Ooh...

11 June 2015 05:56 pm
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I just got an email from the Tudor Tailor, with a pre-order form for any books and patterns, to be delivered at Costume College. No shipping cost, and 10% discount.  I got the Tudor Tailor book last year, after seeing [profile] reine_de_coudre's awesome 16th century stuffs, and pretty much fell in love.  It's definitely in my longer-range costuming plans to try this out.

Advise me, LJ!  What patterns/books do you recommend?! :D
nuranar: (details)
These are pretty much the same sleeves as of my 1790s curtain along dress, and they were surprisingly tight and hard to bend my arm in because of the lining. In that case, the curtain fabric was a sturdy cotton sateen, and the linen lining was a rather nice not-too-heavy piece that's all gone. In this case, my white taffeta is lightweight but of course not flexible, and the midweight linen I've got left is definitely heavier than it.

I'm thinking I need to line the sleeves; raw edges just doesn't seem right. Alternatives to the heavier linen are some lighter-than-hankie linen gauze stuff that's very soft, but it does match the weight of the taffeta; and various lighter cottons, which come to think of it might be reasonable to use in a high-fashion gown like this. And this is just for sleeves; I do want the sturdy linen to stabilize the bodice itself. Thoughts?

My goal is to cut out tonight (easier said than done, because I need to noodle skirt lengths and how in the world I'm going to cut the front panel), and to assemble most of the pieces to each other.
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
Do you have a scalloped fabric punch that I may borrow? I've been searching and it looks like once again, no one is selling them. I'll pay shipping both ways, if you can pop it into the mail!

This is brought on because I've been studying the Jesuit/Brunswick pictures again. I'm seeing a lot of variation in the fronts; a few clearly button, and a few clearly have a jacket/vest type construction (not always the ones with buttons!), and quite a few seem to have solid fronts with a CF opening. The height of the front can be either low or high to the neck, and more than one appears to fasten to the neck but is worn open for a formal portrait.  For trimming, self-fabric trim is by far the most common; one may have fly fringe in the same color as the gown, and one has white gauze on the dress. Contrasting hood linings aren't unusual (either in white or another color). And a good number have white or light-colored frills at neck and/or partially down the front opening and/or at the wrists.

Back to the self trim: Mostly it's in vertical lines down the bodice, either straight or serpentine. Those with the skirt visible often have a straight line of trim down the edge of the gown. (I remember only one gown with visible skirt/petticoat trim more extensive than that.) The lines seem to be more vertical and less curvy the later the portrait is; and of course the sleeve ruffles get a little smaller.

My sprigged fabric is, I think, more typical of an earlier decade; the motifs sort of line up, but there's really no stripe element like the in the 1770s. Since the Jesuit was more popular in the earlier years, I'm going to pretend this was an earlier garment (older fabric, lots of trim) - say, my mother's - that I've updated with a less flamboyant trim design and freshened with new ruffles.  And a bigger hood, maybe... I could use some other fabric on the back of the petticoat and pretend I used it to make a bigger hood for the fashionable 1780s hair. And trimmed it with excess trim from the gown itself. ;)

But anyway, it would be way easier and way prettier if I can do this trim with a scalloped punch. I understand that the punching doesn't take long; I'd just need to know how many strips and how wide to make them, so I won't be quite ready tomorrow. ;)

Anyone?
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I finished all the channels in the first back piece of the stays. And I JUST now realized that when I outlined it, I forgot to leave enough allowance at the center back to fold under and make eyelets through all 6 layers of material! >:(

Anyone have any ideas? I have about 3/4" seam allowance; at the smallest point it gets to the middle of the row of eyelets. Can I fix this? Or do I need to start over and cut more pieces and sew two more sets of channels?
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)

... use double or single 1/2" flat oval reed in the center front and center back of the stays? It's quite sturdy as just one layer, and two pieces are about .25 inch thick.

nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)

... AKA I have more questions about stays. :)

Digression: I feeling like I'm coming across either super needy/ignorant, or super perfectionist. I honestly don't feel either way. I just had a pretty rough time with my first set of stays. So now as I'm identifying the specific parts that I do struggle with, and asking for information on those when necessary.  I haven't asked about fitting or hand sewing, for example (except for thread and needles), because I know what to do there.

