Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Year of Foundations: Intro And Sign-Up

It looks like there's a fair amount of interest in my Year of Foundations challenge for 2014, so I'm going to go ahead and make it an official sew-along!  This is the first one I've ever attempted to orchestrate, so bear with me as I muddle through this.  :p


First of all, what is the Year of Foundations?  Quite simply, it is a commitment to creating/assembling one complete set of historical undergarments in one year.

I've decided to keep it rather simple to encourage you to join without feeling overwhelmed.  I'm not going to have any sort of set schedule of deadlines, as your personal goals for this challenge will be different from mine.  I will talk about my own goals in my next post.

Let's define foundation garments.  I have broken it down into categories, with the objective being to complete at least one from each category in order to assemble a complete set of foundations.

#1 - Basic Undergarments


This should be the very first layer of any historical costume, a basic T-shape composed of rectangles and triangles.  Depending on the time period, you can call it a smock, shift, or chemise.  Basic undergarments can also include drawers/pantaloons.  

#2 - Bodice Supports


Whether it's a pair of bodies, stays, half-stays, or a corset, every historical bodice from the Renaissance through the Edwardian era requires support and structure to create the proper silhouette.  

#3 - Skirt Supports


Bum rolls, farthingales, hip pads, panniers, pocket hoops, crinolines, bustles - all those lovely wide hips and giant rumps!  The shape of fashion wouldn't be the same without them, and they all conspire to make our waists look smaller.  ;)  

#4 - Petticoats


Petticoats are essential for hiding the bones of your skirt supports and adding extra "floof" at the hem.  You can add as many as you want to give your skirts all the fullness they deserve.  

#5 - Legwear (Optional) 


Hose/stockings and garters could also be considered accessories, but I am counting them as undergarments for the purpose of this sew-along.  After all, a proper lady would never go without them!  (Fortunately for those of us who do not knit, American Duchess stocks everything from 18th-Century silk stockings to vintage nylon seamed stockings!)  


So to participate, all you need to do is challenge yourself to assemble one complete set of foundation garments in the coming year.  You can start from scratch if you're new to historical costuming (like me) and have no proper old-time undies yet - or if you're interested in expanding to a decade of style that you previously haven't explored.  If you are an experienced costumer you can use this year to complete or replace your existing foundations wardrobe.  You can be as ambitious as you want.  Make one pair of embroidered garters or make several full sets of undergarments from different time periods!  It's up to you.  

Leave me a comment with the details of your personal Year of Foundations goal(s):  
  • Time period of focus
  • Number of garments to be made
  • Any inspiration or patterns you wish to share, etc.  
Add the Year of Foundations icon on your own blog, and link back to this post.  


I'll make a list of the participants on my Year of Foundations page, where I'll have links to helpful resources and tutorials as well as all of my posts on the challenge in the coming year.  

(Also, if you have any advice on running a sew-along or if you think of anything that I've missed, feel free to let me know!)  

Friday, December 20, 2013

No New Fabric Challenge - November Recap

11 1/2 months down - two weeks to go!


I know I'm a little late with this recap, but that's because I've been busy working on next year's challenge (among other things)!  But more on that later.

Monday, December 16, 2013

2014: Year of Foundations

Looking back over 2013, I realize that the main thing holding me back from making many of the gorgeous historical gowns I have planned is the fact that I have none of the proper foundation garments for them.  In 2014 I plan to change this.  I'm calling it the Year of Foundations.


My main goal is to complete one full set of historical undergarments from each of at least two time periods in one year.  Should be doable, yes?  Luckily for me, A Damsel in This Dress just posted a fantastic overview of period-correct undergarments from Medieval through Edwardian, and a guide to wearing them properly.  I would definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you are also interested in making 2014 a Year of Foundations!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Winter Wonderland ...Sort Of

Two weeks ago Brian the Engineer and I set out to Williamsburg to do a photo shoot for the American Duchess photo contest.  It turns out it's hard to come up with photos that resemble "winter" in Virginia, but we did our best.  It was hard to narrow it down to one entry!  This is the one I ended up choosing:


More photos after the break:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

18th Century Mitts in Progress

After Thanksgiving dinner, I had a sudden urge to get to work on some wool mitts.  I had planned on making them as part of my Christmas card outfit.  I was especially motivated to get them done after spending a few chilly hours in CW for a photo shoot without them!  I had my beautiful muff to keep my hands warm, and my nice wool-lined cloak to protect me from the wind, but of course the cloak doesn't stay closed very well and there was nothing covering my forearms.  So I resolved that the next time I go out in 18th Century clothing in the winter, I'm going to have some mitts!

Let me in, my forearms are cold!  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Day of the Doctor!

As an avid Doctor Who fan, I was of course very excited about the 50th Anniversary episode.  Brian the Engineer and I made plans to go see it in 3D on Monday when it was showing in theatres, so I had to make a costume to wear!  I had started an Amy Pond Kiss-o-gram outfit for Halloween two years ago, but never finished it.  

My inspriation
Basically I had assembled all the parts I needed, but never got around to putting it all together.  

Everything I purchased for the costume
I got the hat and the police belt (separately) at a Halloween store, the checkerboard fabric from Joann's, the tie from Hot Topic, and the Amy Pond ID card at a Star Wars convention last year.  I already had a suitable skirt and white blouse, plus a black blouse that I never wear, to make into the vest:  

I got my mom to embroider the "police" patch on her embroidery machine.
I removed the collar and sleeves and bound the edges with bias tape turned to the inside.  I also took the darts out of the front of the blouse, since it was a little tight over the white blouse.


I hated the flashy silver binding and cheap rhinestones on the utility belt and pouches, so something had to be done.

Yay seamripping!  It looks better already.  
Then I made new pouches from some black vinyl in my stash.  I was in a bit of a hurry, so no pictures of the progress on that.  I also cut strips of the checkerboard fabric for the hat and vest.  

And here's the completed costume:  


I told Brian he could be the 9th Doctor, but we have the wrong screwdriver.  

The anniversary episode was awesome, and I had so much fun hanging out with a whole theatre full of Doctor Who fans - many of whom were also in costume!  

P.S.  Message from Jazz:  sxzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz011111111111111111111111111"
(She walked across the keyboard.)