Monday, January 30, 2012

The Royal Couple

That's how a passerby referred to us as she made a u-turn to come ask us if she could take our picture. Here's my favorite shot so far of us in our matching outfits:

Steampunk Exhibition Ball

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hats and Spats!

I started out the evening making some simple hat bands for our tophats, to go with our matching outfits. And then I tried my hand at making a pair of spats. Very happy with how they turned out, so much so that I will have to make another pair (or three or five), and describe the process. So expect a tutorial at some point!

Hats and spats

Remember, every successful outfit is made by the accessories.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another new outfit

I need more excuses to wear my vintage crinolines after all, don't I? I was lying in bed this morning, because for some reason I woke up at 6am, trying to convince myself there was absolutely no reason whatsoever that I should be awake and that I needed to go back to sleep, but my brain wouldn't cooperate, and instead it went off on costuming tangents. Why shouldn't the husband and I have matching outfits? (That's how a lot of my outfits begin, actually.)

I still have oodles of the brocade from which I made my husband's tailcoat.

I treated myself to this corset as a Christmas present to myself. The stripes are a bit darker than the brocade but it was close enough, I decided.

Started cutting out the pattern before church this morning, and finished sewing the skirt at about 6pm this evening. Paired with the corset and the vintage crinoline I bought last year, and voila!

champagne brocade suit front

champagne brocade suit back

I still haven't finalized the decoration for pinning back the front of the skirt yet. I've got some trim bows pinned in place for now, but may change my mind after a trip to the store this week. Will still also be making headbands for both our tophats as well. Oh, and by the way:

einstein's needle


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Frocking the husband

I promised the husband a tailcoat. Silly me! I had planned on using Butterick 3648, but when I went to go cut out the pattern pieces for the jacket, I realized I only had it in the XS/S/M size. The husband has a 42" chest. I'm guessing I bought the smaller size because I was thinking about doing Victorian drag at some point. The pattern is out of print, of course! I made a trip to the store, and the only tailcoat pattern I could find is a silly costume-y one for Uncle Sam, but I worked with it, added lining, and actually came out with a piece that made both of us happy.

champagne tails back

I used a champagne colored brocade that I scored at Goodwill last month when we braved the Day after Christmas sale.

champagne tails front

I found a rich chocolate brown lining fabric that complemented the brocade beautifully.

Of course there have to be buttons!

champagne tails buttons

And chain

champagne tails back buttons

So another step up in my confidence level of sewing things for people other than myself has been achieved.


It's chicken soup time again

I had described the process of making soup here, but hadn't included any pictures! I made more soup last night, and took some this time around.

How it starts out, with the whole raw chicken and veggies, making the stock:

chicken soup

After simmering, this is how the chicken comes out of the pot if I'm lucky:

chicken soup

If I get distracted and let it go too much longer, it completely falls apart, which makes fishing out the meaty bits a bit more challenging. And of course, this is Miss Nellie's favourite part of the process, as a bit or two usually falls off.

chicken soup beggar

In between warming my innards with a tasty bowlful, I've been listing again! I realized I had four parasols that had never found their way into my shop, and I finished two new necklaces this week as well. Here's the first set:

Hand Embellished Ivory Battenburg Lace Steampunk Parasol Bridal

Steampunk Brass Gear necklace with Vintage Brass Chain

Red Black and Ivory Geometric Steampunk Parasol OOAK Ruffled Trim

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Eggs and parasols

I don't know how on earth the husband ended up on Martha Stewart's website, but he found this recipe a few days ago and strongly suggested it would make a good breakfast for the weekend. He was right. NOM!

egg cups

Working on another black and purple parasol, with a floral lace overlay this time:

purple lace parasol

Realizing I'd better get dressed soon, as I have a sewing date this afternoon. A friend of mine and I are working on mockups for the original Star Trek female uniform. It is appropriately called a "Skant." Apparently, each episode, they raised the hem 1/4" until the censors complained. :o


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Adventures in Jelly

My contributions to all the holiday parties I've been attending this holiday season have been some of my homemade jellies, along with crackers and goat cheese, and they seem to have been a big hit. They're absurdly simple to make, too! I tried my hand at a merlot jelly first, and a pomegranate jalapeno variety as well. They both work off the same basic recipe:

4 cups liquid
4 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin

That's it for the wine! Whisk the pectin into the sugar, bring the liquid to a gentle roil, whisk in the sugar/pectin mixture, bring back to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes, can and boil in a water bath for 5-10 minutes. For the pepper jelly, just a couple extra steps. Split and seed 10 jalapenos (and 2-4 habaneros if you want extra kick) and simmer in the juice for 10 minutes, strain out the peppers, and then again, whisk in the sugar, simmer, can, boil, yadda yadda. I ended up doing a second batch after I blew through the first (each yielded about six 1/2 pint jars), so instead of merlot wine the second time around I used mead.


A cracker, smeared with goat cheese, and a dollop of gourmet jelly on top? Heaven!