Tag Archive | underpinnings

Historical Sew Fortnightly or Monthly #0 Part 2

Hey There,

It is week three of the new year and I have finally finished the first HSF project on my list: 18th century stays. Well…it was definitely a learning experience. I won’t hash out the first part of this project here so feel free to read it here.

For now, let’s get right to where it all went wrong. Well, not wrong, just not great.

I began by making my own bias tape and slashing the tabs into the stays. So far so good.

But it was when the bias tape had to go on the stays that things went a bit wibbly-wobbly.

I decided to go with the technique of machine sewing the bias tape to the right side and then fold it over and hand stitch the other side to the inside. And let me say it is very awkward to sew bias tape around many  curves on a full garment by machine. It would have been better if I hand sewed the whole thing rather than taking a shortcut with the sewing machine. The Butterick pattern said to sew it on like this. Well…actually no it didn’t.

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I was supposed to sandwich the edges of the stays between the bias tape and top stitch it…How was I supposed to do that by machine?! Truth is, I wasn’t. This all would have been so much easier if I did it by hand. The bias tape ended up being wonky when all was said and done.

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It was also at this point that I held the stays up to my body to see if they fit. And sadly, they do not really. They barely reached around my bust and waist. Also the top of the tabs did not sit at my waist as they were supposed to. The stays were too short for my torso. My girls kept spilling out when I tried to make the tabs sit at my waist. And by the way, the straps, could barley reach my shoulders. Fitting fail T_T.  I knew that these stays were a bust but I wanted to finish them anyway, just to complete the challenge.

dsc00096So I forwent the sew on eyelets and went for the the metal eyelets instead. Not historically accurate but it gets the job done. Which means, it was finally finished.

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Ah! But did I mention it doesn’t really fit? Okay, here’s what happened. I cut a size too big from the pattern envelope and when I realized my mistake I decided to alter the stays. Of course this being my first pair, I had no idea what I was doing. And to make matters worse, I altered it on a dress form that was too small for me at the time. I didn’t realize it was too small until two projects later.  So not only are the stays too small around the bust and waist, they are also too short for my torso. See how there is a kind of muffin top between the straps on the dress form? That would pretty much be where the apex of my bust would land and…yeah…lots of breast spillage.

As you can see from the back I at least got to practice my spiral lacing. I did not even bother using satin ribbon to tie the straps. I just used the left over bias tape.

So sadly, I won’t be able to use these stays for any of my 18th century dresses I want to make. But, you know, I learned a ton from this experience so I, in no way, feel like I wasted my time. I learned: how stays should be shaped and where they should sit on the body, how to bone stays, and a better construction process. I also got to get some good hand sewing practice in, which is just the first of many projects that will let me do that. It was wonderful to finally get to work on a project that I have been dying to work on. Seriously, I haven’t felt this way in a long while. And that is the point of this year, to work on what I want to work on even if it does not turn out amazing. Plus, I am planning to make another pair, prettier and more wearable than these. I already acquired all the materials. Though I may give myself a bit of a break from stays and work on other underpinnings. As for these blue stays go, who knows, maybe I can re-purpose them for a Rococo-Punk style since I still like the way they look. For now, they will be a completed project in HSF which will be relegated to the back of the closet. Which reminds me:

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The Challenge: #0 Starting Simple

The Project: Waist Stays (Finishing them from 2016)

Fabric: Cotton toile ($4 per yard), canvass ($10 per yard) and solid cotton ($4 per yard)

Pattern: Butterick B4254, Making History Collection

Year: 1730-1740?

Notions: 22 Metal Eyelets ($5.15+shipping for 100), 17 yards Plastic Bones($17 for 50 yards), 3 yards corset laces ($3 per yard)

How historically accurate is it? : The shape is correct for the period. Though metal eyelets would not be used in this time period nor would modern corset lacing. It should be sewn eyelets and ribbon or cord.

 Hours to complete: 10 hours-ish

 First worn: Never, doesn’t really fit. >_<

 Total cost: $32.

Overall, not a bad start for HSF. Just enough to get my feet wet. Time to start another project.

❤ Sarania

 

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Historical Sew Fortnightly Or Monthly #0 Part 1

Hey There,

Time to start one of my requirements in my costume intensive work. I have decided to take on The Dreamstress’s Historical Sew Fortnightly 2013. Yes, 2013. She started this in 2013 and has kept going until now. All those challenges from previous years are on her blog as well as how the whole thing works. (Hence why I won’t hash that out here, go read her blog. Its quite lovely (http://thedreamstress.com/the-historical-sew-fortnightly/).

Since there are so many years and so many challenges, I decided to start from the very beginning, which is a very good place to start. I am also taking a few liberties with the rules. I am not going to do the challenges in order or try to make it by the set deadlines. So I just have to finish all the challenges by years end. Possible right? I hope so.

Anyway, on to the the first one I am doing. This is marked as challenge #0 Starting Simple. All I have to do is finish a project I started. This is easy.

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These are 18th century stays I have been working on kind of off and on. I started this last year in the summer as a kind of random project to get out of a sewing funk. As of now, they are not done. Since I want to make some 18th century dresses this year (go figure), these would be very helpful to have. I am not sure what shape they will give me since I did not cut them in the correct size and had to alter them a lot and the construction is kind of strange. I should also mention that this pattern is Butterick B4254 Making History collection. If this doesn’t turn out well, I will just draft my own set of stays with the help of one of the costume books I have. But I want to see this through to the end so I am going to finish them.

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Here you get to see that I put some boning in it and you get to see a better shot of the fabric. This is kind of a dream fabric of mine. I always wanted historical undergarments using this fabric and now I have about 4 yards in two different colors. Expect to see this fabric a lot.

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And you can see here that I used canvas as the base layer as the pattern told me to do. This works well but the sandwiching of the canvas between the lining and outer fabric and then sewing though the layers is quite awkward to sew. I am sure I will find other ways to construct stays that will work better but for now I press on.

Now as you can see as of this post this project isn’t finished and it has been two weeks since the new year. So already I failed to make the fortnightly mark, but keeping within the two weeks should come with practice (even though I am not trying to keep within that challenge requirement, I would not mind having 28 historical garments by the end of the year). So soon (very soon) I hope to show you the finished product.

❤ Sarania