Tuesday, 21 March 2017

1830s corset/stays

Hello lovelies,

the past months I worked on a 1830s corset/stays for my costume. I faced a lot of problems with the project because there was not a lot of source material and patterns. And I love to work with fixed patterns rather than creating my own.
In the end I based the corset on this corset/stays:
Corset, 1830–35, American cotton, bone, metal, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art 2009.300.3031
 The corset, from what I could see, had gussets at the hips and two gussets on each side at the bust. It has shoulder straps tied to the corset with beige ribbon. The front has thread going diagonally going down from the sides to the middle. Additionally it has a busk in the middle.

With these information I did the pattern and in hindsight I failed so hard (again).

 This was the first pattern I did. It looks very long and indeed, it was.
The mock up looked good and even though my doll wore 2 bras it still didn't fit perfectly at the bust. For me, alas, it did.

So with the mock up looking fine I transferred the pattern to my linen and my satin fabric. No idea why all my corsets are pink but..they are...
I used thick linen for the inner lining. 

I hand stitched the gussets before sewing them with the machine. I tried to make it look really good at first.
Not sure if the hand stitched seams are visible but for the linen this method worked pretty well.

 This is how it looked like when all the parts were sewn together.
I inserted all the gussets and went to do the satin fabric.
The fabric was flat lined to another layer of linen.

So this was the corset with the double bra and all the gussets. I really had difficulties with the gussets.


I made the tunnels and as in the corset I  based this upon I wanted to do some diagonal casings. But they turned really bad so I only made two.

Then I stitched everything together with a running stitch.

I tried on the corset so many times and slowly I realized it was too long for me (and the gussets therefore not wide enough).

 Ignore my cute cupcake pyjama pants.

 I cut the corset for the last time and took away quite a few centimetres.
Afterwards all that was left was to put in the metal grommets, the binding and the corset spiral.

I used the pink satin material for the binding.

Here is the shorter version of the corset with a camisole underneath the top. I already did the binding for the bottom part. 
After inserting the corset spiral I did the top part, which was honestly a pain in the ass to do. 

My cat found my lap the perfect place to rest. They really don't fear needles.

To be honest at this point I was already so pissed off at the corset because so many things didn't work out that I was just like, whatever and didn't really care about wrinkles. I still don't. Nobody will see it anyway.

And this is how the finished corset looks like. I am wearing it again over a camisole but I remembered I still didn't have a fitting chemise....
So I guess I will do better pictures when I finally did a chemise for that era.
On the pictures it doesn't look bad but trust me, it does. All the corners of the gusset fray and the corset in general doesn't fit well. But I finished it and that counts, I guess?

Cost: I had all the fabric at home, I just paid about 4€ for the grommets.
Time needed: It took me about two months but it felt much longer...
 Satisfaction: 1/5

All the best,

Auris Lothol

Monday, 13 March 2017

Lolita meet-up in Vienna 12.03.17

Hello lovelies,

Yesterday I attended a small lolita spring tea party held in Vienna. It was held at Haas&haas, a tea shop in the heart of the first district right behind the Stephansdom. Therefore the prices for the items are higher but at least you also get good food and tea quality. Even though I was not fond of the matcha, the tea and the mini cakes were very good.

Picture by Dani

Picture by Dani
We had lolita Valentines and a costume contest with a prize, a stocking from Komachi 2266532 Darklolita.
Our gothic lolita won the costume contest, a perfect fit with the stockings! That, and she really looked amazing.
Picture by Dani
For this nice occasion I went with a retro inspired lolita coord.
I got the hat from bodyline and cut away the ugly black net. Then I added real hat net to it and glued everything together again.

I made the dress myself (see the post on my sewing blog) and the rest is offbrand.
Selfie :3

A selfie with Isi

 And here are the full body shots. The first was one done at the location.

Picture by Dani

Here are some close ups:

 Before getting into the dress I made a picture of my hair.

All the best,

Auris Lothol

Ariel 1830s mock up

Hello lovelies,

I am starting a new cosplay theme. I am not into anime anymore and rather sew something pretty instead of wanting to be the "character". This is the reason why I did so many Sakizou cosplays over the past years.
But now I want to do something else too, and my theme will be historically (more) accurate Disney costumes. I wanted to start with something easy like Aurora but then I thought about doing Ariel because I could re-use the dress for a Biedermaier festival in May. That is, if I am finished until then. Haha.
The corset, a tutorial for puff sleeves is coming in the next post. I will concentrate on the dress only.

This is the official artwork for Ariel. The bottom picture is from the movie.
Her red hair is loose and clipped on one side with a white or silver hair clip.
The dress is pink with a white under dress. It has a very bell shaped form. The collar is very round.
The sleeves are long and wide and very puffy on top. They also have slits and you can see the white fabric underneath.

I researched the form and everyone on the internet had different opinions on the country and time.
Shoomlah on Deviantart set her in the 1890s.

I agree with her on the sleeve part but not on the dress part.

In the end I went with a 1830s look because that was not only the look which striked me as most similar but also because the book "the little mermaid" by Hans Christian Andersen was published in 1837.
And I think the gigot sleeve and the shape of the dress fitted perfectly.

1833 La Belle Assemblee, evening dress.

1833. Court dress, La Belle Assemblee, May.
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art
So with the 1830s in mind and a janet arnold book in my hand I set to work.

Maja loves to sit on my fabric. And I can't stop her. Cat 3 Me 0
 And she grew fat. She looks like a huge hairy ball now.

My first mock-up worked out well, except for some small details of course.

 I had to make a dart at the front but there were no darts on the pattern, so I cut my pattern differently, leaving out the dart on the finished top.

I also changed the sleeve part and set it furter down.

 I added a pleated bertha to it because I thought it would look nice.

At first I went for these tiny sleeves because in 1837 the sleeves got thinner again. But I tossed that idea and instead made the dress more like the disney version.

 The skirt part was just one huge rectangle but I just had luck with my fabric because the width was about 3m. With my other fabric I will have to cut it in two or three parts.
The skirt has knife pleats and at the back cartridge pleats. I made the skirt as instructed in the Janet Arnold pattern book. 

The underskirt, and ignore the small bows, is made out of knife pleats too. I am still not sure how to close it because I plan to do it as a whole dress instead of top, skirt, overskirt but I am not sure how to proceed here. I only have one picture of a fashion plate (saved from mimi matthews, a fantastical blog) where the back is depicted too.
Die Mode, Menschen und Mode im neunzehnten Jahrhundert, 1837.
But I'll try and figure out something and do some research before cutting the "real" fabric.

After this part I put the dress aside for a few months. A week ago I once again draped it over my sewing doll. I changed the fit and decided to go for the gigot/leg of mutton sleeves.

I drafted the pattern after Janet Arnold's book again and got the length correct...but not the width. So I made the button part longer and added a few centimetres to the curves.

 The whole dress is draped over a underskirt, a corded petticoat and a starched frilly petticoat. I am not sure if I am already happy with the form it gives. Maybe I'll do another starched petticoat?
Also ignore the waist band, I decided to go for another one.

 The bertha is held in place with all that pins but I decided to make a new one, just for the pictures.
The gigot sleeve already looks very puffy.

 I folded up the skirt part because they were not that long anyway plus it had the perfect length now for the seam.

And a close-up of the top and bertha.

So how do you like my mock-up?

All the best,

Auris Lothol