Summer favourites

Today is the the day when autumn commences. Leaves begin to effloresce into a warm autumny welcome. It is one of my favourite seasons when it comes to colour and transformation.

This is not a fashion blogger, lifestyle, make-up favourites, but something quite different! In this post I’ll take you through my summer hobby related favourites. It is all about little projects and pieces of inspiration, creation try-outs and costumes I have finished. Things that succeeded and things that went horribly wrong during this sunny vacation season.

Flower and petals
When I first heard about the awesome tutorials you can find on Pinterest I thought: “Nah, probably much harder then they make it look”. Most of those tutorials I never really have the time for anyway. UNTIL this DIY beauty came along. The tutorial pictures looked amazing and not that difficult, so I made a few little flowers to try out this DIY idea. These little ones were my results and they are so cute – if I say so myself :).

Making flowers 2  Making flowers

Pinterest flowers2

My own chainmail
I started this a long time ago (since it is a long stretching little project), but I thought I would put it in this article anyway. I am making my own chainmail! Continue reading

DIY Duct tape dress form: Do’s and Don’ts

Let’s celebrate the last bits of august with a DIY project.

The duct tape dress form: the best outcome for any desperate sewer or seamstress who keeps using him or herself as a pincushion. And for all of us who just don’t want to spend a great deal of money on an adjustable dress form.

I wouldn’t want to bore you all with another long tutorial, and I wouldn’t have to! Since the whole internet is full of wonderful articles that teach you just how to get the duct tape dress form done nicely, I’ll only  and shortly break down my own process for you.

My own process for two dress forms
I used 2x 25 meter duct tape (which was not really enough), 2 cans of isolation foam (a small one and a big one), loads of used (news)paper, 3 pvc pipes (for two dress form stands) & some fittings, of course an old tee and microwave foil (where I first used extra fabric).

Necessities dress formI followed the tutorials I found online and within half an hour I already had the duct tape layout. I had it then cut out by someone who I could trust with scissors, which resulted in a piece cut of my bra :/.
But it was very much fun to do!

I then stuffed the first form loosely with paper, closed every hole with cardboard, stuck the stand in and began filling it with isolation foam. Two errors became clear afterwards: too fancy on the paper and too quick with the foam. It had way too many air pockets because of the big props of paper, so I noted that the second should have smaller paper props in it. I had to correct quite some bumps here and there when I became a little too impatient with the isolation foam, so I noted to reduce the stress a bit on that part. The next form I made was my revise-de-faux and it went much better than expected. I used fabric to cover up the shoulders and neck for the first form and then it became clear to me that microwave foil is much easier and cheaper. So I used that while making the second one. I now have two little sisters added to the family and they are awesome (and very quiet) ;). Continue reading

How to make an Outlander costume – Part 2: Claire’s jacket / bodice

An Outlander Claire’s jacket tutorial for you! In season one from Starz’ Outlander, Claire mostly wears these warm wool blend jackets above a tartan skirt that look so Outlandish, I had to make one myself. I hope you’ll be inspired by my own process.

Still I can’t seem to keep my tutorials short and to the point – Oops

I loved doing this project, it was very insightful. If you’ve seen Part 1 of my Outlander costume, you’ll know that the traditional great kilt / Arisaid was actually really easy to make. Pleating was basically all you had to do. Of course my Arisaid is not true to Outlander, because they wear nicely tailored petticoats in the show. But I thought pleating a Scottish Arisaid would get me a bit more into that traditional and historical part of Scotland and its practicality in clothing. I just really wanted to learn how to pleat a great kilt (and it is also so much easier!).

These photos show on which design I have based my Claire inspired bodice: 1, 2, 3.

The finished costume

Click here to fast forward to the actual sewing how-to. Continue reading

How to make a Kilt | Outlander costume – Part 1: Arisaid / Great Kilt

An Outlander tutorial! An Outlander great kilt tutorial or Outlander Arisaid skirt tutorial that I crafted just for you. Click here to go to part 2.

“Well, well, well, Ava Baytree.. This article seems even longer than your other ginormous tutorials!”

Guess what, this one is actually much easier 😉 ! Perhaps you are here because of Outlander, or just because you are as much into Scotland as I am. Anyway, you probably want to know how to achieve that key Scottish look. The modern small kilts these days don’t even reach that traditional look and feel of the amazingly functional great kilt.

Wearing and pleating a great kilt or an Arisaid is easy, it is warm and comfortable! The only thing that holds the tartan together is a belt. So no hardcore sewing required whatsoever! I’ll try to break down every bit that is key to these ancient garments.

Outlander Great Kilt by Baytree Costumes Continue reading

Game of Thrones season 5 concluded – Une Vision par Derrière

Spoiler-free!

It has been a while since Game of Thrones concluded its fifth season. From the first to the last episode, it was again, and as always: a rollercoaster.

