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.
To compare how foundation garments shape the costume, see my previous post where I had this same skirt over a hooped petticoat.
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.
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
Happy Back to School! Have some pencil pouches. Of course you could put money or makeup or anything else in them too. Small projects like this help me upcycle my fabric scraps, and it’s also a nice chance to doodle: dye them, embroider them, draw on them.
Just made this cotton print dress. Methinks the 1960s style needs some white go-go boots to complete the outfit. This one of a kind sample is a size 8, $80. Made in your size as a custom order would be a bit more, of course.
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.
The back laces up, 1830s style, for decorative adjustability. And here you see close up, my painstaking matching of the printed pattern.
While constructing a tailcoat recently, I refreshed my memory of varying collar shapes. Here you see the difference between a coat that is meant to be worn closed, vs. a coat that is meant to be worn open. My pattern lines are the sewing lines; no seam allowances here.
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.
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.
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.
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).