Friday, July 20, 2007

Regency Stays & Misc.

My latest sewing interest has been making regency-era short stays. I spent a while last week looking online at period images, pictures of originals, and reproductions that other people have made. I buckled down and drafted my pattern and now my stays are almost done. They are a combination of the two illustrations you see here, as well as some elements being taken from the inspirational work of the ladies from the Sense and Sensibility message board.

I made them more as a practice set of stays than anything super-authentic. I machine sewed mine, and they are made of a layer of cotton twill and lined with plain white cotton. I used ¼” spring steel boning for the front bones and corded some parts with cotton cord (the kind you knit or crochet dishcloths of). The cotton twill actually came from a stiff pair of jeans someone gave me that do not fit, and of course I always have white cotton on hand! I just need to bind the edges later today and make eyelet holes for the straps / top of the front bodice and they are ready to go. If I really like these I will make a more authentic set with either white cotton twill or linen and hand sew everything. For now, these will work nicely.

Monday, July 9, 2007

My White Gown Completed . . .

It is a good thing to finish a project. It is a good thing to have that sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Furthermore, it is a good thing to be able to put away the ironing board that has stood for two weeks in the bedroom with trim and fabric and my ubiquitous measuring tape draped across it.

I am much happier with this version of Sense and Sensibility’s 1914 Afternoon Dress than I have been with my previous attempts with this pattern. I do believe the key was cutting the bodice in a large size. I plan on making several with nursing access for later this fall when the baby arrives. Success leads to further ambition, you see!

I changed the pattern a little to accommodate my shape, by cutting the bodice a little higher and the skirt with a little extra fullness and with a slight curve at the top, as also stated in a post below. After I had the dress put together I decided to raise the bodice by taking up the shoulder seam 1”. The bodice sat much better afterwards.

I did not get an underdress made but in the pictures in this post am wearing a full length white slip beneath the dress. It provides the modesty I need and for some reason I just DO NOT WANT to make an underdress. I suppose I do not wish my time and energy wasted on something that won’t really be seen! :)

I made the sash out of some silky greenish/silver fabric of unknown fiber content that I have been hoarding several years. When I made the sash last week it fit perfectly but now the bottom snap keeps coming undone. Can I really grow THAT fast? It is discouraging but I have some white silk I can use to make a longer, tie-back sash that should fit throughout the remainder of this pregnancy. This baby is carrying so much higher at this point that Baby D did and it is definitely affecting the way things fit.

So, there you have it. It is done.