Originally this site was dedicated to my artwork. That is not to say my artwork will not make its way back onto this site, especially as a good deal of it is historically and fashion driven, but the path of my life had brought me to more time with a needle than with the paint brush. So this site has been torn at the seams, redrafted, and sewn back together to showcase the costuming endeavors that have occupied my time.
I started sewing when I was very young. Quite young in fact, though I fear there are no remnants of those travesties to show you… perhaps that is for the better. For the most part, I am also self taught. I took a couple sewing courses through the 4-H, mostly in quilting… otherwise I have made mistakes, horrible, horrible, mistakes, I have spent COUNTLESS hours researching online and through the wonderful pages of books, and consulted with other seamstresses to have learned what it is that I know. And you know what? I don’t know all that much. I am CONSTANTLY learning and improving. Pinterest, I am sad to say, has become an addiction but it has brought me to wonderful new horizons… horizons that I am very excited to run after.
If only I had the time to truly dedicate myself. I work a 9-5 like everyone else (well, actually at the moment a 7-6, four days a week). My weekends are usually full with working the Renaissance faire, Dickens fair, SCA events, and spending time with my family and friends. I am a fairly accomplished dancer, fencer, and artist. I pursue falconry. I tutor for the local high school, sleep on occasion, and, sin of sins, spend time out doing things normal nearly *cough cough* 30 *cough cough* year old women do. I tend to be fairly scattered in my array of hobbies and activities… but my true love has always been art and history and science.
Are my costumes and garb perfect? Hardly. I can, thread by thread, pick apart every piece that I have ever made. But I don’t think that should be held against any seamstress. We have to learn somewhere, and most of the time that learning experience comes from our own hands. In many cases as well, there may have been restraints that have kept us from historical perfection. I don’t have TIME to sew something entirely by hand. I don’t have FUNDS to buy the $50+/yard silks. I have LEARNED too late that the seam lines on my shoulders were too far forward and too modern, or that the fabric I had bought was actually a blend, or that there simply wasn’t enough fabric to begin with and I had to improvise. I have used drapes and sheets I have collected at the Goodwill… why not? If it looks good, fits well, and the fabric pattern is passable, why not spend a grand total of $35 on an outfit? I would just as happily spend the $350+… if I had it to spend. But I don’t. Many don’t. So we improvise. Like our seamstress fore-mothers. I have no shame about the salvaging I have done and the mistakes I have made, openly admitting when asked “WHERE did you find that FABRIC!?” – ” I bought it at the Goodwill, it use to be a bed cover” or “At the Alameda Vintage fair, this use to be two huge banquet table clothes!!”… And I’ll tell you here where I found everything, if I can remember.
Much of the work you will see will be historically based – generally renaissance. But I’m starting to branch out, so bare with me with the GLARING ERRORS that will, and have to be, made. I will get there. And if you see something to really like, contact me, we can talk commission. Likewise, if you think there is a piece of garb that I should make just in general, send the inspiration my way. I have about… 1, 2, 3, 4… maybe 6 outfits that in design stage right now, but there is nothing wrong with adding to the queue.
So, without further adieu… Welcome to Aingeal Studios. Artistic Fibers.