Sherlock Holmes, Part 2





This week we have been busy trying to get Sherlock finished, and keep up with all the new Living Historians. We have costumed 8 new people in the last 2 weeks, with more to come. So far we have managed to pull it off without making anything, but I have a feeling that pretty soon our lucky streak will end! I’m just hoping we get Sherlock all finished up first!

Among other things, this week Abi has been working on a fella named Killian. Played by Jon Harmon, our Living History director/manager everything guy. He is an Irish brawler type, a bit rough, and possibly a little drunk here and there, so he’s not put together as well as he could be. We didn’t have anything but white shirts, so Abi made him this striped one. I have a feeling more striped and checked shirts are in the not too distant future for us.


We didn’t have any coats available for him either, so Abi made him this coat. We had wanted to make it out of grey corduroy, but the fabric gods decided that this isn’t the season to have corduroy available 😦


This week I have been trying to get the coat for Mary Thumberlin done. Holy crow…I got the rest of the shopping done on Monday, and got the batting and everything, but this coat seemed like it would never get done! It wasn’t really hard, but the batting had to be quilted to the lining first (quilting…not my strong area!), and I kept getting interrupted to do silly things like costume people 🙂 It’s finally done, but it still needs to be trimmed. I wanted to use some navy blue 1/4″ velvet that I have, but it seems like it will be a pain in the hiney to apply, so we will see.


I have set the coat aside for now, since it is usable untrimmed. I have started the hat, and once the hat is finished I may go back and actually get the trim on it. Coming up: a Railroad Conductors uniform, and the tropical uniform of a Army Cpl.


Mitts and Dresses!

IMG_0459This week in the costume shop we have been making warm mitts for our Colonial girls. It has been quite frigid and we don’t have any in stock (except 1 pair of silk ones…). So I gathered up some short pieces of wool and ended up cutting out 19 pairs of mitts!


Here they are all prepped. I sewed the side seam and the thumb seam on the machine.


And here are a bunch of them done! The thumb is sewn on by hand. Much easier the trying to do that bit on the machine. I have 3 pairs that I’m still working on. 1 piece of wool ended up being a little bit ravely, so I had 4 pairs that needed the triangle flap lined and everything hemmed. Pictures of those when they are done (they are extra cute:).  The next batch will include some blue. I hadn’t realized I was missing such an important color, but several of the girls prefer it.


Abi got this dress done this week, along with a bunch of mending. I think it turned out darling!! It’s late 1880s, and for Michelle, one of our store girls. She has been suffering in a short sleeved, low necked gown of an indeterminate era (someone gave it to us), because it was the only thing we had on hand that fit her. The new dress is much more becoming, and it’s much more accurate, which makes me happy!!


It looks really cute with a white bibbed apron over it. Its made of a cotton reproduction print from

Meanwhile, I finished a dress for Brittany, one of our other store girls. She is expecting a baby in May, so she needed something that would accommodate her new figure.



I used a yoked blouse pattern, added in extra panels for fullness, and extended them to become dress length.


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It is made out of a tiny green and white cotton print. The trim on the collar and sleeves is 1/4″ twill tape, and the ‘belt’ is just a length of 1 1/4″ twill tape.

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Unbelted it just looks like a sack, but you can see how much fullness she’ll have to last her all the way through her pregnancy.

I went shopping yesterday to try and get everything else we needed for Sherlock, but came up a bit short. I’m going to order the rest online right now, and hope it all gets here in time!


Sherlock Holmes 2014, Part 1

We’ve already covered Irene Adler, so it is on to the rest of the cast. Sherlock and Watson are already costumed, they can wear the same thing every time, but the rest of the cast has to have things to fit their currant character. This week we’ve been busy with Elizabeth Adair and Mary Thumberlin (I might have totally remembered that name wrong…)!

Abi has been working hard on Elizabeth Adair, a well off lady that is quite an authority on jewelry. I think it’s coming along nicely, don’t you?




It’s three pieces, the skirt, the vest/overskirt combo, and the jacket. And the hat of course, so 4 pieces I guess! Abi designed this one, and did all the fittings and drafting to make it work. She has certainly grown as a costumer with this outfit!! It’s still not quite complete, it’s got a few more hooks/eyes and some trim left. Abi was able to do the final fitting with Erin today, so it should be done and ready for a photo shoot soon!


Meanwhile, I have been working on Mary Thumberlin. She is an author, higher middle-class, and apparently a bit of a snob. Here is my basic drawing for her, but the coat will have quite a bit of trimming, and the hat is going to be so much fun!!! She also gets to wear spectacles.


This gal is played by Lizzy Riley. I got the dress finished, and the coat mostly cut out. I might trim the dress, but we’ll see after the coat is done how much trim it needs. 



I haven’t made up the coat pattern I wanted to use before, so I made a practice one.



The inside…



the outside…




on Michelle, one of our store girls.



                              I just noticed that the plaid isn’t matched up in the back. Darn!                     This coat is meant to fit over a bustle, so we may need to give her some booty padding!



I think she likes it:)

This coat is supposed to have a layer of batting in it, but I didn’t have enough, so I put in a layer of wool (of a pattern we can’t really use). I didn’t have enough of the plaid to make the coat, so I pieced the red in to make it big enough. I’m pretty excited by how it turned out, and feeling good now about making the one for the play. I’m also excited to have a nice warm coat in the store, it gets really frigid in there!