I cut out the "blobs" of fabric for all layers except the innermost lining. They probably weren't blobbish enough - didn't I mention I'm fanatical about Saving Fabric? - but there's no less than 0.7" seam allowance anywhere.  Then from the scraps I put together a couple of samples, trying out both marking with chalk and using different channel widths.  Based on that, I penciled in the caning layout on the pattern pieces. It's a mix of the inspiration (adjustable tape strap stays from McCord) and [profile] the_aristocat's 1780s stays. I love the look of the McCord stays, but the layout for some pieces really depends on single pieces of flexible whalebone instead of caning. Also, my caning is pretty lightweight, so I didn't want to err on the light side.

I ended up with a layout that I really like, and I'm confident will work. I have some lingering concerns about my caning, including channel width, plus how to use chalk.

You who use chalk, how do you make sure it's perfectly accurate? I'm using a piece of blue tailor's chalk and any one of several standard rulers.  In my experience, channel width is vital: too tight, and I'm bending and breaking my caning trying to get it in; too loose, and the stays lose stiffness. 1/16" or 1/32" can make a difference.  Besides that, chalk by definition does not make a sharp line. Or only does if you sharpen it every few lines.  And third, you can't draw RIGHT next to the edge of a ruler. I may think I've drawn 4 1/4" channels, but the total width of the channels measure 1 1/8" or more instead of exactly 1".   I have a narrow, very thin clear ruler that helps, but the constantly-increasing width of the chalk still throws it off.  The marks are still visible, but I used a mechanical pencil for marking on my first stays and it was accurate. How do you get accuracy?

First thing. I wanted the narrower caning, so I ordered 3 mm half oval. It's the perfect width; but also rather lightweight. I think several of you have whittled down wider caning, but I have ZERO interest in doing that. My test swatches indicated that it was sturdy when in rows of two or three, and slightly moreso when the channels were a smidge under 1/4" instead of a full 1/4". (I also quickly bent the first pieces of caning trying to insert it into that swatch.) But I'm still wondering if I should do something else. But what?  I'm trying not to get derailed into the "caning was the poor woman's material" discussion, because I'm not trying for whalebone, I won't use plastic, and I need stays.


... and on another note, I've figured out how to schedule LJ posts! All you have to do is adjust the date and/or time before you post, and it WILL show up on the friend's list appropriately.
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
At least good enough! I re-drew the side pieces (ironically not on the actual side seam) to take out 3" in the waist and 2" at the upper edge. The mockup was too snug to pin, which was as it should be; but pulling it with my hands, it looked just about right. (How's that for non-scientific evidence?) I did manage to loop a tape measure around and the waist looks like it's in the right range. And all of this is allowing for a 2" lacing gap, so I have room to play with.

The one thing I'm changing is moving the strap points at the front inward by 1". Taking out width at the underarm moved those enough that they were definitely uncomfortable. Moving them shouldn't affect the overall look much at all.


So what's next? I need to trace off clean patterns and cut out the actual fabric. Which brings me to some questions.  I studied [profile] the_aristocat's 1780s stays page extensively, both for general silhouette and for construction detail. I got most of it, but there are some questions left, either for her or anyone else who has ideas. :)

1. Each piece has a seam allowance; it looks fairly wide. Is 3/4" about right?

2. She outlined the pieces through all layers of fabric. Great! But how do you get the boning in after the channels are done? Carefully rip out the outline stitches?

3. Most important: Is the seam allowance on all 4 edges of all pieces? This picture perplexes me; it looks like the armhole seam allowance has been cut away, assuming it's the same piece as in the earlier picture. At what point is that done?

4. She says, "Then I turned under the seam allowances and whip stitched them down." Are those just the seam allowances? What about the edges at the top and the tabs? When are those trimmed and (presumably) whip stitched so they don't get ragged and the boning comes out? Or are they turned under as well, like a self binding?

5. And finally, the binding. This is one of my blind spots: I've had a terrible time figuring out how to do binding. On the example stays, the binding is silk grosgrain. Is that like regular silk faille? Or is it actual ribbon? Either way, how do you sew the binding to the stays on the outside, without running into the boning? And how big a "seam allowance" should I go for? The narrower, the easier it is to turn the corners on the tabs; but my previous experiences have all had very ravel-y fabrics with boning trying to escape. Just a nightmare.

