Re-make a pair of bodice (HSM 2/2017)

I tend to think these “make-do/repair/re-make – challenges” are pretty boring. And I never know what to make and feel kind of uninspired by the whole thing.

But then something always happens.

I guess it’s due to my ever growing costume wardrobe, and my inpatients (often pressed by deadlines) to get stuff finished, that I always end up with several entry’s for the “re-make” HSM challenges.

The first one, this time, is the fixing up of my 16th century “Pair of bodice” (corset) that I made as one of my first historic pieces back in 2013.
2013-03-01 14.33.57Mighty proud back then

Since I’ve long been dreaming of expanding my 16th century wardrobe (and just recently got both patterns and a lovely black wool for a robe) I decided it was time to go through the existing pieces to make sure they where up to speed.

2013-02-09 15.45.57 2013, and just starting to ventur into the world of historic costuming

 
February 2017, and still a novice (tough a bit more knowable)
The corset fit me almost the same as back in 2013, but that was not enough anymore.
It needed to be fixed.

Here is how it looked before I dug my seam-ripper into it.

The first thing I did was to take my measurements, and they tuned out (as I expected) to be the exact same with and without the corset on. I know that the 16th century silhouette don’t call for any sliming of the torso, but a column to get the right look of the garment. But despite that I wanted to minimize my “column” as much as possible – Oh the vanity…

One of the biggest problem in this was the thick (2-3mm) plastic zip-ties I used to completely bone the bodice.
They build on to the outside of the corset to give me the bigger/same size as un-laced.

So they had to go.

Or at least most of them.
After I unripped the bias tape covering the upper edge, I removed every other bone at the front, all bones at the sides and only left a few ones a the back. I also cut the remaining bones down a god cm to make them fit better into the channels.
Cutting down the plastic boning.

Once the bones was gone I faced another problem – now the whole thing was a bit to big…

So I grabbed my seam-ripper, and got to work removing the piecing I added for exactly the same (opposite?) reason when I made the bodice.

Once almost all the upper binding was removed, I also took the opportunity to shorten the shoulder straps.

By now the corset looked like some kind of roadkill, with everything hanging lose and the big pile of boning sticking out. 

 Quality control by my tiny “helper”

Then all that was left was to stitch everything back again.

The finished Pair of bodice:


All the facts:

Challenge: nr 2/2017 – Re-make

What: The re-make of my 16th century “Pair of bodice”

How It fit the challenge: I re-made the pair of bodice to better fit my current skill and body, making it a lot more likely I will actually wear them. I also got a lot leftover boning from the fix-up, that I can use for other projects down the line.

Pattern: None

Fabric/Notions: Thread

How historical accurate: Not at all except the shape. The whole thing is made with machine, in synthetic brocade using both plastic boning and metal eyelets (so sorry you guys…). But it is a clear example of how my knowledge and skill have grown and since they will never be seen, it don’t bother me as much as it probably should. about 3/10.

Time/Cost: About 3 hours and it didn’t cost me a thing (of one thing I gained a few cents with the opportunity to re-use the left over bones).

First worn: Beginning of Mars for photos

Finished thoughts: I’m happy that I now might finally wear them 🙂

***

And here’s a complimentary “striptease” 🙂

photos by: Elin Evaldsdotter

Edwardian Vampire

Here comes another batch from last years Halloween photoshoot.

This time we are doing the classical vampire in my Edwardian lingere getup.

interviewtomInspiration 1.
Sadly I couldn’t get anyone to play Lestat, so we had to manage on our own 🙂

vampire02Inspiration 2.

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img_9449Model: Jessie Lewis Skoglund
Photo: Elin Evaldsdotter
Costume & Concept: Fashion through History

A 16th century UFO Corset

This spring, when cleaning out and sorting my sewing things I found a mysterious bag among my old fabrics.
And it wasn’t until I pored the content out on the table, I realized what it was.

Can you guess…IMG_7263A pile of some blue, white and grew stuff…Hm…

This seems to be some thread, laces, bias tape and some metal eyelets. IMG_7272Do you know yet?

And some plastic boning.IMG_7273What can it be…

And here we got something that looks remarkably like a mock-up.IMG_7274Come on, you can say it now.

Yes!
It is the Elizabethan Dorothea bodies from “The Tudor Tailor”. Which I’ve totally forgotten I’ve been working on long ago. IMG_7266

It seems like I’ve scaled the pattern and altered it for my figure.IMG_7268

And cut and sewed bias tape to all the tabs – by hand.IMG_7269Ok, I guess grey may not be the best choice of color for matching with the blue.

