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!


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!

November 9th, 2013

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Sometimes I have things to post, and I’m not quite sure if they deserve their own post, or if I just throw it up there with the date instead of a title like ‘Baltus, Katrina, Mallory and Civil War girls’. Anyway, here is a post that would use that heading;)

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Katrina and Baltus in all their glory! Abi still needs to do a post on Baltus’s outfit, but we’ll see if she gets around to it;) Katrina was played by Erin Keeney, and Baltus (her father) was played Brandon Kimbler (who is actually 2 years younger). The Baltus costume is going to double as Fezziwig’s costume for our next play, Dickens’ Christmas Carol. Brandon is also playing Fezziwig, so we were happy to kill two birds with one stone!


Here is Mallory Drazin in her gestational stays. I wanted a picture of them on her, because the one on our dressform just doesn’t do them justice for the way they are supposed to work. I tried stuffing them for a picture and it looked horrible. Here is Mallory in her whole costume too. She said the stays really do help support the belly. The first night the stays weren’t ready yet, and she said two petticoats were too heavy. After she had the stays she said that both petticoats are fine, and she can go the whole time without being nearly so tired. So Hooray! Success;)

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Here are Erin and Hannah at the beginning of a Civil War tour. We have several more girls that need to be outfitted, but these two I feel are off too a good start. Hannah is in a new gown that Abi made, I love the red! Erin is in a fairly old gown, that I made for Krystle, probably 6 or 7 years ago. We still need to add things like collars and cuffs to the girls wardrobes, but at least their dresses are in the right era!


I am working on and 18th century frock coat right now, for my boss, Jim Riley. I decided it was time to figure out how they were actually put together in the day, so I pulled out my books and my hand sewing stuff and started stitching away, with all the correct layers and stitches and padding. I will post a tutorial for the coat as soon as I am done with it.

Gestational Stays

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These stays have been hanging around in the project bin, almost finished, for….4 years. I started for Krystle when she was pregnant with her oldest (who is 4) and they didn’t get done in time, then I thought I would finish them when I was pregnant with my 2nd (who is 3 1/2), and still they sat. Then I thought I would finish them for Mallory, whose daughter is now 2 1/2. Now Mallory is pregnant with baby number 2, so it was time for them to get done! Krystle is a little tiny thing, so these were a touch small for Mallory (and everyone, once I thought about it), but I decided it was time for them to be finished. They are from Past Patterns #705.

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I have read reviews that said they were so comfortable and supportive of the heavy belly that they wanted to wear them all the time, so I decided to make Mallory’s new ones cute enough to wear on the outside if she wanted to! Here is the inside…

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I changed the construction slightly for this pair, so there wouldn’t be so many rows of stitching showing. I set the gussets into the front side only, then stitched the lining down to the gussets by hand. The first pair I sandwiched the gussets in between the layers and then stitched, but I didn’t catch it all the first time, and had to add extra stitching. I was a good girl and stitched the binding on by hand on the inside. The outside is stitched by machine, but doing the inside by hand makes it look cleaner.

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The have gussets for the bust and the hips, then they lace to allow adjustment for the growing belly.

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They bust gussets open so that they can also be used for nursing. The strap was supposed to have its own button, but the nursing gusset button was in the same spot, so I just doubled up the use of that button!

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Mallory has been doing seating for the Sleepy Hollow dinners which means running around for 2 hours in costume, so I was really pleased to get these done at least in time for her to wear them for the last weekend of dinners. We already made her some petticoats balanced for the belly, and after the baby she can turn them around and wear them with a rump;) I will try and get picture of Mallory tomorrow in the stays and the whole outfit.