The Summer Dress

Summer Dress-14

 

The last of the Seasons collection  has arrived!  After the Autumn,   2 faces of Winter ( Desolation and Polaris) and the Spring ( The Petal Dress) it was now time for the Summer.

The generic theme and feel was something I had long in mind – fields, poppies, cornflowers – mixing the mythology and folklore images from a variety of cultures –  Greek Demeter/Ceres, Celtic and Slavic elements all combined into a Harvest goddess.

IMG_20140721_163435

Time and life was against us this time – we unexpectedly had to move house, and trying to do that as well as keep up with orders, new online shop etc took its toll.

But when unpacking the boxes I can across the corset from our previous shoots ( you might recognize it from the Summer bride and from the Autumn Bride shoots! ) inspiration struck and we decided to do it after all.

From all the Seasons, this one was the least difficult and time consuming to prepare –  I was recycling a corset and the dress was a length of muslin  gathered at the shoulders. the headgear  and hair was made from the scratch – but altogether the whole outfit took about 4 hours to make.

The corset: silk underbust prepared – i stitched on gold net to provide base for sticking stuff through it

 

IMG_20140721_163431

 

IMG_20140721_175732

 

and wove in bits of wheat, etc found in the nearby field…

The same materials, wheat, the flowers etc formed the crown…

IMG_20140722_132728

 

The hair was next –   the wig I had ordered some 3 weeks didn’t arrive and so i nipped to the local wig shop and got 3 packs of long extensions – ironically in m natural hair colour! plus some nail varnish, blue contact lenses etc. I plaited 2 bits of extensions and used the third one to formed the head….

IMG_20140722_132712

 

and that’s how it looked on without the crown….

IMG_20140722_192846 and with it…

IMG_20140722_195646

 

Make up was done with bronzing and honey colours – makes the blue lenses stand out a bit more!

and a few hours later, towards sunset we drove over to a nearby field. Lucas got the technical paraphernalia ready…

 

IMG_20140722_195900 and the results!

Summer Dress-1

 

Summer Dress-22 Summer Dress-13 Summer Dress-7 Summer Dress-5 Summer Dress-30

 

 

And there you have it –  4 seasons done and dusted! what’s next – well, toying with an idea of doing the Elements…. :-)

photography – Pitcheresque Imagery

clothes etc – Prior Attire

 

 

1885 Riding Habit – tutorial

51

 One of the articles ( well, two in one, actually) I originally wrote for Your Wardrobe Unlock’d – It is a long and a detailed tutorial, hopefully targeted at folks who would like to make their own stuff… I do make historical habits as  commissions, if you are interested, please check my website!

 1885 Riding habit – jacket

 

I have wanted that habit since  I first clasped my eyes on it –  the one from Victorian and Albert museum. The jacket has been on my to-do list for ages, in fact I had hoped I could wear it for the wedding hack, but somehow ran out of time to make it. Still, its time has finally come and in the present article we will have a closer look at how to make one  as well as the skirt and the riding trousers !

 

As remarked in the article on the Regency riding habit, some significant changes were afoot. Due to the fencing off the countryside, it has become unavoidable that to follow a hunt, one will have to jump all the fences and hedges in the way. Not much of a problem for all the gentlemen, but a serious issue for the lady riders.

A bit of side saddle history should cast some light on it: the saddles used so far for the ladies had only one pommel, over which the lady would hook her leg. This has enabled her to sit facing forwards – a technique believed to have been invented by Catherine de Medici , though there is an engraving by Durer (pic.a)that predates  the French Queen’s time, showing a lady facing forward as well.

 

a.

Albreht Durer, Lady on a horseback and a lnasquenet

 

Whoever could be credited with the invention, it was a huge improvement – before ladies either sat on a saddle facing completely sideways, with a planchette to rest the feet on, with little control of the steady palfrey which was often led by a groom (http://thesidesaddlemuseum.com/detail17thcenthermessaddle.html). Or, for a faster ride, they sat behind a man riding pillion (still practiced in Tudor times).  Neither way was completely comfortable and neither allowed the freedom of movement. However, with the side saddles with a pommel, it was possible for a lady to ride independently.

And it was all fine until one had to jump. Bolder Regency ladies would strap themselves to the saddles to ensure you would stay on over the fences – but it was dangerous as in case of a horse falling, the rider would be easily crushed.  But with the invention of the second pommel, the leaping head, it has suddenly become possible to stay on, quite comfortably so, over all kinds of jumps, fences or ditches. The equestrian minded ladies, for the first time in history, were able to ride independently in all conditions, keeping up with the men – but still looking elegant and ladylike. Indeed the sport became very popular, with several famous equestriennes performing all kind of tricks on the side saddle.

The riding habits reflected the changes in the saddle design, especially as far as the cut of the skirts was concerned.  I remarked in the previous article how difficult it was to arrange my regency skirts on a later Victorian saddle – the skirt would simply not lie properly as the leaping head was in the way, hooking the fabric.   So firstly the skirts were cut much fuller – not a problem in the crinoline age skirts – but that still didn’t completely solve the problem as the skirts would bulk up and get tangled around the rider’s legs .

b. Lovers-Morning-Recreation-Sarony-Major-1850

Lovers-Morning-Recreation-Sarony-Major-1850 – mark the full skirts!

 

Later Victorian skirts are cut very differently – they are much more fitted, hugging the hips, and having darts at the knee, shaping the garment to match the shape the rider’s right thigh would assume on horseback. It was still not completely safe as in case of a fall a lady could still catch her skirts and be dragged behind the horse – but it was the first step towards the later much safer apron skirts which are still worn today.

The bodice changed as well, though here the changes simply reflected the changes of fashions.  A few things remained constant however:  the cut was simple, utilitarian, resembling man’s jackets and uniforms – and the braiding so popular on men’s attire was no less popular amongst the ladies. The riding habits were worn on shirts or chemisettes, and corsets. Indeed a ‘riding’ or a sport corsets were used – shorter, with hips cut much higher to allow the rider to sit comfortably. The corset, boned either lightly or more heavily depending on the rider’s requirements does not restrict the movement – if anything, it provides a terrific back support.

c.

jumping in Victorian underwear, including a fully boned corset

There is quite a lot of extant habits to be found online- I compiled quit e a lot of images of the habits throughout the ages on my Pinterest board 

 

Background information and research.

Well, not much here on this habit apart from the images from the V&A – there are a few photos of the same jacket on the web  but in different light, so although it is difficult to be precise about the hue of the jacket and the braid, it is at the same time easier to see some details more clearly.

The original shows the jacket in grey/blue fabric with a grey braid decoration – as the description says, ‘Flannel trimmed with mohair, and lined with sateen’. Indeed the style of the jacket is described as ‘Hungarian’ or ‘Polish’, so I found it very fitting, considering my Polish origins!  It was made by Messrs Redfern and Co. For May Primrose Littledale.

 

 

 Materials needed

1.5m of the top fabric – flannel, broadcloth, superfine would be best. Here broadcloth is used.

1.5m of lining fabric- cotton, sateen, silk, linen. I used flax linen.

If you are using thinner fabrics, interlining is recommended.

3m of narrow cotton bias binding

17 buttons – here lovely silk wrapped buttons by Gina Barrett

Hooks and eyes – optional, I used mine to secure the underside front

A strip of buckram for lining the collar

4 bones and bone castings

15m of braid – I made my own out of cotton yarn. Simply couldn’t find one that would work well as most of the braids nowadays contain rayon etc. Still, if authenticity is not the priority, there are a few that would do – there are excellent links in Gina’s article on frogging.  I had originally planned to make mine out of silk yarn, but I didn’t have enough and couldn’t find the same colour anywhere. Still, the cotton seems to work!

Tracing paper to transfer the pattern

Calico for mock up

 

Pattern

Well, for once, it was a bit easier. I used the pattern and the mock up from my wedding bodice – the sleeves, back and sides. All I had to do was to experiment with the asymmetric front. Easier said than done – the experimenting did take some time!

A similar pattern can be found on Vena Cava website:

 

I actually bought this one, as the skirt and trousers will be based on that – and maybe one day I can have a go at another jacket too!

 

Mock up

Cut your pieces in calico and sew them together.  As mentioned, I used my existing mock up, and simply drafted an overlapping right front on a calico instead of an original part.

  1. Try it on, making sure you wear the underwear you intend to wear it with – in this case a corset. Not so good here -needs a few adjustments on the front.
1.trying on the mock up for the first time.

trying on the mock up for the first time.

