Victorian Hipster

Corsets, Petticoats, and Bustles, Oh my!

(no subject)
One thing we talked about this week is how for all that I consider myself an emotional person, I'm not very in touch with my feelings. I choose to do things based a lot on circumstances rather than what I FEEL like. This works ok for some things (I pretty much never want to clean my apartment unless it's after 10pm, but that's way too late to be vacuuming, soooooo), but is a very poor marker when it comes to me wanting to be more in touch with my creativity. The new office has been helping a little, even though I have almost nothing to do with what they do, it's a VERY creative workplace and the energy is awesome. So I spent a little time this week introspecting.

I'm not going to get my CoCo class letter until next week (holiday this past Monday for us), but I started planning my list anyway. Sure, that makes it seem and feel like circumstances again, but I planned it in a way that I was choosing what I wanted to make or bring based on what I wanted to do the most. So, here it is:

  • Thursday day: 18th century if I get into the workshop, if not then ??
  • Thursday pool party: party dress based on Ariel's "Kiss the Girl" outfit
  • Friday day: 1840s. I made the dress 2 years ago and have not even photographed it. I pulled the skirt off Tuesday night and started stitching it onto a piece of twill tape (actually a drawstring from a light jacket I have, that I am never going to put back in, so it might as well be useful. I almost threw it away before realizing that it was a nice piece of cotton twill tape!)
  • Friday night social: no idea yet. Maybe Star Trek TOS skant uniform. BRING ON THE MINI SKIRT AND PANTIES!
  • Saturday day: 18th century (white dress) whether or not I get into the class. (I want to so bad but have to be prepared for the very real possibility that I didn't)
  • Gala: Jareth's ballroom outfit. Will need to reglue a bunch of the jewels first, but damnit, I spent so much time on this last year and it's VERY sparkly. Plus it's already done (minus repairs) so I don't have to spend a lot of time on it.
  • Sunday: Victorian tea gown or possibly a Regency short gown. Depends how many undergarments I want to pack.

Spaced out in such a way that I need different-but-same undergarments every other day. I also have a list started of the things I will need to make to support these outfits (like a habit shirt, MOAR PETTICOATS, fixing some things I've already made, etc)

Today is a "get stuff into the car" and socializing day, tomorrow I hope to get laundry done, and get stitching!

(no subject)
I spent most of yesterday cleaning out my closet. Of the 20 or so boxes in there, I kept 4. I an SO pleased with my efforts. There's a stack of collapsed boxes in my bathtub and a pile of things that need to go out to various places and still a few things on the floor, but it's all DONE. Next major declutter will be plushies, books, the bedroom closet, and some day my goal is to turn the closet into my fabric hoard (when I can work out a storage solution; maybe shelves of some kind along the wall and then the bins). There's still a lot of general clutter but overall... the closet's been on my mind for ages. Who needs 4 boxes of VHS tapes? Not me! Off to the eco station.

I finished watching Jessica Jones in the evening, and then to lighten my mind I watched Austenland while I knitted the pineapple. I got half a repeat done! One more half and then I get to do the bottom. I was hoping to have it done for monday since I'm going to see its recipient (and its already 3 weeks overdue) and that's maybe possible :O Maybe not though, I'd also like to block it, will have to put the liner in, and I also wanted to make a fingerloop cord as the drawstring.

(no subject)
On Friday i decided I was sick of all of my clothes. I haven't bought anything new in 3 years or more. Buuuut I'm still totally broke and starting to realize that I really can't afford all the vacations I've got planned (dear LA, please don't break my bank account too badly...) so it's time to give serious thought to making some stuff for regular wear!

Yesterday I avoided working on the stays for the most part. Got the horizontal bone in and stitched down the CF for casing and even planned out the lacing pattern, but I don't waaaaaaaaaaaaanna do hand-stitched eyelets! And I totally didn't want to think about binding either! It needs to happen, and soon, because I just can't get the outers started without the inners but (whine whine whine). I'm also starting to have to think about I want to do as my gala gown since the Big Project is on hold until I can get the hoop done. ARGH it's getting so late!

