Join me in my adventures as I write romance novels and sew vintage and contemporary fashion.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Really Retro

I planned to write a blog or two about sewing Victorian costumes closer to the time of The Great Dickens Christmas Fair, (counting the days!) however, my husband did a photo shoot with two members of our Dicken's team in historic Virginia City and Gold Hill, Nevada, this past weekend, so I thought I'd share photos.
I'm pleased so say that I made everything worn in these photos with the exception of the gentleman's puffer tie and the hats. It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun. I spent quite a few hours in my sewing lair watching reruns of Simon and Simon as I sewed last fall.

I like making gentlemen's clothing. The coat and vest are from Simplicity 2895. I employed some techniques not included in the instructions, and when I make my third coat this fall, I'll blog about how I stray from pattern instructions.The shirt is Laughing Moon #107 and the pants are Laughing Moon #106. Both are historically accurate garments.
The Sherlock cape is Simplicity 2517 .

The lady's dress is Simplicity 1818. It was a lot easier to make than the frock coats. 

Here are some more Virginia City shots:

This one is  my favorite:

And, this is what happens when your models grow weary of  wearing layers of brocade and wool and taffeta in 90 degree weather...

I hope you enjoyed the photos. I'm looking forward to blogging about Victorian costumes this fall.


  1. These costumes look amazing. Much better than the pattern picture. Any tips on making the mans jacket and waistcoat? I am just about to embark on one for my husband and am a little daunted.

  2. Hi Tracey,
    My number one tip is to get a copy of Simplicity's 1970s book Sewing for Men and Boys. I used it when I didn't know how to sew well and I use it now. It's a gold mine of information. Here's an Amazon link I've learned so much from this little booklet. Good luck!

  3. Here's a shorter link to the book

  4. Many thanks, just ordered it. I'm considering lengthening the coat so it's mid calf rather than knee high but I'm concerned about how it will hang. Do you think I am letting myself in for a world of pain?

  5. I do not think lengthening the coat to mid calf will have that great of an effect on it. The brown coat in this post was supposed to be mid calf and I shortened it. If you're concerned, then I suggest buying cheap fabric and making a practice coat. I always do that now. It might take more time, but it saves a lot of heartache--especially when the "good" fabric is expensive. Good luck!