2.mock up front adjusted

mock up front adjusted

  1.  Once you are satisfied with the fit, transfer the changes to the pattern and cut the jacket in top fabric  and lining. There are a two options as to the method of lining – you can either flat line it, or make the lining and the top separately. I decided to flat line mine as it gives a bit more stability, seems to be more accurate for the period, and it is easier to attach any bones if needs be. So I placed my top pieces on top of lining, pinned them together even before I  started cutting the lining out – as a result they are ready for sewing the moment you finish cutting
4. parts cut out in top fabric and lining, ready for sewing

parts cut out in top fabric and lining, ready for sewing

  1. Start with the darts in the front parts. Pin them together and sew through all layers of the fabric. If your fabric is flimsy, it is a good idea to baste the layers together first.
6.darts sewn  and the lining being trimmed to reduce bulk

darts sewn and the lining being trimmed to reduce bulk

  1. With the darts sewn, trim the lining to reduce bulk and press
  2.  Sew the rest of the bodice together – start at the back and add part by part, making sure the seams lie flat – careful pinning or basting is recommended, especially on the curved seams. If you need, draw the seam line on the lining – will help if you don’t want to rely on the machine’s gauge
8.pinning the curved back seam

pinning the curved back seam

  1. Trim the lining along the seams to reduce the bulk. Notch them too – the seam, especially any curved seam will work better. It is also easier to iron them flat.
9. curved seam with bulk removed and notched to allow for movement

curved seam with bulk removed and notched to allow for movement

  1. Try the bodice on – there is still time for adjustment, and in fact, mine needed a few! Back needed taking in more and the front didn’t look fantastic either  The front was an inch too high and it turned out that it was necessary to insert a horizontal dart to facilitate the transition between the bulk of the bust and the neck area. Darts like that were used in 18th century riding bodices and in some Victorian bodices too – so I decided to insert on here too. And it worked nicely.
11. front needs work too - the neck is too high, and a dart is needed

he neck is too high, and a dart is needed

12. front adjusted  - looking much better

front adjusted – looking much better

  1. Once all the alternations are done, press the seams open and either pink the seams allowance, or couch them down.
13. seam couched down

seam couched down

  1. Sleeves next. Again, pin the two parts together and sew. Reduce the seam bulk and press the seams – not an easy task but can be achieved with the help of the tailor’s ham and sleeve ironing board
15. pressing the sleeve's seams

pressing the sleeve’s seams

  1. Insert the sleeve into the armhole, pin it safely – and if you plan to have the sleeve head slightly gathered (like mine – gives me that little extra freedom of movement!), secure the gathers with a thread. Sew, then treat the seam like all the others – trim the lining seam allowance and notch on the curve.   Repeat with the other sleeve.
16.sleeve inserted- the detail of gathered sleeve head

sleeve inserted- the detail of gathered sleeve head

  1. Tidy all the edges of the bodice, preparing for binding. Pin or baste the layers together and then pin on the bias binding’
  2. Sew the binding on. Trim the edges to match the edge of the binding  Encase the edge with the binding, pin and hand stitch. ) Press the finished edges flat. Repeat on the sleeves.
18. binding sewn, preparing for trimming the inside fabric to match the binding's edge

binding sewn, preparing for trimming the inside fabric to match the edge

20. securring the binding to the left side

securring the binding to the left side

  1.  The collar – pin the layers together (here 2 layers of wool and 2 of interlining) and sew. Grade the seam allowances to reduce the bulk and trim the edges inside
  2.  Pin to the bodice and try on, ensuring that the collar is even on both sides. Sew, right sides together, through the bodice and collar layers (all except the collar’s lining). Grade the seam allowances.
  3. Secure the collar’s lining – i used the same fabric as the top fabric here) and hand stitch in place
23. collar sewn and inside pinned, ready for handstitching

collar sewn and inside pinned, ready for handstitching

  1.  Buttonholes. Mark the buttonholes on the overlapping fabric – the original had 17 buttons, and it so happened that mine was a perfect length for it – a button every inchJ work the buttonholes either by hand or machine.
26.buttonholes  worked

buttonholes worked

  1.  Add the bones. Use either ready-made bone casings or make your own in your fabric. Then stitch the bones to the seams and the front darts.
28. bone secured at the front dart

bone secured at the front dart

  1.  Back pleats – pin the pleats in desired place and secure with stitches – all you can add a bit of fabric to strengthen the place.

 

The bodice is basically finished, it simply needs some decoration.

 

I followed Gina’s advice on the type of braid and made mine out of cotton yarn. It is easy to make (7 strand braid – I have done 8 and 5 strands before), but the required length meant there were some complications. Usually, if a short length was required, I would prepare my threads by tying the excess length in little bundles. It works, but the threads tangle quite a lot.  So for the rest of the braid, I simply used lace making bobbins – the braid can be much longer now and plaiting is smoother.

30. threads on bobbins - much faster!

threads on bobbins – much faster!

 

Eons later, once you have all your braid ready (or if you are less of a martyr and bought some nice readymade one!) the real fun begins – applying the braid. Again, I used Gina’s instructions from her excellent article on frogging. I drew the pattern on the paper, based it to the fabric, sew the braid on and then removed the paper. Note though – removing the paper from those tiny nooks and spaces between the braid took ages – many thanks to my husband who spent at least an hour with tweezers…).

31. drawing the pattern on the paper

drawing the pattern on the paper

32. sewing the braid on

sewing the braid on

33. finished front decoration

finished front decoration

 

Repeat for all the other decorations – on the sleeves, back and collar.

 

Add the buttons and the jacket is ready to wear!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 Skirt and trousers

 

The original jacket is displayed with a plain black skirt. I have decided to go a bit further and get a skirt in matching wool. As pointed out in the previous article, the skirts for the equestriennes have been undergoing substantial changes in the period. By 1880 gone were the full skirts of the earlier periods – they did look lovely, draping on the side in a gentle curve, but they could also be uncomfortable and dangerous: the fabric would bulk up and in case of falls, the folds of the skirts could be easily caught on the pommels of the saddle, dragging the unlucky rider. The new generation of skirts featured a completely different construction; it was asymmetrical, with the shape of the skirt reflecting closely the shape the amazon’s body would assume on horseback. Although not as safe as later apron skirts, this type of skirt was safer and more comfortable for riding than the previous models, and they also enjoyed the benefit of being elegant, and easy to adapt for walking.

The trousers, based on men’s garments, were sometimes worn underneath. They provided a valuable layer for winter hunting, and, if a fall occurred, they kept the lady decent. I wasn’t really sure if wearing 2 layers of wool would be comfortable, but since I got the patterns for both, I decided to give it a try as well and experiment with the layers, trying to find the safest and most comfortable way of dressing a Victorian Amazone.

The skirt

Materials

3.5m of wool (broadcloth, twill, etc, medium to heavy weight) colour – blues, greens, black and greys were favoured, with lighter colours being worn in summer or in hotter climates.

3m of mock up fabric – cheap cotton, calico etc

2m of lining – here   cotton/linen mix

7 – 10 buttons

1m or tape for waistband

1m of tape for loops

0.5 elastic for the stirrup

Pattern: as mentioned before the one from Past Patterns

Note: the pattern provides instructions, but I admit I found some of them tricky to follow and employed alternative solutions – hope you will find them useful!

 

Making

 

 Preparing the pattern and mock up.

  1. Trace the size you require on a pattern paper.  If you are making the pattern only for yourself and will not need other sizes later, you can simply cut the pattern in your size straight from the commercial pattern. Piece the pattern pieces together (front skirt  upper and lower, back skirt upper and lower)
  2. Transfer the pattern onto your mock up fabric.  Mark the darts and notches carefully, it also helps to write on each piece which is front side left or right side, which is back, again, left or right. I know, how can you confuse 2 pieces, but trust me, you can.
1.transferring pattern onto calico

transferring pattern onto calico

  1. Cut out mock up fabric – do not worry about facings at the time.  If you cut the darts on mock up, it is easier to transfer them onto the patter/top fabric later.
2. mock up - back skirt

mock up – back skirt

  1.  Sew up the darts on both parts first, then sew the side seams.
  2.  Try it on. Make sure you try it on either the same or similar undergarments you will be wearing your habit on.  If you are planning to wear the trousers, either make the trousers first, or wear trousers of similar weight and shape under your mock up. Essential – do wear your corset. The pattern is cut to modern sizes and does not take corseted waits into consideration, you may find you need to make the darts bigger and take in the side seams to fit a corseted waist.

 

  1. Mark any adjustments on the mock up, both in standing position and in sitting, side saddle position. If you are lucky enough to have a saddle and a horse handy, do get on and check the fit on the real thing – will work great on your hem line as well. Here, alas, I only had a sofa readily accessible…
6. mock up white sitting - ideally in a side saddle....

mock up white sitting – ideally in a side saddle….

  1. Transfer any adjustments on the pattern if you plan to use it in the future  ( you can also save and use the mock up for that purpose)
  2.  Trace your pattern on the top fabric and cut – cut out the two main pieces plus the facings.  Make sure you marked all the darts and notches clearly on the left side.
7. darts marked on the left side of the  top fabric

darts marked on the left side of the top fabric

  1. Cut out the lining pieces (front, back and the pocket). Again, transfer the darts and notches on the lining’s right side. Pink the bottom of each lining piece.
  2. Place the lining on the wool, left sides together. Match the dart lines and pin.
  3. Baste the two layers together, including running a stitch through the middle of each dart, stopping about half an inch before the darts ‘point. You can baste on a machine or by hand, hand basted shown here. On the back piece, at the top opening, pink the wool, then top stitch the lining
8. lining stitched to the top fabric - top stitched at the opening, and basted along the top, including the darts

lining stitched to the top fabric – top stitched at the opening, and basted along the top, including the darts

  1.  Sew the darts on each piece.
11.darts sewn, inside the front piece

darts sewn, inside the front piece

  1.  Slice the darts open (all but one- the big horizontal dart on the back should stay shut), trim the bigger darts, press and hem the edges. Press the horizontal dart down.
12. darts sewn, opened, presssed and overcast

darts sewn, opened, presssed and overcast

The side facing-

Put the facing strip on the front piece, right sides together. Sew, press the seam open,  flip it over the seam onto the wrong side.  If not using the selvage, pink the edge and secure it to the lining with regular stitches.

13.

facing sewn and pinned on the left side

The pocket.

Put the pocket facing along the straight line of the pocket piece. Sew, press, fold over the seam and secure.

Repeat on the other piece.

15.pocket pieces with facings, ready to be sewn together

pocket pieces with facings, ready to be sewn together

Place both pieces together with the facings outside sew around the pocket.

Turn inside out – the facing will be inside the pocket

16.pocket ready, facings are inside

Place the pocket on the facing, half an inch below the top line. Stitch to the facing using strong thread. Remember to leave the facing part open!