Help? I need to know about the seam allowance, at least, so I can make the patterns and cut things out.
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
It may matter that I'm going to try for the McCord stays, so these will not be fully boned.

Help!

10 October 2013 04:17 pm
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I'm about to place an order for a bunch of stuff from B&T, but I'm waffling on one thing. I'm planning some new 1780s stays. Would it be terrible to make them out of three layers of regular linen (two inner plus thin outer) instead of using canvas? I know that Linda was super helpful last time I had this dilemma, selling me some canvas out of her own stash. But I don't want to wait; I want to order now! :) Or I can use cotton drill, as I did for my 1790s transitional stays; but the earlier I go, the more leery I am of using utilitarian cotton.

Advise me!
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
Question. The c. 1795-1805 bib front dress in Janet Arnold (POF 1) has "worked loops" at the back waist to keep the ties up where they belong. See page 52.  What are these?

I've made thread loops before, by knotting over other strands of thread, but that is not how these loops are drawn. They aren't terribly sturdy, either.  I need loops on the red wool dress, but I'm 90% sure that one or more thread loops would pop off or break the first time I wore it. Opinions?
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I'm thinking about getting my hair cut pretty short (at least for me). Opinions?

This is my hair right now. It's probably as long as it's been in five or six years, since before I really tried to do vintage hairstyles.

DSC06155 - cropped
No curling; just air-dried overnight.

DSC06156 - cropped
Rag curlers, after letting it out and finger-combing. Length really isn't visible from the front.

But when I was organizing some of the pictures on my computer this week, I was struck by how cute my hair looked in some of them. These were from the summer/fall of 2010, and I think the shortest my hair has ever been. And I thought it looked really, really cute.

DSC02600

DSC02604 - cropped

DSC02759 - cropped


Whatever cut I have, it...
* Must be long enough to pull back off my ears.
* Doesn't have to be styled daily. (Like long side-swept bangs that need ironed every day.)
* Needs to frame my face and allow for height at the top/sides to balance my very square jaw.

My hair is mostly coarse, just wavy enough to be frizzy, fairly strong, and medium in thickness. It holds most curl well, except for heat now that it's so long.


Longer/ish Hair (bra strap or longer, minimal shaping)

DSC06069

Pros
* I like the feel of it on my back/arms.
* I like the pride (yes, pride) of knowing it's long.
* More visual impact (for others).
* Having the length for (occasional) experimentation, as at the Georgian picnic.
* Making a real bun with it.
* Long braids.

Cons
* It's too long to really style. It's been too long for hot rollers for a year; they only straighten it. Rag curls are okay, but when they work my hair doesn't look long anymore, and when they don't work it's just strange.
* It's not long enough to be awesome. My hair was 2" below my waist until I was a sophomore in college. If I'm going to have long hair, I want LONG hair.
* It's very hard to do vintage styles that aren't updos. And updos aren't the most flattering for me, besides making me look older.
* It's not necessary for historical hair, with the possible exception of blending into tall Georgian hair.
* Most of these days I'm just twisting it up, and that's not particularly interesting.


Shorter Hair (below shoulders in back, shaped to or above the shoulders in the front/sides)
DSC02614 - cropped
(sewing picture, but it shows the length in back)

Pros
* More face framing/feels cuter
* Easier to curl, whether wet or heat
* Vintage hair
* Less to hide when using hairpieces for historical

Cons
* Loss of the "long hair" pride
* No real braids or buns
* No going back if I regret it. It's taken 2.5 years to get my hair back to where it is now.


Obviously I'm really leaning toward the shorter cut. I would get it in the same vintage-shape I have now, basically an elongated U with short sides, and very little layer.

But I'm willing to listen to arguments either way! What do you think? Cut it or keep growing?
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (scowl)
This is kind of a weird/obvious thing, but it's been bothering me for some time.

How is the skirt attached to the bodice?

For comparison, in 1860s, the bodice waist is totally finished with either a waistband or piping, sewn down. Then the top of the skirt is folded down, and gathering or gauging stitches run or pleats set, then the folded edge is whipped to the bodice waist edge.

