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
. 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
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
. 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!
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
b. Sewing Chest
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
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
). 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?
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