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Monthly Archives: January 2013

HSF Challenge # 2 – UFO is Finished. Sorta.

A friend rightly commented last week that there is an ebb and flow to sewing/costuming. This challenge came at an ebb (?) time. For this last week I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather and the week before that was just very busy. All of this is just a long winded excuse to say is that I didn’t complete the crinoline. But because I wanted to have something to present for the HSF, I turned it into a petticoat. (Note – this was done yesterday by the deadline but I didn’t get around to posting)

A little bit narrower than a crinoline...

A little bit narrower than a crinoline…

I’m not exactly pleased with it but given that my historical wardrobe doesn’t have a single petticoat and this will be a good all rounder that can work for a few eras.

Wonky hem....

Wonky hem….

Just the facts ma’am..

The Challenge: To get something off our unfinished objects pile

Fabric: Again, thrifted bedsheets. Not classy but it works

Pattern: Simplicity 9764. I used the pattern meant for a crinoline, just changed the waist to a draw string so a few friend would be able to wear it.

Year: The crinonline would have been 1860s but now it could range. This could go over a crinonline or under a range of different eras to bulk it up a bit.  

Notions: I added hem from my stash which is a bit wonky in places. I think it was originally removed from something else (its like 10m though so I’m not sure what from) and the person who removed it didn’t cut very straight….

How historically accurate is it? I haven’t actually done much research on undergarmets but I’d say very. Petticoats have been worn for hundreds of years to get different shapes!

Hours to complete:  Probably about 4/5? But they were very interspressed with procrastinating and being sick.

First worn:  I’m getting around to it… 

Total cost: NZD$8 for the sheets

As I said, this isn’t a garment which I’m proud of but now that its done, I’m happy its in my wardrobe. One of the points the Dreamstress makes is that just like our Tshirts today, people of the past wore simple items like this with far more regularity than elaborate ball gowns.

Another challenge done! I hope the rest of the challengers were a bit happier with the results!


UFO Challenge Update

The end goal...

The end goal…

Yesterday was the first day I was able to get any sewing done. The week was filled with grown up things like getting bugeting done and cleaning 😦 Then on Saturday I went to a wedding, getting there at 11.45pm, and it ended at midnight! This was because my boyfriend works a 12 hour shift on Saturday that ends at 9pm, then he went home showered/changed and we had to race to another town Hamilton to get there. I was glad we made the effort as we got to see people at a brunch the next day but it was a bit of a whirlwind!

What I looked like for most of this weekend…

I did have time for a quick stop in a sari store and found a great steal which I think might pop up in my embelish challenge…

The crinoline is going pretty well. I’m using a closed seams which means everything is taking twice as long, but as I don’t have an overlocker it makes sense in the long run. I may try and sell this afterwards and I don’t want it falling apart.

I am glad my bottom is not actually this big...

I am glad my bottom is not actually this big…

This evenings task will be waistband and maybe start on all the boning channels. Maybe. Its pretty daunting.

HSF Challenge 2# UFO – Victorian Crinoline

I think the next project I shall work on is a Victorian crinoline that I first whipped together for my girlfriend about 6 months ago.

Somehow I don't think those neon colours are correct for the period...

Somehow I don’t think those neon colours are correct for the period…

I created the above set literally an hour before we walked out the door hence why it looked like it did. I’ll be interested in doing a proper version of this using Simplicity 9764 as I’m considering making an absolutely massive set to go under a proposed ball gown using TV453 and I want to see if the boning I have will be strong enough.

I started cutting out the fabric but I used quite a multitude of colours (well just a buttercup yellow and white) since I thought no one would ever see it. However now that it will be up on the blog and part of the HSF I suppose I shall have to make it up properly. *Sigh* I am already dreading sewing in the bone channels. Whenever I’m working with crinolines I always wish sewing machines had the equivalent of cruise control!

Edwardian Corset is Done

My first Historical Fortnightly Challenge is done! I’m so proud! It may be a bit late but it still meets the deadline which is one of the good things about also being in the NZ time zone.

2013-01-14 21.54.58 2013-01-14 21.53.08 2013-01-14 21.53.02 2013-01-14 21.52.53

I shortened the bones in the front and didn’t add the hooks and eyes as they would just rip as soon as I sit down. I added some trim but a word to the wise, pay attention when sewing. I sewed the trim on each side (quite difficult for me as I always find pinning tedious) only to realise I sewn them on opposite sides!

