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 🙂

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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)…

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).

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4 Victorian corset

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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.

A 1700s Corset UFO

And so it’s time to present the last (of my old, prevously compleated) HSF entrys. The Challenge nr 2: UFO – Un Finished Object.

As a novice in costuming I didn’t had many UFOs laying around. But I did however have a costuming piece, not yet started but, promised to my sister.

A 1700s corset.

I’ve already made her one in the previuos year, but it was noting but a mess. Lets take a look at my very first atempt at historic corset making.

I used a pattern from Jill Salens book “Corsets”.

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The fabric is a lovely cotton print (which I still love, by the way).IMG_4055

I even made her a design sketch.img235

Then I started to sew.

And this is what I came up with.CIMG5938

Ok, its not that bad for a first try- if you ignore the gromets.CIMG5951

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It acctualy look pretty decent…IMG_4044

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Until you realises how extremly smal it is.IMG_4053It wouldn’t even fit my size 36 dressform.

My sister is not particular big, and even after some serious skwezing the darn thing still didn’t fit her.

We did get some pretty picture though.ghf

DSC_0777 And the minute we where done photograping, the whole thing whent straight into a box in the basement.

The pocket hoops are made from Waughs pattern and still works perfectly.1760 pocket hoop waugh

***

Now back to the UFO.

After I’ve promised my sister to make her an other corset, that would actualy fit her.

We trashed the old pattern, starting from skratch, and drew her a new one using Waugs “Corset and Crinolines” – 1790s corset pattern, and modified to fit my sister. I also took away the front lacing, and added tabs at the waist.

So I made a toile, fitted it and started on the corset itself. Since me and my sister lives in oposite sides of the country I didn’t have the chans to try it on her until it was finished.

Looking much better.halloj-116

But it is still to smal!halloj-119

This time I fixed it by ripping it open and inserting some godgets at the back seams.

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The finished corset.IMG_1827

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Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 2 – UFO

What: A 1740-1780s corset

Pattern: Jill Salen “Corsets – 1780s corset” re-worked.

Fabric: 0,5 m of cotton print and 1m of white cotton lawn.

Notions: gromets, thread, lacing cord, cable ties and purple bias tape.

How Historical Accurate: Not really. The decorative printed corsets didn’t exist until 200 years later, and the sewing and construction are all modern. It does however give her the desired body shape. So maybe 2/10.

Time: 25 hours.

Cost: 200 Sek

First worn: At the photoshoot in february 2013.

16th century Corset & Shirt

For the HSF Challenge 3: Under It All, back in february, I decided to start the foundation on my planed 1550s dress (which I still haven’t gotten around to make).

So I decided to make a corset similar to theese two.

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Using the corset pattern from “The Tudor Tailor”. I printed the pattern and made some changes to match my mesurments.

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Then I cut the fabric, interlined it, and stiched the corset compleatly on the machine. I inserted the bonning, set the gromets and sewed on the bias-tape.

Unfortanly I didn’t think of documenting the steps while sewing (this was before my bloging days) so there are no construction photos.

But there are finished ones.

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One thing I didn’t accounted for was the amount of fabric the bonning would “eat”. While inserting the bonning the corset shrunk quite a bit, and I ended up needing to do some piecing to make it fit properly.

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When the corset was finished I decided to also make a shirt to wear underneath.

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I used a lovely cotton voile, and sewed the shirt compleatly by hand (and still didn’t take any construction photos).

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Finished Shirt and Corset.

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Just the facts:

Challenge: Nr 3 Under it All

What: A 1550s Corset and Shirt

Pattern: Shirt – Janet Arnold “Patterns of Fashion 4 – c.1600-1610 smock. Corset – “The Tudor tailor” Dorothean bodies.

Fabric: Shirt – 2 m of checkered cotton voile. Corset – 0,5 m of leftover golden/yellow curtan-fabric, 1 m brown cotton for lining and interlining.

Notions: Shirt – Thread. Corset – Thread, Bias-tape, gromets, boning and lacing cord.

How Historical Accurate: Shirt – Completly hand sewn, but the cotton tread and fabric is not correct for the period. Corset – Not realy. The achived shape is just about right, but all the sewing and material is modern.

Time: Shirt – about 8 hours. Corset – 3 Days of work.

Cost: Shirt – 150Sek (16Usd). Corset –  300 Sek (40Usd).

First worn: Only at photoshoots so far.