Sunday, October 07, 2012

First fitting of the corset

1911 corset sew-a-long

I'm really, really disappointed.

If you have been reading my posts, you know I was really sad about needing to add 2 1/2 inches to every pattern piece, because I'm twice as thick as the woman the pattern was made for.

Now I have sewn the mock-up.

It's way too big.
I need to take in EVERY SEAM for at least 1/2 inch and it was like a skirt on the hips. The lacing edges were together.

Again, I look at the images of the "adding/removing fabric", and it's just a minor adjustment. I need to... do the whole f-ing thing again,

Yeah, sure, I'm not quite as fat as I thought I was. But...
Oh, and I know I should have measured the hip on the pattern and not widened it quite the 2 1/2 inches, because I know I'm an apple and most patterns are made for pears. Pears with long waist and small boobs. Like the individual this pretty pink thing was made for.

So... I'm scared that the long bones are too long for me.

I also noticed that I had read wrong the list, and I don't have any 1/2 inch wide bones.

I'm so not happy right now.

I have been procrastinating sewing the mock-up, because I'm so uncertain, so afraid, and it would have been nice to have some confirmation and encouragement, but... I just feel like a complete failure.

Sure, I'm sewing myself a corset. Yay, me. :´(

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Diary of a corset maker... (procrastinating...)

Monday 1st of October:
I have finished the pattern, and try to gather courage to sew the fitting sample. But, I haven't received my package from UK yet, so I have no bones and no busk... so...
Yes, I know. Excuses, excuses. *sigh*

Wednesday 3rd of October:
My package arrived and I fetched it.

Thursday 4th of October:
I washed my denim.

Friday 5th of October:
I hanged my denim to dry.

Saturday 6th of October:
I ironed my denim. I can't make my mock of that. The fabric is too nice.

After a couple of hours procrastinating I decided to use some old sheets.

I hate cutting. Or not hate, I'm scared of it. I really, really dislike doing it, because it scares me. It doesn't matter that it's the mock copy, and the fabric is not worth much. Doesn't matter. I'm sure I have made some grave mistakes, and the mock copy will be nasty and twisted and I won't be able to transfer the corrections to the pattern and my corset will be awful and it's all waste of time, money and effort, and I'm going to hell for being a bad seamstress. With all my education and all.

Now I have cut the mock copy and I need to sew it. I'm scared. I don't want to... I'm going to do something wrong and everything will go wrong and it will be awful and... God will strike me down with a fiery hammer for not being good at sewing corsets.

Yes, it's my first one, what's your point?

I'm a bad, bad person and I'll go to hell.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Big-Ass Book of Crafts


In Finland there's something called "käsityö" and something called "askartelu". The difference is the skills required to do the things.
If school kids can do it with a little instructions - like, let's say, punch holes, melt plastic and glue stuff on stuff, it's "askartelu".
If you would actually benefit of professional schooling to create good quality items people would pay for, because they can't make them themselves, even after reading the instructions in a book or internet, that's "käsityö".
The lexicon says that "käsityö" is crafts. Handwork, needlecraft, handicraft.
"Askartelu" is pottering or hobby crafts.

To me the difference is great and important.
To have these thousands of people, usually women, pottering about with paper, felt, cardboard and plastic and other kindergarten crafts, and believing to be craftswomen...
I'm sorry. I am. You are not. You are a potterer.

Sure you are creative, sure you make wonderful things - sure, you are more of a doer and maker than I am, who do practically nothing, but you are not a craftswoman.
Sure, you gather skills as you potter about, and some of your creations are actually very good. But you are not a craftswoman.
Sure, this is just my opinion.

I was really excited to see "Big-Ass Book of Crafts". I have Asperger's and one of the usual characteristics is to collect as much information and data as possible. And there are two of these "Big-Ass Books of Crafts"! Yupee! I'm in heaven! Yes, I want!!!

Until I went to to see what it is.
Oh, yes. Glueing things on things. Making things of garbage, like TP rolls and PET bottles and plastic spoons. Taking things and making new things of things by... glueing things on them. Pottering.

I am very disappointed. I was running to a smorgasboard filled with my favorite dishes to see it was some re-heated stuff I don't like.
So, excuse my rant.

