Category Archives: Costumes

Traveling with a Decorator – Europe Day 1

Kings Cross St. Pancras Station, London

M. and I (hereby renamed M&M) are on a tour of Europe. We once designed theater projects together in College and now work in two different design fields. This is our account of the trip.

Day 1: We arrived in London late on Tuesday night and headed to our hotel, a nondescript little hole in the wall on a row of similarly tiny hotels next to Kings Cross St. Pancras Station. Upon waking the next morning to a rather dreary, rainy day I promptly blew up my hair-dryer (but managed not to light the room on fire or blow out the electricity so I count it as a win). Appealing to the better natures of the hotel staff I managed to wrangle a new hair-dryer and proceeded with M. in tow to meet my old flatmates, C&C, in Kensington.

We headed to The Muffin Man for a delightful tea with scones & jam. It was a great traditional place with cozy seating and a great tea selection.

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Tea and Scones from The Muffin Man – Photo by Olivier De Man

Then we hailed a black cab and headed over to the Victoria and Albert Museum. The V&A is by far one of my favorite museums, and houses everything from clothes and costumes, to marble statues, old tiles, pottery, stained glass etc. It’s huge and we hardly had enough time to begin but we gave it a go anyway. C&C led us through the Cast Room which I discovered back in 2004 during my study abroad years. One sections was being remodeled but the other was just as I remembered it. Then, we headed to the theater exhibit rooms (filled with costumes and set models) and the stained glass rooms (which were beautifully laid out).

Before we had even begun to take it all in it was time to head off. We bid a cheerful goodbye to C&C and went back to the hotel to grab our bags and catch the train to Paris! The train was exceptionally fast and not too crowded (4:30 on a Wednesday isn’t the most popular time for travel) so we were able to spread out a bit. By 11pm we were happily tucked into bed at our Friend’s apartment in the 16th and passed out. It was quite the start to our Europe Adventure.


MY Mr Knightley: Making a Shirt

For those of you making your Halloween (or Theater) Costume this fall, this tutorial on how to make a Regency Shirt is a great resource!

Tea in a Teacup

An 18th Century shirt, from the Victoria and Albert Museum. The sleeves are finely pleated to enable the tailcoat to fit over the top.

My first item of clothing in my husband’s Regency wardrobe is a white shirt.

Throughout the 18th century, men of all classes wore long white shirts with off-the-shoulder sleeves as a basic undergarment underneath their clothes. The shirts often doubled as nightwear and were usually made from linen or cotton. The only visible part of the shirt during the day was the upper edges of the collar peeking out from underneath the cravat, and maybe the frills on the cuff, which extended below the jacket sleeves in the 18th century. The tails of the shirt were also extremely long, designed to be pulled between the legs as an early type of underwear.

By Regency times, little had changed. The frills on the cuffs were beginning to…

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Halloween Costume 2014 – Fish Mooney, Gotham

A simple but effective costume for Halloween this year. Complete with Mooney’s weapon of choice – a baseball bat. This villain stays classy in gold, red and black but keeps it edgy with dangerous looking shoes and accessories. Don’t forget the pointed nails or the red and black wig.
Halloween Costume 2014 - Fish Mooney, Gotham

The Hats of Downton Abbey, Series 4

rose and cora

I have to say I’m an avid “Downton Abbey” follower. So I was delighted by this posts on the “Hats of Downton Abbey, Series 4” from “I Should Have Been a Blogger”. Take a look!cora1 rose3 rose1 mary2


We’re over halfway through the fourth series here in the states, and you know what that means? It’s time for our next installment of my ongoing series “The Hats of Downton Abbey.” (Original here, men’s hats here, season three here.)

We’re thoroughly into the 1920s now, and the hats are morphing to match.


Yup. Hats are out in the Jazz age. Not to say women aren’t wearing them to go out–they are. But the new big thing is the headband.

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Millinery Projects – In Which I Make Lots Of Hats




I’m currently in the middle of a project where I get to stretch some of my millinery skills by making a variety of fun hats. The project is re-creating a series of costume and prop pieces from photos to use in a new show. I have an image but I get to create the blue-print and puzzle it out myself. I’ll have some great tutorials for you guys after I’m done and the project is over, but for now here’s a little glimpse into the process.








Couple’s Costume – Mary Poppins and Burt

October is officially here! This is a Halloween costume post for a couple, two friends or even a single lady to try on her own. Mary Poppins and Burt are two of my favorite Disney characters and they were always up for an adventure, be it dancing with penguins or having tea on the ceiling. The elements for this costume are quite simple and some you may already have:

Mary Needs: a long black skirt, white Victorian shirt with a high neck, a red bow and belt, black hat (find one online or in your local antique shop) embellished with flowers (you can find those at Michael’s), a black umbrella, black boots and a carpet-bag.

For Bert: Gray pants and vest, blue shirt, suspenders (any color), red neckerchief, and black boots. Bonus if you add some black makeup to your face to sub in for chimney soot. If you have time to order a broom Spirit Halloween carries them for around $10.

Couple’s Costume - Mary Poppins and Burt