Showing posts from June, 2016

HSM 2016 Challenge #5: Holes

Sorry, I've pretty much given up on trying to get a good background in a photo in this apartment. The Challenge: #5, Holes - how would a corset function without the eyelets to lace it together? Fabric/Materials: Off-white cotton twill from my corset stash and heavy white twill tape. Originally I was going to cover it with satin, but in the end I'm glad I decided to make this a wearable mockup, as the pattern needs a little tweaking. Pattern: Based on this corset patent applied for by Mina Sebille, with some alterations and boning arrangement based on this corset at the Victoria & Albert Museum. I've been using one of your standard ungored, shaped-pieces corsets for a few years, and while it's been working well, it doesn't have enough hip spring to give me waist reduction. I figured a corset that had a separate hip piece would help me get the flare I needed. Which it does, to some extent! At least, I'm not getting much more reduction, but I am al

Liebster Blog Award!

I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award back in January by Nessa of Sewing Empire , but I completely forgot about it! However, I've found it again just in time for CoBloWriMo , or Costume Blog Writing Month, which I'm attempting to participate in to at least some degree. The rules, as you may know, are to answer the interview questions set to you, list eleven bloggers with fewer than 200 followers* to receive the award (and notify them of their nomination), and come up with eleven questions for them  to answer. It's interesting, though, how memes change - when I went back in my blog to get the URL from when I uploaded the graphic years ago, I found that the interview aspect wasn't a part of it then, apparently. * I'm treating this as a guideline, because hardly anybody seems to have follower counts anymore Nessa's questions: What is your favourite fabric color / pattern you enjoy working with the most? Blue. It's my favorite color and I g

Swirl Housedress, 1950s

The housedress as we know it - a very informal garment to wear at home while lounging or working, loosely-fitted and easy to wash - seems to date to the early twentieth century. Previously, the term could be used to refer to more elaborate  and structured clothing, essentially what I'd label "day dress", made of less expensive fabric for the morning and more expensive fabric for the afternoon; around 1910 a shift in usage  occurred where people started to label much less formal wrappers, kimonos, and tea gowns as house dresses - although it most commonly seems to have been applied to plain wash dresses (ie, dresses that could be fully laundered). Basically, the nineteenth century housedress was something you were considered "dressed" in, and the twentieth century housedress was coming to be something that was more suitable for doing the morning housework, or just sitting around in. From the Dry Goods Reporter , July 1915 I forget how I first found out abou

Vintage Lingerie (2011) by Jill Salen

As I've gotten into vintage sewing alongside my regular historical work, I decided to buy Jill Salen's book on vintage lingerie - Corsets is very good, so I was fairly sure Vintage Lingerie would be as well. And it is! This book is an excellent resource for both vintage enthusiasts and fashion historians/collections managers who have anything to do with 20th century dress. Where Corsets overlapped with Waugh's Corsets & Crinolines  (just as Patterns of Fashion  and Cut of Women's Clothes  overlap), Vintage Lingerie  really stands alone - no other books that I'm aware of give patterns for so many pieces of lingerie, especially going so far into the 20th century. The value of the book is in the patterns. The text itself has a tendency to editorialize about corsetry - which, as you're probably aware, is one of my big pet peeves - eg, "inconvenient, unsightly, even tormenting control," "finally achieved freedom from restrictive garments,&q