Monday, June 16, 2014

There's more to being a female reenactor than cooking...

Thanks to the ever-giant Tim for the photos (and also... the entire kit...)
... and that's all I have to say.

Well, not entirely.  I finished a shortgown for this event as well as completely redoing my chemise sleeves.
Photo credit to Rory J. S.
Photo credit to Tammy B
Now, to finish a whole new pair of hand-sewn stays.  At least I can have some pleasant daydreams about shooting frenchman with a malfunctioning musket (which, I might add, is absolutely terrifying if the first time you use it is on the field of battle.)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

An evening of risque stockings

Or, de-staching slowly and responsibly.

I found some leftover silk from my blue regency ballgown while reorganizing and decided to make myself a new corset, since my current one is getting a lot of use so I can't really consider it my 'fancy' one anymore.

 I realized too late that my chemise (which should be replaced soon) was inside out.  The more you know...
 I'm definitely not the sort who usually puts a lot of time and effort into undergarments (as far as I'm concerned, nobody's going to see them, so why bother?) but I had a lot of time and white thread on my hands because of summer break, as well as a few older corsets that I cannibalized for boning, so I went with it.

Just the Details:

Period: 1855-1860

Pattern:  Loosely based on Kay Gnagey's Simplicity pattern, but I altered it considerably.

Materials:  Silk taffeta, cotton coutil, cotton twill tape, spiral boning

Time:  About four days (the quilting took forever.)

Final Verdict:  I love this corset!  I'm so happy I put the time into making it pretty!  The only change to my old one that I made was to make it two layers and to lengthen the pattern by about 3/4".  It worked out really well, and it's a lot more comfortable than my other one, even though it's a bit tight around the bust.  However, it wasn't until I was almost done that I realized... I forgot to take the tuck out on the front!  I will probably go back and put a bone there or something to keep it from wrinkling at the waist (see below.)  I am also, as I learned, an abysmal top-stitcher, so you can't look too closely at the seams because they're not all in straight lines.

 I tried to do one of the 'risque victorian boudoir daguerreotype' poses, but the car in the background ruins the affect.
 I also want to go back and do a lot more flossing like on the originals.  c;

I've also been finishing up my camp impression for my Revwar event this weekend.  Let's hope that I remember to bring the camera this time!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I guess that's all done and over with

I did finish my graduation underbodice in time, thankfully (all by hand, because I was too lazy to get my sewing machine out from the detritus of the basement) and was able to wear it to graduation.  Luckily the dress still fit, as small as ever - unfortunately, I tore it off my body as soon as physically possible (it must have been over 90 degrees, and it was a two hour ceremony) so I don't have many good shots of it.
Courtesy of our local newspaper - a picture of a picture.  (Hi, Mrs. J!!!!!!!)
I already did the explanation of this dress earlier in the year, and the underbodice is about as plain as it gets.  The whole ensemble was surprisingly cool despite the aforementioned temperature.

Now I'm working on cleaning up my sewing spaces, as my parents are moving house as soon as I leave for W&M, as well as a few small projects - a Revwar shortgown and, with some lovely teal silk I found, a new fancy 1860s corset.

And for Adi, the questions regarding the Liebster blog award:

  1. What period was your first love or your introduction to historical costuming?  Wanna share a picture of your first costume?  Ahhh, my first love was definitely the 1830s.  I loved antebellum political history so much that I wanted to be there in as many ways as I could, so I started off with dreams of gigot sleeves and poke bonnets.  The best dreams of mice and men, you know.  I didn’t sew my first costumes; my mom is a lovely sewer and at the time was not working full time, so she did a lot of my early clothes – I started to take over bit by bit until I was sewing them all.
All poly brocade, all the time.
  1. What period do you find most difficult?  Why?  I think that the 1770s closures are immensely frustrating. I usually end up deciding to just pin it closed, which makes the perfectionist in me wince (but it is period!)

  1. How have you balanced school work and costuming and a social life?  Well, my teachers have been very kind about letting me sew in class, which helps with the schoolwork (that’s an easy 4-5 hours of work a day.)  I’m also a pretty sedate person by nature so it isn’t like I’m missing out on wild rave parties to sew – I usually only devote maybe 20 minutes a week to sewing outside of class.

  1. Looking back at all the costumes you've made, which are you the most proud of?  I’m really proud of my 1840s ballgown.  That was my first all-hand sewn dress.  I just took it apart a few days ago, but wow, my stitches were so neat.

  1. Where do you see yourself five years in the future, in regards to costuming?  Hopefully at Colonial Williamsburg in some capacity.  A girl can dream, right?

  1. How does your family feel about your hobby?  They pay for it, and that’s really about it.  My mother loves it and shows pictures of my dresses to all of her friends, and my father is a lovely cameraman who thinks that all my dresses are pretty although his grasp on the construction is rather vague.

  1. What is one piece of advice you can give to someone new to the hobby that you wish you'd gotten when you were just starting out?  (Or, alternatively, what is one piece of advice you got as a newbie that you'd like to pass on?)  I would have liked to know beforehand to start out with simple dresses made of cotton or linen or wool until I had the skill to work with the good stuff.  I think that if I had saved my good fabrics for now I would have had a lot of better-quality dresses.  Also, iron every seam ever.

  1. What is your dream fabric to work with?   I really, really love tropical weight wool.  Something about the feel of functionality mixed with luxury. Mmm.

  1. If you are comfortable with doing so, give us one random fact about yourself that you've never mentioned on your blog!  I always drink my coffee in a glass instead of a mug.   I also love economics and talking and reading and learning about economics, especially of early America (turn't up for Nicholas Biddle!)

Thanks for giving me an opportunity to talk about myself! c:

Edit:  This also happened.
 (Happy late Memorial Day!)