mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I put on my chemise, corset, hoop, gored 1890s petticoat, and tucked petticoat, and then my print dress to mark the hem. My mom helped me by pinning up the hem. So that's done. Now it needs a facing, which means I need to find something to make a facing out of. Anyways, the point of listing all the undergarments was that I had totally forgotten about my tucked petticoat, but it makes a really nice over-hoop layer. It's all rectangles, so it adds bit more fullness all around, which I think looks right. I may have spent a few hours looking at photos c.1865-1875 to figure out skirt silhouettes and how to adjust my hoop to make it work for early bustle so that I don't have to make a bustle just yet.

Upon further reflection, I've decided that I didn't distribute the skirt properly when attaching it to the waistband, so it looks a bit skimpy over the back when worn with the hoop. But not enough that I'm going to redo it. I'm just noting it so that I remember for future reference.

Ok, I'm also super sniffly/running nose/sneezy. So I wasn't actually very productive on sewing today. But slowly things are getting done.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I took my camera outside with me today and got pictures of my corset and hoop! (Also, apparently I'm really bad at outdoor photography and have lots of weird shadows.) Here they are:
P1020776VERY picture heavy behind the cut :) )
I love my new hoop and kind of just want to wear it all the time now. It's SO fun! But yeah, next time, bigger!
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
[ profile] ashamanja_babu says pictures. So I took a quick pic of the finished corset with the binding, lace (from Treadle!), and flossing. After I'd already sewn on the lace with the binding, I realized it would have been more accurate to add the lace over top of the binding and facing pointy edge up. But by that point it was already on and I wasn't redoing it. Oh well. ;p
The hoop has been cut out and the panels assembled and felled. I've marked where the twill tape will go for the hoop steel casings. Still not finished my shawl, but planning on working on it this evening while watching the Netflix show Stranger Things. Watched the first couple of episodes yesterday and I really enjoyed it. Kind of like Stephen King and The Goonies; even though it's modern, it's set in 1983 (almost typed 1883 lol) and really reminds me of 80s movies (which I love!).
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I bit the bullet yesterday evening and flossed my corset. Just simple Xs on the bottoms of the bones and not even that neat, but done. [ profile] atherleisure was totally right when she said that if I didn't do it know, I probably wouldn't go back to it later. Plus, I was rather sick yesterday (I've had the cold from hell for the past few months that will just never entirely go away, it just ebbs and flows) and didn't get around to working on my hoop other than ironing the fabric. It was either flossing or knitting, but I figured flossing would make me feel more accomplished. Pictures of the finished product next week some time, when I should also have the hoop done and can show off all the foundation garments together. I think I'll feel enough better tomorrow to cut out the hoop and assemble it.

Costume College peeps! Thanks for the pictures you are sharing. Keep them coming!


Jul. 28th, 2016 11:13 pm
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I finally finished binding my corset. I don't know if I'll end up flossing it. At this point, I'm just tired of working on it and want to move on to something else. Flossing would probably be good, but I'm not sure that it's necessary. I'll have to try wearing the corset more and seeing if the bones have any inclination to twist or move around. If not, then I'm calling it done and not working on flossing. If it needs flossing... well, we'll see when I get around to it.

Next project is hoops/cage crinoline! The fabric (pillow ticking) is in the wash. I'll cut out the pieces tomorrow and probably also get them assembled.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
With my new corset! It's not as pretty as my lavender satin one, but the fit is much better. The waist is in the right place and the bust and hips have the right amount of room so that I have an almost perfectly even lacing gap. And, when I laced it up normally, I got half an inch more reduction than in the lavender corset! It's so comfortable too. The only nit-picky problem I have with it is that the bust isn't quite as in my mock-up, because I probably wasn't quite careful enough with the lapped seams and getting the curve just right. But it's pretty minimal and I don't really mind,
I put in the grommets today and almost had a terrible moment on the very last one. I was stretching the hole with a knitting needle and I felt the fabric tear, but it was only a tiny bit and the grommet still totally covers it, so it was all fine. Whew! Tomorrow I will definitely do the binding and maybe even the flossing.
Re-thinking my sewing plans for a bonus outfit )
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
So here's the corset with all the external boning channels added. The second channel from the front that runs over the bust is just for looks. I can't put boning in there because that is where my ribs stick out on my left side. (Ribcages are weird.) But the rest will have boning in them. I'm using skinny cable ties because they are flexible and light and I bough a package of 100 instead of buying spiral boning. You can sort of see how curvy it is over the bust and over the hips, while the rest of the corset is relatively flat.
Some of the numbers marked on are still visible. Both sixes on the back panels and half of a 3 and half of a 4, one on each side. (Technically, also the ones on the front panels, but they are almost entirely faded and I can only just barely see them when searching for them.) You can see the 3 peeking out from a boning casing on the left and the 6 on the far right.
I'm hoping that once I get the back facings on with the grommets, the stitching for those channels will go over the sixes and make them less noticeable.

