Wednesday, August 23, 2023

A New Skirt, a Bodkin and a Question

By Penny from Edinburgh

I was really happy when my new red floral midi tiered skirt arrived in the post from Bonmarché. I had seen it in a shop window after closing time, had tried a couple of other branches of the chain for it and had ended up ordering it online.

A couple of weeks after it arrived I went out for the day with my friend Michelle. I wore the skirt with a white long sleeved top, black tights, black Mary Janes and a black tote bag.

It was only when we got home and Michelle took some pictures in the garden that the flaw was revealed. It looked great from the front, but at the back the elasticized waist was just too loose.

So I decided, I would attempt to repair it. After trying without success to find suitable elastic in a couple of supermarkets, the next time I was out en femme I went to a haberdashers (a shop which sells thread, fabric and sewing materials).

I showed the shop assistant the skirt and explained what I needed. After she had found me the elastic, she handed me a little pack with what appeared to be two large needles in it. “If you are threading elastic, you will need a bodkin,” she said.

When I got home, I examined the pack with the two bodkins in it. One was really a giant needle for threading lace; the other one was forked with a ring which could be pulled down forcing the two prongs together to hold the end of a piece of elastic.

With the bodkin, the elastic and a pair of scissors, it only took me a few minutes to thread the elastic through the waistband of the skirt, cut it and tie the ends together. The difficult bit of the repair was getting the materials!

I tried the skirt on and it sat perfectly. 

It was only later it occurred to me that none of the femulation blogs I had read ever talked about sewing, dress making, flower arranging or any other traditional feminine arts. Perhaps, my fellow femulators are overly modest about their skills.

Which leads to the question, do you, Dear Reader, practice some traditional feminine skill, other than walking in heels, which you are not telling us about.

Source: Bebe
Wearing Bebe

Gaurav Gera
Gaurav Gera
I welcome all Femulate readers to submit Before and After photos for publication here.
Just send your photos to stana-stana at-sign


  1. Absolutely I sew and alter my clothes. I have let out dresses in the chest, taken in waists, mended seams and adjusted hems. For an elasticated skirt, I usually add two darts in the back which both reduces the waist and adds a nice drape over the hindquarters. Also, a wide belt will hide many flaws and add elegance to a skirt and top outfit.

  2. Until today I did not know what a bodkin was or what it was used for
    I have always used a safety pin to thread elastic throuh the top of a skirt
    I had to take care, that when finishing, I did not stitch the 2 "new" skirt to the one I was wearing
    It would not be the first time I have done that

  3. Being quite a domestic and happy to do cooking and a lot of the traditional housekeeping chores has made for a very happy domestic life. Occasion over the years I have heard effusive praise from my wife’s friends whose husbands don’t help at all with these types of chores. I remember one comment on on the lines of “You would have made a great wife“

    Meant to be comical, we shared a chuckle but deep down it made my heart beam

    As far as sewing goes I learn to see from my mother and wrote an article on Femulate about how I save the day at my wife’s friends wedding many years ago

    Paula G

    1. Rachel McNeillAugust 23, 2023

      Years ago, when I was being fussy over something around the house, my wife told me "You'd have made a good partner for some gay man!" That was before I shared my Rachel side with her and the rest of the world. Now it makes sense to her.

      Sometimes she rolls her eyes and says "there's way too much estrogen in the room, and it's not coming from me."

    2. Before my wife fully retired and ruined my Stephanie days I did all the domestic chores; meal preparation, baking, vacuuming, washing and ironing, tending the rose garden, changing the bed linen, all a la June Cleaver. I accomplished my chores in 3 1/2 inch heels, dress and all the proper undergarments. I miss those days,

  4. I now perform all the tasks of a traditional housewife.

  5. Learned to sew from my two grand mothers, one was a Cook for the Railroad and also a Seamstress, the other was the sewer for a Family of thirteen down on the farm, learned to use a treadmill foot powered Singer Sewing Machine, all her sisters had one.
    One of my best memories is when Grand was making many (dozens) of dresses for the cities local month long 100 year festival, everyone dressed in different decades finery.
    Six months of being the ladies model.
    Almost daily. . . .
    Loved the 1890s era the.... .best.

  6. I work in a traditionally female job. I'm an Administrative Assistant, an office clerk. Since I started this job in 2014, I cannot remember the number of times customers replied to me with "yes, Ma'am" and this was before I ever wore any piece of female type clothing to the office. It all fit together to make my Halloween choice a bit more obvious; traditionally female job and people keep calling me "ma'am" so I'll show them! I now go to work wearing a dress, skirt or women's jeans every day. I occassionally get a "sir" but the number of compliments given to me far out weighs any negative energy.
    My wife suffers from severe edema, her mobility is very limited and I usually do much of the work inside the house. Cooking, laundry, cleaning etc. My sewing skills need some attention. I would love to take a pattern and fabric to a sewing machine and create an outfit of my own.

  7. I bought a lovely dress for $4 at an estate sale. I went to a seamstress to have it altered. That cost me $20. The difference was profound. This dress looked better on me than almost anything else I had ever worn. I had a couple more garments altered. Again, they were amazingly improved. I decided that it was too expensive.

    I bought a sewing machine and I took a class on sewing at a local community college. I crossdressed to every class! That was scary, but fine. I have altered and repaired only a few of my pretty things. I have made a few things for non-crossdressing purposes, such as Halloween costumes. I wonder sometimes if my kids think that sewing is a masculine skill, because Daddy does it and Momma doesn't. :)