I'm sure the book is lovely, and there are a lot of people out there who love this book. And the ideas are great and it's wonderful people are creative and make things. It really is.
I still think all those potterers are more makers than I am, and I truly envy their enthusiasm and productivity. I wish I had just 10% of it.
Oh, and I know some real craftswomen love this book, and I envy them that too. I wish I could see past my strict and, actually, rather limiting definitions.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Doctors IX, X, XI, XiI

I wrote this 2020 :-D

Ninth Doctor is even more straightforward :-D
Black, worn leather jacket, black shoes, black pants, low v-neck dark t-shirt. He has worn black, dark green, dark burgundy, navy and probably some other very dark colors.
Now, as far as I know, ladies didn't have leather jackets in the 1880s, but I found this, "Ladies' pleated jacket", from 1883. Good enough, I say :-D

Then my doctor, 10th. Now, he was wearing the brown pin striped suit and a navy suit, different shirts and ties. He also had this lovely long coat and converses :-D

Tennis shoes - canvas shoes with rubber soles - were introduced in the 19th century, so I can have those :-D
These shoes are from 1892. Yeah... Unused, tucked away for 100 years, but they were made 1892.

So - here's a traveling coat Tissot painted 1880 and 1881.
Illustrirte Frauen-Zeitung 1880: 
Walking or indoor dress with basque bodice with added peplums and pleated skirt. 
Walking dresses 1880
A ladies' button down shirt from 1880s.

The Eleventh Doctor isn't that much different, again. A button-down shirt, bowtie, tweed jacket (he wears a vest every now and then), shortish pants and boots, suspenders, and a fez. Also, he has a dark green long coat. And a fez. Fezzes are cool.

He also wore a bit of everything, but mostly black. Often the long velvet coat and black pants and boots. I kind of like the hoodie, and that splash painted sweater... it looks like the space :-D

knitted spencers; first from 1848, the second from Godey's lady's book for 1861

And then the 12th doctor

This is something quite different, again... her long coat is light now, with darker cording, it has dark grey lining with hoodie... looks almost as another coat under the light one. She has a rainbow striped shirt (occasionally also a rainbow scarf), teal pants (look almost like men's pants that have been turned up... ?)

Monday, October 01, 2012

Doctors VII and VIII

The Seventh Doctor is also very straight forward.

Here's the pattern for the sweater vest

I love those spectators :-D I wonder where I can find spectator boots Victorian style in brown and white with that kind of cut... *sigh*
Plaid in pants, this time. *sigh*
And a paisley scarf, paisley tie, paisley snuff hankie and the umbrella with a question mark handle.

And so is the Eighth.
Greenish black velvet coat, long; brocade vest; cravat; white shirt; brown tweed trousers, a bit too long... that's some nice wool... *drool* - and... galosches?

Edited 17/2-14 - To Dorian: what does Doctor VII have under his coat

Friday, September 28, 2012

Doctor VI

I understand. I truly understand.

This outfit is horrible.

He's wearing a shirt with gingham collar and cuffs. He's wearing a polkadot tie. He's wearing a patchwork vest and coat, made with upholstering fabric. He's wearing yellow striped pants. He's wearing green shoes and red spats. And that hair... I know it was really fashionable at that time, but...
They made a clown of the good Doctor. :-(
Oh, and don't forget the black cat lapel pin.
And the plaid is still there. Some parts of the coat are plaid. A lot of parts of the coat are actually plaid.

So - I really think I should go for the circus artist, variety artist, vaudeville burlesque artist way here.
Striped stockings, boots with really big satin bows, short, striped skirt, patchwork jacket and really curly, yellow hair... I think about aunt Pittypat from Gone With The Wind.. she was described as having yellow ringlets or curls... (I read the book in Finnish).

USonian independence day costume and a chorus girl from a variety show
both are said to be from 1880's

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Doctors IV and V

IV is the one with the scarf. The rest of the outfit is lovely 70's tweet... with a coat, checkered vest, a hat and a rust colored cravat.
The thing with this is that I have never really thought about what the Doctor is wearing, and now I notice to my horror that the plaid seems to be his insignia... I hate plaid...

But - here's some coats from 1880's. The first one is a hunting costume with a big, rust colored bow. The second is a trenchcoat kind of coat and the last is a traveling coat, which are - of course - more interesting when it comes to my Victorian Femme Doctor costume.

I haven't been able to find any vests of any kind from the 1880's, nor blouses. Seems those become fashionable some 20 years later, so I suppose I need to mix with the historical accuracy a little. Considering that the good Doctor is a time traveler, that shouldn't be a problem. Here a couple of suggestions of the plaid vest.

I can imagine the outfit being of tweed and sort of a hunting-traveling-wandering outfit. Not very long skirt, of a simple cut, and good quality grey tweed, and brown boots. And I would like to give her a fancier hat.