Left to do: back facings, grommets, cut and finish the bones, binding, and flossing. Planning to do at least the first three tomorrow, maybe also binding.

Keeping on

Jul. 24th, 2016 02:44 pm
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
So, nothing would take out those marks. BUT I came up with a solution that should hide most of them fairly well. I needed to add boning channels and was going to make them internal channels, but now they are going to be external channels instead. The marks are in the middle of each panel, right where the channels will go. A few won't have channels over them because I can't put channels there. In the front, where the marks are conveniently faintest, and in the back panels, which are at least in the back so I won't have to see them. That's the best I can do.


Jul. 23rd, 2016 11:56 pm
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I unknowingly heat set my erasable/fast-fade fabric marker. So now there are faint marks left on the front of the corset panels where I numbered them. I tried washing them out, using Shout on them, and using lemon juice. No luck. Tomorrow I'm trying white vinegar. SO annoying. I got the other half of the corset assembled and the busk put in, but am now feeling rather demoralized with the darn thing.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Unfortunately my outing tomorrow is cancelled due to weather. They're predicting thunderstorms all day. Boo.

However, this gives me more time to work on my corset. I cut it all out yesterday and today I ironed all the seam allowances and assembled one half of the panels! I had to iron the seam allowances because I'm doing this lapped method of sewing the seams, shown bottom right. I think it will be stronger than felling, since the stress is placed on two lines of stitching, rather than one that is reinforced. (Picture from [ profile] the_aristocat's blog.)

It's a bit fiddly on the curved parts of the seams, but I think it's going alright. My corset is two layers treated as one: peach poplin and white cotton drapery lining. Both are cut with the lengthwise grain going across the body instead of down. The drapery lining is a bit stretchy, but not much, and the poplin is really stable. Cutting perpendicular to the usual way keeps the least stretchy part going around the body. Some period corsets are cut this way.

Tomorrow I want to get the other side assembled, the busk inserted, and a couple of extra boning channels made and sewn on. While a bone on each seam is probably OK, I want some extras around the sides. The fabric is pretty lightweight, so the extra boning will add stability. I also find that having more bones in the corset distributes the compression more evenly.

I also got a couple more rows knitted on the shawl. I measured yesterday and as of right now it is 36" from the centre of the neck to the point. This is going to be a large shawl, especially considering I'm so short. :)
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I kind of just want to make hats now. They're so much fun! Here's my "finished" hat, trimmed with flowers. I arranged them around the crown and pinned them, then I sewed them on with big stitches so that they'll be easily removeable. They're a bunch of the flowers that I used for my 1882 Little Mermaid evening gown repurposed. Yay for not having to buy new things!
I got the idea of a wreath of flowers from [ profile] jenthompson's 1883 Peterson's. The lady on the far right of this fashion plate shows this sort of style of hat with just flowers for decoration.

My busk and hoopsteel came in the mail today. I guess I should get back to work on that corset.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
It took some really minor, miniscule changes to the bust to get this shape. Like seriously, we're talking 1/8" changes to the original pattern. Man corsets are weird. The wrinkles are still there, but they're much slighter and more evenly distributed and will definitely go away in the final product.
- Corsets from this era tend to have a higher waist and lower bust, but I couldn't quite get that. My last corset had the higher waist and gave sort of a more period shape, but the waist realy was just a touch too high for comfort. This one sits where my waist actually is.
- My boobs just aren't big enough to get that sort of dramatic sweeping curve from bust to waist that you see in period illustrations and with a lot of period corsets.
- I think I'll get a better reduction when I make the real thing with more boning. That's what happened with my last corset.
- Now that I've finished this mocking up and after all my gusset woes, I've come to the ludicrous conclusion that I think the kind of corset with two main panels and all gussets for fitting would actually fit my body the best. My torso from the waist up is actually quite straight up and down, with the majority of the curve right where my boobs are, ie. right where gussets would accomodate them. While from the waist down, most of the curve is at the side and back, where the gussets would be most pronounced. So maybe my next corset will be that kind. Whenever I need another Victorian corset, which hopefully won't be for another few years.
- Multiple posts in a row with mock-up pictures are not very exciting, especially when the changes aren't very dramatic. Sorry for putting you guys through all that! ;p

Now to take this apart and use it as a pattern. Also, to order the busk and some hoopsteel.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
The waist and hips are pretty good, I think. But my bust adjustments aren't quite right. It probably sounds crazy after all my gusset trauma, but I think bust gussets might give a better shape. However, while there are 1880s corset that have just bust gussets, the earlier styles of the sort that I'm trying to copy don't seem to have this and I really don't want to mess around with hip gussets. I probably just have to fiddle a bit more with the seams at the bust. I'm definitely getting a rounder bust, but there are some weird pull lines making a V-shape to the underbust. Any thoughts on how to fix these?
Maybe I raised the underbust a bit too high. Hmm...

