Monday, September 29, 2014

Regency Curls Tutorial

A turban with some curly fringe is my go to regency era hairstyle. It's pretty easy, and doesn't take much work because all you really do is sleep with curlers, take them out and then bam! ready to go! The first two pictures is what my tutorial would have looked like if I had let the curls dry all the way before I took them out. The photos from the actual tutorial are at the bottom, and because several of the curls were damp, they got tucked up into the turban. :P I typically do a center part, because that seems to be what most fashion plates and paintings depict. I've done a side part before though, because I'm lazy, and partly because my hair just, like does NOT want to center part. :) 

So to start, part the front of my hair, from right behind me ears all the way across. 

Then I dampen it (don't soak! Or you will have damp curls by morning! lol) and add some gel and or mousse. I buy most all of my hair products at Walmart. 
my bathroom has horrible lighting. I'm sorry! 
Then I sectioned my hair into somewhat small sections to be rolled.

The foam rollers are from Dollar General, size "medium". They looked like size small to me, which was good. I'm not really sure there's a certain way I roll them...typically any which way, but I try to make them vertical so it will make ringlets. 

 Then I go to bed. When I wake up, I spritz the rolls with hairspray. Then I unwind them all and coat them with hairspray. I have like regular hairspray, and then the arisol kind. I don't favor one over the other and will use which ever one is closest.
 And then I wrap my wool scarf (it's a lovely soft lightweight scarf, I've got a red one, and then mama has an olive coloured one) around my head like a turban, and keep the curls out!


Monday, September 22, 2014

If you remember, earlier this year we blogged about the 1950's themed home school historical ball. It's a ball held every April, and we've attended two years in a row now. Last year we had the privilege of having Ruth and her sis and mum, and this year we will have one of her brothers :).  Just recently it was announced to us that the ball of April 2015 will be themed for the 18th Century, and we are beyond thrilled. And since we have a head start knowing the time period, we've all been planning and sewing! First project done is a basic shirt for my Dad. I will be making, um, 3 or 4 more for the other boys.

The shirt was SO easy. I could have finished it in an evening had I not lost my white thread. It ended up taking me about a week. Here's the link to the pattern I used. Or the instructions rather, since you don't really need a pattern to construct this shirt. It's made of a very fine lightweight cotton with a lovely drape, but not so drapey as to diminish the voluminous sleeves. I will be adding a stock? (The ruffly thing that fastens about the neck), and some fine lace to the sleeve cuffs at a later date.

sleeve cuff
underarm gusset
I put this a little lower than it was supposed to go I think, but it's a very pretty heart re-enforcement. 
neck gusset
back of shirt
And the hem was a selvage! beautiful :)
And my Edwardian corset lacks only the grommets. I have to make a trip out to Gastonia to get them, so it might be a little longer before that happens. 


Monday, September 15, 2014

TV's Edwardian Corset: Part II

Or sewing disaster. You choose.

Well before I go on to say all that has been wronged, go ahead and enjoy pictures of the corset that used to be *almost* finished! :) The only thing left was to put the grommets in, and floss the bones. And then I would have been done yay! It really is beautiful, and so much prettier in real life than in photos-it's glorious.
Total cost would have been $30, for EVERYTHING. :D I was so thrilled!

It's much too small for Madam, but you can kind of get the look of it upright :)

I'm very very glad I did not floss the corset yet though because I have to remake one entire half of it. I have to re-cut, re-sew, re-bone, re-trim, --start over from the beginning. It was an accident, but fyi, never let any brother near corsets, please just don't. I had been holding it up and showing Ann Marie my progress, when a brother of mine decided it would be helpful to grab a hold of the sides and "tighten" it for me to better show the corset. Before I had a chance to tell him not to, he had yanked both sides with such force in the spots where his fists were (NOOOOOOOOO) that it busted and ripped one of the seams. It happens to be a seam that had been trimmed, and clipped because of the gusset. Which means there is not enough seam allowance left to sew it back together. The topstitching is still in, as were the basting stitches on the actually fabric, but because of the trimmed neat edges of my seams there isn't anything to sew it back together with. And because I treated all the seams in this manner...I can't just replace those two peieces, I'll have to remake the whole half of the corset. Which is a grand bummer. I'm very depressed. 

I could, put like a re-enforced patch under the area, and sew it down. This would save me hours upon hours upon hours, and would be sturdy as it had been before, but it would look flawed. This corset has a LOT hanging upon it. Like a LOT. And it can't have issues like that. :/ Which also makes me grandly bummed. 

