Friday, January 27, 2012

Old Costume: 1880's corset

I made this corset last summer to replace a boring white one.  It's from the Truly Victorian 1880's corset pattern and is one layer of satin and two layers of cotton batiste.  If you ever want to make a corset out of satin, DON'T - SPARE YOURSELF.  I was terrified the whole time of making a mistake because picking out the stitches was practically impossible without ruining the fabric.  I ended up sewing the channels by hand so that they were the exact fit for the steel spirals.

Also, I swear I made a set of combination underwear, but I cannot find them anywhere.  They probably ended up on some closet floor during the many costume shifts.  Hopefully this will force me to make a new set without hideous sweat stains.  So, here I am with an 18th century shift and an 1880's corset.

Note: Do not try to adjust your shift after you're completely laced.  It will make you lopsided.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Finished Project: 1790's undergarments

Hooray!  I'm finally finished with the shift, stays, and petticoat for the 1790's morning outfit - this was my first entirely hand-sewn project, so I'm trying to bask in the glow of accomplishment and not think about how many more things I could have done if I had used the machine.  And I'm not completely done: the bottom edge of the stays need to be finished and I need to short the straps a bit, but that straightforward work can be done when I get back to college.

The chemise and petticoat are a cotton/linen blend and the stays are cotton sateen with the cotton/linen for the waist stay and binding.

It's hard to see, but there is a small bustle pad attached to the petticoat

Yeah, those straps need to be shorter

I used Past Patterns 038 for the stays and I have some advice for anyone interested in making it.  First, the "busk area" (there isn't actually a busk, just four boning channels in the center) was too wide.  This made it stick out away from me - this can probably be concealed by a sturdy bodiced petticoat, but it's a bit of a pain.  The extant stays I've seen have this wide busk:

So if you make this pattern, I would suggest that you only use the two center-most boning channels and ignore the outer ones.

This is probably just my high waist, but the side bones dig into my hips the tiniest bit.  Otherwise these stays are very comfortable.