The Woman Behind the Madness 

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

I am a self-taught seamstress with over twenty five 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 14, 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 thin 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 a couple layers of thin leather and several layers of denim like nobody’s business. I highly recommend it! Note* I specifically mean the HD-1000.

For even heavier duty jobs and bags, I use my new Elna elnita ef1. It is the same as the Janome HD9, similar to the Janome QC 1600, etc. It sews through leather and denim like it is nothing. I affectionately call mine Jennifer Walters (AKA She Hulk). It only does a straight stitch but it sews 1600 stitches/minute. I’ve gone through 12 layers of denim before it got angry at me. I’ve even sewn through two 1/4″ pieces of leather with no problem.

To help finish seams, I also use a Kenmore 3/4 serger. This is the same as the Janome 8933. 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 cover stitch. We’ll see which one I end up with eventually.

b70BEHOLD! 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 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 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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