A huge thank you to Åsa, at Fashion Through History, for the Sisterhood Of The World Bloggers Award!Here are my answers to the questions given, and with the exception of the final question, I've supplied links to sources for the requested images.
Included is my list of nominees for the award, or at least an 'additional mention'. Many on my list have already been nominated for the award recently.
1. How did you start sewing Historical/or other costumes?
A medieval fair and Halloween! Between age 10 and 15, I began to really attack the sewing and costuming process. I'd see historically themed films and feel an insatiable need to wear all those amazing gowns and costumes. I began with clothing my dollhouse dolls in resplendent 18th century ensembles, but I wanted to wear them too. a couple years later with mom's help and partnering with a friend who was working on the same thing, at age 12 I made my first 11th century gown for a local 'faire'. My 1st year of high school, I recreated the Catwoman costume worn by Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns, for Halloween. By pop culture terms, that was my first true cosplay. The rest is history ;-)
2. What other things do you do than sewing/creating?
Mermaiding, burlesque, cosplay and living history events.
3. What item/project that you made are you the most proud of? (may we see pictures?)
Currently, that would be my reproduction of a winter velveteen and fur ensemble worn by the Empress Elisabeth Of Austria (Sisi).
4. Do you have a secret shame item/project that you will share? (Pictures?)
Nope ;-) I'm never in the least bit ashamed at anything I have made, or want to make. There have been times when I knew I could have done a better job, but it's often when trying something for the first time. I use it as a learning experience! I even created a blog for what some might call a 'guilty pleasure' for a historical costumer; Happiness Is A Warm Ray Gun.
I'm never guilty or ashamed, I'm well versed ;-)
5. Do you prefer Books, You-Tube videos or other, for sewing reference? And which are your favorite one/s?
It's hard to choose just one. My preferences change depending on what I'm working on. If it's historical, I pour over all the material I can find; Youtube videos for techniques & tutorials, hi res images of extant garments in museums and personal collections, books from my vast & growing collection, and other costumers processes and experience shared in blogs. For the sci-fi and fantasy cosplay, I try to find as many stills of the actor or character in the costume as I can, in addition to watching the film or the show a few times over.
6. Whats your best sewing tip/trick?
Clipping curved seam allowances!! Even if it's a really subtle curve going in either direction. This is a step that may not be new, but it creates a smoother seamline and fit for bodices, necklines and sleeves.
7. What’s your biggest sewing cheat that you do but you know that you shouldn’t?
Using pinking shears instead of basting to finish the seam edges on the inside of garments. While still historically appropriate for some eras, most times I do this instead of hand basting my seam edges. I know I need to baste them, but when I'm in a hurry to get to the ball, I just don't have time!
I do go back later and at least baste my bodice seams ;-)
8. What’s your biggest inspiration in deciding on up-coming projects?
Hehe, right now it's Dragon Con or Dragon Con. It sort of takes over my life sewing-wise 6 to 8 months out of the year. Between that, work and Dickens fair, I really should reevaluate what I give my time to if I ever want to sew anything that isn't related to either of those events. like a new burlesque costume.
9. Do you have a favorite era/style that you do?
I do but don't often, if ever, get to sew for it. The 18th century is probably my ultimate pre-20th century favorite, with a close second being the mid to late 1870s. My 20th century favorite is the 1930s.
10. What is your dream project? (Picture/s please)
Currently, something similar to these 18th century items:
The much needed pair of stays!
My nominees are:
1. Loren & Isabella - Two Nerdy History Girls
2. Caroline – Anno 1776
3. Isabella – All the Pretty Dresses
4. Merja – The Aristocat
5. Caroline – Dressed in Time
6. Cathrin – Katafalk
7. Elisa – Isis Wardrobe
8. Nora – The Shadow of My Hand
9. Cassidy - A Most Beguiling Accomplishment
10. Lauren - The American Duchess