Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Just an Assortment of Questions  (Read 8324 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Anneliese Meck
Developing Scribbler
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 43


« on: March 10, 2014, 03:37:47 PM »

Hello, everyone!

I have just so many questions and I'm not sure where to start!  Though, I am so very happy to have joined such an encouraging and knowledgeable community Cheesy

I'm wanting to make my mid-Victorian wardrobe as accurate as possible - starting from scratch and "doing it right!"  Currently, I am wrapping up chemises and drawers and hoping to move onto the next layers...(after I finish all those fancy 1890s hats I promised to do for a local theater place)  So, here are some of my questions:

Corset

This is what is holding me back!  I?m still a little too intimidated to start (silly, I know!)  Thank goodness I have an expert helping me this summer *jumps up and down*

Okay, I guess the first step is to order materials: I've read that people recommend corsemakingsupplies.com - so looking at my pattern, all I need to do is order the correct boning, busk and coutil, right?  Newbie alert.  Grin

By the way, what is the difference between the imported and American coutil?  Is one more preferable than the other?  

More importantly, is it possible to make petticoats and/or "work" dresses before the corset?  Or, does a corset really change measurements?

Corded petticoat

I know there are plenty of other threads on these wonderful supports, I am wondering if basic sewing muslin will hold up?  Or should I be investing in another material?

I have a couple of spools of sugar n cream yarn around, but I was wondering if a thin cotton clothesline would work instead?  I'm thinking about trying a larger cord style.  

Oh, and a more general sewing question: is there a specific pen or marker that people would recommend for marking fabric (like for tucks) - I'm currently just using a pencil.

Thank you for taking the time to read this - any and all advice will be greatly appreciated!

Edit: attempted to fix punctuation
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 03:40:43 PM by Anneliese Meck » Logged
MaryDee
Frequent Scribbler
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 200


« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 04:59:30 PM »

I'm only a year into this field myself and am still learning, although I'm far older than you are.  This is a wonderful place for information!  I also strongly recommend Elizabeth's book, The Dressmaker's Guide, which can be ordered here:  http://www.thesewingacademy.com/shop/.  It has tons of information on mid-19th century sewing techniques.  

It would be very helpful to know the approximate dates you plan to represent.  For example, once hoops came into fashion in the mid 1850s, the corded petticoat (heavy and hot) died a sudden death.  (Source:  Carolann Schmitt lecture,  "A Firm Foundation:  Supporting Structures for Mid-19th Century," July, 2013)   You therefore don't want a corded petticoat if you're representing 1855 or later.  I'm so thankful that I attended Carolann's workshop last summer before I actually went to the trouble of making one!  



« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 05:01:14 PM by MaryDee » Logged
Jessamyn
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3093



« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 06:02:21 PM »

You can definitely get started on your under- and over-petticoats before your corset, unless you're planning on some fairly substantial waist reduction (not really needed in midcentury fashion). The worst thing that will happen is you might need to move a button over. Many of us like to let one or more petticoats sit just a little below the actual waist anyway, so you have less bulk. Rather like grading a seam!

Dresses, on the other hand - no. It's not so much the measurements, it's that your shape will change with a corset. Even if your corset doesn't take your waist or bust in at all, it rearranges your flesh so things don't hit in the same place or with the same curves. You will need to fit bodices to this adjusted shape.

If you're really dying to get a head start, I suppose you could start working on the dress skirts. They will need to be cut, seamed, hemmed or faced, and balanced at the waist, and if you want pockets (always useful!) they could go in too. Then all that would be left would be fitting them to the waist of your bodice, once you got that far.

But you could also move on to needful accessories in the meantime: A bonnet, whether corded, slatted, or silk over buckram. A white collar or two. Depending on your impression, you may need/want an apron, cuffs, a pretty belt, a neck-tie, a paletote or fringed wool shawl. There should be plenty to keep you busy!
Logged
Anneliese Meck
Developing Scribbler
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 43


« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 06:31:02 PM »

MaryDee!  The first thing I did was buy a copy of The Dressmaker's Guide - I heard so many great things about it (all true!) and I'm so happy I did!  I plan to use it for all my petticoats and, hopefully, dress(es).  

For dates I plan to represent: This summer I will be interning *squeal of joy* and know that they only use corded petticoats.  So I'm going to say my main and immediate focus will be on 1850s clothing.  However, I have big dreams of being a Civil War reenactor someday, so anything that could cross over would also be welcome.  

