Pocket Hoops + Petticoats

A couple more pieces from what I wore on Halloween…

Pocket Hoops:

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I used this panier-along tutorial for the entire process which was very easy to follow and quick to make. I spent an evening preparing for the project, deconstructing an old pillowcase so I could use its fabric and drafting the pattern pieces out of ads from the newspaper.

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I cut out the pieces right before going to bed and had it all done by noon the next day. It was such a quick project that I didn’t think to stop along the way to take progress pictures but here you can see them right after they were finished. I strung them on a length of white cord and tied them around Barbara so I could start measuring for the petticoats.

The tutorial pointed out that adding slits was optional. I chose to add them and spent a lovely day being able to carry all of my belongings around with me and stockpile candy to hand out to the kids.

 

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The tutorial suggests using basket cane for boning which I’d never had any experience with. Shopping around a bit online, I purchased what turned out to be a rather large quantity (750 feet!) of 2.25mm round basket reed. I tried to balance price against diameter but one strand of it was too thin to provide much support.

To counteract that, I used ten pieces of cane bundled together in each boning channel. Ten pieces together were definitely strong enough to support the hoops and my skirts atop it all.

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Fabric: Blue, 70/30 linen/cotton blend (recycled from an old pillowcase)

Pattern: Drafted using this panier-along tutorial 

Year: 18th century

Notions: Thread, cane, cord to tie around my waist

How historically accurate is it? Accurate fabric content, though it’s a blend which I’m guessing knocks it down a few pegs. Partly hand-sewn.

Hours to complete: 3-4 hours.

First worn: Halloween 2015

Total cost: Fabric ($0), cord ($1), cane ($13) = $14 total.


Under & Outer Petticoat:

To make both petticoats I followed this 18th century petticoat tutorial. Another quick and easy guide to follow, I had them both done in a little over 24 hours. Honestly, the part that took the longest was just hemming all the fabric!

They’re both pleated onto bias tape which tie in the front and the back, leaving slits down the side of each side seam long enough that I can access the pocket hoops underneath.

Fabric: White cotton, green and blue synthetic something-or-other

Pattern: Drafted using this 18th century petticoat tutorial

Year: 18th century

Notions: Thread and bias tape

How historically accurate is it? Accurate with regards to cut and shape. Not so much the fiber content, color (?), or use of the machine

Hours to complete: 5-6 hours altogether

First worn: Halloween 2015

Total cost: Fabric (~$15), tape ($0)= $15 total.


Stockings:

As a bonus I wanted to make mention of what I used as stockings that night. If I’d have had more time I would have liked to make a set of stockings and garters but this fell to the wayside and I had to scramble on the morning of.

At first I had thought to not wear anything on my legs but it was too cold that day. My next thought was to wear tights but I was wary of how that would turn out with stays. I remembered a blog post that I had read awhile back (I can’t find its link for the life of me!) where a lady cut the legs off her tights and used them as 18th century stockings.

She suggested cutting them off as far up as you could go, leaving a bit of the different (“control top”) fabric at the top to keep them from unraveling and rolling them down. She had luck with them staying so I thought to give it a try!

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I chopped up a pair of pink tights that I hardly ever wore. They rolled right down to my knees and stayed there the whole night. I made a pair for my brother to use as well though he had a harder time keeping his up. He didn’t want to roll them down as his pants pulled up a few inches when he lifted his legs or sat so he just tried to keep them pulled up.

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Mine were pretty muddy and stained by the end of the night. It rained some that day and I walked through a few puddles around the neighborhood. I hadn’t realized that the green dye from the shoes I made would run. The stain didn’t lessen at all with washing so I guess they’re  now a pair. The shoes held up great, though!

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18th Century Stays (HSM #10)

October was a whirlwind of sewing projects, one right after another, in preparation for Halloween. I started sewing for tonight back in January but, like it always seems to happen, everything bottlenecks in this month. In the past few weeks I’ve made almost a dozen garments so I figured that at least of them would fit for this challenge. Haha.

The prompt, Sewing Secrets, was a rather clever one. I was really eager to participate in it, though I had a hard time coming up with anything overtly secret to make. Thinking on it, though, I realized that the stays that I made for myself had a few secret things about it, however small.

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They’re made from Butterick 4254 View A — with a few adjustments. I’d made a pair of stays for my sister from the same pattern over the summer so I had a good idea of how the pattern, without any adjustments, would fit me. So, to make mine, I raised the top three inches and cut two inches off both back pieces. I improvised the boning pattern.

The garment, in and of itself, is a secret one. It’s meant to be hidden under my outer layers so not many people will ever see it.

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It’s made up of three layers of cotton duck and one layer of a turquoise synthetic I’ve had forever. One of the secrets in this garment is a busk. I cut about fourteen inches off of a yard stick and rounded the edges (using nail files – I lost my sandpaper!) so that it would fit nicely down the front of my stays. In the past, busks were often intricately carved and decorated and they made great gifts from one’s lover! Sadly, mine is plain but it’s a fun secret addition.

Secondly, I also like to think of the color scheme as a secret. I picked fun colors, not worrying about staying too accurate, and I had fun with the ribbons at my shoulders. The bright pink goes well with the turquoise and ended up matching the flowers I wore in my hair tonight!

I posted a few in-progress shots in my instagram, so you may have seen it along the way.

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Final view. Please excuse the smudges. A pirate wench can’t be too clean. 🙂

I reduced my waist about 4 inches tonight, pretty much the max that I could do and still be comfortable. It takes forever to lace – I guess I put in too many holes – and the string I have to use is absolutely gigantic. About 12 yards long. Eep. I used zip ties and duct ties for boning and I would call the stays fully-boned, although there are a few small gaps here and there.

The Challenge: Sewing Secrets (HSM #10)

Fabric: White cotton duck (1 yard), turquoise synthetic (1/2 yard)

Pattern: Butterick 4254

Year: 18th century (early-mid)

Notions: Off-white quilting thread, off-white bias tape, black grommets, duct ties, cable ties, yard stick (busk)

How historically accurate is it? Fairly. Except for the fact that it’s largely machine-stitched. It’s hard to put a percentage to it.

Hours to complete: 10 days.

First worn: Today!

Total cost: Cotton duck ($6), blue synthetic (stash), cable ties (stash), duct ties ($5), yard stick ($3), bias tape (stash) = $14 total.

I am really really happy with how these turned out. I’d made a pair of very lightly boned stays over the summer, but this was in a completely different league. So much intricate sewing and detailing went into the garment and I put a lot of effort into adjusting the pattern to fit me better. I feel like I’m getting a lot better at making adjustments, which is excellent. In all, I have some that will make me happy to wear, even if no one else can see it. 🙂

Happy Halloween!!