Hello friends! Remember me? I know one usually apologizes for dropping off the face of the blogging universe, but I feel like when “real life” takes over, it’s kind of silly to apologize for things happening that are out of your control and take precedence over blogging. The short story is that right after I posted Maverick’s introductory post, he got really sick and had to stay at an animal hospital for the majority of a week. Needless to say, it was a really weird and upsetting time, since he is the first dog I’ve ever owned. To top it off, SH got food poisoning and I was feeling under-the-weather too (completely unrelated to everything else going on–my little system just has a cruel sense of timing) and we ended up spending our days running back and forth to the vet’s office, caring for sick people and animals and collapsing every night in utter exhaustion.
I’m still exhausted and am frustrated because it seems like my days bear no resemblence to normal at the moment. There has been very little sewing or creativity on my part because I am willing to put Maverick in his crate for only so long during the day. But when I do have time, I’ve been busy!
A dear friend surprised me with an invitation to a Titanic party she is hosting next month to commemorate the 100th anniverssary of the Titanic sinking. It’s a party that requires period evening/dinner dress, which means that I’m having to put my historic costuming cap on again (after years of having focused on vintage and modern sewing) and get to work! Chariteristically, I have nothing appropriate to wear. But I do have lots of fabrics in my stash that would make a gorgeous 1912 evening gown, and still remember enough of my costuming techniques and research to give me a good start.
The past ten days or so, during puppy naptimes, I’ve been sneaking up to my sewing nook and working on making a circa 1910 corset. Corsets provide the proper foundation for gowns of this era, and it will help keep the lines smooth throughout the evening (rather than me having to focus on “sucking in!”. lol). For those familiar with costuming, I’ve made the 1910s corset from Norah Waugh’s Corsets and Crinolines years ago. I think I took it apart for the boning and busk a few years back, and it wouldn’t have fit me now anyway. But when I saw this 1910s corset pattern from Jen Thompson, I knew I had found a great solution! Her pattern and tutorial are spot on, and the only adjustments I made were to resize the width of the pieces to match my waist-size requirements. I also reduced the amount of boning throughout the corset, as I discovered I didn’t need as much support as the original boning layout would have provided.
The piece was really a quick sew! Somehow I remember corsets being more difficult and time consuming, but I must be thinking of the more labor/boning intensive 18th and 19th century pieces I’ve made. This single-layer corset (I used a cream color twill from my stash) has boning channels and spring steel boning throughout. The top and bottom edges are bound with 1/2″ bias binding (just store bought stuff), and I added four garters to the bottom edge to attach stockings to. The top edge I embellished with a bit of vintage lace from my stash (many corsets from this period have beautiful lace detail!) and a ribbon bow. It’s a very pretty piece and I’m quite proud of how it turned out! I’ll be wearing it over a 1920s step-in camiknicker garment from my collection (not pictured because it doesn’t fit my dressform well!). Almost too pretty to cover up! lol. Now on to the dinner dress… I’m super excited about that particular garment because I’m using a lot of repurposed fabrics from the thrift store! Photos of the materials and my sketches to come soon.
I know there has been a lot of buzz in blogland of late about Titanic-related events next month–anyone else attending a party or get-together to commemorate the Titanic? Or maybe you’ve been caught up in Downton Abbey fever and are smitten with the idea of 1910s fashions at the moment?
Pattern:1910s corset pattern from an extant piece; tutorial and pattern by Jen Thompson.
Fabric: Cotton twill (single layer), cotton broadcloth (waist stay), lace (trim).
Alterations: Resized the pattern width to fit my waist size.
Techniques: Adding boning channels and eyelets.
Make Again? Probably not! Hopefully this is a one-time deal and will work for whatever 1910s costuming needs I may have (if any?) over the next decade or so.
P.S. If you’re interested to see what is inspiring me for this project, be sure to stop by my Pinterest board of 1910s era fashion!