Blue Anne Fabrics Tuesday, Oct 20 2009 

Blue Anne Fabrics

17 October 2009

As a retailer of specialty items, it is always amazing to me how impossible it is to have what every customer really wants. No matter how wonderful what you have is, no matter how many choices you provide, someone will always want the exact something that you do not have.

That seems crazy when I put it into words, because of course it isn’t possible to have one of every possible conceivable product—the possibilities are far too infinite. But, it never seems to fail, that at least once a weekend, we’ll have the outfit of someone’s dreams, but in the wrong size. Last week it was a Courtesan outfit and Nicole is actually going to take one apart to remake it into a different size. This week it was an Anne Boleyn. Hopefully, this time we’ll have better luck with the fabric availability.

This is the photo I snapped for reference for Nicole to see what to purchase and what to sew for this new order. God Save Nicole and Pendragon Costumes!

~MB

Beads on a Lampshade Wednesday, Sep 30 2009 

Beads on a Lampshade

27 September 2009

Considering this photo was totally an afterthought on the way to bed, I’m really pleased with it! My big confession now, is that I cannot even remember enough about this day to write about it, since I’m still three days behind. I know it was Sunday, and there were bloody marys! I’m pretty sure there was also beer. Hmm . . .
wonder if that’s why I can’t remember?

~MB

Slash and Poof and Trim Sunday, Mar 22 2009 

Joe's Red Doublet Stomacher

21 March 2009

This is another of my current projects . . . Joe and Cindy ordered Tudor ensembles. Her outfit is primarily red with gold accents. His is a lovely black and tan brocade (always makes me think beer thoughts!) with red and gold accents. This photo shows the front of his under-doublet, with all its slash and poof and trim. And here’s a detail shot. I think it came out very well. I’ll assemble the doublet on Sunday.

~MB

Close-up of Gold and Sparkly Sunday, Mar 15 2009 

Close-up of Gold and Sparkly

12 March 2009
Happy Birthday, John!

A few days ago, I took a photo of this doublet stomacher as I was applying trim and gold fleurs. Now, it’s all beaded and assembled, and this is a close-up of how the beading turned out—I like it! I hope Lionel will, too!

I had a sick husband today, home with me instead of at work —although he ended up working all day anyway. At least he didn’t have to get fully dressed and drive and deal with the office environment when he felt like crap. But, because he was home, it worked out really well for me to have lots of hand-sewing to do—I could be nearby if he needed me.

~MB

My cutting table on a typical evening in March Wednesday, Mar 11 2009 

My cutting table on a typical late evening in March

10 March 2009

This amuses me.  I’m on a kick right now, where I look at things and see all that they represent . . . like the kitchen window a few days ago.  Tonight, it was the cutting table in my workshop.  As I thought about calling it a night and heading for the shower and the bed, I looked at my table.  There was so much to take in that a glance didn’t do it.  I decided it was somehow photo-worthy—probably because I’m tired and lacking in good judgement! 😉

On the center of the table is the current project—the stomacher of the underdoublet that Lionel will wear in his wedding ceremony.    I am delighted with the way it is looking—I embellished tonight with diagonal rows of trim and with fleur de lis studs at the intersections.  Tomorrow, I’ll add a whole bunch of beads to each fleur de lis and assemble the garment.  You can see in a little pile just above the doublet front, the little gem sets I’m going to use as the focal bead for each fleur.  My remote control for the television that keeps me company is right there where I last laid it down.  On the far left is a stack of button boxes I had out to look through and choose the buttons that I’ll use on this order.  Behind those is the stack of Lionel’s fabrics and the bolt of the trim I’m using.  There’s a cardboard box which contains a skirt set I need to finish altering for a Pendragon customer.  The New Home sewing machine visible at the top of the photo is the very first sewing machine I ever owned—a gift from my mama and daddy my first Christmas in college.  Twenty-eight years later, I still use it on almost every project . . . it’s the best machine I have for zig zag stitching!  And of course, there are the usual tools of the trade scattered about:  magnetic pin cushion, rotary cutting wheel, scissors, spools of thread and the water bottle in the foreground isn’t for drinking, it’s the water for my iron.  The drinking happens out of that amber-coloured glass bottle in the middle of the table!

~MB

Finished for Ryan Thursday, Feb 26 2009 

Finished for Ryan

25 February 2009

After working ’til five o’clock in the morning, all that remains for my tired self to do today for Ryan, is to finish his breeches and codpiece. I will meet with him tonight for a quick fitting to verify all is well, and then I’ll set the grommets and hand sew the lining in at the waist of the outer doublet. I am very pleased with the way it all looks . . . hopefully, it will fit perfectly, and he’ll like it, too.  He is portraying George Boleyn at Scarborough Renaissance Festival this season.  It’s been a number of years since we had a “George” and I think Ryan will do a great job.  It’ll be fun for the queen to have “her brother” to play off of to entertain us!

My photo (although I realize this morning, it’s a tiny bit blurry—-what can I say, I was tired) shows fairly well, the stomacher portion of the ensemble . . . specifically that fun fabric manipulation I was working on the other day . . . I never did find my reference illustration, but, my memory seems to have served me well enough.  Amazing, that!

So, today, the morning after, my big challenge is just to stay awake long enough to get the coffee to kick in!

~MB

Ribbons in Wait Thursday, Feb 26 2009 

Ribbons in Wait

24 February 2009

One of many similar photos I’ve taken over the last couple of years, of stuff in my workshop. Not very exciting, I know . . . but that’s life right now. I did not even leave the house today . . . until No Frills-thirty this evening, that is. A little trivia, a little food and beer, and then back to work. Ryan’s outfit will be done in a day or two. Then, on to other projects.

~MB

Close-up of McKenna’s New Outfit Thursday, Aug 21 2008 

Close-up of McKenna's New Outfit

20 August 2008

I always wanted to be the coolest aunt in the world.  Unfortunately, I live too far away to be a regular part of McKenna’s life.  And, I guess I’d say that I’m a bit more of a disciplinarian than her Daddy is.  So, I guess I’ll just have to settle for being the wacky aunt who has the crazy cat and who sews cool stuff.

McKenna and I had a fabulous time together last September, when she accompanied me to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.  I put her in a makeshift costume, and she liked that so well, that I bought her one from a shop onsite that same day.  She enjoyed that one so much, that she wore it again for Halloween, and still loves it.  So, I came up with the bright idea that I could make her an even better outfit for next year.  And, now, it’s next year!  In only two and a half weeks, she and I will once again visit the renfaire together.  And today, I finished the main bits of her new outfit.  I still want to make her a little pink chemise, and some sort of hat or French hood.  But, the bodice and skirts are done, and the hoop is on order!  She’s going to look like a real princess!  I only hope I can dress to complement her!  Perhaps I should simply plan to look like her nurse! 🙂

My photo today is of her fabrics and trims; garments  piled on top of one another.  I want to add beads to the underskirt, like I did to the bodice, and when that’s all done, I’ll take another photo.

Dinner tonight was at Larry and Denise’s.  Kelly has just completed one of the new gowns Denise will wear this year at Dickens.  And, Larry and I finally organized our thoughts and finalized the design and fabric choices for an outfit we’ve been talking about me making for him for way too long.  I’m hoping to get it done for him for debut at TRF.  Anyway, the need to see them, and the love of their company, meant Kelly drove us up there and Larry cooked us dinner.  Yum.  As always, his cooking was much appreciated!   We even brought home leftovers!  And we got the extra bonus of enjoying a visit with his mom and dad, too. 

Hump day gone . . . the remaining weeks fly by.

~MB