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.
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!)