The hole and rip
But here was the update! 


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

TV's Edwardian Corset: Part 1

I know we use this blog for completed projects. And I like that, because it looks more clean and polished and organized that way. Especially since Bascha and I both write, and if we had two posters posting unfinished projects it could get a little hard to follow. Once I started this corset, I realized that this was going to be more material than one blog post could handle, unless it was a VERY long blog post. And it's still a very long blog post and the corset isn't even finished yet :P But I wanted to take all of these pictures to make, not a tutorial, but like a journal where you could follow along to see what I did and how I did it. I'm not saying I'm doing everything the right way (but hey, if I'm doing it wrong you can see it and tell me :)) but I just think it might be helpful for someone also making this pattern. And Edwardian does not seem to be a popular era among costumers.

I'm using Truly Victorian 1903 Edwardian Corset Pattern (TVE01), 1 yard of coutil ($10 off etsy! Originally from Richard the Thread), and 1 yard of a pale peach tinted pink silk ($6!) as a fashion fabric. 

Note: I made a mock-up out of men's dress pants before I began on the real corset. (free! from my Dad. They had a hole :P) ALSO: make sure it is cut ON THE GRAIN. I cannot begin to say how important this is to prevent unwanted stretching and bulging. I have known people to measure their grain line before cutting. I did not measure it, but I did line it up as best I could. 
cut two of the coutil, cut two of the fashion fabric
baste the fashion fabric to the coutil on all the pieces. Make sure you have them facing the correct way, because it matters!! I marked a T on the tops of all my pieces once I cut them out, and lettered them, SB for side back, CF for center front and so on. 
the gussets on this corset are SO easy!! I sewed one side of the gusset to the piece (pictured here is CF), leaving a half inch unsewed on the gusset.
showing the half inch left un-sewn on the gusset seam.
MF (middle front, lol) lined up to gusset and CF
Then you pin it to your gusseted CF and sew it down as if nothing happened.

Flawless. And durable too!
The corset progresses piece by piece. I found it easier to work on both halves at once, instead of finishing one side and then the other. I'm not sure it really matters though.

again, flawless gusset!! I was so happy about that :)
Then I ironed the seams to one side, and top stitched close to the seam. L has not been top stitched, R has.
close up of the top stitching. Basically you are sewing to keep the seam allowances in place.

Whole corset top-stitched!
Then you sew the back facing to the CB, and press it under. (You will be making boning channels). For my boning (hoop steel from a hoop skirt :D), I had to make channels a little larger than 1/4 inch. Most people can just use their presser foot to line it up for an exact 1/4 boning channel. I put one boning channel at the edge of CB.
Then measure 3/4 inch from the boning casing at CB and stitch. Then stitch a 1/4 channel next to that, and it will look like this picture ^^
Yay! It's beginning to look more finished. 
Lay front facing right sides to right sides on top of CF, on the L side of corset (in the photo). Working with the LOOP side of the busk, marking the holes where they will come through.
ignore the pin. I used pen to mark my sewing lines, 1/2 inch from the edge. After the lines are marked, sew on the marked lines, leaving the gaps unsewn. When you are finished, you fold the facing to the underside and push the busk loops through. 
busk inserted and pinned.
the holes
Using a zipper foot I sewed as close to the busk as possible making a nice tight channel. Then I stitched across under and above the edges of the busk to keep it in place.
This is a picture of the front facing sewn to the other side of corset.
lay the loop side over on the knob side of corset.
mark with a pencil or tool of the sort, through the loops, where the knobs will go when punched through. Mark them just over the edge, as far in as the knob busk has them set  it. (you can kind of see my pencil marks)
These are the tools I used since I do not have an awl. I used a size 8 crochet hook to punch the holes, some super sharp nipper things I found to snip a few threads, and fray check to finish it all off. Basically you have to make a hole big enough to just squeeze your knobs through. It's best to work one knob at a time.
This is the knob side of the busk pushed through. It's a struggle to get them through, but you don't want the holes to be too big!

Then stitch down with the zipper foot same as you did on loop side. The corset halves should line up exactly like so.
And that ladies and gents, is where I am right now with my corset. I'm making suspenders, binding and trim today, while I'm waiting for my bone casing tapes to arrive. I'll punch the grommets next time I go to Bascha's house since she has the machine :)