I was blown away by the amount of new and refreshed creativity portrayed on the screen. Not only in the cinematography from for instance S05E01’s very first scene, but also in the changes that were made. The series’s changes were key, inevitable and necessary throughout all the plots, storylines and morals but also in its scenery, acting portrayals and of course the costumes!

Before I get into some costume details (because I should!) I want to get into something else. Across the internet and mostly throughout Pinterest, I saw people labelling this season as the worst so far. And the first question that raised in my head was: Why? This season had the most evolved continuity yet. The entire season was one huge metamorphose. Characters have changed to such an extent as unimaginable as vital. Continue reading

Scottish Limerence: Art

A new branch from my Scottish devotion-tree

I was able to do this awesome art-project and because it fell right in my Scottish devotion period (let’s call it that), of course it had to take the Scottish road of inspiration!

©baytreecostumes

Outlander | Scottish Limerence art

The theme for the project was “strange people”. And it totally made sense in my head, the English and the Scots were indeed strangers to one another from the 18th century perspective. Their culture was entirely different, it was as if they did not even share one drop of the same blood as we see emotionally portrayed in  paintings, songs, history, writings and now even TV series. Perhaps even more so in the fact that Scotland wants to be independent to this day, almost 270 years after the final battle of Culloden. Continue reading

How I made my Semi-Corset

My first freshly pressed costume how-to / tutorial / how-I-made!
This semi-corset is easy to make, looks great and requires little sewing skills.
Expensive boning? How about zip ties? Yes indeed, it made me feel like a costume hacker.

Semi-corset by Baytree Costumes1

Please note that I am not a professional. Costuming is a beloved hobby of mine, and with that sometimes come lazy solutions that provide that non-professional yet brilliant and beautiful outcome for those less experienced. Also it would be appropriate to point out that this is, in fact, my first real costume project.

Making this semi-corset took me about 3 days in total, and it was a project to happily make mistakes with! Believe me, I can now. And because I did some things wrong, I thought I would lay out my entire process for your inspiration in the hope you do not stress the same as I did ;). Continue reading

Jane Eyre – Ineffable Limerence

Charlotte Brontë‘s Jane Eyre is so well written, so full of life.
It describes the inner of Jane as almost no writer can describe the soul of a character, as of a real human being. Charlotte could psychologically reach behind the cloak of men and women as she shows through her main characters. She also knew people’s true desires and inner struggles. She gives her descriptions true, witty yet right to the heart. She shows how destiny and free will works through sharp conversations and stark events.


Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre

I envy her writing, for it is so philosophical and straight to the point yet decorated with enough description. You know exactly what to feel for every character but still you have to read every sentence carefully since they are so bountiful. Every scene has a lesson of its own. The book, as the movie, taught me, inspired me and connected me to the story, to Jane and to Edward. How wonderful of a story, how amazing the writer. I wish I could have shared a cup of tea with Charlotte. See how obliviously sharp she must have spoken and how kind she must have been. Critical, yet loving I’m sure. Perhaps we will sometime ;).

Please drop a like if you were inspired! What are your thoughts on Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë or any other delicate costume drama? Please comment below!

Outlander Season 1 Concluded – Celebration

Spoiler-free!

Outlander has concluded its first season with episode 16.. Which I have not yet watched but sure will do!
I remember when I was watching the first episode, which was kind of a get-in for me.
I got properly hooked on the show when the Scots came in the picture. I loved the roughness of the scenery and I immediately was interested in the time period. The accent is still something I try to reenact daily. In addition the clothing really paints the Jacobite picture to a full screen phenomenon. The show has romance, it has violence, it is horrific as well as satisfying and it keeps surprising as well as it keeps messing with your head.

And, If you did not know already, I am releasing my Outlander Inspired Project part by part through the coming month(s). Of which I am now working on the great Outline that will break down every part of my process for you and for your inspiration.
To celebrate this Outlander finale occasion; here are a few pictures!

Sneak Peak Bobbin Corset Sneek Peak2
Baytree Outlander samples

Just some teasers; the second shows my first ever crafted corset and the third shows the samples I got for the main fabrics. I was so mesmerised to find a fabric with a tartan-pattern so close to the Outlander Mackenzie one.

Please drop a like and leave a comment if you were inspired. Thank you verra much!

Update: Even I, and I can bear violent TV and film scenes, could not entirely handle the horrificness of some of the scenes from this season’s finale. It is an act, a psychological awareness that a film or TV-creator can apply to certain scenes to get a point across. There is that, and there is psychological violence. It is not well done to apply the point you need to get across to a scene while the grandeur of it leaks to the audience and sticks to their minds. Some people might even get nightmares or something from this episode. On the other hand; they did balance it out. But just to say: the art is not to lay out every detail, but to leave some parts to our vague imagination. This gives the strength of lesson; rather than the strength of picture. Sure, some scenes made do, and I will watch the next season that is coming. I will be hoping for new insights into the Outlander story, and looking forward to the new costumes. Good voyage, Cristobel.