I keep poring over my 18th century references. There's some variety in how the bodice seams are sewn, and it LOOKS like the skirt can be folded down (almost?) all the way around, part of the way, or not at all. But what I can't see is what is done with the bodice waist. The seam allowances are completely invisible.

I might assume that they're just turned in to each other, finishing off the bodice. But that only works if the bodice has a bag lining. The variety of seaming techniques still keeps the fashion fabric and lining attached to each other at the waist, keeping the seam allowances visible.

Grr, this is so frustrating! Any hints?
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
http://www.just2tailors.com/index1.php?category=Accessories.Acorn_Tape_Measure

Is it appropriate for the 18th century, or any period at all? If it's automatically rewinding I'm sure not, but wow... it would be lovely for a sewing box. Could pass for something else when not in use.

Question

29 June 2012 02:44 am
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
Late 18th century petticoats. 1780s and 1790s in particular, but also earlier decades. Something Jen said some time ago has me wondering:

* Are there any examples of patterned (striped, motif'd, plaid, barred, etc. whether woven/embroidered or printed) non-quilted petticoats worn with UNmatching gowns or jackets?

Also, when glancing for a color to trim my pink wool with, I saw a LOT of fluffy white petticoats. Would these have to be opaque, or worn over another white petticoat? Or is it okay or even a fashion element, as in later decades, for a different color to shadow through?

I'm really curious! Not committed either way, yet, but I'm trying to plan ahead instead of getting started and THEN deciding to do research. :p
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (oops)
I fell in love with a fabric from Carolina Calicoes, and tempted by the relatively cheap price, I finally got a bunch of it. I'm trying to continue my forays into the 18th century. So mostly I'm treating this dress as a pretty one that lets me get more experience in 18th-century styles while not having (self-imposed) expectations of super-accuracy for every single feature.

This is the fabric:


I called it rose pink. What does it look like to you?

It just arrived today, and it's definitely peach. A light-colored not-orange peach, but I sure wouldn't call it salmon.  And while I can get away with most colors, peach does very little for me. Particularly when compared to what rose pink does do.

Other than that, it feels like a nice-quality home dec print, so a bit heavier than I expected, but it would have a nice drape for the overskirt I was planning to do. It's not polished, either, but it does have a sheen. I was planning to wash it to see if it will soften a bit, and also to get out the slight cigarette smell. :( (I understand the owner has had it in stock for quite a while.)

So. I'm feeling a bit meh about this. It was to be worn at Costume College on Saturday, and also for the Georgian Picnic in November. But while I don't hate it, it's definitely not what I had in mind!

Any ideas? Or is anyone interested? I know there are a lot of people on my f-list who make peach look smashing, so I thought I'd ask. It was originally $6/yard, but I'm interested in offers. I don't need the money so much, but it makes me sad to see it. :(

ETA: I can definitely add pictures of it, too! Close up, and draped, etc. And this is the dress that gave me the inspiration. Nothing ground-breaking, but I'm still taken by it. :)

nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
To those who know - can you point me to the latest and greatest info on the bliaut? I know there's some stuff that's been out there for ten years or so, but I think I remember seeing some new research/experimentation in the last few years. Of course I didn't bookmark anything. Help?
nuranar: (sewing)
I'm cutting up an old wool skirt into a 1940s skirt. Right now the layout is giving me fits, even with piecing to give a yoke effect on the front pieces.  The original skirt is a two-gore flare, cut on the bias. It would make life a lot simpler if I didn't have to lay all the pieces out exactly on the straight of grain. What horrible things would happen if it wasn't precisely on?  The fabric is a wool blend, fairly sturdy and tweedy.
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (worry)
Status, shall we?

1. 1940s playsuit

Done! Except for the hem in the skirt, and that I need my mother to mark for me. She hates marking my hems, so that might take a while. ;)

I've also got my eye on some white-frame sunglasses. I like my yellow celluloid ones with blue lenses, but the white ones would be particularly right for this outfit.
And I've got a good straw hat as well. I might replace the much-faded scarf with something else.  Anyone got a scrap of white chiffon or an old scarf they want to get rid of?


2. Star dress

- Overskirt (organza) and underskirt (taffeta) cut out and in the assembly process.
- Bodice cut out and ready to begin assembly.
- Sleeve mockup made and approved, with minor modification. Need to make final pattern.