17.pocket pinned to the facing

pocket pinned to the facing

 

Assemble the skirt

Place the skirt parts tight sides together, pin and sew the side seams. Press the seams open (you will need a tailor’s ham for the knee part seam!) and either pink them or overcast the edges.

19.skirt parts right sides together, stitched, the seam pinked, ready to be pressed

skirt parts right sides together, stitched, the seam pinked, ready to be pressed

Turn the skirt on its right side.  Try it on again – make sure the waistline sits snugly – if you need to adjust the darts, you can still do it at that stage.

Finish the top

Connect the facing parts by placing them right sides together and sewing. Open and press the seam. Pink the bottom part of the facing and pin the facing on the left side of the skirt, left sides together. Run a basting stitch half an inch from the top.

You can place the top of the pocket on the facing, or enclose it between the facing and the pocket. Here I decided to keep the pocket between the layers, looks nicer.

Take your tape and pin it to the right side of the skirt, slightly below the line of the basting. Sew.

20.pinning the tape

pinning the tape

Trim the seam, cutting notches ion the curved part, then fold the tape over the seam and stitch it onto the facing.

21. tape sewn, seam notched and ready to be graded, pocket top was sawn with the seam as well - it lies between the facing and the skirt

tape sewn, seam notched and ready to be graded, pocket top was sawn with the seam as well – it lies between the facing and the skirt

22. securing the tape on the left side, encasing the seam

securing the tape on the left side, encasing the seam

 

 Buttons

Here fabric covered buttons were used – cut a circle of fabric bigger than your button, run a stitch around the edges, place the button in and pull the thread. Secure with stitching and attach the button to the skirt.

24. place the button inside the circle

place the button inside the circle

25. pull the thread around the button, secure with stitching and sew the button on

pull the thread around the button, secure with stitching and sew the button on

Use as many buttons as you want on the side of the skirt- I used 6 big buttons.

Make one button for adjusting the skirt for walking. Sew it on at the bottom of the lower knee dart, on the back piece.

Cut your tapes to form loops – 2 loops will be used for hanging the garments, one loop, placed at the centre back dart, will be used to hook the knee button onto.

26. add the tapes

The original skirt also has 2 pearl buttons at the back darts – they were used to secure the skirt to the jacket (the jacket would have 3 small loops at the waistline)

Note – it might me more convenient to place a loop at the knee dart and a button at the centre back. Both arrangements were used at the time.

Work the buttonholes on the other side of the opening,

 

Hem

Try the skirt on again, and mark the correct hem position, if you can, on the horse.

Mark the hem depth with a line – the hem should be at least 4 inches deep. Press the edge inwards – it will make sewing the hem up easier later.

Place your weights in the positions indicated by the pattern. Stitch on either by hand or on a machine

27.adding the weights

adding the weights

Fold the hem inside, along the marked line. Secure to the fabric with small stitches, just catching enough fabric to be secure, without leaving a big mark on the right side. There will be some excess fabric – simply fold it into shallow darts and stitch them on.

Press the hem.

28.hem ready

Take the elastic for the stirrup, form a loop big enough for your foot to get in, secure the loop with stitching.

Place the ready stirrup at the place marked on the pattern and sew it on. You can later adjust the length and position as necessary.

Your skirt is now ready!

30. skirt ready

 

The trousers

I believe a warning is necessary here: these equestrienne trousers will not make you look pretty.  They are the scariest pair of pants I own, and I do have a few.  If you ever ask yourself whether your posterior looks big, be prepared that in these scary pants, it will. Big time.  It will be noticeable with the skirts on too…. Having said so, they were not worn on their own and are very comfortable for riding, so a good trade-off here.

 

Materials

1.5m of wool

1.5 of lining ( cotton or linen, here linen)

1.5m of calico for mock up

4 buttons

Elastic for the stirrups

 

Mock up

  1. Trace the pattern on your mock up fabric, marking all the darts and notches.
31.trousers cut in calico - front and back leg

trousers cut in calico – front and back leg

  1. Sew the darts.
  2. Place the front pieces over the back. Sew on the outside leg leaving marked opening on the right side), inside legs and outside the other leg.
  3. Now sew the centre back and centre front seams.
  4. Try the mock up on. Mark the length, waist size (the same notes as with the skirt apply here – if wearing a corset, you will need to make bigger darts!)
32.mock up on!

mock up on!

  1.  Mark any corrections on the pattern

Making the trousers

  1.  Trace the pattern on your top fabric and lining, making sure you mark the darts and notches. Also mark clearly which leg it is, as right leg will be longer!
  2.  Cut the parts out.
33.cutting the fabric

cutting the fabric

  1.  Place the lining parts on the corresponding parts of the top fabric, pin and baste together, as you did with the skirt.
  2. Sew the darts on each leg, using the same method as the darts on the skirt: sew, open, trim, press, overcast.
  3.  Place the facing over the right front leg piece, right sides together, on the outside seam
35.facing pinned, right sides together

facing pinned, right sides together

  1. . Sew, trim the seam, flip the facing onto the inside and secure.
36.facing on the wrong side, ready to be secured with stitching

facing on the wrong side, ready to be secured with stitching

 Assemble the trousers

The instructions  will tell you to sew all the seams together and then press them.  I prefer to sew seam by seam and press as I go – much easier  for the outside seams pressing!

  1. Right leg: place the front piece on the back piece, right sides together.
37. right leg pinned together, ready for sewing

right leg pinned together, ready for sewing

  1. Sew the outside seam up to the facing.
  2. Press the seam open and either pink or overcast. Pink the back opening( opposite the facing part)

38. right leg sewn on the putside seam

  1. Sew the inside seam, press (you will need a sleeve ironing board for that), finish the seam
39. inside seam sewn, here pressing on the sleeve hoard

inside seam sewn, here pressing on the sleeve board

  1. Repeat on the other leg
  2. You should now have two separate legs. Turn one leg out, on the right side.   You now have one leg with the lining on top, the other one with the wool on top.
  3. Place the wool on top leg inside the other, so that the right sides are together. Pin the crotch seam, and sew from back to front.
40 - sewing the crotch seam. one leg inside the other, with right sides facing

sewing the crotch seam. one leg inside the other, with right sides facing

  1. Take the leg out – you now have the trousers on the left side. Finish the seams
41.

all the main seams sewn, inside look

  1. Fold the hem of ach leg in, secure with stitching.
  2. Cut elastic and secure the stirrup as indicated on the pattern. You may have to adjust their length later on, but primarily they are to prevent the trousers riding up.

42. stirrup sewn

  1. Prepare the waistband – fold in half, length wise and press.  To prevent rolling, either stiffen the inside of the waistband with iron on fusible, or baste in a tape.

43.preparing the waistband

  1. Place the waistband on the trousers, right sides together, matching the balance points.
  2. Sew together, open the seam and press.
44.waistband sewn  in

waistband sewn in

  1. Fold the ends in and whipstitch together, then proceed to stitching the waistband to the inside of the trousers, hiding the seam.
45.waistband finished inside

waistband finished inside

  1. Add hanging loops at the centre back and front.
  2. Add buttons and buttonholes on the right side.

46. buttons sewn

 

The trousers are ready!

47. trousers ready, no shoes here...

trousers ready, no shoes here…

They are really meant to be worn with riding shoes, not boots, but since I didn’t have shoes, boots had to do. The trousers just about fitted inside the boots, and, surprisingly, that improved their look, at least to our modern sensibilities, giving them a rather steampunk look

48. trousers with long boots on - a bit of a steampunk look....

trousers with long boots on – a bit of a steampunk look….

 

They do make your posterior look big  but I found out, once you have the entire outfit on, you completely forget about them. I didn’t feel any hindrance while walking or for riding, everything worked exceptionally well.

49. whole outfit from the back.....

whole outfit from the back….. A tale of two tails….

The whole outfit looks rather impressive and is comfortable: it is easy to adjust the skirt to walking length and the get on and arrange it on the saddle. The saddle we used for the photo shoot was an antique and didn’t fit the horse at all, so we did not dare do more than a walk, but the seat felt secure. There was no extra fabric bunching up around the pommels that would interfere with the grip – something that was proving a problem with my regency habit. I would be happy to canter around and jump without worrying too much about what the skirt is doing. Definitely a winner!

49a

 

52 - off side look - here showing that we didnt pull the skirt down enough - mostly due to the precarious position of the antique saddle!

 

53

 

and a few pics from another occasion, showing the habit in motion..

 LJP_1491 LJP_1479

 

Bibliography

Victoria and Albert Museum online archive

Lucy Johnson, 19th Century Fashion in Detail, V&A Publishing, 2009

Rhonda C. Watts Hettinger The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Sidesaddle, Sidesaddle Source, Wilton, New Hampshire, 2009

Vena Cava Design, http://www.venacavadesign.co.uk/Products/1880s-1890s_Riding_Habit_Ensemble.html?q=riding habit

 

 

 

Bibliography

Victoria and Albert Museum online archive

Gina Barrett, Making braids and Cords, DVD

Gina Barrett, Continuous Frog Fasteners, Your Wardrobe Unlock’d, 2012; http://yourwardrobeunlockd.com/costumemaking/fabricsamaterials/601-continuous-frog-fasteners

Jill Salen, Corset: historical patterns and construction; Batsford, 2008

Lucy Johnson, 19th Century Fashion in Detail, V&A Publishing, 2009

Rhonda C. Watts Hettinger The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Sidesaddle, Sidesaddle Source, Wilton, New Hampshire, 2009

1810 Riding Habit

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 1810 Riding habit.

