Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Camp Dress!

I have spent the last two years of college studying, and not becoming very involved with clubs and other organizations because of that. However, this year will be the year that I join the College Company and start reenacting with a group! Obviously, that gives me an excuse to sew more clothes! So I sat down on Monday with my patterns and some fabric, and by Tuesday I had a new dress!

When I was in Arkansas I found this fabric on sale in the local Hancock's, and I immediately knew which dress I was going to make with it.

This dress is from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and was originally from West Chester, PA, sometime between 1775-1780.

For a pattern, I started by looking around at some of my favorite suppliers, but I couldn't find a pattern that resembled the original dress enough. So, I used two patterns that I already owned and drafted them together to create the dress. The stomacher and front of the bodice are from Mill Farm's Robe a l'Anglaise, and the back is from Mill Farm's Polonaise Gown. The skirt is a simple round gown skirt.

Unfortunately, I was so busy sewing that I didn't stop to take construction pictures. So, without further ado, here is the finished product! As always, if you have any questions about the construction methods or just want to talk about historical clothing, please feel free to leave a comment!

Friday, July 3, 2015

A New Set of Stays!

It's been years since I've made any sort of structured undergarment, so I was very much in need of a new pair of stays. Originally, I had wanted to have these done by my birthday in February, but school had to come first, and so I didn't have the time to work on them. I cut them out over Christmas break, and then picked them up again as soon as I got home from my summer job (working with the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre as a first hand in the costume shop was one of the best experiences of my life).

The boning channels are machine sewn, but everything else is hand stitched. I was especially excited to make the eyelets by hand, and to sew them up instead of using grommets.

These stays were made using the linen lining from a skirt, left over fabric from my corset, and some spare bias tape that I had lying around.

The linen skirt lining, before I cut it up

Cutting out all of the pattern pieces

Fronts and backs ready to be sewn together

Marking the channels for the boning to go in, as well as the holes for lacing

All marked...

...and pinned

I used giant zip-ties for the boning. They were five dollars a pack, and I read that they're a good substitute for proper (and much more expensive) material in stays.

Boning all inserted!

Bias tape around the edges and eyelets cut and sewn!

A close up on the eyelets

More eyelets

A side view...

...and a front view! Ta-da!

They fit exceptionally well, and are very comfortable to wear. I can't wait to begin my next projects to go with this set of stays, so keep an eye out for some new outfits and accessories!