Work has been intense, as is the eight-week class I've been taking. The third choir has gotten active again, because we've been asked to sing at a Big company banquet/ceremony late in April. The other two choirs are active, with one polishing up the new Spring music for that concert series, with the big spring show on top of it (and I'm in a big ensemble and a quartet); and the other choir, church, working on both Tenebrae and Easter music in addition to regular weekly stuff.
I love singing. Is that obvious? I even love rehearsal (usually) (unless we're singing a song that not only is Too Low, it Doesn't Get High Ever, because that destroys my voice). I don't think I could do this much singing if I didn't love it. And it recharges my batteries in a totally different way from all my other activities.
I don't have the time or energy for a big roundup of last weekend's Regency Bash yet, but I had so much fun! I didn't wear a new dress, but I did have a newly-trimmed bonnet that came out pretty much exactly as I hoped. And I dyed and trimmed my first pair of American Duchess shoes, the satin Highburys. I love how they look, too, so both projects will have a post.
In the meantime, I've gotten back to the stays. I'm one front away from finishing the boning channels! Most of the boning is already in, too. If you recall, I'm mostly copying these McCord stays, with the tape straps and the wavy stitching on the front.
I assumed the wavy parts were just cording, and I'd gotten frustrated with the difficulty of doing fine cording in wavy lines. When she was here, the_aristocat
said she thought that was boning (whalebone, in these) instead of cording. She suggested using round reed, soaked in water until it was very pliable, and running that through the channels. So I placed yet another order for reed (seriously, The Basket Maker's Catalog
has great variety, great prices, and FAST shipping) and experimented. It works! It works really well! When it's very wet the reed has a LOT of friction in the channels, but after the surface dries a little bit it's still pliable but slides without too much trouble. It takes 30-60 minutes to get each piece through the channel, so it's not fast, but it's certainly not impossible.
Now I need to mark the channels on the other front piece. That'll be fun, having to match the first one... Then it's just more sewing and fitting in reed. And also a lot of whittling, to get those front pieces of wide reed narrowed down really small at the tip.
And then on to the next step! Which may be dealing with the seam allowances, and then doing endless eyelets. Any ideas where to get a small cord for the front lacing? In the picture it looks about the size of perle cotton or regular crochet thread. Not terribly strong, but it would do, I guess.
I need to get these stays done, because they're not the most important thing for Costume College. I never expected them to take this long! I've been a lot busier this spring than last spring. :( Next is definitely the robe de style undies... which now I am ambivalent about. Weren't a couple people trying to do real 1920s-style girdles? And I need to figure out a pannier, I think. I want this look:
Not side hoops, and not an extreme pannier. More like this, perhaps, just smaller and shorter in proportion?
I'm scared of this part. :( It seems awfully hard to mock up, and so easy to get really badly wrong.