 

Today we are looking  at  yet anothern of my favourites,  a Regency riding habit,  closely based on the exhibit from the Kyoto Costume Institute ( if you have the book, it is on page171-173,  inv AC5313, 86-2AB –  or simply find it here. I am not really a fan of Regency fashions as they are not exactly flattering for my figure, but this habit did catch my eye and my imagination because of its simple elegance and surprisingly, not such a high waistline.  And so, after craving it for the last two years or so, the time had come for me to tackle the project about 2 years ago – and if you fancy having a go as well, I hope you find the information and the instructions below useful.

 1. close up of the original  habit

riding habit 1810

 Background information and research.

 

Those two photos were all I really had to go with. I did write to the Institute asking if it was possible to obtain more information regarding the cloth, lining or the buttons – or maybe just a few more images, but was very politely told that the museum did not provide that service.  So all I had was a short description stating that it is ‘a Riding Suit, c.1810; black wool broadcloth; set of tailored jacket and a skirt of appropriate length for horse riding’.

Not much then – but a start.

The decoration on the front of the jacket is very similar to another item from the institute, a hunting Jacket – a spencer (INV.AC3187 80-8-1, dated 1815). The length of the spencer is also reminiscent of the one of the riding jacket.

The back of the jacket closely resembles that of the riding habit in Salisbury museum described in detail by Janet Arnold in her Patterns of Fashion 1 (page 46). The Salisbury museum skirt features there would also be suitable for my project – there are differences between the original I had in mind, but after careful deliberation, I decided to stick on to the well documented source and pattern instead of doing more improvising.

 

The idea was then to use the pattern from Janet Arnold for the skirt and the back of the bodice, and improvise the front of the jacket – and as i have discovered a little bit later on, exactly what another excellent costumier had done before – though she seemed to have opted for the hunting spencer front instead (http://www.koshka-the-cat.com/riding_habit.html).

 

 

 Materials needed

Black broadcloth wool – 3.5m;

Silk taffeta (lining of the jacket, plus skirts bodice) – 1.5m

Linen (lining for the skirt bodice (0.5m)

40 Wooden moulds for the jacket buttons (or just use ordinary buttons)

2 small and 4 tiny buttons or moulds for the skirt bodice closure

A strip of buckram for lining the collar

Black and white linen thread,

Beige silk thread

2m of linen tape for the skirt ties

Hooks and eyes if you plan to attach your jacket to the skirt

 

  The skirt.

The skirt is attached to a small silk bodice, lined with linen.  There is no mention of the skirt being lined at all – not surprisingly though, since lining the skirt with silk or even linen, would render it even more slippery and compromise the rider’s grip. My 18th century habit  has a skirt lined with silk, as that’s what the original had for lining, and whereas it rides well and I wouldn’t have problems riding in a show in it, I would not take it out hunting. Considering the fact that in the Regency period side saddles were not the safest contraptions (the leaping head that provides so much more secure grip was yet to be invented), and taking into the account the fact that due to the fencing off the countryside jumping the fences became a necessity, a spirited lady who wished to follow the hunt needed all the help she could get. Indeed, it is believed that some were even strapping themselves to the saddles to help them over the fences  – not the safest idea really. All things considered, it looked as the lack of lining made sense – many thanks to Gini Newton and Becca Holland for helping me out with this issue! )

2. the-inconvenience-of-wigs-carle-vernet-1758-1836-the-lewis-walpole-library-yale-university

the-inconvenience-of-wigs-carle-vernet-1758-1836-the-lewis-walpole-library-yale-university

The pattern –  Janet Arnold. I scaled the bodice pattern to fit me, but left the skirt as it was without any changes.

The  skirt bodice construction:

3. linen mock up pieces - later used as lining

3. linen mock up pieces – later used as lining

1. Cut out the pieces in calico or linen to form a mock up. If you are lucky and your mock up doesn’t require any serious changes, your linen mock up can serve as the lining.

2. Pin or baste the pieces together, leaving it open on the right side. Try on – either on yourself or on a pre-prepared dummy. Make sure you try it on the underwear you are planning to wear with it – especially if you are wearing Regency stays – the bust position is very different to the one the modern bra gives – particularly true for more ample bosoms.

3. Adjust as necessary till you are satisfied with the outcome. Unpin the pieces and use them to draw the pattern.

4.  Cut out the bodice in your top fabric and lining.

5. Sew the top pieces together: first insert the little gussets in the front pieces, and then sew the back pieces and left front together. Add the shoulder straps. The right piece with the gusset is on its own for the time being, it will be stitched directly to the waistband of the skirt later. Press the seams open.  Repeat the same steps with the lining pieces

4. top fabric sewn together

top fabric sewn together

 

4. Fold the top edges of the silk and stitch it down.  Snip the curves and notch to avoiding bulk- the fabric should lay flat on the curves

6. top fabric edges folded and  pinned up ready to be  sewn

 

8. silk bodice with edges secured

silk bodice with edges secured

5. Pin the lining to the top pieces and stitch them together.  Press.

Note: if you prefer to save time and use the sewing machine, simply skip the step 4 and 5: pin the lining and top fabric right sides together and sew alongside the top edges. Turn outside out and press.

 

You now have the bodice ready, time for the other components – the skirt, bustle pad and the pocket.

The skirt.

  1. Cut the fabric according to the pattern.
  2. Sew the pieces together.
  3. Hem the skirt – an inch wide hem seems to work fine, giving it enough weight, but smooth finish too.
  4. Place the skirt on a flat surface and pin the tapes into position.I used the same position as in the original, but do try it out first to make sure that the tied up skirt is not too short or too long. Stitch them securely, but make sure the stitches do not show too much on the right side.

10. pinning the tapes inside the skirt

  1.    Cut small tabs and place them on the hem directly below the individual ties. Stitch firmly into position – only at the short sides, making sure the tapes can pass under them freely
11.a tabs in place! (4)

tabs in place!

  1.  Cut out the waistband – it should be long enough to go around your high waist with a small overlap, and quite narrow.
  2. If you plan to have a watch pocket , cut it out now in two layers of silk or linen – it should be big enough to accommodate your watch  (or a ph0ne….). Place right sides together, sew, turn out and press.

12. pocket ready

It is time to put all the pieces together – and it is not an easy task!

  1. Pin the bodice parts onto the waistband. Try to waistband on and make sure the pieces are in the right position.  You might discover it is easier to simply put the waistband on the dummy, then pin the pieces onto it – saves time. Mark the final position of the bodice on the waistband and sew – make sure you sew only through the top layer of the bodice.
  2.   Pin the skirt onto the waistband– the front part is mostly lying flat, the back will be cartridge pleated. At that stage you are simply making sure where to start the pleating!
  3. If you are happy with the position and know how much fabric has to be pleated into how much space, prepare a needle with a long and strong thread and sew a running stitch through the skirt to be pleated. The pleats should be small – depending on how much fabric you have, you should have your stitches around 1cm long. Draw the thread to see if the pleated section matches its place on the waistband. If it does, tie a strong knot in the thread to make sure the pleats stay together.
  4.  Sew the skirt onto the waistband – use the machine for the front parts where the skirt lies flat, and then, with a strong thread attach the cartridge pleats

13. attaching the cartridge pleats onto the waistband

  1.  Try the skirt on – again a dummy is a good option as well.You can now mark the position of the buttons on the shoulder straps – do not do it earlier on as the weight of the skirt will change the position of the bodice a bit!
14. trying the almost finished skirt on a padded dummy

trying the almost finished skirt on a padded dummy

  1.  If everything fits snugly, attach the pocket to the waistband. Then sew the lining onto the waistband, covering its insides

15. all pieces together - not the waistband can be covered by the lining of the bodice

  1.  Cut out the little bustle pieces, place right sides together and sew along the outside edges, leaving part of the inside open. Turn inside out and stuff with some scraps. Pin  or sew shut  and stitch to the waistband at the back of the skirt

18. bustle pad stitched in position

  1.  All that needs to be done now is to sew the buttons on ( I covered mine with taffeta, using tiny ones on the shoulder straps and bigger ones at the side closure then make the buttonholes.

20. side closure buttons

The skirt is ready now!  Here worn tied up to facilitate walking around..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 The jacket.

As mentioned before, I decided to use the pattern for the back from Janet Arnold and to improvise the front.

  1. Cut the back pieces in calico using a scaled pattern from J. Arnold. Cut all the back pieces including the peplum gussets etc. Also, cut out the sleeve.
  2. Draw a simple piece or the front – the important measurements here are the width – front to side seam at the bust and the waist level, the shoulder seam and the front length.
  1.  Pin the parts together and put the jacket on the dummy. Pin the back piece onto the dummy and start working on your experimental piece. Mark the waist position, the length in front, back and sides. Mark the darts.  Once the front starts to resemble a piece of clothing, take it off the dummy, adjust the corrections, and sew the mock up parts together.
  2.  Put it on the dummy again – if the back and sides are ok when the front is closed, you can now work on the shape of the lapels. Mark how long you want them to be, where is the best place to attach the collar, how high you want it to button up. Draft a collar pattern and experiment with that too.

 

  1.   Adjust as many times as necessary till you are satisfied with the look. Then take the mock up off the dummy – it is a good idea to try it on now on your own body too.
22. paper pattern for the jacket ready

paper pattern for the jacket ready

 

Note – it hugely helps if you have another person who knows her/his way around patterning helping  – then you can skip the dummy process and have the patterns adjusted directly on yourself.

