Sunday, 1 February 2015

HSM 15 Challenge 1: Foundation

Finally, finally, finally my new pair of stays are done. When I last posted about them I had gotten quite a nice shape, and I was just going to add a lining and binding and they would be done. Well, I cut out the lining, realized that I loved the fabric and it would be sad to just hide it on the inside and decided that I wanted to add that fabric as an outer layer. Well then the problems started. Since I had fitted the stays directly on myself I couldn't get the lining layer to exactly fit, despite following all my notes on the changes. If I wanted to use the lining fabric as an outer layer it wouldn't look good, so back to the original plan. Then it was the binding, and I simply hate binding, and by now the frustration of the whole construction was started to get to me, so I had them beside my sofa for more than a week without even starting to work on the binding.

This weekend I decided to do it though. It's a good thing that it's winter so there was a lot of sports to watch, and then I topped it off with watching the full version of Lawrence of Arabia. So now with bleeding fingers, I really need to get a thimble, I'm finally done. In honour of all the work that was done to Lawrence of Arabia I'm going to rename these stays the Desert Rose pair of stays.

Now as for the HSM challenge. I just don't see this as a foundation garment because it's a pair of stays. My original plan for the challenge was to draft a working 18th century bodice block, but since I'm not happy about any of my stays I felt that I couldn't do a bodice block without taking my measurements on a pair of well-fitting stays. Now I have a pair of stays, and I have a set of measurements so that I can start with the bodice block, which of course will be the the foundation for my 18th century wardrobe.

As for historical accuracy, well there isn't much of it actually. I've used period materials, except for the lining, but they are sewn on the machine, except for the binding, and I used the metal eyelets, since I don't feel like sewing eyelets by hand when the rest of the garment is so obviously made by machine.

Lousy pictures, it's dark outside, the lights of my ceiling have gone out and I only have my phone camera. Photos of me in the stays will have to wait until better lightning conditions.

The Challenge: 1 - Foundation

Fabric: 80 cm of linen, 80 cm of cotton canvas, 80 cm of quilting cotton (for the lining)

Pattern: The backpiece can be traced to the RH833, but the rest is basically frankenpatterned from all over the place.

Year: 1780's
Notions: Thread, cotton bias binding, metal grommets, plastic whalebone, 4 steel bones around the grommets

How historically accurate is it? Style yes, but it's all made by machine and I've used quite a few non-period materials. I would say somewhere around 30%. They still give me my best 1780's silhouette though, compared to my more technically accurate stays.

Hours to complete: 50-60 hours (I'm slow as soon as it comes down to fitting and handsewing)

First worn: Not worn yet

Total cost: The only things I bought was the thread and the bias binding, that was around $10, but I usually count that a corset or pair of stays comes down around $50-60 when I buy new materials.

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