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.

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 my next one will be the Janome 1200D – I need a machine that also has a coverstitch, unless I want to keep doing all hems by hand. Blargh.

And some day I may get an embroidery machine…

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)

Why The Patchwork Pirate?

The Patchwork Pirate is the name I came up with 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 work with 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



  1. Hi, love your work! I just stumbled upon your site today and I’m in awe! Would you by chance be open to a Peggy Carter blue suit commission?

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