Edited to add: I changed how I was tightening the lacing, tightening from the waist instead of the bottom and got a better waist reduction. The bust still has wrinkles though. 
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Um so you may have noticed that my shawl still isn't done and is way late for the HSM Travel challenge. I am OK with this because, well, partly because I am easy-going about self-imposed deadlines, and partly because I have been working on this darn corset. Oh, and I had a cold. I cut myself a lot of slack when I am sick. But the shawl is still slowly progressing. I am in the last cream-coloured stripe now. Then it'll be maroon edge and fringe!

As for the corset, I went back to not-quite square one. I used the pattern from mock-up #1, made a couple of alterations, and did a mock-up #1B (since the first mock-up is #1A). It needs a couple more small alterations, but is actually looking quite good. So my faith in my corset-making abilities is restored. I don't know, maybe I just suck at hip gussets? I figured out bust gussets enough to make a good set of Regency stays, so it might just be troublesome hip gussets. Anyways, I want to let out the back hip a bit more and raise the underbust a bit plus make the bust rounder. Expect pictures of mock-up #1C that are (hopefully!?) successful.

Also, I made scones today. :) My dad and I searched 3!!! different grocery stores for clotted cream/Devonshire cream but none of them had any. But we got some pretty tasty jams to try. Nothing beats homemade scratch baking!
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
No pictures. I was too disgusted with this whole process. My latest mock-up with new back panels and gussets was somehow simultaneously better AND worse. I fixed the hip spring problem, but the very back gusset was all wonky. And then something was making the bust gussets sit too low, even though they were at the right height yesterday. I just don't even know. Gussets may not be for me. I may go back to shaped panels and mock-up #1, which I think was fitting poorly due to using some flats instead of something more flexible. The other problem is that I have run out of mock-up fabric, so I can't even test things out any more. I was hoping that by this time I'd be ready to get started on the real thing. But I went from a really nice fitting corset pattern base to a multitude of weird problems. It's just frustrating.

However, all is not bad in Sabrina-land. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is finally playing in Canada and the first episode aired this past week! I'm really enjoying it. I also went to the farmer's market today and got some scratch made doughnuts and raspberry sticky buns. Tried the doughnuts and they were pretty tasty. Looking forward to the sticky buns. I love raspberry! I also made cherry Jell-O the other day, so that's in the fridge if I want. And my mom made some Rice Krispy cake. So, although the corset is going rather badly, I have plenty of sweet treats to console myself with. ;p
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Much better results on this one. Interestingly, I got a much better fit without using much boning. I mostly only have spring steel on hand instead of spiral, and when I had it in the corset I couldn't lace down and it was giving me pain. I have two thin cable ties over the bust and boning CF and CB and that's it. I'm still getting a lot of horizontal wrinkling just under the waist. I think it's because the hipspring isn't dramatic enough so the corset is riding up there, so I need to add more right under the waist to the hip gussets. I may also add just a touch more to the waist. Even though with more space in the hips, I should have an easier time lacing in the waist, the CB is too bowed out in the middle and causing the boning to twist. I think that the fit through the bust is really good and nicely rounded. The only other adjustment I want to make is to re-shape the top edge and raise it a bit.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
So this is the mock-up of the shaped panels. The fabric I'm using isn't quite heavy enough (cotton/poly sateen), nor do I have the right kind of boning on hand, flats instead of spirals. The next mock-up will be two layers and that should help some. Right now, it mostly looks just like the mock-up I did of the 1880s version of this corset, but shorter, so not very exciting. However, this looks less curvy from the front and more curvy from the back than that one, which is weird, might have something to do with the boning. I also think I managed to get the bust a bit rounder and lower the waist a bit like I wanted to.
Things I am going to change for the next mock-up. You can see where I drew all over it. The red lines are where I'm planning to change the panels and add gussets. I am also going to add some length to the bottom of the back of the corset. The back hip also needs some more room. You can see how it's riding up and wrinkling in the side and back pics.
So that's it so far. I think the gussets will do a good job, but I guess we'll see in the next mock-up.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I've started working on my corset, so currently in the re-fitting and patterning stage. I made up a new paper pattern based on my lavender corset, with a lowered waist, slightly smaller bust and hips, slightly larger waist, and shorter in length. The next stage is doing a mock-up. However, I am being incredibly indecisive as to whether I want to leave it as shaped pieces or add gussets. I keep flip-flopping. Here are my somewhat disorganized and rambling thoughts; please add yours!

