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Miss Ruth
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« on: June 26, 2014, 07:48:07 AM »

Hello, everyone! I have been gone for quite some time. This is not entirely my fault, however. I have several issues with my wardrobe that I need some help with and I have had no resources to work with. (Still not really any resources, however, there are a lot of fabric deals on right now and checking in here, I saw a dotted swiss dress that I sooooo want to replicate!) So to start by stating my troubles.

1. my corset does not fit at all. Too wide, too short, not the right shape. There are some reasons for this, (not at all the corset's fault! It was a beautiful corset and I recommend Mrs. Gnagey very much for corsets)
  a. I got the corset when I was thirteen and I'm going to be sixteen in a few months. (so quite a bit of shape change)
  b. I lost quite a lot of weight. I was pretty chubby when I got my corset and now I fancy I am pretty nicely thin  Grin Also, i have changed shape due to muscle placement. I have been exercising more.

2. I am currently out of resources. However, I think that can be fixed up in quick order in a little bit.

3. I am ashamed to say, I lost pretty much every ounce of interest! hehehe (I don't think I would have if I had had some projects to work on)

4. no events to go to around my place..  Undecided Which is very sad. However, as I am making more friends and getting older, I think it would be fun to go to a few events sometime. Also, I am hoping to attend Westville 2015 so I am again enthused Smiley

So there are my not very excusable excuses Smiley Now to some of my questions...

1. I need a new corset. Making one is cheaper than buying one, right? If soo...

2. What pattern would you ladies recommend?

3. Should I make it lined or not?

4. Where do I get boning and a busk?

I think that is all for the corset questions... However, I have a few more questions!

5. Do the members of the academy believe I should completely remake my wardrobe? (saving for the wool dress which I did mess up on, but no one can reeeally tell...) You all have seen every dress I've made so you should know!

6. Should I stop with short sleeves during the day yet? Or can I continue that another year?  Smiley I've seen CDV's of teenager girls with short sleeves and full length skirts (not evening) so I'm wondering how long I'm allowed to have short sleeves for. Is it pretty much until I am of courting age?

7. Can I still get away with modern riding ankle boots or do I need to have a pair of historic shoes?

Whew! I never thought the end would come!  Cheesy So, I am pretty excited to start costuming again Smiley I haven't made anything since I made a vintage prom dress before May!  Shocked Which, as we all know, that is horrible! I think I've got the sewing bug again because I haven't sewn in so long! However I got it, I'm sort of glad I've got it again because I do want to make light, airy, fluffy dresses and take pretty pictures in them once more! (and now my hair's longer I can do quite a few things with it, I think!)

Thanks a lot everyone! I know I have a lot of gall making a new topic first thing when I come back!  Cheesy

Ruth
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Allison vV
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2014, 09:37:16 AM »

Welcome back, Ruth!  I'm not very experienced like many of the ladies here, but I will try to answer some of your questions.

4. no events to go to around my place . . .

Solution -- wear your Victorian dresses around the house Cheesy.  As soon as I can make more petticoats, a corded corset, and another cotton dress, I will.  I love these feminine styles!

1. I need a new corset. Making one is cheaper than buying one, right? If soo...

2. What pattern would you ladies recommend?

3. Should I make it lined or not?

4. Where do I get boning and a busk?

Having to make a new corset for those reasons is good Smiley.

1. Yes, making one, yourself, would be less expensive if you have the time and resources -- it will probably cost you about $50 when all's said and done.

2. Do you have the Dressmaker's Guide?  If you don't, you need it Smiley.  If you do, there are instructions for "draping" (well, wrapping yourself in duck-tape) a corset pattern.  I will be doing this in the next few days for myself.  I have high hope for success with this method.  I used Past Patterns' kit for my first, and although some of the bones have since worked themselves through, it would have been a pretty good corset if I had fit it properly.  You will need to make a mock-up to adjust fit.  Don't cut the pattern "to your measurements" and assume it will fit perfectly, like I did! Wink

3. I don't think corsets are "lined".  The bones are sandwiched between two layers of the same cotton twill, drill, or coutil.  You could possibly back/interline your fabric to stabilize it, but this may add unwanted bulk.  Perhaps the experts can speak more clearly to this . . .

4. Here are a few resources I have pulled together for my new corset.
     a. Corsetmaking Supplies.com (US)
     b. Sewing Chest (UK)
     c. Farthingales (Candadian)

5. Do the members of the academy believe I should completely remake my wardrobe? (saving for the wool dress which I did mess up on, but no one can reeeally tell...) You all have seen every dress I've made so you should know!

