...Oops.

Mar. 5th, 2008 01:37 am
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
So the natural linen pair of bodies I'm making isn't going to fit. It turns out when I drafted the pattern I was going based on my measurements from about a year and a half ago, in the mistaken belief that I was still that size--this was of course before I had the oh-my-god-my-boobs-are-enormous-also-my-hips-I-need-all-new-clothes revelation. Unbeknownst to me I had gained about 3" to both bust and waist. I can compress the boobage to make the pair of bodies close at the top, and I can compress my waist if I try really hard to make it almost close at the bottom, but the problem is of course my ribcage and the fact that it doesn't want to compress at all.

I'm going to finish the pair of bodies anyway and attempt to sell it on eBay. I probably only spent about $35 on the thing, considering I cannibalized a skirt for the fabric; I'm sure I won't make minimum wage on my time, but if I take enough good pictures and stress that it's completely hand-sewn--I don't know. Maybe I can pull it out. In any case I get the experience under my belt and have learned all kinds of things in the process.

Anybody know anyone with about a 24" waist and 34" bust who wants an Elizabethan pair of bodies? Effigy bodies, hand-sewn, authentically constructed, 100% linen boned with basket reed?
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
The back piece of the pair of bodies is attached to the left front piece. I am half finished with the boning channels on the back piece and anticipate having the whole thing constructed, fully boned and ready for binding and eyelets by Monday. I actually did two of the eyelets yesterday because my brain was fried from stitching in straight lines all day, and then took a bit longer break to start binding the top edge of the left front piece--it's going to look really nice when I'm finished with it.

There is a minor setback however on the plan to twist my own lacing cord. The way I had planned to do it turns out not to make a long enough length for what I need, and also causes my back to hate me with a fiery passion. I think I may need to purchase some lacing cord on the intarwebs, which will make me slightly sad as nobody seems to sell it in linen. Then, of course, my eyelet holes are teeny, so maybe I can use hemp cord from the Wal-Mart craft department; will have to see. It's nice and strong but I'm not sure how well the knots will stay.

The other thing I thought of was I might decide to go back over the stitching on my boning channels with a backstitch. It might look nicer that way. Yes, I am insane, why do you ask? I think this project is going to wind up taking several hundred hours. Which means if I do decide to do this business idea I've come up with, entailing me making commission pieces for people who want extreme super-mega historical accuracy and 100% hand-stitching, I'm going to be charging something like $1000 for a corset. Yay? (One assumes I will get better and faster at this as time goes on, and things won't take quite so many hours of experimentation.) Teeny tiny niche market, this. I was talking to teh fiancé the other day about different grades of reproductions for different prices--theatre quality, film quality, reenactment quality and museum quality, being entirely machine-sewn, machine-sewn with some hand-finished details to look good up close, partially machine-sewn but all visible stitching done by hand, and 100% hand-sewn from start to finish respectively. That would mean of course that I would have to learn to use a goddamn sewing machine. Sigh. Ah well, people would be more likely I'm sure to buy things they could actually afford; I would wind up doing hardly any museum-quality items, and most of those for myself, but it would still be a lot of fun.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
So, [livejournal.com profile] onyxnoir was asking about the reeds and whether they would be adequate for someone well-endowed. Well, I've just started putting some of them in the channels to see what it looks like and two of them, sandwiched right next to each other in tight channels, are stiffer than the cable tie. I feel confident in saying that they will be more than sufficient support.

Also am feeling very satisfied with the choice of flat oval reeds. What they are is flat on one side and slightly rounded on the other, so that the outside of the bodies has that lovely rounded-boning-in-channels look and the inside is flat as a board. I think this flatness will make them super-comfortable; also it may keep the boning from "shrinking" the bodies the way round reeds tend to do.

Now I have to find my other left over cable tie. Effing thing. This is what I get for being so disorganised.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
No Semagic access at library; will mirror to JF, IJ and GJ later in the day.

So, okay, apparently when I said I was putting the pair of bodies on hold until I finished my sister's birthday present, that was a total lie. She has a birthday every year! I can knit her something next year! I am moving the channels for the cable ties closer to the center front; when I had sewn them originally I had been planning to bone the whole thing with cable ties but, as those of you following along may already realise, the basket reed is half the width, and there is certainly no need to have two or three reed channels the far side of the eyelets before the cable ties. When I have finished the channels on the front pieces I can do the back piece, and then I can put the whole thing together and actually bone it. It's coming along nicely.

In a related story have discovered that my university library has Patterns of Fashion I, which is the 1660-1860 one; nothing Elizabethan in here, but there is an excellent riding habit jacket from 1730-50 that will work very well for a gentlewoman pirate. As the pirate ensembles are meant to be fantasy I feel fully comfortable with using a mishmash of eras and designs. Also while I have it checked out I can draft up some nice Regency gowns for future use. So now it only remains to find fabric and buttons for the jacket, fabric and buttons for the trousers, yarn for the stockings, fabric for the shirt, and something to do about shoes or boots. (I'd love to learn to make them; I certainly can't afford to buy them.) I already have a hat. It just isn't fulled yet.

I'd like to use wool outer fabric (and facing) for the jacket and trousers and linen for everything else if I can at all help it. I'm thinking very seriously of using up the rest of that lovely burgundy linen for lining, but the thing about that, of course, is that I've also been thinking of saving it for a bliaut or using it for a Regency day dress. Time will tell.

