Saturday 25 February 2023

Blond Against The Wall


Here is a new picture from my sketch book.

This has been done entirely with coloured pens. 

I think it has come out quite well...

Until next time


Wednesday 22 February 2023

Bucket Top Boots


One of the problems I had to solve for my costume in the 2019 Worldcon set was what to do about footwear.

I have a pair of Cromwellian riding boots and, indeed, had worn them with my Three Moosketeers costume , but I still felt that a Seventeenth Century opera costume should have bucket-top boots.

I could have borrowed Teddy's bucket-tops, but, unfortunately, they are a light tan colour, so would not go with the black-themed costume.

I decided to try a different approach.

I had a pair of black Seventeenth Century shoes. Perhaps I could find a way to turn them into temporary boots.

I therefore bought a pair of black leather boot butterflies and looked out a boot hose pattern I had bought when I was briefly a member of the Sealed Knot.

I then made a pair of boot hose in leather, with a front and back flap shape that would sit over the tongue and lace of the shoes (a sort of  closed leather spatterdash). The butterflies would be buckled over the joint to on disguise it.

I tried my idea out and it seemed to work.

I then made a set of truncated cotton boothose and edged them in lace.

This also worked, as can be seen ( one more time!) in the finished costume ( photo by Andy Trembley- used with consent)

Until next time


Saturday 18 February 2023



Here is a new naughty picture from my sketchbook.


This is mixed media (coloured pen enhanced with acrylic).

Until next time


Wednesday 15 February 2023

Making The Doublet


This is how I made the doublet for my costume at the 2019 Worldcon in Dublin.

I actually started to blog about this at the time, but suddenly realised I was infringing Maggie Percival's secrecy rules about the set (even if I  never actually mentioned why I was making the doublet- still-oops...)

Anyway, This was not the first Seventeenth Century doublet I have made. I made a plain blue wool doublet for the Three Mooseketeers set I took part in at an Eastercon ( British annual national SF Coonvention) in the 1990's.

I also made a burgundy wool doublet and britches decorated with silver lace and gold and silver twist braid. This had burgundy ribbon points holding up the britches,

I had not, however sufficiently stiffened the front panels of the doublet.

I had also made a full Elizabethan slashed suit with trunk hose and pullings-out (I have posted about this previously).

The doublet I need to make for the set had to be black, but to be made like an opera costume.

Thus I reasoned it had to have sufficient decoration to be visible from a distance.

I decided it would be slashed with white pullings-out and decided to trim it with black velvet and the same gold and silver twist braid I had used on the burgundy doublet.

The braid was all hand couched onto the flat pieces.

This shows the stiffening panels(or belly pieces) added to the front of the doublet. I have also sewn the sleeves closed and cut the first two slashes to the front of the doublet.

The next picture shows the addition of braid to the front and to the rear side seams, as well as the front pullings-out.

The next two picture show the doublet with the tabs and picadils added. The tabs were edged in black velvet and braid and the picadils were black velvet backed in black wool and decorated with couched braid.

This is the rear view.

Next, I sewed in the sleeves and added a velvet stand collar.

This is the front view.

And this is the rear view

I then added white metal Tudor rose buttons.

Here is a picture of me wearing the completed doublet with the lace collar, britches and bucket-top boots

This is the front.

The side view.

and the rear view.

And here is a reminder of how the costume looked when I wore it for the set ( photo by Andy Trembley- used with consent)

I will post later about the boots and boot-hose.

Until next time


Saturday 11 February 2023



Here is a new coloured pencil drawing from my sketch book.

This a a handsome, elegant, young Coldstream Guards officer of the Napoleonic Wars.

Until next time


Wednesday 8 February 2023

Making The Belt


Making the belt for Teddy's 2019 Worlcon costume presented some challenges.

The belt was described a broad and had to proved a level of support, so I soon settled on a  wrap-around tapering design.

I could not easily find a long enough piece of leather to cut it out in one piece, so I opted to make it in three pieces, with the joints at the side to the rear, so as not to be obvious.

I also decided to butt-stitch the joint, using skills I had learnt whilst making scabbards for my re-enactment swords.

This shows one end attached.

Once both ends were sewn in place, I carefully cut a slot for one end to pass through.

Then , as I had done with the collar,I played about with designs for the brass and amber studs.

Obviously, there was no point in putting studs under the wrap-around belt,or at the back, so the design concentrated on the edges of the front , wide part of the belt.

Then I used the same method as the collar. I attached the brass buttons( via punched holes) with small buttons sewn on the back and punched holes for the screw rivets.

The faux amber was then glued to the screw rivets with epoxy.

and I attached a buckle to complete the belt.

This item also survived without damage.

That concludes the items I made for Teddy.

However, I may yet post about how I made my costume

Until next time


Saturday 4 February 2023



Here is a new coloured pencil drawing from my sketchbook.

I do like a fit young man in shorts on a bicycle...

Until next time


Wednesday 1 February 2023

Making The Collar


As today is Candlemas Eve, I have just finished taking down the last of my Christmas decorations.

All back in the loft until next Martinmas...


This is how I hade the studded leather collar for Teddy's faux-Viking costume in the 2019 Worldcon masquarade.

I used my re-enactment Bishop's Collar as a template and cut out the leather.

I then hand sewed a fold of softer leather round the neck opening.

Next I hand sewed strengthening panels onto the ends to support the straps.

Next I experimented with designs for the brass and amber.

Then I riveted the straps to the collar

Next I worked out a formal pattern for the decoration.

once this was established I could add the brass. These were buttons. I punched holes for the shanks and sewed smaller buttons inside to hold them in place.

After a lot of experimentation with various types of glue, I found that none of them could be relied on to hold the faux amber onto a flexing leather collar.

I then hit on the idea of using screw rivets to attach the amber. I punched holes and attached the rivets in the set pattern.

I then used  a mixed epoxy resin glue to fix the faux amber to the screw rivets.

This method worked very well and the collar survives intact.

I will post later about the belt.

Until next time