I´ve also managed to turn the back edges over and stitched the boning channels.IMG_7280

The two back pieces.IMG_7278

A close-up of the eyelets.
It seams like I used the metal eyelets for strength and covered them with blue thread. Not a technique I would have used today.IMG_7279

For some reason, I also stitched the edges of the two back pieces – in red thread (!?).IMG_7289

It guess I’ve must have put LOTS of work into the front piece.IMG_7286

Stitching all the channels by hand.IMG_7288Carefully following the basted lines.

IMG_7287I mean, look at that amount of work.

I remember starting this project about 4 years ago, when I (very ambitiously) decided to make a whole 1550s dress from scratch.
And since my skill and knowledge have progressed so much since then, I’m sad to admit I will probably never finish this corset.

But I´m not ready to throw it away yet either – so guess it will just go back into the ever growing pile of Un Finished Objects.

Terminology Stays

My original plan for the 16th HSF challenge – Terminology, (making something from “the-great-historical-fashion-and-textile-glossary“) was to make a regency round gown, but as the deadline approached I found an old UFO in my sewing pile causing me to changed track completely.

The item that now got my sewing nerve tingling was the 18th century half boned stays from Nora Waughs Corset and CrinolinesIMG_0780I’d started the project about a year ago, scaled and printed the pattern, took measurements and altered the pieces . Then I left it in favor for some other, more pressing costuming need. And that’s how I found it.

So I searched “The Glossary” for some useful article and found just the one: Stays.IMG_0782The pieces  already altered for my measurements.

I decided to keep the pieces as they were (one year old measurements and all), and pinned them to the old cotton sheet I use for mock-ups.

I stitched the mock-up together and made some basic boning chanells down the front, sides and back.IMG_0788

Then I put in some boning, and attached my old lacing strip to the back.IMG_0787Not very pretty, but functional.

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The fit was pretty good, and the only alteration I made was to make the whole thing 5 cm smaller – to get some more flexibility for size in the lacing.

So, on to the fashion fabric.
I used the leftovers from my previous corset en-devour (1900s S-shape).IMG_0892Pinning the strong sateen interlining.

I started by sewing the lining to the back piece.IMG_1614Then I stitched the lacing channels close to the edge, making three spaces for boning and eyelets.

Before getting down on to sewing all the channels, I made sure to mark them with pencil to the interfacing.IMG_1627

As you can see the lines are not exactly perfect.
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And neither are the sewing lines.
But the pencil markings was just meent as a general guide to keep the left and right sides even.

Then it was on to the eyelets.IMG_1637Marking the spaces.

I used my hole puncher to get the get the grommets through the fabric.
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And a hammer to get them to stick.

Then it was time to stitch the pieces together.IMG_1642

And to insert some of the boning.IMG_1644

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The shape and fit looks really good. The wrinkles at the waist comes from the so far uncut tabs.IMG_1658Please ignore the different color laces – I could’t find any long enough.

After the fitting I inserted the rest of the boning, making sure the sharp edges was cut down and rounded of.IMG_1678

I needed to use some bias tape and hand sewing to get the channels for the horizontal bones in place.IMG_1794

They show a bit from he front, but not enough to be a problem.IMG_1797

I then pinned on the lining, sewing it down to the selvages and basting it round the top and bottom. IMG_1802

Then it was time to cut the tabs, bind the edges.
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I put pins, to keep the bones from sliding from their places.

Fortunately I’d made the top edge first, because binding all those tabs were the worst part of the process. And if I hadn’t I’m not sure I wold have pulled through.IMG_1807

I stabbed myself countless times on the pins, and had lots of troubles getting the corners nice and smooth.IMG_1808

But I managed to get it done in time for deadline and photoshoot. IMG_2284The inside of the finished stays. 

The finished Stays:IMG_2267

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Sneak a peak of the photoshoot:IMG_2197

Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 16 – Terminology

What: a pair of 18th century half boned stays. Read more about the origin of the word (and what differs Stays from Corsets on: http://thedreamstress.com/2013/08/terminology-whats-the-difference-between-stays-jumps-a-corsets/

Pattern: 1770s Stays pattern from Nora Waughs Corset and Crinolines.

Fabric: 0,5 m of striped cotton, 0,5 m of tightly woven cotton sateen and 0,5 m of white cotton sheets.