If you have dresses that are period correct, and only need a change in fit, I would modify them where possible.  Any that can't be saved (whether you've learned a lot since then, or they just can't be modified any further) can become fabric for toiles or pattern play.  I will be doing this with my first dress Smiley.

A word of advice for your future wardrobe -- I found that one of the best things to prevent the discarding of a newly made dress is to research, and double research.  I was quite happy when I learned just enough before making my first dress to know not to use the Simplicity pattern I was considering (not a Martha McCain).  But, had I taken the time and care to research every little detail, I would have prevented a lot of "learning" mistakes being made (like using a solid blue cotton broadcloth as my dress fabric.  You may have seen it  Shocked).  I do not direct any criticism at you.  I have made many mistakes!  And I know your need for a new wardrobe is not solely for this reason.  But do take time to research -- you will be well rewarded.  Now . . .
 
6. Should I stop with short sleeves during the day yet? Or can I continue that another year?  Smiley I've seen CDV's of teenager girls with short sleeves and full length skirts (not evening) so I'm wondering how long I'm allowed to have short sleeves for. Is it pretty much until I am of courting age?

Courting age might be a good guideline.  Here's a thought -- perhaps you could make your dresses in a "transitioning" style by choosing either shorter shirts or short sleeves.  This might better than using both and looking too girlish, or neither and dressing in too mature a style.  I'm sure the wiser ladies can elaborate.

7. Can I still get away with modern riding ankle boots or do I need to have a pair of historic shoes?

I would invest in period correct shoes as soon as you can.  Now that you are older, your size should not be changing too much anymore.  Mama and Papa purchased mine for me, as they were something I would have for many years, and could use more often than just occasional reenactments.  Mine are from Blockade Runner, and I love them!

I hope that helps some, and I'm glad you have the sewing bug back Smiley.

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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2014, 10:45:58 AM »

Totally normal to need a new corset at 16! Making at home is definitely less expensive. One way to fund the update is to sell off the existing corset and/or your least-favorite existing dress.

Any pattern you use is going to need to be customized; some of my favorite lines are from Laughing Moon, Past Patterns, the Simplicity-Martha McCains, and the Simplicity-Kay Gnagey. I have a preference for two-layer corsets, but that's merely my preference.

Refitting the clothing will be a free way to get back into the swing, and also period appropriate! If there are pieces that cannot be reasonably remade, then those are candidates for selling off to reinvest the funds, including setting aside funds for nearby events you want to attend.

I'm a huge fan of youth styles, and many of the girls I've known (including my daughter, who turns 18 in July) have chosen to hold onto transitional styles (including short sleeve options and slightly short skirts) as long as possible. You're still well within the range. Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2014, 12:17:12 PM »

Hey, thanks for the answers, Allison! I was actually spared making some of the most horrible mistakes.. Simply because my sister had been into reenacting and had a copy of Practical Prinkery!  Cheesy Practical Prinkery also gives instructions for a duck tape corset pattern. However, I think I would do better with a real pattern! hehehe And yes, I had known about making mock-up from a pattern before cutting my fashion fabric.

And when I said lined I meant double layered! Yes, I think it's a good reason to make a new corset! Thanks for the links to the corset sites! I also seem to over research things, now, so I'm not that worried on that point!  Smiley

Thanks for the reassurance, Mrs. Clark! I wish I still had the original corset (I wanted to see if I could refit it before I realized everything that was wrong with it... bad idea!) But selling one of the dresses might work!

Okay, I'll look into those patterns  Smiley And I will definitely refit everything I can! I just wanted to make sure it wouldn't be a waste of time!  Grin

I like the idea of staying transitional, as well! Makes me not have to act quite so grown up!

Thanks again! (Any other helpful information is welcome!  Grin)
Ruth
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"Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

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http://sewingroomtales.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2014, 06:47:05 AM »

Just to ditto what Allison said, RESEARCH. Every one of the questions you asked has extensive answers here on this forum.  If you really what to get the most out of money research ahead of time.  Good luck I look forward to seeing some of your new projects.
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Miss Ruth
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2014, 06:08:55 PM »

Thanks, Ms. Paula! I had actually searched for them... I didn't come up with much somehow  Huh Not specific answers, anyway... Maybe I didn't look hard enough!

Mrs. Clark, one thing I forgot to ask! Do two layer corsets provide more support? Because I know one layer (the kind I had ordered from Mrs. Gnagey) sort of went limp after a while. It got wrinkles in it and whatnot. Does two layers make it more sturdy? stiffer?

