We have been sadly lacking the proper foundations for all our girls at the barn. We have some ill fitting stays at Colonial, but at least everyone has something. Stays are on the summer list.


This corset was made for Miss Lizzy, who requested a pretty corset (instead of a plain white utilitarian one). She picked her outer fabric, and I quite like the effect. The inner linings on all the corset are two layers of duck cloth or canvas.


Even though Lizzy runs the kitchen up at the barn, she has been very faithful in wearing her corset and historical clothing. The corset she had been wearing was sadly bent out of shape, with bones poking out and the whole thing just falling apart.


This one was for one of my store girls. I wish I had done a bit more fitting on it with her before it was too late to do anything. It’s not a perfect fit, but under her dress you can’t really tell.


This was the first time she had worn it, and I think she tightens it a bit more now, which also helps the bagginess in the front bosom area.


Miss Kaitlin! She loves her new corset! I had to tell her she can’t wear it instead of her stays when she works colonial though. Kaitlin is also wearing one of the new 1840’s chemises, made for our Gold Rush girls, by Abi.


These were all made from Truly Victorian, #TV110. I love the Silverado corset from Laughing Moon also, but the TV may have edged out ahead in my book.


This one is from Miss Victoria, who also works in the barn kitchen.


While corset did change from the years 1849-1880, we are sticking with the slightly later corset to use underneath all eras. As we get at least a basic corset on the girls we may go back and add in some earlier ones.


The last corset from the new batch, for the unnamed historian! A few of my girls are camera shy in their underware! She is also wearing one for the new 1840’s chemises Abi made. The necklines ended up being quite large (a problem we have had with our shifts also), so she decorated and fixed it all in one step with ribbon insertion lace.

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More corsets and underwear to come. We are not even halfway through our list, but the improvements are already starting to show!


Old Joe Dresses – Batch One





We have been trying to figure out what works best for our Old Joe girls, and have discovered that Past Patterns #903, Late 1880-92 Day Dress, is a great fit. We have made it for several size’s of woman now, and if fits all of them beautifully, with a minimum of fitting. We did make a toile (fitting muslin) for each one, and there was not much to fuss with. We have made two piece outfits for them in the past, but we really like the look of the dress for our everyday working girls. The whole theme of the barn area is 1880’s, so the girls in the store and the girls in the bakery wear 1880’s clothes, regardless of which tour is going on. Sometimes we have two different tours going on up there, so it would not work for them to dress according to tour anyway.

Miss Tori in her new tour dress. Abi made this one, I am very pleased with the way it came out. And the fabric Tori picked….I kind of want to steal it!




Miss Sofia in her new store dress. The collar on hers ended up being a slight bit wonky, but she folded it down and it looks darling! I am guilty of the slightly wonky collar…I made this one.  I’m really glad I added the trim, the dress was really plain without it.




A proper petticoat to go underneath. This one was for Tori I believe. The fabric is not super accurate (or accurate at all…), but we are still trying to use up our stash of inaccurate fabric in places it will not be seen. This petticoat if from Truly Victorian. The instructions are a tad bit confusing at first, in that there are four different eras of petticoats included, and the instructions are basically the same. Once you figure out how they are laid out however, they are super easy. This one is for the natural form era, which does not allow enough length for a bustle. Since the girls won’t be wearing bustles with their everyday dresses anyway, we didn’t want the petticoats dragging in the back.


There are rows of tucks in the back to help give the petticoat more body in the back. The front is smooth, so give a cleaner line.


Abi has made several petticoats, but she has a habit of giving them out before I get to take a picture!

Ca. Gold Rush Dresses: Batch One





Our girls at the barn area have been sadly neglected long enough! The tours we cover at the barn are Ca. Gold Rush, Civil War and Old Joe. Old Joe is based in the 1880’s, when Joe Wilshire acquired the farm. The story goes he bought it for something like a saddle, a jug of whiskey and some chickens. It’s been a while since I heard the particulars though.


We do have some Civil War dresses and underwear that look pretty good, but we haven’t had any really good accurate Gold Rush dresses yet.


We started with Tori. She hasn’t had anything that actually fit her properly since she started working at the farm, and this is her second season. We have decided to make things we are desperate for on an as needed basis, but focus as possible on one historian at a time to get their whole wardrobe squared away. We are picking people that have been with us at least one season, and are planning on staying with us.

Tori now has a properly fitted corset, chemises, a corded petticoat and two tucked petticoats. Somehow I didn’t get a picture of anything except the corded petticoat. Darn corded petticoats take forever, but they are worth it! She isn’t wearing the petticoats in the above pictures. We made her corset and her dress first. Abi did a lovely job on this dress! It’s from a Laughing Moon pattern.  The waist is a bit bulky, so the bottom button wouldn’t button. We put a skirt hook there, and it works just fine! The corset is a Truly Victorian pattern. The corded petticoat and the tucked ones are from Elizabeth Stewart Clarks book.


Miss Jessica was next on the dress list. I used the new pleated wrapper pattern from Laughing Moon. She’ll be getting the proper underpinnings as time allows.


I love having the girls come in and pick their fabrics, if I’m making something for a  specific person I like to make them something they will love. It shows through when the feel good in their costume and they like it.



Miss Alison was next!


She said she wanted blue, I didn’t have a lot of just blue fabrics, but with the apron and the pleating on the bodice there is a fair amount of blue. She was happy with it, and that is what I was going for! Miss Alison is also on the list for proper underpinnings. She is the next historian we are focusing on.


Next, but certainly not last, is Miss Jasmine.

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She picked the dark brown initially, but there wasn’t enough for a whole dress. We found the lighter brown and just made a two toned dress. She loves it, and it really fits her personality and style. All the other historians keep telling her it looks like her.


Another historian who needs petticoats, but at least she has a corset! With her apron it draws in at the waist a little bit more. I used Laughing Moons other wrapper pattern for this one. We have plenty more Gold Rush dresses coming, but so far I am pleased with the improvement in our historians wardrobes!

Sherlock Holmes 2014, Part 3








I started this post about a month and a half ago….whoops! I keep thinking about blogging, but somehow haven’t found the time. It’s crunch time at work right now, our very busiest tour season, and we have been sewing like mad. Since these pictures are already loaded, we’ll finish up with Sherlock, and show you some of the new things we’ve been working on in the next post. I promise it won’t take a month and a half!

I am extremely proud of this coat. It took forever (the batting is quilted to the lining), and the trim is hand sewn and a bit fussy to place, but I love how it turned out! It was worth the time and effort!

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This hat went through much gnashing of teeth before I was happy with it. I had something particular in mind, and it took some finagling, and some help from Lizzy to get it right.

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Mr. Jon Harmon as the wealthy victim at the beginning of the show.


Miss Erin Keeney as a wealthy jewel aficionado.

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Miss Danielle Garcia as the maid, and the train waitress.

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Miss Lizzy Riley as the traveling writer.

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Mr. Eric Drazin as Sherlock Holmes himself.


Mr. Sean Villarreal as the bad guy…Colonel someone or other (Sorry, I can’t remember!).


Mr. Ron Adams as Inspector Lestrade.


Mr. Mike Coleman as the railroad conductor.


The entire cast and crew after the show!


Great job everyone, it was very well done!