Because of the Romantic gowns for the upcoming play I've really been neglecting my Pirate gown. So far, though, I've knocked out three girl's dresses and two women's, with about the same number remaining to complete.
I finally got my treadle into working condition. It ended up costing probably about half of what it would cost to buy a similar one on craigslist, but oh well. I had to buy a new leather belt, a needlebar clamp, and some needles. I tried the OK Sewing in Omaha first and bought the belt from them, but they didn't have a matching needle clamp and basically told me that since they didn't have it, no one did. That wasn't very helpful. Next I tried the Sewing/Vacuum shop in Council Bluffs, and they did have a needle clamp and needles.
About my neglected Pirate dress: I have cut out all the pieces and begun to put them together. I used the JP Ryan "Robe a la Anglaise" pattern. I like this pattern because it is basic and thus can be either formal or low-class, and then decorated a great variety of ways. But then, it's also the only purchased colonial pattern I've ever used! As other reviewers have mentioned, this pattern is long in the waist, high in the back, and the shoulder straps are very long.
I spent some amount of time looking for Pirate-dress trim. Faux leather is too chunky; lace is too overdone(and expensive), metallic is too gaudy. I want daring, but natural! Pirate, but ladylike! Then I found the jute section. It's a natural fiber, so it has a bit of a rustic look, but it's available in a few but neat-looking styles. Plus, it's cheaper. I ordered some for the sleeve hem and for down the gown front, and I'm really pleased with how it looks. Though I haven't had time to put it on yet....