All posts filed under: Sewing

Things I sew – historical and modern

The Quest for Regency Uplift: 1790s Achievement Unlocked

One of my goals for 2018 was to make two pairs of Regency stays that worked on me: one for the 1790s, and one for the 1810s. I did not achieve this goal. I made The J.S Berhnhardt 1810s Stays, View C (and took them in and altered them so they have a better, if not great, fit), and another pair that I was equally unenthused about, but my year got rather taken over by settling in to teaching at Toi Whakaari, so personal sewing took a back seat. I’m determined to get back on track with this goal in 2019, and so far I’m halfway there: I have 1790s jumps that are super comfortable, give me lots of support, and actually create lift! I used the 1790s jumps pattern given on pages 102-107 in Salen’s Corsets: Historical Patterns and Techniques. The pattern as given in the book fits about a 40″ bust (and bigger if you want space in your front lacing) I drew it out and graded it up and down last year …

1760s stays with theatrical construction thedreamstress.com

Stay with me (for over a year, because that’s how long these 1760’s stays took to finish)

When I started teaching costume construction at Toi Whakaari: the New Zealand Drama School last year, I decided I should do some of the projects that the costuming students do as part of their coursework, so I knew how the garments were taught and constructed in the course. It was also a good way to familiarise myself with ‘my’ industrial machine. Every costume shop has its own ‘house rules’, and, while there are general method groupings, there are literally an infinite number of ways to make any specific costume item. Every year the first year costumers build a theatrical version of a historical style from the foundations out: boned undergarment, petticoat and skirt supports, dress, accessories, hat. Last year the theme was 1780s, this year the students are doing 1570s Elizabethan. I chose to make the 1760s stays the students make some years, as they have elements common to a lot of the different eras of boned bodices. Since we’re teaching costuming for stage & film, not historical costuming, they are machine sewn and use …

Sewing & Sustainability & some shorts

Remember my Pants on Fire shorts? (I hope you do, because I love the photos, and the story of how they got their name is pretty hilarious). I made them to take with me to a visit to my parents on their farm in Hawai’i back in 2016. They were great, but the farm is hard on clothes, and they got thrashed. Something got on the fabric, or there was something about the fabric, that got this weird bleaching everywhere. Plus there were farm stains. I would have just left them on the farm, to wear the next time I went home to Hawai’i, but I brought them back to Wellington, because I’d made them so quickly I just drew the pattern straight on the fabric, and forgot to keep a copy. So I took them apart back in Wellington, took patterns off of them, and then I sewed them back up. I even took the time to add a zip facing, which I hadn’t originally included, and that meant I had to lengthen the …