Thursday, July 11, 2013

Underthings - Go Big or Go Home

I originally started out a few weeks ago with a plan to finish my corset. A month later now, and it's evolved into something else entirely.

Upon pulling out my chemise and drawers to make sure everything was looking good together, I had a little voice inside my go, "Now would be a good time to tackle your to-do list." Part of that to-do list since last fall has been to make a new set of underthings for all my clothes.

My original set that I've been using for forever are part of what I refer to as that "Before I Knew Better" point of sewing. Meaning before I knew about sizing patterns to better fit me, before I knew what I lifesaver an overlock stitch can be, and before I knew about the differences between fabrics. Mind you, these are only a few of the newbie errors I made when starting out. 

So now I have some very worn looking underthings and it's more a result of bad sewing and multiple trips through the washer.

Original foundation garments used

Really bad insertion lace, but only stuff I could find at time
The original plan was to pull out my trusty Truly Victorian 102 Chemise and Drawers pattern and quickly make them up. Then I remembered some of the things I had made a note to change. Then I began looking through my Pinterest board collection of underthings for inspiration and to see what some of the originals looked like. Then I realized the difference between some of the periods of dress which enabled them to go under different outfits better. Then I realized that I have outfits spanning 1850 all the way to the 1910s, and a chemise in 1850 does not fit under clothes from 1910 the same way (trust me, I tried).

1860s Chemise
1910s Chemise

Meet my new project - outfit the closet with the appropriate underthings for my various costumes. Currently I have on order an Edwardian Underwear pattern and an updated Natural Form petticoat pattern, both from Truly Victorian, and I've dug out some patterns from my stash that have also been part of this to-do pile.

TVE02 Pattern
Ageless Patterns #1368

Right now I have the chemise mostly done and I plan on starting on the 1850s-1880ish drawers this weekend while I'm off. I also have this crazy idea of trying to get everything to match somewhat, so I've gone to the local fabric store and bought a few yards of new insertion lace and some lovely blue ribbon that matches the corset perfectly. We'll see how it goes.

Happy sewing everyone!

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