Taking Stock: Project Updates and Plans

American Duchess has undergone a change in location: I have moved from California to Nevada, and all of my things (and I mean ALL) are currently stacked haphazardly in a storage shed, save my sewing machine, laptop, and a couple bags of clothing. Understandably, many projects and things on my to-do list have been postponed until I can end my nomadic tendencies, and set up “the castle” in a functioning manner. So as not to keep you in the dark, here is a run-down of, well, all the stuff I have planned:

The KCI Jacket & Gilet Project – unfortunately postponed until further notice. This requires some fierce patterning, draping, drafting madness, for which I will need space, both my dress forms, large pads of paper, rulers and slidey rule thingies, muslin, and on and on. Thus, until I have these things at my fingertips, it must be postponed.

Medivh World of Warcraft Man-Clothes – cancelled. The man for whom these man-clothes were being made is not longer in my life.

Dickens Christmas Ensemble – revised. I hadn’t posted about this before, but I had originally planned to do a black velveteen jacket to go with a pink & cream striped skirt that I made for a ballgown earlier this year. I’ve decided instead to do a gathered/fan-front bodice and tiered skirt in some oh-so-sweet plaid, and base it loosely on this Simplicity pattern.

Mid 18th c Court Gothique Man-Clothes – a commission for a friend, who is looking for a full ensemble and has his materials all picked out. I plan to work with a pattern, probably JP Ryan. More to come on this project!

Top-Secret Elizabethan Project – you guessed it, I can’t tell you anything about it, mwahahaha!

And that’s what Duchie’s got goin’ on for the next several months, and on into 2010. Oh yes, and each completed costume, barring the commission, for under $75, of course!


  • Robin G

    October 28, 2009 at 1:33 AM

    Looks like an impressive list, I am looking forward to seeing the Jacket & Gilet pattern. Also looking forward to you posting the pictures of the famous Barn owl gown in action.

  • Lauren R

    October 28, 2009 at 2:59 AM

    Just waiting for more pics from Gaskells to surface, so I can get any and all of them on here in one post! And hey, I may have to add another project to the list, per what we e-mailed about earlier tonight 🙂

  • Margravine Louisa

    October 28, 2009 at 2:28 PM

    I totally understand the moving thing, having moved 8 times in 18 yrs myself. Finally getting my sewing room set up, but frustration at not being able to find ANYTHNG> i can hardly wait for the kyoto jacket —- but I will wait patiently …… best of luck, happy organizing, we keep the faith!

  • american duchie

    October 28, 2009 at 4:50 PM

    Moving IS frustrating, particularly when it's rather unplanned. I searched through a pile of boxes and bags yesterday looking for the top half of a gown I'm *supposed* to wear in two weeks. Never did find the corset…

  • AmDuchess

    October 28, 2009 at 9:07 PM

    Wordy – I'm going to alter the front of the bodice so it comes to a point or a rounded point (forgive my oxymoron), and gather it more precisely through the stomach area, so it fans out at the bust more accurately. I am also going to do a triple-tiered skirt. I've done some research on fan-front/gathered front bodices, and I haven't found a single extant garment that shows this kind of waistband/belt thing that the simplicity pattern uses. I think it's a lovely pattern as is, and bought it years ago with the intention of making it without alterations…but then…well, you know how it goes, something in us desires to be more accurate, more historically correct, and away we go 🙂

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