Jessamyn!  Good to know!  I'm much more comfortable with the idea of making petticoats (and practicing my handsewing) than attempting that corset.  Alright - and no dresses (at least bodices) until everything is done!  But I don't think I'll be able to restrain myself from purchasing fabric...or starting the skirts with pockets Wink

Ha, ha.  I'm beginning to think I'm getting a little too ambitious.  All those accessories you've mentioned, yum!   

Logged
Paula
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1529



« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 06:39:28 PM »

Anneliese go easy of the fabric buying for dresses.  Really do your research and breathe.  I have a bunch of fabric I bought when I was excited and now it doesn't quite meet my standards.  Sad

Buy a bunch of muslin/pima cotton and you will never be sad  Grin
Logged
Anneliese Meck
Developing Scribbler
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 43


« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2014, 06:55:31 PM »

Anneliese go easy of the fabric buying for dresses.  Really do your research and breathe.  I have a bunch of fabric I bought when I was excited and now it doesn't quite meet my standards.  Sad

Buy a bunch of muslin/pima cotton and you will never be sad  Grin

Ha, ha, Paula.  So true, I'm not a very impulsive person until it comes to buying fabric...there's actually a great quilting shop I was told about that has an entire room of reproduction fabrics!  I eventually plan to shop there for cottons.  But, oh yes, I promise to research plenty more first!  Although, I'm pretty sure I'm on a first name basis with some of the women at Jo-Ann's fabric counter, whenever I bring up the muslin bolt, they smile and ask how many yards I'm getting that day Wink
Logged
Paula
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1529



« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2014, 07:08:19 PM »

Ha!  I just buy the whole bolt.
Logged
MaryDee
Frequent Scribbler
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 200


« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2014, 11:51:57 AM »

I've gotten to the point that I won't buy any fabric for dresses or outer clothing without first posting an image of it in the "Fabric Checking Thread" in the "Dresses" section for feedback.  Those so-called "reproduction" fabrics not only cover a wide period but are not necessarily true reproductions.  Most are modern designs "inspired" by older patterns.  Not that there aren't a lot of good ones, but the inspirations may belong to any decade of the 19th century. 

Unfortunately, I have a tendency to fall in love with fabrics that aren't suitable for the 1860-65 period I want to represent, so I have to be very careful! 

Since you do need the corded petticoat, that will keep you busy for quite a while! 
Logged
BethT
Veteran Scribbler
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 828



« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2014, 02:27:00 PM »

Welcome!  Congratulations, you look like you're off to a good start, research-wise!  Kudos.

I was really hesitant to make a corset.  Before making one I had only boned one or two bodices, and that very lightly but I found that when I jumped in and just DID it, it wasn't too bad.  It helps that the corset is a pretty short garment, so seams go very quickly.

There are a lot of threads on both corded pettis and coutil here.  I believe there is a difference in imported/homegrown (Wink ) coutil, and it has to do with the stretchy-ness some coutil seems to have.  You don't want stretch. Cheesy  My corset is made out of cotton Sateen, two layers and it has served me well so far but I reenact rarely and will not be putting the stress on my corset that you will, wearing it to intern.

I have not made a corded petticoat out of thin clothesline, but I'm half-way through one with sugar'n'cream, and I am very happy with how flexible it is for being so sturdy.  I think the clothesline would make a very bulky, uncomfortable petticoat.

I have so far gotten my busks from corsetmaking.com, and been pretty happy with them.  I get my boning from a source by my house so I can't tell you about the boning on the website. 

If it helps, this is my corset:



It's made from Kay Gnagey's pattern, which I'm very happy with. 

If you are not 'fluffy' don't worry too much about making petticoats before corsets!  My measurements don't change in a corset, and I am not bony but not fat either.

I hope you enjoy yourself!  Pretty clothes from another era are something I'm extremely fond of. Cheesy

-BethT 
Logged

Gen. 3:21
The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
 
Thus began fashion.
Anneliese Meck
Developing Scribbler
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 43


« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2014, 08:57:58 PM »

MaryDee!  Good to know, thanks for the warning; I will be careful with those "reproduction" fabrics!  I need to do a lot of research on period fabrics - so far I've got that any super shiny synthetic stuff is a big, flashing "run away" sign.  And, I will definitely be using the expertise here before jumping in and buying yards and yards of fabric

Though, making a mid-19-century dress out of pretty vintage feedsack reproduction would be cute...but, alas, not very practical.  And, yes, I am looking forward to spending a really, really long time on the corded petticoat Wink

Beth!  Thanks for all of the encouragement!  I've never worked with boning before (well, besides cheap zip ties), so the whole thing is a new experience for me - I'm a terrible perfectionist, too, my Achilles heel Wink  But, no more!  Your reassurance and very successful(!) result has put me at ease and ready to tackle it. 

