Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Upcycled Earrings

The lingering lurgy has been slowing me down, but I managed to fix up the old earrings I bought from the junk shop back in July.

The old earrings

My ''ingredients''

I cleaned the earrings and removed the old hooks. I cut a headpin so that it was a straight piece of wire. I made a loop at one end to hang the earring on and then threaded on a pearl. I made another loop at the other end which I hooked through a new earring hook.

The finished earrings

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ironing and sinusitis

I have been sick for most of the week with a cold and sinusitis, so not much sewing has been going on. The closest I have managed is pre-washing and ironing stash fabric. I usually pre-wash everything before storing it, but that can be difficult in winter. To make sure that I know what is washed and what is unwashed, I safety pin calico tags to the folded fabric.

I hate ironing at the best of times; I don't recommend it when you're sick!

Friday, August 22, 2014

TAFE Student Exhibition

I had an appointment in the City earlier this week and just happened to chance upon this exhibition of costumes in one of the arcades. They were created by TAFE SA students-

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Delectable American Duchess Shoes

"Stratford" Elizabethan Shoe (Oxblood)
Images from

This week I had the opportunity to try on a pair of reproduction Renaissance shoes from American Duchess. (This company has been responsible for fostering my love of reproduction shoes.) My group of re-creationist friends have been talking about these shoes for quite a while, so I jumped at the chance to try them on. (Thanks Mandi, for being so thoughtful!)

Honestly, I expected them to be uncomfortable. I thought they would be the type of sturdy shoe that you would have to wear around the house for a few weeks or months to 'wear in' before attempting to wear them to an event.

Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. Admittedly, I only wore them for a few minutes (because the risk of tripping over my own feet in my attempts to watch myself walk in such gorgeous footwear became terrifyingly real!) but I was amazed at how buttery soft and yielding they were. So comfortable, so pretty, so perfect.

You all know how tight my budget for re-creation items is, but I am seriously thinking of investing in a pair of these shoes. They are so well made, I think they will be an integral part of my kit for many years.

Check out to see what is available.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pomander Bead Necklace

When I was on holiday in July I picked up some treasures in the local junk shop.

Only a couple of weeks before I had been looking at the jewellery of this lady; particularly her billiment and pomander bead necklace. I was wondering where I could buy such a thing. I have a single bead like the etched ones in the portrait, but I had found that years ago and couldn't source any more, so I thought I would never get a necklace like this. I also thought that the chances of finding a pomander bead holder was very remote.

16th Century Portrait of a Lady by the Florentine School, sold by Soethbys
Image from Pinterest
Walking past the junk shop, I saw this necklace hanging in the window and literally did a double-take like a cartoon character. I rushed into the shop and purchased it - for $4! I also got a brooch and the little earrings. The people in the junk shop must be getting quite used to me doing a happy dance on the footpath when I walk out of their shop!
Making up the necklace -
I used plain gold beads because I couldn't find etched glass ones. I also used more pearls in my version than the one in the picture because I don't think the orange-gold beads are very flattering to my skin tone and I want to be able to wear the necklace with bodices as well as doublets. The pearls are baroque freshwater pearls and they are strung on gold tiger tail wire for durability. I took off the little heart and wire tassels and hung a synthetic pearl drop from the pomander bead ball instead of a round one because it looked nicer.

The completed necklace
 I have made pomander pellets and balls in the past, but will probably use a perfume oil on cotton with this bead instead because the bead is quite small.

This silk that I found on special is the perfect colour match for the lady's top, but I could only get a couple of metres. Probably enough for a doublet and sleeves, but not a skirt to match.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Banner device

This week I completed a heraldic device for one of my Barony's banners. It is made of wool felt, floss and gilt cord.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


I had a lovely suprise today; a friend bought me a present of silk. How kind and generous!

I would like to use them for these dresses- if I am game to cut them!