I cannot think what to use the green wool for, if not a Slytherin cloak or something. Maybe, if I can convince my mother that I need Patterns of Fashion 1560-1620 for my birthday, I can modify a loose gown pattern to be a set robes for my next Harry Potter-related event--film opening, con, that sort of thing. It's the wrong green for nearly anything else, but I am a Slytherin for life and I couldn't pass it up, especially at $20 for five yards. I could dye it but that would make me sort of sad--and I don't really have the space; I suppose I could dye it in my bathtub but I'm not sure I'm comfortable trying that on five yards of excellent wool the first time.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
So I've bought this kidskin. It looks to be a little over twice what I'll need for the binding, but maybe I can make a nice belt pouch or something. My first thought was "shoes!" but I don't think there will be enough for that, and it would necessitate buying suitable leather for soles which I really can't afford right now. In any case it's the perfect colour. I have to buy a leather needle now, but I know who sells them; I just have to figure out what gauge I want. (The higher the number, the finer the gauge, right?)

The basket reed came today. Which is odd because I don't think my payment would have cleared yet; ah well, I know I'm good for it. The channels I've been sewing are exactly the right size, which is useful and also means my math skills are not disintegrating the longer I go without taking a math class. It also appears that I'll be able to shape the ends of the lengths of reed with my little titanium scissors. After I've finished all the channels and whipstitched my three pieces together, I'll have to soak the reed overnight so I can flatten it out for cutting and subsequent insertion into the pair of bodies.

By then my kidskin should have arrived and I'll be able to cut it into strips and bind my edges. Then I have to find appropriate-coloured buttonhole thread for my eyelets, and then twist my lacing cord and see about aiglets. Then the thing will be finished!

However I have to finish the sweater I'm knitting for my sister's birthday, 20 September. Pair of bodies possibly on hold until finish sweater.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
So I lost the auction for the leather binding tape. Will have to find another source or use crappy cotton/poly bias tape from Wal-Mart; there isn't enough of the unbleached linen left to make bias tape even if I had the space to lay it out and a proper cutting tool.

The good news, though, is that I've got 300 feet of 3/16" basket reed coming. That will need straightening so I'll have to soak it overnight in a mixing bowl or the sink or something before cutting. The goal is to get the channels sewn and the three pieces whipstitched together before I'm ready to cut the reed.

I anticipate having about 100 feet of reed left over; might well try it in a farthingale or something. I don't know how well that would work; I don't know how flexible it will be, or how much skirt weight it would stand up to. But then this is how one finds out these things.

In any case must dash as I have to take a telephone message to my fiancé (who is at the library working on a project) so that he can get a job.
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
Someone on eBay has a couple two-yard lengths of leather binding I could buy, except one is tan and one is white; once I start getting paycheques (Thursday) I will have to contact the seller and see if they have any more of the tan because it would be super awesome to bind this pair of bodies with leather, although I would also, it appears, have to see about a leather needle. Also, eBay has a "basketry" section in Crafts and there is rather a lot of basket-weaving reed for sale. Am thinking of picking up a pound of the 3/16" flat oval and then just using the left-over cable ties from Pair of Bodies #1 for the two sort of wider, flatter bones on the front.

I cannibalized the skirt last night and cut out my pieces. I've already put one of the fronts together; it looks really nice. Am sewing boning channels right now. Awesomely, the 3/16" reed is exactly half the width of these cable ties so if I do buy it I can just sew another line down the middle of each channel thus effectively splitting them into two. Will have to rip out a bit to move over the allowance for the lacing holes but nothing serious. Thinking about pulling apart the waistband piece from the skirt into individual threads and doing the rest of the stitching with them; that way the whole thing would be linen, reed, leather and two lonely cable ties.

Perhaps after the pirate outfits are complete I will make something appropriately upper-class out of that corduroy Mum left me to wear over this effigy-style pair of bodies and do it justice. Bob knows there's no point in putting it under the green wool kirtle I might well make out of that wool I have and the rest of the burgundy linen. Of course if I do decide to go full-out and make something in the corduroy it will also mean I'll have to make all kinds of accessories including petticoats and foreparts and sleeves and ruffs and sleeve ruffs and an emboidered partlet and a damn Spanish farthingale. Maybe should wait until after wedding. Would fiancé mind terribly if I spent all wedding gift money on fabric?
slythwolf: Some unlucky soul has an incomplete Pai Sho set. (Default)
So I haven't yet finished the pair of bodies for the pirate outfit and I'm already planning a second one. I may in fact make the second one out of the same linen (I have several yards of it) and wear it with the pirate outfit--ssh! Don't tell my fiancé! I have drafted the pattern for it and corrected a lot of the problems with the first one, including adding length to the center front, subtracting width from the bust (I require squish factor), making fewer tabs, making properly shaped tabs, and not extending the tabs into the seam allowance (I'm smrt). I also plan to put each piece--left front, right front and back--together, bone it, and then slipstitch them all together before binding and poking lacing holes. This will A) eliminate the need to bind the lacing edges, B) be a period construction method, C) eliminate the need to poke boning through channels sewn across seams which is totally annoying, and D) actually be--if I am to believe the intarwebs--stronger than the other way.

In any case am definitely cannibalizing that linen skirt thing to make this second pair of bodies. I'm never going to wear that skirt thing. It's nice unbleached 100% linen and I shouldn't let it go to waste. Whether it becomes outer fabric, lining or interlining remains to be seen. If there is enough perhaps it will be all of the above.

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