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Saturday, October 24, 2009

a post about pockets

So! About pockets! A bit of backstory for those of you who don't know:

In the 18th century, pockets weren't sewn into petticoats, they were more like bags that tied about the waist and went under the layers of petticoats. These pockets were often quite elaborately decorated, even though they were unseen.
I used leftover muslin from my stays to make my pockets (again, no linen for two reasons, low on cash and laziness, two of the primary characteristics of students). For the embroidery pattern, I did some research on different patterns and kind of picked a general idea of what I wanted based on what I saw on some of the websites. From that I sketched out a pattern and went for it! Again, I used old embroidery thread I had lying about... not exactly crewlwork, but I'm relatively satisfied with how it turned out. I needed a sort of brainless project to work on anyways, what with most of the brainpower going towards chemistry midterms... ugh. Anyway, I'm going out sometime this week to buy some linen tape to bind the edges up and finish everything!
Oh, started on the green petticoat this weekend... measure twice, maybe even three times, cut once. I always get kind of nervous when I'm cutting material. :/ So I put most of that together yesterday and got the front part pleated. I thought I'd finished pleating the back too, but in retrospect I am entirely dissatisfied with the results, so I'll probably end up taking it apart tomorrow after classes and fixing it the way I like it. If I feel energetic I'll hem the slits for the pockets and work on stitching on the tapes... Then comes the daunting process of hemming... ugh.... life would be easier with a dress dummy.
Mmmmk, bye!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Hey yall! I am quite pleased to announce that the stays project is basically finished, except for binding the edges, which can wait. This is a big deal because now I can FINALLY do the fitting for my robe a la Anglaise. :D :D :D anyway, I laced myself up this morning and took a few quick pictures, none of which turned out very well because my camera was dying. Eventually I'll take some proper ones.
Anyway, details on how I made them/ what I'd change if I did it again:
I used the Simplicity 3635 pattern, which, of course, I did not follow exactly. I had some unbleached muslin leftover from a regency dress I made a few years ago, which, even though I know it's not period-accurate, i used for the outer part and the lining. For the middle layer I used some pink cotton I'd been given. I know none of these are historically correct, but I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on this just in case it went horribly wrong, and I'd been given both of these fabrics so they cost me nothing.
There was a bit of a dilemma with the boning... the pattern called for 30 and 5/8 yards of boning, which upon further investigation, costs six dollars for a 5 yard package. Being a poor student who wasn't interested in spending this much, I don't think I need to say that I didn't end up buying it. Fortunately we found an alternative!!!!!! My dad works in the medical imaging business, and they buy boxes of contrast (a substance injected into patients so veins and stuff will show up better on images during an MRI). In the bottom of these boxes come these thick sheets of plastic, which upon being measured and cut into strips, work quite well as boning! What's even better is that I got them for free!! So thus far my project has cost me nothing and all I have to buy is the binding for the edges and some lacing. The whole thing is handsewn, including the eyelets, of which I'm quite proud.
If I had to do it again:

  • I would definately invest in the right materials. Reed boning, linens...

  • I would sew the boning channels first instead of as I went.

  • I would have practiced making the eyelets first... :/

  • I would have made the stays taller, as in longer. I underestimated my height.

Other than that, I'm quite pleased!

Ok, expect a post pretty soon on pockets. Yay! Also, leave a comment to tell me what you think and let me know if yall know any good substitutes for boning so we'll all know for future projects.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I suppose I should introduce myself, being new to this blog-y thing and all. I'm Sarah, and I'm a
homeschooler in my junior year of high school. I have been sewing for a few years now, and have lately developed an obsession with 18th century costume. Thus, I chose to join the handful of other 18th century bloggers out there! I'll be posting pics of current projects, ideas, and other good stuff, as well as adding posts about my past dresses and projects.
Thanks for reading!