Thursday 24 December 2009

Pictures of Anton Pieck Parade uploaded ! And Merry Christmas

A good view of my late victorian hat.

The best picture I have of my long black victorian coat.

To see more go to our website:
A Victorian Wardrobe and click on Photoalbum

And some color versions on De Zwarte Zwaan website

Merry Christmas to All!

Sunday 13 December 2009

Anton Pieck Parade 2009

A couple of pictures of the Anton Pieck Parade of yesterday. It was really cold outside we where lucky enough to have a nice home for the day in Karco. They took excellent care of us. This was our son's first year and it was really hard to keep him entertained with the few authentic victorian toys for boys we could find. There was a lot of public, there were even two ladies from Belgium who came especially for this event. It made me feel very humble and I truly hope they had a good time. The long black victorian coat was finished just in time. It kept me nice and warm on the cold day. I hope to have more pictures on our websites soon. I'll keep you posted.

Friday 4 December 2009


I do not have a lot of time left for the 12th December and I didn't get much work done the last week. Due to my son his eight birthday and the preparations for Sinterklaas. On top of that I've been very tired.

The coat looks finished enough, with only the sleeves that still need to be set in. But as the coat has been flat lined, fashion fabric and quilted lining sown together, there are a lot of raw seams inside my coat. The fashion fabric frays terribly so all seams have to be covered with bias tape. Which is an awful lot of work as it needs to be done by hand in order not to show on the outside of the coat. Here is how the seams of the sleeves look inside out at this moment. I am still working on the black velvet cuffs.

I wasn't happy with my big 1902's black glass buttons and decided to use them for a Edwardian coat. So I bought seven victorian black glass 1.25 inch buttons on Ebay.

They probably aren't going to be here on time. I'll wait untill the last moment and then sewn on horrible plastic ones of similar size, so that I can wear the coat on the 12th December.

The back of the coat with, what the instructions called boxpleats, looks fine. I just followed the instructions, as usual with Truly Victorian they where clear and easy to follow.

All in all there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, before the coat is wearable and I am not sure that it will be finished on time....

Monday 23 November 2009

Buttons, buttons, buttons....

Sometimes when make costumes you are faced with tough decisions.
Like what buttons to use... ;-)

The buttons I bought for my long victorian coat, are probably more art nouveau/art deco. As I still have an Edwardian costume planned (somewhere in the future) I'd much rather use them then. I think they are to big and not nearly elegant enough to use for this costume.

This weekend I visited the verzamelaarsbeurs in Utrecht (sort of antiques fair) in search of black glass buttons. I did find some, which are suitable for the cuffs, but none for the front. Next stop was Ebay and Marktplaats, but no luck there either. This morning I went to the market and found some horrible black plastic buttons, nicely faceted, but otherwise horrible and plastic. The coat is no where near being finished. The sleeves still need to be set in, it needs to be hemmed, I'm not quite happy with how the pleats in the back look etc etc. I am obessing about the buttons, if I have to buy them on Ebay
Meanwhile I ought to be busy with other things, like preprations for Sinterklaas and my sons upcoming birthday.

I promised my husband not to stress over this coat, but in all honesty I really would like to have it finished (read wearable) before the Anton Pieck Parade on the 12th of December, sooner preferably

Thursday 19 November 2009

La Mode Illustree, July 1885

I bought this magazine because it was printed on my birthday the 5th of Juli and I am sharing these scans just for fun. The best thing about this magazine is that it came complete with the original patterns!

Sunday 15 November 2009


To my great hapiness my sewingmachine is back from the workshop. Time to start working on my long black victorian coat. I have traced and cut the pattern and have checked that the length I want, ankle length, is possible with the amount of fabric that I have.
The coat has boxpleats in the back and I have no clue on how to make them. So it is time to search the internet.

And my sewing books ofcourse.

First stop is making a mock-up model in cheap fabric to "test drive" the pattern.
I don't like wasting fabric (and time) so it will be a shorter version of the coat.

This is the pattern I am working with:

Truly Victorian 1880's Late Bustle Coat
I am going to make a fitted ankle lenght coat, with normal sleeves and a roll collar with notched lapel.

The black velvet is the fabric for the collar and maybe cuffs. I haven't decided yet if I am going to use the black satin pipingcord.
The black glass buttons have a flat top with a faceted edge. The seller told me that they are a hundred years old, which would make them Edwardian in period.

Saturday 7 November 2009

Victorian Gents Waistcoat Finished !

Yessss!!!! It's finally finished. Being the perfectionist that I am, I am not a 100% satisfied. But it doesn't look half bad. It looks better when he is wearing it, but he was in no mood to model for me.

My sewing machine is in the workshop for maintance. So I won't be able to sew for a week, but I don't really mind. Next stop will be my long black victorian wintercoat and then, finally!, after a few weeks rest, something medieval.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Annoyed; Victorian Gents Waistcoat update

I am getting quite annoyed with myself and the waistcoat that I am working on. I am not satisfied with how it's turning out. I have no choice but to finish it and hope that the end result will be reasonably ok.

