Coupon code for May – Etsy shop

Opened up the etsy shop again, but not taking custom orders at the moment

I was going to put most to ebay with smaller starting bids, but felt too exhausted… instead, here’s a -20% discount coupon code for : HEYMAY
Valid NOW until 15th June…
Just use HEYMAY at checkout… Also, shipping promotion – no handling or additional fees with shipping, just what the post office charges – pay for one shipping no matter how many things you order.  Registered/tracking code included.

I will post updates if I do transfer some things to ebay later on.
Also, all p&ps are now for registered mail, as it’s the only way I can guarantee full refund if something gets lost in the mail. Which I’ve read has happened a lot especially with USPS lately… I really want to make people feel safe they will get what they ordered
Here’s a few examples,  ´-20% discount with coupon HEYMAY

18th century dress for sale historical clothing and corsets on etsy

18th century dress historical clothing and corsets on etsy


Tomb Raider Game: Lara Croft Backpack mark1

Tomb Raider Lara Croft Backpack mark 1 by merineiti

Tomb Raider Lara Croft Backpack mark 1 by merineiti

Last time I made a backpack, I was maybe 11… made little scruffy backpacks for me and friends, I think they were a thing back then?

I like making working cosplay props. I’ve never been to cons, and quick googling didn’t even find any in Finland outside anime world so making things that would never get worn or used just doesn’t feel right.

I also have no room or interest to build a museum of stuff  especially as the shelves are already filled with dolls – I rather introduce geeky stuff to be used in daily life.

If I ever get a toaster, you bet it’s gonna be like the dancing toaster from Ghostbusters, or the talking one in Red Dwarf. I also really would like a sonic screwdriver, but it’s better be a working Flashlight, be used as a pen or even a real screwdriver (I actually found two! 10th doctors screwdriver from thinkGeek and 11th Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver
from Amazon)

Okay, so anyway, working props and cosplay, it’s time to make Lara’s Backpack from Tomb Raider!

Very first draft,  quickly sewn together with some scrap fabrics to test out the size, and also a drawstring mechanism I then discarded.

backpak, first draft

backpak, first draft

The size was good, but then I had another problem. I only got a large fat quarter of the brown pleather fabric. Also, wondered what could I use to stiffen up the back to help it keep it’s rectangular shape?

Then I remember purchasing a bunch of A5 craft foam sheets‘ few months ago!
They’d be perfect! So eventually, I re-patterned the backpack to A5 size. It is maybe little bit too small, but figured it’s all good for first draft anyway…

Lara Croft's backpack, inside out...

Lara Croft’s backpack, inside out… with all these colorful craft foam sheets…

BASICALLY the pattern pieces are 3x A5 (front, back, flap), 1x half A5, lenghtwise (bottom), and 2x third of A5, cut from short side – with 1cm seam allowances added to all sides.
the straps, pockets and little pieces were cut to fit the fabric, it was a puzzle and there were so little of the fabric that I was left only a 1cm strip leftover, so close it went!
If you are planning on making this, I recommend getting at least half a yard of fabric, large fat quarter is fine for the main piece, but if you want to make sure to match all the pieces, half yard or more is better.

So, this is the Tomb Raider Backpack Mark 1, made with fake leather, craft foam, recycled cotton and reclaimed buckles. Made with broken down sewing machine…

Tomb Raider Lara Croft backpack mark 1 by merineiti

Tomb Raider Lara Croft backpack mark I

The biggest problem is my sewing machine, that has jammed into tiny stitch 😦 I’m not taking custom orders before getting that fixed, because it really affects the quality of sewing.

Rectangular, with working buckles. Side pockets are small, but they are working.

In the back, there is zippered pocket to fit a smartphone etc. (I said I like making working props)

lara croft tomb raider backpack with pocket by merineiti

working prop, me likey

The straps, I ran out of fabric and didn’t have the needed accessories to make them adjustable, so instead there are loops sewn in the bottom edge, and you may adjust the straps with tying ribbons at the end of straps. F0rget making pretty bows, just tie them with anchor hitch and they will hold.

Inside lining has brown cotton printed with woods and bears! This used to be a skirt of mine, which didn’t fit anymore and had fraying lining, but I couldn’t bear (lol) to let go of such whimsy fabric. Here, I feel it’s a nice choice for Lara’s backpack 🙂
In the lining there is a little pocket too.


bear fabric lining in lara croft tomb raider backpack

bear fabric lining

It’s kinda nice but there’s lot I would change as well.

For Mark II, fixes:

– Sewing machine. Fix it, get new one, get access to better one, something, I NEED LONGER STITCHES!
– Need more fabric, preferably cotton canvas instead of pu leather
– If making bigger, bigger sheets of foam or other similar stuff
– Piping the edges might help maintain the rectangular shape even better.
–  Better buckles -maybe just decorative with snaps?
– The straps(handles, preferably pattern curved version with adjustable straps

– pattern the back pocket properly
– maybe more inside pockets as well
– pattern bulkier side pockets (so you can actually store something in them)
– zipper or extra fabric to cover the upper edges? Re-try the drawstring? So it doesn’t rain in the backpack?


Well, it was a nice little project, and will be sufficient for now ( I still have most of the costume to do!) but definitely will try to make this again some time!

