Jan. 12th, 2017

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Today the carpal tunnel injections have proven their worth 🙂 If I can do this one or two more times before I have to have surgery I’ll be happy. Sounds like I need my ulna’s chopped off sooner, but, maybe?

Also I may have gone through 1/4 of my Hot Cinnamon Sunset tea. Now if I could get a perma-stash of that I’d be happy 😉

Okay so putting fabric away up high just made my radial stuff really make a statement but I am just wandering around with bandages around my wrists not full splints 🙂

But I have cut my Cleves skirt fully, an entirely new kirtle bodice (hey Michaela it’s summer, you do not want linen canvas, cotton twill, and silk underneath those layers for the bodice) from my linen twill.

Just took a break to share this. I usually work with non easy to photograph fabric so this is why I’m sharing now! I usually use a mechanical pencil and draw directly under the pins that emerge from the top but I just had chalk out there today.

Also yes, florist pins. They grip better and I can really pull in my seams to fit properly. It’s easy to see how, I also overlap them to work like boning/support.

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Just fixed several pages- turns out this theme doesn’t do those handy wordpress links. Either that or the latest version of WP broke them.

So a lot of people have used the Psyche Knot instructions over the years! A lot! And there have been people who have been sharing my old tripod site (a big thank you for sharing the link and your recreations, love them!). My new site has had them but of course that lovely “this function doesn’t work anymore, psyche!” issue has meant rebuilding that section. Sigh.

But inspirational. I think I have all the fashion plates published in those years but there are more how to guides to share. A heck of a lot!


(Previously published at http://frazzledfrau.tripod.com/titanic/)

Classic and Recamier Coiffure

Soft pompadour and Psyche Knot

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I have realised how most people stay in their social media feed and rarely click through. So I'll be sharing pages every so often here as I hunt out their history on the wayback machine.

 So here is my free waterfall drapery pattern, this has been used a heck of a lot by the Phantom of the Opera costuming groups since 2005, also on victorian patterning forums of the same era. It's so ubiquitous I even spotted the similar shape in a few official productions ;) There is a difference and I never did update with that final detail to make it a near perfect diagram.

12 years! I did a big update in 2006 to include multiple examples though as people were, and continue to copy the same diagram.

Please note this is a tutorial, the pieces may scale up well but they are not a one size fits all pattern.


First published in 2005
The waterfall is an extremely graceful type of drapery used in costumes depicting the mid-late Victorian era. They can be seen in many costumes in the stage production of The Phantom of The Opera and in movies such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Mina’s green silk dress when she first meets Dracula in London). They are even used in non Victorian costuming such as Star Wars (one of Padme’s night dresses in Episode III.)

The question of how to make these has come up many times recently (please note, and while I was happy with how I created the drapery for my first Blue dress and Hannibal drapery, it was trial and error. There must be an easy way to work out how your drapery is going to look.

And there is.

In my trial and error I had noticed that the top edge that is pleated and the curve of the free edge work to create the flare and curve of the base shape. So I decided to test with graph paper to show how this worked. I used this new method to drape my Australian version Wishing Dress from Phantom of the Opera.

Since creating this page, I have refined the method. Still, this is a good start especially to see just how much fabric actually is required for the very flared pieces.

plotting the drapery


1) I first of all started by drawing what the final drapery would look like laid flat. If you have a photo of what you are aiming for this can help greatly as you can work with your measurements in place of the original, or adjust to what is most flattering to your figure type if you are not a physical match to the original.
I started by drawing the flat edge to the finished length I wanted then the final width of the top of the pleats. I then divided the vertical edge by the number of folds (usually twice the number of pleats) and measured out at the second to bottom one how wide the bottom of the drapery would be. Then I used a ruler to create the diagonal edge. I then made a curved zig zag up the inside of the shape making sure to hit the marks indicating where the curved edge would hit the sides on each fold.
2) I then traced this onto plain paper and cut it out. Both sides were marked with the zigzag and each section numbered from the bottom up. Each number corresponds to a fold in the fabric. The even numbers indicating where the lining would show.
3)I then laid the cut paper on my graph paper and marked the graph paper at each corner of the cut out.



4)-9) I then flipped the paper over along the diagonal edge, so that the edges were aligned. This then matched up the next section which was also marked on the graph paper. I repeated this until the last section was marked. I was then left with a connect the dots outline of the fabric to be folded. Which I then connected with a smooth curve top and bottom.

The upper curve for a flat set of drapery winds up as part of the circumference of a circle, if this curve is altered the drapery may not lay flat, this can be useful in some cases.


This basic method can work for any style of waterfall drapery you want. The method is the same but the repeating shape will be different depending on whether you want a greater or lesser number of folds and how flared or straight you want the shape to be. The following two show how the drapery can be made to have few, shallow folds or many flared folds.

One can cut the striped fabric on the diagonal or across for different effects as well, these are simply examples to show how the different shapes can create different effects. I hope to show how I created the drapery for my first Blue Dress which is cut from a narrow rectangle in the centre and triangular pieces down at the sides, cut on the bias. I also hope to show how to cut the apron and pannier drapery as well.

dr04 dr10 dr11 dr12

dr14 dr13 dr16 dr15

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Loved the Swiss style as captured by Holbein but these sketches in particular:

I think they’d make a fantastic group project, I used them for inspiration for my swiss gown though never actually copied directly.

These are all from Bildindex.de, and the old site says some are part of the kupferstichkabinett though they don’t show in the new site: Basel, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung


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