Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thrift store find

Another lovely thrift store find. I plan to remove the chain on this one and add a long, looped pearl necklace. I might add some little tiger eye beads as well. The stone on the brooch needs a bit of a polish as it has seen some wear. I will post pictures when it is done.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Birthday gifts

Here is another birthday present - One of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received from a friend:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Costume Teasers from the new Cinderella Movie

Here is a link to some fabulously frothy costuming in the new Cinderella movie from Disney:

Images courtesy of Tom and Lorenzo

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Flashes of Flattery Blog

You may remember that I have posted previously about my talented friend Gabriel who makes the cute little rapier pins and pretty beaded pendants? Well, he now has a blog available to showcase his wares:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Some beautiful paintings to inspire some summer sewing

Isn't it easy to get distracted when you should be doing something that you don't enjoy doing? It is the last month of the academic year where I am, and I have tons to do. But all I want to do is anything else! I am thinking about tourney dresses for next year. It gets so hot in the southern parts of Australia that a gown with removable sleeves is a very practical option.
Here are some lovely portraits for you to admire-

The Fruit Seller by Vincenzo Campi - from

(I love this outfit; especially the partlet.)

Ghirlandaio's Portrait of a Girl - from

(A high neckline will reduce sunburn, and front opening is always very practical.)

Ghirlandaio's Portrait of a Woman - from

(Very similar to the portrait above. I really like the little caul that she is wearing.)

Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni by Ghialandaio - from

(This ensemble is just gorgeous; love the sleeves, love the bodice, love it all! I wish I could do that hairstyle.)

click to enlarge
Ghirlandaio's Portrait of a Woman - from

(The partlet in this one is probably ideal for the Australian sun because the back of my neck always gets toasted.)

I am no closer to actually making a decision on what style to go with for a new tourney dress, but I have a lot of options to consider.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Past pouches

I have been making some tentative plans for sewing and embroidery over the Christmas break, but there is just too much to do, and too little time! To inspire and motivate myself, I have put together a few pages of items that have been finished. Today, some pouches:

'Mouse pouch' - a Lochac children's award

'Mouse pouch' - a Lochac children's award

Lochac A&S Championship pouch

'Mouse pouch' - a Lochac children's award

A rose motif for a sweetebag

A sweete bag with fruit motifs in raised embriodery

A linen gift pouch

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

American Duchess Sale

I just heard that there will be a sale on American Duchess 'Harlow' shoes this Friday. More information at

48 Hour Sale on at November 14 at 12 pm PST

Interlaced Vine Partlet

This is a partlet that I made for a prize auction tourney in 2010. The embroidery was done in double running stitch with black linen thread. The ground fabric was also linen.

The interlaced design is taken from one of my reproduction modelbooks.(I love looking through my collection of modelbooks in the initial stages of a project!) I did not alter the pattern. In the sixteenth century, the embroiderer would probably have traced or drawn the design onto the base fabric with ink. I taped the linen to a window and traced the design on in water soluble pen. I find that water soluble ink is much more forgiving of any errors! I did a tacking stitch to mark out the edges of where the partlet collar piece should be cut.

The partlet was hand sewn. I sharpened a couple of strong decorative jewellery headpins to make pins to hold the partlet in place when being worn.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Elizabethan Whitework Coif

Some time ago I made an Elizabethan Whitework coif as a contribution to the Queen's Gift Basket.

Some extant examples of coifs from Patterns of Fashion 4 are below:

Below are some of the plates from Patterns of Fashion 4 that inspired this piece. They are a hood and a coif embroidered predominantly in chain stitch.

These are the designs that mine was adapted from. I left out the cutwork because coifs are so good
for a 'bad hair day' and having cutwork reduces their usefulness in this area!

I toyed with the idea of adding eyelet or buttonhole stitch grapes, but decided to leave it plain. This way, the coif suits people who don't like the over-the-top, more-is-more Elizabethan design ideal.

The embroidery finished and lawn lining sewn in

Flowers and leaves embroidered with silk in chain stitch on a linen ground

The coif waiting to have the knotted gather put on top

Close-up of the knotted gather that adds a 'pouf' to allow for a bun

How this piece sits varies greatly with the head of the wearer. On me, it looks like a cross between a coif and a linen hood. As it is a gift piece, that doesn't matter. But it did inspire me to change the pattern I use for making my own coifs. The next one will have the gathering tube further back at the back of the neck. Hopefully this change will mean that I can wear the new style behind my Elizabethan padded hair-do.

The hand-sewn central seam

Commercially produced lace was hand sewn into place and a line of
decorative running stitch added

Thankyou to Heather once again for the beautifully worked lucet cords.

Please see my previous coif posts for information on the background of coifs and how they were worn.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bugiardini's Beauties

My 2013 post about the lady in the pink dress by Bugiardini (image below) prompted me to do some research into his life, but he seems to be a bit of a mystery!

image from:


Giuliano Bugiardini was also known as Giuliano di Piero di Simone. Although his very early career is uncertain, it is known that he apprenticed with Ghirlandaio. He was a member of the Painter's Guild and had a very small involvement in painting the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.
(Source: )

Portrait of a Woman (by Bugiardini)

I love the figured silk of her sleeve, the fine embroidery at the edge of her chemise, and the decorated headband.

Portrait of a Woman (by Bugiardini) c. 1510

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tudor Tailor Patterns

I recently celebrated a birthday and was delighted to be given some patterns from the Tudor Tailor shop ( I will be attending a Tudor Feast in the next eighteen months, so Tudor clothing will be on the agenda soon.