Monday, October 7, 2013

1776 Half-Boned Stays!

Last week I finally finished stitching in the lining on my stays and now they are done!

And then - try on time. While I did make a few mock ups before cutting out the final stays, you never really know for sure how a corset will fit until it is all done and you can lace it up for real.

I was quite amazed at how much shaping these give, considering there only four pieces to the torso (two fronts and two backs). The direction of the boning certainly aids enormously in molding the torso to the proper shape. If I would make these again I'd go for a bit more waist reduction as these do not reduce all that much, but they are a vast improvement over my last stays.

Here is a view of the back. I did not have a cord that was long enough so the last few eyelets are unlaced.

The binding job did not come out very well. I think a thinner material and narrower binding would have helped give a neater appearance. But overall, I am really pleased with how these turned out. Now if only I had everything else I need to finish off a late 18th century impression. . .I think I should start with a proper shift! And petticoats. But I may wait til after the new baby is born before starting on that.

In the meantime I can work on a hobbit outfit for the next movie coming out in December. Though my son Judah did tell me that "you look like a Hobbit, Mommy" when I tried on the stays. The costumes from the The Hobbit do seem to reflect more of an 18th century look than the ones from Lord of the Rings.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

8th Anniversary at Starved Rock

September 30th was our 8th wedding anniversary and David and I spent the day at Starved Rock. I packed a basket with a picnic lunch and we ate at noon by the river, but all the other hours of the day we spent plunged into the woods.

It was a day of dreamful beauty for me. It seemed every turn in the trail led to another scene more beautiful than the last; the afternoon sun was drowsy and warm and the woods full of the dropping of acorns and quick dashings of chipmunks and fat grey squirrels.

We stood on high overlooks above the river and went down to explore deep canyons. David found shallow caves hollowed from the rock.

I felt as if I had stepped back in time or even to a different world. Can you imagine Gollum swimming here in the forbidden pool? Or finding yourself stumbling into the hidden valley of Rivendell?

We decided to dress 1840's-ish for our outing. I wanted an opportunity to wear my dress again, as I haven't worn it since I made it for Christmas nearly two years ago! David looked very dashing in his black frock suit and plaid waistcoat. He is starting to grow a beard again.

Though after lunch, his coat and hat came off and I cast away my shoes and stockings.

We both agreed our favorite places were the canyons. We were able to visit four of them. Someday we will go back and see the rest. These photos are of Wildcat Canyon, which we reached by way of a very steep wooden stair. Despite the drought, there were still pools of water and the rocks were damp with growing green things.

We ended our day by stopping in late at a little locally owned Italian restaurant and eating far too much homemade pasta and sausages and bread and fried mushrooms. No room for dessert and we both had to ask to have our leftovers boxed up to take home! The portions at Caponi's are enormous. If any of you are ever in the itty bitty out of the way town of Toluca, IL. . .go there. Just do it.

I can't believe we have been married for 8 years! When I think back to our beginning and remember how young we were, how we barely knew each other, how we had absolutely nothing when we started out, and then I look at what we have now, it amazes me. God surely works all things together for good! Our adventure together has had its many ups and downs. Sometimes I wonder how it is possible we have managed to stay together - we are both so headstrong and opinionated and independent! - but I see God's hand continually molding and changing us. Chiseling raw rock into perfectly fitted pieces as we learn to let go of ourselves and strive to serve the other. He has blessed us so much.


P.S. - my stays are *almost* done - just have to finish whipping in the lining! I WILL finish them before I get a baby bump! Haha. I am so pleased with how they have come out.