Monday, May 12, 2014

Transitional stays c. 1794-1800, chemise and under-petticoat

Here come the photos of the first garments that I've actually finished this year. It's such a relief to get something done completely because my projects haven't exactly gone smoothly in the past four months, which has resulted in leaving me with more UFOs than, well, ever before. That's also why I didn't post anything for a while, but I guess that happens to most of us sometimes, right? :)

Let's start with having a look at the front of the stays. I'm actually really happy I put more bones into the front panels of the stays than in the original pattern because I'm almost certain that there would be more creasing if I hadn't done so. Plus, the extra bones support the bust from below without making the stays any less comfortable. Should I ever make another pair of stays with this pattern, I might place the cups slightly closer to the center front because it's just not possible for my breasts to be quite this far apart - even if the aim is to get that separation effect. The issue doesn't really show much on the photos and I'm quite sure you can't tell once I'm wearing a gown on top of the stays so right now I'm just going to stick with this pair. Also, adding more width to the lower part of the cups might help with the creasing that you can see at the front.

Now we can also compare the results with a period engraving which is actually around ten years later than my transitional stays - but the shape that the stays provide looks basically the same, doesn't it?

The Ladies' Dress Maker, from "Book of English Trades", 1811.

The shape of the cups is controlled on top with drawstrings that run under the twill tape binding. 

Maybe you already noticed that there are actually modern underwires under the cups to support the breasts. Since it looks like there are bones under the cups of the trasitional stays on the MET, I thought I might get away with using them. :)

Unfortunately the photos of the back of the stays were unsuccessful so I'll have to try to get photos of it some other time and add them to the blog later. :/ 

I also made a under-petticoat. At first I wanted to make a bodiced petticoat but then, I really liked the petticoat Merja made for her riding habit, and eventually decided to leave the bodice out so that I wouldn't have to worry about the length of it. I actually didn't sew the shoulder straps into the waist tape of the petticoat at front either - they are only pinned so I can adjust the back depending on how high or low it should be. 

The front of the petticoat is almost triangular so that the petticoat gets wider towards the hem and there's no gathering at waist, which helps to create a smooth figure without making you look like you're larger than you actually are. 

The back is gathered to the waist tape only in the middle, but not on sides. 

And finally, here's the side view.

The petticoat is a bit too long so I will probably have to make it shorter by making a tuck at the hem but after that I'm ready to move on! :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fabrics (and cars)

The transitional stays are finished now, along with a new regency chemise, and I'm now eagerly waiting for a chance to photograph them. In the meanwhile, I thought I'd share photos of some exciting fabric purchases.

Thanks to Hertzwerk-Freiburg, I was able to get enough of this pretty floral print cotton with a brown background (something I've tried to find for a while now) to make a dark floral robe à l'Anglaise out of. I'm hoping to get the dress done by August.

The next cotton fabric will turn into an early 1810s gown - very soon, I believe. This is the fabric that has been kicking me to get those regency undies done.

And the following fabric is actually polyester taffeta but at -70% discount I couldn't pass, so I bought six meters for 21 euros and have no regrets. It's a very nice quality and will eventually become a late 1780s/early 1790s robe à l'Anglaise... with a vandyke collar.. maybe... I haven't really decided yet because, in all probability, it's not happening this year.

In case you're not interested in seeing some old cars, you may stop reading this post now... ;)