  1.  Unpick the seams, perform any necessary corrections and voila! You have a pattern.  You can now use your calico pieces as a stock pattern or use them to copy the pattern on a paper.
  2.  Cut out the pieces in your lining fabric

23. lining pieces cut out

  1.    Just on the safe side (if you are not lucky enough to have another costumier at hand…) pin the lining together and try it on  your stays and skirt. Any corrections here should be small, but better to see them on the lining than on the top fabric.  Here, although the mock up seemed fine,  I discovered the shoulder seams still needed adjusting
24. lining pinned, tried onto the corset and the skirt for one final check

lining pinned, tried onto the corset and the skirt for one final check

25. lining pinned - back view

lining pinned – back view

  1.  Adjust if necessary , transfer any corrections onto the pattern and then and sew the lining pieces together

26. lining stitched together

  1.  Cut out the top fabric pieces.  Stitch the darts in the front parts first. Sew in the back gusset, then the front pieces and then the little side and back peplum pieces. Sew the shoulder seam.

27. jacket top fabric stitched - back view

  1.  For authentic looking finish – and if your fabric is difficult to open seam press, couch the seams down with linen or silk thread. Fold the edges and stitch them down.
  2. The sleeves – sew the top fabric sleeves – you can leave the cuff part open, or closed. Couch down the seam.  The lining: stitch the cuffs to the lining of the sleeves first  then sew them shut.
30. lining sleeves with the cuffs attached

lining sleeves with the cuffs attached

 

31. lining sleeves ready

lining sleeves ready

  1. Insert the sleeves into the armscythes. Pin carefully from underside first.  When you reach the top part of the shoulder, you will see there is some fabric left. Either form it into small pleats to fit the armhole, or, as I did, use a strong thread to sew a running stitch near the edge and gather the pleats as you would have done for cartridge pleating – though here is simply helps to control the tiny pleats. Pin the section in place. Sew the sleeve in and repeat for the second sleeve and for the lining sleeves.
  2.  Time for the collar.  You should have the pieces cut out – both top side and lining in wool
32.

the collar pieces

  1.  Take the top fabric piece and attach a small piece of buckram using parallel rows of stitching.
33.

collar inside – attaching the buckram

  1. Sew the reinforced collar onto the jacket.
  2.  Put the lining in. Pin it carefully to the bodice and sew. Once you have done the bottom hem, and attached the lining in front and upper parts, do the same do the wool cuffs at the sleeves
35.

detail of the lining stitched to the bodice

  1. For the front, I have decided to use a facing. Cut the facing part big enough for the front part of the jacket, you will need 2 pieces. Stitch them carefully to the front, upper and lower edge of the jacket – and to the lining near the dart.
37.

facing pinned in ready for stitching

  1. Pin and stitch the collar lining into place. Mark the position of the front buttonholes than set to work on them – either on a machine or by hand.

 

38.

buttonholes and buttons in place

  1.  If you are lucky enough to have appropriate buttons ready – all that remains is to sew the buttons on. If not – make the buttons using moulds and bits of your top fabric.
  2.  Sew the buttons to the front edge, then proceed to add the decorative ones on both sides of the bodice, at the cuffs (if you want to have buttoned cuffs, that is), and at the peplum

 

Your habit is now ready!

The whole outfit is worn over a chemise and stays (here once made using a Mantua  Makers pattern – minus the lacing on the hip gussets. The others I had with lacing on tended to dig into the flesh when riding…).

IMG_00000272

Then a linen petticoat, and a habit shirt with frilled cuffs, with a simple silk stock.

IMG_00000273

My hat here is a simple silk topper with some rooster feathers attached.

 

and the result – photos  on foot – from an event in Hereford

IMG_00000307

 

IMG_00000308

 

And with a mount..

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

Side saddle pictured  here is of a Victorian design – much safer to ride in than the Regency ones, and the skirt works reasonably well, although it has to be said that without a help of a groom who would hoist me into the saddle and help the skirt lie flat over the pommels, it was very difficult to get the folds lie correctly and to adjust the length. Still, the skirt seemed to be reasonably secure to be ridden in, though the cut means it is not perfect for the Victorian saddle.    but more about the Victorian habit in a few days time…. :-)

 

Bibliography

Janet Arnold, Patterns of Fashion, Macmillan,  New York, 1984

The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute; Fashion, a History from the 18th to the 20th century,  Taschen, 2002

Digital Archives of Kyoto Costume Institute: http://www.kci.or.jp/archives/index_e.html [Accessed 8/01/2012]

Heritage Festival Peterborough 2014

Peterborough Heritage

 

You have seen the gown and how it was made ( and how much it cost..) in the previous post ( for those who missed it – it is here), and as promised, we have some pictures from the event for you:__ The festival  weekend brought  interpreters and reenacors  ranging from Bronze Age to WWI; there were markets stalls with merchandise, parades, shows, displays, royal audiences etc – a few pictures snatched by Lucas below . Many thanks to the organizers – Stuart Orme from Vivacity – and Ian Pycroft from Black Knight Historical who provided a good few touches too!

enjoy!

 

LJP_7047 LJP_7043 LJP_7038

 

 

LJP_7080 LJP_6953 LJP_6958 LJP_6964

 

LJP_6991 LJP_6988 LJP_7025 LJP_7079 LJP_7082

LJP_7067 LJP_7016 LJP_7010 LJP_6997 LJP_6779 LJP_6765 LJP_6768

 

LJP_6966 LJP_6960 LJP_6680 LJP_6951

and a couple of lovely images from John Grant!

Peterborough Heritage Peterborough Heritage

 

looking forward to the next year’s! :-)

How to make a Victorian flounced Petticoat

44. petticoat on the steel boned bustle, closed side


In this article we willcover the construction of a typical late Victorian petticoat with back flounces. We will also discuss the steampunk version of the traditional petticoat – and how to get 3 styles out of one skirt in seconds!

 

The flounced petticoat by Prior Attire

 Inspiration: Harper’s Bazaar, page 135, figure m, Foulard petticoat

Materials

4m of cotton twill; for steampunk version any non stretch fabric can be used, here 5m of embroidered silk

10 – 15 m of decoration – broderie anglaise lace etc

Buttons; for the steampunk version, 05m of elastic

Also, for the steampunk version you will need 5m of ribbon or a string; here Russia braid was used

 Pattern

 Adapted from Norah Waugh, The Cut of Women’s Clothes, p. 206, 208

 scan0003

Method

  1.  Cut the base for your petticoat: front and back pieces.

 

  1. Cut the flounces – the front can be decorated with one, and the back will have a few – aim for about 5 – 8 flounces. The length of the flounces varies, depending on your gathering/pleating method, but aim for a minimum twice the length of the finished row. So if your bottom hem at the back is 1, you will need min.2 metres of fabric to gather.

 

Step 1: making the flounces

 

 

  1. Work on your front flounce first. You can skim this step if you plan to have one bottom flounce going around the whole petticoat, like the one in the steampunk version.

 

Different styles were possible, you can gather the flounce loosely, box pleat it or use a combination of the methods.  Here I wanted to replicate the one in Harper’s Bazaar, and used the combination of trimming and pin tucks.

 

 

Divide the flounce into equal parts and work out how deep your pin tucks have to be to pleat to the desired width.

Deciding on the size and amount of the pin tucks

26. deciding on the size on the pin tucks for the front flounce.

Hem the edges and sew on the trim, and then work on the pin tucks. You can use a pin tuck foot for that – though I realised that the tucks on mine will be far too shallow to my liking, so I simply stitched it with a normal foot.

Front decoration with pin tucks and lace – all ready for pressing and starching

27. front founce ready for statchign and pressing

 Press – if you have spray-on starch, use it. Sew the flounce to the bottom of the front petticoat piece.

Flounce pressed, ready to be sewn on

28. front founce ready to be sewn on

 

  1. Prepare the back flounces. Hem them, by hand or using your machine – I find the rolled hem foot works great on both silk and cotton. It still takes a very long time, but much faster than by hand!

 

Hemming the flounces of the steampunk petticoat

Bedford Borough-20120918-01039

 

  1.  Sew on the decoration on the flounces

Pin first,

Bedford Borough-20120918-01042

Sew, fold over and press.

 

If you want, you can add a row or two of pin tucks running horizontally – particularly effective on either front flounces or back bottom ones – or for the sleek Natural Form petticoats!

 

32. back flounce ready, 2 pin tucks in place

 

Flounce with 2 rows of horizontal pin tucks

 

  1.  You can pleat the flounce using the ruffler on the machine or simply pleat them with knife of box pleats.

 

The ruffler

Bedford Borough-20120918-01043

Knife pleated ruffle – warning, takes ages!

33. flounce - knife pleating option

  1. You can also use a gathering foot (note – does not gather enough, in my opinion!).  Or simply run a basting seam through the top (by hand on machine) and gather the fabric on the thread.
  2.  All of the techniques work, however, having made 4 other petticoats I realised that, barring the machine ruffler, the method described below works best for me.

 

  • Lay the back piece on a table or the floor.   Mark the lines along which the flounces will be attached (use with any of the method). For the steampunk version, leave a very generous seam allowance – 2”

34. pinning the second flounce

  • Take the bottom flounce and pin it at both sides, within an inch of the side edges of the piece (for seam allowance – leave more for the steampunk version).

 

  • Mark the centre point of the petticoat piece and find the centre of the flounce. Pin these two together. You now have half the flounce on both sides. Repeat the step on both sides: mark the centre of the petticoat line (the quarter of the entire length) on one half and find the half of the flounce on that side. Pin the m together and repeat on the other side. You now have the flounce pinned into quarters.  Continue dividing the parts into smaller and smaller halves, until you have the entire flounce evenly distributed along the bottom of the petticoat.

 

Pinning the flounce, dividing it into smaller and smaller parts

35. pinning the flounce by dividing it into smaller and smaller halves

Flounce pinned

36. flounce pinned

Sew it on, gathering the extra fabric.

38. sewing on the flounce

  1. Repeat for the next rows. The technique takes some time and patience, not to mention the amount of pins, but it results in evenly distributed gathers that look natural.

