Redcoat renewed?

Our redcoats are used 5 days a week all through the school year, and understandably get quite faded. They get retired before they are worn out due to the color change…they’re more like pinkish redcoats by the time we replace them. 

Our Sgt. sashes also get quite faded, but the fringe more then the rest, as it’s exposed quite a bit more. Lockton said that someone told him to use fabric spray paint on it to renew the color ( I had never heard of fabric spray paint, but it’s a thing!). 

Worked pretty well! So…I decided to try it on a recently retired redcoat that was in good shape except for the fading. We taped them all up to cover the lacing and buttons (and we’ll be more particular if we do it again!), and I went to town with the spray paint. 

You can see how bad the fading is from the opened up cuffs and lapels where its not faded at all.

Here’s how it looks half done….looking good!

Looks so much better! It does change the feel of the wool a little bit and it’s almost a bit tacky. It’s not uncomfortable to wear (although I dont know how it will breath yet). It may have come out this way due to my impatience, and if I try it again (likely) I’ll follow the directions more closely (do one light coat, let it dry, repeat!), and I think the results will be much better. But all in all, $15 to renew a $600 coat for a couple more seasons is totally worth it (just don’t touch the stiff coat!)!


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! 🙂


Ragtime was a fun play to costume, it was set in 1907 and it was a musical melodrama. We had a whole cast of colorful characters. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get excellent pictures of all of them, but at least I got pictures of some!

This is Michelle, she played the mother of the Evil Plotting Twins. She herself was a kind, thoughtful lady. I was very pleased with the way her costumes came out. I used Truly Victorian patterns for the light blue costume, and for the dark blue skirt and jacket. I had Abi make the white blouse from a Wearing History pattern. The sweep of this circular skirt is spectacular, and I love the jacket so much, I need to make one for myself!

Next up is Erin, she played one of the Evil Plotting Twins.

I used Truly Victorian patterns for her Skirt and Jacket (which Abi made), and the same Wearing History blouse, but this time out of black lace with a low lining (which Abi also made). Erin is a very natural blonde, so they put this black wig on her an darkened her eyebrows quite a bit. We had a bit of a challenge with this costume, because it was planned before we learned that she was expecting. Thankfully I hadn’t started it yet! Instead of the normal hook and eye closure in the back, I decided to put a lacing placket, so that we could adjust as we went on. Her petticoat had the same lacing placket, and was made from the same pattern. She is still wearing a corset, but we were very careful with it every week to not overly tighten it. It had a shorter busk, and some lacing in the front, over the tummy, so we could adjust it in more places for comfort.

Evil Plotting Twin Number 2 was played by Adam. Unfortunately I don’t have any great stand alone pictures of Adam as Evil Plotting Twin number 2, but I do have these, in which he was the fellow they named the town after (he gets eaten by a bear!). A bit of a pompous dandy. After which he becomes Evil Plotting Twin Number 2,  dressed all in black with a wonderful caped cloak.


Adam is on the left, sorry it’s a bit fuzzy, I’m still getting the hang of our new camera!


We also had the stars of the show, Eric aka the Drifting Thief and Lockton aka the Redeemable Sidekick. Geoff played a the lovable By the Book Cop, who happens to love baseball, and they are playing an impromptu game in the pictures below. I was able to find these really cool newly made vintage style baseball hats for this scene.



Carissa played Adeline, the Sweet Country Girl Who Falls for the Redeemable Sidekick (I did say this was a melodrama, right?)

We had a Barbershop Quartet, and they sounded lovely. Manned by The Rickety Old Cop, The Redeemable Sidekick, Evil Plotting Twin Number 1 and Owner of the Pub. We have a pretty flexible cast!

This was a very enjoyable show, and I hope we see it’s return in a few years time!


Civil War Shawl

I started knitting this shawl the last time it was cold, and now that summer is almost over, it’s done! We have a couple of sontags I knitted, along with some plain woolen cloth shawls, and 2 coats, but sometimes we need more to keep the girls on tour warm. So I’ve been knitting this on and off, in odd hours, usually while waiting for my kids. Its knitted with two strands of wool yarn, and I went through almost 16 skeins of yarn.

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Its from a pattern in a book, that was based off of a shawl in Peterson’s magazine. I’m better with modern instructions though, as I don’t knit enough to feel comfortable trying to figure out a modern pattern. The book I used is Civil War Era Knit and Crochet Patterns, by DeAnn E. Upton.

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I probably won’t be knitting anything for a while, I have lots of stays that have been re-boned, but now need to be re-bound!