All posts filed under: Reviews: resources, books, museums

Corset Cutting & Making Review

Review: Corset Cutting & Making

Last April I saw the kickstarter for a Marion McNealy’s ‘Revised Edition: Corset Cutting & Making‘: an annotated reprint of a rare early 1920s corset book.  It was right within my area of study, and being able to get the patterns as digital copies was a nice perk.  So I signed up. The book arrived last week, and I’ve had a thorough read of it.  Time for a review! The Research: Revised Edition: Corset Cutting & Making takes an original 40-page early 1920s publication, which features 19 patterns for corsets and related items, and re-organises it into a form that is more logical for the modern corsetmaker and researcher.  McNealy supplements the original patterns and texts with additional research and annotations.  These set the corsets within the design contexts of their time, and clarify period terms and construction techniques. The depth and quality of the supplementary annotations are excellent.  All aspects of corset materials and construction from 1900-1924 are covered. There is a step-by-step breakdown of construction techniques taken directly from period sources.  There are …

1780s American Duchess cap review

The 1780s cap from the American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking

It’s always a good feeling to finish the year and a sewing project at the same time.  This time I finished the 1780s cap from the American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking just as 2017 closed. Literally! I was sitting on my couch sewing on the bow and watching bonnet movies as the year ticked over, because that’s how I party! As far as I know, I’m the first person to have made the 1780s cap, which means I had the dubious distinction of discovering the typo where it says to cut one piece instead of two for the both the ruffles. I should have figured out the typo on my own.  Two makes so much sense!  But I was pattern testing for Scroop Patterns at the same time.  The cap was my ‘down’ time from pattern testing, but my brain was 100% in pattern testing mode.  That means I turn off independent thought and logic and follow what a pattern says exactly.  And I really wanted to do the patterns as AD gave …

Wearing History's Nanette Blouse

The Wearing History Nanette Blouse

I was super excited when Wearing History announced the 1930s Nanette Blouse Pattern, because: 1) it’s adorable, and; 2) I’ve been looking for a ‘girlie’ take on a formal shirt to wear with tails (well, waistcoat and trousers, I usually abandon the tails after 3 minutes), for AGES, and the Nanette Blouse was the perfect design. I was even more excited when Lauren offered me a review copy.  Yay!  Free vintage pattern goodness! So I got the pattern for free.  However my opinions on the pattern are totally my own, and not influenced by the free-ness of the pattern. The Fabric: My sewing goal was for my blouse to be ultra-feminine, but also to clearly reference the idea of a formal shirt. I absolutely love the white blouse shown on the cover of the pattern.  I wanted to replicate its sheer-sleeve and opaque body effect. A rummage in my fabric stash unearthed a white silk tissue with a slightly crepe thread, and a subtle stripe effect.  It wasn’t an absolutely ideal fabric, but it was the …