Notions: Thread, 13 pairs of gromets, 5 m lacing cord, 4 m of cotton bias tape, 1 m of metal boning and about 30 pieces of plastic cable ties.

How historical accurate: The pattern, material and shape of the stays are correct. But I sewed them on my machine and used metal grommets, plastic boning and modern construction techniques. So maybe 4/10

Time: About 15 hours – binding the tabs took like forever.

Cost: About 200 Sek (32 Usd). But since most of the material came from stash and was leftovers from previous projects I didn’t pay that much. More like 80 Sek.

First worn: For photos yesterday, and hopefully for an upcoming 18th century event n a few weeks.

Final thoughts: I really love the look of these stays, but they are really uncomfortable.
I need to make some alterations to make them fit better, and I’m not sure that will help, since I made them to long in the waist. I wore them for about 1 hour this weekend and the boning poking in to my hips and back was really noticeable.

And on top of fixing the ill fitting part, I accidentally burst one of the side seams of the stays while sneezing during the photoshoot (ups)…

1900s S-shaped Underwear

The item for challenge 4 of the HSF14 was quite simle to decide – Looking at my intended “sewing list” where a 1900s evening gown is the next big thing, I of course needed the proper undergarmnents.

Since this is a new era for me (I’ve done 1980s and 1910s, but they are not at all the same) I needed to start from the bottom. So a corset it is.

Looking through the internet for inspiration I really liked this one. 72867cfdcae740e03be80aca71d75b95

And amongst my patterns I found the 1901s corset from Nora Waughs “Corset and Crinolines”. 1901 waugh

My original thought was to make the corset in ivory cotton sateen, but when searching my stash I discovered it was all gone (I’ve already used it all on a couple of other corsets). And the only other strong ivory colored fabric I had was a rough unbleached cottonblend. So on to the fabric store I went, finding this nice striped cotton upholstery fabric instead. IMG_6291

I had wished to make this a quick and dirty stash busting prject, but found I already had had to many of those lately – thous leaving my stash of notions almost empty (sigh). So I also needed to buy gromets, lacing cord, suspender grips and plastic boning (the planchett and decorational lace thankfully already in stash). IMG_6324

I originaly started this project 9 months ago till the HSF13 “White” challenge – before I realised I had other more pressing costuming needs.

So the pattern and the toile was already prepeared. And since I had absolutly no idea of the measurments I used making the mock-up, I just tried it on.  

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And as could be expected, it didn’t fit at all.

So I took out a total of about 10cm on the size, and added some lenght to make the front bottom smother. The rest of the fitting isues will be corrected once made up in a sturdier fabric and properly boned (I hope).

After the adjusments had been done, I cut the fabric, linning and interlining. Using as litle fabric as I posibly could. IMG_6289

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Then I started to sew it togehter, begining with the narrow side pieces. IMG_6297

And continuing on to the busk…IMG_6304

…and the gromets… IMG_6306

Realising to late I’ve put the gromets to far appart.IMG_6310I tried to fix it by putting some extra gromets at the waist (as in 1880s corsets).

Then I sewed the pieces together and made the boning chanels, using self made bias tape, and sewed them on. IMG_6327

When all the boning was inserted I sewed and trimmed down the top and bottom of the corset, prepeared it for the biastape.IMG_6332

Then I stiched on the pretty lace (which I picked from my “Lace box“).IMG_6317

Finished:IMG_6405

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And being worn:IMG_6359

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Just the facts:

Challenge: 4 – Under it all.

What: a 1900s S-shaped corset.

Pattern: Nora Whaugh’s 1901s corset from “Corset and Crinolines”.

Fabric: 0,5 of striped cotton upholstery fabric (50Sek), 0,4 m of nougat cotton lawn for lining and 0,5 m ivory cotton satten (used on bed-bolsers) both from stash.

Notions: Thread (stash), 32cm Busk (80Sek), 20 gromets (35Sek), 4m of lacing cord (50 Sek), 2 m of ivory biastape (stash), 5m selfmade biastape for boning chanels (stash), 5m plastic cable ties for boning (30sek), 2m steel boning (stash), 1 m lace (stash), 0,5 m elastics (stash) and 2 suspender-grips (50Sek).

How historical accurate: The fabric and pattern are all good. But the plastic boning and the construction tecninques are modern. so maybe 6/10.

Time: About 12 hours.

