Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The stays are finally done!

Here they are, in very romantic candle light. I'm quite pleased with them, I love the fit and their appearance.
The front and back lacing is wonderful. My beloved M laced me in once and now I can get in and out of my stays by my self. WIN!

I use 6 mm baby blue satin ribbon for lacing, because it looks pretty and are sturdy. Not very period correct, but I couldn't find anything else in the right colour. I tried plain old white corset lacing but it looked horrible and with all the work I have put in this pair of stays I want them too look their best.

So here are the final info on my stays:
Pattern: c.a 1780's from Jill Salens book, modified to fit my body
Materials and construction: 2 layers of linen twill with a silver silk dupion on the outside. Silvery blue silk dupion for piping and binding. Channels made with machine, threaded with silk button hole twist for top thread and regular sewing silk for bobbin. Eyelets done by hand with silk button hole twist. All assembly was done by hand using white linen thread. Binding by hand used threads pulled from the binding fabric for a perfect color match.. For lining I used white cotton/linen (remnants from my chemise), and it was sewn in by hand after the binding was done using white linen thread.
Boning: Steel flats made from sewer tape in centre front and in centre back (sewer tape is much stiffer than regular steel flats and crinoline steel).  Synthetic whalebone for the rest.

In the photo you can also see my modified chemise, I removed the lace ruffle because it was a PITA to iron flat after each washing and I felt that it often was in the way when patterning garments.

I'm also wearing my new decency petticoat, I decided to make one since my chemise is so short. It was very simple to make, I just took an old linen bed sheet and sewed it into a tube by hand.Then I made a drawstring channel at the top, made two tiny button holes and threaded a ribbon through. DONE!

Now I'm working on my outfit for the masquerade held by Gustafs Skål in March. It's a secret what my character are going to be, but I can tell you that the outfit will consist of an pierrot jacket, floofy white petticoat and reticule. With hedgehog hair of course. And a mask and some character appropriate accessories ;)

I'm currently working with the jacket pattern, the papier mache mask base is recieving some moisture protection before I can embellish it, the floofy petticoat is cut out and ready to be sewn together and my under petticoat is also cut. I'll sew the floofy one by hand and the rest by machine with some hand finishing. I hope to be able to start making the jacket this weekend, so I can measure how much trim I need. I'll have to order the trim from my sister (the fabric stores in Uppsala are not well stocked on pretty trim) so I must hurry so it will get here in time.

Well I'll better get working on it then...and hope that I'll be able to post some more pictures soon.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Almost finished"

...it feels like my moon ray stays has been in the "almost finished" state for a really long time. I've worked on them on and off since my last post that was painfully long ago. The reason for this project taking me so long is several, some is work related, some is due to personal issues .Anyway bare with me, here comes a recap of what happened to the stays since my last post.

In the end of 2011 I only had the sewing on the straps, piping, binding the edges and lining to do when I decided to wear it in it's half finished stage to an event. I ripped it, one of the front panels tore right of in the seam. I got so mad that I lost the urge to work on it.

In the second half of 2012 I started to long for 18th century again. I looked at my stash of fabrics intended for my 18th century wardrobe and decided that now I want this damn thing finished!

So I fixed the ripped seam (it was only the thread that broke, not the panel it self), re-enforced it and all of the other seams and worked through the painfully slow process of adding the piping on top of the seams. When I was doing it I hated myself for coming up with the idea of piping but now I'm glad that I did it. My stays looks so nice with it!

With the help of Elisa from Isiswardrobe I did a new fitting and we discovered that I would benefit from a gusset at the bottom edge between the mid back and side back panel. She also helped me to fit my straps.
Both the straps and the gussets are made of one layer of dupion backed with one layer of the linen twill, I believe it's sturdy enough.

Moon ray stays - front

So here are one half of my stays, (I focused on the moon ray front) the only thing left on this half is making two eyelets for the ribbon that connect the strap to the front. The other half not pictured is in the process of getting it's top binding stitched down, then I'll add the lining and I can work eyelets on that half too. Then they are finally ,truly finished and I can work with the rest of my wardrobe again!

I promise to post better pictures when this forever project are truly finished!

So, sorry all my readers for my absence, but look forward to me being back in the costuming game with a vengeance!