blue lapels were fake. The square neckline was also fake. Look between the lace pieces in the center. You can see the blue floral fabric behind it, and that it closes completely in the front up to the neck. So not a square neckline at all.
But what a pretty idea to dress up a possibly plain front of your bodice, and a very simple way to do it. It makes me rub my hands together and want to do something like that.
However, I have a couple other projects keeping me busy and planning at the moment. I’m halfway done with my 1885 Black & Gold Chinese Brocade dress that I’ll be wearing next month in the Riverside (CA) Dickens Festival fashion show. I’ve got the sleeves basted in, ready to be sewn. It needs boning and the front closures also. And a hem. I love the train in the back and am crossing my fingers it doesn’t get stepped on too often. 
I was almost ready to start on my next project, the new Truly Victorian 1911 skirt and bodice, using my jade green linen blend fabric. I’ve saved a couple ideas for the bodice trim, and can’t wait to start on it. I'd sure like to get my new corset done for it first. 
But with the Dickens Festival coming up I also wanted to make a summery 1850s dress, because quite often it’s warm while we’re there in February. That’s Southern California weather for you. But it could also be chilly and raining.
And I have to share this; my friend Cindy gave me this awesome tote bag for Xmas. I call it my MeMe Bag.
Over the holidays, I did some cooking and baking for a party, and my little sewing helper was a bad girl, and was publicly shamed on Facebook.