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Crinoline

Crinoline of cotton fabric and nylon netting

To make your costume the right shape requires some structure, usually on the inside. This is a crinoline, a petticoat made with several tiers of stiff ruffles so it holds your skirt out. I made this one with a base layer of twilled cotton, so it will be comfortable and give some “swish” as you walk.  I have used the same cotton for the large ruffles in previous crinolines, but used nylon netting for this one so it can be lighter weight.  I designed this crinoline so that it gives the skirt the shape of the 1840s.

cotton skirt over Fitting and Proper crinoline

To compare how foundation garments shape the costume, see my previous post where I had this same skirt over a hooped petticoat.

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Steampunk Corset, part 3

Gold cotton corset

The finished corset is curvy and supple.  It is all cotton so it breathes well. My lovely model lost some weight since the corset was made (kudos to her) so it is a tad loose, but you still see how it hugs the right places and supports the right places.

back of gold cotton corset

sitting in a Victorian corset and chemise

side view of corset with bust gussets

This last photo is a good example of how a corset should fit.  Rather than squashing the bust, the corset should lift and support it.  When drafting corset patterns for women above a D cup, I create a different shape of gusset, and different boning placement, than I do for a petite bust.

The making of this corset was illustrated here: Part 1, Part 2

Printed Canvas Waistcoat

dandy damask vest

I have made many waistcoats for men over the years, but this was my first one with piping going all the way around.  Piping is made by sewing bias strips around a narrow cotton cord, and it provided the purple edge you see in these pictures.

back lacing on vest

The back laces up, 1830s style, for decorative adjustability.  And here you see close up, my painstaking matching of the printed pattern.

matching printed damask

lacing tabs with grommets

 

Extreme Pattern Matching

When setting out to make a garment, one way to increase the level of difficulty is to use a patterned fabric instead of a solid color. The designer needs to make the stripes, dots, or other motifs line up nicely on the body of the wearer.  This project is an example of a pattern matching challenge.

Sewing lines on brocade fabric

Normally one would draw a sewing line with a black pencil on light-colored fabric, or use a white pencil on dark colored fabric.  When presented with this high-contrast brocade, neither black nor white pencil would show up against all of it; so I had to use both pencils and trace each pattern piece twice.

The person requesting the garment wanted me to use both sides of the brocade, so I had the challenge of matching the pattern not just to itself, but to its flip side, balancing the slight difference between the two.

Matching brocade on seamsMatched brocade pattern on pant leg

These are a pair of trousers, and here you see the pattern was carefully matched up each leg. With that accomplished, there came one more hurdle.  Extra pockets were to be placed on the sides, like cargo pants.  Somehow the pocket’s pattern had to blend in with the two brocade patterns already present, even though the pocket is a different grain.  Here is my design.

crochet pocket over brocade pocket

The crochet rectangle on top of the cargo pocket is not just a decorative element, it is also another pocket.  I made it the ideal size to hold ID or business cards.  If you want to make a card pocket like mine, use a V stitch in Speed-Cro-Sheen (a stiff cotton thread about size 3).