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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Elizabethan Dresses

My university career is finally at an end. Monday sees me starting a job in insurance, I’m not terribly excited, as my real dream is to go back to university to study costume design. Then I could spend all day making costumes. Like I have been since my exams finished.

This is because on top of my many personal projects, I received my first costume commission. It is from a Catholic school’s drama department and I am extremely excited. The order is for two Renaissance dresses (the order was originally for medieval but then she told me they were going to be used to do Shakespeare so I changed my designs) and two large cloaks.

The first dress I’m doing is a simple peasant outfit. It took me twice as long as it should have because since I don’t have an overlocker, I am doing doubled over seam on everything. My sewing machine supposedly has an overlocking stich but it never turns out quite right…

Here is how it turned out.

I’m quite impressed because it only cost about $10 to make. I went opshopping and found these pre-loved sheets. They work perfectly well but when I told the woman in the store what I wanted them for, she looked at me like I had said that I wanted to use them to strangle small children.

The other I’m working on is much more elaborate and I can see Portia from the Merchant of Venice wearing it. Here is my very male flatmate modelling the sleeves and looking stunning while doing so! I do however feel like fitting to the bodice to him might not work quite as well 😛

Corset Making Part 2

It has taken me a while to move on to the second step given the difficulty of finding boning in New Zealand. Spiral steel boning is NOT commercially available here and was driving me up the wall. I am considering importing bulk and selling it, it is that hard and expensive to find.

I ended up paying $11 per meter and needed nearly 3m for my corset but it finally came last week. The tips were NZ$1.20 each and as I needed 20 of them, I decided to try something else.
My friend Gen whose father has a plastic factory

Filling down the edges

Heating up the metal

Can’t wait to see the finished corset! Summer school has been taking up time but I promise it won’t be as long till the next post!