Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnightly - Joining the Challenge

One of the coolest things about being a part of the costuming community is the special community projects.  Each costume is an individual project, but each event I sew for is like a piece in a community project.  Even better, since the costuming community is much wider than just our local groups, it is even more interesting when someone throws out a challenge for anyone who is tuning in to participate as they wish.  The newest one sounds like a lot of fun!

The Historical Sew Fortnightly hosted by thedreamstress.com

Each fortnight a new challenge is due.  The rules are set on the official Historical Sew Fortnightly page.  They are also posted on the Historical Sew Fortnightly Facebook group.

Normally, these kinds of sew along challenges stress me out. I often have so much going on and I pretty much always have a case of Costumer's Attention Deficit Disorder.  But this challenge is structured so that I can pick small things to accomplish the goals if I want to.  So I can finally make those little underthings I have been putting off.  Or that new wool tudor coat to replace my other one that shrunk.  Or I can finish something that I had put away.  And I can structure them all so that I could potentially finish each one in a week's time so that they don't interfere with my other costuming deadlines.  Or I can incorporate my other costuming deadlines with the theme of the new challenge.  So, I'm in!  I'm not entirely sure I will be able to finish all of it, but I'm gong to try.  My only real problem that I see is I'm not sure how my All-Con and Costumers' Lost Weekend projects are going to fit in yet.

So how am I doing?  Well, I didn't hear about the challenge until after I came back to work, so I missed out on the bonus challenge #0, but that's ok.  It was a bonus.  I'm currently working on challenge #1 in conjunction with the DFWCG's Titanic Exhibit Meetup.  But I just finished challenge #3 Under it All (I'll update with a link when she gets to this one).  It was an item I needed to go under my challenge #1 item.  So in true Maggie fashion, I'm doing things out of order and posting my finished project #3 first!

Here she is!  I've made a corset cover/chemise.  It is gathered more like a corset cover and can be worn so, but I will most likely be wearing it as a chemise more often right now.  Do you know that in the 8 years since I have been sewing Victorian period clothes and wearing them to events I have always worn this old blue tank top under my corsets that actually belonged to my mom when she was very young.  But my challenge #1 project is slightly see through at the shoulders, so that just won't do.  And besides, a girl needs proper underthings.  I have bloomers, why on earth have I not made a simple little chemise?  Because I'm always too caught up in the pretty dress that's why.  And bloomers are FUN!  

The corset cover/chemise is made out of a remnant of linen, which I suspect is a linen/rayon blend.  The drawstring casing is from stash fabric that I had for an old corset project that was long abandoned.  It is a silk blend.  The rest of the fabric I used for Challenge #1, which will be revealed very soon.  The ribbon came from a cheap corset I ordered.  This ribbon was not near long enough for the corset, so I used it for something more suitable.  And the lace neckline is lace that was given to me many years ago and has been languishing in my stash.  It is cotton lace and I assume it was once attached to a blanket or table cloth because it came as a large square border long since removed from its original place.  I have a lot more of that lace.  I'm thinking I need new matching bloomers!

I very loosely used the Laughing Moon Mercantile #102 pattern for a corset cover for this project.  I used the outline of the pattern and opted to use a drawstring instead of darts and, as you can see, it is a pull over as opposed to a button front.

Year?  We'll call this 1913.  Sure.  I'm wearing it under my Titanic outfit.  But it really is an item that could have been worn sooner, or later, I guess.

How historically accurate is it?  See, here's where I'm going to fail you.  I don't have any documentation of how accurate it is.  It looks like some of the corset covers I've seen except it is pullover.  I don't know if I've ever seen a chemise that draws at the waist, though, so I have to dock points for that.  The fabric and notions should be a little more accurate.  I know viscose/rayon was around in 1910, but I don't know about being blended with linen, so the main fabric is probably not totally accurate.  I'm also not entirely sure that the kind of heavy cotton lace would have been used on the corset cover/chemise, but it's what I had and I think it looks better than a lot of the modern manufactured lace (which I have used in the challenge #1 project).

It took me two full weekend days to finish this little project because I'm a slow seamstress and I was also working on part of Challenge #1 at the same time.  Also, I turned under and finished my seams.  I am only beginning to really finish my projects now.  It's something I'm still learning, but I really would like my projects to last, so I'm trying my best to go the extra mile.

I'll wear this corset cover/chemise for the first time at an event when the DFWCG meets in costume to check out the Titanic travelling exhibit on January 12, 2013.  I'm very excited about that!!!!!


Jen Thompson said...

That looks fabulous! I always skimp out on the undies too, so I'm also hoping I can get some new ones done this year. I'm so excited that you are joining the challenge too!