Thanks!  Smiley
Ruth
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"Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

 Proverbs 31:30

http://sewingroomtales.blogspot.com/
BethT
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2014, 03:39:15 PM »

Ruth, why don't you use the busk and bones from your old corset for the new one?  If you disassembled it already.

-BethT
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2014, 09:31:30 PM »

True, you may be able to recycle most of the old corset hardware into a new one!

I do find that two layers makes for a sturdier corset, but with two layers, it's even more important that you're using a fine-woven, firm-but-light fabric (like double-twilled corseting coutil), so you get the added support without any extra weight or much more heat.

It would be hard to say with yours, specifically, because a radically maturing figure can play merry cob with what support the corset might otherwise give. Teenagers have the hardest time of it, as do women who are rapidly gaining or losing weight!
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2014, 04:24:56 PM »

Oh good idea, Ms. Beth! I feel dumb for not thinking of it. One question, though. Since I need to make my corset longer, won't I need a slightly longer busk? Also, my boning is so mushed and shaped differently, I'm sort of thinking I would need new ones.

Mrs. Clark, thanks for answering that! I figured double layers would be sturdier!

I guess having rapidly lost weight AND being a teenager didn't help me much!  Cheesy

Thanks again!
Ruth
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"Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

 Proverbs 31:30

http://sewingroomtales.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2014, 04:51:40 PM »

Sorry to cut in, but Mrs. Clark, could you clarify what you mean when you refer to a double layer corset?  Would single layer be one layer on the outside, one on the the inside, and bones in the middle; and double, two layers (treated as one) on the outside, two on the inside, and bones in the middle?

I was confused by the term single layer corset and trying to figure out how the bones or cording were fastened to just one layer of fabric . . . and how that could offer any support! Smiley
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Allison van Vegten


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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2014, 08:01:43 PM »

Allison,

A double layer corset has two layers of fabric, one on the outside and one on the inside with the boning sandwiched in between. A single layer corset is made of one layer of fabric and the bones are sewn into casings. The corset has  flat felled seams to finish the inside. Places like corsetmaking.com sell cotton bone casing for less than $2 a yard. My corset is a single layer (made using Kay Gnagey's Simplicity 2890) and I LOVE it. Single layer corsets are cooler, lighter, and use half the fabric of  double layer corsets. I haven't had any problem with mine being "wimpier" than a double layer corset, but I also made sure to use a high quality coutil.

Hope this helps!

-Michaela
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2014, 09:29:05 AM »

Aha!  Thank you so much, Miss Richmond.  Thank makes perfect sense.  Mine is a double layer, then, and I didn't know single layer existed in the period -- now I do.

I should have thought of casings!  Thank you.
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Miss Ruth
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2014, 03:18:15 PM »

Thank you all for your help! Unfortunately, for now, my resources have to go toward other things so I won't be posting lots of fun projects up in the near future... I will continue to peak in though and continue my learning of historic fashion!

Thanks a lot for all of your encouragement and advice!

Ruth  Smiley
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"Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

 Proverbs 31:30

http://sewingroomtales.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2014, 05:20:43 PM »

Hello once more! I feel rather silly coming back so soon after saying I could not, but I have contrived to make myself a corset, and I believe I have succeeded! Unfortunately, I did not make the corset out of period materials (I didn't have any on hand, but as soon as I do, I will remake it in the proper way) However, I think the shape is right! I couldn't get any good pictures of just the corset, but I do have pictures of my dresses over it! Which, I think you ladies have the eye for a period silhouette, so I will post a few pictures for you to see!

I am so excited, and hope this really is right!





And if you need them, there are more pictures on my blog http://sewingroomtales.blogspot.com/

I am very happy to be at work costuming again! Smiley

Ruth
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"Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

 Proverbs 31:30

http://sewingroomtales.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2014, 07:44:01 AM »

bumpity bump?  Smiley
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"Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

 Proverbs 31:30

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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2014, 09:44:43 AM »

Your work looks good, Ruth.  It is a little difficult to see with the dresses and coat smoothing the lines, but I think the silhouette looks much improved Smiley.

Hopefully the experts will be along shortly to confirm.

Is it possible to get a picture without a dress over?
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2014, 10:45:03 AM »

I'm in the "can't see a lot" camp--I'd love to see more close shots of the mid-section, but I'm sure you can feel the support change!
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« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2014, 12:59:22 PM »

Okay I shall try for pictures where you can see better Smiley I'm about to finish a bodice I'm working on (for about ten years later) but you should be able to see the basic fit Smiley
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"Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

 Proverbs 31:30

http://sewingroomtales.blogspot.com/
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