Monthly archives "June 2015"

Waistcoats for Pirate Costumes


The pirate world is a bit of a new endeavor for me.  I make Waistcoats because my husband wears them for his work.  Not many people can say that!  🙂  But these costumes are outside all day long, in whatever weather, sometimes horribly hot or really cold.  So I always have to focus on getting some decent material that will wash up nice and be made sturdy enough to wear all the time.  The material has to be natural, because they are looking for authenticity of the time.  They just didn’t make polyester and spandex back then!  I also always have to watch for sewing machine stitches showing.  So a lot of the things I will do by hand if they could potentially show.  The actual structure of the costume is made just like all my other costumes, with a 4 threaded serger to reinforce all the seams on the inside.

I used piping around the edges of the fabric, that I had covered with the extra fabric.  My original prototype had a different color on the outside, which could also look really nice.  On the inside facing of the sleeves, I hand stitched that so that no sewing machine stitches would show.

The pockets are welt pockets, though I have made other kinds as well.  It just depends on the look you want, and if you want to actually use them.  Welt pockets stand up pretty well to frequent use, but they aren’t indestructible.  I will be posting some pictures of WIP pictures of the welt pockets on the next waistcoat.

The black and gold Waistcoats are made of 100% linen and have a cotton lining.  The red Waistcoat is made of cotton but does have a satin lining, because using a cotton lining would have made it too thick. The buttons are custom ordered buttons, and they require a lot of them!

chris black waistcoat reduced with title  red waistcoat arm lining and facing with title







waistcoat yellow with title

  Pirate Wear 2 with title

The Anatomy of a Tunic


So in the world of tunics, there is a lingo that helps us communicate.  If you’ve not ever heard it, here’s a listing.

  • A Tunic is the jacket piece of the set.  The neckline is similar to that of a kimono, though it’s technically called a surplice neckline.
  • An Undershirt is the shirt beneath the tunic.  Most of these have sleeves that gather extra fabric at the wrist.
  • A Tabard/Set of Tabards are the strips of fabric that come over the shoulder and bind at the waist.
  • A Sash is the piece that fits around the waist, right where your saber belt will go over.

The good thing is they are not acronyms, so they are a little easier to follow than what we have to deal with in the business world at work, right?

Learner Tunics


There are many variations of a Learner Tunic.  I make mine from a cotton homespun gauze.  Gauze color can be tricky but I regularly get the option of two different types of brown.  One is just a tad more milk chocolate brown, and the other has a tinge of black.

There are, of course, fabric tabards that come with these.  But I also have pleather tabards available.  As a fellow hobbyist, I would always recommend a true leather tabard for these.  I don’t have a leather machine and it’s not in the cards for the moment to move to leather, so I don’t offer leather.  It truly can be a different way of sewing, and they are two different crafts.    The stretch pleather can be difficult to manage, but considerably cheaper.   It comes in black and dark brown as you can see in the pictures.

There are different Undershirts for Learners, but I will dismantle those in another post!

“Jedi business.  Go back to your drinks.”  -Anakin

Learner 2 Tunic Set with title    learner 3 tunic set with title











For The Little Ones…

When I was able to costume full-time, every October I would complete my orders and use the leftover fabric for pro-bono gifts to children of those hobbyists who were so gracious to work with.  I have a lot of fun with this and hope I can do it again sometime.  But here’s one of them that I thought was just pretty darn cute:




The Scifi Realm is getting so much bigger these days!  Though I may not fully embrace some of the new venues showing up at conventions, I think I can keep busy enough with the new Star Wars movie coming out, a reboot of Stargate (I’m skeptical), Marvel TV and Movies and more…  the world has just exploded.  I truly miss Star Trek TNG though.  I get sad when I think about it.  It’s weekly TV to me, and not necessarily movies.  I do appreciate the fan made series, Star Trek Continues, on You Tube.  I would love to see many seasons of  it, as it’s very nicely done.

I’ve welcomed in Renaissance, Pirate, and other period costumes.   I have been doing this since 2001, and much more is on the list to make!  I have done several other types costumes, but since it was unrelated to Star Wars, I didn’t think to get pictures which were good enough to post to the site.  However, now with the new format on the website, I will be including many more of the projects to show.

In my posts, I will individually talk about each of the costumes.  Most of them I’m willing to make for others as my time currently allows.  Everyday life tends to take away time to just hobby, so I do what I can to fit it into my schedule.

I think it’s important to discuss each costume in more detail.  It’s something I’ve never done, so I’m going to give it a try.  I will be blogging about all of my current projects, and like most things, I have several going at once.  Some of them are scifi, some of them are renaissance, some of them are unrelated projects to the science fiction and fantasy world.

Should you wish to contact me about a project, you may send me a message on the Info page.

Again, welcome to the new site!  So many great memories are ahead of us!