Friday, June 6, 2008

1770s Underpinning

June 6, 2008

So, since the weather has completely foiled my attempts to get back on some of my anime cosplay (which required stuff to be spray-painted), I've decided to do something completely frivolous and probably pointless - a brand new set of 1770s undies. The last set I had, some 3 or 4 years ago, rusted and fell apart long ago. Granted, they were an exercise in thriftiness - the stays were from salvaged boning and fabric and the panniers were made from wire clothes hangers - so they shouldn't have been expected to last long. Still, thoughts of the Vampire Ball in New Orleans dance in my head, and that's just enough of an excuse (whether I end up going or not) to make myself something shiny.
After allot of research and digging, I've decided to make my panniers from the instructions on La Couturière Parisienne. They're absurdly easy and amazingly straightforward, so I'm confident that I'll get a good pair of sturdy panniers out of them.

As for the stays, I'm going to use Butterick B4254...I'm planning to do a "real" pair of stays with this pattern, and I thought that this would be a good opportunity to do a trial run. I'm a bit dubious, though. Butterick patterns never seem to do what they say they'll do, and always end up fitting strangely. Still, I'm willing to give Butterick another shot, so I'm crossing my fingers that my stays will turn out even remotely like the ones in the artwork.
I'm also using these stays as a chance to test out how well cable ties work for corset boning. If it turns out to support as well as steel (as many people claim it does) then I would be the happiest person in the world! No more spending tons of money on corset boning! But I'm not going to get ahead of myself.
I've found some old brown and gold brocade that I'm going to use for the stays. I found some white cotton that I'm considering using for the panniers, but it just doesn't seem like it would be sturdy enough. But, I'm trying not to buy any new fabric for a while, so I might go and dig through my fabric stash and see if I can come up with anything better. I'm aiming to have the panniers done by tonight, and the stays done before next Wednesday. Cross your fingers!

Edit : Okay, so I thought I was using the Butterick pattern that's above, but once I dug out the "real" stays, already cut out, I discovered that it was actually Simplicity 3635! While not as historically accurate as I would like, I think I can tweak the pattern enough to bring the final product up to standard. But, huzzah! It's not Butterick!

By the way, those panniers should be what mine end up looking like when they are finished, without the hassel of having to use a pattern. ^^

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