I need to:
* Finish the sleeve mockup
* Order more organza for sleeves; I have a yard left for for the bertha.
* Order Dresden foil stars. That means I need to decide on the final design. I won't attach them until I get to California, though; either at [livejournal.com profile] fancyfrocks's house or later at the hotel itself.
* Make shoe rosettes and wire headdress.

What do you think of the Star wand? I suspect I might find it annoying to carry around, but if it's important to the "look" I can be a big girl. :p


3. 1915 dress

I'm pretty much nowhere with this, except that the base patterns are enlarged and I have a few corset pieces cut out for the first mockup. I had a setback two weeks ago when I discovered that Needle & Thread had sent me 1.5" webbing instead of 2" webbing. At this point I really don't want to deal with cutting and finishing yards of 2" fabric strips, so I found some 2" cotton twill tape from an ebay seller. That arrived Monday.  I really really need to get this to work quickly.  I'm so nervous!!!

I do have a lot of lawn, and I traced off and added height to the combinations pattern. (3" below the waist and 1" above!) That's the one piece I'm excited about right now. It's a neat design, and looks kind of fun to assemble.

As for the dress itself, I'm pretty much scared about this. I've got a base pattern from PoF that I think will work fairly well, but this is basically the biggest free-handing job I've ever done. I hate uncertainty!  I hate to admit it, but I've been running through other options in case this is total fail or I simply run out of time.

I did decide what to do about stockings. My old "traditional" ballet tights are very pale pink with sewn seams, and I think they would look very good with a white dress. They're definitely opaque, and definitely not silk, but I think the look will be better than obvious modern white tights.  I hate to ruin them by cutting them up for stockings. But they were used for 3 years, they've been in a VERY hot attic for 10 years since, and they're by no means irreplaceable.

The hat... I know I can do this, and it will be fun. But I've got to get everything else done first, and then I'm afraid I'll have to skimp on the hat. :(



Now, for shoes.

Ironically, the Star dress was the easiest. Blue silk boots done right aren't an option for this. And because 1860s is my Accuracy Home, I won't be happy faking something up with modern boots. I know too much!  But I did find white satin ballet slippers that I can approve of. They lack the super-square toe (simply not to be found apart from reproductions), but the material is good and they have full soles of good suede.  They'll also look very cute with blue rosettes. Maybe with a gold star in the middle. :)


I've got options for the 1940s playsuit, too.  I already have from black Corazon sandals from Remix; they're very cute. And a couple of basic pairs of flat leather-strap sandals that will work. But I found a couple espadrilles options on ebay, too:
Olive green flat canvas espadrilles
Bronze sequins beads espadrilles
Opinions, please!

The 1915 dress is the hardest. Early 20th century shoes are characterized by graceful heels, pointed toes, and high vamps.  The heels aren't too hard to find, and pointed toes are possible, but high vamps are vanishingly rare.  And since I've always been picky about shoes being right, this is driving me crazy.
"Court shoes" for ballroom dance are actually very close. But maybe it's the searches I've been running, but I'm finding very little that's not discontinued.
These look about the best for now.
These look pretty good, too.
I really like these, although they're a bit low on the sides; but the price scares me.

And if I'm going to spend that much, I go back to this pair from etsy. In MY SIZE.
Edwardian 'Butterscotch Baby' Leather Louis Heel

If I do more Edwardian (which I'd like to) these might be really good to have. White or pink satin shoes won't be too good with anything but light evening wear or really summery dresses, like the one I'm making now. Financially, I'm able to do the etsy ones; but it's a serious decision, and I really want advice on the way to go.
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (worry)
Status, shall we?

1. 1940s playsuit

Done! Except for the hem in the skirt, and that I need my mother to mark for me. She hates marking my hems, so that might take a while. ;)

I've also got my eye on some white-frame sunglasses. I like my yellow celluloid ones with blue lenses, but the white ones would be particularly right for this outfit.
And I've got a good straw hat as well. I might replace the much-faded scarf with something else.  Anyone got a scrap of white chiffon or an old scarf they want to get rid of?


2. Star dress

- Overskirt (organza) and underskirt (taffeta) cut out and in the assembly process.
- Bodice cut out and ready to begin assembly.
- Sleeve mockup made and approved, with minor modification. Need to make final pattern.

