Monday, February 11, 2013

Underneath It All

Well, I managed to complete the third challenge of the Historical Sew Fortnightly but not to the level I had wanted to. I wanted to make a corset and chemise, but I was only able to complete the chemise. I've got a good excuse though! As those of you living in North America might have heard, the northeast just got hit by one of the most ridiculously huge blizzards in nearly thirty years, and I live smack dab in the worst of it.

The blizzard was due to start early Friday morning with flurries growing steadily worse until the afternoon when they predicted snow could fall as fast as two to three inches per hour. Of course my boss decided this was not enough of an excuse to cancel work. Luckily my boyfriend lives just a couple blocks away from my place of employment so I decided to weather the storm at his house. The storm was supposed to peter out Saturday morning, so I foolishly thought I could get home Saturday evening and have all of Sunday to sew.

The storm was so bad that the governor actually banned all non-maintenance and emergency traffic from the roads. The wind was shaking the house I was staying at and driving the snow into huge drifts against houses and cars. I believe we got over thirty inches by the time it was all over. Needless to say Saturday came and went with me still snowed in far from my sewing machine. It wasn't until late Sunday afternoon that we were able to dig my car out of the five foot snowbank the plows had left behind it. I wasn't even able to go home on Sunday as there was still a parking ban and I only have street parking at my apartment. This is actually the first night I've been home since last Wednesday!

Thankfully I worked on my chemise last weekend so I at least have something done for the challenge. The pieces for my corset are all cut out and marked just waiting to be sewn, so I'll continue working on in it in my spare moments between other challenges. But enough of my blathering on, let's get to the challenge details!

The new chemise with an old corset

The Challenge: Underneath It All

Fabric: 3 yards of white cotton broadcloth

Pattern: Simplicity 2890

Year: Around 1860

Notions: Lace hem tape and a button

How historically accurate is it? Fairly accurate. I trust that the pattern is for the most part accurate and I even used a button from a line of vintage styled buttons that dates to 1860-1900, but I did sew with a machine instead of by hand and I don't know about the accuracy of the lace trim I used.

Hours to complete: I think this one took about 5 hours

First worn: Hasn't been worn except to take a couple photos

Total cost: About $12

I'm really happy with how this came out. I've never had a proper chemise to wear under my dresses before so it will be very nice to have one at last. And it came out so pretty! I absolutely adore the neckline, and I've had the button I used sitting around in my stash forever. One thing I find a little odd about the pattern is that the sides flare out a bit and make it hang weird around the hips, but of course it'll never really be noticed underneath the rest of the layers. I also placed my button hole wrong the first time since the pattern called for just sewing the button to both layers as decoration and gave no placement markings, so there's an extra bit of stitching that kind of bothers me.

The pretty lace and button, and the bothersome extra buttonhole

I'm looking forward to completing my corset soon since it's an experiment I've had in mind for a while now. I've got another project in the works right now that needs to be done before Thursday and of course some work for Frightful Acts that I've been ignoring so the corset and my next challenge will have to wait for a few days. I've got a busy week of sewing ahead of me, so wish me luck!

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