Cost: Money spent: 275 Sek (42Usd). Actual cost (including stash worth): about 400 Sek (61Usd).

First worn: For photograps 1 mars. But hopefully on some suffraget events and some summer picknics.

Final Thoughs: I’m pretty happy with it, but I think I will need to add some stuffing at the bum to get a more pronounced S-shape.

Edwardian S-shaped corset – inspiration

Latley I’ve been studying the late 19th/eraly 20th century s-shaped corset. The created shape is faschinating, beautiful and seems just a tiny bit uncomfortable (more the other corsets, of course).

I will now show you some of my inspiration for my latest project – a 1900s s-shaped corset (hopefully compleated till next post).

corset ad

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4 Victorian corset

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Book Review: Corsets – Historical Patterns & Techniques

As the classic book nerd I am, I constantly hunt for new (or old) titels to add to my “libary”. I love the feeling of flipping through a well reserched costume book, just as much as I love droling over the beautiful ones made for the coffee tables.

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And as such a sucker for book-candy I also love to read about and find new wounderful titles.

In my town (and probably in the rest of Sweden) it is really had to find good costuming books at the store/libary. So often you need to buy the book on-line, and don’t get the chans to flipp through it before deciding. Most often I just read the reviews on Amazon before I buy a new book on-line, but since I love when fellow costumers recomend a title I decided to try to give some back.

So this post will be the first in a series of reviews.

And the first book will be a “old goodie” that I’ve had lots of use of.

Corsets – Historical Patterns and Techniques by Jill Salen

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Facts:

128 pages.

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23 patterns (including 1 pregnancy stays, 1 child and 1 dolls corset).

Construction instruction for 2 different corsets.

Prize: About 200 sek (45Usd).

Pros:

The book is very beautiful and contain lots of great patterns. The layout have a nice and clear way of showing both the real corsets, the descriptive texts and the patterns.

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The pattern are pretty easy to scale to full size using the chekered background as a guide. I scanned the pattern to my computor and then printed it to the right size. So simple.

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I’ve used two or three of the patterns in the book and found them to work very well (but you might have to do some heavy scaling to take in account our larger modern body size).

DSC_0777 DSC_0362Both of these corsets are made with the “Brown Jean Corset 1790” pattern. The one to the left is in original size (really, really smal), and on the right one I have moved the lacing to the back and adjusted the fitt a bit more to my sisters body. (If you look at the different shoulder positions of her body you can really tell the different between the “original” pattern and the adjusted one).

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I think the information about each corset are nice and informative and give a good feel for what kind of person would wear the particular item. Like in what way was it worn, and what did the wearer do while wearing it (work, stay at home, dance ect.).

1This corset is one of my first ones, and are made using “Pretty Housemaid corset 1890s”. The fitt is good but the sewing and assembly of it was really tricky to figure out.

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I learnt a lot of new things about corsets and the way people of the past lived from this book. (Did you know that smal children made their first practice corset to fitt their dolls, then later moving on to the “real stuff”).

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Cons:

I really do love the book but do think it have some flaws.

I for one think the choise to include the patterns for 3 ribbon corsets, 2 childs and 1 dolls corset is a bit strange. Even though I understand the desire to include lesser known pieces, most of the costumers would want a good variety of patterns and to make them fit a real body.

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I also think the basic sewing and assembly techniques could use a bit more elaboration. The author do state in the preface that the book is mainly for the “experienced” costumer/semstress, and is not ment to be a sewing book. But it still could have used some more tips and tricks in assembeling the different styles.

IMG_6099I really like the flossing diagram though.

I also would have liked to have the mesurments of the real corset (and patterns) writen out. Of course, you can measure the pieces and scale them up to the right size, but it would have been nice to be able to know the aproximate size of the corset at a glance.

Would I recomend it?

The book is a lovely addition to any costumers libary.

It is a perfect compliment to the famous “Corsets and Crinolines”, but also do very well on its own.

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I do think the book is a bit complicated if your not very familiar with corset construction.

But if you want a pretty, cheap, book about historical corsets – you have found the one.

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An Innovative Corset

For the HSF nr 3 this year: Innovation, I knew I needed to make something usable for the up-coming bal. And since you can’t make a balgown without the right foundation wear, I decided to use this challenge to make a 1880s corset.

I re-used the 1880s corset pattern from Nora Waughs Corset and Crinolines. (I prevously made a black corset from this pattern for my sister). 1880 waugh

I started by adding some extra widht to the pattern to bring it closer to my measurments.IMG_4330

Then I cut it out in a sturdy cotton bedsheet,IMG_4335

sewed it together and tried it on.