I need to:
* Finish the sleeve mockup
* Order more organza for sleeves; I have a yard left for for the bertha.
* Order Dresden foil stars. That means I need to decide on the final design. I won't attach them until I get to California, though; either at [livejournal.com profile] fancyfrocks's house or later at the hotel itself.
* Make shoe rosettes and wire headdress.

What do you think of the Star wand? I suspect I might find it annoying to carry around, but if it's important to the "look" I can be a big girl. :p


3. 1915 dress

I'm pretty much nowhere with this, except that the base patterns are enlarged and I have a few corset pieces cut out for the first mockup. I had a setback two weeks ago when I discovered that Needle & Thread had sent me 1.5" webbing instead of 2" webbing. At this point I really don't want to deal with cutting and finishing yards of 2" fabric strips, so I found some 2" cotton twill tape from an ebay seller. That arrived Monday.  I really really need to get this to work quickly.  I'm so nervous!!!

I do have a lot of lawn, and I traced off and added height to the combinations pattern. (3" below the waist and 1" above!) That's the one piece I'm excited about right now. It's a neat design, and looks kind of fun to assemble.

As for the dress itself, I'm pretty much scared about this. I've got a base pattern from PoF that I think will work fairly well, but this is basically the biggest free-handing job I've ever done. I hate uncertainty!  I hate to admit it, but I've been running through other options in case this is total fail or I simply run out of time.

I did decide what to do about stockings. My old "traditional" ballet tights are very pale pink with sewn seams, and I think they would look very good with a white dress. They're definitely opaque, and definitely not silk, but I think the look will be better than obvious modern white tights.  I hate to ruin them by cutting them up for stockings. But they were used for 3 years, they've been in a VERY hot attic for 10 years since, and they're by no means irreplaceable.

The hat... I know I can do this, and it will be fun. But I've got to get everything else done first, and then I'm afraid I'll have to skimp on the hat. :(



Now, for shoes.

Ironically, the Star dress was the easiest. Blue silk boots done right aren't an option for this. And because 1860s is my Accuracy Home, I won't be happy faking something up with modern boots. I know too much!  But I did find white satin ballet slippers that I can approve of. They lack the super-square toe (simply not to be found apart from reproductions), but the material is good and they have full soles of good suede.  They'll also look very cute with blue rosettes. Maybe with a gold star in the middle. :)


I've got options for the 1940s playsuit, too.  I already have from black Corazon sandals from Remix; they're very cute. And a couple of basic pairs of flat leather-strap sandals that will work. But I found a couple espadrilles options on ebay, too:
Olive green flat canvas espadrilles
Bronze sequins beads espadrilles
Opinions, please!

The 1915 dress is the hardest. Early 20th century shoes are characterized by graceful heels, pointed toes, and high vamps.  The heels aren't too hard to find, and pointed toes are possible, but high vamps are vanishingly rare.  And since I've always been picky about shoes being right, this is driving me crazy.
"Court shoes" for ballroom dance are actually very close. But maybe it's the searches I've been running, but I'm finding very little that's not discontinued.
These look about the best for now.
These look pretty good, too.
I really like these, although they're a bit low on the sides; but the price scares me.

And if I'm going to spend that much, I go back to this pair from etsy. In MY SIZE.
Edwardian 'Butterscotch Baby' Leather Louis Heel

If I do more Edwardian (which I'd like to) these might be really good to have. White or pink satin shoes won't be too good with anything but light evening wear or really summery dresses, like the one I'm making now. Financially, I'm able to do the etsy ones; but it's a serious decision, and I really want advice on the way to go.
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (puzzled)
I'm getting ready to cut and sew together my first mockup for the S&S short stays. I've read through the construction order for both them and for the Mantua Maker long stays pattern. Both say to fully assemble each layer individually, including the gussets.

Is this typical for construction of the period?  I cut my teeth (so to speak) on 1860s sewing, in which flat-lining is fundamental for strength.  Even my 18th-century stays, which I did by machine and not by the nifty handseaming techniques, had me treat the interlining and cover fabrics as one piece for assembly.

So doing these stays, and particularly the gussets, in individual layers just sounds wrong to me; although I could be totally off base. And I don't have any books or museum pictures with enough detail to tell if it's right or not.  I just want to know how it was really done! Help!

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nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
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