37. third floounce pinned

  1. For the steampunk version pleated the flounces with the ruffler and then decorated the whole length of the bottom flounce and the top back flounce with a sequined braid, before stitching them on.

Bedford Borough-20120918-01044

  1. Pin your back ruffles alongside the lines, and sewn on, starting from the top.  The bottom ruffle, decorated with both broderie lace and braid will go all around the finished petticoat – put it aside for the time being.

39. back piece ready.

Bedford Borough-20120918-01054

 

So far the instructions for both types of petticoats have been almost identical, but at this stage I am going to split the rest of the instructions in two.

Assembling the Traditional Victorian petticoat:

 

You should now have two separate pieces, the flounced back and the front with one flounce. Joining them will hugely depend on how you want your petticoat to close – you can join the pieces on both sides, leaving only small opening at the side, and button it there. Or, you can leave one seam open completely at the side and use buttons all the way through.

 

I chose the latter, since I knew that then I would be able to open the petticoat at the bottom, if I need more space for riding or dancing, and it would also allow for faster changes if needs be.

  1.   For the petticoat opening at the side, just sew the two parts together at one side.

 

  1.  Cut out the waistband.

 

  1. Mark the darts in the front part and pleat the back part. Secure the pleats with pins and try the petticoat on the corset and the bustle. Adjust the pleats/darts as necessary.
  2.  Take the petticoat off and sew on the waistband – sew right sides together first, then flip it over, fold the hem and either hand stitch down, or run a seam, encasing the  seam allowance

The waistband and the darts in the front part

40. darts in the front part

Pleats and waistband at the back

 41. pleated back of the petticoat, waistband attached.

  1.  Hem the petticoat, by hand or using a hemming foot. Hem the open sides as well.
  2.  Mark and sew the buttonholes.
  3.  Add the buttons.

 42. side opening wioth buttons

  1. The petticoat is now ready – can be worn on its own, with a bustle pad or with a long bustle cage!

 

Here worn over a long bustle cage

45. petticoat on the steel boned bustle, buttoned side

If you plan to wear your undergarments for more robust activities, like riding, dancing, tennis playing of skating, do try them on before you start making the garments going on top, as some alternations may be necessary.

I discovered that I needed to leave the two bottom buttons in the petticoat undone for dancing (to keep pace with my partner in the Viennese waltz I needed bigger steps!   The video of the dress rehearsal can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XqLbyuDHXY&feature=youtu.be

 

As far as riding was concerned, I needed to leave the petticoat open (3 buttons here), but when worn on the bustle pad  it turned out to be rather comfortable – I was able to perform all kind of tricks on horseback.

Note the unbuttoned petticoat

48. back view - note the unbuttoned petticoat

 

 

Assembling the Steampunk version

  1. You now have your petticoat in 3 parts – the front, the back with the flounces, and the long bottom flounce.

 

  1. First, sew the darts on the front part

 

  1. Place the front part on the back part, right sides together. Pin the edges, but remember to leave a wide seam allowance – it will be made into the channels for hitching the skirt up. Alternatively, create the channels by stitching long tape over the seam – much less fussy!

 

  1. Sew together, remembering to leave about an inch between the seam and the line at which the ruffles start – and do not sew over any stray ruffles either!
  2.  Press the seam open, and fold the seam allowance under – and stitch, creating a channel wide enough for your ties to pass through.  Repeat on the other seam allowance.

Forming the channels – inside

 Bedford Borough-20120918-01059

 

Bedford Borough-20120918-01060

And outside view

Bedford Borough-20120918-01061

  1. Repeat the steps for the other side seam.
  2.  Hem the  skirt
  3. Pin and sew on the long bottom flounce
  4.  Prepare openings in the channels, just over the bottom flounce. You can use just one on each side or, for a greater control, make one set of eyelets onto the left side and then openings on the channels only on the inside – the ties will pass from the inside to the outside. Thread in your ties, from the top to the bottom openings and back.

Outside view: small eyelets go all the way through all the layers of the fabric

 Bedford Borough-20120919-01070

Inside view showing a second pair of eyelets – opening to the channel, stitched over one layer.

Bedford Borough-20120919-01071

  1. Cut and attach the waistband : sew right sides together first, then flip it over, fold the hem and either hand stitch down, or run a seam, encasing the  seam allowance., leaving  a small opening for the elastic to thread through.

Bedford Borough-20120918-01069

  1.   Attach the elastic to a safety pin, and thread through the waistband. Sew both ends together and then close the opening in the waistband. It is also possible to attach the elastic only to the back, if you want to keep the front fitted.

 

Your Steampunk petticoat is now ready! – a few examples below

Front view

Bedford Borough-20130702-03298

Back view

Bedford Borough-20120919-01074

You can shorten the skirts on the sides by pulling the ties at the bottom and knotting them into a bow. Here only one side hitched a little bit:

 

Side view

Bedford Borough-20120919-01075

 

And the skirt hitched upon both sides, for a sexy ’saloon girl‘ look

Bedford Borough-20120919-01078

and fee more….

LJP_4064

 

LJP_4089

 

 

LJP_4083

 

steampunk petticoat skirt

 DSC_7022

 

Happy sewing!

Bibliography

 

Jean Hunnisett, Period Costume for Stage and Screen, Patterns for Women’s Dress 1800-1909, Players Press, Inc, 1991

Norah Waugh,  The Cut of Women’s Clothes 1600- 1930; Faber and Faber, London, 1994

Norah Waugh, Corsets and Crinolines, Routledge/Theatre Arts Books, New York, 2000

Stella Blum, Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper’s Bazar 1867-1898, Dover Publications, Inc. New York, 1974

The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute; Fashion, a History from the 18th to the 20th century,  Taschen, 2002

 

Looking the Part 1: Undergarments

A damsel in this dress:

a few new notes and photos added!

Originally posted on A Damsel in This Dress:

Image

 OK, so I have been in the business for a while.  I have been re-enacting even longer –  my first gig was in 1997 if I remember well, and I got into costume making almost straight away. True, I was lucky – my first contact with historical interpretation was  guys from Past Pleasures, and after spending a summer travelling with them, observing knights at work at the Tower of London, or strolling alongside 18th century clad characters during the Pantiles festival at Tunbridge Wells, you do learn a bit.  When the summer ended and I returned  to Poland where I lived at the time, I joined a historical fencing group. When told that for Christmas party I need to have a medieval gown, I had at least some vague idea where to look for sources ( well before the internet era!) and  came up with a dress. It was…

View original 2,743 more words

Katherine of Aragon gown 2014

LJP_6868

 

Since I was to be back in Peterborough this June, representing this much beloved queen, I needed a new frock.  I have been their Katherine for the last 3 years or so ( more of that here), and my kit needed an upgrade. the upgrade had been planned from the  last year or so anyway ( and fund were being assigned from the project over that year too) – but alas our garage fire changed the plans a bit. 18 metres of black silk velvet I had secured from the gown was damaged in the fire – bits were still usable but not good enough for the gown – but ok for a kirtle :-)

Below  find a short pictorial story of piecing the outfit together, as well as links to the providers – and since I am always asked how much the outfit would cost –  I specified the cost of individual items as well – the raw materials and labour-)

 

1. Smock- in linen, hand stitched.  Each piece was hemmed first , then the pieces were assembled using silk yarn and openwork seams shown in Patterns Of Fashion 4.

linen – 1.5m, Material cost – £30, labour – £100

IMG_20140603_163913

pieces of the smock hemmed and prepared for assembly

IMG_20140603_165827

IMG_20140605_095332

 

Kirtle  ( I already had a good silk petticoat, so could skip that step :-)

fabrics – silk velvet ( 6m – around  £120), silk satin – left over; buckram – 1m ( £10);silk taffeta for lining – 6m – £150 ( I used 2 different colours – making use of odds and pieces i had available),calico for intelining – 5m, £20 pearls and braid for decoration – £40; reed – £5

labour cost – £200

IMG_20140609_171916

kirtle bodice insides – ready for boning with reed

IMG_20140609_232737

bodice bones, covering the outside with silk satin

IMG_20140610_143446

bodice covered , decorative bands of velvet attached, eyelets worked with silk thread

IMG_20140610_180844

pearls attached, metallic braid next…

 

IMG_20140611_191640

the skirts are interlined with calico, lined and bound with velvet…

LJP_6837

kirtle worn – here at the end of a long, sweaty day – pray excuse my hair escaping the headgear…

 

Gown:

fabrics – royal purple metallic damask , 10m – I was lucky to get it second hand, at £50 per metre – normally the price is about double, if not treble that ( Watts&co)

lining – silk taffeta  8m ( James Hare, @ £25 a metre) – I used 2 remnant lots, peacock blue and gold

purple silk taffeta for forebodice and binding – 1m – £25

calico for interlining – 6m – £25

rabbit pelt for the cuffs – £150

labour – £350

IMG_20140617_123357

bodice pieces cut of, paired with interlining – yellow silk for lining

IMG_20140617_164651

adjusting the fit…

 

IMG_20140618_103334

the shell ready – eyelets worked, all ready for setting in the sleeves

 

IMG_20140617_193358

preparing the fur – cutting it outside to avoid the mess inside! :-)

 

IMG_20140618_125646

sleeve ready…

IMG_20140618_125912

sleeve showing off the turn back

IMG_20140618_165015

innards – all ready for attaching the skirts.

IMG_20140619_150139

binding the skirts with silk taffeta

IMG_20140619_184217

skirts pleated – in front knife pleats, at the back 8 large cartridge pleats. here ready to be attached to the bodice

 

IMG_20140624_170251

the cartridge pleats are stuffed with long ‘sausages’ made out of the velvet remnants – here stitched at the top, read to be secured in place. they fill in the cartridge pleats nicely, giving a nice shape – and make sitting on harder surfaces pleasant – like carrying your own cushion with you!

