Projects I will probably never make

I’m in a weird sort of mood– I didn’t sleep well, and I’m stressed about school– so we’re doing something a little less optimistic than usual.  Plus, if I write this now and I am ever low on project inspiration I can come back here and get some ideas!

It looks like I am going to be spending my summer on the East Coast of the United States, and I was briefly considering attending Pennsic.  I don’t actually want to go to Pennsic much (big events are usually not my thing, and I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about assault and harassment of women) but that got me thinking about warm-weather costuming.  I’m also likely to be back in the furnace that is the West Kingdom in August/September so this might come to pass, or it might not.

I was looking for sources for lightweight linen that wouldn’t involve astronomical international shipping, and I found this linen crepe from Sartor.

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I love the colour, and it looks like it would have subtle texture and a nice drape.

It made me think of Italian 1520s and particularly these two sources

bronzino italian 1520s

Portrait of a Lady in Green, Bronzino 1528


Italian fresco, 1520s in the collection of the V&A.  Image courtesy of my mother.

This is one of my favourite time periods, and I have been wanting to go back and do a better job than I did with my black silk Spanish 1520s, which is a very similar style.  The sleeves on the Bronzino dress look a bit too structured for a lightweight linen crepe, but I do like the loose style with the cuffs.  I know this time I want to do button cuffs, and I know which buttons too (because I am a Nerd).

I want these buttons from the Tudor Tailor, two of them on each wrist cuff with button loops made in dark blue silk.  You see dresses from this time period worn with sashes, and I kind of want to be ridiculous and make a matching sash with pearls and some of my antique true silver spangles. I wouldn’t wear it all the time, but it would be an option if I want to be Fancy, and I would hair tape my hair with pearls and blue ribbons.

….it’s probably not going to happen.  But a girl can dream.

Sticking to that same time period I’ve wanted to make a reproduction of this Juan de Burgunya painting for ages.


I got samples for it and everything– Marigold linen from fabrics-store and this ribbon in wine, but I got sidetracked into my experiments with the Spanish Burgundian style and it never happened.  I so want it to, but I know that trim would take ages and the sleeves are much more complicated than they look at first glance.

I really would like to finish this dress that I started for Costume College– those of you who have been around for two years or so will remember that I got viral meningitis two weeks before CoCo and therefore was not sewing for a while there!  Although Costume College was not my favourite experience I love this dress too much to never finish it– and those sequins took nine months.

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(and yes, I did have to go and steal that picture from my own Instagram, I think I’ve had two phones since then)

A lovely friend who is currently living in Japan offered me a vintage kimono– sadly she was left unsupervised at a flea market and had gone a bit…. overboard

I want to try and make something like this

kimono dressing gown

which is a circa 1885 dressing gown in the collection at FIDM… made from a Kimono.

I have asked around to people who know a lot more about Japanese culture than I do, and they have said it is not disrespectful for a white lady in the 21st C to recreate (and hopefully, to some extent, shed light on) Victorian Orientalism, but I still feel a little weird about it.  This might be a project better left to a costumer of Japanese ancestry, but I hope someone does make something like this because it is lovely and a fabulous mixing of two very different aesthetics.

(Insert obligatory yes-I-would-love-to-recreate-a-Sanchez-Coello-court-portrait-but-time-money-tailoring-discomfort note here)

At one point I would’ve added a true natural form ensemble to this list, but mine is actually coming along.  I have pretty much all the fabric and trim I need (SO much trim) and right now I’m waiting on a hip pad I bought from another costumer to make it’s way here.  I will definitely post about that when I have it, including proportional photos of me naturally, in the corset, and in the corset with padding.

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