Friday, March 21, 2014

HSF '14: Challenge 4- Under it All (or how I made my friends underwear...)

This post is coming unforgivably late for this challenge, even though the items were "completed" on time. I also have regrettably few pictures. To make up for that, however, I have three items for this challenge!

First up, I finally finished a shift for one of my friend Irene that I have been working on (on and off) for some time. I'm also in the middle of completing a pair of stays for her, but (as usual) have stalled out Now that I'm to the binding. It's just not a fun part of the process. Anyhow, here's the down and dirty on the shift:

Pieces cut and ready to be sewn. I used Sharon Burnston's
article on shifts for diagram and directions.

The Challenge: Under it all
Fabric: Lightweight linen I had in the stash
Pattern: Taken from Sharon Burnston's Shift Article
Year: 1770's
Notions: Linen thread from B&T
How historically accurate is it? Full disclosure- I feel great about it's cut. I hand finished the neckline and cuffs. The hem and body seams are done on a machine. Someday I will make her one that is fully hand sewn, but right now we're still trying to get her a solid kit made up somewhat expediently.
Hours to complete: 4-5 hours? I forgot to time clock this one.
First worn: Not yet.
Total cost:  All from the stash. =D And free to my friend. 

The next "undergarments" for this challenge are a little less complete, but still worthy of posting I think. 
Some of our friends in the Illinois Brigade invited us to spend the weekend with them in a cabin. They do this annually and bring along any little projects that need done before the season starts (and because it's nice to see each other before the spring thaw!) 
Eating... which we did a lot of that weekend!
Two of my friends from the Brigade wanted stays, but didn't know where to start. I thought this would be a great way for me to put to use my (somewhat rusty) skills from my amazing B&T class with Marc Hutter on stay making to draft some stay patterns for these two ladies! I'm sold on the idea that stays are so important and well fit stays make you love your stays instead of hate them! I am definitely not as good as MH is (duh!), but he is such a great teacher and I did my best to apply what he taught us. (Shameless plug- if you ever get a chance, go to a B&T workshop. You will not be disappointed. Seriously. Do it. They have grown me so much in my living history journey!) 
Anyhow- I ordered some linen from B&T, grabbed my trusty workshop folder, notes, my copy of Costume Close Up, Corsets and Crinolines,  L'Encyclopedie Diderot et d'Alembert: Arts de l'habillement, my roll of pattern paper, and Nat's head wrap (because I accidentally left my bandeau fabric at home!) and we were off on a stay making adventure.

Taking Miss Julie's Measure. That's Irene's
shift, btw! All done but for the cuff buttonholes.

Nat showing off his project (his musket) while I work on
patterning Liz's stays.
Even though I didn't get the stays finished (or even started, for that matter) I did get through the important first step. Next will be the partial assembly to test fit before I move on to channels. It was so nice to be able to get some practice in because I don't want to lose the info and skills I've learned from class. 
The Challenge: Under it all
Fabric: Pattern paper and coarse linen.
Pattern:  Taken from Costume Close Up and Corsets and Crinolines, then adjusted to measure.
Year: 1750's/1770's
Notions: How about my notes and handouts from class? I couldn't have done this without them!
How historically accurate is it? Pretty darn accurate. I applied the techniques I learned from my workshop and referenced the original patterns in CCU and C&C and my notes/handouts from class.
Hours to complete: Taking the measure was pretty quick (maybe 5-8 minutes?). It seems to me that I remember it taking longer when we did it in class- but we were also going step by step to really understand what we were doing. In fact, I was worried I'd missed a measure or something. Adjusting the patterns to the measure was a little more time consuming. Probably about an hour or so each. Granted, we were chatting, and the second time it went a little more smoothly because I had done it once already, but overall not bad.
First worn: Not yet.
Total cost:  Just the cost of the linen ($12 yd at B&T). Granted, I have to order some of their lovely worsteds for the outer layers, now. Yum!
All in all, while I may not have finished  a lot of wearable items, I did keep the HSF momentum going and got a good start on some solid foundations for some pretty cool cats. I can be satisfied with that.

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