IMG_20140623_102043

all ready, the forbodies lace under the placard ( pinned on)

3.  forseleeves

fabric –  gold metallic brocade ( 1m), silk taffeta lining – 1m, calico interlining,  decoration – estimated – £60

labour – £80

IMG_20140620_134249

half way there….

 

IMG_20140620_160203

ready!

 

girdle –  brocade fabric, tassels from Gina Barret. material cost – £130, labour – £20

 

LJP_6846

 

 

Partlet – linen, with blackwork worked by Embroidery Emporium – £150

 

LJP_6850

 

cuffs – also blackwork by EE – £150

bonnet – made on the paste I have used before, with a silk velvet veil, and a variety of frontlets – I have made 2 frontlets for this gown, the gold brocade ( and left it unpinned, in the earlier style)l and one in 2 brocades, purple and gold, and pinned the lappets to the side of the bonnet – an early  rendition of the gable hood.

material cost – £60,

labour – £100

 

shoes – by Pilgrim Shoes, slashed, with silk pulling outs – £70

LJP_6844

 

hose/stockings – I had 2 pairs, one by Quartemasterie, one by Sally Pointer - approx £20

Jewellery;

a lovely Piece by Gemmeus  £300,

other pearl necklaces and rings – £80

 

and the end product….

LJP_6747

Peterborough Heritage

LJP_6858

 

LJP_6901

LJP_6951

chilling out with my lady in waiting ( wearing a my previous Katherine outfit)

 

LJP_7010

 

Peterborough Heritage

Peterborough Heritage

and with the hubby ( well, Thomas More)…

 

Peterborough Heritage

and the royal hubby – Ian from Black Knight Historical

 

Peterborough Heritage

 

and a funky one – look, am hovering! :-)

LJP_6758

 

the final costing…

 

smock  – 130; kirtle – £550; gown £1200; sleeves – £160; girdle – £160; cuffs and partlet – £300; shoes – £70; bonnet – £160; bling – £380, hose – £20; brass pins for pinning things – £30

 

total – £3230…  ouch…

Admittedly,  I don’t charge myself labour – but  obviously if I am working on my own stuff, i am not working on commissions that bring the revenue – so still counts as it creates a dent in my budget – making this outfit took about 10 days.   The materials were collected and saved for  over the last year – I am not a particularly wealthy person, so there is no way I would be able to afford such a frock all at once… I doubt I would be able to afford it now, if it weren’t a part of my job….

Needless to say, I do not plan another Tudor frock for myself in the next few years….. or a decade maybe…

 

photography of the finished product - Pitcheresque Imagery and John D.Grant.  More photos of the even itself soon!

 

 

How to make a Victorian cage bustle

 

18. bustle worn, side view

   AS promised, another of my articles – this time on making bustles! enjoy!

 

 

The underwear we are dealing with in this article was created to go with my Victorian wedding gown (more articles on that to follow soon!), but they can be used for any other late Victorian outfit – or a modern Steampunk one. The items we will be making are the following:

  1. A steel boned, (lobster tail) bustle, traditional or a steampunk inspired

 

 

  1. A bustle pad

 

 The bustle

 Materials

Authentic Victorian:

1.5m of cotton twill (http://www.whaleys-bradford.ltd.uk/)

5m of flat steel boning, (Sew Curvy)

7m of linen tape, 1.5”wide,

8m of embroidered trim (Ebay)

Steampunk variation – silk, or any other fancy, non stretch fabric, trim, bones – if the bustle is just a fashion item and not used for support of heavy skirts, plastic boning will work too.

Patterns

Adapted from Jean Hunnisett’s, page 129, or Corset and Crinolines, p.96

scan0002

Similar patterns are available from Vena Cava -

Method

  1. Cut the pieces out – 2 outside backs, 2 sides, 1 back inside, 1 waistband

 

  1.  Place the two back right sides together and sew.

 

  1. Unfold and press the seam.  Either stitch the seam allowances down, or , if you are working with silk, pink them
Bedford Borough-20120917-00995

pinked seam on the Steampunk bustle

 

  1. Lay it flat.  Round the point at the bottom end, and then mark the places to sew on the boning channels. The amount of channels varied greatly in Victorian Era, but the heavier the skirts  you want supported are, the more boning was needed.
  1. Pin the tape alongside the markings and sew.  You can place the channels outside, especially if they are supposed to be decorative – they look very classy if made in contrasting fabric! I chose to place mine inside, since my tape was far from decorative.
11.

back pieces sewn together and the channels sewn on

12.

close up of the boning channels

  1. When sewing the top channels that cross over, make sure you leave the parts of the channel on top unstitched at the place of crossing: you can secure it later by hand, making sure it doesn’t obstruct the channel underneath.
  2.  Continue for all the channels.  The bottom hem channel can be done differently – place the tape on the right side of the fabric and sew along the edges.
Bedford Borough-20120917-01000

bottom channel

Then flip it onto the left side and sew forming the channel. No need to hem the fabric then J

  1.  The channels are now done.
  2. Add decorative elements on the right side, if you are so inclined – I was lucky to get my hand on some lovely border trim with embroidered lilac twig, so used it to cover the channels on the outside. Sew the decoration as close to the top channels’ seam as possible.
13. decorative trim applied  on the outside

decorative trim applied on the outside

 

 

For the Steampunk version, use whatever trim you like – here I used a black organza with metal elements!

Bedford Borough-20120917-01003

sewing decorative trim onto the Steampunk bustle

 

  1.  If you want to add the bottom flounce (not necessary but very useful if you have heavy skirts and want to dance! – Looks pretty too!), cut a length of the fabric, hem it, add any decoration and arrange it into box pleats. Sew onto the bottom of the bustle, just below the last channel.

Trim box-pleated, ready to be pressed and sewn onto the bustle.

Bedford Borough-20120917-01009

Box pleats sewn onto the bustle, applying decorative trim over the top.

Bedford Borough-20120917-01010

Bedford Borough-20120917-01012

  1. If decorating the sides, sew the decoration on first.

 

  1.   Add the sides and the back piece- it is a bit tricky, but it is possible to sew all three elements in once go. First, place the side and the back right sides together. Pin.

Bedford Borough-20120917-01014

  1.  Then place the back inside on the top and pin three layers together.

Bedford Borough-20120917-01015

 

Sew  through all the layers. You should now have the following shape emerging:

 Bedford Borough-20120917-01019

 

  1.  You can now place your boning into the channels. Cut the boning, making sure it is just about an inch shorter than the channel. Secure the ends of the bones and insert the boning into the channels in the back piece.

Push as far as the seam, and secure the open ends of the channels with a pin, to prevent the bones from interfering with the second seam

 

Place the other side piece on the other side of the back piece.

 Bedford Borough-20120917-01020

Now for the most difficult part – reach for the inside back part and pin it together with the side piece. You will now have a 3d shape to deal with, so go slowly!

Bedford Borough-20120917-01021

 

  1. Optional – if you want your boning to be removable, simply make the channels shorter, or provide openings in the channels.  Then you can sew all the parts together and add boning later.

 

  1. Turn the bustle on the right side.

Bedford Borough-20120917-01023

  1. Pleat the back top so that that it fits onto the waistband. Secure the pleats with the pins.

 

  1.  Place the waistband onto the top edge of the bustle, right sides together. Pin, and then sew.

 

Bedford Borough-20120917-01026

  1.  Turn the waistband over the seam and sew over, covering it.

 

Bedford Borough-20120917-01027

 

  1. Attach the ties and sew on hooks and eyes.  You can also use buttons, or longer ties, if preferable. Finish off any raw edges and cut off stray threads.

 16. bustle pleated and attached to the waistband

  1.  Your bustle is ready.

 

 

Both bustles when worn

18. bustle worn, side view

Bedford Borough-20120917-01036

Bedford Borough-20120917-01033

 

 The bustle pad

The bustle pad can be worn on its own, particularly for Natural Form era, but it can also be worn on the top of the bustle, as a bustle improver, in which case the resulting silhouette is much more rounder – very typical of the later 80ies bustle styles.

Materials

0.5m of cotton twill, or simply cotton,

1.5 of lace or decorative trim, if desired,

Fabric scraps or cotton waddling for stuffing.

Linen tape for ties.

 

 Method

  1. Cut out the pieces – a small one, reflecting the real size of the bustle pad, and another one, in the same shape, but larger – I added 2 inches all around.

 

  1.  Mark the top hem line, the bottom hem line and two lines in between the two on the smaller piece – these are the lines where the two layers will meet.
  2. Draw the same lines on the bigger piece, making sure that the distances are greater – the lines should still dissect the pad into 3 even parts.
  3.  Set your machine on a longer stitch, with a looser bobbin thread and stitch alongside the lines on the bigger piece. You will notice than with those settings it is easier to gather the fabric by pulling the thread out – the technique used in the period for ruching
20. the bigger piece with ruching stitches for gathering the fabric

the bigger piece with ruching stitches for gathering the fabric

  1.  Pull the threads along the seams, gathering the fabric till the size of the piece reflects the smaller piece. Distribute the gathers evenly and pin on top of the smaller piece, making sure that the gathered seams match the previously drawn lines on the smaller pad.
21.

two pieces pinned together, the bigger one on top.  

