My name is Sam Miller and I fell for costuming after attending my first JAFA in 2010. 

As a very raw beginner I was lucky enough to fall into company with the talented and patient Lorna McKenzie who is The Tailors Apprentice. I have been sewing with her and by myself since. My interests range as far back as the early 18C and as far forward as fantasy takes me.

I wasn't going to take up the challenge as I have a heavy load in the second half of 2012 , but I figure, even if I don't manage to complete the whole thing, I still end up with some new stuff.

So for May, I want to make a new waistcoat for my husband. While trawling through the net for a pic I liked, the one I investigated first was actually one of Aylwen's! The nice gold stripe one. I shall be going for that kind of look. 

Wish me luck.

July 2012
Having somewhat nervously committed myself to the 1813 dress challenge in honour of the 200 anniversary of the publishing of Pride And Prejudice, I thought it was time I made a start.
As I seem to have based every Regency dress I have ever made on one pattern – The Sense and Sensibility Regency gown pattern, which I have rather got used to – I used it again as my basis.
From the picture, I could see there was an under dress and it would seem within the challenge group bodiceless petticoats were trending, this became the idea fir the under dress.
Many other costumes have recently done excellent blogs on these petticoats with their lack of top bulk, so I won’t go into it too much. I used the dress lining pattern piece for the skirt, making a draw string waistband with fixed straps that cross at the front. I believe this will sit well under my dress as there is a crossover feature to the dress bodice.
I have been trying to do basic embroidery stitches on scraps as I am determined that there will be some embroidery done on the bottom of the plain under dress.

I was very careful to make the seams flat felled and to finish all me edges nicely.

Finally, it looks like this.

Next to start the over dress.

Could I have some more, pelisse? 25 JUNE 2012

Well, I did finish my Winter Magic Pelisse and somewhere along the way it developed a bit of a circus ring master look. That part came about as I was draping the leftover fabric around the bottom of the bodice to see what kind of length I could get out of it. With the other piece cut out, the fabric was left longer in the middle with two shorter sides. I ended up just cutting a curve around them to smooth it off.
This wool is an absolute dream to work with and I haven’t ven had to hm the edges. I did start sewing a greek key pattern with my machine around the collar and cuffs, so I will continue that around the tail just to complete it nicely.
I also fashioned fasteners out of black velvet ribbon – anything to avoid button holes I’m afraid, but I like how it looks. Of course it wasn’t as easy as it seemed in my imagination and I had to level it out a couple of times.

It was lovely and warm to wear and I was quite proud of it.

Winter Magic Miracle 21 JUNE 2012

I am hoping for a Winter Solstice miracle as I suddenly decided I needed a warm costume jacket for the festival at Katoomba on Saturday. So as I had the pattern and experience of making a pelise, that is the direction in which I headed.
Lucky me. I had a lovely bit of red wool from an op shop, a pair of silk velvet “fat lady” pants that were originally destined to be breeches for G. I also had in my stash some black nylony stuff for lining.
The idea is to make the pelise jacket and use whatever is left over to make the fullest little skirt on the bottom. As it is red, I would like to get a bit of a military feel.

Here is the wool being cut out. It is lovely to work with.

Here is the front with the darts and also the lining.

And here is the body. As I couldn’t seem to find the instructions, I had to try to remember what I did before. There was unpicking involved, but I have got this far and it is Thursday. Let’s see how I go tommorow and if I get to wear it Saturday.
Oh yeah, I am also making a hat, but it should be very quick as it is based on the bonnet I just made.

The cap fits 15 JUNE 2012

Yesterday I had a really bad hair day that saw me in a hat and it made me think. I also recently read a blog about getting your hair right and I thought about the Regency women and how most days would be bad hair days for them unless they were going to a ball.
So a cap sprang to mind and I woke up from a nana nap inspired to make one.
I poked around my stash of stuff and decided to recycle some table linen. Then I checked out the interwebs. I wish I could figure out how to post my inspiration picture with this tablet, but I will find it again when I am PC’ing.
I also took a look at a cute woolen cap I have that has a 1940′s vibe, as the shape seemed similar to some of the web pics.

Next I got my table runner and some white cotton and drew a dinner plate sized circle for the back part. I cut that out. Next, I needed to make the table runner into the same shape as the cap front.

After that I pinned, tucked and folded it into shape and sewed around most of the circle.
Next, I hemmed under the bottom edge and put a piece of ribbon in. It was pulled really tight and sewn in place.
Here I am in the cap. I hope it will hide a multitude of hair sins.

Forget what I said before 8 JUNE 2012

I know, I know. I was only going to use fabric from my stash.
Well, cute new/second hand saree arrived yesterday from Ebay/India. I aim for it to make an appearance at the upcoming Regency Dinner, a costuming buddy is holding in July.

Yes, it took a couple of attempts 26 MAY 2012

Almost done. I love the way it looks. I found myself unable to understand the instructions, so I made it up – several times. G should cut quite a dash in this one. The front is made in paisley passion quilting cotton and the back/lining is some purple stuff I found at the op-shop. As there wasn’t enough the back lining is made from nasty synthetic stuff, but as it is hidden, I hope to get away with it. I must trawl through my button collection for something suitable.

Waistcoat whimsy 25 MAY 2012

G’s waistcoat is inside out on my mini-me. I have a confession to make. Though I used the pattern to cut out all the fabric, I made it bigger. Also, I found myself totally unable to follow the pattern instructions, so I am following what I believe to be a logical way to do it, with one waistcoat worth of experience. I aplogise to everyone in advance for how this may turn out. Feel free to scoff.

22 MAY 2012

This will be my inspiration dress for next year’s JAFA event. I don’t know if I will keep the colour, but I love the contrasting overdress and the sleeve/bodice detail. I think it will be quite a challenge for me.

This is a possibility 21 MAY 2012

Huzzah! I have found a dress I would like to try to emulate for the JAFA challenge. I will use the pattern I have – Sense and Sensibility – for the basic build. I have made a ball gown that I wore this year that has a very narrow bodice. I expect I can reuse that shape.

The gown in the picture, which I have as yet failed to upload (grrr), is pink, so I don’t know if I’ll copy the colour. It is from La Belle Assemblee from 1813 and is described as an evening, rather than a ball gown. It has an overdress, which I think is it’s main draw for me.
This entry was posted on 21/05/2012.

More thoughts on Regency. This is the fabric I want to use for G’s fancy waistcoat. 21 MAY 2012

JAFA Challenge 21 MAY 2012

So, as you can see, I’ve not got very far with the waistcoat. I will post a photo of the fabric so you can see it. I am using the Kannicks Corner version as the last waistcoat I made was a little tricky with the instructions. So we’ll see how I go with this one.

The idea with the waistcoat is to make it a more colourful dandy type of thing so G can look rather jolly at the ball with a plainer jacket than he has now. That is another thing on the list.

I have been looking around for a picture of a ball gown I might like, but so far I haven’t found one I really like.

A problem I find is that I haven’t been used to much embelishment with a gown. I am trying to make myself do it, but I need to change my mindset a little. Luckily this era gown isn’t too fancy.

Also trying to use my current fabric stash and not buy anymore. Have you heard that one before? I do have some lovely sari fabric in a heavy beaded gold that would be devine.

Hope to post some ideas soon.
This entry was posted on 21/05/2012

A bit of this and that. 20 MAY 2012

So I cut out the lining for G’s waistcoat. I’ve used a nice purple colour, but what you cn see is the orangy back side of it. I wnt to test this on him 
gain for size, but he was busy, so I moved in to another era.