Friday night at my game I spent most of the 4 hours we played knitting (fights can take so long, especially when you have 9 characters, plus all the enemies, and some of the players are the type that like to maximize their bonuses and such), I knit a bit more yesterday while avoiding sewing, and a couple hours today too, so the pineapple is coming along very well (except now it's overdue!) and should be done hopefully by the weekend!

(no subject)
Fixed the formatting on my last entry >.> Bye bye wall of text!

I was supposed to be headed off to the regency ball today but something came up and now I can't go (sulk sulk I've been to ALL OF THEM and now my perfect record is tarnished), yet my brain is still convinced we are travelling today, so I barely got any sleep and I woke up before 7am. It's a rainy, dreary day. I have some errands to run but I don't really want to go out... but doing so would be in my best interests anyway. The place I need to go opens at 10am, I might be able to convince myself to pack the things up and take them back. (The things being the cable and phone boxes. I said I would after playoffs, and we were eliminated on Wednesday, so...) And I guess I should do some housework now that I have the opportunity...

I got my stays together on Tuesday and partially boned. Now I need to figure out the horizontal bone and CF one, figure out lacing and binding. Underwear y u so complicated? I want more of that great tape from Marshall's (so I can grab the supplier name from the roll and order a bunch... that might be a Monday thing)

I knew I wanted to plan a picnic for my birthday way back in February but now it's next week and I have done nothing. Oops.

Last whinging post, next time: progress
I was super smart at some point in the past and saved the Ralph Pink corsets before they were all taken down (sadly I don't seem to have been smart enough to have sent these to my home computer, and they only existed on my work computer which I no longer have access to) and was even smarter to print a couple of them, the smartest of which was the 1780s stays. I found them the other night and compared them to my pattern pieces. Mine are considerably larger, but I have to keep reminding myself that my pattern is MUCH too large to begin with. I'm going to make a mock-up of them this weekend. They're a little small for me, of course, so my only real decision is how much to add, and where.

I didn't get home until almost 2am after last night's game. We were sitting so far down in the stands, which was awesome, but we had to look up so far to see the (ENORMOUS) screen. A disappointing game to say the least... But today the sun is shining and my window is wide open, and I'm filling my day with family and friends and a little cleaning and sewing.

EDIT: I added 1" to the back (well, really 3" to account for a 2" gap) and 1.5" to the front, and the fit is really, really close :O I pinched out 1" at the waist and 1.5" at the bust, so I think I might switch the additions to the side or side-front seams instead and then proceed full steam ahead!

More whinging and no progress
I want to work on the stays but this week has been nuts. While im super happy the hockey team made the playoffs, their schedule is cutting into my life! Though if they keeping playing the way they have and the refs keep making bullshit calls, it might be over next week...

But what i have had time to do is MOAR RESEARCH. I feel like i never noticed how many 1780s stays are out there but there are TONS. What i concluded is that my front is really too short. Most of tje examples i found had proportions of 71% of the back length, but mine is over half! (17" back and a 9" CF length) plus i think the side panels are a little too short too. Also, maybe the panels should be shaped a little differently? The side front edges hit right at the sides of my boobs, but a lot of the ones i looked at go back further.

I might have time on saturday to play with this, before/after Sense & Sensibility. I thought sunday was clear but I forgot my brother and i are going to see Guardians of the Galaxy.

I think im going to use some of the ikea fabric too. Near as i can tell its a light weight canvas. Perfect!

Stays musings
I had to go back into my archive and tag some old posts* so I could find them when it inevitably takes me many many months or years to get back to a project. Now that I've decided to finish the stays before the dress, and I want the dress for summer, I'm eager to work on them. But of course it's been so long since I started that I couldn't quite remember what the heck was happening with them. I remembered that I wasn't happy with the fit, largely due to it being overall too large (I thought), but wasn't quite sure how to proceed. That was back in September.

So I started by googling other makes and seeing a lot of similarities to my pattern (drafted from a custom body block that I made with Stays & Corsets by Mandy Barrington). I borrowed the book from a friend and returned it at the end of last year, and I didn't think to document the patterning process (nor did I finish the hip portions of the block) so I'm trying to remember as best as I can.

