Thursday, June 02, 2005

Progress update

Lots of sewing this weekend! The stays got cut down to size, a waist tape inserted and the eyelets (one-piece grommets, but never mind) inserted. We then experimented with making a duct-tape double (from gummed brown paper tape) of me wearing the corset. It took around 2 hours, and I was in all kinds of pain by the time we were done... I may need a backup costume for Saturday. It worked well, though, and highlighted one final, unpleasant fitting problem with the corset. It stands out from my back at the top. I know this can be a problem for corsets and tops, but I thought I had this one sussed. :(

It may be that there is an easy solution, though. The back and front are boned with a significant amount of hoopsteel intended for petticoats. This stuff comes on a roll and has an intrinsic curve. I've been wearing it with a convex curve at the front (counterintuitive, but intended to make the point not stick out wildly), and a concave one at the back. Yes, they were originally intended to be the same, but I messed up attaching the back pieces. No, I didn't feel like doing it over; the amount of handsewing almost killed me as it was! Aaaanyway, in my genius, I reckon that if I wear it inside out, it might not stick out at the top back! And I think I'd quite like a concave tummy, actually. As long as the 'weiner' (thanks, Sempstress) doesn't stick out too far. The other thing that would help is shoulder straps - the stays should have some, and currently don't.

The chemise is nearly done; I tried tea-dying some of the lace that was far too white for the engagements, but it came out very dark. This surprised me, as it's very synthetic stuff. I have lots spare, but I don't know if I can be bothered trying again, or whether to just go for it as it is. It only needs that 'brightness' taking off it. Hmmm...

The first of the petticoats is all done! It's that hideous pink again, and with it on the dress dummy with the false hips and all, all I can think of is "Mrs Miggins' Pie Shop". It's my first attempt at cartridge pleating, and looks OK - even if the rows of stitches are probably too close together. Looks *huge* though. Urgh. Have a horrible feeling I'm going to look stupid in this...

Still, only two more petticoats, the gown and the stomacher to go! Heh.

And a special shout-out to Jez who sent me this gem of scholarly research into bare breasts. Though I have my doubts about drawing conclusions about societally acceptable clothing from ballad-sheet woodcuts, personally. Sounds like someone in a few hundred years trying to work out what we wore in the streets by reading 'Zoo' or 'Cosmo'.


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