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Author Topic: Beginner-please help!  (Read 2172 times)
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Hana R.
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« on: April 17, 2016, 01:44:16 PM »

Hi everyone! Ive been exploring this forum for about a year so I'm finally posting something(sorry ahead of time for how long this is probably going to be).

Anyway, my name is Hana and I'm 14. I've been really interested in history, especially daily life and clothing for a while and I really want to start doing living history. live in Southeast Washington so I think Nisqually is the closest option, but I'm not sure.

In terms of clothing and sewing, I have veeery basic sewing skills and all I've made so far is a hand sewn chemise and pair of drawers from the laughing moon #100. I'm going to try to make corset from the Dore pattern but we'll see...I don't really know anyone who can help with fitting or sewing. I've been trying to figure out what kind of fabric and things I need but I just got really confused so here are my current questions:
It seems like twill is the best bet to make a mockup out of, is that true?
And can the actual thing also be made of the same kind of twill?
 
For the actual corset, is it one layer of coutil, twill, sateen, etc. and then  one layer of a lining fabric? If so, what would be a good lining?

This is a stupid question but I want to check-do you use lining for a mockup?
 The pattern says to use spiral steel for some of the boning and plain steel for other parts, is this the best way?

Okay, those are my main questions but I'm sure I'll have lots more. Thank you!!
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Paula
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2016, 04:53:19 PM »

Hi Hana
Welcome to the hobby!  Cotton twill will work great for a mock up corset as long as you make sure that there is no Lycra or other stretch fabric in it.  I personally prefer my corsets to be one layer of good coutil. (I use the tape they sell to run the stays through). Remember that spiral steel is something that shows up after the Civil War so you may want to stick to the regular steel.

I don't have the Dore pattern so I'm not going to be much help with what it calls for
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EKorsmo
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2016, 06:00:03 PM »

Welcome, Hana!

I always think Fort Nisqually is the best choice, but then, I may be biased. Wink Incidentally, our first event of the season, Sewing to Sowing, is this Saturday the 23rd. The volunteer application is here (14-year-olds will need to have a parent on-site, though they don't necessarily have to dress up as well); there's also a teen program which runs January-December, so we have a group of nice volunteers around your age.  If you decide to join us, the sewing guild will be happy to help with fitting and construction techniques, and there's also a lending wardrobe for volunteers, so you don't have to get all your own things made at once.

The WCWA may also be an option, if your interests tend towards Civil War, though I don't recall which groups are currently active in the SE; my unit meets out of Lakewood, but the events are all over the state (Yakima, Spokane, Snoqualmie this summer, though there's usually a reenactment at Chehalis, too).  There are also a few historic homes (particularly around Olympia) which have small living history programs; further south, Fort Vancouver does living history spanning the 1830s to 1930s, and the NCWC has Civil War events in Oregon.

As Paula said, you can do a corset with one layer of material, the boning held in with tapes, or with two layers of material and the boning sandwiched between them. In either case, you want a tightly-woven all-cotton fabric--something that doesn't stretch.  For double-layer corsets, I usually do both layers of the same material (I've used both sateen and twill), though I love the lightness of my single-layer coutil corset.

I haven't personally made up the Dore, but usually spiral steels are placed along curved seams or other places which take advantage of their ability to bend (see here for just how much spirals can bend); depending on your figure and how you lay the steels, it may be possible to do the entire corset with straight steels, or you may wish to use both types.  As I understand it, whalebone/baleen can curve around non-straight seams, so the spiral steels are a slightly-post-period alternative to a no-longer-feasible period material.  Artificial whalebone and rows of cording are also options for such areas.
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Hana R.
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2016, 07:48:01 PM »

Thank you all! I've gotten fabric for my corset mockup, so I'm going to start that and email about volunteering at Nisqually. Is there a specific person to talk to about Nisqually volunteering or should I just email the general email?
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EKorsmo
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2016, 08:53:39 PM »

The general e-mail should be fine; you'll probably end up talking to either Jim (site manager) or Lane (education coordinator).  They're both really nice.
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Elizabeth
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2016, 09:50:13 PM »

I've watched two sets of young ladies come up through Nisqually's volunteer program... every single one of them is lovely, and they've done fantastic sewing and interpretive work!
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Regards,
Elizabeth
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