Photo on 2013-01-14 at 19.28


Thank you Dreamstress for running this. Without this challenge this corset would have take months! I just wish I had a better camera so could snap a few better shots. Its a good start to my sewing year 🙂 And because a corset will only temporarily reduce my waist line, I also went for my first run of the year this evening! Hence the reason for the late posting…

I think 2013 is looking pretty good. How did everyone else’s first challenge go?

Edit – adding the Facts, Ma’am!

The Challenge: An Edwardian corset that could have been worn in 1913.

Fabric: Don’t judge but its made out of bed sheets that were thrifted. It was a nice tight weave so perfect for a corset.

Pattern: Festive Ayttre’s 1910 corset pattern

Year: 1910

Notions: Black bias tape, 40 ish eyelets, black lace trim and cord.

How historically accurate is it? Very. Festive Ayttre’s pattern is based upon a 1910s corset she purchased.

Hours to complete: Hard to say (I’ll keep better track next time) but about 6-8 hours

First worn:  Around my apartment 😛

Total cost: Everything was from my stash so no outlay. Yay! I’m very cheap so this makes me quite happy.

More progress aaaaand then a snag

I pretty much finished the corset today. All I need to do is add a few hooks and eyes and finish the top and bottom with twill tape so I’m in good shape for the HSF deadline of Monday.

Photo on 2013-01-10 at 20.01 #2 Photo on 2013-01-10 at 20.01 #4 Photo on 2013-01-10 at 20.02

I feel pretty happy with this piece and since I’m a girl with my fair share of love handles I do really enjoy the shape it gives. In preparing the boning for this corset, I manage to stab myself with a particularly sharp edge and ended up with blood all over me, Miraculously none of it got on my clean white corset 🙂 Look away now if you’re squeamish!



But here’s the snag. I can’t sit down in it! The first time I tried I got half way down and the first bone nearest the busk was pushed up by my big thighs and actually ripped a small hole! I’ve gone over the pattern and Festive Attyre’s beautiful example and it looks like that piece is meant to be that long but I don’t know how anyone manages it! Can anyone tell me what I’m doing wrong?? The photo below shows pretty clearly the tension-ing that I found.

Photo on 2013-01-10 at 20.03

Also I know that I need to wear a chemise underneath this but still find that the support for ones breasts is a little…. lacking. I have seen a few examples of early brassieres like this lovely ‘Bosom Supporter’ circa 1900. I will do some more of my own research but just wondered if anyone could offer some helpful tips. Thanks!

Over the Weekend Progress….

This weekend was pretty good in terms of work on my HSF challenge piece. I got all my pieces cut out neatly (more on why this is such an acheievement later), sewed up and partially boned. All in all, I’d say its looking pretty good!

My mannequin is a LOT smaller than me....

My mannequin is a LOT smaller than me….

I love having a tutorial like Festive Attyre offers. I learn so much while creating a garment. In the previous corset I made, I didn’t top stich any of the seams. I did in this one and it really seems to have improved the strength. Also one of my biggest mistakes in my first corset was not to the space between the eyelets and the end seem. In my Victorian corset this meant that there was a lot of unsightly streching… Live and learn!

corset on me
This picture shows me with the corset on but unfortunately I couldn’t find any laces so just had to use a piece of cord that only laced up less than half the corset, hence my hips flapping freely.

Excited about how this is coming along!

Kicking off the New Year with a Challenge

Progress! Even in small measures it’s a glorious thing! I think writing my resolutions down has already helped me out. Since doing so I’ve prepped my pattern for my Edwardian Corset!

Stays Pattern

You may notice in this picture that pieces are laid out on my work desk. This is because, as I wrote in my resolution post, I have difficulties being creative after a long day at work. Right now though, it’s the quiet season at the office so we do have quite a bit of spare time. So I decided to get to work, while at work! I can hardly lug my sewing machine to the office but little projects will work.

I also revisted the Dreamstress’  blog for the first time in a while and saw that she is running the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge. Her pieces are always amazing and hopefully in a few decades I can catch up to her levels. The challenge looks really good and I think I can combine a few of my to do list projects with her challenges! And even if they don’t fit, I’ll get to create some lovely other pieces! So I am taking up the challenge and can’t wait!

The challenge this week is Bi/Tri/Quadri/Quin/Sex/Septi/Octo/Nona/Centennial” so I will be making a corset that could have been worn in 1913. I love having a deadline and this will be due on the 14th of Jan which would normally be fine but I’ve got a birthday in the middle of it. I also have quite a messy sewing room to clean… Oh well, it’s going to be a busy fortnight!