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It fits suprisengly well. The only thing that needs to be changed is to take out a bit on the top back, to get a more even lacing, and to re-shape the bottom front to make the curve over the stomach nice and smoot.IMG_4359

Then it was time to bring out all the fabric and notions. (here I got: a cream cotton sateen, a cream cotton interlining, a busk, lots of plastic bonning, thread, the pattern, grommets and lacing cord).IMG_4368

Then I cut the fabric, basted on the interlining and marked the space for the piping, and sewed them in.IMG_4364

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Close-up of the piping, sewn in green button-hole thread.IMG_4377

Then I sewed the pieces together twice – for strengt.IMG_4370

Setting the busk using awls to get the studds through the fabric without ripping it. IMG_4387

And leaving holes while sewing to get the eyes through.IMG_4381

I made lots of self fabric bias trim to use as boning chanels.IMG_4397

Sewing them on from the outside.IMG_4400

And snipping the seam-allowence on the inside.IMG_4403

When the gromets, the busk and the boning chanels (no bonning yet) are done, its time for the lining. I choose a light green cotton lining from my stash.IMG_4411

Corset with lining sewn on – before turning.IMG_4416

The lining sewn in. (One side turned and pressed, and the other one still in-side-out).IMG_4422

Now it’s time for the boning. If you put them in to early you will have big trouble with lining and sewing.

This is what I used for boning. (Left to right: Heavy pliers, methal pipe cleaners, electrical tape (to cower the sharp edges on the metal), plastic cable ties, siccor and plastic whale bone).IMG_4438

As you can se I used all of my three boning options on different parts of the corset. Using the strongest (metal) ones close to the lacing, and the regular cable ties in the boning chanels, and then using the softer syntetic whalebone in between.IMG_4444

Then I grabbed my finishing/decoration kit (green cotton bias tape, white cotton lace, green button hole thread and cord for  piping (which I did in my first few steps).IMG_4436

Cutting the un-even top and bottoms of the corset, IMG_4426

and then attaching the bias tape.IMG_4431

At this point it was time for me to stop working on the corset, and leave it for a couple of weeks.

You see, I started this project begining of december, since I needed to have the corset to be able to start on my opera gown. And since the HSFs rules says that no item should be finished more then 6 weeks before the challenge du date, I needed to paus sewing for a while. And since it was only the decorations left, the corset was fully functional and could still be used to build my gown upon.

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So, last week (3 days before the grand bal) I finaly had the time to finish it.

By now I had tried it on several times, and had realised the bust needed to be re-shaped to get a smoother look. So I ripped some of the bias tape of, re-cut the top and stiched the bias tape back on.IMG_4716

Then I decorated it with the white lace and some green flossing.

And finaly Finished:IMG_5281

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Just the Facts:

Challenge: nr 2 – Innovations

What: A 1880s Corset

Innovation: The 1880s was known for it’s innventions (actually the whole 19th century was). My item can both represent the whole era, or the new style of hourglas figure and bustled skirts made fashionable and  avalaible thue to both the steel manufacturer, and the comercial sewing factories. Some relativly new innventions in the 1880s corset was: The split busk, the metal gromets and the steel boning – all innvented during the 19th century.

Pattern: Nora Waugh “1880s corset” from Corset and Crinolines.

Fabric: 0,5 m ivory cotton sateen, 0,5 m ivory cotton lawn and 0,5 m light green cotton.

Notions: A 33 cm planchett, ivory thread, green buttonhole thread, 30 silver gromets, 4m cotton string for piping, 4 m ivory cotton laces, ca 10 m of boning (2,5 m steel, 8 heavy duty cable ties and 3 m syntetic whalebone), 2 m green biastape and 1 m ivory lace.

How Historical Accurate: Pretty good. The pattern’s correct and the sewing machine was widly used by this time, even though I’m not sure of the right assebly tecniques. The material used are accurate, part from the plastic bonning. So maybe 7/10.

Time: About 10 hours

Cost: 400kr (44Usd) (all those notions make it so expensive).

First worn: On January 25 for a grand bal (Oskarsbalen), and then a few days later for a photoshoot.

Final Thoughts: It tured out great. It’s quite comfortable (even after a couple of dancing hours) and stil gives me the desired hourglas figure. I think this will be my “go to” corset for many costumes.