  1.  Sew over the gathered seams, including the top and bottom seams.

The two layers stitched together, along the ruching stitches, top, side and bottom. One side left open for inserting the filling

22. two layers stitched together,  along the ruching stitches , top, side and bottom. one side left open for inserting the filling

  1. Stitch the pieces together on one side, but leave the other side open – you can use it now to insert your filling.  Whatever you use for that purpose, kapok, fabric scraps, cotton etc, make sure it is distributed evenly.
  2.  Stitch the other side shut.
  3.  You can now bind the edges with a bit of bias binding or simply fold the edges over and secure with a slip stitch. Sew on your flounce – the decorative border here does serve a more important function, so it is worth the trouble. The frill not only looks pretty, but also blurs the outline of the bustle pad under the skirts, making the skirt fabric lie smooth.

23. filling inserted, pinning up the flounce to the sides

 

  1.  Add a waistband and/or ties
  2. The pad is ready!

24. ties attached, busle pad ready!

The inside of the pad.

25. inside the pad

 

and an example in fancy fabric…

DSC_6629

The pad or the bustle?

Some skirts can be worn on either, depending on the style and dating.   The pad is great for walking and, in my case, I made one for my wedding gown. I was riding side saddle just after the ceremony and there would be no time to change – so the pad worked very well.

The long bustle was simply amazing for dancing. My wedding gown had a long train which bustled for dancing, but the weight was substantial, and it was still trailing on the ground. The bustle kept the excess fabric away from my legs, making waltzing much less difficult!  Despite the steels, the bustle is very comfortable to sit in too – it simply collapses flat!

You can also wear a cage and a smaller pad – the bustle improver – on top of the cage – giving the rounded bustle silhouette typical for the second bustle era.

 

Victorian wedding gown – skirts and train worn over a pad.

31. side view of the  day bodice

The same gown, though with an evening bodice, worn over the steel boned bustle.

 34. side view of the evening bodice and the decoration, copyright Lensmonkey Photography

 Bibliography

 

Jean Hunnisett, Period Costume for Stage and Screen, Patterns for Women’s Dress 1800-1909, Players Press, Inc, 1991

Norah Waugh,  The Cut of Women’s Clothes 1600- 1930; Faber and Faber, London, 1994

Norah Waugh, Corsets and Crinolines, Routledge/Theatre Arts Books, New York, 2000

Stella Blum, Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper’s Bazar 1867-1898, Dover Piublications, Inc. New York, 1974

The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute; Fashion, a History from the 18th to the 20th century,  Taschen, 2002

 

 

1885 day gown – stock item

LJP_5824sepia

 

Since after the WWI corsetry shoot  we still had the set living in the garage, I decide to use the opportunity to snap a few atmospheric shots of a  circa 1885 day dress in cotton from our stock.-a skirt with an asymmetric drapery and a bodice, both lined in cotton. It was about 2 sizes too big for me, but clever pinning and padding worked, to some extent . Would suit a corsetted size 14-16, with bodice closing at 34 inches, chest 40. sleeve 23 “, skirt length 41inches. here worn on a corset ( unlaced) and a bustle cage and a petticoat. It  will be available to purchase from our online store soon:-)

And in the meantime – enjoy the pictures – really happy how they turned out,  Lucas is really getting the hang of it now!

LJP_5789

 

LJP_5791sepia

 

LJP_5796

LJP_5815sepia

LJP_5818

LJP_5821sepia

 credits – Clothing: Prior Attire

photography: Pitcheresque Imagery

 shoes: American Duchess

hair ( well, the fringe)- Wonderland wigs

Mid-Victorian corset project – and pattern review

LJP_6587

 

a few months ago I got some fantastic check wool that just screams 1860 or whereabouts, so I knew I would need to make the undergarments first. So using our usual Stitch and Bitch session with Sew Curvy, I decided to tackle the project then. The pattern was bought, the plan was hatched – and I set to make it happen. I had two aims in sight – firstly, to make the thing so that I could wear it with the future Dickensian  frock; the secondary aim was to check whether the pattern runs true to size and if I could use it as a foundation for the off the peg corsetry range for that period – I am a fairly standard size 12 ( with bigger boobs but that’s easily accounted for), and experimenting with other corsets, patterns and sizes it usually transpired that if the size 12 was ok for me, the other sizes ran true and worked ok on my models/clients.

IMG_20140613_134232

On receiving the pattern  I realized the construction is relatively simple – and very similar to late Regency corsets I have already dealt with. Lots of gores, so fiddly, but  not too badly. I was a bit surprised when I studied the pattern and realised that the pieces does not actually end up looking like the picture on the front, but hey, was ready to give it the benefit of the doubt..

And so the size 12 was cut out in calico, with the gores as suggested for my measurements.

The mock up was ready in no time…

IMG_20140613_152334

 

And that’s when the problems started. True, you don’t expect mock ups to fit perfectly  straight away and there is always adapting, tweaking etc going on.  This one however, if it was to work at all, needed serious re-engineering…

1.  what struck me first was that it closed shut t the back – although it was supposed to have a wide gap…

IMG_20140613_154916

2.  It was evident that much more boning was needed – but that is not an issue, was expecting it with chest my size.  What I did not expect however was  that it would move my boobs sideways, hiding them under my armpits…. well, at least trying to.

3.   I also didn’t expect  a corset to make me look pregnant…

IMG_20140613_155330

notice that huge gap in front – despite being laced shut in the back, there was loads of room in front … so much, that I could actually stuff a tailor’s ham under it…

IMG_20140613_155410

Amazing.

Needless to say, my waist remained as it was – with a minimal reduction of 0.5 inch – despite  the claims on the instruction  – ‘ This type of corset was to reduce the waist. Note the wide gap at the back- this is normal spacing.’  Hmmm… fail,  I think…

At that point  one thing was certain – this is not a pattern to use for standard sizes corsets. If it was taken from an extant garment, then the garment was intended for a person with narrow hips and protruding belly ( maternity maybe ?), and replicating it in different sizes would mean replicating the weird proportions  on a bigger or smaller scale.  The side boobage overspillage could be controlled with playing with the gusset shapes and sizes, and in fact you can see period corsets of this type still sporting straps, like their predecessors – adding straps would most certainly help control the issue. As would actually adapting the whole front panel and cutting it in two, with a curving seam – as shown on the  cover picture. As a matter of fact, that seam features on every other picture of a corset  printed int he instruction/information leaflet – so it is a bit puzzling that  the actual pattern doesn’t reflect the construction.

I was almost ready to give up and not to waste my time on a project that I wont be able to use for my business – but  a cuppa and a nice Danish pastry restored my spirits a bit ( was suffering from a rather bad cold that week too) and  I decided to  have a go –  stay with the pattern and just adjust the gores etc to make it wearable.

 

The following changes were made:

1.  bust gores were adapted to entice the boobs from under the armpits and to stay more or less in front of me.

2. waist was reduced, side  seam made curvier to accommodate my hips and displaced blubber :-)

3. front gore and panel was adapted to limit the pregnant look.

And with these changes, I decided not to waste any more time and make the thing.

I used a cheaper fabric – but still a lovely and authentic one – strong cotton drill.

IMG_20140613_172218

preparing for gore insertion….

 

IMG_20140614_103223

gores inserted – the corset has 2 layers, so there was 16 gores to insert…. joy….

IMG_20140614_103201

all layers with gores , ready to be sewn together…

IMG_20140614_104349

the backs with lacing channels

IMG_20140614_104949

marking the channels with disappearing pen ( love it – the marks fade relatively quickly so it sort of forces you to deal with the project now and then…)

IMG_20140614_132745

busk inserted, all pieces in place. the gores are flosses with blue thread at the corners for extra safety

 

IMG_20140614_135125

sewing boning channels – some were just sewn between the two layer, some were an added tape – the tape also secured the gores a tad more. just in case…

IMG_20140614_135120

ready to bone!

then eyelets  were added and I was able to try it on, just before it was time to drive back home…

The result – Well, there was some improvement. Boobage  less shy, staying more or less put – not ideal, but better than before.  Back – now sporting a wide gap as it theoretically should.  Pregnant look – better, though still could do with improvement.

 

IMG_20140614_143041

 

IMG_20140614_143134

IMG_20140614_143206

 

I must admit that although it started looking more or less ok, It was not very comfortable – and still not really getting the waist reduction I am accustomed to. I am rather squishy, and can reduce my waist y about 7 inches with no major problem – here the reduction was just about 2 ( which is a standard), but not a comfortable one – my hips still felt constricted. I did not particularly like the wide gap at the back either – and the back panel could do with some additional boning.

And so, when I got back home I decided to make one more change to it  – basically to  diminish the gap, and by doing so adding more boning to support the corset better  there.

I cut off the lacing bit  and added a  narrow panel there – just enough for 2 bones that , unfortunately spoiled the decorative  look of the diagonal boning, but it has made a huge difference in wearing the thing –  it is still not the coziest corset ever, but as least I am confident I can wear it for a spell of time.

IMG_20140615_131702

 

IMG_20140615_160429

 

Then all the bones were flossed, edges bound and it was ready to put on and take some photos….

IMG_20140615_160440

 

IMG_20140615_160453

the outside, finished…

 

IMG_20140615_160525

and the innards

 

For the photos I improvised  a vaguely mid Victorian hairdo, put on my chemise and long drawers, stockings, shoes – and decided to play with a cage crinoline I recently bought from a friend… the results below… :-)

LJP_6585

LJP_6591

LJP_6593

LJP_6594

LJP_6598

 

And so, as you can see, not  a complete success, but at least a wearable item. I am still not very happy with it, and so I foresee a next round here  Will pattern the darn thing myself,  and will cut the front panel in two, as shown on the period illustrations…  it wont happen immediately, as i have a business to run, but one day, we should have words together , this type of corset and I  :-)

 

credits:

all sewing notions, fabric, boning etc – Sew Curvy

photography – Pitcheresque Imagery