Monday, March 3, 2014

HSF #3 - Pink

Sigh, behind again. I'm not going to post about challenge #2, Innovation, because I was counting the red Indienne print neck handkerchief I paired with my new wool bedgown (#1: Make Do And Mend) and was thinking about doing a long post on the innovative cotton printing that was catching on in Europe. But I'm too lazy to do all that research for just a simple triangle of cloth!

The Challenge: #3: PINK - A little bouquet of silk flowers and ribbon to be pinned at the center front of a gown. Very pastoral (hoping for spring soon)!

Fabric: Not really much in the way of fabric in the traditional sense, although I suppose the flowers, leaves and ribbon are technically all fabric!
Pattern: I'm really unlikely to be using any pattern for any of these challenges, I'll just get that out of the way now...I feel much more free looking at photos and scale drawings and letting the item grow organically from that. For this simple little project, I looked at a couple of cute little nosegays pinned to display gowns like these: 

Year: Not sure there is a specific year although I'm most likely in the future to use this with my pink anglaise as it already has floral motifs and some green in it. 
Notions: ALL notion, really!
How historically accurate is it? I'm really not sure, I couldn't find any specifics about extant artificial nosegays, but silk flowers as ornament seemed to be in use on hats and other accessories fairly frequently.
Hours to complete: Not even 1...finished it up in about 15 minutes while watching Olympic figure skating.
First worn: Not yet! I need to take pictures of all my ensembles to date though and pair them with the best accessories so maybe as the weather warms up. 
Total cost: Nada...all stash materials.

The reason it's taking me SO long to get anything up lately is THIS:

Eventually, MAYBE, it'll be lovely light pink stays bound with cream linen tape, half-boned with cable ties, with straps and a stomacher, but right now I have never more regretted swearing a solemn promise to never use the sewing machine again on any of my 18th century clothes or accessories. Shoving a needle through six layers of heavy canvas-like material has been murder on my fingers when joining the pieces, and I'll never really love boning channels much, even less so by hand. If I'm wanting to make the #5 bodice challenge (will count this for #4 Underneath It All as well), I really have to book it. 

They are not very nice looking, but they are drafted off my first stays, which are machine-sewn and actually fit quite well despite some design flaws. Those are fully boned though and hot as Hades in summer so I'm going a lighter, less bulky/more flexible route -- I know there's not much documentation for half-boned stays with visible boning channels, but I just have this idea in my head of what they'll (hopefully) look like, so bear with me. If nothing else, it'll be a good exercise in humility and facing failure! 

My plans for the HSF for the rest of 2014 have changed drastically, and once I finish these stays up, I hope to be devoting the rest of my year to building two ensembles (click for accompanying Pinterest boards)


More to come on those soon after the FrankenStays are done torturing me!


  1. The corsage (boob foliage?) is such a nice thing to make. That's the kind of detail that really takes an ensemble up a notch, and nobody ever thinks to do it. (Except you, you forward-thinking weirdo.) I can't WAIT to see dem stays! I'll just hang my head in shame the next time I pass the box with my half-finished 3-nearly-4-year old blue linen stays.

    1. Boob foliage....only you. Only you. I'm so happy that didn't go any farther, it could have blossomed in unsavory ways.

      What is it about stays that makes us feel so guilty and failure-prone and inadequate?! Mine are judging me this very moment as I avoid eye contact with them because I don't feel like sewing tonight.