Roses are red…

This year at fair we are making sweet bags, or as you probably know them, sachets. 

We are going to be using ingredients from period recipes to allow guests to fill their own little bags.  

One of the ingredients mentioned often was rose petals. We have so many roses in front of the tavern we decided to dry our own, rather than purchase them. 

We ended up filling 10 trays with rose petals! It smelled so good! 

Even the aftermath was pretty! 

 We decided baking would be the fastest easiest way to dry them out. 

 Fun thing I forgot about convection ovens is that they blow lots of air….so we ended up covering the trays with more trays (after we shut the doors the first time we lost a few….oops!). They took longer then they should have since they were covered, but we got there in the end!

 They turned from this beautiful bright red to this lovely burgundy when they were done! 

 We ended up with about a quarter of a bag full, and started with about a full bag fresh. I don’t know if they will last the whole run of fair, but I think we have a good start (and if not, I know where to get more roses!)!

The Redcoats are Coming!

I’ve been working on redcoats the last couple months (in between everything else!), and they are coming along nicely. I have one complete and one that is only lacking the lace on the tails. I’m very excited to bring the number of completed coats up to two tomorrow! 

Time to blog!!!

It’s been a while, and a lot of things have been made. So. Many. Things. Makes my head spin!!! But we are coming up on Colonial Faire and Masquerade again, and will hopefully have some exciting new things to share! We are currently making new redcoats, and trying so hard to keep up on all of our clothing requirements and requests for and from staff. Whew!! So much going on!! Meanwhile, at my house, I’m sick, I have 12 chicks to take care of (and make a coop for….quickly out growing their brooder!), a sick kid, a healthy kid, two little dogs and a cat, a hubby who goes to bed early (and gets up early), food to prep for lunches, and jewelry to make for my side business and a frockcoat commission, and a stays workshop to prepare…and laundry, and dishes….oh boy!! Can we say overwhelmed? Haha! So hopefully….you will see all of this come to fruition soon!


So I started doing a month long thing on Facebook, that is to encourage more costume blogging. I kinda started on day six, but I will make an effort to do the challenge everyday and start getting more out there with my blogging. I am not the best writer, but hopefully with continued practice I will improve, and my style of writing will become smoother.

Today the prompt was write about a favorite resource. I have lots of favorite resources! My number one favorite resource is books….so many books! Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of all my books, and if I wait to get one, I won’t get my blog post for today finished. Some of my favorite books are:

Costume Close-up: Clothing Construction and Pattern, 1750-1790
Book by Florine Carr, John Watson, and Linda Baumgarten

Period Costume for Stage and Screen, by Jean Hunnisett                                                       Several books in this series. I have four or five and want the rest!

The Lady’s Guide to Plain Sewing 1 and 2, and The Workman’s Guide to Tailoring Stitches and Techniques by Kannik’s Korner.
I have many more favorites, but it’s late, and those are the ones that popped into my head first!
For patterns I love the ones from Larkin and Smith at The Sign of the Golden Scissors. They come with a full color instruction books with tons of pictures, and period correct techniques. I love that I can get a workshop in an envelope, out here on the west coast, without flying back east for classes (which I would love to do, but reallllly can’t afford!).
I also really like Truly Victorian patterns, they have so much fitting information and the pieces always match up, and make what the picture on the envelope says they will make! For all sizes, large and small!
Some shops I like to frequent are Burnley and Trowbridge, Wm. Booth Draper,, (great for gown pins!), Fugawee, American Duchess (so much to drool over!!!!!), Wearing History…the list goes on!
Those are my favorite resources, but definitely not an exhaustive list by any means. I’m too tired to think of any more, but at least I did a post!! Yay! 🙂

Katrina Van Tassel for Sleepy Hollow 2015 (and new dress forms! Eek!).


We have been busy getting ready for our first Colonial Faire here at Riley’s Farm. We are hoping to make this an annual event. We are holding the faire every Saturday in July. Abi and I are running the fashion and costume tent (which means we needed outfits too! More on that later.). We have been very excited, and planning like crazy. One of the things we wanted to do was display some costumes (of course!), so we needed some new dress forms. These may not be colonial, but they look nice and will do the job. Plus they will be amazing in the workshop after the faire!

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We have decided as one of the things we will be doing in our tent is working on Katrina Van Tassels new costume, for this years Sleepy Hollow play in October. We are planning on having the base dress done, and having people help with the trim. Everyone who helps will get a coupon for a free slice of pie. 🙂

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Erin (Katrina) needed new under-pinnings as well. So of course I started with stays, and then made the pocket hoops. The pocket hoops are a very scaled down version, as Erin is quite petite. I didn’t want them to overwhelm her frame. We are making a sack back gown for her this year, in a delicious pink and white striped floral cotton.

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Next was a nice full petticoat out of a cute cotton, white with green polka dots. I even found polka dot ribbon for the waist ties! I know its nerdy, but I love how all the underwear matches, even if the ribbons aren’t quite accurate. Or the plaid pocket hoops….or maybe the polka dots….but since they are underpinnings, no one will know! Except for you and Katrina anyway. 😉

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I end with a tribute to poor Margarita the dress form. This is why we needed new ones! I felt really awful throwing her in the dumpster. I kind of felt like we should bury her. She has served us well, and I am looking forward to new forms that don’t fall over if you breath on them!

I have wanted a male dress form for ages, and we have named him Jack (Daniels). We haven’t named our new female yet, but will come up with something snazzy!

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.