Posted on Friday, June 7th, 2013 at 10:02 pm
Posted in Blog, Costumes, Experiments | 2 Comments »
After the fluffy-white-tutu-athon of Les Sylphides, I decided that the best way to recover from all those tutus was … to make another tutu. The logic here might be a little sticky if you are not insane obsessive crazy a costumer, but after all those long fluffy white things, I wanted to try my hand at a proper platter tutu. And, happily, a fellow costumer from one of my theaters was willing to offer up her daughter as the victim of my first attempts… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Friday, December 23rd, 2011 at 6:23 pm
Posted in Experiments, Stephanie's Early Bustle Gown, Tips and Cheats | 10 Comments »
So I made a sedate little dress with just a teensy hint of a bustle for Stephanie last fall to go under this here little blue dress. By “a teensy little bustle”, I mean something that sticks out roughly 24″ behind her. You know, no bigs… So what’s going on under there?
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Posted on Sunday, March 6th, 2011 at 6:14 pm
Posted in Experiments, Research | 7 Comments »
I’ve been playing a lot with the Pfalzgrafin corset lately. One of the things I said in the original post was that this type of corset is rather uncomfortably on bodies that aren’t relatively straight, and is a total failure on more extreme hourglass shapes. But I wanted to make it work on Tyler, so I started thinking about two basic assumptions we make about corsetry: that the corset supports the bust, and that the corset has negative ease which allows it to reshape the body and make it smaller. What happens with the Pfalzgrafin block if we throw those assumptions out the window? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 at 12:38 am
Posted in Blog, Experiments | 8 Comments »
I’m totally obsessed with the Alcega farthingale. I mean, I’m always a little obsessed with it, because it’s sort of the great rock candy mountain for costumers, right? But I’ve been working on an eBook about drafting gored skirts for period costumes, and I thought I’d throw in a little bit of a redraft for the Alcega farthingale. Oh, silly me… I went back through some of my old notes (mostly questions, like “Why aren’t the gores at the same angle?!”), and I’m struck by how much there is to know about the darn thing. So I’ve been in obsessive research mode since yesterday evening, and I’ve learned some new things….
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Posted on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 at 9:24 pm
Posted in Demos, Experiments | 9 Comments »
So I was out trimming the privet hedge the other day, like you do (she says, sounding perfectly British about the whole thing) when I stopped to think, “Gee, I wonder if I could bone a corset with some of these clippings? I should give that a try…” So I did.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 at 11:56 am
Posted in Costumes, Experiments, Research | 9 Comments »
File this one under “possibly useful to some one, at some time, somehow”: this is a series of pictures of corsets I’ve made over the last several years. Each one shows me standing in profile, next to my dress dummy. This makes the changes in my shape imposed by each corset fairly obvious, and the pictures all together give you a pretty good idea what different types of boning and styles of corset can do for a girl. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Sunday, October 25th, 2009 at 11:31 am
Posted in Blog, Experiments | 3 Comments »
…but only if you really like pink.
Mom and I were in Milwaukee a couple weeks ago, and we stopped in to a fab little yarn shop called Just 4 Ewe. The owner, Jan, enthusiastically shared enough fiber tips and tricks to send my brain into complete and happy overload (while her dog, just as enthusiastically, kept trying to lick my feet). If you’re in the area, I strongly recommend the shop – but think carefully about your choice of shoes. Anyway, one of the things Jan recommended was using Wilton’s Past Food Colors to dye fiber. She showed me roving in a series of joyful pinks.
Now, I have some sort of crafter’s disorder that causes me to believe in absolutely every trick I see, read, or hear. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 at 2:52 pm
Posted in Experiments | No Comments »
In case there was any doubt in anyone’s mind, I love working
with leather. I think it can add a very sophisticated touch to a costume, and,
let’s face it, the number of people who do leather work is limited. I’ve been
wanting to try the reverse applique leatherwork technique shown in Patterns
of Fashion (in one of the men’s doublets – the one with the gillyflowers – I
forget whose that is) for several years now. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 at 2:51 pm
Posted in Experiments | 14 Comments »
I noticed a while back that most of the bodices in Alcega’s
book and several other period tailor’s books show a slight backwards S curve
at the front edge. That seemed like it would accommodate the bust and belly
a little, and I was feeling like being comfortable, so I decided to give it
a shot. I included a picture of what was left of the fabric after I cut the
pieces, because it looked surprisingly like bodice cutting diagrams shown in
period resources. The last picture is a boning diagram, just in case anyone
Results and Notes:The resulting corset was quite
comfortable, and gives a very nice line. I was pretty happy with it. I didn’t
get that terrible sinking feeling you can sometimes get from a heavily boned
corset with a straight front
Would I do it again?: Yes. In fact, I’m actually planning to repair the one I made (the boning wore through wool surprisingly quickly, much to my dismay). But, honestly, to do it right I’d have had to remake all of my bodices with a curved front, and that was like work. Not sure I’ll do that. Trimming things gets complicated.
Posted on Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 at 2:47 pm
Posted in Experiments | 2 Comments »
This is a corded effigy style corset. The idea of using cording
instead of a more normal boning belongs to Jen, who did a lot of research in
that direction in the course of her
Italien dress. The pattern for this corset more closely follows the actual
effigy corset than the effigy style corsets I have made in the past. The corset
is made of two layers of cotton broadcloth, and stiffened with hemp cord. Some
parts of the side back, which do not provide support to anything crucial, are
stiffened with jute packing twine (I ran out of hemp at an inopportune time).
Where hemp is used, there are two strands per channel. Where jute is used, there
Results and Notes:The corset provides more than adequate support,
as you can see above. It is also extremely easy to move and bend in (I can do
backbends in this), and does not seem to have any serious effects on my attempts to breathe. The effigy pattern is generally far less restrictive than the standard issue back lacing corsets that some people prefer, but the corded effigy seems even more so. The only problem that I have noticed so far is that the line of the corset deformed in the face of rather extreme heat and humidity, as seen
in the picture to the right. However, I should note that when I say, “rather extreme”, what I mean is that it was 97 or so at faire that day, and I was overheating in a big bad way, so I stuck a hose down the back of my dress and turned it on. Hemp seems to lose some of it’s rigidity when soaked through.
Would I do it again?: No. I don’t think I’m willing to
rely on just hemp for boning in the more rigid, later elizabethan styles like
the effigy. I will most likely make up another “working class” corset with the
boning running straight up and down, solely done up with hemp. I will probably
also try to do up an effigy boned with reed, which is significantly less floppy
than hemp cord.