(Ha, "homegrown" coutil)  Okay, I'm looking for no stretch, got it.  (Huh, learn something new everyday!)  And busks from corsetmaking.com are a go.  Ooh, by the way, I love your corset too! 
 
Question, which style are you making your corded petticoat "sandwiched" style or into tucks?  I'm debating methods which will determine whether I experiment with clothesline vs. sugar'n'cream...thanks again for answering this newbie's questions!  Happy sewing!  Grin
Logged
Paula
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1529



« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2014, 06:41:33 AM »

My two cents thrown in about corded petticoats.  (My only claim to knowledge based on making 7 or 8 in the last five years). I found the sandwich method using crochet cotton a fabulous way to go. 

They are very stiff even when not starched (somewhere we have a thread where Carolann talks about if original corded pettis were starched) but not very heavy.  If you do choose to starch the sugar and cream absorbs the starch to perfection.  The samples I made using a heavier cord added so much weight I decided to go with the crochet cotton.

I wear my corded petticoat 1-3 days a week about 6 months of the year and it has needed some repairs but has held up amazingly well.
Logged
EKorsmo
Dedicated Scribbler
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 473



WWW
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2014, 12:32:48 PM »

Seconding what Paula said.  I used crochet cotton and 'the sandwich method' on my first (only) corded petti, and it went together surprisingly easily.
Logged

BethT
Veteran Scribbler
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 828



« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2014, 01:22:39 PM »

I haven't done the tuck method, but the sandwich method is working very well, I think.
Logged

Gen. 3:21
The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
 
Thus began fashion.
Anneliese Meck
Developing Scribbler
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 43


« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2014, 09:18:43 AM »

Thank you, Paula, EKorsmo & Beth!  I appreciate all of the advice - sugar'n cream a la "sandwich" method it is - corded petticoat here I come!  Cheesy
Logged
Anneliese Meck
Developing Scribbler
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 43


« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2014, 07:07:59 PM »

Quick questions on corded petticoats:

1) Material: I've heard that many people have had pleasing results with cotton organdy.  Where might I find some (online)? 
2) Is it necessary to wash the cotton cording first (to preshrink)?  Or would that just be silly...

Thanks! Smiley
Logged
Paula
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1529



« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2014, 07:55:58 PM »

Anneliese
I'm not sure of the organdy.  I think the majority of people on SA use plain muslin or Kona cotton.  I do not pre shrink my cord.  I just make sure I leave a little slack in it as I go.  I've never had any problem with it shrinking too much.
Logged
Anneliese Meck
Developing Scribbler
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 43


« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2014, 12:42:49 PM »

Thank you for answering my questions, Paula!  I have seen examples of corded petticoats made from a firm organdy on others' sewing blogs...but if you and the SA ladies are using muslin and Kona (another type of quilting cotton, right?), I will do that as well.  As for cording, I will keep in mind to leave some slack - you have mentioned that you've made a bunch of these and I really appreciate your expertise, thanks Smiley 
Logged
MCBurbage
Developing Scribbler
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 85


WWW
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2014, 05:07:04 AM »

I've only made one, but I made mine from muslin and did not pre-wash the string.  Of course, I haven't worn mine much, but I'm pleased with it.
Logged

Mary Burbage
Trish B
Frequent Scribbler
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 132


« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2014, 06:08:08 AM »

Anneliese- I would recommend Pimatex cotton if you can get it because it has more body to begin with than muslin or Kona cotton.  I use it for all my petticoats. Just my 2 cents worth.  trish B.
Logged
Anneliese Meck
Developing Scribbler
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 43


« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2014, 03:51:17 PM »

Mary & Trish, thank you both for the advice!  I'm very pleased to know that there seems to be no absolute "right" and "wrong" with corded petticoats.  I'm looking to create a sturdy product that will last - and I will definitely be looking at Pimatex cotton.  Thanks again Cheesy
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines