February 03, 2015

Historical Sew Monthly 2015: #1 Foundations

I've always wanted to participate in the HSF but never had the time so when I saw the HSF changed to a monthly challenge for 2015 I thought I'd give it a go.

I'm slightly late in posting this but I did get it made in time, just wasn't able to get photos done until now! In the end I gave up on getting proper ones of it on so please excuse the slightly crappy iphone photos!

The first challenge fitted in nicely with my project list as I needed to make a bodiced petticoat to go under a Regency dress that I will making soon. I am quite small chested and didn't want to bother with stays so I hoped this would provide me with super-comfortable support.

 I reckoned the trick for me to getting some Austen era shelf-yness was basically to push everything from the bottom up with a few well placed darts until I got something resembling apples on a tray. And it worked! It was more reminiscent of breast binding than "lift and separate" but if it gave me some bosom to heave I didn't mind! And it is comfortable too.

I wanted it to be washable and very easy care so I didn't bother with any boning and just made it to button up the back. I did however use a layer of coutil as my lining in the bodice. I have to have it pretty snug to get the effect and didn't want the fabric to stretch. I found the coutil gave plenty of support and firmness to the bodice on it's own. I don't know if this was the best way of going about things but it seemed to work fine and everything stays in place. I am slightly wondering if I should have boned the back and laced it but worst comes to worst I can replace the back panel and do that. I wanted to be able to throw this in the washing machine so was hoping to get away with it without that.

The back of the bodice

I referred to Zip Zips tutorial in using the Sense and Sensibility regency pattern for making a bodiced petticoat with a few modifications along the way. I also referred to Your Wardrobe Unlockd's article on Regency petticoats. I had a lot of fitting to do to make it truly fit but now I should have a good base bodice pattern for all my future regency projects.

I also realised I can fasten it at the front and then swivel it around to the back and then put my arms through the straps and wriggle it up with a few adjustments so I can even dress myself to levels of decency before having to ask for help which is good.
I also included a few good sized tucks at the hem to help it hold it's shape and because I like the look of them :)

The Challenge: Foundations

Fabric: Cotton sheeting, coutil from the stash

Pattern: Based on the S&S regency dress bodice pattern and Zip Zips bodiced petticoat tutorial, with modifications

Year: The shaping is 1810-ish but could be used for earlier or later

Notions: Four buttons

How historically accurate is it? It's machine sewn and I'm not too sure if a bodiced petticoat was often used in place of stays but the general shape is pretty authentic I guess. Done as a quick job with a few time saving short cuts so not quite the neatest petticoat ever.

Hours to complete: This was something I picked up and put down many times and just worked on gradually but including fiddling around to fit the bodice and a few mock ups would probably take 6 or 7 hrs or so.

First worn: Other than dancing around my bedroom it has yet to be worn!

Total cost: Around €20

Gratuitous cat pic

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