The Girl Behind the Madness 

I am a scientist, sewist, costumer, and gamer based out of Houston, TX. I am a huge sci-fi nerd and bibliophile for sure. I sew everything from historical reproductions, cosplay, accessories (messenger bags, etc), to even quilts.

I am a self-taught seamstress with over twenty years of experience. I think I got the bug from both of my grandmothers, who were both fantastic with hand and machine sewing. I started making costumes around the age of 15, and garb for renaissance festivals — and with that, a hobby formed. My mom isn’t too shabby with a machine either, and she taught me how to draft patterns using newspaper. I am eternally grateful for their advice and guidance over the years.


My main sewing machine is a Kenmore 19110 110 stitch computerized sewing machine. It’s actually identical to the Janome DC2010 – 2014, 2019 (because it’s made by Janome), and it is fantastic. I’ve sewn through layers upon layers of fabric and even leather! I swear if this machine ever dies I’ll be devastated… I’ll also hunt down another. I’m not even kidding.

For heavier fabrics, since I don’t want to overwork the 19110, I use a Janome HD-1000. I acquired it a few years ago and it’s a metal beasty. Not to mention it’s black like my soul. I love it. It can go through leather and denim like nobody’s business. I highly recommend it! Note* I specifically mean the HD-1000 — not the 3000, and not the 5000. Those are plastic and definitely won’t hold up as well.

JW8100I also have a Janome JW8100 in my arsenal of newer machines. It comes w/an extension table and is pretty cool. To be honest, I haven’t gotten it out much because my Kenmore and JD-1000 are BEASTS. I may use this machine to teach people how to sew when they ask, and let the hubster use it when he has a quick sewing project.

To help finish seams, I also use a Kenmore 3/4 serger. This is the same as the Janome 7933. This is pretty much the best investment I have made in my hobby – and I recommend it to anyone who wants to start taking sewing seriously. I can also recommend a couple of books on using a serger / overlock machine.

I think the last thing I need would be a machine that can do a coverstitch. We’ll see which one I end up with eventually.

b70And some day I may get an embroidery machine…EDIT: BEHOLD! For today is that day. I am now the proud owner of a Bernette b70 deco! This little baby is QUIET! I am so surprised at how quiet it is. You cannot hear it from the bedroom below even with doors open. You can barely hear it in the rest of the house if I have my office door open. Amazing.

To get any of these machines, and see what all notions I prefer, check out my Amazon page here. (Full disclosure: I get a very small % from items purchased through this link)

To check out my Antique and Vintage sewing machine collection, click here.

Why The Patchwork Pirate?

The Patchwork Pirate (PatchworkPirate) is the name I use for my sewing side project/hobby/avatar/whatever. Someone referred to me at the TN Ren Faire as “The Patchwork Pirate”. I’m rolling with it. In fact, I wish I could meet that person again and thank them.

On occasion I do take commissions, depending on my workload at the lab and whatever else I have going on. Please feel free to email me anytime and I’ll be happy to get back to you! I’ll also be able to let you know my availability and whether or not I’m taking a commission at the time.

I hope to see some of you around the convention circuit – I usually go around to the Southeastern and Texas conventions!

Stay shiny!

~ Courtney


One comment

  1. Thank you! I sadly am not taking commissions at this time as all of my equipment is currently in storage. Once I get into a permanent residence I can hopefully get everything.

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