Arrrrr ther’ be pirates at Middleton

If ye be wonderin’ what has happened to this blog and why thar be no posts for over a month, well, pirates be the answer.


We had a rollickin’ time at the beach at Middleton last week. Relaxin’ it was to be sure, but we were required to dress for dinner with the capt’n every night…..as pirates.

Quite a lot of stichin’ and cuttin’ and sewin’ went into this, and not just by She Who Sews.

This delightful pirate wore a repurposed XL mans shirt with ruffles cut from the excess fabric. Even the parrot was a sewing effort (feathers added to a cockatoo stuffed toy)

This fabulous pirate also wore a repurposed shirt with black lacing and his bandana was a remnant from his wife’s sewing room. He had a wicked sharp cutlass, perfect for shavin’ (but do pirates shave?).

Pirate Felicity scored some new garments, but she was a bit sad at one stage because Jack the Monkey doesn’t always say the nicest thing.

Technical details

Pirate Corset

Pattern: Burdastyle 06-2009-150

Pattern sizing: 34-40. I made a 38

Fabric used:

Arrrr this was the fun part. Lots of stash raiding took place and several hidden treasures came to light.

The corset included

•    a wool silk blend (remnants from this seasons skirt)

•    black organza over a poly cotton linen look fabric (remnants from something in my distant past as a sewist, or perhaps even an inherited remnant from my mum)

•    lace re-purposed from a thrifted LBD, last worn by Felicity as an eight year old with an elegant black pillbox hat and large sunglasses as part of a Princess dress up party (she went as Princess Grace of Monaco, stylish even at eight!). She had long grown out of the dress, and so have her younger cousins. No fun in the dress up box anymore! The lace was also overlaid on the same poly cotton fabric as the organza

•    heavy weight polyester satin lining (remnants from the backing of a brocade vest worn by He Who Cooks at my brother’s wedding in the mid nineties. The vest has been in the dress up box for a long time, and had another airing as a pirate costume at Middleton. You can see some of it below on He Who Cooks through the lovely hazy sunset)

The inner (facing) of the corset was a medium weight black and white abstract floral cotton (remnants from a dress with bright red collar and big shoulder pads last seen in the late eighties). I interfaced this with heavy weight interfacing. It should also have been boned, but this was a costume, after all! There was also no attempt at pattern matching or directional positioning..

My version of this pattern is a mirror image of that in Burdastyle. That’s because I did not read the instructions. I cut out the lining first, with the pattern pieces face up, as you do, on the right side of the fabric. Luckily, before I did the same on the outer fabrics  I realized that the outer and inner layers needed to be mirror images. So my outer fabrics were cut out with the patterns pieces face down.  Just adds to the uniqueness!

Pirate Blouse

Pattern: BurdaStyle 09-2011-111

Pattern sizing: 36-44. I made a 38

Fabric used: Medium weight cotton sheeting.

Changes I made to the pattern:

I didn’t make the bow or use the mid and lower sleeve pieces but instead extended the upper sleeve down to the wrist (the length of Felicity’s arm), plus a few cm more. No, I can’t be more technical than that, it was done without recording the final measurements and not a lot of precision!

I added a tuck to the bottom of the sleeve about 10 cm up, made two eyelets in it about 10 cm out from the side seam and then sewed the tuck down to make a casing. Red ribbon was threaded into the casing through the eyelets.

I didn’t make a self fabric tie for the neck casing, but used red ribbon instead.

This pattern is a very loose style, and in a softer fabric than my sheeting could be very lovely and floaty. The sleeves are nice too. Perhaps I might make a non costume version of this someday!

Thar be treasure here!

X marks the spot

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2 Responses to Arrrrr ther’ be pirates at Middleton

  1. Stephanie says:

    What a lot of fun sewing you’ve been up to, how much fun are themed parties?! What’s next?

  2. Pingback: Hawaii at Lady Bay | He Cooks… She Sews!

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