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Foundation Garments – What They Are and Why They Matter

This is another entry that’s going outside the usual scope of FFC, but it’s an important topic for any costumer, so here goes. Just like the name suggests, a foundation garment is something worn under your street clothes – or costume – which supports your outer clothing and/or changes the shape of your body, usually… Vintage 1930's Cast Lead Bird House England

Welcome, Rose City ComicCon Attendees!

Just a quick note to say that if you found your way here from one of my talks at Rose City ComicCon, then you’re in the right place! You can email me via the “Who’s Behind All This” tab if you want to have further conversation about the topics I presented, otherwise please enjoy browsing… Read More »

All Dyes Are Not Created Equal

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Courtesy of the smart folks at Dharma Trading: Did You Know That Every Black Dye Doesn’t Dye The Same? And the same holds true for all colors. How a dye turns out depends on the fibers your dyeing, the technique you use and the chemical composition of your dye. Visit my page about dyes and… Read More »

Bedsheets: An Underrated Resource. Yes, Really!

Bed sheets can be an awesome resource for cosplayers. They’re useful for mockups, flat-lining and even making some garments – I made a hoopskirt and matching bodice out of fancy sheet set from Target and they looked great. Previously-owned sheets have done all their shrinking and bleeding in previous washings, so no nasty surprises await you in that regard.… Read More »

Introduction to Fibers: Alpaca, Llama, Vicuña

I’m lumping these three together for reasons that will become apparent as you read. The alpaca, llama and vicuña are three closely-related South American mammals and they’re all used for (among other things) yarn made from their sheared hair. The collection and processing of their hair for textile use is very similar to that for sheep,… Read More »


Part of the ‘Antique Fabrics’ series, this fabric isn’t necessarily extinct, but it was more popular in the past than the present. A heavy crepe fabric, with a more prominent texture than average. The fabric features distinctly wavy ridges along the warp. I’ve seen it referred to a lot in my 19th century catalog reproductions,… Read More »

About Upholstery Fabrics

You should never neglect the home décor section when shopping for costume fabric. You’ll find patterns and colors there appropriate for a surprising swathe of history and some drawn characters too. For instance, when you need emergency princess gear, pintuck taffeta can be a lifesaver. Sheer gauze curtains can provide material for fairy wings. I’ve lost count of… Read More »

Before You Sew: Prepare Your Fabric

You’ve found the perfect fabric, you’ve acquired the yardage and now you’re going to lay out your pattern and start cutting, right? Wait! Stop! Arretez-la! Before you cut your fabric – before you even pin/stick your pattern on to it – you have to prepare your fabric by washing it or sending it to the… Read More »