I am happy with the Victorian Style Photograph Album that I bought. It is a good place to store our own Victorian style pictures as well as the vintage photo's I own.

Friday 30 October 2009

Victorian Gents Waistcoat or Vest

Currently I am working on my husband waistcoat, the pattern I use is Laughing Moon's # 109 Men's single and double breasted frock coats with two vests, view B.

The front will be from bottle green wool, the back and lining from black cotton. The clasp and black buttons are original victorian.

Maybe I'll do some piping, in black satin, like on this original black wool vest from the 1880's, which I found here,Woodland Farms Vintage

The black satin piping

Thursday 22 October 2009

Victorian pictures

When I was making my 1860's costume I bought some authentic victorian and edwardian pictures that I would like to share with you now.

Monday 19 October 2009

Victorian Boys Overcoat, finished!

I am happy and relieved to say that the victorian outfit for my son is finally ready ! The overcoat or jacket is being waterproofed at the moment, so that it will not only keep him warm but also dry (at least up to a certain point).

Hopefully in a couple of days the information about this costume will be on my website A Victorian Wardrobe

I have two more victorian projects to go. Next stop will be a new waistcoat for my husband which I have been promising him for two years and then finally the long victorian coat for myself, the simply gorgeous fabric has been looking at me from the cupboard for weeks. The victorian coat will not only serve as a costume but also as a "normal" wintercoat.

Friday 2 October 2009

Victorian Boys Overcoat, progress report...

So Far, so good I hope!


Cording and pockets are done.


I am still not sure about the layer of fiberfill I put between the outside fabric and the green cotton lining. It makes the coat nice and toasty, which is the general idea for a winter coat but I am not a 100% happy with how it looks.
I'll wait with sewing on the sleeves and collar untill I have made up my mind.

Meanwhile we found shoes to go with my son's costume. The are not great but better than his everyday shoes.

Monday 28 September 2009

A change of mindset

Originally I started working on my son's victorian overcoat as something that I would do quickly and then get on with a real project. The basic pattern is easy enough but it is the new techniques, sewing pockets in and doing cording, that take time. I was really getting frustrated not getting on as quickly as I wanted to.

Today I deciced it was time for a new mindset. Learning the new skills is my goal now, and not getting it done quickly. It worked, today I made a pocket in a scrap piece of fabric. It's not good, but for a start it's not bad either, at least I got my mind around the basics. I"ll probably try it twice more and hopefully get the hang of it.

The other frustration is that I can't get the things I need on our local market or in our local shop. And I haven't got time to go to fabric market in Utrecht on Saturday where they have nearly everything. Luckily enough after some searching I found some of the things I need on the internet. Like this satin piping cord.

It's from De stoffenkraam. The grey tweed and darkgreen cotton fabric that I am using for the coat were also purchased on-line with De Stoffenstunter. A Big hurray for on-line shopping!

Sunday 27 September 2009

Victorian times

If you dress up your son to look like a victorian boy you also need toys for him to play with.

This is what we got him:

Victorian childeren had much less toys than modern childeren. Most examples of toys I could find are for girls. Like dolls and dolls houses, so the choice was very limited. I doubt the lead soldiers we bought are really victorian but they look the part for the untrained eye.

Meanwhile I am struggeling to make him an overcoat, the original victorian description is very minimalistic, and there are a lot of sewing techniques involved which I have never done before. Like sewing pockets in, so I really could use a good description. I'll get it done but it will take more time than usual.

Saturday 19 September 2009

Vikingen op Wieringen

picture courtesy of Jan Glotze.

We where lucky enough to be part of the Vikingday held by the Viking information Centre, Den Oever. The weather was lovely, and the public was interested. We had a great time. As always more pictures can be found on our Munnin& Huginn website.

Saturday 12 September 2009

Driebergen Dorpsfeest

picture © Renk Knol

Driebergen held a small historical event, with medieval section. There was a lot of public, most of them where really nice and interested, the weather was great and we where there with or friends of Het Verbond van Christophorus. Ás it was really exteremly busy we didn't have time to take pictures. I made two to be exact, I found this really lovely one while surfing the internet. The other ones, a kind lady send us, you can find on the Zwarte Zwaan website.

Friday 11 September 2009

Victorian boys suit finished!

The Victorian boys suit from 1868,the pattern is from Ageless Patterns, is finally finished.! The bottom of the trousers are not yet hemmed, as my son has grown a cm since it was finished. So I will do the hems begin December. Just a few days before we need it for the Anton Pieck Parade on the 12 th December in Haarlem.
The cap and blouse are storebougth.

As December can be cold and wet I have decided to make my son a period overcoat as well, it will be this one from 1877, also from Ageless Patterns.

Tuesday 8 September 2009

New Tent

For years we used an A-frame viking tent but recently we sold it and purchased a Anglo Saxon Geteld. It is easy to transport and much quicker to set up.

From the Utrecht Psalter Psalm 119, Folio 71 Verso

Martyrdom of Saint Boniface - Gottinger Sacramentary

1155 - 1160 Eadwine Psalter

More information and images:
The Geteld