  1. I am fairly confident that this corset will fit well as is (ie. with shaped panels) because it's based on my lavender corset. I don't know if I want to do the extra step of using the mock-up to re-draw lines to add gussets and different shaped panels and do another mock-up, but it would be interesting to do a different style.

  2. A gusseted corset will have more bulk where the gussets meet seamlines. But I'm not using terribly thick fabric, so I don't know if it will matter.

  3. Both styles of corsets were popular for this era (1867-1875) based on what I've seen in De Gracieuse and Reconstruction Era Fashions by Frances Grimble.

  4. I want to cord parts of the corset instead of using boning because my ribs stick out on my left side and the boning that ran over them in my other corset was uncomfortable. I can probably figure out a boning/cording pattern that works with either one.

  5. For a gusseted corset, I am thinking doing gussets on seams (like [ profile] the_aristocat's drab corset) and leaving out a back hip gusset, so that I don't have to deal with the points of the gussets which always give me guff and like to fray a little bit.

  6. To sum up: Basically, using shaped pieces seems easier to me and I'm lazy, but maybe there are other benefits to gussets that I am not thinking of and I kind of like the look of them and think it might be fun to try.

Also, I have a Pinterest board.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Turns out that the New Look pattern that I want is available on the Simplicity website as a printable pattern. So I don't need to worry about trying to find it in the States and can get started on making this dress earlier. I want it for a wedding I am attending on July 1st.

The baby quilts just need binding, which I am hoping to get done today. The shawl is coming along nicely too. The first cream stripe and the first maroon stripe are both done now. Circular needles are interesting. Sometimes I get a little confused about which way I should be knitting. I would like to make up the dress this weekend and have it done early next week. Then I can get started on my new corset mock-ups (which I think I have a cunning plan for) and maybe a new pair of shorts.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Now that I am not frantically scrambling to move, finish essays, and prepare for a conferece, I can take time to do things at home. This mostly involves cooking and cleaning, to help out the family and to prepare for my stuff to arrive. It's not fun, but it's good to feel accomplished and productive. Plus, I get to sleep in.

I'm also planning my next sewing projects. I have a couple of living history events at the end of May: Visit With the People of the Red River and Doors Open. The first is an educational day at one of the local museums, where kids from a school come and we do demonstrations. This needs c.1815 clothing because it's Selkirk Settlers/Manitoba history stuff. I was going to make a white petticoat to wear under my 1790s chemise dress that I was going to fake as being later by wearing it with my Regency stays. But I got the brilliant(?) idea that it wouldn't be much more work to make a petticoat and a shortgown/jacket out of some cotton print that I have and then I'd just straight-up have a period appropriate outfit for all my 1815 needs (which are many because that's the primary period we do). I am planning an ensemble based on a few period examples:
From the National Trust, can be seen in Nancy Bradfield's Costume in Detail.
From the Charleston Museum.

And there's a similar shortgown/jacket in [ profile] chocolatepot's Regency Women's Dress. I'm making a less frilly one because I don't have the patience for ruffles. Just a fitted back and loose front that will tie, with a collar. I have a whole Pinterest board for this project here. The petticoat will be really simple, just a shaped front, rectangular back, and straps. I think I can get this project done in a reasonable amount of time since I have a sort of basic Regency bodice pattern to start from.

The second event is at Dalnavert House Museum, where I was this past weekend for some of the conference. The house was built in 1895 so my new shirtwaist/skirt ensemble will have its first wearing! The ensemble really needs a hat (well, and a jacket, but I am being slightly ambitious, not crazy. I just hope it's fairly warm. I was chilly last year). I am thinking a plain sailor hat with a band of the same silk as the bow tie, kind of like this lady:

I also need to work on two baby quilts. I have the cotton fabric, but need the batting. I want to get the costuming done in the next couple of weeks and then maybe one quilt and then back to costuming (corset?) and then quilt again.

For non-sewing things, today I baked a cake. I'm calling it a diet cake. Now that I'm back home I am eating healthier (and less) and trying to get some exercise (so far, mostly vacuuming) and do stretching. I got a cake craving, though, so I made a "diet" version of a Victoria sponge cake. It's "diet" because it's about 2/3 of a regular cake recipe, which is 2 cakes put together to form the layers, and it doesn't have any whipped cream. Also, because it's at home, I only get to eat a quarter of the cake. ;p
It sunk a little bit in the middle, for some reason. Possibly problems when I reduced the recipe or maybe not quite baked enough, though it was definitely cooked. It's super easy to make and I love the taste. It's basically a pound cake recipe, usually done by weight, but I've converted it into volume measurements.
Recipe behind the cut )


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September 2017

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