Things I know I did:

- used a bit more than the book's recommended reduction of 2cm. 2cm is less than an inch, and even though I took a bit more off, they ended up fitting more like a fitted t-shirt than a support garment. Ideally I would like to take off something more like 10-14cm and redraft, but without the book it's not possible at this time.

- while I initially thought adding 1" of seam allowance was ridiculous, it's not especially bad for stays, BUT, only if they're drafted as a support garment in the first place. If I just use my drafted pattern as though it includes .5" seams, it might be OK.

- I thought I'd taken in my back pieces 2" to make the edges "meet" but it turns out it's more like 1.75". That measly .25" extra is not enough to make the stays fit comfortably.

- I think I need a bit more room in the bust? Without boning or proper lacing/sizing, and just pinning the mock-up closed (made from a somewhat thin but firm-handed poly/cotton), I get muffin-top boobs. Not especially attractive, or comfortable. I think that would work, but again, once I get the sizing right.

- I think my front might not be long enough. It comes down right about to the point of where my belly sticks out the farthest, which is probably not terrible all things considered (looking at you, Victorian corsets with your sticky-outtie busks). I suspect I will have to make a boned sample to make a final decision.

- Looking into maybe a closed back with no lacing. I found a couple examples and while it's certainly not the norm, it would make my life a lot easier. If I go that route, I will probably do tape straps.

- What do I make them out of?? I have some mid-weight linen I could use, or some IKEA fabric that I bought for a dress but it's much too heavy for clothing, but not so heavy that it would be unsuitable for stays. (Hat-tip to Asa for that tidbit, as she used IKEA fabric for a corset mock-up). I would probably want to cover it though, and that would also mean lining it.

In conclusion... I think I'm over-thinking this way too much. Tonight was the only night this week I had to work on stuff and instead I read 3 weeks of blog posts I missed during the transition period last month. Ah well. It's done now.

*I tagged them on DW but I don't believe it carried over to LJ.

(no subject)
Ive pretty much talked myself into finishing stays before continuing with the dress. I tried on my stays mockup (still just fits, no compression) and then the dress mockup on top and the lower neckline wasnt a problem at all. Then i spent a little time looking at others' creations and decided it bad to happen. So that's this week's project.

Been out of town ever since though, or i would have started already lol. Spent the weekend indulging my nerdy heart. I want to start making time for other things in my life, things i "have no time for". Really its just that i dont make time, i had time for them once, it can happen again.

(no subject)
FINALLY stitched up the stays I started way back in 2008 (ish), before I knew what the heck a mock-up was good for, before I realized that maybe upholstery weight brocade is MAYBE too heavy for stays, when I was coming to terms with the fact that I was no longer a pattern size 8... and they're too big. Maybe the waist would be OK, but the bust is just kinda there and it gaps. Glad I got that out of the way, and it only took 20 minutes to stitch it up including a bobbin winding. Now I can cross that off my to-do list (unless I want to put the effort into finishing it, and then I could sell it) and work on something else.

Another dreary, snowy day, and my cold isn't a whole lot better, but the local sportsball team won last night and it was awesome, so there's that :)

(no subject)
I made my pattern, cut and sewed a mock-up, then had to re-make the fronts and try again. I think the back looks great!

 photo 20170422_175004_zpstpaz4zqb.jpg

But the front (version 2) needs a little work...

 photo 20170422_175018_zpsyqwwmftr.jpg

I left the gray cover up to show where my stays show, the horizontal pin towards the bottom is where my stays end, and the horizontal pin up near the waist is where I think the curve should be, this one is just too wide and shallow. Josephine isn't the same size or shape as me, of course, and her waist is smaller than mine, though she is close. I find only a half inch or so off the bottom ought to be sufficient.

I'm also wondering if I should really spend some time on a different set of stays. The ones I have are an earlier style with a removable stomacher that frankly hurt my boobs today (maybe because I am wearing a sundress with a somewhat compressed bustline), and also a later style may change the shape of my torso that I want to account for.

I'm off to the sportsball game, will return to sewing tomorrow. Thoughts and opinions welcome!

(I so need to rehem that petticoat. It puddles on the floor. I need shoes but not that tall of ones!)


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