Also, it's rather funny how well this curled hairdo fits the IV perfectly :-D

Doctor V, then... He's wearing a cricket outfit, but women didn't start playing cricket before 1920's... awful, isn't it! But - the costume is pretty straight forward, anyway, with a couple of adjustments.
V wears a sweater, a shirt with colored inner collar, a nice coat with piping and striped trousars, white shoes and a hat.

 I was thinking about these tennis and "seaside" outfits. In right colors, of course.

His hair, though, causes me some trouble... the ladies did not have their hair in such disorder back at 1880's. The closest I get is Cora Allen O'Hair.

I suppose a boater is most appropriate hat for the purpose, and then white boots.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Third Doctor

Now, he's a little more problematic. Because he changes clothes all the time. The only thing in common with all the choices is a) velvet smoking jacket b) Inverness cape and c) ruffled shirt.

So I chose this - petroleum velvet jacket with red piping, dark trousers, blue ruffled shirt, red velvet vest, burgundy tie - and plaid Inverness cape. Are those cowboy boots?

 So - here's some velvet inspiration. I really like that velvet and satin dress in the black-and-white photo. Now, just change the jacket to more like the brown one, and add the ruffled shirt like in the fashion plate, and with frog closure and some soutache embroidery...

And then the inverness cape... or perhaps this "Sherlock Holmes"-y travel coat :-D

And isn't this the very same hairstyle? :-D It should just be white... but it's frilled bangs. The rest of the hair would have been gathered in a bun quite up on the head. This hairdo works also for doctors IV and VI, and also VII, even though VII wore a hat most of the time.

2 1/2 inches...

Now I have found the tape measure.

Now I don't dare to take my measures. I'm fat. I won't be near 22 inches around my waist. I will be more like twice that... Which means that I kind of need to double that pattern...

But - I have a husband, and it needs to be done, so... My sweet, darling husband took the measurements. He's really doing more than duty calls - but he just shrugs and says "that's part of paying the 18 cows". He married a woman who sews. 
18 cows... Ok. There was a village, full of beautiful women, and there was a poor man with a daughter in the village. The girl walked around hunched, afraid and ashamed, because she was poor. They had nothing.
One day a young, rich man comes to the village, in search of a wife. All the other girls were trying to charm him, but he didn't seem to even see them. He saw the poor girl. He said he wanted to marry her. 
Year later the girl came back to her home village to greet her father, and when the villagers saw the girl, they didn't recognize her. She walked with pride and joy, carrying her head up high with a radiant smile. She was like a queen.
What had happened?
The rich man had not paid the usual 5 cows, or 9 which was paid for a rich man's daughter. No. He paid 18 cows for his wife.
To get a wife worth 18 cows, you pay 18 cows...

And it's 44 inches.
Dang, I'm fat. :-(

Well... the official measurements - taken exactly against the given orders, that is, in the evening, straight after dinner.
waist 44 inches
hips 49-49.5 inches
So - let's remove three inches from the waist and get 41. That divided in two is 20.5, which is exactly twice the 10 1/4 of the CC pattern.
so that divided with 4 is 2 9/16
That doesn't look TOO bad. Actually.

"that's roughly 3/8 per pattern piece..." Compare that to 2 and half inches.
I'm fat. :-(

Bah. Comparison is the kill of joy. Back to work.

I really like that ribbon embellishment on top of this corset from 1909

Now I have done it.
I have added 2 1/2 inches to every piece of the pattern, and boy, was it rough! Emotionally it was almost too much to bear.
I kept thinking about how fat I am, I'm fat, fat, fatty fat.

Then I thought that "I just need to do this job. Add 2 1/2 inches to each pattern piece, nothing else. Don't think what it means. Just do it. It's easy. It's not tough. It's not hard. It's easy. Just add 2 1/2 inches to each piece. Only six pieces... Easy peasy."

And then "fat, fat, fat..."

And then I thought about Mae West.

And I thought about words like rubenesque, voluptuous, baroque, opulent... I love stuff like that.

Mae West was magnificent. She wasn't a skinny bitch. I can't think of one skinny bitch who's magnificent. You have to be big to be magnificent. Like Mae West and Miss Piggy. Magnificent.

I'm magnificent. And voluptuous, baroque, opulent and rubenesque. I'm not fat. I'm magnificent.

Any way, now it's done.
It's day 7 of the Corset Project, and I have slashed and spread and drafted and the pattern should be ok for the next phase.
I need to check the hips, put notches in pattern, add length and mark the bones in the pattern.