How to dress up in 18th Century clothes

18th century gown 'pet-en l'air

18th century gown ‘pet-en l’air” a.ka short french robe by merineiti

Should have made a dress up guide years ago, but glad others have beat me to it 🙂 Here’s is a couple of great youtube dressing ups by cazonetta, and some other links to help you on how to actually put on the 18th century dresses, and which is the right order to put on all those layers:

1740-1770 – the court style, with a lots of petticoats 🙂

The late 18th century, with slimmer figure – see how she is pinning the jacket shut. People new to 18thcentury/ colonial may at first think it’s a weird way of closing your garments, and often makes their first gowns with hooks and eyes and even with velcro or hidden zippers, but personally I’ve found pinning with quality sewing pins to be the best! You might poke yourself the first times, but soon learn the best way to do it and also how many and in which places to pin yourself into your clothes.

An Easy18th Century petticoat site also has good pictures on how to make an 18th century petticoat, and how to dress it.

Also, can not talk about 18th Century clothing without mentioning

This was one of the first sites I ever come across when starting to make rococo clothes back in 2008. It is still one of the best basic sites, and here’s the link to their dressing up guide:

If you’re interested in making 18th century stuff yourself, that is also the link where to start. You’ll find patterns to basic clothing, as well as tips and tutorials on hair, makeup and men’s gear.

And any questions, feel free to ask!

Forgotten projects 18th century stays – with a twist

I can’t believe I still haven’t finished this! I started it so long ago, wanted to make a truly18th century pink corset, but ended up adding a twist. The center piece IS pink on the other side to make it more “historically accurate” if you wish, but I just love being a little… out of time and this “midnight pastoral” toile with skeletons in early 18th century setting is just too whimsical.

18th Century Stays 07

All that is left to do is to hand stitch the binding to the tabs… it’s like… 90% done, but I just dislike hand sewing that much (I’ve actually machine sewn tabs on renaissance corsets, as they’re slightly bigger tabs but still a task others think insane to do by machine)

And yes, as much as I hate hand sewing, I still enjoy embroidery. Which is, umm, a sort of fancy hand sewing?

hand embroidered 18th century pocket with sailing shipa frigate

18th century pocket with hand embroidered tall ship

Oh well, tomorrow I have a 2 hour train trip (and an hour by bus) so I might as well take this corset with me to finish. 

18th Century (and Victorian) gown projects

The weather is getting better – or maybe I’m just getting used to it – sewing inspiration is back!

So, projects. I will be making something like this, I already have taffeta of similar pink. I have some light blue/mint fabrics that may look good for the robe, but I kind of like the yellow. I have a bit of yellow silk, but it may be too modern hue, and not enough of it perhaps. So I guess, need to visit the fabric store and get yellow synthetic taffeta. I know I know, synthetic, but it looks nice and cuts the budget.
I kind of like the 4/5 sleeves, exiting touch, longer than “regular” 18th century, yet shorten than regular nowadays. Though, in the fear of someone thinking that this is a mistake instead of style choice, I may end up with the elbow length with ruffles anyway, as I plan on selling the dress. Also, I am going to draft a basic pattern for a few dress sizes bigger than my usual model, an example that I can make clothes in different sizes. I know I wouldn’t be confident ordering custom made clothing from someone who only showcases clothes worn by skinny models… 

Marie Antoinette pink and yellow 18th century gown – will be making this

I also have enough of this fabric to make another “robe a l’anglaise” or polonaise like this (up to size L), but I always felt the pattern is a bit too… Victorian. Unfortunately, not enough fabric to make that sort of early victorian flowing dresses. So, I don’t know. This original dress did sell quite quickly though, so maybe they weren’t so snob about the pattern, or maybe they wore it with Victorian dress underneath. Who knows.

18th century style dress, though the pattern is more victorian

18th century style dress, though the pattern is more victorian

Poll: 18th century styles – made to measurement

I’d like to add more custom made 18th century styles to etsy shop.
BUT I need to make a sample dress to have awesome photoshoot with, to showcase that yes, I can make the style and how it will look with or without corsets etc. These are all styles I have experience with, can be patterned with measurements,
and can be made within various price range,  historical accuracy, materials, trims and colors.

French style / pannier dress:

 photo yellow6.jpg

18th century dress French style, Marie Antoinette. Should this be offered as custom made rococo dress?

English style printed cotton dress:

 photo 1780.jpg

18th century dress, english style Should I offer this style as made to order dress?

Colonial style woolen jacket and dress:

 photo maryb29.jpg

Would you like custom made colonial wool jacket dress (long sleeves, maybe even a simple 18th century riding habit in style)

The dress in far right.
I have made men’s outfit similar to what these gents wear, but I feel as there already exist suppliers like Jas.Townsend that have more experience and fair prices, I’m happy to leave men’s wear for now but can always make exception for Finnish / European customers that may not wish to order over seas.

So what do you think? Which style should be made available first?

Take the poll to vote for your favorite style!
Best case scenario, I will have it up for sale just in time for upcoming Halloween.

Something else? The only Regency spencer jacket I’ve made sold quite quickly (and I’ve made an empire ball gown the customer loved), so I’m considering empire clothing, but again, there already exist suppliers so I feel I need more practice to be able to offer superior quality because living in one of the most expensive countries in the world I cannot compete with prices.


Low maintenance horse! But you’re just banging two coconut halves together.

Okay, I only need one horse to ride myself, so I’m selling some stallions from my stables for cheap:

Low Maintenance Horse! available in my etsy shop.

low maintenance horse two coconut halves

low maintenance horse two coconut halves

If you wonder what does coconuts have to do with horses, do watch this video, it explains it all. Well, all but how did coconuts get to Britain: