Good news: I have plenty of 18th Century casual wear.
Bad news: None of it fits now that I'm five months pregnant. :p
Well, my petticoats will fit fine, but the jackets won't. And those stays that I've been working on for three years? They definitely won't fit. What I need is maternity stays! Yes! That's totally a thing!
I first learned about the existence of maternity stays back in 2013 when I was just starting out at the Costume Design Center at Colonial Williamsburg. In October we had the annual CDC Open House, which was a lot of fun to be a part of, and on one of my breaks I went around and took pictures of all of the displays of costumes and accessories. One of the displays was a set of maternity stays, and I was fascinated by them:
So that's underpinnings sorted. What's next? Well, I have a jacket that I cut out last year and never put together:
It's a zone-front style, so my thought was that it would look totally natural to add a stomacher of the yellow linen inside the center front edges to make up the extra space needed. Also, the linen is the EXACT same color as this beautiful lightweight wool I recently bought from The Homemade Historian:
I can make a petticoat from the wool, and after I've had the baby I'll make an English gown from the rest, and have two ensembles! Bonus - I can do the other side of the linen stomacher in the wool, and have it work for pregnancy now and normal wear later!
I cut out the stomacher, but before I started to sew it up I realized that I could save time by simply adding a stomacher to any of my three existing jackets, and then I wouldn't have to assemble a jacket OR make a petticoat from scratch. Duh!
Here are the three jackets I already have:
|1785 Block-printed Jacket|
Here's how it looks on Elsa, padded up to approximate my expanding figure:
Not bad, eh? There's just one problem, which I realized after sewing the stomacher together. This jacket has long sleeves, and the workshop involves making mitts, which need to be fitted to my arms up the elbow! The sleeves are too tight to roll up, so back to square one.
This is when I remembered the existence of the Green Swallowtail Jacket, and while it doesn't excite me, it will do in a pinch. I think I'm going to attempt to make the new yellow ensemble, because that's more fun, but if time runs out (remember I still have those maternity stays to make!) I'll whip up a quick green stomacher and wear the Green Jacket as plan B. If time REALLY runs out and I don't have time to even make another stomacher, I'll use 1785 Jacket as plan C.
Ok, back to sewing boning channels!