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It's beginning to look like a dress!

1760’s Sacque in Progress

Finished Stays

I finished my new early to mid-18th century stays over the weekend. Fortunately, Burnley and Trowbridge will sell the binding by the foot as well as by the bundle, and the shipping was really fast. I didn't take an pictures while I had them on yesterday, but I did take one after I threw them on the bed.

Mid-18th Century Stays - Finished

I'm really happy with how they came out, and I'll have to get someone to take pictures at some point because I really don't want bathroom mirror pictures of these and still haven't found my camera after the move.

Pajama Pants

It's not exciting, but we finished the girls' pajama pants project yesterday. They really have been sitting around far too long since they should be something they'll wear regularly.


While I was trying to take care of a bunch of little things, I also made up the third pair I had cut out so that's out of the sewing closet and in my daughter's drawer.


No, we did not try to match plaids.

2017 Year in Review

I ended up doing a lot of cross-stitching this year, which made great inroads on my cross-stitch kit stash. Of course, that was at the expense of sewing, but I’m still pleased with what I finished this year.

My favorite thing of the year is my 1897 Harper’s Bazar ivory wool dress.
1897 Harper's Bazar Dress

The rest is behind the cutCollapse )

These are the current UFO's.
17th century knit garters: The first garter is 60% finished. This is a background or traveling project. They’re not going quickly, but they progress a little every week. I do expect to finish the pair by the end of 2018.
17th Century Knit Garters Progress - 1/2/18

Early/mid-18th century stays: These are really close to finished. I need to bind half the tabs on one side and put in the lining on that side. I ran out of binding and need to get some more.
Mid-18th Century Stays Progress - 12/30/17

“Southern Belles” cross-stitch: This is barely started. I started it to have a hand-sewing project to work on at any given moment, but then I started my new stays right afterward, which gave me a hand-sewing project. I expect this one to be a very long term project, like may not finish in 2018 long term.

Stays Progress

I've had house guests the last week or so, which means I haven't been online much. I have been plugging away at my stays, though, and I'm moving along. I have half the tabs to bind on one side of the stays and the lining to put in, and I'll be finished.

Mid-18th Century Stays Progress - 12/30/17

Mid-18th Century Stays Progress (inside) - 12/30/17

Unfortunately, I ran out of binding halfway through the tabs on the second side. I guess these stays have a longer perimeter than the average pair of stays considered by Burnley and Trowbridge. If I had been smart, I'd have measured to make sure five yards was enough before ordering, but I wasn't so I didn't. Also if I had been smart, I'd have done the stomacher last instead of first so if something ended up different, it would be the part that's mostly covered.

The long and short of it is that I still need about a yard of binding to finish. Does anyone have a yard or so of leather stay binding that she'd like to sell me? I'm not that excited about ordering a whole second bundle since my fingers don't appreciate working with the leather. It's hard to sew!

Moment of Truth

I got my stays put together enough to try on last night, and I'm quite pleased with the fit. I did a mock-up, but I’m still never quite sure how corsets and stays are going to work out. Next I’ll tackle the cross-wise bones. They’re obviously necessary on the stomacher, but I’ll put them on the main body pieces too.

Looks Like Progress

I've been plugging away at my stays, and another week's work has seen the eyelets finished, the seam allowances trimmed and tacked down, and some of the seams sewn.

Mid-18th Century Stays Progress - 12/17/17

The piece that is wrong side up is partially sewn to the next piece; it's where I was when I left off last night.

No Victorian Ball

The Victorian Ball was cancelled Saturday morning due to fumes in the hall after the floors were varnished during the week. I was disappointed, but at least it wasn’t something I had been looking forward to for months, and I hadn’t made anything new for it. On the bright side, it made me address the differences in shape between the two 1860’s corsets for one dress, and I added net undersleeves to it, which make it look more polished. I think the only thing I have left that I want to do for that dress is to add tails to the belt since they were so very popular in the late 1860’s. The cancellation notice said that they are planning another ball, but it didn’t say when or what period so I’ll just have to keep my eyes on the website.

Since I didn’t go to the ball, I got to work on my stays. I finished boning them earlier in the week except for the cross-wise bones that have to go in after some assembly, and Saturday night I finished the eyelets on one piece. I was also trimming and tacking down seam allowances. The skinnier pieces in the picture are the ones with their seam allowances sewn down so that they’re ready for seaming. Last night I did more of those and marked the eyelets for the second side of the front lacing. I’m hoping to start on that next batch of eyelets tonight.

Mid-18th Century Stays Progress - 12/9/17

Rework Successful

After I made the new 1860's corset this summer, I knew I would have to refit the bodices on the dresses I made to go over the old one, but I didn't know how bad it would be. Last night I tried on the evening bodice for my late 1860's dress to see what I would need to do. Fortunately, I just had to let out the top of the darts. I was expecting to have to take it off the skirt and pull off the piping and maybe let it out at the side seams, but none of that was needed. I tried on the Le Baiser dress too, and it looks like I won't have to make serious modifications there either.

I did find that the tucks I took in the neckband of my almost-sleeveless chemise were seriously restricting my motion once I put the corset on. I was able to rip out the center front tuck while wearing it, and that made a definite improvement. I had to take it off to get the tucks out of the shoulders so I need to try it on again with the corset tonight or tomorrow.

I Did Crochet!

I am rather ridiculously pleased with my first-ever crochet covered button.

Crochet covered button

There's a little crochet piece sewn to the back of it that connects it to another button. One down, five to go. I gave up on crocheting the belt so it's just a knitted i-cord because I'm pretty decent at knitting.

For my own future reference, I did it following this video tutorial.


At Her Leisure

Current Projects

1919 slipover bodice
Striped 1790 gown
17th century knitted garters

Latest Month

January 2018




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